2020 Week 13 Power Rankings

The year is 2036 and we can finally get the Week 13 Power Rankings done. Pittsburgh finally got their chance to play the COVID riddled Baltimore Ravens despite John Harbaugh’s best efforts. Meanwhile the Denver Broncos were forced to play without a Quarterback and elected to go with a practice squad wide receiver at the helm. All in all, another drama filled week in the NFL that lasted for two days longer than expected. We’re into December now folks and the playoff hunt is well and truly on. Hold on gang, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

32. New York Jets - 0-11

Previously 32

As the weeks go on the New York Jets seem to get worse and worse. They have now played the Miami Dolphins twice this season and managed to muster together a grand total of three points. Despite the defense forcing four fumbles the offense couldn’t capitalise and looked completely lacklustre in the process. The end of the season can’t come soon enough for the Jets. Adam Gase has to go and if Sam Darnold knows what’s good for him he will look for the exit door as well.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars - 1-10

Previously 31

The losing streak goes on but this loss was surprisingly close. Jacksonville managed to at least keep this close and competitive until the last quarter. A dodgy decision to go for two points when up by two meant that the Jaguars then had to go for two again late on. Both attempts failed and Doug Marrone blew a game that they had a real chance at. The loss cost General Manager Dave Caldwell but it would seem that Marrone is safe for the time being. The number two pick in the draft seems to be tied up. 

30. Cincinnati Bengals - 2-8-1

Previously 30

It’s time for the Bengals to tank for the season and it probably won’t be too hard. With Joe Burrow done for the year Cincinnati had to turn to Brandon Allen and it did not go well. Cincinnati could only muster 155 total yards and they turned the ball over three times. It was lucky that they played the 3-7 New York Giants or this game could have been embarrassing. 

It’s all about the future for Cincinnati and the worse they do this year the better a player they get next year. 2021 is just round the corner Bengals fans.

29. Detroit Lions – 4-7

Week 13 Power Rankings
Credit: Grant Halverson (Getty Images)

Previously 28

Detroit can’t get anything going at all. Going up against the worst team against the run, in your home ground on your NFL holiday and you get completely blown away. Adrian Peterson managed to rush in two touchdowns but overall the Lion’s only managed 2.5 yards per carry in the first half. Matt Patricia couldn’t survive this defeat and ended up being relieved of his duties. New pastures await the Detroit Lions and with a plethora of talent for the head coach it could be exciting times ahead in Detroit. 

28. Dallas Cowboys – 3-8

Previously 25

It seems to change every week but now the Dallas Cowboys, America’s Team are bottom of the worst division in professional Football. Ezekiel Elliott can’t hold onto the ball, all three top receivers can’t all play well together and the defense can’t stop the run. Dallas are struggling this year and with off the field distractions to contend with as well the sooner this season ends the better. Thoughts go out to the family of Markus Paul the strength coach of the Dallas Cowboys who unfortunately collapsed and died at the team facility. 

Football is bigger than wins and losses. Everyone in the NFL is thinking about the family and the Dallas Cowboys organisation.

27. Chicago Bears - 5-6

Previously 27

Who would have thought the Chicago Bears used to be 5-1. Roll on five weeks and the Bears have a record that is still too good for the quality of football they are playing. Strangely for the Bears it was their usually dominant defense that let them down against the Packers. Green Bay racked up 393 total yards, 41 points and only punted twice. Between now and Week 17 Chicago don’t play another team with a winning record and have the chance to regain a bit of pride for their season. 

Playoffs seem unlikely now but if nothing else it gives Matt Nagy and Mitch Trubisky a chance to audition for their jobs.

26. Philadelphia Eagles - 3-7-1

Previously 26

Has there been a bigger fall from grace than the Philadelphia Eagles? Super Bowl champions in 2018 and now tied at the bottom of the worst division in football. Carson Wentz seems to play for every other team in the NFL other than the team that pays him. Another horrendous interception in the end zone was one of the 20 passes that he missed against the Seahawks. There will no doubt be calls for Jalen Hurts to get a start but would he fare any better? 

A rookie quarterback behind an offensive line that can’t block and throwing to wide receivers who struggle to get open does not sound like a good recipe. Carson Wentz needs to play better, as somehow they still have a chance in this division.  

25. Denver Broncos - 4-7

Previously 24

Kendall Hilton, the Denver Broncos wide receiver was forced to step up and play Quarterback for an NFL team. All of the Denver Quarterbacks were forced out due to COVID protocols and in an already injury plagued season the Broncos did not need a wide receiver tossing the ball. It went as predictable as you would think as the New Orleans Saints ran away with the victory. Drew Lock later tweeted and apologised for breaching COVID protocols. A mistake in an already questionable year for the young signal caller.

24. Carolina Panthers - 4-8

Previously 21

Nothing better than going into a bye week after a heartbreaking loss to the Vikings. Despite superstar rookie Jeremy Chinn scoring two defensive touchdowns on back to back plays the Panthers managed to throw this game away. It fell to the foot of Joey Slye to get the win and Panthers fans had to watch on as his effort sailed wide as the clock hit all zeros. At 4-8 the playoffs are likely over for the Panthers so should Christian McCaffrey even come back at this point? Let the star running back rest up and come back next year for a big return.

23. Washington Football Team - 4-7

Week 13 Power Rankings
Credit: NFL.com

Previously 29

The Washington Football Team is joint top of a division. It doesn’t matter that it is the worst division in football, all that matters is they are in the mix for a playoff game in Washington. The team with two of the best stories on football may be able to add another one by the time January comes around. Ron Rivera and Alex Smith both have great stories and they fully deserve all the applause.

22. New York Giants - 4-7

Previously 22

The New York Giants are leading the NFC East after three wins in a row. However, in a bit of a blow Daniel Jones left the game against the Bengals early and they may be forced to play without him for a while. Big games from Evan Engram and Wayne Gallman led the Giants to their fourth win and they are keeping neck and neck with the high flying Washington team. Up next however are the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals, anything other than two losses would be huge for the Giants and completely unexpected. Unlikely but who knows what will happen in this crazy year.

21. Los Angeles Chargers - 3-8

Previously 16

Well Justin Herbert is putting up great numbers as a rookie but unfortunately the Chargers as a team just can’t keep winning. On Sunday the Chargers slipped to their eighth defeat and Herbert is 2-8 as a starter. Not the start he would have dreamed off, but hey he is playing in the NFL and he is lighting it up individually. Give the Chargers another offseason to add more and who knows what will happen in 2021.

20. Atlanta Falcons - 4-7

Previously 23

If only the Atlanta Falcons could have held onto the many leads that they had in earlier games this season. After soundly thrashing the Las Vegas Raiders, a playoff hopeful team nonetheless, the Falcons showed the world that they can play competitive football. Unfortunately for the Falcons it’s too little too late but who doesn’t love winning and winning well. At least they are keeping fans entertained.

19. Houston Texans - 4-7

Previously 20

This is Deshaun Watson’s world and we are all just living it. Another incredible display from the talented quarterback as he led his team to a dominant Thanksgiving Day victory. Finishing the day with four touchdown passes, 318 yards and a passer rating of over 150 he completely dominated a bewildered Detroit defense. A big play early on from JJ Watt where he intercepted Matthew Stafford for a pick 6, set the tone and Houston didn’t look back. 

On the periphery of the playoff hunt and it may be too much to ask but a lot of credit should go to Romeo Crennel and how he has managed to get this team to compete again.

18. New England Patriots - 5-6

Previously 18

The rollercoaster of the New England Patriots goes on and on. After losing to Houston it was all but over, but after beating the Arizona Cardinals they are hanging on by a thread. Despite only having 179 total yards the Patriots somehow pulled out the win. Bill Belichick is the best coach of all time and if he somehow finds a way to get this team to the playoffs then he has outdone even himself. Who knows what Patriots team we will see in Week 13.

17. San Francisco 49ers - 5-6

Week 13 Power Rankings
Credit: NFL.com

Previously 20

San Francisco may be coming out the other end of the injury plagued hell. Deebo Samuel and Raheem Mostert made their much awaited return to the lineup and they couldn’t have come at a better time. Mostert led the team with 16 carries and a score and Deebo racked up 130 receiving yards from 11 carries as the Niners got a huge win over the Rams. Just as things were looking up the county decided to shut down their stadium and now the San Francisco 49ers will finish the season as the Arizona 49ers. 

The 49ers sit one game back from the wildcard spot and if they manage to get there this year they will fully deserve it.

16. Minnesota Vikings - 5-6

Previously 17

Minnesota are back to being a game away from a .500 record. This was despite giving up two defensive touchdowns on successive plays. The win against Carolina was flawed in many areas and after the loss to Dallas it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the season. Up next are the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota has to find a way to win both if they have any real thoughts at football in January.

15. Las Vegas Raiders - 6-5

Previously 12

In Week 12 2019 the 6-4 Las Vegas Raiders got blown away by the New York Jets and went on to win one more game that year. In Week 12 2020 the 6-4 Las Vegas Raiders went on the road to the Atlanta Falcons and yeah you guessed it, they got completely blown away. Will the Raiders win another game, that will depend on how Derek Carr reacts to a truly terrible game. Four turnovers and only 215 yards was an abysmal outing that he will hopefully already forgotten about. 

If the Raiders finish the 2020 season in the same manner as 2019 there may be some faces looking for a new place of work.

14. Arizona Cardinals - 6-5

Previously 13

Arizona are on a bit of a slide as they slipped to their third defeat in four games. The Cardinals were well and truly in the mix for the division but they now find themselves behind the Rams and the Seahawks and they have three divisional games to go. Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury need to get back to winning ways and quickly.

13. Miami Dolphins - 7-4

Previously 15  

Tua Tagovailoa is out with a thumb injury and it’s time for Fitzmagic to rekindle it’s fire. Ryan Fitzpatrick dismantled the Jets as he finished with 257 yards and two scores on his way to a 20-3 win. This team loves Ryan Fitzpatrick and they seem to just step up their play for him. Is Ryan Fitzpatrick the man to lead this team to playoff football? I know Tua has looked good so far but it’s Ryan Fitzpatrick!  He is unbelievably entertaining and deserves a shot at the playoffs.

12. Baltimore Ravens - 6-5

Previously 10

What a ten days for Baltimore. First a loss to the Titans that was their third in the last four outings and then COVID hit. Baltimore’s game against Pittsburgh has been moved three times and they still find themselves missing a plethora of starters. In what was possibly the most important game of the Ravens season they had a week from hell and they had to go to battle without Lamar Jackson and two of their star running backs. It didn’t bode well for John Harbaugh’s men but some stellar play from his secondary kept them in this game. 

As it turns out they went on to lose and have surrendered the AFC North Crown. All focus is now on securing a wildcard spot, which won’t be easy.

11. Cleveland Browns - 8-3

Previously 11

It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t stylish but it was a win. Cleveland hasn’t played the best football at times this year but they still find themselves with eight wins and sitting in second place in the AFC North. Playoff football feels like it is just round the corner for this Browns team and it has been a long wait. Up next however is two teams with winning records. The Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens (who obliterated them in Week One) will really test this Browns team who will most likely need a wild card to get into the playoffs. 

Cleveland will be hoping to walk away from these games with two wins but they are currently 1-3 against winning teams. That stat will need to change if the Dawg Pound will be in the playoffs.

10. Indianapolis Colts - 7-4

Previously 9

Indianapolis gave up their lead in the division in stunning fashion. They allowed Derrick Henry to run all over them and had no answer at all for the Titans offense. Missing three starters was a huge hindrance to this usually stingy Colts defense. Getting blown away by a divisional rival not only is a punch to the gut but it can have implications in the race for the division. Colts drop a game behind and will be looking to get back on track quickly.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 7-5

Previously 7

A first quarter to forget for the Buccaneers. They had to watch the future of the NFL in Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill dismantle their defense as their ageing, legendary quarterback could do nothing but watch. One of the best defenses in the league seemed to just forget that you had to cover a team’s best receiver as Tyreek Hill basically did what he wanted. Tom Brady could do nothing to match Mahomes early on and finished the game with another two interceptions. He got the game close in the fourth quarter but that felt more like Kansas allowing them than the Buccaneers deserving it. 

Tampa remains a team that you would rather not play, but if you do need to then they can definitely be beaten. If they want to play at a Super Bowl in their hometown they need to improve.

8. Los Angeles Rams - 7-4

Previously 5

A great win against the Buccaneers followed up with a poor loss to the 49ers. The NFC West is the hardest decision to pick a winner, well except the NFC East. At least the teams in the west actually want to win. Los Angeles again had multiple turnovers and that mixed with a big day from Deebo Samuel and Raheem Mostert knocked the Rams out of the game. The Rams still find themselves in a playoff spot and will be hoping to do one better than that and go on to win the division.

7. Tennessee Titans - 8 -3

Credit: SI.com

Previously 14

As the weeks go on I am more and more convinced that Derrick Henry is not human. Another game with over 100 rushing yards and he flirted with the 200 mark. When he is in the mood he is simply unstoppable and when he isn’t he is still pretty close to unstoppable. Three touchdowns and 178 yards as he ran all over the Colts. Tennessee now sits at eight wins and are top of their division. 

With monsters like AJ Brown and Derrick Henry on the offense this team has the ability to win out. Do that Titans fans and you could find yourselves right back in the AFC Championship game.

6. Seattle Seahawks - 8-3

Previously 8

Carlos Dunlap has been a revelation for the Seahawks defense. The defense has vastly improved since his arrival and they showed that when they got the Eagles QB six times and held them to just 250 yards. Then on the other side of the ball you had DK Metcalf racking up 170 yards and dominating the Eagles secondary. Chris Carson is back from injury and the Seahawks are in position to win out and take the NFC West by storm. 

Pete Carroll and Russel Wilson have done great things over the years but you have to believe they are desperate for another trip to the show.

5. Buffalo Bills - 8-3

Previously 6

Buffalo has the AFC East in control and should be the team to wrestle the crown from the grasp of the New England Patriots. They got one game closer to that by beating the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night. However with five games left to play, the Buffalo Bills have to play four teams with winning records. Football in December is never easy and the Bills will need to be playing their best football if they want to remain in control of the AFC East.

4. New Orleans Saints - 9-2

Previously 3

New Orleans have nine wins on the season and just thrashed the Denver Broncos to the tune of 31-3. Yet they slide down the Power Rankings. When a team relies so heavily on either the pass or the run they won’t continue to win many games. Taysom Hill is not a Quarterback that will lead a team to the Super Bowl. He finished with 78 yards, 0 touchdowns and an interception. Sure the Saints can run the ball but if that is all they can do then they will struggle. With Green Bay chasing them down it may be time to go to Jameis Winston.

3. Green Bay Packers - 8-3

Previously 4

Another four touchdowns for Aaron Rodgers as he continues to play lights out football. He is now up to 33 touchdown passes and leads the NFL in the passer rating stat. Green Bay absolutely dismantled the Chicago Bears and took a big leap to winning the NFC North yet again. A three game lead in the North looks safe and the Packers now have their sights set on catching the Saints. 

Philadelphia, Detroit, Carolina, Tennessee and Chicago await the Packers and they will most likely be the favorite in all of them and the heavy favorite in four. If Green Bay can win out, you have to believe that NFC Football will go through Lambeau Field come January.

2. Kansas City Chiefs - 10-1

Week 13 Power Rankings
Credit: Larry Brown Sports

Previously 2

This offense is truly frightening. Tyreek Hill had the game of his career as he brought in 13 receptions for 269 yards and three scores. Patrick Mahomes bullied the Buccaneers corner Carlton Davis as he just threw the ball at him time and time again. Tyreek Hill was happy with that as he ran past him time and time again. Kansas City looks set for another Super Bowl run and if it wasn’t for the fact that Pittsburgh remains undefeated they would be the team at the top of this list.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers -

Previously 1

It wasn’t pretty by any stretch but the Pittsburgh Steelers fought it out and remained undefeated. The ability to win is by far the best ability a team can have and this Steelers team has it. A tough divisional battle that has entertained fans for the ages. Pittsburgh hasn’t quite secured the division title but they have stopped the Ravens from winning it again and that is a great stat considering the trials of last year. With that in mind it’s only a matter of time until they do secure the division and then who knows.

MArk Ross

NFL Analyst