Week 13 NFL Power Rankings: Where every team ranks No. 1 (well, almost)

Every team leads the league in something — or at least comes close to the top.

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  • NFL teams most impacted by injuries through Week 12

    Not all injuries are created equal. Here’s our rundown of the teams that have absorbed the toughest absences this season.

  • Here’s a rundown of the Week 13 Power Rankings, as voted on by our power panel — a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities — with a look at the stat every team is best (or second best) in.

    ESPN Stats Information’s John McTigue contributed the following information.

    Methodology: These rankings are based on which teams voters think would win head-to-head matchups. Higher-ranked teams would be favored against lower-ranked teams. Coming off a win doesn’t guarantee a jump, and a loss doesn’t guarantee a fall.

    Previous rankings: Week 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | Preseason

    1. Philadelphia Eagles

    2017 record: 10-1
    Week 12 ranking: No. 1

    The Eagles have the best record in the NFL and are the most efficient team, according to FPI — and that’s all thanks to balance. They’ve thrown for the most touchdowns, rushed for the most yards after contact, allowed the fewest rushing yards per game and allowed the second-fewest yards per pass attempt.

    2. New England Patriots

    2017 record:9-2
    Week 12 ranking: No. 2

    The defense has made a substantial turnaround since a slow start, but the Patriots’ bread and butter is still an offense led by a guy whose diet doesn’t allow much actual bread and butter. Tom Brady‘s offense has been the most efficient in the NFL this season, according to FPI, and has committed a league-low seven turnovers.

    3. Los Angeles Rams

    2017 record: 8-3
    Week 12 ranking: No. 6

    Jared Goff is having a great season, but he has been getting plenty of help from his friends. The Rams are averaging an NFL-best 13.3 yards per reception and a league-best 6.7 yards after the catch.

    4. Pittsburgh Steelers

    2017 record: 9-2
    Week 12 ranking: No. 3

    Le’Veon Bell leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage and Antonio Brown leads all wide receivers. Their 2,572 combined yards from scrimmage are most by a pair of teammates this season.

    5. Minnesota Vikings

    2017 record: 9-2
    Week 12 ranking: No. 4

    Sam Bradford played well before his injury, and Case Keenum has been great with Bradford out. As a result, the Vikings have the best team Total QBR (74) this season. Give credit to the pass protection, too. The Vikings have allowed 12 sacks this year, tied for fewest in the NFL.

    6. New Orleans Saints

    2017 record: 8-3
    Week 12 ranking: No. 5

    Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara might be the best backfield duo of 2017, and the stats bear that out. No team has gained more rushing yards from running backs and no team has gained more receiving yards from running backs than the Saints have this season.

    7. Seattle Seahawks

    2017 record: 7-4
    Week 12 ranking: No. 10

    The Seahawks have actually been outscored in the first three quarters of games this season, but they’re 7-4 thanks to their dominance in the fourth. They’ve scored an NFL-best 104 points in the fourth quarter this season, outscoring opponents by a league-best 58 points.

    8. Carolina Panthers

    2017 record: 8-3
    Week 12 ranking: No. 8

    An 8-3 team has to be doing a lot stuff well, but the Panthers’ biggest strength this season might be what they don’t do: commit penalties. Carolina has been flagged a league-low 67 times, and only 21 of those have been against the defense.

    9. Atlanta Falcons

    2017 record: 7-4
    Week 12 ranking: No. 9

    Atlanta’s specialty this season has been moving the chains. The Falcons have converted 48 percent of third downs, best in the NFL. It also would be the best by the Falcons since the 1999 team — which made the Super Bowl — converted 54 percent of third downs.

    10. Los Angeles Chargers

    2017 record: 5-6
    Week 12 ranking: No. 16

    The Chargers are tied for the second-best turnover differential this season, but no team has been better since their 0-4 start. Since the start of Week 5, the Chargers have committed a league-low five turnovers while forcing a league-best 17 turnovers.

    11. Jacksonville Jaguars

    2017 record: 7-4
    Week 12 ranking: No. 7

    Pick something related to pass defense and odds are the Jaguars are leading in it. They’ve allowed the fewest yards per attempt (5.9), passing yards (1,856) and passing touchdowns (9) and posted the best TD-INT ratio (0.64). They’ve also sacked the quarterback a league-high 41 times.

    12. Washington Redskins

    2017 record: 5-6
    Week 12 ranking: No. 15

    The Redskins don’t have many big-name receivers, but that hasn’t stopped their pass offense from ripping off explosive plays. Washington has 22 pass plays of 30 or more yards this season, three more than any other team.

    13. Detroit Lions

    2017 record: 6-5
    Week 12 ranking: No. 11

    The Lions are ranked fifth in points per game, but the offense isn’t the sole reason. Detroit has scored seven defensive and special teams touchdowns, best in the NFL.

    14. Tennessee Titans

    2017 record: 7-4
    Week 12 ranking: No. 14

    The Titans hold onto the ball better than any other team. Not in terms of time of possession — they rank 11th in that — but physically holding the ball. Tennessee has fumbled a league-low five times and the Titans’ pass-catchers have dropped only seven passes, also fewest in the NFL.

    15. Kansas City Chiefs

    2017 record: 6-5
    Week 12 ranking: No. 10

    The Chiefs’ offense has disappeared and the defense hasn’t been as strong as it has in recent years, but the special teams units are still firing on all cylinders. Kansas City has had the best special teams play, according to FPI, which is bolstered by no missed extra points and a league-best 96.3 field goal percentage.

    16. Baltimore Ravens

    2017 record: 6-5
    Week 12 ranking: No. 17

    After forcing three turnovers against the Texans on Monday night, the Ravens lead the NFL with 26 takeaways. The bulk of those have come through the air. Their 18 interceptions are a league high.

    17. Buffalo Bills

    2017 record: 6-5
    Week 12 ranking: No. 24

    The defense might be getting beat on the ground, but the Bills are definitely not getting beat through the air. Buffalo’s opponents have thrown 400 times this season resulting in only 10 touchdown passes. That’s a TD allowed on 2.5 percent of passes, tied with the Jaguars for best in the NFL.

    18. Arizona Cardinals

    2017 record: 5-6
    Week 12 ranking: No. 21

    Punters need love, too. Cardinals punter Andy Lee continues to be one of the best in the league. He has pinned opponents inside the 5-yard line five times this season, most in the NFL.

    19. Cincinnati Bengals

    2017 record: 5-6
    Week 12 ranking: No. 18

    The 5-6 Bengals are subscribing to the “bend don’t break” theory of defense. Opponents have reached the red zone against them 38 times, the seventh most in the NFL. But Cincinnati has allowed a touchdown on only 39.5 percent of those drives, the best in the NFL.

    20. Oakland Raiders

    2017 record: 5-6
    Week 12 ranking: No. 20

    Drops have been a problem in Oakland and the running game hasn’t been as stout as expected, but at least Derek Carr is getting protection. The Raiders have allowed pressure on 16.7 percent of dropbacks this season, the lowest in the NFL.

    21. Dallas Cowboys

    2017 record: 5-6
    Week 12 ranking: No. 13

    The rushing offense has actually been strong without Ezekiel Elliott this season. As a team, the Cowboys are averaging 4.7 yards per rush, the second-best mark in the NFL. They’re also picking up a first down on 27.4 percent of their rushes, the highest in the NFL.

    22. Green Bay Packers

    2017 record: 5-6
    Week 12 ranking: No. 26

    Even without Aaron Rodgers, one thing that has remained consistent for the Packers is their red zone offense. Green Bay has scored a touchdown on 68 percent of its red zone drives this season, second only to the 10-1 Eagles (72 percent).

    23. New York Jets

    2017 record: 4-7
    Week 12 ranking: No. 22

    For a team that wasn’t supposed to have much of a vertical offense this season, the Jets are really airing it out. On passes thrown 30 or more yards past the line of scrimmage, they’ve completed 50 percent of attempts with five touchdowns, both tied for most in the NFL.

    24. Houston Texans

    2017 record: 4-7
    Week 12 ranking: No. 19

    Houston’s wide receivers thrived with Deshaun Watson at quarterback, but they’ve done some damage with Tom Savage throwing the ball, too. Texans receivers have combined for 19 receiving touchdowns, three more than any other team.

    25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    2017 record: 4-7
    Week 12 ranking: No. 23

    There’s not a lot the Buccaneers rate highly in, but one area they do is fumbles. They have the best fumble differential in the NFL this season, recovering 11 on defense (tied for most) and losing only five on offense.

    26. Chicago Bears

    2017 record: 3-8
    Week 12 ranking: No. 25

    Luck or skill? The Bears have forced 14 fumbles on defense and recovered 11 of them, tied for most in the NFL. The rate of recovery (79 percent) is best in the NFL. Probably luck — but hey, it doesn’t change that the Bears still rate well in the stat.

    27. Miami Dolphins

    2017 record: 4-7
    Week 12 ranking: No. 28

    The kicking game might be the highlight of Miami’s season. The Dolphins are one of three teams — along with the Lions and Panthers — that have yet to miss a field goal inside of 50 yards this year. They also have yielded the second-deepest average start position following kickoffs.

    28. Denver Broncos

    2017 record: 3-8
    Week 12 ranking: No. 27

    Don’t blame the rushing defense for the disappointing record. The Broncos have allowed the fewest yards per rush (3.2), fewest yards before contact per rush (1.69) and the lowest third-down conversion percentage on rushes (21 percent) in the league.

    29. Indianapolis Colts

    2017 record: 3-8
    Week 12 ranking: No. 30

    The Colts have only nine passing touchdowns this season, but when they do find the end zone through the air, it’s usually a long one. They’re averaging 41.1 yards on their passing touchdowns, 12 more than any other team.

    30. New York Giants

    2017 record: 2-9
    Week 12 ranking: No. 29

    The Giants actually have been one of the best defenses in goal-to-go situations this year, allowing a touchdown on only 56 percent of such drives, second best in the NFL. They’ve allowed opponents to complete 38 percent of passes and just 0.7 yards per rush in those situations, both second best in the league.

    31. San Francisco 49ers

    2017 record: 1-10
    Week 12 ranking: No. 31

    It’s no surprise the 49ers have punted a lot this season (5.6 times per game), but their punt coverage has been phenomenal. They’re allowing 2.54 yards per punt return, which is not only best in the NFL this season, it’s the best in the NFL since the 2008 Falcons (2.45).

    32. Cleveland Browns

    2017 record: 0-11
    Week 12 ranking: No. 32

    As bad as the Browns have been, their rushing defense has been stellar. They’re allowing 3.3 yards per rush and 1.7 yards before contact per rush, both second best in the NFL. And no, it’s not because opposing teams kneel a lot. Take away kneel-downs and the Browns still rank second best in each.

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