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NFL 2013: Deeper by the Dozen (After Week 11)

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Oh, how the mighty are falling?

For the second straight week, every team that won a division title in the NFC in 2012 came up short on the scoreboard. In fact, the only defending divisional champion to win in Week 12 was the Denver Broncos, who knocked off the previously-undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.

In fact, the only teams to reach the playoffs last season to win last week were the Broncos, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Indianapolis Colts and the Seattle Seahawks.

And it's also worth noting that exactly half of last season's playoff field is not above .500 with six weeks remaining.

One more time, here is the weekly look and ranking of how last season's postseason field is faring in 2013. Feel free to add your own thoughts…

12. Minnesota Vikings (2-8)

A trip to the Pacific Northwest once again proved to be an unpleasant experience for the Vikings, who now have to run the table in order to avoid a losing season. Much has been made about the team's quarterbacking situation but it's the defense could do a little explaining. Leslie Frazier's club has given up at least 23 points in all 10 games this season. And a pass rush that produced a combined 94 sacks the previous two seasons has gotten to opposing quarterbacks only 22 times in 2013…

11. Houston Texans (2-8)

The Oakland Raiders had not won a road game this season but that came to an end last week at Reliant Stadium. The once 2-0 Texans have now dropped a franchise-record eight games in a row and certainly hope they can stop the bleeding this week with the 1-9 Jacksonville Jaguars come to town. As for a few bright spots, rookie wideout DeAndre Hopkins has impressed and defensive end J.J. Watt is having another standout season…

10. Washington Redskins (3-7)

Those in the D.C. area hoping for a little déjà vu won't be having that same feeling this season. A year ago, the Redskins won their final seven games following a 3-6 start and captured the NFC East. This season, Mike Shanahan's club has already totaled seven losses and is 0-3 within the division. Second-year quarterback Robert Griffin III deserves some of the blame but that Washington defense has been a disaster…

9. Atlanta Falcons (2-8)

Just a few weeks after defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Georgia Dome, Mike Smith's shaken team was pushed around by this same club in a 41-28 loss that wasn't as close as you think. The defending NFC South champions have now dropped four straight games (by a combined 135-61 score) and on Thursday host the first-place New Orleans Saints, whom they trail by only six games with that many games to play. What a disaster!

8. Green Bay Packers (5-5)

Scott Tolzien was Green Bay's third different starting quarterback in as many games last week and it added up to a third straight loss for the defending NFC North champs. But despite their recent struggles, the Packers are still just one game out of first place and can do a lot to rectify that situation in the next week or so as they host the Vikings this Sunday then head to Detroit on Thanksgiving. Dom Capers' defense has to come up with more big plays…

7. Baltimore Ravens (4-6)

Last Sunday in Chicago, we saw the Ray Rice that we had not seen all season. Unfortunately for the defending Super Bowl champions, the Ravens lost for the sixth time in 10 games, a scene that has become far too familiar in 2013. Baltimore is now 2-5 in its last seven games and six of those contests have been decided by three points or less. But John Harbaugh's team now begins a three-game home stand with the New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers (on Thanksgiving) and Minnesota Vikings…

6. San Francisco 49ers (6-4)

All of a sudden, Jim Harbaugh's club is riding a two-game losing streak following five consecutive wins. And that means the defending conference champions have now lost as many games as they did last season when the finished 11-4-1. And the Niners suddenly find themselves even with the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West. Third-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick has had his ups and down but so has Harbaugh's talented defensive unit, which must deal with the Redskins this Monday night…

5. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4)

Perhaps no team is happier to be off this week than the Bengals, who did manage to beat the Cleveland Browns last Sunday, 41-20, thanks to a 31-point second quarter last weekend. Still, quarterback Andy Dalton has thrown eight interceptions in his last three games and must get back on track quickly. Regardless of what happens with the other three teams in the division this Sunday (the Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens are all 4-6), Marvin Lewis' team will own at least a two-game lead in the AFC North…

4. Indianapolis Colts (7-3)

A short week for the Colts nearly proved to be a long night for Chuck Pagano's team as Andrew Luck and company erased a 14-0 deficit for a 30-27 win over the Titans at Nashville. It marked the third game in a row that this team dug itself a big early and fortunately, Luck was able to rescue his team twice. This week, Pagano and his club will make a very interesting trip to face the 6-4 Cardinal at Arizona where they will reunite with Bruce Arians, who was NFL Coach of the Year in 2012 with the Colts…

3. New England Patriots (7-3)

It might be tempting to drop the Patriots a slot or two after last week's Monday night loss to the Carolina Panthers. But it's hard to punish a club that came up just four points short against one of the hottest clubs in the league in one of the best game of the season. This Sunday evening at Foxborough, Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady and old friend/Broncos' signal-caller Peyton Manning renew acquaintances once again in a game that has become very important to Bill Belichick's team…

2. Denver Broncos (9-1)

Quarterback Peyton Manning threw only just touchdown pass last Sunday night and the Broncos were limited to a season-low 27 points against the Kansas City Chiefs. Even more significant was the fact that Manning was not sacked and Denver gave up a season-low 17 points in the 10-point win over Andy Reid's club. Now comes a critical two-game road trip with visits to Foxborough and Arrowhead Stadium. And if the Broncos take care of business, they could be on the fast track to the AFC's No. 1 seed for a second straight year…

1. Seattle Seahawks (10-1)

Pete Carroll's team heads into its off-week with a solid lead in the NFC West, a six-game winning streak and a 15-1 mark in its last 16 regular-season contests. Thanks to his three scores last Sunday in the rout of the Vikings, running back Marshawn Lynch is tied for the NFL lead with 11 touchdowns scored. Quarterback Russell Wilson is happy to see his offensive line getting healthy and the Seattle defense remains a force. And in two weeks, there's this showdown with the New Orleans Saints…

Russell S. Baxter has been covering the NFL for 30-plus years on all platforms. He is the founder of ProFootballGuru.com, writes for numerous websites and publications across the country and is blessed with an encyclopedic memory. Ready to talk NFL? Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.

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