It was quite a week in the NFL as Drew Bree’s touchdown streak came to a crashing halt and four teams clinched playoff spots. There was tragedy in Kansas City followed by sage advice, and the quarterback drama in New Jersey just keeps getting better and better. Meanwhile, Andrew Luck has then continuing to say “Peyton who?” in Indy as Peyton himself continues to roll.
Here are our Power Rankings following Week 13:
1. New England Patriots (9-3, U, W6) – How the Patriots keep winning despite a mountain of injuries is amazing; tough contests coming against the Texans and 49ers
2. Houston Texans (11-1, +1, W6) – We have a Monday night #1 v. #2 match-up; will the Texans benefit from a banged up Patriots team?
3. Atlanta Falcons (11-1, +1, W3) – The Panthers provide fodder this week for the Falcons to start thinking about home field advantage
4. San Francisco 49ers (8-3-1, -2, L1) – If the Niners make it to the Super Bowl, their AFC opponent should hire the St. Louis Rams to fill in for the game
5. Denver Broncos (9-3, +2, W7) – Not only is Peyton the likely Comeback Player of the Year and a possible MVP, but he may be single-handedly responsible for ending the stadium phenomenon of the “wave”
6. New York Giants (7-5, -1, L1) – Yeah, yeah, this is when they are supposed to get hot, but this isn’t looking like a team headed for another improbable Super Bowl title
7. Baltimore Ravens (9-3, -1, L1) – They’ll win the division, but age and injuries have caught up to this defense
8. Green Bay Packers (8-4, +1, W1) – Their top rusher has 360 yards this season; I know this is a passing league, but come on
9. Indianapolis Colts (8-4, +1, W2) – Andrew Luck threw the winning touchdown pass to Donnie Avery, then nearly beat him into the end zone
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5, +5, W1) – Charlie Batch redeemed himself with a huge win over the Ravens; can the Steelers hold it together long enough to make the playoffs?
11. Cincinnati Bengals (7-5, +1, W4) – Can the Bengals make it to their December 23rd match-up with the Steelers still in a position to grab a wildcard spot? Can they finally beat the Steelers when it counts?
12. Seattle Seahawks (7-5, +1, W1) – Russell Wilson is looking pretty good for someone who wasn’t on most people’s radar at the beginning of the season
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6, -2, L2) – Is the clock striking midnight for Cinderella?
14. Chicago Bears (8-4, -6, L1) – Can they hold it together long enough to make it to the post-season? Urlacher’s injury leaves room for doubt
15. Washington Redskins (6-6, +2, W3) – A very impressive performance by the Skins against the Giants; a playoff spot is now looking like a real possibility if they can upset the Ravens
16. Dallas Cowboys (6-6, +2, W1) – Oh, the good Cowboys showed up this week? Get back to us when that happens more than once in a row
17. New Orleans Saints (5-7, -2, L2) – Drew picked a bad time for a meltdown; stick a fork in them
18. Minnesota Vikings (6-6, -2, L2) – You might want to keep that fork handy…
19. St. Louis Rams (5-6-1, +1, W2) – There is no truth to the rumor that the Rams have asked the NFL to play the 49ers sixteen times next season
20. Buffalo Bills (5-7, +1, W1) – CJ Spiller has been the MVP of the Bills this season, while Fitzpatrick may have found his groove a little too late
21. Detroit Lions (4-8, -2, L4) – The loss against the Colts was a microcosm of the season… the offense scores points, and defensive lapses spoil the effort; is Jim Schwartz on the hot seat?
22. Miami Dolphins (5-7, U, L1) – Missed opportunities and unforced errors spoiled any chance of an upset against the Patriots
23. Cleveland Browns (4-8, +1, W2) – Note to the Browns’ faithful; then your team wins two games in a row, it’s called a winning streak
24. New York Jets (5-7, +3, W1) – Has the Era of the Buttfumble given way to Greg McElroy? Apparently not… Sanchez is the starter in Jacksonville on Sunday
25. San Diego Chargers (4-8, +1, L4) – Calm down, Chargers’ fans; your team only went up one spot because others sucked worse this week
26. Tennessee Titans (4-8, -1, L2) – Speaking of sucking worse…
27. Carolina Panthers (3-9, +1, L1) – Calm down, Panthers’ fans; your team only went up one spot because others sucked worse this week
28. Arizona Cardinals (4-8, -5, L8) – Speaking of sucking worse…
29. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10, U, L1) – Has one team ever been so thrilled to find out that they were facing another team’s starter, and not their third-stringer?
30. Philadelphia Eagles (3-9, U, L8) – They’re firing everybody but the guy who really needs to go
31. Kansas City Chiefs (2-10, +1, W1) – If there was ever a team that deserved a win, it was the Chiefs this past Sunday
32. Oakland Raiders (3-9, -1, L5) – At the beginning of the season, a Raiders’ fan friend of mine scolded me for calling the Raiders a last place team; well, they have four games left to prove me wrong