NFL power rankings 2013: Broncos, Seahawks surge into the playoffs

USA TODAY Sports

Who is the best team in the NFL? We're a month away from crowning a Super Bowl champion but the Broncos and Seahawks look like two of the NFL's best teams over the last month.

SB Nation's final NFL power rankings for the 2012-13 season are in and the Denver Broncos are ranked No. 1 overall. The biggest free agent signing in NFL history ended up working out quite well for the Broncos, who enter the postseason on an 11-game winning streak.

So the Broncos are great. Who else is?


More: Complete NFL playoff schedule | Tracking the GM, coach firings


1. Denver Broncos (LW: 2, 13-3): This is the best team in the NFL. The focus is on Peyton Manning and the fact they scored over 30 points nine times in their 11-game winning streak. But this is a top-five defense, too. They did lose to the Patriots and Texans earlier this year, and they'll likely play one of those teams in the postseason.

2. Seattle Seahawks (LW: 3, 11-5): Some fans will adopt a team for the playoffs. Since my team is out of the playoffs, I'm adopting the Seahawks. Over the past three weeks this is the most entertaining team in the NFL.

3. Atlanta Falcons (Last week: 1, 13-3): Only one thing left to do -- win a playoff game.

4. New England Patriots (LW: 4, 12-4): The same position every year. Best offense in the NFL, 10-plus wins and a first-round bye. I'm going to copy and paste this for next season's power rankings.

5. Green Bay Packers (LW: 5, 11-5): Four of their five losses are to playoff teams. I'm not really sure what to make of the 2013 Packers.

6. San Francisco 49ers (LW: 6, 11-4-1): Justin Smith's injury is a big deal. He's a huge part of their success. Next man up...

7. Houston Texans (LW: 7, 12-4): They were the best team for most of the season, they have one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL, their quarterback is in the Pro Bowl and they're a top-10 defense. I think they'll be OK.

8. Washington Redskins (LW: 8, 10-6): I really feel like the Redskins should be higher on this list. But I'm not sure who they would leap frog. Taking your suggestions in the comments.

9. Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 10, 10-6): Beating the Steelers and Ravens to close out the season. Respect.

10. Minnesota Vikings (LW: 11, 10-6): You know the way your grandparents talk about Jim Brown? We're going to be talking about Adrian Peterson like that one day.


Previous Power Rankings: Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 16 | Week 17


11. Indianapolis Colts (LW: 12, 11-5): You just know these rookie QBs are going on a roll in the playoffs.

12. New York Giants (LW: 15, 9-7): They won nine games last year and went on to win the Super Bowl. They win nine games this year and miss the playoffs.

13. Baltimore Ravens (LW: 9, 10-6): One of two things will happen. The Ravens continue their free fall, losing to the Colts on Wild Card weekend and making it just one win in their final six games of the season. Or Ray Lewis comes back, the Ravens D plays out of their minds and they advance. I haven't picked which one yet.

14. Chicago Bears (LW: 13, 10-6): So the Bears fired Lovie Smith after a 10-win season. That's rough. Also rough: three postseason appearances in nine years. Hard to defend someone who starts 7-1 and misses the playoffs.

15. Carolina Panthers (LW: 20, 7-9): And here we are, a year later, in the same position. At this time last year, folks were talking about how the Panthers were going to be a team to watch in 2012. Now, because of the way they finished, folks are going to be talking about how the Panthers are going to be a team to watch in 2013.

16. New Orleans Saints (LW: 16, 7-9): 2012 sucked. Sean Payton is back with a shiny contract extension so, long term, that's more important.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 18, 8-8): The Steelers miss the playoffs and don't go crazy firing everyone. Maybe a lesson to be learned there.

18. Dallas Cowboys (LW: 14, 8-8): They call him Big Game Tony Romo.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 23, 7-9): If there is such thing as momentum from season-to-season, then losing five of their last six this season is going to be a problem.

20. Miami Dolphins (LW: 19, 7-9): The arrow is pointing up. Just need some consistency. You can't lose to the Titans one week and then beat the Seahawks the next.


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21. San Diego Chargers (LW: 22, 7-9): As first reported three years ago, Norv Turner has been fired.

22. St. Louis Rams (LW: 17, 7-8-1): The Rams haven't finished above .500 since 2003. So close.

23. Cleveland Browns (LW: 21, 5-11): The Browns staff has been cleared out. You never know how that will affect the team, but the Browns were headed in the right direction. Who knows if the next regime will keep them headed that way.

24. Tennessee Titans (LW: 26, 6-10): Bud Adams is getting tired of this shit, man.

25. Buffalo Bills (LW: 24, 6-10): Chan Gailey's out. A new organizational structure. Big changes in Buffalo.

26. New York Jets (LW: 25, 6-10): GM Mike Tannenbaum is out, but Rex Ryan remains. Like every other team in the NFL, they're a QB away.

27. Detroit Lions (LW: 27, 4-12): Maybe 2011 was the exception, and not the beginning of something special.

28. Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 28, 4-12): After 14 years, a new era. The chances of the next coach being as successful as Reid? Very low.

29. Arizona Cardinals (LW: 31, 5-11): It'll be hard to upgrade from Ken Whisenhunt. I see maybe one or two more attractive coaching candidates on the market.

30. Oakland Raiders (LW: 29, 4-12): If there were a tournament for the NFL's worst teams, the Raiders would be a dark horse. They're worse than you think.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 30, 2-14): San Francisco is a good place to start looking for a new GM.

32. Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 32, 2-14): Clark Hunt and not Scott Pioli will pick the next head coach. So, uh, awkward question: what's Scott Pioli doing then?

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