Week 14 of the 2013 NFL regular season is approaching fast, and the focus has shifted to the power rankings and where each team stands heading into pivotal matchups.
With key meetings like Seattle vs. San Francisco, Detroit vs. Philadelphia and Carolina vs. New Orleans, football fans will be treated to a full slate of intriguing battles with major postseason implications.
Here is where every franchise is ranked heading into an important Week 14.
Which team is more likely to win the Super Bowl this season?
The Seattle Seahawks won the biggest matchup of Week 13 against the New Orleans Saints in convincing fashion. After beating New Orleans, it was clear that Seattle possessed the offensive firepower and defensive acumen to be the top contender in the NFC.
2. Denver Broncos (10-2)
Led by Peyton Manning and the league’s most dominant offensive attack, the Denver Broncos made it clear with yet another win over the Kansas City Chiefs that the franchise is the class of the AFC.
3. New Orleans Saints (9-3)
Despite being handed its most decisive loss of the season, the New Orleans Saints still have as much talent as any team in the league. The defense will continue to struggle at times, but as long as Drew Brees is under center, the Saints will always be legitimate contenders.
4. New England Patriots (9-3)
The New England Patriots followed up the huge win over the Broncos in Week 12 by beating the Houston Texans in dramatic fashion Sunday. There is still plenty of room to improve for Tom Brady and the entire roster, but the team is moving in the right direction.
5. Carolina Panthers (9-3)
After beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Carolina Panthers have stretched the franchise’s winning streak to eight games. A tough matchup against the Saints will be a great test, and the winner of the NFC South battle will have the inside track to a division title.
6. San Francisco 49ers (8-4)
The San Francisco 49ers have struggled to live up to the expectations set last season by reaching the Super Bowl, but two wins have the franchise heading in the right direction. A tough meeting with Seattle will reveal just how talented the 49ers truly are, though.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (8-4)
The Cincinnati Bengals are in the mix for a postseason berth, but this team has not played up to its potential. Unless quarterback Andy Dalton improves his accuracy and consistency, Cincinnati will never be a Super Bowl-caliber team.
8. Kansas City Chiefs (9-3)
Another defeat at the hands of the Denver Broncos and three straight losses overall would break the spirit of most teams, but the Kansas City Chiefs aren’t supposed to be in this position. The rebuilding organization wasn’t expected to be a major contender, but the team is close to being considered a viable Super Bowl contender.
9. Philadelphia Eagles (7-5)
Just like Kansas City, the Philadelphia Eagles were supposed to be in the midst of a rebuilding season. Seven wins later, Philadelphia is leading the hunt for the NFC East crown and a guaranteed playoff spot.
10. Arizona Cardinals (7-5)
The Arizona Cardinals lost a hard-fought game to the Eagles in Week 13, but the franchise still has plenty of talent to make a push for a wild-card spot. With one of the best defenses in the league, Arizona won't go out without a fight.
11. Dallas Cowboys (7-5)
The Dallas Cowboys are also in the hunt for a NFC East title, but the franchise must continue to fix the issues that have plagued the defensive secondary if it wants to secure a spot in the playoffs.
12. Detroit Lions (7-5)
It’s impossible to predict how the Detroit Lions will perform each week, but the team will face its biggest test to date against Philadelphia in Week 14. If Detroit considers itself one of the best organizations in the NFL, it must beat the Eagles Sunday.
13. Indianapolis Colts (8-4)
Who are the Indianapolis Colts? After beating Seattle, San Francisco and Denver, the Colts have lost to San Diego, St. Louis and Arizona. Andrew Luck and the entire Indianapolis franchise must find consistency before ever being considered a viable Super Bowl contender.
14. Baltimore Ravens (6-6)
Despite a win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thanksgiving, the Baltimore Ravens are still a shell of the defending Super Bowl champions. The team must capitalize on a favorable matchup against Minnesota in Week 14.
15. Chicago Bears (6-6)
An overtime loss to the Minnesota Vikings could be the breaking point for the Chicago Bears, and how the team handles its matchup with Dallas this week will be the deciding factor in the team’s contention in the NFC North.
16. San Diego Chargers (5-7)
Led by Philip Rivers, the San Diego Chargers have proven to have one of the most explosive offensive units in the NFL. The inconsistencies on both offense and defense have been the team’s biggest flaws, and they will ultimately be its downfall.
17. St. Louis Rams (5-7)
After a loss to San Francisco, the St. Louis Rams will be looking to bounce back by beating the division rival Arizona Cardinals this week. The NFC West battle should be intense and determine which of these franchises is farther along with its development.
18. Tennessee Titans (5-7)
The Tennessee Titans have a strong defense and an offense predicated on running the ball, but the team lacks the experience to perform consistently. While the Titans have struggled in 2013, this season is a great stepping stone moving forward.
19. Green Bay Packers (5-6-1)
Without Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) under center, the Green Bay Packers are not a playoff team. It’s that simple.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-7)
It’s hard to gauge how the Pittsburgh Steelers will play from week to week, but three wins in the last four games has the franchise trending in the right direction. The loss to Baltimore in Week 13 will not derail that momentum.
21. Miami Dolphins (6-6)
The Miami Dolphins have a strong defensive unit but have not been able to find any real consistency on the offensive side of the ball. Until quarterback Ryan Tannehill can develop a rapport with his receivers and the ground game can find its rhythm, the Dolphins will continue to struggle.
22. New York Giants (5-7)
Six losses in the first six weeks of the season had many fans claiming that the New York Giants were the worst team in the league. Five victories in the last six games since the slow start somehow have the franchise back in contention in the awful NFC East.
23. New York Jets (5-7)
Rookie quarterback Geno Smith has struggled, and the New York Jets must help him by simplifying the play-calling until he can regain his footing. In a tough New York media market, Smith needs to be coddled to help build his confidence.
24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-9)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were once considered one of the worst teams in the NFL, but a strong performance from both sides of the ball should have Tampa Bay fans excited about the future.
25. Cleveland Browns (4-8)
The Cleveland Browns deserve immense credit for a tough defensive unit that has not given up on the season, but the offense has been the real surprise. Despite Brandon Weeden starting at quarterback once again, his rapport with deep threat Josh Gordon is undeniable.
26. Buffalo Bills (4-8)
After a strong start to the season, the Buffalo Bills have lost four of the last five games and are in serious trouble heading into Week 14. With Buffalo hitting the road once again, fans should expect yet another tough loss.
27. Minnesota Vikings (3-8-1)
There is no team in the NFL that needs a viable starting quarterback more than the Minnesota Vikings. There is plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, but the lack of consistent play from the most important position in the sport is appalling.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-9)
The Jacksonville Jaguars have been the laughing stock of the NFL all season, but three wins in the last four games prove the team has plenty of talent and is looking to build momentum for next season.
29. Atlanta Falcons (3-9)
Just like the Houston Texans, the Atlanta Falcons were heralded as preseason favorites to make the Super Bowl. Nine losses later, the franchise is already turning its focus to the 2014 NFL draft.
30. Oakland Raiders (4-8)
The Oakland Raiders have lost four of the last five games heading into this week and have not played well. While Oakland has the talent to be a contender in the AFC, a tough division and a lack of experience across the depth chart has been the team’s downfall.
31. Washington Redskins (3-9)
With the inability to make defensive stops and an offense that has struggled to find any rhythm this season, the Washington Redskins have regressed as a franchise and find themselves sitting second to last heading into Week 14.
32. Houston Texans (2-10)
The Houston Texans came into the season as serious Super Bowl contenders. After Week 13, the Texans are dead last on the power rankings board and clearly one of the worst teams in the NFL.