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NFL Power Rankings Week 13: Cowboys and Steelers Rise, Along with Best-Case Scenarios

The homestretch of the NFL season is upon us, and the Power Rankings are in an optimistic mood. That means that this week we’ll look at the best-case scenario for all 32 teams the remainder of the season.For some, it’s a Super Bowl ring, for some, it’s a postseason appearance, and for some, it’s a new head coach under the Christmas tree.

(Last week: 1)

Sunday: Beat Buffalo Bills 37-34 in overtime

Best case: Super Bowl ring

Three coaches in NFL history have started 10-1 in back-to-back seasons, according to Elias Sports. They are Don Shula, Tony Dungy, and … Nick Sirianni. The Eagles, who played without offensive tackle Lane Johnson (groin), have beaten the Cowboys, Chiefs, and Bills in consecutive games, and their next three are against the 49ers, Cowboys, and Seahawks. Jalen Hurts, who had five touchdowns Sunday, is second in the NFL in rushing touchdowns (11) and has 18 passing touchdowns. This team can erase the bad taste of last year’s Super Bowl loss.

Up next: vs. San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

GO DEEPER

NFL Week 12 takeaways: Are Bills’ playoff hopes over after OT loss to Eagles?

(Last week: 4)

Sunday: Beat Los Angeles Chargers 20-10

Best case: Super Bowl ring

The Ravens are the most balanced team in the AFC. They are second in scoring defense (15.6) and defensive success rate (62.9 percent). Offensively, they lead the league in rushing (158.6 per game) and are seventh in yards overall (366.1 ypg). Linebackers Roquan Smith and Patrick Queen each have more than 100 tackles, and Jadeveon Clowney has 7 1/2 sacks. Baltimore hasn’t advanced past the divisional round since its 2012 Super Bowl win. That looks like it’ll change.

Up next: Bye

3. Kansas City Chiefs (8-3)

(Last week: 2)

Sunday: Beat Las Vegas Raiders 31-17

Best case: Super Bowl ring

It would be the second in a row for the Chiefs. Any worries about the state of Kansas City’s wide receiving corps should be offset by the fact that this team won its last Super Bowl with the same group plus JuJu Smith-Schuster, who has 24 catches this season for 159 yards for the Patriots. Rashee Rice was a bright spot Sunday, catching eight passes for 107 yards. With Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid, the best case is a ring. On Sunday, Reid became the first coach in NFL history to become the winningest coach for two franchises.

Up next: at Green Bay Packers, Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET

4. San Francisco 49ers (8-3)

(Last week: 5)

Thursday: Beat Seattle Seahawks 31-13

Best case: Super Bowl ring

Since acquiring defensive end Chase Young at the trade deadline, the 49ers are second in the league with 15 sacks. They have at least four sacks in each game since then, and they got Geno Smith six times on Thanksgiving Day. Plus, they still have Brock Purdy and that offense. San Francisco has played one other contender this season. It beat the Cowboys 42-10 in that game. This team could finally get Kyle Shanahan his championship.

Up next: at Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET

5. Dallas Cowboys (8-3)

(Last week: 7)

Thursday: Beat Washington Commanders 45-10

Best case: Super Bowl ring

Dallas hasn’t been able to do better than regular-season rings for a while now, so there’s some understandable skepticism about this team, but the Cowboys are a very real threat. They lead the NFL in scoring margin (162). They are second in offensive EPA, third in defensive EPA, and 10th in special teams EPA. Dak Prescott received PFF’s highest game grade (97) of any quarterback since 2007 for his Thursday performance. He has topped 300 yards passing and a 115 passer rating four times in the last five games.

Up next: vs. Seattle Seahawks, Thursday, 8:15 p.m. ET

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