Detroit Lions: 2013 Week 13 NFL Power Rankings (#8)

Last week: 9 (-1)

Record: 7-5

Earlier this year, the Lions won a game despite losing the turnover battle by 4, something that had only happened 19 times prior since 1989. In that game, accumulating 623 yards of offense, as opposed to 268 for the Cowboys, only the 24th time since 1989 that a team won the yardage battle by that much. They again won the yardage battle by that much last week, outgaining the Packers 561 to 126, the 4th time a team had won the yardage battle by that much since 1989. They also won by 30, despite losing the turnover battle, the 15th time a team had done that since 1989. The Lions are now moving the chains at a 78% rate, as opposed to 73% for their opponents, a differential that is 6th in the NFL. They need to avoid turnovers, like everyone does, but they are a legitimate contender.

Week 12 Studs

LT Riley Reiff

RE Ezekiel Ansah

DT Ndamukong Suh

DT Nick Fairley

Week 12 Duds

LG Rob Sims

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Arizona Cardinals: 2013 Week 13 NFL Power Rankings (#10)

Last week: 14 (+4)

Record: 7-4

The Cardinals would definitely be in the playoffs in the AFC, but they’re going to have a hard time getting in as a wild card in the NFC. The 49ers hold the tiebreaker and are the better team, while the Saints and Panthers will probably both get in and both could win 12 games. The Cardinals could end up with 10 wins. It wouldn’t surprise me. However, 11 or 12 wins could be the magic number for the 6th playoff spot in the NFC. If only they were in the NFC East. Is it too late to move them or have them change conferences?

Week 12 Studs

WR Michael Floyd

RE Calais Campbell

CB Jerraud Powers

CB Patrick Peterson

Week 12 Duds

LT Bradley Sowell

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Green Bay Packers: 2013 Week 13 NFL Power Rankings (#11)

Last week: 13 (-2)

Record: 5-6-1

I’m keeping the Packers here because Aaron Rodgers is expected back next week. They could easily win out against a schedule of Atlanta, @ Dallas, Pittsburgh, and @ Chicago. It probably wouldn’t get them into the playoffs, but this is a completely different team without Rodgers. Their performance without him alone should win him the MVP. They have one of the worst backup quarterback situations in the NFL, but they weren’t as bad as they looked against Detroit. That’s just what a team looks like 3 days removed from playing 5 quarters in a tie. They probably won’t make the playoffs this year in the loaded NFC even if they do win out, but they’ll be a serious bounce back candidate next year once everyone is healthy. They’ve had an absurd amount of injuries this season.

Week 12 Studs

RB Eddie Lacy

LG Josh Sitton

Week 12 Duds

RT Marshall Newhouse

SS Morgan Burnett

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Indianapolis Colts: 2013 Week 13 NFL Power Rankings (#13)

Last week: 8 (-5)

Record: 7-4

What the hell happened to the Colts? The obvious answer is to blame it on Reggie Wayne’s absence and that would have some basis. Wayne tore his ACL in the Denver game before the bye and in the 4 games since, Andrew Luck has completed 55.6% of his passes for an average of 6.29 yards per attempt, 5 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions. However, I don’t think that tells the whole story. I think, in addition to that, they are proving that the start of their season was a bit of a fluke and now they are really the team I thought they’d be to start the season, a team that, because of their offensive line and defensive struggles, would not make the playoffs. Last season, this team won 7 games by 7 points or less against teams that won 7 games or fewer and they ranked 25th in DVOA. They’re playing like that again. If it wasn’t for close wins in Tennessee and Houston, Indianapolis would be 5-6 now and the 6-5 Titans would be leading the division. That didn’t happen, so the Colts are probably a playoff team, but I don’t think they’ll do much once there, much like last year.

Week 12 Studs

LT Anthony Castonzo

LE Cory Redding

RE Ricky Jean-Francois

ROLB Robert Mathis

Week 12 Duds

C Samson Satele

LOLB Bjoern Werner

SS LaRon Landry

FS Antoine Bethea

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Pittsburgh Steelers: 2013 Week 13 NFL Power Rankings (#14)

Last week: 21 (+7)

Record: 5-7

Pittsburgh is ahead of Baltimore despite their loss in Baltimore. That’s because the Ravens/Steelers Thanksgiving game was a must win for just Baltimore. Pittsburgh beat Baltimore in Pittsburgh earlier this year and a win in Baltimore would have given them the tiebreaker. Pittsburgh is now a game back, but also has the easier schedule and has played better football this season. 3 of Pittsburgh’s final 4 games are at home, with a home game against Cincinnati being their only game against a current playoff team, while Baltimore goes to both Cincinnati and Detroit, in addition to a home game against New England. The Steelers are also the only one with a road win in the division (@ Cleveland), which will help them with the 2nd tiebreaker. The Steelers also rank 15th in DVOA, as opposed to 23rd for Baltimore. I still think they’ll get the 6th seed. Barely losing in Baltimore is nothing to be ashamed of.

Week 12 Studs

RT Marcus Gilbert

LOLB Jason Worilds

CB William Gay

SS Troy Polamalu

FS Will Allen

Week 12 Duds

ROLB Jarvis Jones

CB Ike Taylor

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