Week Thirteen Team Rankings

Philip Rivers (Getty Images)

The San Diego Chargers have made an amazing turnaround this season considering how bad of a start they had. Have they moved up in this week's update?

1) New Orleans Saints: Their dismantling of the New England defense on Monday night was unbelievable. It's like the Patriots had no idea what was coming.

Record: 11-0

Last Ranking: 1

Needs Still to be Filled: RT (veteran depth), LT (veteran depth), DT (depth), DE (depth), SLB (veteran depth)


2) Indianapolis Colts: They won't win any style points, but they are finding new ways to win each week despite missing some key players from both sides of the ball. The positive in that is they can get a better look at some younger backup players.

Record: 11-0

Last Ranking: 2

Needs Still to be Filled: RT (veteran depth), SLB (veteran depth), WLB (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth)


3) Minnesota Vikings: The offensive MVP debate continues, but how could anyone bet against Brett Favre? Ask yourself this, how good of a team would this be with Tarvaris Jackson behind center? Then again, you could ask the same question of the backup quarterbacks in New Orleans and Indianapolis. Since their bye, the defense really has been more disciplined.

Record: 10-1

Last Ranking: 3

Needs Still to be Filled: C (veteran depth), MLB (veteran depth), WLB (veteran depth), SLB (veteran depth), S (veteran depth)


4) San Diego Chargers: They've made an amazing turnaround considering how bad a start they got off to. Despite not running the ball well, head coach Norv Turner is making a strong commitment to veteran RB LaDainian Tomlinson. That keeps their game plan on schedule each week and opposing defenses are having a hard time keying on one facet of their offense. Despite various injuries on defense, they're getting the most they can out of many players from that side of the ball.

Record: 8-3

Last Ranking: 5

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), G (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth)


5) Cincinnati Bengals: Getting back starting RB Cedric Benson this week should help, but they have to find a way to move the ball better in the air. They really have no down field receiving threat, so the loss of veteran Chris Henry really has hurt. Despite a lack of quality personnel at certain positions on the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer has put together a great scheme that seems to give opposing offenses problems.

Record: 8-3

Last Ranking: 7

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), G (veteran depth), DT (depth), CB (veteran depth/nickel)


6) New England Patriots: Did their secondary get exposed against the Saints or is Drew Brees that good? Probably a combination of both. It's kind of surprising how bad they've played on the road this season.

Record: 7-4

Last Ranking: 4

Needs Still to be Filled: QB (veteran depth), WR (veteran depth), G (veteran depth), ILB (depth)


7) Dallas Cowboys: For whatever reason, they aren't running the ball as well as they should be. Tony Romo still doesn't look all that comfortable behind center, either. The defense has been solid all season, which is really why the inconsistency on offense hasn't been that noticeable.

Record: 8-3

Last Ranking: 8

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), OLB (pass rushing depth), CB (veteran depth), S (veteran depth)


8) Philadelphia Eagles: RB LeSean McCoy hasn't missed a beat. Notice how much they have been running late during the last two games despite trailing? That shows the tremendous confidence the coaches have in the rookie back. Getting back WLB Akeem Jordan back this week would bring some continuity to the defense. Give veteran CB Sheldon Brown credit for playing hurt.

Record: 7-4

Last Ranking: 9

Needs Still to be Filled: RB (veteran depth), LT (veteran depth), SLB (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth)


9) Arizona Cardinals: While Matt Leinart's numbers may show that he played well in last week's loss at the Titans, he still takes way too long to throw the ball. Defensively, the coaches have to find a better pass rush if this team is going to stop or control the better passing teams that remain on their schedule.

Record: 7-4

Last Ranking: 6

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), C (veteran depth), CB (depth)


10) Denver Broncos: The running game really got back on track last week against the Giants. Getting back RT Ryan Harris should help their inconsistent pass protection.

Record: 7-4

Last Ranking: 15

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth upgrade), S (veteran depth)


11) Green Bay Packers: Give the coaching staff credit. Despite the injuries to key players on defense, the Packers are still getting competitive play from that side of the ball. Greg Cosell, from NFL Films, believes veteran CB Charles Woodson is the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year.

Record: 7-4

Last Ranking: 16

Needs Still to be Filled: QB (veteran depth), G (depth), DE (veteran depth), OLB (pass rushing depth), CB (veteran depth), S (veteran depth)


12) Baltimore Ravens: Good to see their passing game get back on track last week against a good Steeler defense. The problem, however, continues to be finding a consistent pass rush on defense. They really need to get OLB Terrell Suggs back soon in order to make a run at the playoffs.

Record: 6-5

Last Ranking: 14

Needs Still to be Filled: G (veteran depth), ILB (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth), S (depth)


13) Pittsburgh Steelers: Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians needs to stay on schedule with the running game and especially with Rashard Mendenhall. There's no reason for Mendenhall to share the ball. Once they get SS Troy Polamalu back healthy, you'll see the Steelers start to reel off a bunch of wins. There's no bigger disruptor to an offense than No. 43.

Record: 6-5

Last Ranking: 10

Needs Still to be Filled: G (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), LT (veteran depth), OLB (depth)


14) New York Giants: The coaches have to get starting RB Brandon Jacobs back on track if they want to get into the playoffs. He needs to get his shoulders squared up instead of turning his body. On defense, the loss of starting MLB Antonio Pierce was noticeable during last week's loss to the Broncos. They're down to their third MLB this week with Jonathan Goff. It would help the struggling defense to get Aaron Ross back at cornerback full-time.

Record: 6-5

Last Ranking: 11

Needs Still to be Filled: RT (veteran depth), S (veteran depth upgrade)


15) Tennessee Titans: While Vince Young played well last week, he still left many plays on the field. He generally only goes through one or two progressions and either throws or runs with the ball. Getting the secondary healthier has really been the reason why they've won five games in a row.

Record: 5-6

Last Ranking: 17

Needs Still to be Filled: G (veteran depth), LT (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), WLB (veteran depth), MLB (veteran depth), SLB (veteran depth)


16) Atlanta Falcons: It's a good thing they have depth at running back because of Michael Turner's ankle problems. However, Chris Redman is going to be blitzed like crazy on Sunday against the Eagles. While his numbers looked good last week, he held on to the ball way too long on many of his pass attempts. Not having Matt Ryan, who played well against the Eagles last year, is going to be a problem. Their struggling secondary will be attacked vertically--even without star WR DeSean Jackson.

Record: 6-5

Last Ranking: 13

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), DT (veteran depth), SLB (depth), WLB (depth), S (veteran depth upgrade)


17) Jacksonville Jaguars: You have to wonder why this team can't play better when they have to travel far. They've been blown out on both West Coast trips. Why they haven't signed a veteran cornerback to provide depth with starter Rashean Mathis makes no sense. Tyron Brackenridge is not an NFL quality starting cornerback. The coaches are going to find that out on Sunday against the Texans.

Record: 6-5

Last Ranking: 12

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (veteran depth), DE (depth), OLB (veteran depth), ILB (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth)


18) Miami Dolphins: Their lack of quality talent at the receiver position has been really noticeable lately. They have to make major upgrades at that position if they want to get into the playoffs in future seasons. The Dolphins have their starting quarterback, however, in Chad Henne. He's able to make any throw and he puts it on the correct shoulder of his intended receiver almost every time.

Record: 5-6

Last Ranking: 18

Needs Still to be Filled: G (veteran depth), LT (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), NT (depth)


19) Houston Texans: The loss of starting TE Owen Daniels really is starting to show. When the Texans need a big play from anywhere on the field, they don't have that kind of option with Daniels gone. Defensively, they don't have a good enough pass rush to keep teams from moving the ball consistently.

Record: 5-6

Last Ranking: 19

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (depth), DE (veteran pass rushing depth)


20) San Francisco 49ers: Alex Smith will never be a quality starting quarterback, but he's starting to show that you can win with him if everyone else around him is playing fairly well. They still need to make some upgrades on the offensive line and must get pass rushing help in order to be a playoff team in the future.

Record: 5-6

Last Ranking: 21

Needs Still to be Filled: G (depth), RT (veteran depth), OLB (pass rushing depth)


21) New York Jets: The  loss of starting NT Kris Jenkins is certainly noticeable, but the main reason why this team has a record of less than .500 is because their quarterback has not played well for several weeks.

Record: 5-6

Last Ranking: 22

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (slot), G (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), DE (depth), OLB (veteran depth)


22) Carolina Panthers: There's absolutely no reason why Jake Delhomme should start another game this season. The coaches should take a good look at Matt Moore over the final five games.

Record: 4-7

Last Ranking: 20

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), G (veteran depth), SLB (veteran depth), WLB (veteran depth), CB (nickel/depth)


23) Buffalo Bills: Ryan Fitzpatrick is playing about as well as he's capable of playing, but he's not a starting caliber quarterback over a full season. To have any chance of running the ball consistently well, they must stick with Fred Jackson. The defense needs some revamping at least four to five positions.

Record: 4-7

Last Ranking: 25

Needs Still to be Filled: TE (veteran depth), G (depth), RT (depth), WLB (upgrade/veteran depth), SLB (depth), MLB (depth)


24) Seattle Seahawks: This team needs upgrades on the offensive line, running back, cornerback, and on the defensive line if they want to be a playoff contender.

Record: 4-7

Last Ranking: 26

Needs Still to be Filled: RT (depth), G (veteran depth)


25) Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler looks almost scared out there when throwing the football. He's playing with absolutely no confidence. A struggling quarterback's best friend would be an effective running game--something they haven't had much all season. The Bears are very vanilla on defense and teams have had no problems moving the ball.

Record: 4-7

Last Ranking: 23

Needs Still to be Filled: QB (veteran depth), G (depth), MLB (depth), WLB (depth)


26) Kansas City Chiefs: The coaching staff is learning a lot about RB Jamaal Charles. If they go with a shotgun spread offense next season, Charles could start next season. Major upgrades are needed on defense, however.

Record: 3-8

Last Ranking: 24

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (depth), G (depth), DE (depth), OLB (pass rushing depth), CB (veteran depth), S (depth)


27) Washington Redskins: Despite suffering so many injuries on defense, that side of the ball is very competitive each week. The front office has to make upgrades on the offensive line and at wide receiver next season if the Redskins are to challenge for a playoff spot.

Record: 3-8

Last Ranking: 27

Needs Still to be Filled: G (veteran depth), LT (veteran depth), G (depth), WLB (depth)


28) Oakland Raiders: Every once in a while, the Raiders will surprise a much better team, but their woes on offense are holding them back. They've got to make a hard decision at quarterback next season if they want to win.

Record: 3-8

Last Ranking: 29

Needs Still to be Filled: G (depth), MLB (depth), SLB (depth)


29) Detroit Lions: If I was calling shots on personnel, I'd blow up the defense. There just is a lack of talent overall on that side of the ball.

Record: 2-9

Last Ranking: 28

Needs Still to be Filled: DE (veteran depth), DT (veteran depth), SLB (veteran depth), S (depth)


30) St. Louis Rams: The lack of quality talent at various positions on defense is what is really holding this team down. Offensively, they have enough talent to be competitive.

Record: 1-10

Last Ranking: 30

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), RT (depth), DT (veteran depth), SLB (veteran depth), WLB (veteran depth), MLB (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth)


31) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Rookie QB Josh Freeman is starting to make some strides, but the offensive is still a major work in progress. Their defense isn't challenging any opponent.

Record: 1-10

Last Ranking: 31

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (veteran depth), G (depth), C (depth), LT (depth), RT (depth), DT (veteran depth), DE (veteran depth), CB (depth/nickel), S (depth)


32) Cleveland Browns: This is an expansion-like team. At least the defense, despite suffering numerous injuries, is somewhat competitive.

Record: 1-10

Last Ranking: 32

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (depth-speed), LT (depth), RT (depth), NT (depth), ILB (veteran depth), OLB (pass rusher), CB (veteran depth)

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