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NFL Power Rankings: Week 13

Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill

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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.

Related: NFL 2016 Regular and Postseason Predictions

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.

1. Dallas Cowboys

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.

NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys

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. 

NFL Power Rankings: Patriots

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.

NFL Power Rankings: Raiders

4. Kansas City Chiefs

Last week: 6

NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs

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.

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks

6. Atlanta Falcons

Last week: 8

NFL Power Rankings: Falcons

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

NFL Power Rankings: Broncos

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.

NFL Power Rankings: Giants

9. Detroit Lions

Last week: 10

NFL Power Rankings: Detroit Lions

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?

NFL Power Rankings: Dolphins

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.

NFL Power Rankings: Ravens

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). 

NFL Power Rankings: Steelers

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.

NFL Power Rankings: Redskins

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. 

NFL Power Rankings: Bills

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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. 

NFL Power Rankings: Saints

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.

NFL Power Rankings: Buccaneers

17. Philadelphia Eagles

Last week: 9

NFL Power Rankings: Eagles

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.

NFL Power Rankings: Tennessee Titans

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.

NFL Power Rankings: Packers

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.

NFL Power Rankings: Chargers

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.

NFL Power Rankings: Texans

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.

NFL Power Rankings: Cardinals

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.

NFL Power Rankings: Colts

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.

NFL Power Rankings: Vikings

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. 

NFL Power Rankings: Bengals

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. 

NFL Power Rankings: Panthers

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. 

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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.

NFL Power Rankings: Jets

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.

NFL Power Rankings: Bears

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.

NFL Power Rankings: Jaguars

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.

NFL Power Rankings: 49ers

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.

NFL Power Rankings: Cleveland Browns

— 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.