NFL Power Rankings Week 13: The AFC Playoff Logjam

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SLR’s Week 12 NFL Power Rankings: 24-17 Nov 24, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Tennessee Titans strong safety Daimion Stafford (39), cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson (29) and cornerback Alterraun Verner (20) celebrate after the Titans defeated the Oakland Raiders 23-19 at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

24. Buffalo Bills (4-7) NC

They went into their bye week off their best overall performance of the season, and they actually look relatively healthy coming out of the bye. With Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Jacksonville next on the docket, they actually have a fair shot at the playoffs. That may cue up some Jim Mora-styled ranting, but it’s true.

23. Miami Dolphins (5-6) ▼4

All considered, that was a very good effort by the Dolphins to push the streaking Panthers to their limit. They couldn’t pull it out in the end after leading for most of the game,but if you’re a believer in moral victories, that was probably one. Of course, that moral victory won’t do them any good in the playoff hunt.

22. New York Jets (5-6) ▼6

They broke the streak! After 10 weeks of alternating wins and losses, they finally lost two straight. That’s not how the Jets wanted to break the streak, but it has to be expected at this point. Just because they’re better than expected, that doesn’t mean they’re actually good.

21. Tennessee Titans (5-6) ▲5

Wrap your head around this for a second. If the season ended after Week 12, the 5-6 Tennessee Titans would be playoff-bound. I’m not going to go into the specifics of why that is, because I’m pretty sure it goes about six or seven levels deep into tie-breaking procedure. But I guess it’s too soon to call the Titans’ season over after all.

20. New York Giants (4-7) ▼3

Even at 4-7, they’re nowhere near out of the playoff hunt, because there isn’t a single team in the NFC East that can be trusted. Still, losing to the Cowboys stings and has unpleasant tiebreaker implications for them. But they ran off four straight wins once, so why not once more? An 8-8 record might be enough in the NFC East.

19. Baltimore Ravens (5-6) ▲3

It wasn’t pretty, but were you expecting pretty from Ravens-Jets? The Ravens are doing just enough to keep from moving to total irrelevance this season, and nothing more. Then again, they weren’t exactly a Super Bowl favorite last year, either…

18. San Diego Chargers (5-6) ▲5

That was a big win for the Chargers over the previously infallible Chiefs, moving them into a tie with roughly half the AFC for the sixth playoff spot. I have nothing more to comment on the matter because the AFC playoff race is a hot mess, and we need a couple weeks for things to figure themselves out.

17. Green Bay Packers (5-5-1) ▲1

Well, they didn’t lose, but tying the feeble Vikings has to be considered almost an equally undesirable outcome. They keep being giving opportunities to take control of the NFC North, and they are repeatedly unable to seize them. Their Thanksgiving Day game in Detroit is easily the most important game left on their schedule.