We’re not yet to December and yet we’re already up to two teams mathematically eliminated from this season’s NFL playoffs. There are bound to be even more in the coming weeks as the race for the No. 1 overall pick heats up just as much as the chase for the No. 1 seed in both conferences.
With that in mind and factoring in everything from overall roster strength, to quarterback play, to the coaching staff, to injuries, here is the latest edition of NFL power rankings and where every team stacks up from 1 to 32.
Week 13 NFL Power Rankings
Note: Last week refers to Week 11 power rankings.
Last week: 1
It’s not just that the Cowboys keep winning and continue to look like the class of the NFL, but they’re now putting considerable distance between themselves and others in the NFC East and their conference as a whole.
2. New England Patriots
Last week: 3
The rare struggle with the Jets may have been attributed to division familiarity and the fact that it was essentially New York’s Super Bowl. Still, the narrow win and the fact that there’s real competition for home-field advantage means the team needs to pick things up going forward.
3. Oakland Raiders
Last week: 4
That Derek Carr MVP talk should be enhanced by the way he played with a finger injury in leading his team to a comeback win. He may need to continue to play that way if the Raiders make mental mistakes like they did in allowing the Panthers back into the game on Sunday.
4. Kansas City Chiefs
Last week: 6
The Chiefs can thank Gary Kubiak and his overtime decision for their latest victory, which makes them 3-0 in the division and just a game behind Oakland overall.
5. Seattle Seahawks
Last week: 2
Another lackluster offensive performance that came as the result of the woeful offensive line. Maybe it was a letdown outing that was bound to pop up but the Seahawks are still in line for a first-round bye so the damage wasn’t too bad.
6. Atlanta Falcons
Last week: 8
The best part of the Falcons’ win on Sunday over Arizona had to be their Twitter trolling of the Cleveland Browns over Taylor Gabriel’s remarkable performance.
7. Denver Broncos
Last week: 5
For a stretch there against Kansas City, Denver looked plenty capable of running with the top tier of the AFC. Then the Broncos lost in overtime and find themselves currently out of the playoff picture.
8. New York Giants
Last week: 8
We didn’t learn much from a win over the Browns but it’s still impressive that the team is winning close games and have moved into the No. 5 seed in the NFC.
9. Detroit Lions
Last week: 10
Detroit fans have to pinch themselves that the Lions occupy sole possession of first place and are suddenly in the running for a home playoff game.
10. Miami Dolphins
Last week: 19
That’s six wins in a row with quarterback Ryan Tannehill doing much of the damage in the win over San Francisco. Can the 'Fins keep the momentum going against Baltimore on the road?
11. Baltimore Ravens
Last week: 11
The Ravens keep living dangerously but continue to win and remain atop the division. We’ll find out if the team is for real in the month of December however, but at least could benefit from the return of top cornerback Jimmy Smith soon.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers
Last week: 12
Maybe the most impressive thing about the romp over Indianapolis was not the three-touchdown margin of victory but the way the defense played (albeit against a quarterback not named Andrew Luck).
13. Washington Redskins
Last week: 14
The Cowboys put a halt to their win streak but it didn’t knock the team out of the playoff picture. Kirk Cousins continues to play well but it wasn’t been enough to top the best in the league. This is still a team capable of making a run down the stretch but the Redskins will need to get over the hump of this extra-long road trip.
14. Buffalo Bills
Last week: 13
The return of Sammy Watkins and LeSean McCoy’s long run were bright spots in a closer-than-expected win over Jacksonville. We’ll see if the team can make a jump in its level of play with the upcoming cross-country trip to Oakland.
15. New Orleans Saints
Last week: 16
You think Sean Payton enjoyed running up the score on Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams? It certainly seemed that way.
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last week: 25
That’s two straight wins (one on the road) against two of the best teams in the league. If the Bucs can keep things up on the road at San Diego, it might be time to move the team way up in the rankings. The status of defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is in the air and is very concerning given the way he played against Seattle.
17. Philadelphia Eagles
Last week: 9
The team has come back to Earth with back-to-back losses, one understandable in Seattle and another that is puzzling at home to Green Bay. The flaws in the offense are becoming readily apparent and that’s spilling over on the defensive side of the ball.
18. Tennessee Titans
Last week: 20
You can probably count on one hand the number of quarterbacks who are playing as well as Marcus Mariota has recently. Now if the defense can find another gear, that whole winning the AFC South thing might become more of a reality.
19. Green Bay Packers
Last week: 21
Was that performance at Philadelphia a sign of things to come or a flash in the pan for the Packers? We’ll find out but it’s a positive first step for Aaron Rodgers and company.
20. San Diego Chargers
Last week: 23
There are few roller coasters in the league quite like the Chargers, who impressed with their ability to get a tough road win at Houston. Things don’t look great to sneak into the playoffs but this is a team that has developed some building blocks the past few weeks.
21. Houston Texans
Last week: 17
Somebody has to win the AFC South and with each passing week, it seems like the Texans are doing their best to squander their chances.
22. Arizona Cardinals
Last week: 15
The list for most disappointing teams in the NFL this season is growing but Arizona finds a way to remain near the top of it with each passing week. At least David Johnson hasn’t given up on the season.
23. Indianapolis Colts
Last week: 18
Andrew Luck has returned to practice and that is the only good news about this team at the current moment.
24. Minnesota Vikings
Last week: 22
That’s now losses in five out of the last six and there’s no sign this team is capable of slowing down the juggernaut that is the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night. There’s still a door open to sneak into the playoffs given the late-season schedule but there are too many issues all over the place to buy into the team right now.
25. Cincinnati Bengals
Last week: 24
The way things are going, the trip to the Browns next month might be the only win left on the schedule. Not exactly what the Bengals had in mind coming in to the season.
26. Carolina Panthers
Last week: 26
The Panthers showed plenty of resolve during their trip to Oakland even if the lack of depth defensively became apparent in allowing the Raiders to re-take the lead. With a trip to Seattle coming up, chances are slim Carolina even makes it back to .500 the season after going to the Super Bowl.
27. Los Angeles Rams
Last week: 27
It’s one thing if the offense isn’t moving the ball, it’s another for the normally reliable defense to get embarrassed like it did at New Orleans. Getting to 7-9 looks like a big stretch and the upcoming trip to New England could get really ugly.
28. New York Jets
Last week: 28
Even as bad as the Jets have looked, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that they saved one of their best performances for the Patriots. It wasn’t enough, of course, but could be encouraging for a few late moves in December.
29. Chicago Bears
Last week: 29
All things considered, Matt Barkley didn’t look half bad as the Bears quarterback. Of course, the numbers weren’t great for the signal-caller as a result of his wide receivers dropping just about everything thrown their way.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars
Last week: 30
An upcoming decision on Gus Bradley is all but made but the team faces a much bigger question regarding quarterback Blake Bortles, who looked far better running the football than he did throwing it on Sunday.
31. San Francisco 49ers
Last week: 31
The 49ers are so, so close to breaking through and getting a second victory. If they don’t do it in the next two weeks, they can enjoy their draft position.
32. Cleveland Browns
Last week: 32
There are times where this team flashes enough on the field to look capable of getting a win but then there are half a dozen other plays right after that show why the Browns are 0-12.
— Written by Bryan Fischer, an award-winning college football columnist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. You can follow him from coast-to-coast on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @BryanDFischer.