Week 13 has officially come and gone and five more rounds separate us all from the playoffs.
Sunday had some intense games with serious playoff ramifications. We are at the point in the NFL season where one game, or one sequence, can change so much as evidenced by the shakeup on the AFC side of things what with Cincinnati’s win over Kansas City.
By this point we have reached a conclusion on the handful of teams that won’t be part of the postseason, and the particular few that we think have a chance to win it all. As we do every week, though, we have ranked every single team from 1 through 32 in the latest edition of our power rankings here at BTB. We have also gathered how various people around the internet view the Dallas Cowboys.
You can visit last week’s rankings right here. Let’s begin.
1. Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 2)
Sunday’s win against the Titans was maybe the most impressive one that the Eagles have had all season long. It made all the sense in the world for Tennessee to bully them a bit but that did not happen in the slightest.
Hopefully the Giants or Bears help us out over the next two weeks.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 1)
If anybody has earned the benefit of the doubt it is the Chiefs. While it is fair to wonder if the Bengals have their number based on events covering the least year, the overwhelming likelihood is that KC figures this thing out.
3. Dallas Cowboys (LW: 3)
No movement because everything sort of stayed status quo. And as noted the Chiefs deserve the benefit of the doubt that last week was an aberration of sorts.
The Cowboys dominated a bad team (after a sort of slow-ish start). The teams above them kept pace, this is just how things go sometimes.
4. Buffalo Bills (LW: 5)
It still feels like they are not firing on all cylinders. As football fans it would be awesome to see them reach the best version of themselves in the playoffs, but as far as the here and now they did have a pretty incredible week. Kansas City loss which vaulted them to the top seed while both the Dolphins and Jets lost which gave them more breathing room in the AFC East.
5. Minnesota Vikings (LW: 6)
They really like to flirt with danger but at the end of the day they just keep on winning. We have spent a ton of time talking about Dallas taking over as the number one seed if Philly loses and they beat them on Christmas Eve, but Minnesota could just as easily take it if those things happen.
6. San Francisco 49ers (LW: 7)
Winning without Jimmy Garoppolo was certainly impressive and while Kyle Shanahan has proven that he can get it done with alternative options at quarterback, but this is a tall task even for him. The entire NFC changed with that injury.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 8)
They have very quietly gone 8-2 since losing to the Cooper Rush-led Dallas Cowboys. There is a path, an admittedly long one, where they even wind up with the number one seed in the entire AFC. The Bengals are back.
8. Miami Dolphins (LW: 4)
It is a very tough look for the Dolphins that they lost to the 49ers even after Jimmy G went down to injury, although it was only the first time this season that Tua Tagovailoa lost a game that he played 100% of.
9. Seattle Seahawks (LW: 14)
Who is to say that they can’t win the NFC West? Anything is possible.
Although they did play down to the Rams a bit.
10. Tennessee Titans (LW: 10)
I’m not willing to bury the Titans yet. Yes, they got destroyed by the Eagles. But they remain a very good football team.
11. Washington Commanders (LW: 11)
Ties are lame.
12. Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 19)
It was the most predictable thing in the world that the Chargers would fall apart after getting a somewhat nice win last week. It is pretty improbable, but the Raiders still do have life this season. Good for them.
13. Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 9)
The internet needs to stop hyping them up. They are a bad football team.
14. Detroit Lions (LW: 15)
It is so cool to see them finally be the spunky team that so many people thought they would be. The standard is different for them given the project they are undertaking, but the Lions are taking legitimate steps forward. They will be a problem in 2023.
15. New York Jets (LW: 12)
Not enough Mike White magic. Le sigh.
16. Baltimore Ravens (LW: 13)
Look. I know that they won two of them, but the Ravens have looked very suspect for three weeks in a row and done so against really low-quality teams (Carolina, Jacksonville, Denver). It is very fair to wonder if they are legitimate or not.
17. New York Giants (LW: 16)
Brian Daboll played for the tie by punting late in overtime. Yes, they got the ball back, but no that does not matter. We hate ties!
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 18)
That was one of the more in-explainable wins of all time, but this team remains suspect.
They also remain a potential playoff opponent for the Cowboys.
19. Green Bay Packers (LW: 25)
Of course Aaron Rodgers led the Packers past the Bears in the all-time wins list in Chicago of all places. Because of course.
20. Cleveland Browns (LW: 17)
They won without scoring an offensive touchdown.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 22)
Mike Tomlin’s group can only lose one more game in order for his streak of never finishing below .500 to carry on. Can they do it?
22. Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 20)
Thank goodness Trevor Lawrence isn’t hurt. That looked awful.
But the Jaguars are still such a question mark. When will it all come together? Hopefully not for a few more weeks at least!
23. New England Patriots (LW: 21)
They are still in the playoff mix, but they are so uninspiring.
24. Arizona Cardinals (LW: 23)
There is definitely nothing inspiring going on here.
25. Carolina Panthers (LW: 24)
They traded for Baker Mayfield (granted they didn’t pay much) only to release him.
It has been so bad for the Panthers.
26. Chicago Bears (LW: 26)
Justin Fields has given this franchise a pulse, but they need so much more. They will be pesky next year but this is going to take some time.
27. Atlanta Falcons (LW: 27)
28. New Orleans Saints (LW: 29)
That was one of the most embarrassing losses of all time.
29. Indianapolis Colts (LW: 28)
33 points in the fourth quarter!
30. Los Angeles Rams (LW: 30)
They have clearly quit on the season.
31. Denver Broncos (LW: 31)
The Cowboys have more offensive touchdowns in their last three games than the Broncos do all season.
32. Houston Texans (LW: 32)
See you on Sunday.
NFL.com: 2 (LW: 4)
This is the highest mark for the Cowboys at this outlet this season. The Eagles are number one if that wasn’t obvious.
The Cowboys turned a nail-biter into a howler in the fourth quarter, scoring 33 unanswered points in the final 15 minutes — checks notes — yes, thirty-three unanswered points in the final fifteen minutes of a 54-19 pasting of the Colts on Sunday Night Football. Former Indy first-round pick Malik Hooker put the game away with a fumble-return score early in the final quarter, Dallas’ third defensive touchdown of the season. The Cowboys have now won five of six while averaging 39.8 points per game since Week 8. The Eagles remain atop the NFC East, but only a fool would count the Cowboys out of the race for the division and No. 1 seed. America’s Team is firing on all cylinders.
ESPN: 4 (LW: 4)
Not as high of a mark here. Also each team had a statistic listed that they are number one in. As we discussed on Monday the Cowboys are the current leaders in point differential.
We’re No. 1 in... point differential.
Even though the Cowboys are 9-3 and don’t lead their division, they are 127-plus on the season with 333 points for and 206 against. That’s a sign of how dominant they can be. In the last three games they are 80-plus, which would be tied for fifth best in the NFL over the course of the season. In their last five games, they have scored 25 offensive touchdowns and two defensive touchdowns. — Todd Archer
USA Today: 2 (LW: 3)
Another slotting in at number two.
The filthy rich are about to pad their account – and that isn’t a reference to free agent WR Odell Beckham Jr.’s Texas visit. Perennial Pro Bowl LT Tyron Smith’s window to be activated, in the aftermath of the hamstring tear he suffered in training camp, has also officially opened.
Yahoo: 2 (LW: 3)
The 33 points the Cowboys scored in the fourth quarter on Sunday was a franchise record. Dallas has a gear that most other teams don’t. It still isn’t getting enough love as a potential Super Bowl champion. The Cowboys have it all.
CBS Sports: 3 (LW: 5)
Well there goes the streak.
They got off to a slow start against the Colts, but in the fourth quarter they showed why they are a legitimate Super Bowl contender. They are good on both lines, which matters.
The Athletic: 5 (LW: 4)
The Cowboys dropped a spot. Seriously.
Philadelphia, Kansas City, Buffalo, and Cincinnati (in that order) are ahead of them.
How does Dallas drop a spot after scoring 33 unanswered fourth-quarter points in its 54-19 romping of the Colts on Sunday Night Football? Because someone has to rank fifth among the league’s emerging upper echelon and Dallas is the only one facing the likely prospect of starting the playoffs on the road. Dak Prescott was a touch underwhelming in going 20-of-30 for 170 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, and at least one more throw worthy of being a turnover. By EPA (expected points added) per pass, it was his worst game in a win this season. Never mind, as the Cowboys’ hellacious defense and suddenly balanced running game did the heavy lifting. Poor Matt Ryan will be waking up in the middle of the night years from now with nightmares of those four consecutive fourth-quarter turnovers.
Dallas’ aim over the final five weeks? Avenge its earlier Cooper Rush-led loss to the Eagles.
Sports Illustrated: 2 (LW: 3)
A number two to finish it off.
Their pummeling of the Colts and the speed at which they could mount an unbreakable lead against a professional defense was stunning. Yes, they are facing Jeff Saturday, but they are also facing a Gus Bradley defense with solid players and at least one capable cover corner. To abuse them like that was a sign of something truly special.