We’re left with only one undefeated team in the 2013 NFL Season: The Kansas City Chiefs, which naturally places them on top of the league’s power rankings, as the Denver Broncos have been playing less than perfect for weeks, finally caught by the best of the “dark horse” Super Bowl contenders, the Indianapolis Colts.
At the bottom, it’s no surprise to see Jacksonville continuing to host the NFL’s most pitiful franchise, while one win for the New York Giants doesn’t exactly change the world, and the same can be said over another quarterback change for the Minnesota Vikings.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-0): There hasn’t been a lot of impressing from the Chiefs lately, and Alex Smith isn’t going to win any awards with only 7 touchdown passes, but a defense that allows no more than 17 points in any game is good enough to carry this team despite a mundane offense to an excellent regular season.
2. Denver Broncos (6-1): Peyton Manning has now thrown an interception in three consecutive games, while the offensive line and the secondary, both carrying injuries, are starting to crumble against certain teams, although the offense is still clicking quite well.
3. Seattle Seahawks (6-1): The Seahawks have the best blend in the NFL between offense and defense, ranked in the top 6 when it comes to rushing yards, stopping the pass and stopping the run, finally getting a well balanced Russell Wilson in both the passing and running game.
4. New Orleans Saints (5-1): Didn’t play this weekend, giving them another week to think about not relying on the blitz so much on defense, which kinda got old and predictable at some point as they lost to the Patriots.
5. Indianapolis Colts (5-2): The Colts aren’t in the top 10 of both total defense and offense charts, but they’re giving up only 18.7 points per game, and their pass defense is underrated, not to mention Andrew Luck showing that he’s a quarterback that does the right things, instead of insisting on big numbers and plays.
6. San Francsico 49ers (5-2): The old 49ers are back, as Colin Kaepernick doesn’t throw touchdown passes but also without interceptions, while the running game is back at 143.3 yards per game, helping them establish early leads that don’t really make it hard for them to let off in the end.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (5-2): Andy Dalton finally had himself a big game (three touchdown passes, no interceptions), but it was their big plays on special teams and defense that put them through the Detroit Lions.
8. New England Patriots (5-2): A confusing team, no doubt, that is actually worse off when Tom Brady has a receiver he trusts to focus on. Their defense is picking up an alarming amount of injuries, making it quite difficult to stop the run or provide the same kind of cover they gave Brady earlier this season, even against bad teams like the New York Jets.
9. Green Bay Packers (4-2): The Packers aren’t stranger to injuries on offense and defense, but Aaron Rodgers works well with what he has, throwing three touchdown passes and enjoying finally having a reliable running game, averaging 134.7 yards on the ground.
10. Dallas Cowboys (4-3): The cream of the NFC East doesn’t mean much this year, but not all opponents are going to make the Cowboys forget about an injured DeMarcus Ware and DeMarco Murray like the fragile Philadelphia Eagles did.
11. Carolina Panthers (3-3): Cam Newton isn’t doing spectacular stuff, but he’s not making mistakes, and for a team with a solid and old-school kind of method: defense and running the ball, that’s enough to be better than most teams in the NFL.
12. San Diego Chargers (4-3): Winning in double digits against the Jags isn’t really something special, but Ryan Mathews running for over 100 yards in two consecutive games is certainly something to celebrate.
13. Detroit Lions (4-3): Matthews Stafford can connect with Calvin Johnson all he likes (two touchdown catches), but if Reggie Bush is averaging only 2.5 yards per carry, it’s going to be very difficult for the Lions to beat teams above the lower tier in the NFL.
14. Chicago Bears (4-3): Losing Jay Cutler may not be such a disaster, but their defense can’t stop anything in the air or on the ground. Josh McCown is a solid replacement at quarterback, but not good enough to win shootouts every week.
15. New York Jets (4-3): As long as Geno Smith limits his mistakes and the defense continues to be impossible to run against (allowing only 77.7 yards per game), the Jets should have a shot at finishing above .500 in the AFC East.
16. Miami Dolphins (3-3): Things are looking worse and worse for the Dolphins, who can’t protect Ryan Tannehill, even against a weak pass-rush like the Bills have.
17. Tennessee Titans (3-4): Falling apart in Tennessee as well, looking terrible against the 49ers, and for some reason not giving Chris Johnson the touches he deserves to be getting, especially with their quarterbacks looking bad this season.
18. Baltimore Ravens (3-4): This team is going nowhere if they keep averaging only 74 rushing yards per game.
19. Falcons (2-4): Winning against the Bucs isn’t something that indicates they’re coming back, but if Steven Jackson is going to be playing very soon, the Falcons have a shot at something of a respectable finish to this season that has gone very wrong for them.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4): Le’Veon Bell has certainly put some life into this offense, as it has taken a lot of pressure off of Ben Roethlisberger, not throwing an interception in two consecutive games.
21. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4): In quite a mess when it comes to their quarterback situation, but keeping the Cowboys on only 17 points was probably the first encouraging sign from their defense all season long.
22. St. Louis Rams (3-4): Just when things were looking better, Sam Bradford went ahead and tore his ACL, which means this season and whatever they wanted to achieve from it is probably over.
23. Arizona Cardinals (3-4): With Palmer throwing 13 interceptions this season and getting sacked 7 times or something around that number each game, there’s no chance for the Cardinals to take advantage of their excellent defense.
24. Cleveland Browns (3-4): Brandon Weeden is back, and so are the turnovers and the losses, which will keep piling on.
25. Buffalo Bills (3-4): Thad Lewis looked normal on his second start for the team, but he’s not bad enough to take the Bills out of games against other bad teams completely.
26. Wasington Redskins (2-4): Not every team is going to be easy to slice through like the Bears, but if Robert Griffin III is confident in his running game again (84 yards vs Chicago), this season might not be over just yet.
27. Oakland Raiders (2-4): Terrelle Pryor is the best rushing quarterback in the NFL, but the offensive line can’t keep looking like a JV unit.
28. Houston Texans (2-5): The defense is good, but now they’ve lost Brian Cushing. Case Keenum did a decent job against an excellent defense, including great protection from the offensive line, but it feels like the Texans don’t believe in what they can get out of this season anymore.
29. New York Giants (1-6): Even when they win, the Giants play and awful brand of football. The only plus from that game was the defensive line finally being able to put some pressure on an opposing quarterback, while Eli Manning didn’t even throw an interceptions.
30. Minnesota Vikings (1-5): How do you explain having Adrian Peterson on your team and still letting Josh Freeman throw the ball 53 times?!
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-6): If the Falcons, without their top two receivers and top running back, manage to hang 31 points on you, it means the last ounce of credibility to anything positive about Schiano’s job in Tampa Bay is gone.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-7): The Jags actually have a talented bunch of receivers, but no team.