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Power Rankings: Seahawks, Saints are 1-2; disappointing Texans last

Losing to the Jags was the final straw. Houston dips to No. 32. (USATSI)
Losing to the Jags was the final straw. Houston dips to No. 32. (USATSI)

Entering a huge primetime game in Week 13, the Seahawks and Saints go 1-2 this week. But here come the Patriots, and there go the Texans, who are now No. 32. Who would have thought that?

1. Seattle Seahawks: They Seahawks had a bye and are well rested for the final push for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Pay close attention to the secondary this week against the Saints.

2. New Orleans Saints: A big showdown this Monday night against Seattle for the top spot in the NFC. Will the Saints travel well or will it look like their road game against the Jets?

3. New England Patriots: The Pats are back and looking like the scoring machine of old. With so many injuries on defense, they may have to settle for outscoring teams every week.

4. Denver Broncos: A temporary setback in losing at New England. The once invincible looking Broncos are 3-2 in their past five games. Is it the cold weather? Big game this week in Kansas City!

5. Carolina Panthers: The Panthers play solid defense and Cam Newton has grown up at QB. They will be a tough out the rest of the way.

6. Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs play great defense, but their two best pass rushers (Tamba Hali, Justin Houston) are injured, which could lead to a short skid. They should hold on for a playoff berth but the offense may have to carry the team.

7. San Francisco 49ers: The physical defense can break down most teams and if Colin Kaepernick is going to throw two or three TDs a game the rest of the way they will finish with 11 wins.

8. Indianapolis Colts: The loss of Reggie Wayne is being felt now. Andrew Luck has to hold the ball a split second longer and the rush is getting to him. They face the Titans this week and a loss would cause panic.

9. Arizona Cardinals: One of the best stories in the NFL -- Bruce Arians and his Cardinals. They play excellent defense and Carson Palmer is playing well. Big test in Philadelphia this week is a chance for a head-to-head win vs. a potential wild card competitor.

10. Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals are coming off a bye and hope that Andy Dalton has worked on protecting the ball. Too many interceptions lately. The Steelers and Ravens are right behind them now!

11. Dallas Cowboys: The big win over the Giants put them in the driver's seat for the NFC East title. They have a strong conference record, too. But only the Cowboys can turn this mess into a golden opportunity. The defense is the issue.

12. Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles got a well-timed bye and enter this week on a three-game winning streak. The defense is playing better and Nick Foles looks like the starter the rest of the season.

13. Detroit Lions: The Lions had a chance to pull away in the NFC North with Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler out. Instead, they're riding a two-game skid. They are at home on Thanksgiving against the beat-up Packers.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers: After that 0-4 start, here come the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger is once again playing like a franchise QB and the makeshift offensive line is playing better. It all means nothing if they lose to the Ravens on Thanksgiving night.

15. Chicago Bears: The defense can't stop the run, and they head into Minnesota vs. Adrian Peterson. AD could rush for more than 200 yards and beat this team. Good news for Chicago, though: Minnesota's secondary can't cover all Bears' receiving weapons. Things could be slipping away for Chicago, which is 2-3 over its past five.

16. Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens still can't get their run game going and Joe Flacco is under constant pressure. The season is on the line with the Steelers coming to town.

17. Green Bay Packers: Without Aaron Rodgers and a suspect defense, the season is slipping away. A win over Detroit on Thursday would do wonders for a team that has gone 1-3-1 over its past five.

You better get pressure on Philip Rivers or he will chew you up. (USATSI)
You better get pressure on Philip Rivers or he will chew you up. (USATSI)

18. San Diego Chargers: You don't want to play the Chargers if your defense can't get to Philip Rivers. He now has four games over 390 yards passing. The defense is suspect but they can outscore teams. The Bengals will have their hands full this week.

19. Tennessee Titans: A quiet team that make the playoffs if they started today. Backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick leads the offense and has the biggest test of the season coming up vs. the Colts.

20. Miami Dolphins: With all the distractions, it's no wonder the season is upside down. The offensive line is so depleted it will be hard to stay in the playoff race.

21. St. Louis Rams: If your favorite team plays the Rams and it can't pass-block, watch out. This team gets after quarterbacks. Backup QB Kellen Clemons is on a two-game winning streak and there suddenly is some chatter about a playoff run.

22. New York Giants: The G-men blew their chance when they lost at home to the Cowboys after guaranteeing victory. Now they play for pride.

23. New York Jets: The defense is good enough to win the division but the offense is bad enough to finish last. Geno Smith is a work in progress and I'm being kind. They might have a better record with Mark Sanchez.

24. Tampa Bay Bucs: Any team on a three-game winning streak this time of year is dangerous. The Bucs are the league spoiler right now and rookie QB Mike Glennon looks good.

25. Buffalo Bills: There are real signs of hope for the future with EJ Manuel and Co., but this season is for learning.

26. Cleveland Browns: With Brandon Weeden is back under center, it usually means more sacks. Weeden is sacked once every 10 pass plays.

27. Oakland Raiders: The Raiders still get an 'A' for effort and Matt McGloin is interesting. Maybe next year for this team.

28. Washington Redskins: A major disappointment in 2013 and it doesn't look like it is going to get any better down the stretch. Robert Griffin III is leaning at the school of hard knocks.

29. Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings tied the Packers and now have a good chance to beat the Bears to gain respectability. If the season ends and we don't see Josh Freeman for a few games no one will know what they have in the guy.

30. Atlanta Falcons: Injury-riddled and a bad-looking team at this point. I hope Matt Ryan stays healthy to the end. The Falcons will regroup in 2014.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars: There is no quit in this team, only a lack of talent. They have climbed out of the top spot in the draft for the time being.

32. Houston Texans: Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought this team would ever be ranked last in 2013.

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