There's now just one undefeated team left in the NFL, and as a result, there's a new No. 1 in our Power Rankings heading into Week 13. 

By Chris Burke
December 01, 2015

With five weeks left in the NFL regular season, all 32 teams are still mathematically alive in the playoff chase. Obviously, the Clevelands and Tennessees of the world are not headed to the postseason, but the minute possibility that they could speaks to this season’s parity and its overall mediocrity. 

A different story is unfolding atop the Power Rankings, where Carolina is the lone undefeated left standing. The NFC, and the No. 1 spot here, is the Panthers’ to lose. 


1Carolina Panthers
last week: 2
record: 11–0
2New England Patriots
last week: 1
record: 10–1

Gronk is OK, more or less, so all else that happened Sunday night—yes, including the loss—is inconsequential by comparison. So long as he has his star tight end, Tom Brady could move the chains with Jimmy Garoppolo starting at receiver. Now the Patriots just need Jamie Collins and Dont'a Hightower healthy (it sounds like Collins will play in Week 13). Without them, as the Broncos proved, their run defense is highly suspect.

3Cincinnati Bengals
last week: 4
record: 9–2

The AFC’s second-best team (Cincinnati) and the NFC’s second-best team (Arizona) are interchangeable in the rankings right now. And yes, that’s counting the Cardinals’ narrow, thrilling three-point win over the Bengals a couple weeks back. There are a few tough tests ahead for Marvin Lewis’s team, but the No. 1 seed is no longer out of the question.

4Arizona Cardinals
last week: 3
record: 9–2

Back-to-back wins over Seattle and Cincinnati showed how good this Arizona team can be. The Cardinals, though, have had more sleepy performances than one might expect from a legitimate Super Bowl contender. They spent three-plus quarters against San Francisco playing with all the energy of your 60-year-old uncle after Thanksgiving dinner.

5Denver Broncos
last week: 7
record: 9–2
6Kansas City Chiefs
last week: 9
record: 6–5

Credit Alex Smith for spending, like, 10 seasons setting up Sunday’s unexpected deep-ball onslaught. It only can help the Chiefs if they keep testing the waters downfield. Jeremy Maclin is averaging 13.5 yards per catch on the season; he finished at 17.8 on Sunday.

7Minnesota Vikings
last week: 8
record: 8–3
8Seattle Seahawks
last week: 10
record: 6–5
9Pittsburgh Steelers
last week: 5
record: 6–5

You know that feeling of terror that happens whenever you drop your phone? Holding your breath while you pick it up and flip it over, just to make sure the screen didn't crack? That's how Steelers fans feel whenever Ben Roethlisberger gets hit.

10Indianapolis Colts
last week: 12
record: 6–5
11Houston Texans
last week: 14
record: 6–5

The Saints had scored a touchdown in 155 straight games and Drew Brees had thrown a TD pass in 45 consecutive outings, until the Texans snapped both runs Sunday. J.J. Watt is up to 7.5 sacks ... in the past four games.

12Green Bay Packers
last week: 6
record: 7–4
13Buffalo Bills
last week: 13
record: 5–6

Buffalo has played New England tough twice, and it pushed Kansas City to the limit last week, but great effort isn’t enough to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy. It might be enough to take home the Vince Papale Trophy, though, if that were a thing.

14Chicago Bears
last week: 17
record: 5–6

The Bears are very much in this, for which their staff deserves an incredible amount of praise. Adam Gase has done well with a depleted offense, but what Vic Fangio has accomplished for the defense—Chicago has allowed 19 points or fewer in four straight games—is bordering on witchcraft.

15New York Jets
last week: 19
record: 6–5
16Washington Redskins
last week: 22
record: 5–6
17Oakland Raiders
last week: 20
record: 5–6


18Tampa Bay Buccaneers
last week: 15
record: 5–6


19New York Giants
last week: 13
record: 5–6
20St. Louis Rams
last week: 18
record: 4–7


21Detroit Lions
last week: 26
record: 4–7
22Dallas Cowboys
last week: 16
record: 3–8


23Atlanta Falcons
last week: 21
record: 6–5


24New Orleans Saints
last week: 23
record: 4–7


25Miami Dolphins
last week: 25
record: 4–7
26San Diego Chargers
last week: 32
record: 3–8


27Jacksonville Jaguars
last week: 24
record: 4–7


28Baltimore Ravens
last week: 28
record: 4–7


29San Francisco 49ers
last week: 29
record: 3–8
30Philadelphia Eagles
last week: 27
record: 4–7


31Tennessee Titans
last week: 30
record: 2–9


32Cleveland Browns
last week: 31
record: 2–9


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