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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Baltimore Ravens: 2013 Week 13 NFL Power Rankings (#15)

Last week: 15 (+0)

Record: 6-6

Baltimore won a must win over Pittsburgh this week, but it was a little close for comfort for a Baltimore team whose strength is home dominance. They have just 2 home games the rest of the way as this week’s game against Minnesota in Baltimore will be followed by trips to Cincinnati and Detroit and a home game against New England. Their schedule could easily work against them as they try to nail down that 6th and final playoff spot.

Week 12 Studs

WR Jacoby Jones

LT Eugene Monroe

LE Arthur Jones

LOLB Elvis Dumervil

ROLB Terrell Suggs

CB Corey Graham

Week 12 Duds

LG AQ Shipley

C Gino Gradkowski

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San Diego Chargers: 2013 Week 13 NFL Power Rankings (#16)

Last week: 19 (+3)

Record: 5-6

You could argue the Chargers have a better offense this year than the Broncos. They are moving the chains at an 82% rate, as opposed to 81% for the Broncos, who now rank 3rd behind San Diego and New Orleans. Philip Rivers is having a career year in terms of quarterback rating, completing 70.8% of his passes for an average of 8.52 YPA, 22 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions, good for a 106.6 QB rating, which is barely off of Peyton Manning’s 114.5 QB rating. He’s doing this without much of an offensive supporting cast and is ProFootballFocus’ highest ranked quarterback in terms of passing grade. Unfortunately, the Chargers also have one of the worst defenses in the NFL.

Week 12 Studs

None

Week 12 Duds

LG Johnnie Troutman

SS Marcus Gilchrist

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Chicago Bears: 2013 Week 13 NFL Power Rankings (#17)

Last week: 17 (-5)

Record: 6-5

Injuries, age, and the departure of defensive coaches Lovie Smith and Rod Marinelli have reduced the Bears’ once proud defense to one of the worst in the NFL. If they can’t force a takeaway, they generally can’t keep their opponents from scoring, as they have forced a league worst 40 punts. It’s tough to rely on takeaways. They are allowing opponents to move the chains at a 78% rate, a rate that is increasing as injuries derail them more and more. Fortunately, their offense is doing enough to make up for it, also moving the chains at a 78% rate. Josh McCown is playing out of his mind right now, completing 65.5% of his passes for an average of 7.47 YPA, 7 touchdowns, and 1 interception. I don’t know how much I trust him though. All of this is coming from a guy who is 34 years old, has a career QB rating of 74.7, and hasn’t posted a QB rating higher than 70 since 2005. He didn’t suddenly become a starting caliber quarterback. They might need to get Cutler back if they want to make the playoffs.

Week 12 Studs

WR Brandon Marshall

TE Martellus Bennett

Week 12 Duds

LT Jermon Bushrod

RT Jordan Mills

RG Kyle Long

LOLB Khaseem Greene

MLB Jon Bostic

ROLB James Anderson

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Tennessee Titans: 2013 Week 13 NFL Power Rankings (#18)

Last week: 18 (+0)

Record: 5-6

The Titans haven’t really missed Jake Locker. He wasn’t the reason why they were winning and Ryan Fitzpatrick is one of the best backups in the NFL. They still have a very solid defense led by Jurrell Casey, Alterraun Verner, two Pro-Bowl caliber players, among other players who are playing well. I don’t think they’ll get the final playoff spot, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all. A win against the slumping Colts in Indianapolis would go a long ways towards getting them in.

Week 12 Studs

QB Ryan Fitzpatrick

WR Kendall Wright

RT David Stewart

ROLB Akeem Ayers

DT Jurrell Casey

CB Jason McCourty

Week 12 Duds

LT Michael Roos

RG Chance Warmack

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Dallas Cowboys: 2013 Week 13 NFL Power Rankings (#19)

Last week: 17 (-2)

Record: 7-5

The Cowboys may be 7-5, but they have one of the worst defenses in the NFL and their schedule gets much tougher from here on out. Their 7 wins have come against teams with a combined 28-49-1 record and their final 4 games send them to Chicago and Washington and send Packers, likely with Aaron Rodgers at that point, and the Eagles, now with Nick Foles, to Dallas. The Cowboys won’t be able to rely on a +12 turnover margin and a 70.0% fumble recovery percentage forever.

Week 12 Studs

QB Tony Romo

RB DeMarco Murray

RT Doug Free

RE DeMarcus Ware

Week 12 Duds

RE Everette Brown

DT Nick Hayden

MLB Ernie Sims

FS Barry Church

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