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freeland 1787's Week 13 NFL Power Rankings

After taking their first loss, the Patriots are no longer the top team mathematically. However, they are closer to Carolina than Carolina was to New England last week.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The loss to Denver takes the Patriots out of the top spot in the rankings, but the good news is that they are still #1 when it comes to AFC Teams. After last week being one of the worst bad football weeks, there is a bit of upheaval in the rankings, particularly in the 8-16 range. In both the regular season standings and the rankings spread, the Washington Redskins have jumped ahead of the Giants for the NFC Least East. The AFC Suck South made a big rebound this week, with the Houston Texans passing the Pittsburgh Steelers for the #6 seed and making my preseason prediction of the Texans making the playoffs look good.

These are the Top 10 Teams on the Spreadsheet:

  1. Carolina Panthers 11-0 (81)
  2. New England Patriots 10-1 (79)
  3. Denver Broncos 9-2 (72)
  4. Cincinnati Bengals 9-2 (71)
  5. Arizona Cardinals 9-2 (69)
  6. Kansas City Chiefs 6-5 (63)
  7. Minnesota Vikings 8-3 (63)
  8. Green Bay Packers 7-4 (59)
  9. Indianapolis Colts 6-5 (55)
  10. Seattle Seahawks 6-5 (55)
In terms of the playoff picture, here's where the actual playoff picture compares to the playoff picture from the rankings spreadsheet
Seed AFC Actual NFC Actual AFC Projected NFC Projected
1 Patriots Panthers Patriots Panthers
2 Bengals Cardinals Broncos Cardinals
3 Broncos Vikings Bengals Vikings
4 Colts Redskins Colts Redskins
5 Chiefs Packers Chiefs Packers
6 Texans Seahawks Texans Seahawks

The spreadsheet agrees with the playoff picture with the same 12 teams and 10/12 similar playoff seeding. At this point in the season, we have a very good idea which teams are contending for the playoffs and which teams aren't. The only four playoff spots that aren't completely decided in my opinion are the #4 and #6 seeds in both conferences, although a never say die Seattle team and a hot Texans team has the current hold on those last two wildcards. I don't see either team fading down the stretch, although it should be interesting to see how the Patriots alter this race with a game against Houston in Prime Time.

The update on the 50-Club, which is a score of 50 or better in Offense, Defense, Special Teams, and Schedule has the Arizona Cardinals getting thrown out of the club. That leaves the Patriots, Panthers, Bengals, and Chiefs as the members of the 50-Club. The Sub-50 Club has teams that score below 50 in all categories, and usually it determines whose picking #1 overall next year. Right now, one of those teams is actually leading their division and I think you know which team it is. The members of the Sub-50 Club are the Redskins, Lions, Jaguars, and Dolphins. Yes, you can replace the D in Dolphins with an L. The worst ranked team on the spreadsheet is the Cleveland Browns, although you probably don't need a spreadsheet to figure that one out.

The Patriots next opponent is the 27th ranked Philadelphia Eagles, who are in the midst of a free-fall that people are dating back to Thanksgiving Day during the 2014 season. The Eagles score a 38 on offense, 48 on defense, and 53 on Special Teams. The Eagles have a solid defense, but injuries and offensive ineffectiveness has really caused that unit problems. On paper, this should be an easy win for the Patriots since they outscore them in every category. However, games aren't played on paper and the Eagles could be playing this game with the attitude of nothing to lose at this point. However, if the Patriots do pulverize the Eagles, the rumblings and rumors will be getting louder about that locker room.