Week 13 of the NFL Power Rankings are here and guess which team is still on top, the Green Bay Packers. Surprise! They are still undefeated and are getting better defensively as the season moves towards its final destination. The San Francisco 49ers finally lost a second game and quarterback injuries are going to be tough for the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans to overcome. The Oakland Raiders, however, are surging so that's fun.
1. Green Bay Packers (11-0): Aaron Rodgers and the Packers feasted on the generous Lions who threw picks and stomped their way into critical mistakes on Thanksgiving morning. This team is rounding into form on the defensive side of the ball to complement the assumed MVP and his merry band of pass catchers. Scary good.
2. San Francisco 49ers (9-2): The Niners certainly weren't embarrassed in their big test against the Ravens and it's hard to punish them for that loss, on that day, in that environment, against that brother. They've all but locked up the NFC West and should be a dangerous playoff team.
4. Baltimore Ravens (8-3): When it matters most, the Ravens play well. They've suffered some bad losses this season but they are healthy (for the most part) and like most teams, improving. The battle for the AFC North will be fun to watch and we can only pray for a rematch in the playoffs against the Steelers.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3): The Kansas City Chiefs remain a feisty team and they gave the Steelers all they could handle at home. Big Ben Roethlisberger shook off a broken thumb (Mr. Tough Guy) and fired 21-31 to get the win.
6. New England Patriots (8-3): All they do is win, win, win no matter what and Tom Brady can't be stopped, certainly not by the Philadelphia Eagles mess of a team. The Pats have a fairly easy schedule remaining and certainly aren't worried about the Jets or Bills catching them. The playoffs and Tom Brady were made for each other.
7. Houston Texans (8-3): The Texans won but they lost Matt Leinart for the season and now they have T.J. Yates running the show. Even with Arian Foster and a solid defense, it's hard to see this ending well. Actually, they only have the Bengals, Panthers, Colts and Titans to close out the season so they should be able to still reach the postseason where their first game will be a blast!
8. Oakland Raiders (7-4): Remember when we all made fun of the Raiders getting Carson Palmer? He's won three-straight after his first start and is doing just enough not to lose the game and that's been without Darren McFadden. They only have a one-game lead on the Tim Tebows, however, so this one could come down to the wire in the AFC West. And yes, the Raiders gave up too much for Carson Palmer.
9. Dallas Cowboys (7-4): They didn't blow the doors (fins?) off the Dolphins on Turkey Day but they got the job done and they should be able to hold off the Giants and win the NFC East because someone has to.
10. Detroit Lions (7-4): It's hard to have a lot of love for the Lions at this point. They have just two wins out of six since their 5-0 start and don't exactly look...disciplined. Fortunately for them, the Bears lost Jay Cutler so they still might sneak into the playoffs although they do have the Saints, Raiders and Packers left on their schedule.
We won't bother with the teams outside the Top Ten, because well ... they're not that good. In local news, the Arizona Cardinals (and John Skelton) pulled out a win against a horrible St. Louis Rams team no thanks to their quarterback (John Skelton). Beanie Wells ran roughshod over the Rams and Kevin Kolb will be back next week as the Cardinals start the end of their season with four of five at home.