NFL Power Rankings: Week 13 | Football | CBC Sports

NFL Power RankingsNFL Power Rankings: Week 13

Posted: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 | 03:51 PM

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Quarterback Tim Tebow, centre, has the Denver Broncos in prime position to win the AFC West crown. Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press Quarterback Tim Tebow, centre, has the Denver Broncos in prime position to win the AFC West crown. Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

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Once a week, CBCSports.ca's Tony Care breaks down the balance of power in the National Football League.

Once a week, CBCSports.ca's Tony Care breaks down the balance of power in the National Football League.

1. GREEN BAY PACKERS [unchanged]
Overall record: 12-0
Streak: Won 12
It's officially time to start the undefeated talk. The Packers held off a Giants' team that probably had the best shot at unseating the Champs. Their four remaining games go like this: Oak, @K.C., Chi, Det. It's looking good, folks.
2. BALTIMORE RAVENS [unchanged]
Overall record: 9-3
Streak: Won three
The Ravens finally took care of business against a team they were supposed to beat. It didn't matter that quarterback Joe Flacco had yet another sub-par performance. Running back Ray Rice picked up the slack again, rushing 204 yards and a touchdown against the Browns.
3. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS [unchanged]
Overall record: 9-3
Streak: Won four
In any other year, quarterbacks Drew Brees and Tom Brady would be fighting it out for the MVP award. Unfortunately for both men, some guy named Aaron Rodgers is playing out of his mind.
4. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS [unchanged]
Overall record: 10-2
Streak: Won one
The 49ers won their first division title in nine years, but there's still work to be done, especially with the Saints breathing down their necks for the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
5. PITTSBURGH STEELERS [unchanged]
Overall record: 9-3
Streak: Won three
Their offensive numbers weren't outrageous versus the Bengals, but the Steelers put up four touchdowns against the No. 6 overall defence in the NFL.
6. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS [unchanged]
Overall record: 9-3
Streak: Won four
It's safe to say the Patriots eased up on the gas pedal a little too earlier for Bill Belichick's comfort level. Still, did anybody really think the winless Colts would come back from a 28-point deficit?
7. HOUSTON TEXANS [unchanged]
Overall record: 9-3
Streak: Won six
Despite all of their key injuries, the Texans aren't giving an inch to their opponents, as the Atlanta Falcons found out. Say what you want about Wade Phillips as a head coach, but he has the magic touch when he takes charge of a defence. Ol' Wade has Houston sitting as the No. 2 defence, behind only Pittsburgh.
8. DALLAS COWBOYS [unchanged]
Overall record: 7-5
Streak: Lost one
I think head coach Jason Garrett has been watching too many Norv Turner games. Aside from icing his own kicker, which is humiliating enough, Garrett decides to play it safe and let his kicker try a game-winning 49-yard field goal, instead of attempting to gain more yards and give rookie Dan Bailey a closer try. You could argue that Garrett has cost his team two games this year with his conservative ways.
9. ATLANTA FALCONS [unchanged]
Overall record: 7-5
Streak: Lost one
If the Falcons don't make the playoffs, they may point to their loss to the depleted Texans as the main cause.
10. DENVER BRONCOS [up from 15]
Overall record: 7-5
Streak: Won five
The Broncos aren't beating themselves, a factor that could lead them all the way to the AFC West crown.
11. N.Y. JETS [up from 16]
Overall record: 7-5
Streak: Won two
The Jets have positioned themselves for a last-ditch drive towards a wild-card spot. But had they played more consistent early on, they wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.
12. TENNESSEE TITANS [up from 17]
Overall record: 7-5
Streak: Won two
Running back Chris Johnson has run for at least 130 yards in three of his last four games. And because of his late-season surge, the Titans shouldn't be counted out.
13. DETROIT LIONS [unchanged]
Overall record: 7-5
Streak: Lost two
Costly and stupid penalties have killed the Lions the last two weeks. Time could be running out if they don't regain their collective composure.
14. OAKLAND RAIDERS [down from 10]
Overall record: 7-5
Streak: Lost one
The undisciplined Raiders really are the biggest enigma of the NFL. You don't know what they'll do from week to week.
15.CINCINNATI BENGALS [down from 11]
Overall record: 7-5
Streak: Lost one
Another loss to a top-end team clearly shows the Bengals aren't ready for prime time just yet.
16. N.Y. GIANTS [down from 14]
Overall record: 6-6
Streak: Lost four
The Giants only hope in the NFC East is to beat the Dallas Cowboys twice, beginning with Sunday night's huge tilt in Big D.
17.CHICAGO BEARS [down from 12]
Overall record: 7-5
Streak: Lost two
The Bears couldn't overcome the loss to quarterback Jay Cutler. Now what do they do without RB Matt Forte?
18. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS [up from 20]
Overall record: 5-7
Streak: Won one
Listening to ESPN analyst Jon Gruden talking up Norv Turner, you'd think the Chargers' sideline boss was the next coming of Vince Lombardi. Yo Jon, Norv is road kill after the season and won't be getting a sniff at another head coaching job anytime soon.
19. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS [up from 23]
Overall record: 5-7
Streak: Won one
After running through the Philadelphia Eagles, RB Marshawn Lynch is headed toward a 1,200-yard season. Bills fans are wondering where that effort was when Lynch donned the blue and red
20. ARIZONA CARDINALS [up from 25]
Overall record: 5-7
Streak: Won two
All the chatter surrounding Jason Garrett shouldn't diminish the outstanding job Arizona's defence did against the Cowboys. One matchup that particularly caught my eye was Dallas WR Dez Bryant against Cardinal's CB Patrick Peterson, who more than held his own. Many had Peterson as the top player of the 2011 draft and the Cardinals got him at No. 5!
21. BUFFALO BILLS [down from 19]
Overall record: 5-7
Streak: Lost five
The great start masked how porous the Bills' defence really is. So why the earlier success? The Bills created a lot of takeaways during their 5-2 start.
22. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS [up from 24]
Overall record: 5-7
Streak: Won one
Tyler Palko's first career touchdown was a Hail Mary pass to end the first half in Chicago. Enough said.
23. MIAMI DOLPHINS [up from 27]
Overall record: 4-8
Streak: Won one
You have to give coach Tony Sparano credit. He'll probably lose his job at the end of the season, but he hasn't lost the locker room. The Dolphins have won four of the their last five games and won't be an easy opponent for the Patriots and Jets.
24. CAROLINA PANTHERS [up from 28]
Overall record: 4-8
Streak: Won two
I once said during the draft process that I'd rather watch another team reap the rewards of drafting Cam Newton rather than risk taking him myself if I were a GM. I'd like to take back that great piece of analysis.
25. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES [down from 18]
Overall record: 4-8
Streak: Lost two
I still don't think owner Jeffrey Lurie will pull the plug on coach Andy Reid. Yet in watching this team implode week after week, it's hard to believe the Eagles are a Reid-led team.
26. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS [down from 21]
Overall record: 4-8
Streak: Lost six
It was only fitting the Bucs, ranked No. 29 in run defence, allowed Cam Newton to score a record 13th touchdown - the most of any quarterback in history..
27. WASHINGTON REDSKINS [down from 22]
Overall record: 4-8
Streak: Lost one
Washington left tackle Trent Williams and tight end Fred Davis were suspended for the remainder of the season for failing multiple drug tests. The even better news is that the Patriots are coming to town.
28. CLEVELAND BROWNS [down from 26]
Overall record: 4-8
Streak: Lost two
Will the Browns be taking a quarterback in the first round of next April's draft? In watching Colt McCoy play this year, I'd say yes.
29. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS [unchanged]
Overall record: 3-9
Streak: Lost three
The two big criticisms of rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert coming out of Missouri were down field accuracy and pocket awareness. Nothing has changed to this point of his rookie season.
30. MINNESOTA VIKINGS [unchanged]
Overall record: 2-10
Streak: Lost four
I'm trying to figure out what was the bigger yawn was of the past week: the Vikings losing their 10 game or the release of Donovan McNabb.
31. ST. LOUIS RAMS [unchanged]
Overall record: 2-10
Streak: Lost three
Ever heard of Tom Brandstater? Well the third string QB could be the starter when the Rams take on Seattle in a gigantic Monday night battle. Not buying the last part? Sorry ESPN, did my best for you.
32. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS [unchanged]
Overall record: 0-12
Streak: Lost 12
Peyton Manning's father, Archie, has weighed in on the Andre Luck debate, saying he can't see his son and the future No. 1 overall pick working as teammates. Translation: Peyton could be asking for a trade in March.

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