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Week 13 NFL Power Rankings

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

By Angelo Inglisa.

First and foremost, I wish that everyone had a great Thanksgiving, whether it was spending time with your family, indulging in Black Friday shopping, or how I spent it, watching a lot of football. 

Thanksgiving Football is one of my favorite traditions, however, it felt like this year’s edition fell flat. Lions-Vikings was close, but not necessarily entertaining save for the game-sealing interception. Redskins-Cowboys started slow but exploded in the fourth quarter with the teams combining for five touchdowns in that quarter. The games were capped by the Pittsburgh Steelers taking on the Scott Tolzien-led Colts in a game that a kindergartener could predict. 

I suppose it was the perfect schedule if the Thanksgiving feast left you on the verge of a food coma, but hopefully, this is a one-year blip. The rest of Week 12 was a solid slate of games that solidified teams’ standings and their glaring flaws, lifting this year’s playoff contenders up and last year’s disappointing powers down. In fact, some of those flaws have changed my predictions.

AFC Championship: Oakland @ New England

NFC Championship: New York Giants @ Dallas

Super Bowl LI: New England OVER Dallas

Biggest Riser: Miami Dolphins (17->13

Biggest Faller: Carolina Panthers (16->24)

1.) Dallas Cowboys (+/-0)

Three straight wins over fringe playoff teams (Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Washington), Dallas has put to bed the one concern of playing a weak schedule. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott are both in talks for MVP, and now it looks as if Dez Bryant is healthy and hungry. With the Vikings and Giants on deck, the Cowboys can really stake their claim.

2.) New England Patriots (+/-0)

Bill Belichick needs to get his guys healthy. Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett got dinged up against the Jets, but at least the receiving core looks like they’re improving. Rookie Malcolm Mitchell has stepped up to become Tom Brady trusted, scoring two touchdowns against the once great Darrelle Revis.

3.) Oakland Raiders (+/-0)

Raiders Nation had a collective heart attack Sunday, as the Raiders tried to blow a 17 point lead and lose Derek Carr to a hand injury. It was at that time that Derek Carr had an MVP moment, coming back into the game and leading the game-tying and winning drives with a bum throwing hand.

4.) New York Giants (+2)

It’s not often you see a Wild Card team have a better record than the No. 2 seed, but here we are. The Giants are on a six game tear and are half a game better than the Seahawks, but sit at the No. 5 spot behind Seattle, Atlanta and Detroit. With Landon Collins and Odell Beckham Jr. leading on both sides of the ball, the Cowboys game in two weeks will tell us a lot.

5.) Seattle Seahawks (-1)

Seattle is probably the one team Dallas doesn’t want to see come playoff time. Seattle struggles against teams with talent up front on the D-Line, which the Cowboys don’t have. Unfortunately, most of the lower seeds right now have something to rush the passer, which spells trouble for the formerly feared Seahawks.

6.) Kansas City Chiefs (+2)

That was one of the weirdest endings I’ve ever seen, that field goal couldn’t have hit more of the goal post and still go in. Tyreek Hill has provided a spark to this team, both on and off the field. But unless Alex Smith can turn it up as the season ends, I’m not sure they can compete with Oakland.

7.) Atlanta Falcons (+2)

Atlanta is secretly playing solid defense, mitigating David Johnson’s damage, something they couldn't do last year. Taylor Gabriel allowed Falcons fans to not focus on the dark news of Desmond Trufant moving to the injured reserve, which could cause that improved defense to spring a leak.

8.) Denver Broncos (-3)

The defending champs have fallen behind the Miami Dolphins in the standings, and if the season were to end today the Broncos would not be in the playoffs. The good news is if they can take care of business the rest of the way, they should squeak in. Getting Devontae Booker to be a productive back would help bring balance back to this team.

9.) Pittsburgh Steelers (+2)

The Steelers are still a hard team to believe in after their Thanksgiving beatdown of the Colts, as they surrendered a lot of yards to Scott freakin’ Tolzien. Sure, they forced some turnovers, but it was against Tolzien. Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown will have to go all out on the Ravens in Week 16 to win the AFC North.

10.) Washington Redskins (-3)

I’m not dissuaded by that loss to Dallas. This offense is still one of the best in the NFL, and one could argue that it rivals the Falcons. Between Robert Kelley, Chris Thompson, D-Jax, Pierre Garcon, Jamison Crowder, Jordan “One-Armed” Reed, and the rejuvenated Vernon Davis, Kirk Cousins is giggling at his current and future riches.

11.) Detroit Lions (+1)

It looks like the defense has finally figured itself out.

12.) Baltimore Ravens (+2)

John Harbaugh is an absolute genius for this play.

13.) Miami Dolphins (+4)

Six straight wins for the Fish AND Tannehill winning them a game? Welcome to 2016.

14.) Philadelphia Eagles (-4)

I hope Carson Wentz took notes on that dismantling of his defense.

15.) Minnesota Vikings (-2)

How much longer is Adrian Peterson out for? Asking for my friend Mike Zimmer.

16.) New Orleans Saints (+2)

Drew Brees is truly the Pablo Picasso of passing.

17.) Buffalo Bills (+2)

The Bills sure did try to make the Jaguars look like a “fierce” two win team.

18.) Houston Texans (-3)

Last week Brock Osweiler looked like a $9 million QB. This week he looked like he’s paying the Texans $9 million to play.

19.) Green Bay Packers (+2)

At least this season we got to see Davante Adams drastically improve after a bummer 2015.

20.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3)

Jameis Winston and Mike Evans are starting to look like the next great QB/WR combo.

21.) Indianapolis Colts (-1)

I hope for Colts fans sake that they never have to watch Scott Tolzien again.

22.) San Diego Chargers (+2)

The Chargers are going to dictate the playoff picture with games against Tampa, Oakland and KC.

23.) Tennessee Titans (+2)

Marcus Mariota is making less than 33% of what Osweiler is and playing 3 times better.

24.) Carolina Panthers (-8)

At 4-7, it’s time to look forward and how to come back with a vengeance in 2017.

25.) Arizona Cardinals (-3)

Outside of David Johnson, there isn’t a lot to look forward to on that offense next year.

26.) Cincinnati Bengals (+/-0)

Vontaze Burfict’s flop was the only interesting thing that the Bengals did Sunday.

27.) Los Angeles Rams (+/-0)

At least Jared Goff throwing three TDs in one half validates sitting him for 10 games, right?

28.) Chicago Bears (+/-0)

Matt Barkley threw for three touchdowns and 300 yards throwing to people not even die-hards had ever heard of.

29.) New York Jets (+/-0)

Maybe Todd Bowles is secretly tanking by playing the veterans over the untested and hungry young players.

30.) Jacksonville Jaguars (+/-0)

Gus Bradley might be the only surefire coach that will get canned this offseason.

31.) San Francisco 49ers (+/-0)

Colin Kaepernick being watchable has distracted everyone from talking about the 10 game losing streak.

32.) Cleveland Browns (+/-0)

Can Cleveland lose on a bye? We’ll find out next week.

About the writer: Angelo Inglisa is on the sports staff at WWVU FM in Morgantown, West Virginia. He hosts a weekly NFL podcast called First and Goal. Listen to his latest show below.

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