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NFL 2013 Power Rankings – Week 13

Three quarters of the season is in the books and we’re starting to get a good idea of who will play who in the playoffs. We’re starting to see who the real contenders are and who the frauds are. We saw some good games but none better than some of the games we’ll see next week. On to the rankings.

32. Houston Texans (2-10) (30) – This should come as no surprise to anyone because the Texans for whatever reason have given up on the season. Gary Kubiak is probably going to get fired and I think a good candidate to replace him is Rob or Rex Ryan. They can coach defense and the Texans have the parts to have a good defense. They can run the ball and they’re really only a quarterback away from being a contender again. Matt Shaub is not the answer. Next game: @ Jacksonville Jaguars (TNF)

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-9) (27) – The win streak came to an end for the Bucs against their division rival Carolina Panthers. The defense really stepped up, holding Tampa to only six points on two field goals. The Bucs couldn’t turn the two Cam Newton interceptions into points and couldn’t run the ball. Mike Glennon completed a good number of his passes but couldn’t get into the end zone. Next game: vs Buffalo Bills

30. Oakland Raiders (4-8) (28) – The Raiders played well and moved the ball against the Cowboys. They didn’t run for too many yards but Rashad Jennings found the end zone twice to keep the Raiders in it. Defensively, the Raiders couldn’t stop the run and Tony Romo played a pretty clean game. Next game: @ New York Jets

29. Atlanta Falcons (3-9) (32) – The Falcons can’t even win at losing. Jadaveon Clowney is right there for them and they go and do something stupid like win in overtime against the Bills. What does Mike Smith think he’s doing? Doesn’t he realize that this is a great draft and he’s gotta put himself in position to get the best available player? What does winning five games this season get you? Look at the Houston Texans. Now theres a team that knows how to lose games. 10 in a row, thats how you tank. Next game: @ Green Bay Packers

28. Minnesota Vikings (3-8-1) (31) – Why did it take so long for the Vikings to realize that the only way they’re going to win games is if they run the ball 40 times a game with anyone they can line up in the backfield. Adrian Peterson rushed for over 200 yards and even Cordarelle Patterson got into the mix with a 33 yard run for a touchdown against the Bears. Neither team could stop the other so it was fitting that it ended in overtime. If the NFL would use the NCAA rules, these two teams might still be playing. Next game: @ Baltimore Ravens

27. Tennessee Titans (5-7) (26) – The Titans were one of those bubble teams heading into their game against the Colts. I say were because they aren’t anymore. This loss makes it next to impossible to get into the playoffs. The Titans defense played relatively well, holding Andrew Luck to 200 yards on 17 of 32 passes and an interception. Offensively, the Titans couldn’t do very much and Ryan Fitzpatrick was turned over four times. Its really hard to win when you’re giving the ball away. Next game: @ Denver Broncos

26. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-9) (29) – How about the Jags showing some life! Gus Bradley decided to pull out all the stops because he knows he’s got nothing to lose. Chad Henne is still a terrible starting quarterback but that defense looks inspired and even Maurice Jones-Drew has stepped back from the ledge. Things are looking up. Maybe they’ll luck into a good quarterback in the draft. Next game: vs Houston Texans

25. Buffalo Bills (4-8) (24) – Stupid CJ Spiller had to go and look like a great running back again, taking away carries from my guy, Fred Jackson. Luckily Jackson ran for two scores and I didn’t need much from him anyway because the rest of my fantasy team looked fantastic. I hope you’re not looking for hard hitting analysis of a 4 win team in a crappy division. Next game: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

24. San Diego Chargers (5-7) (23) – The Chargers might want to shut it down now. It doesn’t look like they’ll be able to make the playoffs. They’ve got some injuries but they’ve played pretty well this year, especially Phillip Rivers. Ryan Mathews has looked great all season and once everyone is back and healthy, this will be a tough team to play. Next game: vs New York Giants

23. Washington Redskins (3-9) (21) – The Redskins have been through a lot over the last few weeks. I don’t like to rehash these things but we all bashed ESPN’s Rob Parker after he called RG3 a “cornball brother” a few months ago. I’m not going to say I agree with him but I think its fair to say that RG3 is soft. First he blamed his coaching staff for making things predictable, then he said his teammates weren’t in the right places and finally his dad came into the locker room after a loss to console him. Maybe RG3 grew up differently and he’s just soft. There’s nothing wrong with that but thats what he is.Next game: vs Kansas City Chiefs

22. Cleveland Browns (5-7) (25) – I’m disappointed in the Browns. Not to take anything away from the Jaguars (because so much has been taken away already) but the Browns should have won this game. They’re better than this. Not much better but still better. Josh Gordon became the first receiver in NFL history to have back to back 200 yard games. And this time, I actually started him on my fantasy team. Whats crazy about Josh Gordon is that he did it with Brandon Weeden throwing him the ball. Its like watching someone play Madden on rookie sometimes. Could you imagine if he had an actual quarterback throwing to him?  Next game: @ New England Patriots

21. St Louis Rams (5-7)  (18) – The Rams have a great defense but they were no match for a fully healthy Niners team. And lets not forget, Kellen Clemens is the starting quarterback for this team. Next game: @ Arizona Cardinals

20. New York Jets (5-7) (17) – The Jets need a change at quarterback. I know they put in Matt Simms after halftime and he didn’t look that much better but almost anything is an upgrade over Geno Smith. The defense is solid and the running game is more than capable. The quarterback and wide receiver play is horrible. Then it turns out that the Jets didn’t play Santonio Holmes very much because they were “saving him for the season.” WHAT SEASON?! THIS IS THE SEASON! Why would you sit your best offensive threat? I like Rex but I’m not going to be surprised when they fire him. I hope he ends up in Houston. That would be a great fit. Next game: vs Oakland Raiders

19. Miami Dolphins (6-6) (22) – Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins put it on the Jets. The Jets offense kept putting the defense in poor situations and the Fins took advantage. The Dolphins defense also turned the Jets over three times and like everyone says, if you win the turnover battle, you win the game. Next game: @ Pittsburgh Steelers

18. Philadelphia Eagles (7-5) (20) – Chip Kelly has already come out and said that Nick Foles will likely be the starting quarterback next season, barring any injury. Why wouldn’t he say that after the year the Foles is having. But something tells me if Marcus Mariota, his quarterback from Oregon, is available in the draft, he’ll certainly take a chance on him, even if its only as a backup. Next game: vs Detroit Lions

17. Cincinnati Bengals (8-4) (19) – Despite the win, the Bengals will need to play a lot better heading into the postseason. Andy Dalton was underwhelming, Benjarvis Green-Ellis fumbled but made up for it and AJ Green was AJ Green. That won’t be enough if they draw the short straw and play a healthy Kansas City team in the wildcard round.Next game: vs Indianapolis Colts

16. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7) (15) – The Steelers have caught some bad breaks this year but they’re still a good team and they’re not totally out of it yet. The biggest story from this week in Pittsburgh was Mike Tomlin’s sideline troubles. I don’t know that he did it on purpose and I’m not sure what he was thinking but he’ll face some big fines and the team may even lose draft picks. Next game: vs Miami Dolphins

15. Green Bay Packers (5-6-1) (14) – The Packers were no match for the Lions offense. They couldn’t stop the run, they couldn’t stop the pass and they couldn’t move the ball. In fact, their only points came on a field goal and a defensive touchdown. They played relatively well on defense in the sense that they forced four turnovers but it wasn’t enough. This team needs to prove that its much more than Aaron Rodgers. Next game: vs Atlanta Falcons

14. Chicago Bears (6-6) (13) – Matt Forte had a good game, Josh McCown had a good game, Alshon Jeffrey had an awesome game but the Bears lost because all of a sudden, they don’t know how to defend. They couldn’t stop Adrian Peterson (very few teams can) and it led to an overtime loss. It looks like the Bears are out of the playoff race but they’ve been a solid offense to build on in the offseason. Next game: vs Dallas Cowboys (MNF)

13. New York Giants (5-7) (16) – If the Giants had won last week and were 6-6 right now, everyone would be talking about how they’re a team of destiny and will pull off another miracle run to the playoffs. Unfortunately thats not what happened and its unlikely they’ll make the playoffs, even if they win out. I don’t really have a point but I think as a Giants fan, I needed to write that down to help myself come to terms with the fact that my team won’t play in the Super Bowl in their own stadium. Next game: @ San Diego Chargers

12. Arizona Cardinals (7-5) (10) – The Cardinals didn’t really play a bad game against the Eagles. They turned the ball over too many times and in the end, that was the determining factor.  Next game: vs St Louis Rams

11. Detroit Lions (7-5) (12) – The Lions ran the ball well, they passed the ball well and they put a lot of pressure on Matt Flynn. The defense held Flynn to 139 yards and no touchdowns on 10 of 20 passes. More importantly, they sacked him 7 times, including a safety from Ndamukong Suh. Next game: @ Philadelphia Eagles

10. Baltimore Ravens (6-6) (11) – The Ravens have thrust themselves into the 6th seed in the AFC and the defense is playing as well as anyone in the league right now, except for maybe Carolina. The offense is still getting almost nothing from Ray Rice and the passing game is basically hit or miss, but its been working and their schedule doesn’t get too tough moving forward. Next game: vs Minnesota Vikings

9. New Orleans Saints (9-3) (7) – I know I’ve been talking a lot about frauds and the next team in the rankings is certainly a fraud of sure but thats not the case with the Saints. They have some trouble playing in poor weather and they ran into a buzz saw in Seattle but they’re still a viable Super Bowl contender. Its hard to imagine them beating Seattle in the playoffs if it comes to that. Next game: vs Carolina Panthers

8. Kansas City Chiefs (9-3) (4) – Now on to the fraudulent Chiefs, who have lost three straight. Sure, two of those games were to the Broncos and they only lost by three to a very good offensive Chargers team, but I call them frauds because a month ago, this was a great defense. They lose two guys on defense and all of a sudden they can’t stop a nosebleed. The offense has been keeping them in games and you could make the argument that they might have beaten Denver twice if they would commit to bumping receivers off the line of scrimmage but they didn’t, they lost and are now a probable five seed. Frauds. Next game: @ Washington Redskins

7. Indianapolis Colts (8-4) (9) – The Colts have pretty much locked up the AFC South but that doesn’t mean they’re out of the woods. They need to play a lot better and gain some momentum going into the playoffs if they want to be more than a one and done team. They seem to have found their answer at running back in Donald Brown. His 3.9 yards per carry were way better than Trent Richardson usually does. And speaking of Richardson, he had another glimpse of…well I can’t call it greatness but he had an 11 yard run where he looked like a 1st round pick again. He needs a better offensive line. I hope the Colts can do something about that in the offseason. Next game: @ Cincinnati Bengals

6. Dallas Cowboys (7-5) (8) – Tony Romo, contrary to what people think of him, is playing like a starting quarterback should. He hasn’t been turning the ball over, he’s been keeping his team alive and he’s earning his contract…unlike a certain signal caller in Baltimore named Joe. The Cowboys are tied for the lead in the NFC East and it may come down to the final week of the regular season. Next game: @ Chicago Bears (MNF)

5. New England Patriots (9-3) (6) – The Patriots, or rather, Tom Brady didn’t look very sharp. He under threw a few guys and Gronk was able to bail him out. They ran the ball well and took care of business against a bad team. Teams like the Pats always manage to pull out wins like this. Who knows? A few things go differently and this (fraudulent) Patriots team could be 12-0. Next game: vs Cleveland Browns

4. San Francisco 49ers (8-4) (5) – No one is happier that Michael Crabtree is healthy than Colin Kaepernick. He had one of his better games passing even though he only had one touchdown. He spread the ball around and completed 19 passes to five different receivers, including a 60 yard pass to Crabtree. I don’t know if they’ll get back to the Super Bowl but now that they’re healthy, they’ll be a tough out. Next game: vs Seattle Seahawks

3. Denver Broncos (10-2) (3) – I was talking to someone about the Broncos and he said that Peyton Manning isn’t healthy and can’t play in cold weather. And I could only respond in confusion and say, “You realize Peyton Manning plays in Denver, right?” Why is it that people are writing him off? He’s only on pace to break the single season passing yardage and touchdowns record. He’s locked up a first round bye and home field advantage. Is he old? Sure. But is it really fair to say that he’s good because his receivers are making him good? No and you’re asinine for thinking so. I don’t mean to harp on this but the guy I was talking to just didn’t want to give Manning any credit. He said, didn’t he have an interception? I said, yeah but he had five touchdowns. Then he said, four of them were to the same guy. Since when is it illegal to throw four touchdowns to one person? I’m sorry, this should;t bother me so much. I’m going to have to bring it up to my therapist. Next game: vs Tennessee Titans

2. Carolina Panthers (9-3) (2) – SuperCam didn’t look great but he looked good enough to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home. He had three touchdowns, one of which came on the ground and he passed for over 260 yards. The Panthers have won 8 in a row and next week have a showdown with the division leading Saints. Next game: @ New Orleans Saints (SNF)

1. Seattle Seahawks (11-1) (1) – If there were any questions about how good the Seahawks are, there shouldn’t be anymore. I defy anyone to show me a team thats going to walk into Seattle and beat this team. Even without Brandon Browner, the Seahawks demolished a very good Saints team. Teams in the NFC, take notice. This is how you build a team. I should point out that the guy I spoke to about the Broncos said the Seahawks spent years losing and getting good draft picks. Also wrong, most of the leaders on this team were mid to late round picks and free agents. I don’t think this guy watches football. I think he just watches SportsCenter and makes his won assumptions.Next game: @ San Francisco 49ers
The Queens native handles all things football on KeepingItRealSports.com. Stan attended Holy Cross High School in Flushing, Queens and SUNY Old Westbury. He's spent his post graduate career in different parts of the media, as an editorial assistant, a production assistant and a board operator. He can be followed on twitter @FunnyManStan and routinely performs standup comedy all over New York City.

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