NFL POWER RANKINGS: Where Every Team Stands Going Into Week 13

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Photo: Screenshot via NBC

Apart from an unexpected drubbing in NYC, Week 12 went basically as planned.Most of our top 15 only changed a spot or two, but last year’s Super Bowl teams — New York and New England — began to make steep climbs as we head toward the playoffs.

Click here to see the rankings >
Once again, here’s how we came up with them.

We took our rankings from last week and moved teams up and down based on the following criteria:

  • A win: up 2 spots
  • A loss: down 1 spot
  • A loss by 10+ points: down 2 spots
  • A win against a top-5 team from the week before: up 2 spots
  • A win against a top-12 team from the week before (aka, a playoff team): up 1 spot
  • Covering the point spread: up 1 spot
  • A winning record: up 1 spot
  • A losing record: down 1 spot
  • No team with a winning record can be outside the top 16

1. Houston Texans (#1 last week): Beat the Lions

Record: 10-1

Biggest thing we learned this week: The defence is officially in a funk. They've given up 68 points in their last two games.

2. Baltimore Ravens (#2 last week): Beat the Chargers

Record: 9-2

Biggest thing we learned this week: This might be the shakiest 9-2 team ever after an OT win over the hapless Chargers. But news that Ray Lewis could come back from injury sooner than expected should give them a boost.

3. Atlanta Falcons (#3 last week): Beat the Bucs

Record: 10-1

Biggest thing we learned this week: The run defence has the potential to be great. Tampa only managed 2.4 yards per carry on 21 rushes.

4. New England Patriots (#5 last week): Beat the Jets

Record: 8-3

Biggest thing we learned this week: The defence lets up a ton of big plays, but it can also make big plays. The Pats scored 21 points in 65 seconds with the help of two turnovers against the Jets. They've now scored a defensive TD in two-straight games.

5. San Francisco 49ers (#6 last week): Beat the Saints

Record: 8-2-1

Biggest thing we learned this week: Colin Kaepernick was quietly unspectacular. He was a decent 16/25 for 231 yards, but he kept it fairly conservative against a bad New Orleans defence.

6. Chicago Bears (#7 last week): Beat the Vikings

Record: 8-3

Biggest thing we learned this week: Jay Cutler matters. The Bears are now 2-6 without him since he came to Chicago.

7. New York Giants (#11 last week): Beat the Packers

Record: 7-4

Biggest thing we learned this week: They're as dangerous and inconsistent as any team in football. Also, Martellus Bennett caught a fan who fell from MetLife Stadium in mid-air. Amazing.

8. Green Bay Packers (#4 last week): Lost to the Giants

Record: 7-4

Biggest thing we learned this week: The offensive line issues that Green Bay had early in the season are back. Rodgers has been sacked more than any other QB in the NFL.

9. Denver Broncos (#9 last week): Beat the Chiefs

Record: 8-3

Biggest thing we learned this week: Von Miller is a beast. He now has 24.5 sacks through the first 25 games of his career.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (#8 last week): Lost to the Browns

Record: 6-5

Biggest thing we learned this week: We've said it three weeks in a row -- they have no chance of winning until Ben Roethlisberger comes back. But when he does, they can beat anyone.

11. Indianapolis Colts (#14 last week): Beat the Bills

Record: 7-4

Biggest thing we learned this week: Andrew Luck is clutch. Indy is now 6-1 in games decided by one score or less.

12. Seattle Seahawks (#10 last week): Lost to the Dolphins

Record: 6-5

Biggest thing we learned this week: Russell Wilson is still playing well. He had 16-straight completions at one point.

13. Cincinnati Bengals (#16 last week): Beat the Raiders

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (#12 last week): Lost to the Falcons

Record: 6-5

Biggest thing we learned this week: The Bucs have one more game against an elite team (the Broncos next week) before games against Philly, New Orleans, and St. Louis. They need to find their pass rush in that stretch. Matt Ryan picked them apart on Sunday.

15. Minnesota Vikings (#13 last week): Lost to the Bears

Record: 6-5

Biggest thing we learned this week: Christian Ponder is having a lot of trouble throwing the ball down the field. Interesting tidbit from ESPN's Kevin Seifert: 'Ponder threw eight passes that traveled more than 10 yards downfield. He overthrew three of them, according to ESPN Stats & Information, and four of them were batted down or tipped by the Bears' defence.'

16. Dallas Cowboys (#15 last week): Lost to the Redskins

Record: 5-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: They've become totally one dimensional without DeMarco Murray. They ran the ball 11 times for 35 yards.

17. Miami Dolphins (#21 last week): Beat the Seahawks

Record: 5-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: Reggie Bush wants to stay in Miami when he's a free agent this offseason, which is big considering he's in the middle of his best year as a pro.

18. Washington Redskins (#22 last week): Beat the Cowboys

Record: 5-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: The defence can force turnovers. The Redskins lost their two best defensive players early in the year, but six turnovers in their last two games have helped them to 2-0.

19. Detroit Lions (#18 last week): Lost to the Texans

Record: 4-7

Biggest thing we learned this week: Ndamukong Suh, still dirty.

20. New Orleans Saints (#17 last week): Lost to the 49ers

Record: 5-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: New Orleans' league-worst defence made a comeback this week, giving up 31 points to the 49ers and failing to stop San Francisco on a back-breaking, 16-play drive in the fourth quarter.

21. San Diego Chargers (#19 last week): Lost to the Ravens

Record: 4-7

Biggest thing we learned this week: They somehow allowed a first down on a dump-off pass on 4th and 29. That tells you all you need to know.

22. New York Jets (#20 last week): Lost to the Patriots

Record: 4-7

Biggest thing we learned this week: It's possible to fumble off your teammate's butt.

23. Cleveland Browns (#28 last week): Beat the Steelers

Record: 3-8

Biggest thing we learned this week: Charlie Batch can make defenses look really good. The Browns forced eight (!) turnovers. But Brandon Weeden could miss time after a hit to the head.

24. Carolina Panthers (#27 last week): Beat the Eagles

Record: 3-8

Biggest thing we learned this week: The Eagles are awful? Also, Cam Newton had the best game of his season with 4 TDs.

25. Buffalo Bills (#24 last week): Lost to the Colts

Record: 4-7

Biggest thing we learned this week: WR Stevie Johnson wants the quarterback to start calling the plays instead of the coach. Never a good sign.

26. St. Louis Rams (#29 last week): Beat the Cardinals

Record: 4-6-1

Biggest thing we learned this week: One of the biggest risks of the 2012 Draft -- Janoris Jenkins -- looks to be paying off. He has two INTs returned for touchdowns.

27. Tennessee Titans (#25 last week): Lost to the Jaguars

Record: 4-7

Biggest thing we learned this week: They fired their offensive coordinator. But nothing will change until they fix the offensive line and get some weapons on the perimeter.

28. Arizona Cardinals (#23 last week): Lost to the Rams

Record: 4-7

Biggest thing we learned this week: It might be time to go back to John Skelton. Ryan Lindley threw 4 INTs against St. Louis.

29. Philadelphia Eagles (#26 last week): Lost to the Panthers

Record: 3-8

Biggest thing we learned this week: Desean Jackson is done for the year with a rib injury. Nick Foles now has a patchwork offensive line and no weapons.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (#31 last week): Beat the Titans

Record: 2-9

Biggest thing we learned this week: Fear Chad Henne's mustache!

31. Oakland Raiders (#30 last week): Lost to the Bengals

Record: 3-8

Biggest thing we learned this week: Carson Palmer gets the heat, but the defence is the bigger issue in Oakland.

32. Kansas City Chiefs (#32 last week): Lost to the Broncos

Record: 1-10

Biggest thing we learned this week: They covered the point spread, so, progress?

Here's the rest of what you missed from Week 12

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