Benigno’s Best: Week 13 NFL Power Rankings
By Joe Benigno
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Through 12 weeks, which team is the NFL’s biggest surprise? How about the Andrew Luck-led Colts, who are 7-4?
The biggest disappointment? That honor goes to the dysfunctional 3-8 “Dream Team” Eagles.
1. Houston Texans 10-1 (1)
Houston won its second straight OT thriller in a four-day span, with a Thanksgiving win in Motown. The Texans got a lot of help from Lions coach Jim Schwartz and kicker Jason Hanson. Andre Johnson is on a big-time roll for the Texans.
Next: @ Titans
2. Atlanta Falcons 10-1 (2)
Atlanta got it done again with a come-from-behind win over the red-hot Bucs in Tampa. The only negative was that Matt Bryant missed two makeable field goals, costing Falcons betters some dough.
Next: vs. Saints
3. San Francisco 49ers 8-2-1 (3)
Alex Smith is our starting quarterback, but Colin Kaepernick is a starter as well. Yeah, that Jim Harbaugh is a funny guy. Let’s face it, this is a different offense with Kaepernick under center.
Next: @ Rams
4. Denver Broncos 8-3 (5)
The Chiefs’ defense played Peyton Manning and company tough, but the Broncos just had too much for the putrid Chiefs. Knowshon Moreno, welcome back to the land of the living. That’s six in a row now for Denver.
Next: vs. Bucs
5. New York Giants 7-4 (8)
Big Blue also returned to the land of the living with a dominant performance over the streaking Packers at MetLife Stadium. Antrel Rolle’s lockdown of Randall Cobb was a big key in the Giants’ win. How underrated is this guy?
Next: @ Redskins
6. New England Patriots 8-3 (7)
The Pats made it five in a row with a Turkey Day destruction of the comedic Jets in New Jersey. Three Pats TDs in 52 seconds by all three phases — offense, defense and special teams — sent Fireman Ed into retirement.
Next: @ Dolphins
7. Baltimore Ravens 9-2 (6)
They had a stunning overtime comeback win over the pathetic Chargers in San Diego. It was keyed by Ray Rice’s shocking 4th-and-29 conversion with the game on the line. With a three-game lead now in the AFC North, Baltimore has all but clinched the division title.
Next: vs. Steelers
8. Chicago Bears 8-3 (9)
Chicago ended its two-game skid with solid division wins over the surprising Vikings in Chi-Town. Jay Cutler is back after his concussion, but the Bears lost Matt Forte, Devin Hester and Charles Tillman to injury in this one.
Next: vs. Seahawks
9. Green Bay Packers 7-4 (4)
The Packers’ five-game winning streak came to a crashing halt in a blowout loss to the defending champs at MetLife Stadium. Green Bay falls back into second place in the NFC North, and the defense is not the same without Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson.
Next: vs. Vikings
10. Indianapolis Colts 7-4 (unranked)
Indy makes its first appearance in the Top 10 since the days of Peyton Manning. Can the Colts find their way into the playoffs and continue their inspirational season for coach Chuck Pagano?
Next: @ Lions
The most dangerous team in the NFL is ______. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…