Home / frontnfl / 2020 NFL Power Rankings: Week 13
AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith

2020 NFL Power Rankings: Week 13

The longest week in NFL history comes to a close, with the undefeated Steelers leading the Week 13 power rankings.


1. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-0) | Last week: 1

It wasn’t particularly pretty, but the Steelers somewhat handily won the wacky Wednesday afternoon rivalry game over the Ravens to improve to 11-0. Ben Roethlisberger was in command running the spread attack, and it’s almost looked like he’s just drawing up plays on his own by telling his receivers what to do on a play; but several drops by his receivers were a surprise from an otherwise strong overall game. Pittsburgh will be heavy favorites to go 12-0 this week against Washington.


2. Kansas City Chiefs (10-1) | Last week: 2

With Bucs safeties not getting far enough over to shade Tyreek Hill’s direction, Patrick Mahomes and Hill recorded over 200 yards in just the first quarter on Sunday, helping the Chiefs jump to an early lead on the road. The Kansas City defense forced a couple of key interceptions of Tom Brady when Tampa Bay was driving, and the offense put the game away late to improve to 10-1.


3. New Orleans Saints (9-2) | Last week: 3

The Saints feel they have the best defense in the league, and they played like it by completely shutting down a quarterback-less Broncos team—that was the result you would fully expect from a top defense. The New Orleans offense had some trouble themselves, but Taysom Hill has been a weapon down by the goal line, with two rushing touchdowns in each of his first two starts at quarterback. We’ll see if Alvin Kamara can get more involved in the offense moving forward with Hill, but Latavius Murray again showed he’s one of the most undervalued players in the league last week.


4. Buffalo Bills (8-3) | Last week: 4

The Bills are undoubtedly a passing team this season with Josh Allen taking another step forward and putting more on his shoulders as a passer, but it was notable that the rushing attack with Devin Singletary and Zack Moss got going more in the Week 12 win over the Chargers. The run game will be critical in the postseason. Buffalo could soon be getting linebacker Matt Milano (pectoral) back from injured reserve after his practice window was activated. Just wanted to throw this in there to show the respect Josh Allen has from everyone around the league, including officials:



5. Seattle Seahawks (8-3) | Last week: 8 (+3)

Perhaps the Seahawks shouldn’t move up three spots after beating a poor Eagles team, but the Seattle defense is getting healthier and has looked much better in recent weeks, and the upcoming schedule looks very promising on paper. He was a limited a couple of times this year, but there might be no stopping D.K. Metcalf with the way he seems to keep getting better with more experience (and it helps having Russell Wilson throw him the ball). Metcalf might torture the Eagles throughout his career after admitting that he wants to make them pay for passing on him in last year’s draft.


6. Los Angeles Rams (7-4) | Last week: 5 (-1)

It wasn’t harsh or anything, but Sean McVay might have had his firmest criticism of Jared Goff yet, sharply and succinctly declaring that his quarterback must take better care of the football. The Rams simply have not played well against the 49ers for whatever reason, but Goff is the type of quarterback that will likely respond the right way after his head coach went about as far as he’ll go in being publicly critical about a player. This Sunday against the Cardinals is a key matchup as the Rams look to get to 8-4 and remain in prime playoff position in the NFC.


7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-5) | Last week: 6 (-1)

Overall, it wasn’t a pretty performance by the Buccaneers against the Chiefs. But I’d say it’s a major positive that the team was able to fight back and make it a three-point game despite the struggles and mistakes. I am generally not a big fan of Tony Romo’s commentary (at least compared to the groupthink mentality that asserts he’s the greatest and it’s not close), but he gave strong insight on the state of the Bucs offense. Tampa is just off right now, but they could be clicking when it matters most in January.


8. Green Bay Packers (8-3) | Last week: 10 (+2)

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers dominated the Bears to make it pretty difficult to not win the NFC North up three games with five games remaining, but the run defense remains a concern. It would be a promising sign if Green Bay doesn’t look past Philadelphia this Sunday—and they shouldn’t after the Eagles beat them in Lambeau last year.


9. Tennessee Titans (8-3) | Last week: 11 (+2)

It’s time Derrick Henry starts getting more serious MVP consideration. The monstrous back has shown he’s nearly unstoppable late in games, and he only heats up as the weather gets colder—it looks like we could again get video-game numbers from Henry over the final several weeks of 2020. Ryan Tannehill should play freely with a guy like Henry doing a lot of heavy lifting and keeping the offense ahead of the chains. The Titans defense responded to their loss to Indy a couple of weeks ago, and now they’ll have the tough task for stopping Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in Week 13.


10. Indianapolis Colts (7-4) | Last week: 9 (-1)

The No. 1 priority on Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus’ call sheet was to stop Derrick Henry, but it’s obviously a hard task to execute on the field. Keep in mind that All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner was out for Indianapolis, which was a massive loss when trying to contain Henry. The Colts remain in a good spot in the standings, but they play a surging Texans team in two of the next three weeks.


11. Las Vegas Raiders (6-5) | Last week: 7 (-4)

The most puzzling performance from Week 12 came from the Raiders, who were completely blown out by the Falcons. It might have been a bit of a letdown after losing a tight game to the Chiefs the previous Sunday night, but I didn’t expect that from Jon Gruden’s squad. Derek Carr has been excellent this season, but he needs to do a better job of holding onto the football when he’s under pressure—Gruden won’t stand for turnovers. The Raiders are in a relatively similar spot to around this time in 2019 when they were blown out by the Jets while in the playoff mix, so they will not take New York lightly this weekend.


12. Miami Dolphins (7-4) | Last week: 13 (+1)

The Dolphins are a team squarely in the AFC East and AFC wild-card races, so they are fortunate to have a top backup quarterback like Ryan Fitzpatrick (when it was discussed that perhaps Miami should trade him to a team like the Cowboys after Tua Tagovailoa took over the starting job) to step in when Tua misses time. Hopefully Tagovailoa (thumb) can get back in the lineup soon, but the Dolphins won’t rush him. Miami must take care of Cincinnati this Sunday before a stingy final quarter of the regular season.


13. Cleveland Browns (8-3) | Last week: 15 (+2)

The defense had some lapses against the Jaguars, and not having cornerback Denzel Ward didn’t help, but the Browns were able to get the victory and move to 8-3. Kevin Stefanski has done an outstanding job early in his head coaching career, and I did not think the Browns would be five games over .500 at any point in the year. Cleveland needs to keep riding Nick Chubb with Kareem Hunt mixed in and they’ll be able to compete with almost anyone.


14. Baltimore Ravens (6-5) | Last week: 12 (-2)

The NFL clearly tried to accommodate the Ravens after the organization had a COVID-19 outbreak, which I don’t feel was right. That said, they were at a disadvantage to have so many key players out because of COVID. The run game again worked well in the matchup with the Steelers, but the Ravens couldn’t move the ball through the air for most of the game—and it didn’t help that Pittsburgh got consistent pressure on Robert Griffin III and then Trace McSorley. Credit to McSorley, who was very underrated by almost everyone as a prospect last year, for giving the Ravens a shot at the end.


15. Arizona Cardinals (6-5) | Last week: 14 (-1)

The shoulder issue Kyler Murray is dealing with could have something to do with it, but the Cardinals are sliding a bit as of late, and they are a successful Hail Mary away from four consecutive losses and a 5-6 record. Things won’t get much easier this Sunday when they face a determined Rams team also coming off a loss.


16. New England Patriots (5-6) | Last week: 16

I was very intrigued to see how Bill Belichick would defend Kyler Murray, who he only needs to see once every four years (barring any Super Bowl matchups), and the Patriots defense did not disappoint. Belichick may have given the blueprint to beat Murray, which is similar to what I feel is the best path: do not let him beat you with his rushing ability, don’t rush too aggressively to create lanes for him to escape, and ensure defensive lineman get their arms up. It’s been a tough year for Cam Newton and the offense, but it’s not surprising that Belichick and his staff—along with some proud players—are helping keep New England competitive.


17. Minnesota Vikings (5-6) | Last week: 17

Kirk Cousins was clutch late for the Vikings, and it was awesome to see Chad Beebe come through with the game-winning touchdown to redeem himself after a muffed punt. Dalvin Cook is banged up for Minnesota, so ideally the Vikings will be able to build a lead and let him rest some against the Jaguars this week. Getting Adam Thielen (COVID-19) back in the lineup will help lift the offense and take pressure off Cook.


18. San Francisco 49ers (5-6) | Last week: 19 (+1)

The Niners were already moved up a few spots in last week’s power rankings in anticipation of them getting healthier, and the team looked different with key players back in the lineup versus the Rams. Deebo Samuel was a standout, setting career-highs in receiving, and Brandon Aiyuk should be back from COVID-19 this Monday night as San Francisco looks to upset Buffalo. There’s also hope that Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle will return late in the year, so the Niners need to keep battling each week and see where they stand later this month.


19. Washington Football Team (4-7) | Last week: 22 (+3)

Antonio Gibson had been playing really well as of late, but he had his big introduction to America in Washington’s blowout win over Dallas on Thanksgiving. With Alex Smith, who is getting more comfortable as he gets more playing time following his epic return from the devastating leg injury suffered in 2018, at quarterback; a potent run game; and a scary front four, Washington is likely the NFC East favorite.


20. New York Giants (4-7) | Last week: 20

Sometimes all you need is an opportunity, and former Clemson running back Wayne Gallman is showing that he can be a very good starting running back in the NFL while leading the Giants offense. New York will lean on Gallman more if Daniel Jones (hamstring) is forced to miss time. The Giants sit in first place in the NFC East, but they face all teams currently with winning records over the next four games—the good news is Joe Judge has gotten his team to compete and play close in nearly every game.


21. Chicago Bears (5-6) | Last week: 18 (-3)

One positive from the Bears’ first game after their bye was that they got Allen Robinson (two touchdowns) more involved in scoring territory, but head coach Matt Nagy was not happy with the performance at all, and he let his team know about it in his press conference the day following the game. Chicago has lost five consecutive games, and they need an offensive line turnaround similar to the one the Rams had down the stretch last season.


22. Atlanta Falcons (4-7) | Last week: 27 (+5)

The Falcons are 4-2 in their past six games (again, would be 5-1 if not for the Todd Gurley touchdown he didn’t want to score), and the rout of the Raiders was a performance that’ll certainly help interim head coach Raheem Morris as he looks to keep the job full-time. Now, Atlanta will look to redeem its embarrassing loss to New Orleans a couple of weeks ago.


23. Denver Broncos (4-7) | Last week: 21 (-2)

Honestly, there is not much to take away from the Broncos performance last week aside from giving major props to undrafted player and practice squad member Kendall Hinton for stepping in and playing quarterback on virtually zero notice. I don’t like how the NFL handled the Denver situation at all.


24. Houston Texans (4-7) | Last week: 29 (+5)

The Texans have a similar feel to the Falcons, and they are now 3-1 in their last four games. However, Houston will deal with a huge loss for the remainder of the season, as top receiver Will Fuller was suspended for a PED violation along with cornerback Bradley Roby. A healthy Fuller made a big difference for Deshaun Watson, and we’ll see how the Texans operate without the deep threat in the lineup.


25. Carolina Panthers (4-8) | Last week: 25

Stud rookie Jeremy Chinn returned back-to-back fumbles for touchdowns for the Panthers on Sunday, and it’s another example of Matt Rhule’s teams finding ways to stay in games. Teddy Bridgewater had some misses in the loss to the Vikings, and hopefully D.J. Moore doesn’t miss too much time with his ankle issue. The bye week should help, and Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) is expected to be back when Carolina returns to action.


26. Dallas Cowboys (3-8) | Last week: 23 (-3)

The Cowboys couldn’t keep the momentum going from their watermelon-smashing and win over the Vikings a couple of weeks ago, and this just hasn’t been a good season for the team. Ezekiel Elliott exemplifies this, as he fumbled yet again in the Thanksgiving loss. Dallas now has to deal with playing on a Tuesday night when they face the Ravens, who should have Lamar Jackson back, in Week 13.


27. Philadelphia Eagles (3-7-1) | Last week: 24 (-3)

Doug Pederson isn’t coming out and saying it, but Carson Wentz is not doing a good job at all of even doing the simple things correctly in his offense. Brian Baldinger did a superb job of breaking down a couple of plays from Monday night:





There’s been a lot of blame game going around with the Eagles, and I think it’s clearly 1) Howie Roseman, by far; 2) Carson Wentz; and 3) Doug Pederson, a bit behind Roseman and Wentz. But I think Pederson will be the first to go with the way Roseman has stuck around the organization for whatever reason.


28. Los Angeles Chargers (3-8) | Last week: 28

Justin Herbert had one of his worst games of his rookie season, but the Chargers have to be thrilled if that’s about as bad as it’ll get for their franchise quarterback. The interception Herbert threw in the loss to the Bills was one where you just have to give credit to All-Pro defender Tre’Davious White for making the play, coming out of his zone from a spot Herbert didn’t expect. The Chargers wasted no time getting Austin Ekeler the ball in his first game since Week 4, and the LA roster is stacked with offensive talent we’ll get a nice look at over the final five weeks.


29. Detroit Lions (4-7) | Last week: 26 (-3)

Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn were given a directive that it was playoffs or bust this season, and Lions ownership had enough after a bad Thanksgiving loss dropped them to 4-7 and in unlikely playoff position in the NFC. Whoever Detroit hires next, hopefully they are given time to build things the right way, because the team needs a lot of work to get out of the basement it’s been in.


30. Cincinnati Bengals (2-8-1) | Last week: 30

The Bengals fought to make it a game against the Giants, which is a good sign for Zac Taylor as he looks to make the case for a third year leading the franchise. Unfortunately, we won’t get the Joe Burrow vs. Tua Tagovailoa Week 13 matchup everyone was anticipating when the NFL schedule was released months ago.


31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10) | Last week: 31

The Jaguars fired general manager Dave Caldwell, and it’s realistically just a matter of time before head coach Doug Marrone is fired (likely the next general manager will be hired and will want to bring in his “own guy” to be the head coach). Mike Glennon played well in his first start of the season, so Jacksonville will keep him in the lineup as they look to get another win this year.


32. New York Jets (0-11) | Last week: 32

The Dolphins are not an easy defense to go up against, but the Jets offense couldn’t get anything going in Sam Darnold’s return to the lineup. After Joe Flacco played well with Darnold out, the former No. 3 overall pick undoubtedly has his job on the line over the final five weeks.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *