Now that Week 12of the 2021 NFL season is in the books, it’s time for everyone’s favorite meaningful exercise: NFL Power Rankings! What differentiates these rankings from others is that they’re the only truly accurate ones in the entire universe. Let’s take a look at how all 32 teams stack up entering Week 13. Even more league-wide discussion in this week’s episode of The ODDcast on The SB Nation NFL Show.
BLG’S WEEK 13 NFL POWER RANKINGS
1 - Arizona Cardinals (Last Week: 1) - They’re expected to return from their bye with Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins back in the fold. Those guys should be able to ease back in against an entirely beatable Chicago team. Speaking of lesser opponents, the Cards have the second easiest remaining schedule in the league.
2 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 3) - Statement win over a competitor in the NFC playoff picture. Now Aaron Rodgers gets to rest his poor little toe as Green Bay enters their Week 13 bye. The Pack will return looking to make a push for the No. 1 seed.
3 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 4) - The Bucs overcame a 10-point deficit at halftime to grind out an important win in Indy. Still alive for the No. 1 seed. Pretty incredible that Gronk is still thriving out here (7 for 123). Also, Tampa has benefitted from being able to lean on Leonard Fournette when the passing game hasn’t always been at its best this year.
4 - New England Patriots (LW: 9) - Six wins in a row. The Pats keep rolling. They own the league’s best point differential. While they undoubtedly deserve credit, it’s possible a little too much is being made of their hot streak. They haven’t exactly taken down any juggernauts in this stretch; they benefitted from taking on an incredibly injured Tennessee team. Regardless, the Pats are in contention for the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff picture. They’ve certainly exceeded expectations.
5 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 5) - The Chiefs return from their bye to play three straight division games: vs. DEN, vs. LVR, at LAC. Big opportunity to take control of the AFC West.
6 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 2) - The Titans are too injured right now. Making matters worse, Ryan Tannehill hasn’t been able to elevate the team at all. Dude managed to throw for only 93 yards on Sunday. Yikes.
7 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 8) - If any team is capable of winning when their quarterback throws four interceptions, it’s the Ravens. They just find ways to win. Of course, not exactly comforting how they’ve flirted with disaster. Or how Lamar Jackson has more interceptions (9) than touchdown passes (7) for a 71.4 passer rating since Week 6.
8 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 6) - So, maybe the Rams going all in wasn’t the best move. They’ve suffered three straight losses. Matthew Stafford has a 77.5 passer rating in those three starts. While undoubtedly an upgrade on Jared Goff, it’s not exactly like he was this flawless player in Detroit who simply needed to be rescued. Stafford’s injury issues are concerning in terms of his ability to be effective.
9 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 7) - Death, taxes, and the Cowboys choking in front of a national audience on Thanksgiving. You love to see it. Dallas is still in strong position to win the NFC East. But they’ve likely blown a golden opportunity to get the No. 1 seed. And now they’re dealing with more turmoil as Mike McCarthy (among others) tested positive for COVID-19.
10 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 12) - They took care of business against a reeling New Orleans squad on Thanksgiving night. Can they reclaim the AFC East or will they be stuck battling it out for a wild card spot? Huge Monday Night Football matchup upcoming against the Pats.
11 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 14) - Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase have garnered much of the praise this year but Joe Mixon has been a key cog as well. Especially recently. The Bengals running back has 288 yards and four touchdowns in Cincy’s last two wins. Baltimore is currently ahead of them in the standings but the Bengals might very well be the best team in the AFC North.
12 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 11) - The Colts’ Week 12 loss to the Bucs had the feeling of a moral victory. They played the reigning Super Bowl champs tough and were in it until the end. Carson Wentz’s three turnovers ultimately contributed to a loss, though, and it’s hardly guaranteed Indy will make the postseason in a very crowded AFC playoff picture.
13 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 10) - I am sad to say that the Chargers are still the Chargers. Somehow a new coaching staff and a promising young quarterback haven’t changed that reality. Too inconsistent. Disappointing.
14 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 17) - Big win over Minny in order to move up to the No. 6 seed in the NFC. The Niners are rolling by running the ball and hiding their quarterback. They’ll eventually need to do more than that … but it’s working for now.
15 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 15) - Kirk Cousins will always let you down in a big game. Not a guy worth stanning. Unless you love to celebrate mediocrity for some reason.
16 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 13) - Their last three games: two losses and a tie with Detroit. Pittsburgh might have their first losing season since 2003 with the NFL’s second toughest remaining schedule.
17 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 16) - The Browns are likely not making the postseason after finally breaking the seal in 2020. They have the league’s toughest remaining slate with a combined opponent winning percentage of .634. Their opponents: Green Bay, Baltimore, Cincy, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh.
18 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 20) - Rich Bisaccia almost cost the Raiders by coaching “not to lose” instead of going all out to win. That’s concerning but, hey, Vegas got the win in a big spot to keep their playoff hopes alive. DeSean Jackson’s explosive ability can still be pretty helpful.
19 - Washington Football Team (LW: 21) - The Football Team would be the No. 7 seed in the NFC playoff picture if the season ended today, which it doesn’t. Washington’s defense seems to be settling in and Taylor Heinicke is a player they can win with (as opposed to win because of).
20 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 24) - Winners of their last four, the Dolphins are not totally dead despite getting out to a 1-7 start. The odds are stacked against them but they’re at least trending in a positive direction. Tua Tagovailoa is showing promise. This success is to Philly’s chagrin considering Miami is in position to fall out of the top 10 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
21 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 18) - With Dallas losing on Thanksgiving, the Eagles had an opportunity to make a surprising run at the top spot in the NFC East. Instead, the Eagles lost to a very bad NYG team. Terrible. Jalen Hurts picked awful time to have a “stock down” game.
22 - Denver Broncos (LW: 23) - The Broncos returned from their bye to beat the Bolts and stay alive in the playoff picture. Of course, they’re not actually a threat to do much. But they’re hanging around. In part because of excellent play by standout rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain II.
23 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 19) - Four losses in a row has the Saints in shambles. They’re turning to Taysom Hill at quarterback. That’ll fix everything! Not.
24 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 22) - Cam Newton is donezo. Cooked. The Panthers are in a pretty bad spot at quarterback after wasting money and draft picks on that position.
25 - New York Giants (LW: 26) - They came up with four takeaways and scored zero points off of them. Their win over the Eagles wasn’t about them looking great as much as it was them somehow being less incompetent than Philly. The only good news from Sunday was that Dave Gettleman won’t be back.
26 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 27) - The Falcons have to be one of the worst teams to ever win five games. They stink. They just happen to stink less than some of the very worst teams … some of which they’ve been able to beat. Atlanta is 32nd in DVOA.
27 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 25) - Stick a fork in the Seahawks. They’re done. Russell Wilson isn’t returning to Seattle in 2022. Probably time to turn the page on Pete Carroll as well. It was a great era of football but it’s time to start over.
28 - Chicago Bears (LW: 28) - They barely squeaked by Detroit to avoid losing their sixth straight game. Whoopee.
29 - New York Jets (LW: 32) - The Jets still have the NFL’s worst point differential despite picking up their third win. But, hey, at least they’re not as bad as Houston! Unfortunately for them, Zach Wilson still doesn’t look very good.
30 - Houston Texans (LW: 29) - The Texans have nothing interesting going on for them. They really need to sim to the offseason. They have to hope they can trade Deshaun Watson and really nail their own first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. And not even so that they can win right away, just so that they can start to actually rebuild.
31 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 30) - The Jags followed up a big win over Buffalo by losing three straight. If the heat on Urban Meyer ever stopped, it should be back on by now.
32 - Detroit Lions (LW: 31) - Detroit’s remaining schedule: vs. MIN, at DEN, vs. AZ, at ATL, at SEA, vs. GB. Will Dan Campbell finally get a full win at some point? Maybe. But also pretty possible they finish 0-16-1.