Schrock's NFL Power Rankings: Where Bears stand after bye week originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Bears had the week off after beating the Vikings, but they managed to get two important wins in the race for the No. 1 pick
Week 13 of the NFL season was all about the showdown in Philadelphia.
Turns out, it wasn’t much of a showdown.
After being stuck in neutral in the first quarter, the 49ers hit the gas and dump trucked the Eagles 42-19. When fully healthy, the Niners are in a tier by themselves.
In Green Bay, Jordan Love continues to deal. Love completed 25-of-36 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns as the Packers knocked off the Kansas City Chiefs on "Sunday Night Football" to elevate their playoff chances to 65 percent.
Here’s where each team stands after Week 13:
San Francisco 49ers (9-3): The 49ers talked a lot of trash after their NFC title game loss to the Eagles, and then they rolled into Philadelphia on Sunday and delivered a back-alley beatdown to the defending conference champions. The rematch was no contest. The title favorites made a Super Bowl statement in the City of Brotherly Love.
Philadelphia Eagles (10-2): The Eagles were due for a smacking, given how they’ve played over the last month. The 49ers are a bad matchup for them with their current crop of safeties and linebackers. They’ll likely see the Niners again, but I’m not sure the result will be any different.
Baltimore Ravens (9-3): The AFC is wide-open for Lamar Jackson to finally deliver come playoff time. The Ravens have what it takes to win the Super Bowl, but they’ll have to banish their postseason demons to do so.
Kansas City Chiefs (8-4): The Chiefs have flaws that even Patrick Mahomes and Taylor Swift can't wipe away. Kansas City still belongs in the "legitimate contender" tier, but the Chiefs are more vulnerable than they have been in years past.
Dallas Cowboys (9-3): In his last seven games, Dak Prescott has thrown for 2,173 yards, 21 touchdowns, and just two interceptions while completing 70.5 percent of his passes. With games against the Eagles, Bills, Dolphins, and Lions on deck, the Cowboys quarterback has the opportunity to vault himself to the top of the MVP conversation over the next four weeks.
Detroit Lions (9-3): Detroit continues to be unable to put teams away. The Lions roared out to a 21-0 lead against the Saints on Sunday but allowed New Orleans to claw back to within one score in the second half. Aaron Glenn’s defense has some issues that need to be solved yesterday if they want to be a realistic threat in the playoffs.
Houston Texans (7-5): The Texans’ defense saved the day against the Broncos on Sunday. Rookie defensive end Will Anderson Jr. had two sacks and two tackles for loss, while second-year cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. picked off Russell Wilson twice. If DeMeco Ryans’ defense continues to ascend, the Texans are going to give someone hell on Wild Card Weekend.
Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4): It’s a good thing the NFL doesn’t have a playoff committee like college football or else Trevor Lawrence’s ankle injury would have removed them from postseason consideration. In all seriousness, if Lawrence’s injury is as severe as it looked, the season is over in Duval and these rankings will reflect a C.J. Beathard-led Jags team moving forward.
Buffalo Bills (6-6): Buffalo will exit its bye in 10th place in the AFC but just one game out of the No. 7 seed in the loss column. The Bills face a tough schedule down the stretch with the Chiefs, Cowboys, Dolphins, and Chargers on top. Josh Allen will have to put on his Super-Man cape and not take it off to get Buffalo back to the dance.
Los Angeles Rams (6-6): The Rams’ win over the Browns got them to 6-6 and raised their chances of making the playoffs to 47 percent, according to ESPN. LA owns the tie-breaker over the Seahawks and will only face one team with a winning record the rest of the way. That comes next week against the Ravens. If Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua, and Kyren Williams can stay healthy, the Rams should be right there at the end of the month.
Cleveland Browns (7-5): Joe Flacco played pretty well in his Cleveland debut. Whether Cleveland rolls with Flacco or turns back to rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson, the Browns should be able to punch their postseason ticket thanks to games against the Bears, Jets, and Bengals to end the season.
Green Bay Packers (6-6): The Packers' demise lasted all of six weeks. Jordan Love has been dealing for a month, looking like the franchise quarterback the Packers drafted to replace Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay stays blessed.
Indianapolis Colts (7-5): In their first game since Jonathan Taylor’s thumb injury, the Colts rushed for just 55 yards on Sunday against the Titans. Indianapolis needs to find a way to get the ground game going while Taylor is out to help make life easier on the erratic gunslinger Gardner Minshew.
Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5): The Steelers were pushed around by the Arizona Cardinals at home Sunday and lost quarterback Kenny Pickett and guard Isaac Seumalo in the process. Pickett was wearing a boot on the sideline, which likely signals Mitchell Trubisky will get the nod Thursday against the Patriots. Gross.
Denver Broncos (6-6): The Broncos’ five-game winning streak was buoyed by a plus-13 turnover differential. That went the other way Sunday as Russell Wilson threw three interceptions in a critical loss for Denver’s playoff hopes. The Broncos’ chances aren’t dead, but they’ll likely need some help down the stretch to make the postseason.
Seattle Seahawks (6-6): Seattle dropped out of the NFC playoff picture on Sunday and will face an uphill climb to get back in it. The Seahawks face the 49ers and Eagles in the next two weeks. Barring an upset, Seattle will be 6-8 with three games left and lose the tie-breaker to the Rams. Uphill, Pete Carroll trudges.
Minnesota Vikings (6-6): The Joshua Dobbs pixie dust ran out last week against the Bears, and now Kevin O’Connell faces a big decision at quarterback as the Vikings exit the bye week. Rookie Jaren Hall was the first name O’Connell mentioned after the loss to the Bears. Will Minnesota put its playoff hopes in the fifth-round pick’s hands?
Atlanta Falcons (6-6): The Falcons are alone atop the NFC South after a win over the Tim Boyle/Trevor Siemian Frankenstein Jets. Atlanta put up fewer than 200 yards of offense on Sunday. Desmond Ridder and Co. have to find a way to be more consistent if they want to win the NFL’s worst division.
Los Angeles Chargers (5-7): Lost in the tornado of Brandon Staley discourse this season is that Kellen Moore turned into a pumpkin at offensive coordinator. The Bolts need to clean house this offseason after wasting Justin Herbert’s rookie contract.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-7): Death, taxes, and Mike Evans record 1,000-yard seasons. The Bucs star made it 10 straight Sunday, tying him with Randy Moss for the second-most consecutive 1,000-yard seasons in NFL history. Jerry Rice, of course, stands alone above them.
New Orleans Saints (5-7): Derek Carr once again left the game with a shoulder injury and to get checked for a concussion. Carr was booed by Saints fans early in the game. It’s time, Saints. Put the keys in Jameis Winston’s hands.
Las Vegas Raiders (5-7): Give Antonio Pierce credit for stabilizing the ship in Sin City. I don’t think it’s going to be enough to get him the full-time job, though. Mark Davis will go big fish hunting again.
Chicago Bears (4-8): The Bucs’ win over the Panthers and the Cardinals’ win over the Steelers bumped the Bears’ chances of getting the No. 1 overall pick via Carolina, over 70 percent. Bears stay hot on the bye week.
New York Jets (4-8): Aaron Rodgers’ “comeback” is all but over after the Jets’ loss to the Falcons. At least we can bury that storyline.
Arizona Cardinals (3-10): The Cardinals head into the bye week after a convincing win over the Steelers at The Big Mustard Bottle. At 3-10 and with the Panthers and Patriots in full tank mode, the Cardinals’ win Sunday might be what takes them out of the Caleb Williams-Drake Maye sweepstakes and keeps Kyler Murray in the desert for at least one more season.
New York Giants (4-8): After a so-so start to his NFL career, Tommy DeVito authored back-to-back good outings in wins over the Commanders and Patriots. His agent also told NFL Media that the undrafted rookie turned down significantly more money from Washington in order to play for the hometown Giants. Cult hero status is rising.
Tennessee Titans (4-8): The Titans lost four key players Sunday against the Colts and missed an extra point that would have given them the lead with 5:25 to play. They lost in overtime. Woof.
Washington Commanders (4-9): Paddleboard Ron Rivera took over as defensive play-caller this week, and it didn’t change a thing. The Dolphins scored 24 points in the first half en route to a 45-15 win. The Commanders have now lost nine of their last 11 games. That’s about all she wrote for Rivera in D.C.
New England Patriots (2-10): The Patriots have now lost three straight games in which the opponent has scored 10 points or fewer. No team has done that since 1938. Drake Maye, come on down!
Carolina Panthers (1-11): The Panthers were officially eliminated from playoff contention Sunday. Carolina’s biggest problem is that it can’t fire or cut bait with the organization’s biggest issue: owner David Tepper.