NFL Power Rankings: Reviewing Week 13 Standings After Sunday's ActionNovember 26, 2018
With three of the best teams in the NFL off Sunday, some of the franchises sitting in the middle of the standings received a chance to shine in the national spotlight.
The most impressive teams during Sunday's 11-game slate aren't in playoff positions yet, but their Week 12 victories set them up for a continued surge up the standings in December.
Nothing changed at the top of the conference standings Sunday, as Kansas City and the Los Angeles Rams sat out Week 12 on bye weeks and New Orleans kept its lead atop the NFC with a Thursday victory over Atlanta.
With five weeks left in the regular season, the most competitive playoff races are for the four wild-card spots, as a few divisions could be clinched early in December.
1. Kansas City (9-2)
2. New England (8-3)
3. Houston (7-3)
4. Pittsburgh (7-3-1)
5. Los Angeles Chargers (8-3)
6. Baltimore (6-5)
7. Indianapolis (6-5)
8. Tennessee (5-5)
9. Miami (5-6)
10. Cincinnati (5-6)
11. Denver (5-6)
12. Cleveland (4-6-1)
13. Buffalo (4-7)
14. Jacksonville (3-8)
15. New York Jets (3-8)
16. Oakland (2-9)
1. New Orleans (10-1)
2. Los Angeles Rams (10-1)
3. Chicago (8-3)
4. Dallas (6-5)
5. Minnesota (6-4-1)
6. Washington (6-5)
7. Seattle (6-5)
8. Carolina (6-5)
9. Philadelphia (5-6)
10. Green Bay (4-6-1)
11. Atlanta (4-7)
12. Tampa Bay (4-7)
13. Detroit (4-7)
14. New York Giants (3-8)
15. Arizona (2-9)
16. San Francisco (2-9)
1. New Orleans
2. Los Angeles Rams
3. Kansas City
4. New England
6. Los Angeles Chargers
21. Green Bay
24. Tampa Bay
28. New York Giants
30. New York Jets
32. San Francisco
Broncos, Colts Making Noise In AFC
If you're looking for an AFC team to root for down the stretch, Denver and Indianapolis are your best bets.
Frank Reich's Colts, who started 1-5, won their fifth consecutive game Sunday behind a game-winning Adam Vinatieri field goal.
The victory pushed the AFC South squad to the edge of the AFC wild-card race, with Baltimore ahead of it on the conference record tiebreaker.
The Colts are one of a few teams in the wild-card mix who could also make a run at a division title, as they take on Houston in a Week 14 clash.
Denver is starting to gain steam at the right time, and although it only has a two-game winning streak, the victories came against the Los Angeles Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers.
The recent resurgence in Denver has come at a perfect time since no team has distinguished itself as a favorite for the No. 6 seed.
The Broncos can gain an advantage in the wild-card race by beating Cincinnati in Week 13, a game that begins the start of a favorable December schedule.
Vance Joseph's team faces Cincinnati, San Francisco, Oakland, Cleveland and the Chargers over the next five weeks, and if it wins three or four of those contests, it'll be in good shape to qualify for the postseason.
NFC Wild-Card Race Is A Mess
Nine teams are separated by two games in the NFC wild-card race that no one has taken charge of.
Carolina appeared to be the favorite for the No. 5 seed at the start of November, but the Panthers have proceeded to lose three straight games, including Sunday's home defeat to Seattle, which now owns a head-to-head tiebreaker over Ron Rivera's team.
Washington dropped from the No. 4 seed as the NFC East leader after falling to Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, and both the Redskins and Cowboys are part of the group of four teams at 6-5.
One game back of the 6-5 conglomerate sits Philadelphia, who finally showed signs of life in a 25-22 win over the New York Giants that pushed it one game behind the Cowboys in the NFC East.
Tampa Bay, Detroit and Atlanta are all 4-7 and aren't considered playoff hopefuls by many, but if one of those franchises gets hot in December, they could sneak into the No. 6 seed.
To make the wild-card discussion even more confusing, the Eagles have three games left against the Redskins and Cowboys, while the Panthers have four NFC South contests left, two of which are against New Orleans.
Seattle has one of the easiest schedules left of the NFC wild-card contenders, but it must defeat Minnesota on Monday night in Week 14.
While the Vikings may be in good shape at the moment, a wild-card berth could escape them quickly with back-to-back road trips against New England and Seattle awaiting them.
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