NFL Power Rankings Week 13: Falcons drop after practical playoff elimination

Dave Holcomb

There aren't many teams that get eliminated before even Thanksgiving, but the Atlanta Falcons are essentially on the verge of that after 12 weeks. The only way the Falcons can now make the playoffs is if they run the table and the Green Bay Packers lose the rest of their games. 

Of course, a bunch of other teams would have to lose too, but the Packers are the only team currently in a playoff spot that the Falcons can catch in the standings. If the Falcons lose on Thanksgiving or should the Packers beat the New York Giants next Sunday, Atlanta is officially out of the playoff race.

Postseason elimination is probably just a formality at this point anyway, though, as the Falcons dropped to No. 25 on our power rankings after a 13-point home loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

As for the rest of our power rankings, there seems to be a sizable gap developing between the Top Four teams and the rest of the Top 10. Furthermore, there's a crater between the Top 9 and the rest of the league at the moment.

The only team to lose in our Top Eight during Week 12 was those aforementioned Packers, who fell in a rout to the San Francisco 49ers. The Packers dropped out of the Top Five but only moved down to No. 7 ahead of Week 13.

The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles both suffered difficult losses, but to top-ranked teams, and without any other obvious choices, both stayed in the Top 11 despite a combined .500 record from the two teams.

The New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns made the biggest jumps from last week. The Jets have won three straight and routed the Oakland Raiders, who were in playoff position, during Week 12. They jumped five spots to No. 24. 

The Bills took advantage of several teams ranked No. 12-15 looking bad in Week 12 to move up four spots to No. 12.

Furthermore, the Browns have also won three straight and with another victory Sunday at Pittsburgh, Cleveland could move into a playoff spot entering December. With their hot streak, the Browns joined the Bills, rising four spots on our list.

The Browns are ranked No. 20 on this week's power rankings, but a fourth consecutive win would likely increase their stock into the Top 15.

Here's our full NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 13:

1. Baltimore Ravens (9-2)
2. New England Patriots (10-1)
3. Seattle Seahawks (9-2)
4. San Francisco 49ers (10-1)
5. New Orleans Saints (9-2)
6. Minnesota Vikings (8-3)
7. Green Bay Packers (9-2)
8. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)
9. Houston Texans (7-4)
10. Dallas Cowboys (6-5)
11. Philadelphia Eagles (5-6)
12. Buffalo Bills (8-3)
13. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5)
14. Indianapolis Colts (6-5)
15. Los Angeles Rams (6-5)
16. Tennessee Titans (6-5)
17. Oakland Raiders (6-5)
18. Chicago Bears (5-6)
19. Los Angeles Chargers (4-7)
20. Cleveland Browns (5-6)
21. Carolina Panthers (5-6)
22. Arizona Cardinals (3-7-1)
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7)
24. New York Jets (4-7)
25. Atlanta Falcons (3-8)
26. Detroit Lions (3-7-1)
27. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7)
28. Denver Broncos (3-8)
29. Miami Dolphins (2-9)
30. Washington Redskins (2-9)
31. New York Giants (2-9)
32. Cincinnati Bengals (0-11)

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