The AFC road to the Super Bowl may, in fact, go through New England. Surprise, surprise. Elsewhere around the league, RG3 is getting booed at home, the Steelers are back in the hunt, and Carolina continues to impress. Then there are Houston and Atlanta, two teams that continue to disappoint.
2013 Week 13 NFL power rankings
32. Houston Texans (2-9): Nine straight losses. Houston gets worse with every weekend.
31. Atlanta Falcons (2-9): Atlanta getting swept by the Saints is fitting. January can't come soon enough for the Falcons.
30. Washington Redskins (3-8): I'm not yet ready to say that this isn't just a sophomore slump for RG3. He still hasn't had a real NFL offseason.
29. Cleveland Browns (4-7): Brandon Weeden is starting on Sunday. I'll take the Jags.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9): Give Jacksonville credit for not laying down and accepting the first pick in next spring's draft. The Jaguars should be able to win in Cleveland.
27. Minnesota Vikings (2-8-1): A tie in Green Bay is a fine result for this Minnesota side. I admittedly expected much worse.
26. Green Bay Packers (5-5-1): Green Bay is smart in not rushing Aaron Rodgers back. That team has more issues than just the QB position.
25. Buffalo Bills (4-7): Buffalo gets to host the Falcons this coming Sunday. That should keep the Bills in the playoff hunt for at least one more week.
24. New York Jets (5-6): Wow, has Geno Smith taken several steps backward. I'm not sure playing him is the wisest move for the 2013 Jets or for Smith's future.
23. New York Giants (4-7): The ride was fun while it lasted. It's all over now.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-8): Who is now willing to come out and say that he believes in Greg Schiano? Anybody?
21. Oakland Raiders (4-7): So maybe Matt McGloin isn't the next Tom Brady. Excuse us Penn State people for getting a little excited about a fun story.
20. Tennessee Titans (5-6): I need to see more wining performances from Ryan Fitzpatrick before I start to believe. I'm not sold.
19. San Diego Chargers (5-6): Every time I consider writing off the Chargers, Philip Rivers goes and does something special. Is San Diego in for another magical holiday season?
18. Miami Dolphins (5-6): Miami took a very good Carolina team to the brink of defeat. Do not count the Dolphins out yet.
17. Baltimore Ravens (5-6): Yes, the Jets are lousy when not at home. Baltimore has been here before. They are just as likely to earn that final Wild Card berth as is any other team in the conference.
16. St. Louis Rams (5-6): 38-8 against Indianapolis. 42-21 over Chicago. Maybe we should all be paying more attention to the Rams.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-6): Ben Roethlisberger continues to own Cleveland. He wins there about as much as he wins in Pittsburgh.
14. Detroit Lions (6-5): Detroit is, right now, the best team in the AFC North. The Lions should have at least two more wins, and they don't because they lack discipline.
13. Chicago Bears (6-5): Jay Cutler or no Jay Cutler, the Bears don't have a defense that can win a title. They may be good enough to win the division, but that's about all you're going to get.
12. Cincinnati Bengals (7-4): I see Cincy as the least impressive seven-win side in the NFL. They can show me up in San Diego.
11. Indianapolis Colts (7-4): The Colts are all sorts of banged up, and it is catching up with them. They're going to have to work to win the AFC South.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (6-5): The Eagles are 1-4 at home in 2013, and they have to host a hot Arizona team after a week off. What could go wrong?
9. Dallas Cowboys (6-5): They are nowhere near elite, but Dallas could prove to be a handful if Tony Romo can avoid a December swoon. I believe the Cowboys to be the best in the NFC East.
8. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2): I refused to no-sell the Chiefs until they lost a game. Boy, do I look silly right about now.
7. Arizona Cardinals (7-4): 40 points on Indianapolis. Arizona is a real playoff contender.
6. Denver Broncos (9-2): The weather outside is getting frightful. A team with Peyton Manning at QB was far from delightful. I've seen this movie before.
5. San Francisco 49ers (7-4): Colin Kaepernick is going to be fine. Don't lose faith just yet.
4. New England Patriots (8-3): The Patriots are the best team in the AFC. That doesn't mean a lot in 2013, but it's true all the same.
3. New Orleans Saints (9-2): New Orleans could make a real statement in Seattle. No easy task.
2. Carolina Panthers (8-3): Make it seven straight wins for Cam Newton and company. Carolina is the anti-Atlanta.
1. Seattle Seahawks (10-1): The new kings of NFL power rankings by default, the Seahawks can earn this spot by beating New Orleans on Monday Night Football.