Week 14 2018 NFL Power Rankings

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It isn’t a surprise that a powerhouse such as the Rams, our new No. 1 atop the NFL Power Rankings, is among the league leaders in several offensive categories. But even the worst teams are the best at something — or are close to it, at least. What does your team excel in? Our NFL Nation reporters have answers.

How we rank: Our power panel — a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities — evaluated how teams stack up through the first 13 weeks of the season.

Previous rankings: 13 | 12 | 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | Preseason

Week 13 ranking: 2

We’re No. 1 in: Pass-block win rate. Give it up for the big guys up front, where it all starts for the 11-1 Rams and their explosive offense. The offensive line ranks No. 1 in pass-block win rate, defined as when a pass-blocker sustains his block for 2.5 seconds following the snap. The Rams have won 63 percent of their pass blocks, allowing Jared Goff plenty of time to distribute the ball to a host of playmakers. — Lindsey Thiry

Week 13 ranking: 1

We’re No. 1 in: Scoring points. The Saints are tied for second in the NFL, at 34.9 points per game. But their scoring efficiency is on a historic pace. Despite their stunning offensive flop at Dallas in Week 13, the Saints have scored points on 58.1 percent of their drives this season, which is on pace to be the highest rate by any NFL team since the league expanded to a 16-game schedule in 1978. The record of 53 percent belongs to the 2007 Patriots, who went 16-0. — Mike Triplett

Week 13 ranking: 3

We’re No. 1 in: Passing TDs. Patrick Mahomes has 41. The Chiefs have needed most of them because they’ve had to outscore their porous defense. They will need Mahomes to challenge the NFL record of 55 if they’re going to continue to do so. — Adam Teicher

Week 13 ranking: 4

We’re (almost) No. 1 in: Kickoff return average. Led by Cordarrelle Patterson, who has returned 19 kickoffs for 580 yards (30.5 average) and one touchdown, the Patriots are topped by just one other team (the Titans) in kickoff return average. Patterson’s 95-yard kickoff return for a TD against the Bears was one of the signature plays of the Patriots’ season, and Tom Brady has nicknamed him “The Experiment” because of all the things the team has explored with him on offense, in addition to his kickoff return expertise. — Mike Reiss

Week 13 ranking: 5

We’re (almost) No. 1 in: Explosive plays. The Chargers have 83 explosive plays this season (running plays of 15-plus yards or passing plays of 20-plus yards). Only the Kansas City Chiefs (86) have more. The Bolts have been so-so on third downs this season, but one of the reasons they are among the league leaders in scoring (sixth overall) is a Philip Rivers-led offense’s ability to create chunk plays to make it easier to get into scoring position. — Eric D. Williams

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1:19

Field Yates and Matthew Berry explain why Deshaun Watson hasn’t lived up to the expectations but probably hasn’t cost you a playoff spot.

Week 13 ranking: 8

We’re No. 1 in: Consecutive victories. The Texans have the longest active win streak in the NFL after beating the Browns on Sunday. After starting 0-3, Houston has won nine games in a row and has a chance to clinch the AFC South next week. — Sarah Barshop

Week 13 ranking: 7

We’re No. 1 in: Sacks. The Steelers remain the league leaders, with 39. The defense is predicated on sacks and turnovers, and though Pittsburgh is one of the league’s worst in turnover ratio, five Steelers have at least 4.5 sacks, with T.J. Watt tied for ninth in the NFL with 10. — Jeremy Fowler

Week 13 ranking: 6

We’re No. 1 in: Takeaways. It’s all about the Bears’ defense. Heading into Week 13, Chicago’s defense ranked No. 1 in takeaways and points scored off turnovers. The Bears also had 15 players with at least one sack, the most in the NFL. Plus, the Bears were tied for the league lead with 10 players having at least one interception. — Jeff Dickerson

Week 13 ranking: 10

We’re No. 1 in: Rushing yards per game. The Seahawks are No. 1 in the NFL with just less than 149 rushing YPG. They’ve done that on an NFL-high 380 attempts, which explains why they’re leading the league in rushing despite ranking eighth in yards per carry at 4.7. They’ve topped 150 yards rushing in eight of their past nine games, and that’s as big of a reason as any that the Seahawks find themselves in excellent position for a wild-card berth. — Brady Henderson

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Ryan Clark and Tim Hasselbeck praise the Seahawks’ offense and Russell Wilson’s ability to extend plays outside the pocket.

Week 13 ranking: 11

We’re No. 1 in: Defense, which doesn’t come as a surprise for a franchise that has long been defined by keeping teams out of the end zone. The Ravens are the clear-cut best defense in the NFL, allowing the fewest yards (281.7) and points (17.8) per game. If Baltimore can keep this up, it would be quite an achievement. The only other time the Ravens finished a season ranked No. 1 in defense was 2006. — Jamison Hensley

Week 13 ranking: 14

We’re (almost) No. 1 in: Points allowed per game. The Cowboys are second in that category (18.6) behind the Ravens (17.8). The Cowboys have never led the league in scoring defense in their history but will have the chance to do so this season, especially considering the way they shut down the high-powered Saints. The Ravens have to play at Kansas City and at the L.A. Chargers in the final month. Three of their four remaining opponents are in the top 10 in points scored. The Cowboys face two, but the Indianapolis Colts, No. 8 in scoring, were shut out last week. — Todd Archer

Week 13 ranking: 9

We’re No. 1 in: Third-down defense. For a second straight season, the Vikings are leading the league in third-down stops, allowing teams to convert on just less than 30 percent of their attempts. This is a critical facet for Minnesota’s defense in forcing its will on opponents so the offense, which has gone through ebbs and flows all season, can get back on the field and attempt to score. — Courtney Cronin

Week 13 ranking: 13

We’re No. 1 in: Tackles from one player. Rookie linebacker Darius Leonard has gone from playing at South Carolina State, a Football Championship Subdivision school, to leading the NFL in tackles with 122, despite missing a game this season. The next player on the list is Miami’s Kiko Alonso, with 106 tackles. — Mike Wells

Week 13 ranking: 12

We’re No. 1 in: Yards per rush. I’d like to say they’re No. 1 in futility because this team has gone from 6-2 and a legitimate contender to 6-6 with rumors circulating about coach Ron Rivera’s job security. But because there is no actual ranking for that, we’ll go with yards per rush, in which the Panthers rank No. 1 in the league at 5.5. A big reason for that is second-year back Christian McCaffrey, who is averaging 5.2 yards per carry after averaging 3.7 yards per carry last season. The past two weeks, he became the first player in NFL history to have 50 yards rushing and receiving in consecutive games. — David Newton

Week 13 ranking: 19

We’re No. 1 in: Sacks from a duo. Von Miller tried to warn anyone who would listen in August that rookie outside linebacker Bradley Chubb is “going to do great things because when he gets it going, it won’t stop.” Twelve regular-season games later, no duo in the league has more sacks than Miller and Chubb do. Miller is second in the league with 12.5, and Chubb has 10. They are the only teammates in the NFL who have each reached double digits with four games to play in the regular season. Overall, the Broncos are tied for fifth in the league with 37 sacks. — Jeff Legwold

Week 13 ranking: 17

We’re (almost) No. 1 in: Points allowed per game. Three weeks ago, the Titans’ defense was tops in the league in points allowed per game. Their average ballooned from 16.8 points per game to 20.4 points per outing, and the team now sits at sixth in the league and third in the AFC South. In the past three games, the Titans have given up an average of 31.3 points per game. With divisional games against the Jaguars and Colts still on the schedule and a wild-card spot in the crosshairs, the Titans’ defense has to get back to its stingy ways. — Turron Davenport

Week 13 ranking: 18

We’re No. 1 in: Slow starts. The Eagles have been blanked nine times in the first quarters of their 12 games. They’ve scored 28 points in the first quarter all season. — Tim McManus

Week 13 ranking: 15

We’re No. 1 in: Fewest gains of 20 or more yards by receivers. The Redskins’ wideouts had combined for just 11 through 11 games (heading into Monday night’s game), as a result of injuries (Paul Richardson), a lack of speed and a combination of issues at quarterback: inaccuracy, lack of aggressiveness and no trust. The Redskins attempted just 27 throws of 20 or more yards in the air in the first 11 games, tied with New Orleans for third fewest. But the Saints completed 17 of those passes, compared with eight for Washington. And the Redskins lacked the speed to turn short gains into long ones. They must rectify this in the offseason or face another season with few explosive plays. — John Keim

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1:05

The NFL Live crew discusses whether Aaron Rodgers’ rocky relationship with head coach Mike McCarthy is the reason Green Bay fired its coach.

Week 13 ranking: 16

We’re No. 1 in: Interception rate. Aaron Rodgers has thrown only one interception in 463 attempts this season (0.4 percent), tops in the league. It hasn’t all been roses, though. Rodgers is completing 31 percent of his passes when under duress, good for last in the NFL. He has 35 throwaways, which is the most in his career and 15 more than any other quarterback. Also, he has been sacked 19 times on third down, second most in the NFL this season. — ESPN

Week 13 ranking: 21

We’re No. 1 in: Interceptions per opponent pass. Miami is intercepting an NFL-best 4.8 percent of its opponent’s passes. Dolphins CB Xavien Howard leads the NFL with seven interceptions, including four in his past two games, and has proclaimed himself the “best cornerback in the game.” The Dolphins are second overall in interceptions and third in takeaways. — Cameron Wolfe

Week 13 ranking: 20

We’re No. 1 in: Field goals. Matt Bryant and Giorgio Tavecchio are a combined 20-for-20 on field goals this season, making the Falcons the only team in the league that is perfect on field goals this season. But that isn’t necessarily a good thing, as it includes the six games in which the Falcons’ high-powered offense settled for field goals in the red zone. The Falcons lost five of those six games. — Vaughn McClure

Week 13 ranking: 23

We’re No. 1 in: Coaching changes. Hue Jackson’s firing means that the Browns will be hiring (counting interims) their 11th coach since 1999 and sixth since 2011. The Browns haven’t had a head coach last longer than two seasons since Romeo Crennel was coach from 2005 through 2008. They hope this next hire changes those fortunes. — Pat McManamon

Week 13 ranking: 26

We’re No. 1 in: Turning the ball over. The Bucs have turned the ball over 30 times in 12 games, more than any other team in the league, yet they have 442.7 yards of offense per game, also tops in the league. This is a clear-cut example of how they haven’t been able to get out of their own way, and most of their mistakes are self-inflicted. — Jenna Laine

Week 13 ranking: 25

We’re No. 1 in: Personal fouls. The Jaguars have a league-high 30 (for 340 yards of penalties) through 12 weeks after adding three in their 6-0 victory over Indianapolis on Sunday. That’s five more than Cincinnati and the Los Angeles Chargers. Executive VP of football ops Tom Coughlin called the Jaguars’ on-field behavior “ridiculous” during a fundraising appearance on a local radio show last week, and coach Doug Marrone takes full responsibility for those penalties. “That’s a reflection on the head coach,” he said. “I’ve got to do a better job with them.” — Mike DiRocco

Week 13 ranking: 22

We’re No. 1 in: Injuries. Once A.J. Green goes on injured reserve, that will mark 15 players on IR since training camp (a figure that doesn’t include the players who were waived/injured). The Bengals have been decimated by injuries this season, losing their starting quarterback, three tight ends, several defensive linemen and their backup left tackle to IR. They could be in line to lose several more key figures before the season is over. Left tackle Cordy Glenn is injured, and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick is in a walking boot. The results have shown on the field, and the Bengals likely just want this season to mercifully end at this point. — Katherine Terrell

Week 13 ranking: 27

We’re No. 1 in: couldn’t find a real stat in which the Giants are No. 1. They have the top-rated passer for a non-quarterback this season. Odell Beckham Jr. is 2-for-2 with 57- and 49-yard touchdown passes. He has a perfect 158.3 passer rating this season. Hey, it’s something. — Jordan Raanan

Week 13 ranking: 24

We’re No. 1 in: Opposing field goal percentage. The uprights have been kind to the Lions this year — both at home and on the road. Typically reliable kickers such as Graham Gano, Cody Parkey and Mason Crosby had horrific days against Detroit, part of the 66.7 field goal percentage against that the Lions have culled in 2018. It’s tops in the league entering Monday Night Football, and in a year largely looked at as a failure with the Lions, this is one thing to feel good about. When Lions coach Matt Patricia was asked about it last month, he didn’t want to discuss it — because he didn’t want to jinx whatever has been going on with his opponents in 2018. — Michael Rothstein

Week 13 ranking: 28

We’re No. 1 in: Passing yards allowed per game. The Bills have the NFL’s best pass defense, allowing only 187.2 yards per game. That is not simply a function of low opponent passing volume against the Bills, who have been outscored by 115 points this season. Buffalo is allowing a league-low 9.24 yards per completion. — Mike Rodak

Week 13 ranking: 29

We’re No. 1 in: Special teams. The Jets are No. 1, based on expected points added (via ESPN Stats & Information). This represents a significant improvement for the Jets, who were 18th in 2017. One big reason for the jump is PK Jason Myers, who has made 28 of 30 field goals, including an NFL-record five from 55 yards or longer. — Rich Cimini

Week 13 ranking: 32

We’re No. 1 in: Nothing? If the league’s offensive rankings were flipped upside down, the Cardinals would be ranked No. 1 in a whole host of categories: yards per game, yards per play, passing yards per game, passing yards per play, first downs per game, fourth-down percentage, average time of possession and points per game. Otherwise, the Cardinals aren’t ranked No. 1 in any category, especially after they won Sunday in Green Bay. Until that happened, they had the best odds to claim the top pick in the NFL draft. — Josh Weinfuss

Week 13 ranking: 30

We’re No. 1 in: No. 1 pick odds. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Niners now have a fitting 49 percent chance to secure the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft, the best odds in the league. There aren’t a whole lot of positives to take from this lost season, but given the Niners’ desperate need for blue-chip talent, the potential to draft first is a good thing — assuming, of course, they make the right choice. — Nick Wagoner

Week 13 ranking: 31

We’re (almost) No. 1 in: Batted passes. All has not been lost in a star-crossed season for the Raiders, who are tied for the worst record in the NFL with the 49ers at 2-10. While Oakland has only the No. 28-ranked total defense, the Raiders do fly around the ball … at times. They are third in the league in batted passes (13) and fourth in pass breakups (41), which includes batted passes, passes defensed and tipped passes. That is something the rebuilding Raiders can, well, build upon under coach Jon Gruden and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. — Paul Gutierrez



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