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Mason's Week 13 Power Rankings: Broncos tumble; Giants, Chiefs rise

Posted Nov 29, 2016

Four losses in a seven-game stretch have the Broncos in a precarious postseason position, while recent surges have the Bucs and Dolphins moving up.

32. CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-12)

Last week: 32
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 31 - Defense: 29

For the first time all season, the Browns won't lose during a weekend. Of course, they're on the bye.

31. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (1-10)

Last week: 31
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 30 - Defense: 25

Their last three losses were by a combined 23 points; their previous three by an average of 21.0 points. Progress.

30. CHICAGO BEARS (2-9)

Last week: 30
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 22 - Defense: 22

Danny Trevathan became the 15th player on Chicago's injured reserve list, and with players like him, Kevin White, Kyle Long, Lamar Houston, Hroniss Grasu and Kyle Fuller on injured reserve, the Bears may have more talent on injured reserve than in their starting lineup.

29. LOS ANGELES RAMS (4-7)

Last week: 28
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 32 - Defense: 11

When the head coach spends time worrying about the perfectly justifiable critique from a franchise legend and Hall of Famer, it's clear that the team's lack of focus starts with the man in charge on the sideline.

28. NEW YORK JETS (3-8)

Last week: 29
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 24 - Defense: 23

The Jets rose one spot last week because of a bye, and one spot with a respectable performance against New England. They're bad, but just garden-variety, elicit-no-sympathy bad.

27. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (2-9)

Last week: 27
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 16 - Defense: 12

There are signs of life about which the Broncos should be concerned; their last four losses have come by a combined 22 points, and Blake Bortles has thrown 11 touchdowns against four interceptions in the last five games and has cut his sack rate down to one every 26 pass plays in that span after being sacked once every 16 pass plays in Weeks 1-7.

26. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (5-6)

Last week: 24
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 8 - Defense: 32

Teams have gained at least 300 yards and 18 first downs 231 times in games this year. Just two of those failed to score at least 10 points -- including the Colts last week, held to seven after being stopped at the Pittsburgh 1-yard line twice.

25. CINCINNATI BENGALS (3-7-1)

Last week: 26
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 11 - Defense: 20

An offense that averaged 395 yards per game before its Week 9 bye has mustered just 296 yards per game since then.

24. CAROLINA PANTHERS (4-7)

Last week: 22
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 17 - Defense: 10

Even riverboat gamblers should know you stay on 19 and don't go chasing points on a series of two-point conversion attempts in the third quarter.

23. ARIZONA CARDINALS (4-6-1)

Last week: 20
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 19 - Defense: 2

Carson Palmer was good for two giveaways once again, and the Arizona defense has shown signs of buckling the last two games as their season teeters at the precipice of irrelevance.

22. GREEN BAY PACKERS (5-6)

Last week: 25
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 7 - Defense: 27

I was surprised to learn that Aaron Rodgers is on pace for "only" 653 attempts, which wouldn't even place him in the top 10 all-time for a single season.

21. TENNESSEE TITANS (6-6)

Last week: 23
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 14 - Defense: 21

A rare late-season bye will leave the Titans refreshed when the Broncos arrive for their first game in Nashville in five years.

20. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (5-6)

Last week: 15
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 18 - Defense: 7

The fade typical of rookie quarterbacks has hit Carson Wentz, but what doomed the Eagles on Monday was an inability to get off the field; the Packers converted 10 of 14 third-down attempts and punted just once.

19. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5-6)

Last week: 19
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 4 - Defense: 24

Only the Falcons have scored 35 or more points more often than the Saints this season.

18. BUFFALO BILLS (6-5)

Last week: 18
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 13 - Defense: 19

Some "Shady" math: the Bills are 7-0 the last two seasons when LeSean McCoy rushes for at least 100 yards and 7-13 when he doesn't.

17. HOUSTON TEXANS (6-5)

Last week: 13
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 28 - Defense: 3

Uninspiring and reeling is no way to to through November and December.

16. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (6-5)

Last week: 21
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 15 - Defense: 14

Mike Smith's defense has found its mojo the last three weeks, and his unit has surrendered just 30 points in that span (with Seattle scoring another two on a safety last Sunday). A balanced, rapidly growing Bucs team is dangerous, especially since it could be peaking at the right time.

15. MIAMI DOLPHINS (7-4)

Last week: 17
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 25 - Defense: 13

The seven teams Miami has beaten have a collective record of 25-53 and a winning percentage of .321. But the statistic that matters is 7-4, which has them in the No. 6 seed by virtue of a conference-tiebreaker edge on Denver.

14. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (6-5)

Last week: 11
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 26 - Defense: 4

Their schedule in Weeks 14-17 is relatively soft, and includes two games against teams that have already clinched losing seasons (Jacksonville and Chicago). But this team has already lost 20-10 to the Bears.

13. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (6-5)

Last week: 16
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 12 - Defense: 15

A resurgent defense has allowed just 16 points the last two games -- but those were against Cleveland and a Luck-less Indianapolis.

12. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (5-6)

Last week: 14
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 10 - Defense: 9

Their next three games -- at Houston, against Tampa Bay and at Carolina -- are winnable, but this is a team that has made an art form of frittering away opportunities, with a 4-14 mark in its last 18 games decided by eight points or fewer.

11. BALTIMORE RAVENS (6-5)

Last week: 10
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 29 - Defense: 1

Baltimore is 28th in yardage per pass play in 29th in yardage per rush. There isn't one thing its offense does well, but with a defense as dominant as this one, that might not matter.

10. DETROIT LIONS (7-4)

Last week: 12
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 7 - Defense: 27

Defense has picked up the slumping offense in the Lions' last two games.

9. DENVER BRONCOS (7-4)

Last week: 5
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 23 - Defense: 6

Their overtime loss to Kansas City snapped an 18-game winning streak for teams that gained at least 460 yards and allowed fewer than 280.

8. ATLANTA FALCONS (7-4)

Last week: 9
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 3 - Defense: 31

As they did against the Broncos in Week 5, the Falcons turned back Arizona without Julio Jones being a primary target, showing the continued balance of their offense.

7. WASHINGTON REDSKINS (6-4-1)

Last week: 7
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 2 - Defense: 30

So many "ifs" ... "if" Dustin Hopkins had not missed two field goals ... "if" they didn't have to go to Dallas for a Thursday afternoon game after playing the previous Sunday night ... but if Washington gets a third shot at Dallas, it could be the charm.

6. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (7-3-1)

Last week: 3
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 20 - Defense: 8

Seattle struggled to just 245 yards, its lowest total in its last 39 regular-season games.

5. NEW YORK GIANTS (8-3)

Last week: 8
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 24 - Defense: 7

New York's defense has allowed just 16.4 points per game the last five weeks -- but those games were against teams that are a combined 14-41=1.

4. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (8-3)

Last week: 6
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 21 - Defense: 16

Special teams and opportunistic play allow them to overcome some mediocre overall numbers to be in prime playoff position.

3. OAKLAND RAIDERS (9-2)

Last week: 4
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 9 - Defense: 18

Oakland has allowed over 120 rushing yards in six of 11 games, and with the Bills and LeSean McCoy coming to Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum this weekend, there is an upset threat.

2. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (9-2)

Last week: 1
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 6 - Defense: 17

A classic fairways-and-greens performance from Tom Brady got the job done at MetLife Stadium.

1. DALLAS COWBOYS (10-1)

Last week: 2
Per-possession efficiency rankings -- Offense: 1 - Defense: 26

Washington was two missed field-goal attempts from putting up 32 points on the Cowboys, and if they fall short in the postseason, it will be because of a defensive letdown.

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