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NFL Top 5 Power Rankings for Week 13

A pair of blowout losses seem to have sealed the playoff deal for the New Orleans Saints, but with six games left in the season, the Black and Gold are not out of the race.

A pair of blowout losses seem to have sealed the playoff deal for the New Orleans Saints, or has it? With six games left, the Black and Gold are not out of the race. Drew Brees returned to the Caesars Superdome, but it was not encouraging enough to spark an offensive run. 

The Saints seemed lifeless throughout the game and did not score a touchdown. Brees is now an NBC analyst, but fans chanted "One More Year” as he took photos and chatted with die-hard fans. 

It has been eight months since Brees’ retirement, but things could not look more different. The Patriots keep climbing as the Saints keep falling. 

Meanwhile, two teams make it into the Top 5 after being left out in previous weeks.

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1. Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers climb back up to the top spot after defeating the NFC rival Los Angeles Rams 36-28. Aaron Rodgers had some big throws against a good defense and ended up with 307 yards and 2 touchdowns. 

Running back Aaron Jones also returned from injury and saw limited action. The Green Bay Packers needed to assert their dominance over the rest of the NFC and did so last week against the Rams.

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2. Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals had a much-needed bye week as they let the other NFC teams fight it out for control over the NFC. Kyler Murray should return this week from injury after missing the past few games, and DeAndre Hopkins should be healthy as well. 

Arizona has been faltering lately, but all is not lost yet. The Cardinals could still end up with the top seed.

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3. New England Patriots

The New England Patriots beat the Tennessee Titans 36-13 and have won six straight games. The defense has led the way, especially with four turnovers against the Titans, and now New England looks like a solid playoff team. 

Mac Jones has also surprised some people with how steady he’s been as a rookie. The Patriots could end up winning their division a year removed from Tom Brady.

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4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Speaking of Tom Brady, the Tampa Bay Bucs make their way back into the top 5 after beating the Indianapolis Colts 38-31. Leonard Fournette and Rob Gronkowski had big games by racking up 100 yards rushing and 123 yards receiving, respectively. Fournette also had four touchdowns on the day. 

Tampa Bay let a couple of games slip past them the past few weeks but have been fortunate to pull away from the rest of their division.

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5. Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens pulled out an ugly 16-10 win against the Cleveland Browns and made it into the Top 5 after being left out for a while. Lamar Jackson didn’t play his best game, throwing four interceptions, but came up with some big plays while adding 68 rushing yards. 

The Baltimore Ravens are right there in the fight for the top seed in the AFC but still have a long way to go to secure it.

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18. New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints have lost four straight games after being demolished by the Buffalo Bills 31-6 on Thanksgiving. The offense continues to be near non-existent for most of the games ever since Jameis Winston went down with an injury. 

Injuries, while not an excuse for losing, certainly haven’t helped, especially when you’re missing several star players at receiver, running back, and offensive tackle.

The New Orleans Saints honored Drew Brees on Thursday, the team's beloved quarterback, with “Thank You, Drew Brees,” the Saints sunk to 5-6 after the worst offensive performance of Coach Sean Payton’s era. 

With offensive ineptitude, only 44 rushing yards and 190 total yards, 48 rushing yards, and not one touchdown, the Saints now have a losing record for the first time since September 2020.

The growing list of injuries has inundated the team and appears to be too much to overcome. Eventually, the return of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram may win a few more games this season, but honestly, it may be too little too late to salvage this season. 

The Saints still have a shot at the post-season, but Coach Sean Payton must make significant changes quickly. On Thursday, the Saints face the Dallas Cowboys in the Caesars Superdome at 7:20 PM CT on Fox/NFL Network. Local fans can also listen live on WWL-870 AM and 105.3 FM.

Article contributor Sam Lucio, Saints News Network Intern.

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