NFL Power Rankings Week 13: Projecting Records for All 32 Teams

Matt Stein@MatthewJSteinCorrespondent IINovember 29, 2011

NFL Power Rankings Week 13: Projecting Records for All 32 Teams

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    Week 13 of the NFL Power Rankings has seen some major movement from top to bottom. Teams like the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles continue to fall as the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos continue to rise.

    Last week, I went bold on predicting the final records for every team. This week, I've kept nearly half the teams at the same record, while going a little more conservative on others.

    Here are the NFL power rankings for Week 13 with record predictions for all 32 teams.

32. Indianapolis Colts

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    Last Week's Rank: 32

    I've started to hate watching the Indianapolis Colts lose.

    This isn't the same type of defeated team as the 2008 Detroit Lions that went 0-16. This is a franchise that is used to winning, and it is hard to watch it lose so much.

    There are no bright spots for this team except for the top overall draft pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 3-13

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 1-15

    I'll admit that three wins was rather bold, but I really expected the Colts to beat the Carolina Panthers on Sunday and start turning their season around. Hopefully, they'll get that one win.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Last Week's Rank: 31

    With each week that passes, it feels more and more like Blaine Gabbert simply isn't the answer for the Jacksonville Jaguars. A few rough games in your rookie year is understandable, but playing poorly in every game is unacceptable.

    Just look at every other rookie quarterback and how they are performing. With the exception of Colin Kaepernick, every one has shown immense potential.

    However, Gabbert simply continues to struggle week after week. That isn't a good sign.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 3-13

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 3-13

    Jacksonville won't win another game this year. Nope, not even against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 17.

30. Minnesota Vikings

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    Last Week's Rank: 30

    Every once in a while you get a team that has talent across the board, but it just can't put it all together. The Minnesota Vikings have been one of those teams this year.

    Christian Ponder has struggled, but there is no doubting his potential as a starting quarterback in this league. The Vikings also have talented players like Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen and Percy Harvin, yet they can't figure out how to win games.

    If Minnesota can draft well with a high pick in the upcoming draft, this team should do well next season.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 3-13

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 2-14

    The only game I thought the Vikings could win was against the Washington Redskins, but I don't see that happening anymore.

29. St. Louis Rams

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    Last Week's Rank: 29

    I'm not sure if there has been a team this year as disappointing as the St. Louis Rams.

    They were supposed to dominate the NFC West, but they currently sit in the cellar. There have been a few times where it has looked like things were turning around, but then they seem to be even worse the following week.

    The problem with St. Louis is that it is difficult to single out what has gone wrong with this team. It's not just the offense, and it's not just the defense, either. It's everything.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 4-12

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 3-13

    This team has to win one more game, right?

28. Kansas City Chiefs

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    Last Week's Rank: 23

    The slide just keeps on happening for the Kansas City Chiefs.

    The loss of Matt Cassel appears to be huge for this team. With Cassel, the Chiefs had a chance to win most games they played. However, without him, they look poised to lose every game from here on out.

    Few teams have been hit as hard with the injury bug as Kansas City has, so I'm not ready to give up completely on the franchise. Remember, this is a team that is only one year removed from the playoffs.

    It's definitely time for this team to move on and get ready for next season.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 4-12

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 4-12

    Kansas City has lost four straight, and it is going to add another five to that streak to finish the season without another win.

27. San Diego Chargers

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    Last Week's Rank: 24

    For a team that started the season 4-1 and was looking like a Super Bowl contender, the San Diego Chargers continue their rapid plummet to the bottom of the power rankings.

    They drop another three spots this week thanks to an overtime loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday. This team has problems all over the field, most of them, however, starting with Philip Rivers.

    Heading into the season, Rivers was considered one of the "elite" quarterbacks in the NFL. Now, he is nowhere near "elite" status.

    When your team's quarterback is falling fast, the rest of the team can only follow.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 8-8

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 6-10

    The loss to the Broncos really sealed it for me with the Chargers. Heck, a 6-10 record might even be a stretch for this team.

26. Seattle Seahawks

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    Last Week's Rank: 26

    Even with a loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday, I like the Seattle Seahawks much more than any of the teams ranked below them.

    The reasoning behind that is that on every Sunday, they come to play. They may not win the game, but you can never question this team's effort. They play 110 percent week in and week out.

    People want to throw Pete Carroll under the bus for the poor season in Seattle, but with the roster he has, it is a miracle that this team has won four games. He gives this team the best chance to win.

    The Seahawks won't be making the playoffs this year, but they can only go up from here.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 5-11

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 5-11

    I'm sticking with the same record for Seattle as I still see them beating either the St. Louis Rams or Arizona Cardinals before the season is done.

25. Buffalo Bills

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    Last Week's Rank: 25 

    When you lose one of the best players in the league, like the Buffalo Bills did when they lost Fred Jackson, it takes time to recover.

    Buffalo's 5-2 start to the season was no fluke. This is a talented team that had simply hit a bump in the road that was followed by a flat tire when Jackson was lost for the season.

    It will get better in Buffalo before it gets worse. We saw that this is still a team capable of winning when the Bills nearly beat the New York Jets on the road.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 6-10

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 6-10

    The loss of Jackson certainly hurts, but like I said, they'll eventually get over it and win one more game this season.

24. Carolina Panthers

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    Last Week's Rank: 27

    This may seem a little high of a ranking for the Carolina Panthers considering they only beat the Indianapolis Colts, but I like the way they won that game.

    They didn't beat the Colts because of a huge game by Cam Newton. They won because they played fundamentally sound football and beat a team they were supposed to beat.

    Their defense played well, and their offense held onto the ball and didn't make mistakes. It was a good win for a team that appears to be improving.

    Carolina is going to be a tough team to beat for the rest of the season.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 4-12

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 5-11

    The Panthers have a difficult final schedule, but I still like them coming away with two more wins before the season is over. Look for them to sweep the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or steal a late game against the Houston Texans in Week 15.

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Last Week's Rank: 21

    After losing to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, I strongly considered dropping this team even further down the power rankings.

    However, I just couldn't do it. Even riding a five-game losing streak, I still think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a better football team than those ranked below them.

    They have been playing solid football on both sides of the ball, but it simply hasn't turned into wins. We've seen what this team is capable of, and it will only be a matter of time before things begin to fall their way.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 7-9

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 6-10

    I really thought the Buccaneers were going to turn it around against the Titans, which is why their record only drops by one game.

22. Arizona Cardinals

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    Last Week's Rank: 28

    This may seem like a huge jump for a team that barely beat the St. Louis Rams, but the win for the Arizona Cardinals showed me a few things.

    First, it showed me that Beanie Wells is the real deal at running back. Seriously, his 228 rushing yards was ridiculous. He is quietly becoming a better offensive threat than Larry Fitzgerald.

    Their win also showed me that once Kevin Kolb returns, this could be a very dangerous team. The fact that the Cardinals are winning without their starting quarterback—and with John Skelton filling in—is rather impressive.

    Call me crazy, but I think Arizona is going to shock some teams late in the season.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 4-12

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 6-10

    I'm upping this team's wins by two this week as I see them beating the Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns in their final five games.

21. Philadelphia Eagles

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    Last Week's Rank: 20

    As I write, I feel ashamed for only dropping the Philadelphia Eagles one spot this week in the power rankings.

    I'm not doing it because I'm an Eagles fan. I'm doing it because even though they are a complete mess right now, I still think they are better than every team ranked below them.

    The big issue with Philadelphia has been the chemistry and execution from all the big name free agents that they signed. When you watch, you clearly see the potential of this team, but then they completely fall apart.

    If the Eagles finish in last place in the NFC East, I can't see how Andy Reid keeps his job.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 7-9

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 6-10

    An easy schedule could be forgiving for this team down the stretch. It could also prove to be awful.

    Honestly, who knows with this team anymore?

20. Miami Dolphins

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    Last Week's Rank: 19

    The reason I'm not dropping the Miami Dolphins down the power rankings after a Thanksgiving Day loss is because they were a last-second field goal away from winning their fourth straight game.

    Against one of the hottest teams in the NFL, the Dolphins played a great game. They stuck with the Dallas Cowboys every step of the way and almost won an extremely difficult game on the road.

    Kudos to you, Miami.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 5-11

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 4-12

    If it wasn't for a rather difficult remaining schedule, I'd probably have kept the Dolphins at 5-11. However, four wins for a team that was standing at zero wins for nearly half the season is still impressive.

19. Washington Redskins

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    Last Week's Rank: 22

    I thought I would never say this during the 2011 NFL season, but the Washington Redskins are a better team than the Philadelphia Eagles. I closed my eyes while typing that. Did the world end?

    In all seriousness, though, this team is an overtime loss away from being in contention for the NFC East crown. What is even crazier is some of that is due to the play of Rex Grossman. Damn, there's another thing I thought I would never say.

    These Redskins keep blowing my mind.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 5-11 

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 6-10

    Two more wins should be easy for this team, especially if Mike Shanahan decides to stick with Roy Helu as his primary running back.

18. Cleveland Browns

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    Last Week's Rank: 16

    I'm dropping the Cleveland Browns down the rankings this week. It isn't because they lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, it's because of the decision they made on Sunday regarding their ground game.

    How do you only give a player who rushed for 115 yards the previous week three carries the following week? Listen, I understand Peyton Hillis is a beloved figure, but the truth is he's been a giant canker sore to this team all year long.

    Had the Browns let Chris Ogbonnaya carry the ball more than three times, I fully believe they would have stole the win from Cincinnati.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 6-10

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 6-10

    Even with their crazy decision regarding Hillis, the Browns are still moving in the right direction. Their schedule isn't easy and two wins is a stretch, but I still think they will get them.

17. Tennessee Titans

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    Last Week's Rank: 17

    One big thing to take from the Tennessee Titans victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was Chris Johnson's 190 rushing yards.

    It was easily Johnson's best game of the season as the finally looked like his old self. For a team still fighting for a playoff spot, his emergence couldn't have come at a better time.

    While I still believe the Titans will miss the playoffs, it must be nice to know the huge payday they gave to Johnson may not be a total waste.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 8-8

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 9-7

    With an easy remaining schedule, three wins should be a cake walk for this team.

16. Cincinnati Bengals

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    Last Week's Rank: 15

    Are the Cincinnati Bengals really as talented as a 7-4 team should be? Probably not, but you have to appreciate the way this team is winning its games.

    The Bengals aren't blowing teams out or overpowering them offensively or defensively. They are simply playing 60 minutes of football.

    Their four losses this season have been by a combined 21 points. This team may not be the most talented in the league, but it could easily be 8-3 or 9-2 instead of 7-4.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 8-8

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 9-7

    The Bengals will beat the St. Louis Rams and steal a victory from either the Pittsburgh Steelers or Baltimore Ravens to finish the season with a winning record.

15. Denver Broncos

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    Last Week's Rank: 18

    It's impossible to not move the Denver Broncos up the power ranking list after another close victory.

    I have no idea how they are winning, but somehow, they are. There will come a time when their offense will no longer be effective, but I'm not sure that will happen this year.

    Heck, even if teams figure out how to stop Tim Tebow, I'm not sure they will ever figure out how to stop Von Miller. He's been just as important to the Broncos' turnaround in their season as Tebow.

    I've tried to stay as far away from the Broncos' bandwagon as possible, but I now have my pinkie toe in it.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 8-8

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 9-7

    The Broncos will win their next two games before dropping two of their last three to fall a little short of the playoffs.

14. Chicago Bears

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    Last Week's Rank: 9

    After Jay Cutler got injured, I dropped the Chicago Bears down the power rankings last week. After watching Caleb Hanie this week, I'm dropping them even further.

    I don't know if anyone really knew how crucial Cutler was to the Bears, but now that they will be without him for another five or so weeks, they will have plenty of time to regain their appreciation of Cutler.

    There is no doubt Matt Forte is an ultra-talented player, but even he took a major hit in his production with Hanie instead of Cutler. Not even Chicago's great defense is going to be able to save this team.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 10-6

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 9-7

    Even though Chicago has three remaining games against teams with a losing record, it will only win two of those games to fall short of a playoff berth.

13. New York Jets

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    Last Week's Rank: 14

    Let me start by saying that there is nothing enjoyable about the New York Jets. Yes, that includes the colorful Rex Ryan.

    This is a team that plays well, then plays poorly, then picks it up at the end of the season to barely sneak into the playoffs. I almost guarantee they will bore us with another trip to the AFC Championship game where Mark Sanchez will lose again.

    It happens every year, and with each passing year it becomes less and less enjoyable.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 9-7

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 10-6

    A 10-6 record is going to be necessary to make the playoffs in the AFC, which is why the Jets will finish with that exact record.

12. New York Giants

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    Last Week's Rank: 12

    After their third straight loss, I strongly considered dropping the New York Giants down the list. However, I then started thinking about which teams below them are actually better, and I couldn't come up with any.

    It's true the Giants are struggling right now, but this is still a team that has talent on both sides of the ball. No team has played better with so many injuries, but in the past few weeks it has appeared as if those injuries have finally caught up to New York.

    After starting the season extremely hot, Eli Manning has cooled off. While he is almost guaranteed to shoulder most of the blame for the Giants fading, he doesn't deserve it.

    This current losing streak has been the fault of the entire team, not just Manning.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 9-7

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 8-8

    The Giants may have the toughest remaining schedule with games against the Green Bay Packers, New York Jets and two games against the Dallas Cowboys still remaining. I just don't think they are tough enough to win more than one of those games.

11. Oakland Raiders

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    Last Week's Rank: 13

    What I like most about the Oakland Raiders is they are winning without one of the best players in the league, Darren McFadden.

    When McFadden went down with an injury, nearly everyone thought Oakland's season was over. However, it has endured and won three straight games to pull into first place in the AFC West.

    Once McFadden returns, this will be an even more dangerous team that will have the firepower to beat any other team in the league.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 10-6

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 11-5

    The only loss I see for Oakland from here on out is when it travels to play the Green Bay Packers in Week 14.

10. Detroit Lions

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    Last Week's Rank: 8

    A Thanksgiving Day loss to the Green Bay Packers has dropped the Detroit Lions, but not very far.

    The fact that Detroit was able to keep Green Bay to only 86 yards in the first half is an extremely impressive feat. Unfortunately, the Lions weren't able to cash in, which ultimately caused them the game.

    Even though they have puttered the past few weeks, Detroit still has plenty going for it on both sides of the ball. Its aggressive defense and high-powered offense will give plenty of teams problems in the weeks to come.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 10-6

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 10-6

    Thanks to Jay Cutler's injury, the Lions will be making the playoffs this year.

9. Houston Texans

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    Last Week's Rank: 11

    You may be wondering how a team that has lost its starting and second-string quarterback for the season could be rising in the rankings. Well, let me explain.

    As good as Matt Schaub has been for the Houston Texans' franchise, this team now belongs to Arian Foster. He has become one of the best all-purpose running backs in the league, and since he returned from injury, he has been an absolute beast.

    So, as long as whomever Houston throws under center for the remainder of the season can effectively hand the ball to Foster and throw him screen passes, this team will be fine.

    Also, Andre Johnson returned. He's really good too.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 11-5

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 11-5

    Not even T.J. Yates starting at quarterback could cause this team to lose more than two games for the remainder of the season.

8. Dallas Cowboys

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    Last Week's Rank: 10

    Seeing Tony Romo win back-to-back close games is like facing off with a honey badger and surviving to tell the tale. It never happens.

    However, Romo and the Dallas Cowboys have turned their season around and now control their own destiny for making the playoffs. The offense is clicking, and the defense is playing fantastic football. Everything is currently going right in Dallas.

    Few teams have come as far as the Cowboys have since the start of the season, and I absolutely see them continuing their great play for the rest of the season.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 11-5

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 11-5

    Romo and the Cowboys will finish the season strong and lock up a home playoff game.

7. Atlanta Falcons

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    Last Week's Rank: 7

    No team was harder to place than the Atlanta Falcons this week. Yes, they won, but they hardly looked impressive against a bad Minnesota Vikings team.

    So, I couldn't rank them higher, but I also couldn't drop them in the rankings. I guess they'll just have to be happy with staying at the same spot for another week.

    One great thing from the Falcons' win on Sunday was the performance of Roddy White. For a player as talented as White is, we just haven't seen him play that well this year.

    When White is playing like he was on Sunday, Atlanta is an extremely difficult team to beat.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 11-5

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 11-5

    Atlanta's only loss will come at the hands of the New Orleans Saints in Week 16. That loss will cost it the divisional crown.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Last Week's Rank: 5 

    Here is a rule of thumb for the power rankings: If you want to move up the list, you don't beat the Kansas City Chiefs with Tyler Palko as their starting quarterback by a score of 13-9.

    With that said, I still think the Steelers are going to win the AFC North, but that has more to do with their remaining schedule than the fact that they are the most talented team in their division.

    One thing you have to like about Pittsburgh right now is how suffocating the defense is playing. It's only given up 20 or more points three times this year.

    Come playoff time, the defense will be a huge plus for the Steelers.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 12-4

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 13-3

    The only remaining loss I see for this team is when it travels to take on the San Francisco 49ers. Other than that, it has a rather easy schedule to a divisional crown.

5. San Francisco 49ers

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    Last Week's Rank: 2

    Dropping three spots may be a little harsh for only losing to a top team, but the teams that jumped ahead of the San Francisco 49ers were really impressive in Week 12.

    Losing to the Baltimore Ravens isn't what concerns me with this team. Rather, it was the fact Alex Smith got sacked nine times on the night that is concerning.

    Now teams have a blueprint on how to beat the 49ers. All they need to be able to do is put constant pressure on Smith. While that may sound easier than it truly is, there are a few teams in the NFC that have that ability, such as the Green Bay Packers, New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys.

    It will be interesting to see how this team responds this week against the St. Louis Rams. If the 49ers dominate, it's all good in San Francisco.

    However, if they struggle to win, it could spell trouble.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 14-2

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 13-3

    While I originally thought San Francisco would lose to the Ravens, the way in which it did makes me believe it will lose one more game before the season is over.

4. Baltimore Ravens

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    Last Week's Rank: 6

    I'm no longer calling the Baltimore Ravens by their official name. Their new name to me is Jekyll and Hyde—mild-mannered and losing one week, ferocious and dominating the next.

    Hopefully, this team's act of showing up one week and playing flat the next week is over because when this team plays like it did on Thanksgiving Day, it's really fun to watch.

    Not only that, but the Ravens also become one of the best teams in the NFL and a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Their defense might be the best in the league, and while their offense struggles at times, they have all the right pieces in place to be very proficient.

    It was a huge win for Baltimore this week, and it was a win that could possibly put this team on track for a deep playoff run.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 10-6

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 12-4

    With only one team remaining with a winning record on their schedule, the Ravens will only drop one game the rest of the way.

3. New England Patriots

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    Last Week's Rank: 3

    A convincing win over a fading Philadelphia Eagles team was impressive, but not impressive enough to move the New England Patriots up in the rankings this week.

    This team, however, is hitting its stride. It's won three straight games in convincing fashion.

    The offense is clicking (30-plus points in three games), and the defense isn't letting up the big plays that it was earlier in the year. Everything is going right for the Patriots.

    While the Baltimore Ravens are creeping up on being the best team in the AFC, for another week, that honor belongs to Tom Brady and the Patriots.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 13-3

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 13-3

    New England will close out the season with five straight wins to seal up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

2. New Orleans Saints

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    Last Week's Rank: 4

    After a 49-24 thrashing of the New York Giants on Monday night, is there any doubt the New Orleans Saints are the second-best team in the league?

    While their defense is still a little suspicious, their offense is off the charts. Drew Brees is leading an offense that is almost (and by "almost" I mean "really, really close") as good as the Green Bay Packers offense.

    Since it is going to take a high-powered offense to beat a team like Green Bay or the New England Patriots in the playoffs, I'd say that the Saints are in a pretty good position right now.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 12-4

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 12-4

    The win over the Giants was extremely impressive, but with games against some other high-powered offenses, I still see New Orleans dropping one more game.

1. Green Bay Packers

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    Last Week's Rank: 1 

    I think it is safe to keep the Green Bay Packers at the top of the power rankings for the remainder of the season.

    Even with back-to-back performances that were less than spectacular, Green Bay won both of those games. This team isn't just a team that is offensively destroying its opponents. This is a team that is simply winning football games in any way it can.

    There are plenty of things to like about the Packers, but what I like most is their ability to adapt in the second half of games. So many times this year, we have seen Green Bay struggle in the first half, and absolutely explode in the second.

    That ability will give the Packers a chance to win any game, no matter how much they may be down.

     

    Last Week's Final Record Prediction: 16-0

    This Week's Final Record Prediction: 16-0

    I still can't see this team losing a game. Perfection is still in the Packers' future.