Tom Brady hurt my feelings.
The New England Patriots quarterback in his weekly interview with WEEI-FM in Boston was in the middle of a long, rambling answer about the importance of playing good football at this time of year and blah, blah, blah, on and on when he said something that cuts to the core of any NFL power ranker out there.
“I know there’s power rankings and all that B.S.,” he said, before continuing his stock, run-of-the-mill answer.
That one stings. To have anyone sit there and say the work you do is “B.S.,” well, that cuts to the core.
Despite what Brady says, though, the show must go on, and we’ll continue to power-rank away, no matter what kind of excrement the Patriots QB believes we’re slinging.
Here are the Week 13 NFL power rankings.
1. New England Patriots (10-1, Last week: 1): The Ravens are hotter and look far more explosive, but the Patriots still have home-field advantage, the greatest coach of all time and perhaps the single-greatest winner in sports history under center. Oh, and a potentially historic defense.
2. Baltimore Ravens (9-2, 2): Monday night could have been a trap game of sorts for Baltimore on the West Coast, but Lamar Jackson and Co. beat the brakes off the Rams. It’s going to be hard for them to leap-frog the Patriots in the AFC, though, as they host the 49ers at home in Week 13 before heading to Buffalo in Week 14.
3. San Francisco 49ers (10-1, 3): If the Ravens didn’t win so decisively Monday, the No. 2 spot would have belonged to the 49ers, who removed little doubt about their standing as the best team in the far superior conference with a thorough dismantling of the Packers on Sunday night.
4. Seattle Seahawks (9-2, 4): Russell Wilson has fallen off his MVP pace the last two weeks, yet Seattle still found a way to pick up wins at San Francisco and at Philadelphia. To win road games against those kinds of teams without your best player at his best is a sign this team could actually be for real.
5. New Orleans Saints (9-2, 5): Do bad wins exist? Because if they do, that’s exactly what New Orleans had Sunday against Carolina. They should have been able to run all over the Panthers, especially after going up 31-18 in the second half, but they ended up needing Joey Slye to miss a chip-shot field goal late in the fourth. That said, they were able to move up to the NFC’s No. 2 seed with the last-second win.
6. Minnesota Vikings (8-3, 7): It was a great bye week for the Vikings, who now look like a lock for the playoffs thanks to losses from the Eagles, Cowboys and Rams. They’re also now tied with Green Bay for first in the NFC North with a Week 16 home game vs. the Pack that might decide the division.
7. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4, 8): The season hasn’t gone as planned for the Chiefs, but they should be healthier out of the bye, and four of their remaining five games are very winnable. The lone exception is a Week 14 game in Foxboro that could be the perfect spot for a statement win.
8. Green Bay Packers (8-3, 6): Last week, we asked, “How good are the Packers?” They responded with an absolute no-show in San Fran that has prompted legitimate questions about whether they’re a soft team as well as Matt LaFleur’s ability to get his team ready and/or adjust in games. In between running for his life behind an overmatched offensive line, Aaron Rodgers looked lost.
9. Houston Texas (7-4, 10): They took care of business Thursday night in the division, and now Bill O’Brien’s bunch gets its biggest test of the regular season Sunday night vs. the Patriots. O’Brien typically fails these tests — miserably. Houston is 0-5 vs. the Patriots under O’Brien, even going 1-4 against the spread in those games.
10. Buffalo Bills (8-3, 11): The Bills might have unlocked some things with their offense. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has spent the last two weeks calling games from the booth — not the sideline — and the Bills put up 424 yards in each game, scoring an average of 28 points in those contests.
11. Dallas Cowboys (6-5, 9): There really isn’t much shame in losing at New England, but the Cowboys are arguably more talented than the Patriots right now, and it never felt like they had a chance to win Sunday. That’s on the coaching — just ask Jerry Jones.
12. Indianapolis Colts (6-5, 14): Moving up two spots after a loss? Huh? Well, the teams we had in this neighborhood last week all lost, but Indy’s divisional Thursday night loss was the least offensive of the bunch.
13. Tennessee Titans (6-5, 17): In the blink of an eye, the Titans went from leading the Jaguars 7-3 to being up 28-3. Ryan Tannehill had a masterful performance (no, really), and Derrick Henry ran wild. If both of those things continue — starting this week against the Colts — Tennessee will be playing in the playoffs.
14. Los Angeles Rams (6-5, 13): Getting boat-raced by Lamar Jackson and the Ravens has become something of a trend, so join the club, Rams. The biggest issues for LA, though? They’ve scored 35 points combined the last three weeks. Sean McVay’s team hit 35 points in seven games last season.
15. Oakland Raiders (6-5, 12): Despite entering the week with a 6-4 record, Oakland had been outscored by 21 points on the season, which was an indication they probably weren’t as good as the record indicated. A 34-3 loss to the Jets might have confirmed that theory.
16. Cleveland Browns (5-6, 18): They took care of their business vs. Miami in convincing fashion. A massive rematch on the road in Pittsburgh likely is this season’s true make-or-break point for Cleveland.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5, 19): Mason Rudolph got beat upside the head with a helmet in Week 11. Somehow, things got worse in Week 12 when he was benched against the lowly Bengals. Pittsburgh still found a way to win and would be in if the playoffs started today, but it’s gonna be a hard sell for us moving forward.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (5-6, 15): Carson Wentz had a lot working against him Sunday, most notably a banged-up receiving corps and his own hand injury, but he still made some bone-headed decisions. The Eagles are still alive by virtue of the NFC East being bad, but confidence is understandably low.
19. Carolina Panthers (5-6, 16): What do we think about a hard reset in Carolina? Nothing against Ron Rivera, who has been a fine coach in his time in Charlotte, but everything about the Panthers save for Christian McCaffrey is “meh,” and they’re in danger of wasting his best years.
20. Chicago Bears (5-6, 21): Take out an early-season home win vs. the Vikings, Chicago’s wins have come against the Giants, Redskins, Lions and Broncos. All of those teams are bad. Yet, somehow, Chicago is still (barely) in the playoff hunt.
21. Los Angeles Chargers (4-7, 22): All Phil Rivers has to do this weekend is throw fewer than three picks and it will be progress over his last two games before the bye.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7, 24): Jameis Winston has thrown 20 interceptions this season. Twenty! That’s three more than Rodgers has thrown in his last 50 games. Regardless, a nice win in Atlanta for the Bucs behind Chris Godwin’s otherworldly performance.
23. New York Jets (4-7, 28): The Jets are flying high after throttling the Raiders in the Meadowlands. It’s hard to think of a better two-game stretch in Sam Darnold’s young career, as he’s thrown six touchdowns to just one pick the last two weeks, and a very winnable game at Cincinnati awaits this week. New York is still alive.
24. Arizona Cardinals (3-7-1, 26): The Cardinals didn’t play football this weekend, and that’s all we have to say about them.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7, 20): The Jaguars are on a three-game losing streak and have allowed at least 200 rushing yards in each of those three games, and one of the latest blog entries at Big Cat Country is “Everything about the Jaguars sucks.” Sounds like a party.
26. Detroit Lions (3-7-1, 23): The Lions are weird. They’re 1-6 since their bye, but five of those losses came by a touchdown or less, including Sunday’s setback against the hapless Redskins. Bottom line, they’re just a bad team who can’t do enough to win games, but at least they’ll be there Thursday afternoon to help you avoid your family.
27. Atlanta Falcons (3-8, 25): Matt Ryan oughta thank his lucky stars for Dan Quinn, at least to an extent. All the talk about the Falcons head coach has overshadowed Ryan’s downright poor play lately, with a 75.9 passer rating over his last four games, including Sunday’s showing, his worst of the season, at home against a bad Bucs pass defense.
28. Denver Broncos (3-8, 27): Since the Broncos led the Vikings 20-0 in Week 11 (on the road), they have been outscored 47-6. Beginning to think Brandon Allen might not be the long-term option at quarterback.
29. New York Giants (2-9, 30): Looked good for a while there in Chicago, and then it didn’t. There’s really not much the Giants do well … at all.
30. Washington Redskins (2-9, 31): Not sure what’s a more perfect encapsulation of the Redskins: Washington winning in spite of Dwayne Haskins’ 13-for-29, 156-yard performance or the rookie QB not being able to take the knee in his first career win because he was taking a selfie with fans.
31. Miami Dolphins (2-9, 29): A few competitive games and even a couple of wins probably led everyone to forget how bad the Dolphins actually are. When they were down 28-3 to the Browns on Sunday, we were all reminded.
32. Cincinnati Bengals (0-11, 32): What a weekend for the Bengals, who covered the spread against the Steelers and also “gained” a game on the rest of the field in the race to the bottom for the No. 1 pick.