Week 13 NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks advance without playing a down; Broncos fumble

Otto Greule Jr

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I must say, [sarcasm on]it was very nice[/sarcasm off] to see the Denver Broncos insist on maintaining the fumbler crown of the National Football League. The New England Patriots gave them a run for their fumbler money on Sunday Night Football, but the fumbler all-pro Broncos kept their fumbler crown intact.

Because of the Broncos ineptitude, the Seattle Seahawks move into the top spot without even playing a down this weekend. Why you ask? Because the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers did not really impress in their narrow wins against inferior opponents on Sunday.

The biggest thing I've noticed is that there is about eight or nine teams that make up the upper crust of the NFL this year and there is another eight or nine teams at the bottom, with very little movement each week in those areas. However, there rest of the league is a giant glob of muck where parity and mediocrity dominate the wild swings each week down there.

It's nice that the Broncos belong to that upper crust, even with their recent struggles.

Let's see how things got blown up this week in my NFL Rankings. Check out last week's power rankings here.

RNK
TEAM
INSTANT ANALYSIS
CHG

1

Seattle Seahawks

In what should be a huge warning to Broncos fans of what could potentially happen one day to Von Miller, Brandon Browner has been suspended a full year for violating the league's substance abuse policy yet again. The Seahawks will probably miss him in the secondary, but one less knucklehead might actually be a good thing for a young football team. The slide into the number one spot by default this week, but with the return of Percy Harvin they should be better even without Browner in the lineup.

+1

2

New Orleans Saints

Once again, Drew Brees and the Saints win. The team no one thought would do anything is only the second best team in the NFC right now. They played a tough division game against the Falcons last week, but a win is a win. At 9-2 they are sitting pretty for at least a first round bye, provided they can take care of business at least once in the next few weeks against the next team on this list.

+1

3

Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton and the Panthers experienced a big game hangover on Sunday. They didn't quite wake up until late in the game, but once they did it was all over for the Dolphins. Newton showed his maturity yet again by leading his team to victory in an amazing seventh straight win.

+1

4

New England Patriots

We all make fun of the scheduling breaks the Chiefs seem to have gotten, but whoever decided that any good team that plays the Patriots must do so in Foxborough is an evil genius. The Broncos are the second 9-2 team in the NFL the Patriots squeaked out a win over by a field goal. Outside of Boston, however, Tom Brady and the Patriots are playing sub-.500 football. I would love to see them in Mile High later this season.

+2

5

Denver Broncos

Many Broncos fans are lamenting the play of Peyton Manning in this game, but he did exactly what he needed to do to offset his obvious limitations in severe weather. In fact, if it were not for a defensive collapse the Broncos should have won this game. Well, its not all on the defense ... Special Teams pretty much fumbled the game away, which seems fitting if you think about how the 2013 Broncos love holding onto the football.

-4

6

Kansas City Chiefs

Before Sunday, I had a feeling the Patriots would find a way to upset the Broncos on their own turf, which means I was really hoping for the Chiefs to choke against the Chargers. At least I got my wish and now the stage is set for either a Chiefs redemption or a Chiefs collapse. If that team drops a third straight game to division opponents, a 9-7 finish is a real possibility. Take it from a Broncos fan who watched his 8-2 Broncos in 2009 finish the season 8-8. Biggest game of the year for the Chiefs is this Sunday. Period. And I am licking my chops.

-1

7

San Francisco 49ers

Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers got back in the saddle again on Monday Night Football against the Redskins, but then again, it was the Redskins. This team needs a quality win and soon, which could start next week with a division game against the Rams.

+2

8

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals had a Bye, so no movement. However, Andy Dalton and company better start playing better, because the Ravens and Steelers are knocking on their backdoor. The battle for the AFC North just got interesting.

--

9

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals are quietly sitting at 7-4 and are impressive on both offense and defense. I would put them higher than this, but Carson Palmer hasn't been hugely impressive and they are a disastrous 0-3 within the division. They need to finish strong with at least two division wins to have a shot at the playoffs.

+1

10

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are one game away from plummeting down this list. Two consecutive games of horrendous offensive and defensive football. I am not sure what is going on with this team, but it certainly looks like the wheels are coming off. Besides, who freaking celebrates like this when their team is down by three touchdowns? Stay classy, Ricky Jean-Francois.

-3

11

Dallas Cowboys

Tony Romo proved he could win on the road against a division rival in the final minutes. He did it against maybe one of the most clutch quarterbacks in the league in Eli Manning. The NFC East is coming down to a two horse race and I honestly have no idea who holds the upper hand here.

+3

12

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles had a Bye, therefore no reason to move in rankings. It should be fun to see them and the Cowboys fight for the division and the right to be one and done in the playoffs this year.

--

13

Detroit Lions

The Lions are on a two game skid, but are somehow still in first place of the NFC North. Matthew Stafford toss four interceptions (I'm so glad he is on my fantasy team) and generally sucked things up on Sunday. I would drop them farther, but they still have a winning record somehow!

-2

14

Chicago Bears

So the Bears and Lions are doing everything they can to keep the AFC North within a game of wherever the Packers are. It appears they both know that once Aaron Rodgers is back, his team will deserve to get to the playoffs more than either the Bears or Lions. I am glad they are doing us all a favor by doing that too.

-1

15

St. Louis Rams

The Rams are really playing good football right now. It helps that their rushing attack, whether its Zac Stacy or Benny Cunningham, is unstoppable. It appears Sam Bradford is not as integral to their success as a number one overall pick should be, but then again, this is what their backup looks like throwing from the pocket...

+5

16

Pittsburgh Steelers

Guess which team has won five of their last seven games? Yep, that would be Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. It's also nearly every team at the very top of this list, but after starting 0-4, Steelers fans have got to be feeling good about their team right now. They are looking good too and if I had to choose a 5-6 team to sneak into the playoffs, it would be these guys.

+3

17

Baltimore Ravens

Joe Flacco's elite arm showed up last week. If you can take away the chucking he loves to do, the Ravens simply can't win. I wonder when teams will start putting three safeties deep on every down. The defending Super Bowl champions are at least getting close to respectability, but I don't trust this team at all.

+5

18

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins fought hard at home against the Panthers, but came up short. The Dolphins have a pretty solid defense, but they are very limited on the other side of the ball. Ryan Tannehill needs to start punching it in for touchdowns instead of field goals.

-1

19

San Diego Chargers

A huge thank you to Philip Rivers and the Chargers for punking the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday. That was TOTALLY AWESOME! Uhg, that made me vomit a little in my mouth.

On second thought, for anyone who doesn't have an aversion to profanity, I have a second message for Rivers and the Chargers...

+3

20

Tennessee Titans

You got to love Ryan Fitzpatrick's moxie. The dude gets canned from Buffalo and then comes in to fill Jake Lockers shoes and is competing for wins nearly every week. I would not count this team out as the Colts are tanking hard and the Titans are just two games out of a division crown.

+3

21

Green Bay Packers

The Packers had no business even being in this game, but 16 4th quarter points was just enough to get the game into overtime, where both teams promptly gave up playing hard. I will not be taking the Packers in any game that Aaron Rodgers is not playing in.

-6

22

New York Jets

Wow, the Jets suck! How have they even won five games already? Geno Smith is T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E! In other news, Ed Reed should have retired. Man, when players fall off the cliff physically, they really fall off the cliff!

-6

23

New York Giants

Starting a season 0-6 and making the playoffs is pretty much impossible, but for a minute there it looked like Eli Manning and the Giants were going to do just that. This a well coached football team with a lot of pride, so I would expect them to push hard to a 6-10 or 7-9 finish for the season.

-5

24

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Remember all of those close games the Buccaneers were losing early in the season en route to an 0-8 finish? Yeah, now they are winning those close games and their pass defense is totally elite. That's three straight wins! Holy crap!

+4

25

Buffalo Bills

The Bills had a Bye week, so no change. I was tempted though as their misuse of C.J. Spiller is still pissing me off, but I traded Spiller last week, so maybe I won't care as much moving forward. haha

--

26

Oakland Raiders

The Raiders lost a close football game on Sunday, but 26th is right about where they belong. I saw no reason to rank them lower than the teams below them. I do find it interesting that they seem to be a better football team with Darren McFadden out then do when he is playing.

--

27

Washington Redskins

The Redskins are a bad football team. It only reinforces my belief that Mike Shanahan has been an overrated coach for quite some time. His inability to build defenses or even potent offenses has be convinced Gary Kubiak was the brains behind the Broncos Super Bowl championships. I'm sorry to say it, but that's how I feel about ole Shanny.

--

28

Cleveland Browns

The Browns are back where they belong - at or near the bottom of the league. Josh Gordon is like Flash Gordon and its hard to image just how good he would be if he had even an above average quarterback slinging the ball around to him.

-4

29

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings had their rival by the throat and totally sucked it up for fifteen minutes. Getting the tie in that situation has to be a crushing blow to a team that felt victory within its grasps. A feeling they have not had much this season.

--

30

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars are suddenly not the worst team in their division, but that doesn't mean much. It just means they are not as bad as two division winners from 2012. For you Jaguars fans out there, you can go from worst to first or first to worst in just a single season. Don't lose hope. Well, the Jaguars are pretty terrible, but yeah...

+2

31

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons played tough at home, but still lost the game. They deserve no movement because they were horrible on offense and failed to beat an elite team when they had a chance. Matt Ryan is not very elite without weapons or when the chips are down.

--

32

Houston Texans

Hey Texans, Jesus has a message for you.

-2

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