Welcome to my weekly NFL Power Rankings, a look at how I rank the 32 NFL teams after the Monday Night Football fallout. The figures to the right of the logo denote each team’s current record while the number to the left in brackets is where I had them placed last week.
Something strange this way came in Week 13. The teams ranked 1-7 all won, those ranked 8-13 all lost. You’ll see no change to my top nine, meaning that the Falcons and Cowboys are perhaps fortunate to retain their top ten status. However, there’s a big addition to that decemvirate: my word, yes, it’s Tebow time in the rankings. The marmite of all football players helps catapult the Broncos to a position I never, ever envisaged this season.
Big love for: Broncos, Jets, Dolphins
No love for: Bears, Buccaneers
1. (1) 12-0 Eighteen wins on the bounce dating back to the end of last season. You want the really scary news? They have the tools to go unbeaten through the end of next season, too.
2. (2) 9-3 The divisional round of the playoffs needs a Saints/49ers showdown before the winner goes to Lambeau. If it ain’t happening, we’re being robbed of a modern classic.
3. (3) 9-3 Forget them squeaking past the Chiefs two weeks ago. They crushed the Bengals and are thriving on being written off. Baltimore, beware.
4. (4) 9-3 Outscored 21-0 by the Colts in the fourth quarter??? Yes, it is ludicrous, but means nothing in the bigger picture.
5. (5) 10-2 Quote of the week comes from coach Jim Harbaugh about his 49ers: ”It’s not a Hollywood team, it’s a blue-collar team.”
6. (6) 9-3 Stat of the week: When Ray Rice has run the ball 14 times this season, the Ravens are 8-0. Running thirteen times or less, they’re 1-3. They really shouldn’t trust Joe Flacco.
7. (7) 9-3 Can the Texans please try to go through just one game without an integral player going down injured? They’re doing all they can not to make the playoffs! Still, I love watching this team.
8. (8) 7-5 Who wouldn’t the Falcons really fancy going on the road to this week? The division rival Panthers and Cam Newton? Bad luck, Atlanta.
9. (9) 7-5 Coach Jason Garrett iced his own kicker when it really mattered. The Cowboys only stay ninth because of lousy coaching and very little to do with the actual players. They’ll be back.
10. (14) 7-5 The biggest intangible of the season is the Broncos’ belief in themselves with Tebow at QB. They just don’t know how to lose and it’s potent.
11. (15) 7-5 They just need to keep winning, one win at a time and KC at home this week is the next winnable step towards a wildcard.
12. (16) 4-8 I’m unwavering in my praise for this team. By far the best 4-8 team I’ve ever laid my Limey eyes on. Can’t there be a wildcard playoff before wildcard weekend?
13. (11) 7-5 Still bang in the heart of the wildcard race and Sunday’s 35-7 hammering in Pittsburgh may be the best thing that could have happened to them.
14. (12) 7-5 Who’s your money on to conquer the AFC West? Carson Palmer or Tim Tebow? The Raiders paid a huge bounty for Palmer to reach the Super Bowl, but it’s OK…they’re on the road to Green Bay this week…no problem.
15. (13) 7-5 Are we really surprised that the Lions killed their own chances in N’Awlins last Sunday through dreadful indiscipline?
16. (18) 7-5 Chris Johnson starts to play when it appears the Titans might take advantage of Houston’s never ending injury crisis…only Houston refuses to lie down.
17. (17) 6-6 If only the Giants could play against the Patriots or Packers every week.
18. (10) 7-5 Losing Jay Cutler is one thing, but he’s not the Bears’ best player. Losing Matt Forte, even for as little as two weeks, could spell the end of their season.
19. (19) 5-7 Last week I wrote: Shall we start the annual tradition early? Chargers to reach Super Bowl XLVII… San Diego wins 38-14 on the road. Shall we start the annual tradition early? Chargers to reach Super Bowl XLVII…
20. (23) 4-8 One of the humdingers this week is the Panthers’ attempt to spoil Atlanta’s playoff hopes. Do not switch over.
21. (20) 4-8 The Eagles looked tired in Seattle and not particularly bothered. Andy Reid is culpable, but is it really all his fault? The suspicion remains that the egos have landed.
22. (24) 5-7 It appears that no matter what kind of season the Cardinals are having, they will always find a way to beat the Cowboys.
23. (21) 5-7 If it’s any consolation, the Bills represent the AFC in Best New Old Uniform Bowl.
24. (27) 5-7 The Seahawks displayed their blueprint for 2012…power running, power running and more power running. With a healthy, young offensive line, Seattle could hurt ya next season. San Fran, we’re coming after you…
25. (22) 4-8 Will the real Rex Grossman please stand up? He did last Sunday. His 19 of 46, 0 TD, 1 INT, QB rating of 47.5 performance taught me a lesson in tipping (tipping? I urged you to lump on the Redskins vs. the Jets) a team electing to start a backup calibre quarterback.
26. (30) 5-7 Tyler Palko is OK while Kyle Orton goes 0 for 1 and a finger injury. The Bears must be cursing the Chiefs right now.
27. (26) 4-8 An already disappointing season finishes with a tricky trip to Arizona, a horrible trip to Baltimore and Pittsburgh twice.
28. (28) 2-10 It’s no disgrace any more being just another Tebow statistic.
29. (25) 4-8 Uninspiring vs. the Panthers last Sunday. Most teams, division rivals in particular, want to beat Cam Newton, but it wasn’t on Tampa’s radar.
30. (29) 3-9 New owners and a new coach may mean a new start for Blaine Gabbert, only not in Jacksonville.
31. (31) 2-10 Most embarrassing stat of the week: 31 rushing yards on 23 carries.
32. (32) 0-12 Who saw their 21 points in the fourth quarter in New England coming? Call me selfish, but it helped line the pockets as the Colts covered the spread with ease.