NFL Power Rankings Poll Week 13:  Lamar and the Ravens Alone on Top

Also, the Bills finally crack the top 10, Ryan Tannehill keeps the Titans moving up and NFC East teams continue to slide as the division remains wide open.
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Lamar Jackson

This week’s NFL Power Rankings Poll voters:

Andrew Brandt, Business of Football Columnist
Albert Breer, Senior NFL Reporter / Lead Content Strategist
Mitch Goldich, Producer/Writer
Gary Gramling, Senior Editor
Kalyn Kahler, Writer/Producer
Bette Marston, Associate Editor
Conor Orr, Staff Writer
Jenny Vrentas, Senior Writer

Skinnies for each team written by Jake May.

1. BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-2)

Previous rank: T-1
Points in poll: 249
Highest-place vote: 1 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 3 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat L.A. Rams 45-6
This week: vs. San Francisco

There isn’t a more exciting player in the league right now than Lamar Jackson. He threw for 169 yards and five touchdowns, and rushed for 95 yards in just three quarters of play during a 45-6 undressing of the Rams on Monday Night Football. From here on out, each Baltimore game is a must-watch.

2. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (10-1)

Previous rank: 3
Points in poll: 246
Highest-place vote: 1 (4 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 5 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Green Bay, 37-8
This week: at Baltimore

The 49ers dominated what is supposed to be one of their toughest NFC foes come January, further solidifying this is the team to beat in the NFC (I know, Seahawks fans, but they’re winning your division too). It’s thanks to a defense that would be leading the league most other seasons, and they completely shut down Rodgers while holding the Packers’ 13-ranked offense under 200 total yards.

3. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-1)

Previous rank: T-1
Points in poll: 237
Highest-place vote: 2 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 4 (4 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Dallas, 13-9
This week: at Houston

When was the last time Brady and Belichick lost a bad-weather game in Foxboro? It wasn’t going to happen–especially against Dallas, of all teams–and it was apparent after the first quarter the Cowboys couldn’t handle the conditions. Special teams (blocked punt that led to a TD) and defense (INT led to FG) again were the edge, and that seems to be the Patriot Way in 2019.

4. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (9-2)

Previous rank: 4
Points in poll: 236
Highest-place vote: 1 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 9 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Philadelphia, 17-9
This week: vs. Minnesota (Mon.)

The Eagles made it ugly, but the Seattle defense sent Carson Wentz into a tailspin with their demolition of the Philadelphia offensive line. Six sacks, nine QB hits, three fumble recoveries and two picks will do that to a quarterback, and Rashaad Penny broke out for his best outing of 2019 (14 carries, 129 yards, TD) at the perfect time on a rainy, messy afternoon at the Linc.

5. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (7-4)

Previous rank: T-5
Points in poll: 216
Highest-place vote: 4 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 8 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: vs. Oakland

The Chiefs owe the Jets several plates of barbecue after their textbook baiting of the Raiders into a trap game loss. Kansas City can finish the job themselves and summarily ice the division with a win on Sunday.

6. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (9-2)

Previous rank: 8
Points in poll: 214
Highest-place vote: 5 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 9 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Carolina, 34-31
This week: at Atlanta

Not that it would have mattered much to Drew Brees, but the Saints definitely should have been trailing by three (or four, or five) on what instead became the game-winning drive. But Michael Thomas (10 receptions, 101 yards, TD) saved the day once again, working his way open on a crucial third down and logging his fifth game in a row over 100 receiving yards.

7. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (8-3)

Previous rank: 7
Points in poll: 210
Highest-place vote: 5 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 8 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: at Seattle (Mon.)

And without having to lift a finger, the Vikings are back in the mix for a first-round bye. They can improve their Plan B path through the playoffs with a win over the wild card-leading Seahawks on Monday night.

8. GREEN BAY PACKERS (8-3)

Previous rank: T-5
Points in poll: 206
Highest-place vote: 5 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 9 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to San Francisco, 37-8
This week: at N.Y. Giants

You’d have to go back to a Week 7 loss to the Broncos in 2015 to find a full-ish Aaron Rodgers outing with fewer passing yards. The 49ers defense had a lot to do with that, but a pitiful offensive effort couple with a lackluster D that had Green Bay in a 23-0 hole by halftime isn’t a comforting sight, especially against a team the Packers will need to beat to get to the Super Bowl.

9. BUFFALO BILLS (8-3)

Previous rank: 12
Points in poll: 184
Highest-place vote: 2 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 14 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Denver, 20-3
This week: at Dallas (Thurs.)

New week, same story. The Bills trampled a bad team at home, but now an intriguing Thanksgiving showdown in Dallas on a short week awaits. Regardless of what we see when the mask is finally removed, the defense (134 yards allowed on Sunday, No. 3-ranked D in the NFL) is for real.

10. HOUSTON TEXANS (7-4)

Previous rank: 14
Points in poll: 182
Highest-place vote: 9 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 14 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Indianapolis, 20-17 (Thurs.)
This week: vs. New England

Long-awaited revenge on the Colts was finally realized Thursday night, as Deshaun Watson (19-of-30, 298 yards, 2 TDs, INT, 104.6 rating) bounced back from the Ravens debacle thanks to his two best receivers in DeAndre Hopkins (6 receptions, 94 yards, 2 TDs) and Will Fuller (7 receptions, 140 yards). The defense responded in kind, holding the Colts under 300 total yards.

11. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (6-5)

Previous rank: 11
Points in poll: 180
Highest-place vote: 7 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 13 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Houston, 20-17 (Thurs.)
This week: vs. Tennessee

Tough loss for a Colts team and their shorthanded secondary that simply got outclassed by the Texans’ passing attack. The offense mustered just 64 yards after a touchdown put Indy ahead 17-10 with 5:44 left in the third, and the Colts go from division leaders to participants in the five-team mediocrity battle royal for what the Bills have ensured is the lone AFC Wild Card spot.

12. DALLAS COWBOYS (6-5)

Previous rank: 9
Points in poll: 176
Highest-place vote: 10 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 13 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to New England, 13-9
This week: vs. Buffalo (Thurs.)

If I was Jason Garrett, I would be very, very nervous about the presser Jerry Jones gave after this one because Jerruh was spot-on; he expected Garrett to get out-coached, and Garrett got soundly outcoached. His team never stood a chance in those conditions, looked horrifically sloppy on special teams (blocked punt, missed FG, multiple kickoff miscues) and Garrett chipped in a bad-coach classic—an overly conservative field goal attempt with losing in the fourth quarter to seal defeat in a game the Cowboys desperately needed.

T-13. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (5-6)

Previous rank: 10
Points in poll: 154
Highest-place vote: 12 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 15 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Seattle, 17-9
This week: at Miami

Carson Wentz appears to have inherited the Sam Darnold ghosts, and Twitter is littered with footage of his airmailed screens. But Eagles fans; your season might be over, sure, and your penchant for overreacting is appreciated…but the weapons aren’t there, the O-line stinks, the Cowboys looked awful against the team you lost to last week and Nick Foles just dropped two blowouts in a row to teams that are a combined 12-10.

T-13. TENNESSEE TITANS (6-5)

Previous rank: 18
Points in poll: 154
Highest-place vote: 12 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 15 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Jacksonville, 42-20
This week: at Indianapolis

Ryan Tannehill (14-of-18, 259 yards, 40 rush yards, 4 total TDs, 155.8 rating) deserves a round of applause for going 4-1 since taking over the starting duties in Week 7 but turning around and handing the ball off to Derrick Henry helps. After running all over the Chiefs last week, Henry carried the ball 19 times for 159 yards and 2 TDs (8.37 yards per carry!) highlighted by this 74-yard rumble for six.

15. LOS ANGELES RAMS (6-5)

Previous rank: 15
Points in poll: 152
Highest-place vote: 11 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Baltimore, 45-6
This week: at Arizona

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens handed the Rams their worst loss at the Coliseum on Monday night. Aaron Donald was rendered completely ineffective by the Baltimore double-team, and by the time the third quarter (and Jackson’s fifth touchdown) rolled around, the D wasn’t moving much. At this point, L.A. is on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs.

16. OAKLAND RAIDERS (6-5)

Previous rank: 13
Points in poll: 128
Highest-place vote: 14 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to N.Y. Jets, 34-3
This week: at Kansas City

TRAP GAME! The Raiders fell victim to the primary delineator between contenders and pretenders on a rainy, cold afternoon in New York against the 3-7 Jets. Both sides of the football imploded so spectacularly it’s hard to say which was worse; 208 yards of total offense or surrendering 315 pass yards and two touchdowns to the 31-ranked aerial attack in the NFL.

17. CLEVELAND BROWNS (5-6)

Previous rank: T-18
Points in poll: 125
Highest-place vote: 16 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Miami, 41-24
This week: at Pittsburgh

Add the Browns to the list of bad AFC teams who won’t give up the ghost just yet. Another strong outing from Baker Mayfield (24-of-34, 3 TDs, INT, 118.1 rating), OBJ’s first touchdown since Week 2 (along with 84 receiving yards) and big games from Nick Chubb (21 carries, 106 yards, TD) and Jarvis Landry (10 receptions, 148 yards, 2 TDs) were plenty against Miami.

18. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (4-7)

Previous rank: T-18
Points in poll: 121
Highest-place vote: 16 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 21 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: at Denver

Whether he likes it or not, these next five games are an audition of sorts for Philip Rivers. He’s been stamped as washed; now what can he do down the stretch? The Broncos should help him start on the right foot…or keep the spiral swirling.

19. CAROLINA PANTHERS (5-6)

Previous rank: 17
Points in poll: 116
Highest-place vote: 16 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to New Orleans, 34-31
This week: vs. Washington

Better effort from the Panthers, but this cannot happen with the season on the line, especially since everybody knew where Brees was going with that pass. Add in bad afternoon for Joey Slye (two missed PATs, missed chip shot late) to seal the deal, and the Panthers are another NFC South franchise faced with some intriguing offseason decisions.

20. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (6-5)

Previous rank: T-18
Points in poll: 98
Highest-place vote: 19 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 23 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Cincinnati, 16-10
This week: vs. Cleveland

Ugly win for a team that shouldn’t still be alive, much less assigned the six seed in the AFC on a truly ludicrous series of tiebreakers. Mason Rudolph stunk again, but Duck Hodges saved the day, leading Pittsburgh to scores on three of his seven second-half drives. Mike Tomlin probably knows who’s starting next week, but he won’t tell us!

21. ATLANTA FALCONS (3-8)

Previous rank: 22
Points in poll: 88
Highest-place vote: 18 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Tampa Bay, 35-22
This week: vs. New Orleans (Thurs.)

Tough to expect anything from the Especially Dirty Birds, and (another) letdown was due at some point. A defense that allowed 12 combined points to the Saints and Panthers’ offenses in the two games prior surrendered 35 to Florida’s favorite pirates while the Atlanta run game only mustered 57 yards. An eventful offseason surely awaits a franchise that still hasn’t recovered from that one game three years ago.

22. CHICAGO BEARS (5-6)

Previous rank: 26
Points in poll: 81
Highest-place vote: 19 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 24 (5 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat N.Y. Giants, 19-14
This week: at Detroit (Thurs.)

With the bar as low as possible against a two-win team, Mitchell Trubisky (25-of-41, 278 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs, 69.0 rating) did enough for an ugly win. Not much else to see here, but Allen Robinson turned in his best game of the season, catching six balls for 131 yards and a TD.

23. NEW YORK JETS (4-7)

Previous rank: 28
Points in poll: 79
Highest-place vote: 21 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Oakland, 34-3
This week: at Cincinnati

Since Sam Darnold proclaimed the Jets still had a chance at the playoffs, they’ve won three in a row, springing a classic trap game upon the unsuspecting Raiders. A normalized spleen has done Darnold wonders, as he went 20-of-29 for 315 yards, 2 TDs and a quarterback rating of 127.8. That marks the sixth week in a row Darnold improved on his rating from the game prior.

T-24. ARIZONA CARDINALS (3-7-1)

Previous rank: 25
Points in poll: 73
Highest-place vote: 20 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: vs. L.A. Rams

Hopefully Cardinals fans had enough time to take a breath, re-center themselves, wash the nasty taste out of their mouths from the latest loss to the 49ers and remember that, despite this being another losing season, there’s finally something to be excited about.

T-24. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (4-7)

Previous rank: 27
Points in poll: 73
Highest-place vote: 21 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Atlanta, 35-22
This week: at Jacksonville

An 18-0 run in the second/early third quarter put the Bucs out front for good against a Falcons D that had showed signs of life in recent weeks. Chris Godwin exploded for 184 yards and two TDs on seven catches, and Jameis Winston had another good news-bad news outing; 313 yards, three TDs and 108.2 rating, but two more INTs to bring his season total to a league-leading 20.

26. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (4-7)

Previous rank: 21
Points in poll: 72
Highest-place vote: 17 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (4 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Tennessee, 42-20
This week: vs. Tampa Bay

That’s 0-for-2, Nick Foles, and both blowouts to boot. Doug Marrone said he’s sticking with his pricier, more experienced QB, but the Jags front seven, not long ago the cornerstone of this team, continues to play like hot garbage, surrendering over 200 yards rushing for the second week in a row.

27. DENVER BRONCOS (3-8)

Previous rank: 23
Points in poll: 46
Highest-place vote: 26 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 28 (4 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Buffalo, 20-3
This week: vs. L.A. Chargers

Not topping 100 yards on the ground or through the air is less than ideal, as is only converting two third downs. Brandon Allen (10-of-25, 82 yards, INT, 32.4 rating) probably isn’t the answer, but John Elway has one more QB card to play in Drew Lock before it all gets torn down again.

28. DETROIT LIONS (3-7-1)

Previous rank: 24
Points in poll: 45
Highest-place vote: 23 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Washington, 19-16
This week: vs. Chicago (Thurs.)

Remember when this team was “better than their record indicated?” Yeah, sorry about that. No Stafford didn’t help, backup Jeff Driskel threw three picks, the defense went home halfway through the fourth quarter and Matt Patricia’s bunch is officially punched out for 2019.

29. NEW YORK GIANTS (2-9)

Previous rank: 30
Points in poll: 28
Highest-place vote: 28 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Chicago, 19-14
This week: vs. Green Bay

Daniel Jones kept it clean but Saquon Barkley couldn’t get going (17 carries, 59 yards) and a 19-0 run from the Bears was too much for this underpowered offense. On the plus side, the Giants are solidly locked into the group of three trailing the Bengals but still slated for a top-five pick.

30. MIAMI DOLPHINS (2-9)

Previous rank: 29
Points in poll: 25
Highest-place vote: 29 (5 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Cleveland, 41-24
This week: vs. Philadelphia

The lack of serviceable NFLers on the Miami defense caught up to the ‘Fins as they found themselves in a 28-3 hole at halftime. Giving up 41 points to the 20-ranked offense isn’t great and neither is 37-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick leading the team in rushing with 45 yards, but…none of that really matters because picks.

31. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (2-9)

Previous rank: 31
Points in poll: 18
Highest-place vote: 30 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (6 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Detroit, 19-16
This week: at Carolina

At this point, the Bengals are too awful to catch, so it was a nice moment for Dwayne Haskins piecing together two back-to-back field goal drives to snatch a 19-16 win off the moribund Lions. He celebrated, of course, by missing the final snap and taking selfies with fans. Joe Thiesmann wasn’t happy, but nobody seemed to care.

32. CINCINNATI BENGALS (0-11)

Previous rank: 32
Points in poll: 12
Highest-place vote: 30 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (5 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Pittsburgh, 16-10
This week: vs. N.Y. Jets

Why put Andy Dalton back in? He’s gone this offseason, the Bengals pulled a full two games clear in the race for the bottom and can’t miss with the top pick, right? Well, the last Pro Bowler drafted in the first round by the Bengals was Tyler Eifert in 2013 (six top-25 selections ago).

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