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NFL Power Rankings through Week 13

Punter and holder Mat McBriar and kicker Dan Bailey glare in disbelief after coach Jason Garrett negated their winning kick and cost the Cowboys a win. (Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports)

Week 13 in the NFL saw a plethora of teams outside the top-five take a tumble.

The Cowboys, Falcons, Bengals, Raiders, and Lions all lost, and the teams lined up behind them reaped the benefits. In other words, a lot of teams took massive jumps in my power rankings essentially by default.

I’m talking to you, Jets and Broncos fans. Your quarterbacks still can’t spin the ball to hit the broadside of a barn. Don’t get too excited. As always, last week’s ranking in parentheses.

Without further ado, my weekly (albeit delayed) rankings of the loaded and the losers through Week 13:

32 (32). Indianapolis Colts (0-12)

The Colts scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to pull within seven. They still lost, but when you’re 0-12, I’m pretty sure there are such things as moral victories.

31 (31). St. Louis Rams (2-10)

The Rams managed to move the ball into 49ers territory three times on Sunday, but not once inside their opponent’s 35-yard line. I think it’s high time the curling horns decorating the helmets were replaced with shears of actual wool in honor of the team being renamed the St. Louis Sheep.

30 (30). Jacksonville Jaguars (3-9)

Blaine Gabbert is all kinds of terrible, from his miserable play on the field to that stringy hippy hair sticking out the back of his helmet.

29 (29). Minnesota Vikings (2-10)

The Vikings played reasonably well, accumulating 489 total yards and scoring 32 points, all without Adrian Peterson. But it was not meant to be, as the Hand of God reached down and caused Christian Ponder to throw a costly interception so Tim Tebow could keep winning football games and keep spreading the gospel.

28 (24). Cleveland Browns (4-8)

After getting embarrassed by Baltimore, the Browns have just three days to get ready for the Steelers on Thursday night. The Cleveland Frowns, everybody!

27 (22). Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-8)

With Josh Freeman out, the Bucs barely mustered 19 points against Carolina’s terrible defense. Maybe the “winky pirate face” decal on the throwback helmets isn’t the right message when you’re trying to avoid your sixth straight loss.

26 (23). Washington Redskins (4-8)

After two surprisingly competent performances, Rex Grossman lost his sexy luster with a stinker against the Jets: 19-46, 221 yards, 1 INT, and 2 miniature, weirdly folded ears.

25 (28). Carolina Panthers (4-8)

Cam Newton set the single-season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with 3 in Sunday’s win. Hooray for individual accolades!

24 (26). Kansas City Chiefs (5-7)

The Chiefs may have won, but only by the grace of a miraculous hail mary to end the first half. And Caleb Hanie’s best Blaine Gabbert impression.

23 (19). Philadelphia Eagles (4-8)

After 4 picks on Sunday (bringing his season total to 9 INTs in just 114 pass attempts), could Vince Young be any worse? Now that Michael Vick is healthy enough to play again, sadly, we won’t get the chance to find out. Gosh, I love watching QBs self-combust.

22 (20). Buffalo Bills (5-7)

After five straight losses, Buffalo is more like Buffa-blow. Thought of that all by myself.

21 (27). Arizona Cardinals (5-7)

The Cardinals continued their recent dominance over the Cowboys in Arizona with an overtime win, which was surprising when you consider how Arizona’s strict immigration law should favor America’s team.

20 (25). Seattle Seahawks (5-7)

Marshawn Lynch, aka “Beast Mode,” bullied the Eagles on his way to 148 yards and 2 TDs on 22 carries. QB Tarvaris Jackson commented after the game, “It’s like every carry is his last carry.”

Whoa. Deep.

19 (12). Chicago Bears (7-5)

I hate Brett Favre. I hate his retirement flip-flopping, I hate that he played for the Jets, I hate his constant scruffy excuse of a beard, I hate that his name makes zero phonetic sense, I hate that I can’t wear my Wranglers without conjuring up all that hatred (they also make my butt look big, but that’s neither here nor there).

My point is, even with all that bitter vitriol and spite of mine, if I were running the Bears, I would still place a courtesy call to the Gunslinger after another Caleb Hanie pants-crapping experiment. You shouldn’t be allowed to lose to Tyler Palko and get away with it.

18 (21). San Diego Chargers (5-7)

The Chargers put up 38 points in their first win in almost two months. Maybe all this time Norv Turner thought the NFL lockout was ongoing along with the NBA lockout.

17 (13). Detroit Lions (7-5)

Another loss has the Lions at 2-5 since their 5-0 start. Even with the Suh-stomper suspended for two games, Detroit still committed 11 penalties for 107 yards. It’s like a bunch of angsty teens running around in tights and rebelling against their parents.

16 (11). Oakland Raiders (7-5)

Don’t let Carson Palmer’s 273 yards and 2 touchdowns fool you; he couldn’t complete 50% of his passes, even with all those garbage time attempts against a prevent defense. In short, I don’t think they’re eventually going to name a drink after this Palmer.

15 (18). Miami Dolphins (4-8)

The Dolphins are playing so well behind Reggie Bush and their suddenly stingy defense that I kind of want a pair of Tony Sparano sunglasses.

14 (10). Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)

The Bengals reverted to Bungle status with an embarrassing 28-point drubbing. Cue Jethro Tull!

13 (14). New York Giants (6-6)

So close, yet so far. Awwwwww.

12 (17). Tennessee Titans (7-5)

With another 153 yards and 2 touchdowns, Chris Johnson ran away with this space, which I had reserved for making fun of him. Sad face.

11 (7). Dallas Cowboys (7-5)

In case you were living under a rock, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett took a timeout to ice his own kicker. He literally gave Dan Bailey a Gatorade bath during the timeout to help him “visualize” the victory with the premature celebration.

10 (9). Atlanta Falcons (7-5)

The Falcons continue to struggle on offense despite having Michael Turner, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez, and Matt Ryan. Oh, you mean football isn’t played out on AccuScore?

9 (16). New York Jets (7-5)

The Jets piled on 21 points in the game’s last five minutes to win 34-19, and now everyone is comparing Mark Sanchez to Tim Tebow for his theatrical fourth-quarter comebacks. For a QB who just went to two straight AFC championship games, I would say that’s a step back in Sanchez’s development.

8 (15). Denver Broncos (7-5)

With Sunday’s last-second win over the Vikings, the Broncos are 7-5 and in first place in the AFC West. Yes, the Broncos look like they’ll make the playoffs.

So much for that logic class I took in college. (Hence the massive jump in the rankings.)

7 (8). Houston Texans (9-3)

Could T.J. Yates be to football what Y.B. Yeats was to poetry? So I’m an English major. Sue me.

6 (6). New England Patriots (9-3)

If there were such a thing as an embarrassing victory, this would be it, as the Patriots gave up 21 points and failed to get a first down in the fourth quarter. I’m officially dreading the playoffs more than the consequences of eating a dozen 99 cent burritos from Taco Bell.

5 (5). Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3)

The Steelers romped to a 35-7 win behind 28 second-quarter points. It looks like the Steelers are well on their way to wrapping up that #5 seed in the AFC. Nice!

4 (4). San Francisco 49ers (10-2)

I don’t know whether it’s more impressive that the 49ers haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown all year or that San Fran wrapped up their division on Sunday. Or that they’ve done it with Alex Freakin’ Smith as their quarterback.

3 (3). New Orleans Saints (9-3)

Drew Brees threw for 342 yards to become the first quarterback in NFL history to ever pass for over 4,000 yards in his first 12 games. Talk about the Big Easy.

2 (2). Baltimore Ravens (9-3)

Ray Rice rumbled for 204 yards to cover up another crappy day by Joe Flacco (10-23, 158 yards). How long before Ray Lewis goes crazy and kills Flacco out of frustration?

1 (1). Green Bay Packers (12-0)

Now the Packers can add a last-minute comeback to their perfect-season résumé. They’re definitely getting hired to win the Super Bowl.

About Nick Bohlen - @ndbohlen

Nick is an editor and regular contributor for the Patriots, Celtics, and Red Sox sections of SoB. (Despite growing up in Vermont, just a short drive from Canada, hockey never really caught on with him.) Follow him on twitter: @ndbohlen

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