A new week of the 2021 NFL season brought more surprises and changes that affected Sporting News’ weekly power rankings. Week 13 was lucky for some, but it was also very unlucky for some other teams.
The arrival of Week 14 means there are only five weeks left on the extended schedule for teams to finish the season strong in the playoff position or create something to build on for next year. While there are many hoping to get the No. 1-7 seeds in both conferences, there are more teams heading to think more about the 2022 draft.
Here’s how SN sees that intersection and how all teams compare to each other from 1 to 32 now:
MORE: Updated NFL Standings, Week 13 Playoffs Image
NFL Power Ratings
1. Arizona Cardinals 10-2 (previous rank: 1)
The Cardinals got Kyler Murray back in Week 13 and their offense soared again in tough conditions against a defense outgunned by the Bears. How about Arizona’s own defense going back to full pressure and carry machine? With Murray, the Cardinals are a legitimate threat to the Super Bowl.
2. Green Bay Packers 9-3 (2)
The Packers enjoyed their goodbye at the end of the season as the best NFC and NFL teams around them won games. The Packers have a big win over the Cardinals on their résumé to push for the top spot down the stretch. Aaron Rodgers is playing very well and is looking for defense and the running game to become more important factors.
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9-3 (3)
The Buccaneers are back in their late offensive form from last season when they went to their successful Super Bowl as a wild-card team with great momentum. Tom Brady is caught in a lot of passes and even with a big mistake, he can be unstoppable with a big push from Leonard Fournette.
4. New England Patriots 8-4 (4)
The Patriots are the best team in the heaviest AFC thanks to their recent solid defensive work with the game’s best coach, Bill Belichick. They can flex more by beating the Bills in Buffalo on Monday night.
5. Kansas City Chiefs 8-4 (7)
The Chiefs dispatched Denver as expected Sunday night to keep moving away from the previously promising Raiders and Broncos. That also kept their distance from the Chargers in second place. Andy Reid is now 20-3 after a break and Kansas City is getting back in shape as the AFC team to beat, even with Patrick Mahomes not quite right.
6. Tennessee Titans 8-4 (6)
The Titans needed a break to regroup and be healthier in places to support their offense without Derrick Henry. Mike Vrabel’s team has been good at manufacturing wins and needs to continue to do so to show enough full pop with Ryan Tannehill to keep the Colts at bay in the division.
7. Baltimore Ravens 8-4 (5)
The Ravens hit a wall against rival Steelers on the road as they still struggle to combine their offense and defense for optimal results. There is some cause for concern, but John Harbaugh has Lamar Jackson’s cheat code to keep them on track to win the tough AFC North.
8. Buffalo Bills 7-4 (8)
The Bills crushed the Saints in week 12 for a much-needed recovery game on the road before facing the Patriots’ trap at home. Buffalo can still be a big threat in the AFC playoffs, but it would be a lot easier as a number one seed than a wild card.
9. Dallas Cowboys 8-4 (9)
The Cowboys followed the Bills to tear the Saints apart, and while their offense was still trying to figure out a few more things to restore their balance and explosiveness, their much-improved defense served as a reminder that they can take over games with greats, too. plays.
10. Los Angeles Rams 8-4 (11)
The Rams used the Jaguars to improve as expected at home, with Matthew Stafford playing more relaxed and the team relying more on the running game, as it should, to supplement the defense. Now that has to keep up with the best teams, especially the NFC threats.
11. Los Angeles Chargers 7-5 (13)
The Chargers remain steadfast in the playoff image and a big reason is how well the offense is doing with Justin Herbert working for Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler. The defense also came out and caught Joe Burrow, making his talented second-year QB the winner and more comfortable making big plays.
12. Cincinnati Bengals 7-5 (10)
The Bengals were neglected at their worst against the Chargers, as they lost an opportunity to strengthen their position in the playoffs by beating the Ravens in the AFC North. They are still shaping up to be a playoff team with Burrow, but the tough completion schedule is a major hurdle.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers 6-5-1 (17)
The Steelers saved their season and AFC North opportunities by beating the Ravens, and they got the advantage of the Bengals losing. The reigning North champs have a playoff shot now with Ben Roethlisberger playing better on his apparent swan song and improving defense.
14. Indianapolis Colts 7-6 (18)
The Colts are not trying to fool anyone with their game plans. They want to win on both lines of hitting by running the ball and stopping the run, and also getting great passes from Carson Wentz in a timely manner and some game-changing takeaways. Jonathan Taylor’s MVP opportunities should get more attention behind Murray and Brady.
15. Washington Soccer Team 6-6 (20)
Taylor Heinicke has led WFT to four straight victories in the hopes that his team will return to the playoffs, this time as a wild card above .500 with a chance of winning the division with the remaining two games against the Cowboys and Eagles. . That was an impressive and hard-fought victory for the Raiders.
16. San Francisco 49ers 6-6 (12)
The 49ers cooled down in Seattle against the desperate Seahawks, who were trying to give a lost season respectability. The 49ers still look great offensively and defensively at times, except that Sunday he was a fake punt scorer. They will try to get back on track in a key interconference game and a Super Bowl rematch with the Bengals.
17. Las Vegas Raiders 6-6 (14)
The Raiders got their big win over the Cowboys, but they had a key failure in the last minute against Washington. Derek Carr just isn’t helping them overcome their offensive deficiencies enough and the defense isn’t that great to shoot.
18. Cleveland Browns 6-6 (16)
The Browns should have liked the evolution of the Ravens, Bengals and Raiders losing during their break, giving them new life for another run to the playoffs. They should come out healthier led by Baker Mayfield, which tends to heat up in December.
19. Denver Broncos 6-6 (15)
The Broncos just didn’t have enough offensive juice to stick with Mahomes and the Chiefs on Sunday night. Teddy Bridgewater has been a competent bridge, but that’s about it. This team also suffers from finding an offensive and defensive mesh from week to week.
20. Philadelphia Eagles 6-7 (21)
The Eagles got a spark from Gardner Minshew at QB to take over for the Jets at the same ballpark where they had a mess against the Giants last week. The victory was huge to put them back on the brink of playoff position and also show how explosive and balanced their offense can be.
21. Miami Dolphins 6-7 (26)
The Dolphins have won five straight games making the most of a more favorable midseason schedule, though they have a win over the Ravens in that combination. Brian Flores’ defense feels it again as Tua Tagovailoa continues to deliver.
22. Minnesota Vikings 5-7 (19)
The Vikings wasted a game they needed by handing the Lions their first win in the dying moments. They’ve gotten ridiculous living and dying in close game with Kirk Cousins and Mike Zimmer, but will there be any changes from that in 2022?
23. Carolina Panthers 5-7 (24)
The Panthers went into crisis mode after losing to the Dolphins and now have more questions from QB than answers from Cam Newton. Not having Christian McCaffrey and Joe Brady alongside a fading defense can put them into freefall down the stretch.
24. Atlanta Falcons 5-7 (22)
The Falcons did their best to be with Brady and the Buccaneers, but Arthur Smith’s passing defense and inconsistent running game when they didn’t deploy Cordarrelle Patterson continue to cost his team in complementary football.
25. New Orleans Saints 5-7 (23)
The Saints tried to get a much-needed offensive spark from Taysom Hill, and while he ran well against the Cowboys, major passing issues should worry Sean Payton to commit more to him. The return of Alvin Kamara is the real spark New Orleans needs.
26. Seattle Seahawks 4-8 (28)
The Seahawks went to great lengths with offensive, defensive and special teams to defeat the 49ers while Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson put them in their best full spoiler mode.
27. New York Giants 4-8 (25)
The Giants didn’t have Daniel Jones against the Dolphins and their offense continued to look bad with just a few meats, mostly in the running game. He keeps wasting what has been a pretty strong overall defense.
28. Chicago Bears 4-8 (27)
The Bears couldn’t keep up with the Cardinals and the negative play script with poor defense is hurting Andy Dalton’s effectiveness and limited passing game. David Montgomery’s career provides the only reliable asset.
29. New York Jets 3-9 (29)
The Jets were more competitive against the Eagles with Zach Wilson looking better, but he continues to be burned by a limited offense around him and a weakened defense by Robert Saleh.
30. Houston Texans 2-10 (30)
What was that? The Texans have been fighting hard for David Culley, but now it has reached a point where they literally have nothing to show for it.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-10 (31)
The Jaguars did what was expected against the Rams, tumbling in all directions and destroying themselves from cable to cable. Is Urban Meyer sure you don’t want to find a way back to college?
32. Detroit Lions 1-10-1 (32)
The Lions had been working to win over the Vikings for the past month, with many close under-scoring results, including the Steelers draw. Kudos to Dan Campbell’s motivation to avoid another dubious distinction.