Seattle came into last weekend as the top team in the Power Rankings, and for good reason. The Seahawks dismantled the New Orleans Saints at home, and looked unbeatable. That was before they played division rival San Francisco, though. The 49ers won at home, knocking Seattle down a few notches.
The Broncos now have the top spot, and will likely remain near the top for the rest of the season. Teams below them still have a lot to play for, so there could be some movement as we get a better idea of who will make the playoffs and who will have a long offseason.
Tell us where you think your team should be ranked in the comments!
1. Denver Broncos (11-2, Last Week: 2)
Peyton Manning has faced a lot of questions this season about whether he can play well in cold weather. But with Sunday’s game in chilly Denver, he silenced his doubters. Manning threw for 397 yards and four touchdowns in a 51-28 win over Tennessee, and Denver is on its way to getting a first-round bye for the playoffs. If Manning plays most of the Broncos’ remaining three games, he could break the single-season records for passing yards and touchdown passes.
2. New Orleans Saints (10-3, Last Week: 3)
After an embarrassing loss to Seattle, the Saints got a huge win over Carolina. New Orleans snapped its division rival’s eight-game winning streak and got its offense back on track. If the Saints can beat the Panthers again on December 22, they should be able to claim the NFC South title.
3. Seattle Seahawks (11-2, Last Week: 1)
The Seahawks had a chance to show they were the dominant team in the NFC West last weekend. If they had beaten San Francisco on the road, they would have shown that they could beat the league’s best teams both at home and in enemy territory. Instead, they lost on a late field goal. Seattle has to beat teams like San Francisco away from home to be seen as Super Bowl favorites.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (10-3, Last Week: 7)
The Chiefs needed a win after losing three in a row, and that’s exactly what they got. Kansas City beat Washington 45-10, and got great production from its playmakers. Though they haven’t been able to sustain their great play from earlier this season, the Chiefs will sill be a tough opponent in the playoffs.
5. San Francisco 49ers (9-4, Last Week: 5)
After the way they lost to Seattle on the road earlier this season, the 49ers desperately needed a win against their rivals at home last weekend. They got the victory, and should be very confident as the season winds down. Though they’ll likely be a Wild Card team, the 49ers can be very dangerous in the playoffs.
6. Carolina Panthers (9-4, Last Week: 6)
The Panthers got a reality check last weekend when they ran into the Saints’ unstoppable offense. Carolina’s offense could score only one touchdown, and the Panthers are now a full game behind the Saints in the NFC South. They’ll have to play better against New Orleans when they meet again later this month.
<img alt="new" england="" patriots"="" src="/images/cms/imce/users/dantec/2013/09/new-england-patriots.jpg" _cke_saved_src="/images/cms/imce/users/dantec/2013/09/new-england-patriots.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 150px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: left;" width="150"> <strong>7. New England Patriots</strong> (10-3, Last Week: 4)<br> <br> The Patriots got a thrilling win over Cleveland, but also suffered a tremendous loss: Tight end Rob <span data-scaytid="5" data-scayt_word="Gronkowski">Gronkowski</span> tore his ACL and <span data-scaytid="6" data-scayt_word="MCL">MCL</span>, and is out for the rest of the season. New England started the season without him, so it’s used to playing without its best weapon, but the Patriots are much easier to stop without him. Tom Brady can win no matter who he throws to, but the Patriots just became a lot more <span data-scaytid="7" data-scayt_word="beatable">beatable</span>.<br> <br> <br> <img alt="philadelphia eagles" src="/images/cms/imce/users/dantec/2013/09/philadelphia-eagles.jpg" _cke_saved_src="/images/cms/imce/users/dantec/2013/09/philadelphia-eagles.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 150px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: left;" width="150"> <strong>8. Philadelphia Eagles</strong> (8-5, Last Week: 9)<br> <br> The Eagles didn’t let the snow or the Lions stop them last weekend. Led by LeSean McCoy’s 217 yards and two touchdowns, the Eagles took a one-game lead over Dallas in the NFC East, and could get much closer to a division title by beating Chicago and the Cowboys later this month.<br> <br> </p><p><img alt="cincinnati bengals" src="/images/cms/imce/users/dantec/2013/09/cininatti-bengals.jpg" _cke_saved_src="/images/cms/imce/users/dantec/2013/09/cininatti-bengals.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 150px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: left;" width="150"> <strong>9. Cincinnati Bengals</strong> (9-4, Last Week: 10)<br> <br> The Bengals showed how good they can be in their 42-28 win over Indianapolis last weekend. Andy Dalton threw three touchdowns and added a rushing score to lead Cincinnati’s offense past a struggling Colts team. The Bengals now have a two-game lead in the AFC North, and can control the division if they keep playing the way they did against the Colts.<br> <br> <br> <img alt="detroit lions" src="/images/cms/imce/users/dantec/2013/09/detroit-lions.jpg" _cke_saved_src="/images/cms/imce/users/dantec/2013/09/detroit-lions.jpg" style="width: 150px; height: 150px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: left;" width="150"> <strong>10. Detroit Lions</strong> (7-6, Last Week: 8)<br> <br> After putting up 40 points on Thanksgiving, the Lions couldn’t score or stop the Eagles last weekend. As a result, they’re tied with the Bears for the NFC North lead, and must separate themselves from the pack during the rest of the season. Their remaining schedule isn’t too difficult, so the Lions must get back to winning.<br> </p><p class="p1"><strong>11. Arizona Cardinals</strong> (8-5, Last Week: 7)<br> The Cardinals shut down the Rams, and have won five out of their past six games. Arizona will have to go the rest of the season without great rookie safety <span data-scaytid="28" data-scayt_word="Tyrann">Tyrann</span> Mathieu, though, as he suffered a serious knee injury in the win.<br> <br> <strong>12. Chicago Bears </strong>(7-6, Last week: 16)<br> With their 45-point game on Monday night, the Bears showed they can score just as well as other great offenses.<br> <br> <strong>13. Indianapolis Colts</strong> (8-5, Last week: 12)<br> Even though they couldn’t compete with the Bengals, the Colts won the AFC South because of Tennessee’s loss to Denver. They need to figure out how to win again, or they’ll be out of the playoffs in an instant. <br> <br> <strong>14. Baltimore Ravens</strong> (7-6, Last week: 15)<br> The Ravens are winning at the right time, and could be a playoff threat again.<br> <br> <strong>15. Miami Dolphins </strong>(7-6, Last week: 20)<br> The warm-weather Dolphins got an important win in the cold against Pittsburgh. They were very fortunate, though, as Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown almost scored on a last-second lateral that could have won the game, but stepped out of bounds on his way to the end zone.<br> <br> <strong>16. Dallas Cowboys </strong>(7-6, Last week: 13)<br> If the Cowboys continue losing important games, they’ll never be taken seriously as contenders.<br> <br> <strong>17. San Diego Chargers</strong> (6-7, Last week: 18)<br> The Chargers probably won’t make the playoffs, but they can still upset division rivals Denver and Kansas City.<br> <br> <strong>18. Tennessee Titans</strong> (5-8, Last week: 17)<br> The Titans must stop a rolling Cardinals team if they want to snap their two-game losing streak. <br> <br> <strong>19. Green Bay Packers </strong>(6-6-1, Last week: 21)<br> The Packers won a close game against Atlanta, and have some must-win matchups against Dallas and Chicago coming up. <br> <br> <strong>20. Pittsburgh Steelers </strong>(5-8, Last week: 19)<br> If Pittsburgh continues losing ground in the NFC North, its season will be over very soon.<br> <br> <strong>21. Cleveland Browns</strong> (4-9, Last week: 24)<br> – The Browns could have had a signature win against the Patriots, but couldn’t hang on to their lead. Now, they’ll try to avoid a double-digit loss season.<br> <br> <strong>22. St. Louis Rams</strong> (5-8, Last week: 22)<br> The Rams have showed signs of being a competitive team this season, but will probably lose at least 10 games, as they must play New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and Seattle to close out the season.<br> <br> <strong>23. New York Jets </strong>(6-7, Last week: 23)<br> The Jets got back on track against the Raiders, and must now start their first win streak of the season.<br> <br> <strong>24. New York Giants</strong> (5-8, Last week: 16)<br> The Giants need a strong finish to end a lost season<br> <br> <strong>25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers</strong> (4-9, Last week: 30)<br> Tampa Bay’s season started horribly, but the Buccaneers can end the year with some hope by continuing their recent stretch of wins.<br> <br> <strong>26. Oakland Raiders</strong> (4-9, Last week: 26)<br> Oakland’s three-game losing streak probably won’t end this weekend, as the Raiders play the Chiefs on the road.<br> <br> <strong>27. Buffalo Bills </strong>(4-9, Last week: 25)<br> The Bills couldn’t compete with Tampa Bay, and will now try to get a win against Jacksonville.<br> <br> <strong>28. Jacksonville Jaguars </strong>(4-9, Last week: 32)<br> Meanwhile, the Jaguars will be looking to win their fourth consecutive game.<br> <br> <strong>29. Minnesota Vikings</strong> (3-9-1, Last week: 27)<br> The Vikings may have to try and beat the Eagles this weekend without Adrian Peterson, who sprained his foot against Baltimore.<br> <br> <strong>30. Atlanta Falcolns</strong>(3-10, Last week: 29)<br> Unless the 49ers and Panthers rest their starters during the last two weeks of the regular season, the Falcons will continue losing.<br> <br> <strong>31. Washington Redskins</strong> (3-10, Last week: 28)<br> The news that Robert Griffin III is being shut down for the rest of the year means the season is over for Washington.<br> <br> <strong>32. Houston Texans</strong> (2-11, Last week: 31)<br> Houston’s loss to Jacksonville was its 11th defeat in a row. They don’t have anything to play for, but the Texans must try to win one more game for pride. <br> <br> <br> <em>Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images</em></p><p></p>