NFL Power Rankings, Predictions Week 13: COVID-19 Causing Havoc

Payton Matthews | Updated Dec 01, 2020

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No change in the Top 3 of our rankings, although we are having to write this story with two teams still to play their Week 12 game due to COVID-19 postponements.

2020 NFL Week 13 Power Rankings

1. Pittsburgh (10-0): Possibly no team has been on the wrong end of more disruptive COVID-19 news than the Steelers as they have now had two games shifted around already this season because other teams had outbreaks and not them. Now starting Wednesday vs. Baltimore, Pittsburgh has three games in 11 days.

2. Kansas City (10-1): An argument certainly can made that the Chiefs should have risen to the top spot after what Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill did in Tampa on Sunday to a supposedly excellent Bucs defence. Kansas City will be back to No. 1 soon enough.

3. New Orleans (9-2): The Saints were basically gifted a win Sunday when the NFL wouldn’t let the Denver Broncos play any of their eligible quarterbacks due to COVID-19 contact tracing. Chiefs-Saints is in a couple of weeks, by the way.

4. Buffalo (8-3): Buffalo catches a nice break in Week 13 as it visits the 49ers in Arizona and not San Francisco’s own stadium due to COVID-19 restrictions. Playing at a neutral site instead of a true road game is definitely a break.

5. Green Bay (8-3): It’s just a matter of time now for the Packers to clinch the NFC North with a three-game lead. But can they catch the Saints for the conference’s top seed? Green Bay does own the head-to-head tiebreaker.

6. Tennessee (8-3): No one wants to face the Titans in the playoffs because Derrick Henry is simply a human wrecking ball in the backfield and is perhaps the only non-QB who can win a game by himself.

7. Cleveland (8-3): The Browns have the misfortune if being in the same division as the Steelers, so Cleveland will almost surely be only a Wild-Card team at best and not get a home playoff game.

8. Seattle (8-3): The Seahawks had better win the NFC West and get at least one home playoff matchup, because they have looked very shaky in their past four road games (1-3) after escaping in Philadelphia on Monday night.

9. Tampa Bay (7-5): Could the Bucs actually miss the playoffs? Not likely, but they haven’t looked good in back-to-back losses and there’s talk Tom Brady is not thrilled with Coach Bruce Arians.

10. Miami (7-4): We still don’t think the Fins have a good enough offence, whether it’s Tua Tagovailoa or Ryan Fitzpatrick under centre, to make much noise in the playoffs.

11. Los Angeles Rams (7-4): Coach Sean McVay said he had no thoughts about benching QB Jared Goff in Sunday’s loss to the 49ers, but that McVay even had to say anything shows the concern over Goff. The Rams don’t have a legitimate backup anyways.

12. Indianapolis (7-4): The Colts were outclassed at home by the Titans on Sunday, but I don’t take much from that as Indy was missing a handful of guys due to COVID-19 protocols. Welcome to 2020.

13. Baltimore (6-4): The Ravens will be missing several guys, including QB Lamar Jackson, on the COVID-19 list when they face Pittsburgh at the very unusual time of 3:40 p.m. ET on Wednesday. The good news for Baltimore is the rest of the schedule is quite easy.

14. Arizona (6-5): The Cardinals have now played five straight games decided by one score and have lost three of them as they slide out of NFC West contention.

15. Las Vegas (6-5): The Raiders are maddening because they play well enough to beat the Chiefs one day and then lose by 37 in Atlanta the next.

16. New England (5-6): Cam Newton was terrible in Sunday’s win over Arizona (9-for-18, 84 yards, two picks), but Coach Bill Belichick says he will not change quarterbacks.

17. New York Giants (4-7): The Giants are the only team that officially controls its destiny to win the wretched NFC East, but they are expected to be without starting QB Daniel Jones for a couple of weeks due to injury.

18. San Francisco (5-6): The Niners will be back as an NFC contender next year; 2020 was basically a lost cause due to an unprecedented number of injuries.

19. Minnesota (5-6): If the Vikings were in the NFC East, they’d win it. They staged a very unlikely home rally Sunday in keeping their playoff hopes alive with a win over Carolina.

20. Chicago (5-6): Matt Nagy is coaching his way out of a job, and Mitchell Trubisky reminded us all on Sunday night what a colossal bust he is.

21. Washington (4-7): Rookie running back Antonio Gibson appears to get better each week and has scored in five straight. Too late to win Offensive Rookie of the Year?

22. Atlanta (4-7): Scuttlebutt out of Atlanta is that owner Arthur Blank has been impressed enough with interim coach Raheem Morris that he might earn the full-time coaching job.

23. Houston (4-7): The Texans are playing their best football of the season, but any long-shot playoff hopes disappeared Monday with the news the team’s leading receiver and top cornerback were suspended for six games each.

24. Denver (4-7): The Broncos had to use practice squad receiver Kendall Hinton at QB for Sunday’s loss in New Orleans due to COVID-19 protocols, and he was able to complete one more pass than you or I did in a blowout loss. Denver will have starter Drew Lock back this week.

25. Carolina (4-8): Who had a better Week 12 than Panthers rookie linebacker Jeremy Chinn? The second-round pick became only the third player in NFL history with multiple fumble-return touchdowns in a game. Chinn scored both in the span of 10 game seconds.

26. Los Angeles Chargers (3-8): Coach Anthony Lynn probably got himself fired with some baffling decisions in Sunday’s loss at Buffalo.

27. Philadelphia (3-7-1): If you watched Monday’s home loss to Seattle, it’s clear that QB Carson Wentz is broken and that Coach Doug Pederson’s future is equally murky.

28. Dallas (3-8): More bad injury news for Dallas as right tackle Zack Martin and left tackle Cameron Erving will miss multiple weeks because of injuries suffered in Thursday’s 41-16 loss to Washington. That offensive line has been devastated by injuries.

29. Detroit (4-7): Can the Lions lure Jim Harbaugh from down the road in Ann Arbor to replace the fired Matt Patricia as head coach?

30. Cincinnati (2-8-1): The Bengals managed just 155 yards in Sunday’s loss to the Giants without injured QB Joe Burrow (done for season). It’s going to be ugly the rest of 2020.

31. Jacksonville (1-10): The Jags started their offseason overhaul by firing GM David Caldwell but apparently will wait until a few minutes after their Week 17 game to do the same with Coach Doug Marrone. The future actually could be bright there for the next guy with a treasure trove of draft picks.

32. New York Jets (0-11): Adam Gase’s average margin of defeat in his Jets tenure is 9.4 points, the fourth-worst of any coach with a minimum of 25 games on the sideline this century. I’d like to explain why he’s still the coach, but I haven’t a clue.

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