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NFL week 13 Power Rankings - Falcons On Top, Browns Sit At 23

With 22 teams within one game of .500, trying to determine which team is the best in the NFL can be a tricky proposition. Unbiased Power Rankings are a mathematical approach to figure out just who is the best, at least this week.

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NFL week 13 Power Rankings - Falcons On Top, Browns Sit At 23

Thanks to our friends over at SBNation-Atlanta, we bring you the Unbiased Power Rankings.  Using high-tech mathematical equations, explained below, they break down the NFL from #1 to #32.  Whether you agree with it out not, at least it is something different!

The top six teams remain the same for another week but only one of those teams is in the same spot they were last time. After a one-week hiatus, the Atlanta Falcons regained the top spot after a last-second win against the Green Bay Packers. Last week's number one team, the New England Patriots, slipped to second, while the Pittsburgh Steelers moved up to third. The Baltimore Ravens climbed into fourth, the Philadelphia Eagles dropped to sixth and the New York Jets, after a non-last-second win, remained in fifth. There is a cluster in the middle of the league but the bottom four teams remain the same with the Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills and Carolina Panthers all stating their case for the worst teams in the NFL.

The Chicago Bears and San Diego Chargers were the biggest recipients of the unbiased love, moving up four spots after their impressive victories over the Philadelphia Eagles and Indianapolis Colts, respectively. The New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins all enjoyed bumps this week as well with each of them rising three spots from last week's rankings.

The Tennessee Titans plummeted five spots after a pathetic performance against the Houston Texans. They've gone from a contender to a bad football team in one Vince Young meltdown. The Washington Redskins, after several weeks of high ranks, fall four spots to 13th after a loss to the 27th-ranked team in our rankings, the Minnesota Vikings. The Eagles, Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars were also victims of the power rankings, each slipping three spots.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers can continue to play the "no respect" card because our rankings refuse to give them any. They are ranked 21st again despite having the eighth-best record in the NFL. Yes, they are 7-4 but they have not yet beat a team with a winning record. They'll try to change that this week against the Falcons, but until they do, they are in the third tier of teams. The Jaguars and St. Louis Rams are other teams that might be playing above their heads right now and are destined to be exposed.

With another week in the books and only five more to go before the playoffs, enjoy the latest rankings; chopped up into bite-sized tiers for easy consumption. Jason Kirk's top five is in the same order as my rankings are and our top 10 has nine of the same teams but he doesn't have as much love for the Giants as the Unbiased Calculator does.

Tier I
Rank
Team
Rating
1
Atlanta Falcons
292.5
2
New England Patriots
271.5
3
Pittsburgh Steelers
248.3
4
Baltimore Ravens
246.7
Tier II
Rank
Team
Rating
5
New York Jets
237.5
6
Philadelphia Eagles
236.3
7
New Orleans Saints
210.3
8
Chicago Bears
205.7
9
Green Bay Packers
197.0
10
New York Giants
190.3
11
Kansas City Chiefs
189.8
Tier III
Rank
Team
Rating
12
Indianapolis Colts
181.6
13
Washington Redskins
179.8
14
San Diego Chargers
176.2
15
Houston Texans
171.2
16
Tennessee Titans
170.5
17
Miami Dolphins
163.4
18
Oakland Raiders
160.2
19
Jacksonville Jaguars
151.4
20
Seattle Seahawks
150.8
21
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
143.3
Tier IV
Rank
Team
Rating
22
St. Louis Rams
130.0
23
Cleveland Browns
127.7
24
Arizona Cardinals
110.6
25
San Francisco 49ers
106.3
26
Denver Broncos
106.1
27
Minnesota Vikings
92.7
28
Dallas Cowboys
91.3
Tier V
Rank
Team
Rating
29
Detroit Lions
66.2
30
Cincinnati Bengals
61.7
31
Buffalo Bills
37.6
32
Carolina Panthers
31.4


The Best of the Best

The NFL has its own version of the Final Four with the Falcons, Patriots, Steelers and Ravens all distancing themselves from the rest of the pack. Those four teams have played the best football through the first 12 weeks and they inhabit the top tier in the Week 13 rankings. The Jets and Eagles belong in the conversation but at a lower tier. Each of the big four teams have separated themselves with impressive wins against solid opponents. They've also not lost a "bad" game (their combined losses are to teams with 7.3 wins on average). If you had to pick a team to win the Super Bowl right now, you could do a lot worse than choosing between the Falcons, Patriots, Steelers and Ravens.

Unbiased Playoff Picture

Regardless of a team's current record, this is how we see the playoffs shaping up through Week 12.

 

AFC
NFC
Seed
Team
Seed
Team
1
New England Patriots
1
Atlanta Falcons
2
Pittsburgh Steelers
2
Philadelphia Eagles
3
Kansas City Chiefs
3
Chicago Bears
4
Indianapolis Colts
4
Seattle Seahawks
5
Baltimore Ravens
5
New Orleans Saints
6
New York Jets
6
Green Bay Packers

 

The Biggest Games of Week 13

No. 4 - Redskins vs. Giants: The Giants try to keep pace with the Eagles while the Redskins hope to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

No. 3 - Texans vs. Eagles: Houston bounced back last week but can they use the Bears template to stop Michael Vick and the Eagles?

No. 2 - Steelers vs. Ravens: Two of the top four teams face off in a game that will reward the winner with large amounts of unbiased points.

No. 1 - Jets vs. Patriots: Two teams ranked in the top five. It barely edges out the Steelers/Ravens for top honors.

AFC Breakdown

Wild Card Weekend:

Jets @ Chiefs: Dwayne Bowe could have 28 TDs by the time this game rolls around.

Ravens @ Colts: The Colts are looking less and less like a playoff team.

Divisional Playoffs:

Ravens @ Steelers: This very game is being played this week.

Jets @ Patriots: See above.

Championship Game:

Steelers @ Patriots: Five Super Bowl titles between them since 2001.

NFC Breakdown

Wild Card Weekend:

Packers @ Bears: No running game could spell doom for the Packers in January.

Saints @ Seahawks: Seattle no longer seems invincible at home.

Divisional Playoffs:

Saints @ Falcons: It just seems inevitable, doesn't it?

Bears @ Eagles: A rematch of their Week 12 game, this time in Philly.

Championship Game:

Eagles @ Falcons: The two best teams all year in the NFC. It's their density. I mean, destiny.

Super Bowl:

Patriots vs. Falcons: Atlanta gets another chance at the Lombardi Trophy.

Methodology: The Unbiased Power Rankings are exactly that, unbiased. We take into account a team's wins, losses and a strength of schedule component to arrive at a truly unbiased rating. We have no preseason polls, no preset baselines. Only the performance on the field - this season - matters. Emotion is not welcome here. Still interested? Here's the ingredients we use to make this delicious stew of math-based power rankings.

Each team is awarded five points for a win and five points for every game a defeated opponent wins. To measure a loss, the total number of opponent wins is divided by the number of the ranked team's losses.

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