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NFL Power Rankings: Who is on top with 4 weeks to go?

Where does your favorite NFL team rank after Week 13?

USA Today/Peter Rogers Illustrations

Its Power Rankings time! We’ve moved on to the three quarter mark of the 2019 regular season and there has been significant movement within the rankings over the past 5 weeks. The cream has started to rise to the top across the league, with the Saints already securing their spot in the playoffs by sealing their third straight NFC South title last week. We have new teams at both the top and bottom of the Power Rankings but those final 4 weeks will offer enough twists and turns to mean where we are ahead of Week 14 is far from the finished article.

These rankings are based on a set of team efficiency ratings I have developed over the past five years, analyzing the key statistical metrics and weighting each one based on its impact on team wins and losses. This gives every team a rating out of 100% for their offense, defense and special teams, plus an overall rating so we can benchmark each team’s relative set of performances.

Starting at the top and the new top rated team in the NFL hails from Baltimore, who move up 4 places from their Week 8 ranking. The Ravens are riding and 8-game winning streak and along with the Patriots, are the only teams to have 3 game ratings above 80% this season, with 2 of these coming in the last 3 weeks. Their rise to the top comes from both their high powered offense, which has risen from 3rd to 1st, but also a big step up in their defense that has moved up 11 places from 14th to 3rd. Their +45.6% rating for the season is currently on pace to be the best I’ve ever recorded (2007 Patriots, +42.2%), with both the offense (+61.1% vs 60.5%) and defense (-22.5% vs -25.3%) both ahead of the Patriots’ ratings from that season.

The 49ers remain in second place in the rankings despite 2 losses in the last 4 weeks, though they produced a positive grade in the loss to the Ravens suggesting they were the better team in the Week 13 match up. Their position in the rankings continues to be led by their number 1 ranked defense, taking over from the Patriots as the league’s top defensive unit.

The Bills have jumped up 11 places to 3rd after 3 wins in their last 4 games and currently sit as the 5th seed in the AFC playoff race. They face some tough matchups over the next 3 weeks, as they go against 3 of the top 4 defenses in the NFL in the Ravens, Steelers and Patriots. If they make the playoffs after that stretch, they will surely be a force to be reckoned with in January.

The Patriots drop 4 places to 5th after 2 losses in the last 4 week, with both those losses one-sided affairs. Though the defense remains elite, the offense has its obvious concerns and has dropped from 10th to 16th over the last 5 weeks. They are still favorites to win the AFC East but the Week 16 match up with the Bills still could decide the division.

Other big risers over the past 5 weeks are the Buccaneers and the Jets, who have both moved up 14 places to 11th and 17th respectively. They are both floored teams who are unlikely to make the playoffs and who punctuate big wins with ugly losses. Interesting to note that the Bucs and Jets the league’s top 2 run defenses, which has supported their rise since week 8.

At the bottom, the Lions drop 6 places over the last 5 weeks and fall to the bottom of the rankings. Though you would think the loss of Matthew Stafford would be the cause, the offense remains 12th but the defense has fallen right away from 28th to dead last with a -58% rating. This is historically bad and the worst I’ve ever graded, with the previous worst the 2015 Saints with a -52.4% rating.

The Lions are joined in the bottom 3 by the Bengals and Cardinals. The Bengals got off the bottom spot after their first win of the season in Week 13 win, which was also their first positive grade of the entire season. The Cards drop into the bottom 3 after their worst grade of 2019 with the blowout loss at home to the Rams (-82.9%). The Cardinals rank 31st in defense and dead last in pass defense and face a tough slate over the final 4 weeks to escape the NFL’s basement teams.

The biggest fallers are the Panthers who have dropped 14 places in the last 5 weeks to 27th and who punctuated their 4 game losing streak by firing head coach Ron Rivera this week. Both their offense and defense rank at 27th and they have the league’s worst run defense, allowing 156 rushing yards and 2.5 rushing touchdowns per game over the last 6 weeks.

NFL Power Rankings

Team Total Rating Rank Vs Week 8 Offense Rank Defense Rank Special Teams Rank
Team Total Rating Rank Vs Week 8 Offense Rank Defense Rank Special Teams Rank
Ravens 45.6% 1 4 61.1% 1 -22.5% 3 -4.2% 19
49ers 30.1% 2 - 41.7% 9 -15.6% 1 -7.8% 25
Bills 27.9% 3 11 47.3% 6 -30.0% 8 18.5% 2
Saints 26.5% 4 - 50.7% 3 -29.8% 7 -7.7% 22
Patriots 22.4% 5 -4 36.1% 16 -23.9% 4 15.5% 4
Vikings 16.3% 6 -3 52.3% 2 -38.9% 17 -12.5% 28
Cowboys 16.0% 7 -1 49.1% 5 -33.8% 11 -7.7% 22
Colts 14.3% 8 -1 37.0% 14 -29.3% 6 16.7% 3
Steelers 9.8% 9 6 24.1% 28 -21.1% 2 -8.9% 26
Chiefs 9.2% 10 1 44.5% 7 -41.1% 22 -2.4% 16
Buccaneers 7.8% 11 14 37.5% 13 -33.9% 12 1.2% 14
Rams 6.3% 12 - 27.9% 24 -30.0% 8 8.9% 9
Seahawks 6.2% 13 -5 38.9% 11 -37.3% 15 -22.0% 32
Titans 4.9% 14 3 36.6% 15 -40.7% 21 3.0% 13
Eagles 3.2% 15 -6 34.1% 18 -35.9% 14 10.7% 7
Packers 2.9% 16 -6 49.8% 4 -51.3% 29 -13.7% 30
Jets 1.7% 17 14 30.0% 21 -33.4% 10 4.2% 12
Raiders 0.2% 18 2 42.3% 8 -47.3% 26 5.4% 11
Browns -1.4% 19 8 34.6% 17 -38.2% 16 -7.7% 22
Texans -2.2% 20 -4 40.7% 10 -52.3% 30 -2.4% 16
Broncos -4.8% 21 - 19.1% 30 -28.0% 5 -2.4% 16
Falcons -7.0% 22 6 33.9% 19 -42.7% 25 -5.4% 21
Chargers -8.6% 23 -4 33.6% 20 -39.3% 18 -16.1% 31
Bears -9.0% 24 - 28.0% 23 -39.5% 20 -12.5% 28
Jaguars -10.8% 25 -7 25.5% 26 -39.3% 18 -0.6% 15
Redskins -11.1% 26 3 13.2% 32 -33.9% 12 10.7% 7
Panthers -13.3% 27 -14 24.3% 27 -48.0% 27 25.0% 1
Giants -17.0% 28 -6 20.7% 29 -41.8% 24 14.3% 5
Dolphins -17.4% 29 3 27.8% 25 -48.9% 28 -5.2% 20
Cardinals -17.9% 30 -7 29.3% 22 -52.9% 31 6.0% 10
Bengals -19.7% 31 -1 15.4% 31 -41.1% 22 12.5% 6
Lions -20.8% 32 -6 38.9% 12 -58.0% 32 -10.4% 27