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NFL Power Rankings Week 13
by Hollywood Sports - 11/27/2014
1. New England Patriots (9-2): Bill Belichick and interchangeable parts. The week after Jonas Grey rushes for 201 rushing yards and four TDs he oversleeps and misses a practice which results in him not taking even one snap on Sunday. Instead, former Patriot LeGarrette Blount was re-signed after being dumped by the Steelers and promptly rushed for two TDs in their victory over the Lions. Tight end Tim Wright added another two TDs as well to further validate the trading away of Login Mankins as he gives their offense their best two-tight end formation since Aaron Hernandez left the team.
2. Green Bay Packers (8-3): The Packers got their ground game going again with Eddie Lacy rushing for more than 100 yards for just the second time this season. They will need Lacy being effective rushing the football to make a deep playoff run. But can Lacy run the ball well against any other team than the Vikings?'
3. Denver Broncos (8-3): The Broncos re-committed themselves to running the football more against the Dolphins with the result being 201 rushing yards on 35 carries led by former Cal Golden Bear C.J. Anderson who gained 167 yards on 27 carries. Yet this team still found themselves down 11 points in the 4th quarter at home before rallying to beat Miami.
4. Dallas Cowboys (8-3): Good come-from-behind win on the road against a divisional rival in the Giants. Tony Romo calmly engineered the winning drive behind a dominant offensive line that gave him all the time he needed. This star-studded o-line is what makes this Dallas team different this season.
5. Arizona Cardinals (9-2): The offense was stagnant in Seattle last week with Drew Stanton passing for only 149 yards. With a running game last in the NFL by averaging only 3.1 yards per carry, the questions get more pronounced as to whether this team can score enough points in the playoffs.
6. Philadelphia Eagles (8-3): Philly has won ten straight games at home which raises the stakes in their ability to host one or more games in the playoffs. But Mark Sanchez tossed two more interceptions. I still think he has interesting upside moving forward for this team but he has to get better at protecting the football operating Chip Kelly's offense.
7. Seattle Seahawks (7-4): Rumors of the demise of the defending Super Bowl Champions were perhaps a bit premature after they dominated the Cardinals on both sides of the ball. Seizing home field advantage in the playoffs remains a real possibility but the schedule down the stretch is brutal.
8. Indianapolis Colts (7-4): The defense played very well against the Jaguars but six fumbles last Sunday is something that must be cleaned up.
9. Kansas City (7-4): What is the more telling statistic -- that they have allowed only two rushing touchdowns this season or that they are allowing 5.0 yards per carry. I suspect it is the latter. The loss of defensive back Eric Berry is both tragic and devastating to this defense. But will his diagnosis rally the troops further around each other?
10. Baltimore Ravens (7-4): Impressive win in New Orleans against a desperate Saints' team on Monday. Justin Forsett had 170 rushing yards just between the tackles which helps this franchise forget about Ray Rice. Only Demarco Murray and Antonio Brown join Forsett in averaging at least 65 yards from scrimmage in every game this year. If Steve Smith, Sr. continues to play like he did for MNF, this becomes a very dangerous team.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-4): Got some rest last week with their bye week for the stretch run. The Ravens success on the road last week has the flip above the Steelers for now.
12. San Francisco 49ers (7-4): The most encouraging aspect of their win over Washington was they got their dormant passing game going again with Anquan Boldin catching nine balls for 137 yards and a TD. Harbaugh gave Colin Kaepernick a big vote of confidence after that game as this team makes their late season playoff push.
13. Cincinnati Bengals (7-3-1): Back-to-back road wins is impressive for this team that has looked downright awful at times this season. The question remains if this team can win a big game in front of a national audience.
14. Detroit Lions (7-4): This team may be getting exposed now against better competition with losses to Arizona and then being blown out in New England. While winning on the road has often been a problem for this franchise, the struggles on offense presents the bigger concern. Matthew Stafford completed just 39.1% with his 18 of 46 passing effort against the Patriots.
15. Miami Dolphins (6-5): Despite blowing a double-digit lead in the 4th quarter, it was still an impressive effort on the road in a difficult position to play in Denver. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill continues to show steady improvement.
16. San Diego Chargers (6-5): Beating a St. Louis team that has knocked off Denver, Seattle and San Francisco represents a very nice win as far as I am concerned. The brightest spot for this team was the 205 yards Charger wide receivers registered after the catch which is by far their best showing since this team began their slump at home against the Chiefs five games ago.
17. Cleveland Browns (7-4): Nice win on the road against a Falcons' team that was leading the NFC South. Josh Gordon looked better than anyone could expect in first game back at wide receiver since his suspension. As suspected, his return is a game-changer as his seventeen targets on Sunday tied for the most for any player this season. Brian Hoyer looked calm and confident in engineering that last-second winning drive.
18. Buffalo Bills (6-5): Very impressive blowout win over the Jets in Detroit on Monday given the circumstances they faced all week. Kyle Orton only gets better as he gets more acclimated with the offense. Don't underestimate how good the Bills' defense that registered seven sacks on Monday.
19. St. Louis Rams (4-7): There is no shame in losing on the road in San Diego but how they lost by allowing their seventh defensive touchdown before Shaun Hill tossed a bad pick on the Chargers' 4-yard line late in the game. Still a tough "out" for any team in the league.
20. Houston Texans (5-6): Ryan Mallet is out the year with his pec injury. His arm strength looked very good but accuracy was an issue in their loss last week to the Bengals.
21. Chicago Bears (5-6): Two straight wins has kept the Bears' playoff hopes alive. When this team is good, they can be tough. And when they are bad, any team in the league can beat them.
22: New Orleans Saints (4-7): They look better in their losses than the Falcons but it is clear that Drew Brees is not enjoying one of his better seasons. His accuracy is way off as evidenced by that pick-six he threw against Baltimore that changed the complexion of that game. Three-straight losses at home in the Superdome is brutal.
23. Atlanta Falcons (4-7): Two of their four wins are against the Buccaneers. You have to beat the Browns at home if you have serious designs on making the playoffs. Their defense is horrible.
24. Minnesota Vikings (4-7): The first team in a number of weeks to stay competitive with the Packers. Yet rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is not progressing fast enough.
25. Washington Redskins (3-8): The news that Colt McCoy gets the start under center this week helps to move this team up amongst the ranks of three-win teams. The defense is underrated which helps explain their win at Dallas.
26. New York Giants (3-8): Enough talent on offense still be dangerous spoilers down the stretch as Dallas found out on Sunday Night Football.
27. Carolina Panthers (3-7-1): Seem to be barely holding on from the fumes of their playoff run last year.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-9): A bad 3rd quarter with three turnovers and 21 unanswered points ruined Lovie Smith's revenge game in Chicago.
29. Tennessee Titans (2-9): Giving up a 107-yard kickoff return for a touchdown on the road was about the worst way for this team to start their game in Philly.
30. Oakland Raiders (1-10): Oakland finally sees weeks of pretty good play with their first win of the season against the Chiefs. Most impressive was rookie QB Derek Carr engineering a game-winning drive after giving up their lead late in the 4th quarter.
31. New York Jets (2-9): Tempting to make them dead last after their dreadful effort after their bye-week against a division rival who blew them out earlier this season. Rex Ryan is officially a lame-duck coach now.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10): While holding the Colts to just 6 points in the first half is impressive, this team should be more competitive against divisional rivals the second time around. The Jags are last in points scored and points allowed which pretty much confirms that they are the worst team in the NFL right now.
Best of luck for us -- Frank.