April 15, 2024

Welcome to Week 13 of the 2023 NFL season. Three months are in the books, and that means teams are gearing up for the playoff push — and others are looking to the offseason.

This past week we had several matchups that impacted division races and other matchups between some of the top 10 teams in the league. So how did those games impact this week’s rankings? And where do the Denver Broncos — who’ve won five in a row — rank?

In addition to the updated rankings, our NFL Nation reporters look at ESPN Analytics’ Football Power Index (FPI) rankings for offense, defense and special teams. What is every team the best at? Where can they improve? And what story do the rankings tell? More on that below. Let’s start with the team with the best record in the NFL — the Philadelphia Eagles.

Our power panel of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities evaluates how NFL teams stack up against one another, ranking them from 1 to 32.

Previous rankings: Preseason | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12

Jump to a team:
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF

Week 12 ranking: 1

Offense: 5
Defense: 14
Special teams: 1

The Eagles have gotten off to slow starts offensively of late, but they know how to close — averaging a league-high 14.6 points per game in the second half. The defense ranks third against the run (allowing 85.3 yards per game) compared to 29th versus the pass (255.7 YPG). Philadelphia has yielded the second-most passing touchdowns in the NFL (23) and is in the bottom half of the league in takeaways (14). Special teams has turned from a liability in 2022 to a strength this season. Kicker Jake Elliott (19-of-21 on field goal attempts) is rock solid, and Britain Covey ranks fourth in punt return average (14.8 YPG). — Tim McManus



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Stephen A. Smith is full of praise for the Eagles after their win over the Bills.

Week 12 ranking: 2

Offense: 1
Defense: 5
Special teams: 24

Aside from struggling in an injury-prone, rain-plagued game against a great defense in Cleveland, the 49ers’ offense has been the most rounded and efficient group in the league. Running back Christian McCaffrey is leading the league in rushing yards (939) but quarterback Brock Purdy also leads the league in Total QBR (75.6) and completion percentage (70.2%). Defensively, the Niners struggled during their three-game losing streak but have righted the ship lately behind a pass rush that’s racked up 15 sacks in the past three games after posting just 18 in the first eight. Punter Mitch Wishnowsky has been excellent and kicker Jake Moody has been solid aside from one significant miss against the Browns, but the kick coverage and return games have been lacking. — Nick Wagoner

Week 12 ranking: 5

Offense: 9
Defense: 2
Special teams: 3

The Ravens are the only team to rank in the top 10 in all three phases, which explains why this could be the most complete team in the NFL. Baltimore is averaging 27.6 points per game, which are the most for this franchise through 12 weeks since Lamar Jackson‘s 2019 NFL MVP season. The Ravens’ defense has been even more dominant, holding teams to an NFL-best 15.5 points per game. That’s the fewest through 12 games for Baltimore since 2006, which was the first season that the Ravens finished No. 1 in defense. — Jamison Hensley

Week 12 ranking: 3

Offense: 6
Defense: 6
Special teams: 19

The Chiefs haven’t been as dynamic offensively as they were last season — averaging 5.9 offensive points less per game in 2023 (23.27). But the team showed in Sunday’s win over the Raiders that they can be effective when they avoid turnovers (they have 19 this season) and dropped passes (6.8% of passes have been dropped). The defense has carried the Chiefs when the offense struggled, allowing the third-fewest points per game (16.5). They have multiple defenders playing well at all three levels. The special teams ranking is a disappointment since the Chiefs expected to be better than middle of the pack. — Adam Teicher

Week 12 ranking: 6

Offense: 4
Defense: 4
Special teams: 11

When the season began, the Cowboys were going to be a defense-led team, but that has started to change with how the offense has come alive with Dak Prescott‘s high level of play and Mike McCarthy’s playcalling. The defense is still top-notch, but the Cowboys have been able to put up points — the most total points per game in the league (31.55). It’s strange that special teams is ranked just 11th when Brandon Aubrey has not missed a field goal attempt and Bryan Anger is averaging 45 yards per punt. They have also returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown and blocked a punt. But these rankings have them among the NFL’s elite. — Todd Archer

Week 12 ranking: 7

Offense: 3
Defense: 11
Special teams: 25

With skill players like Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle and Raheem Mostert, you’d expect the Dolphins’ offensive ranking — but their defensive ranking is a testament to how well they’ve played over the last month. Since the return of Jalen Ramsey in Week 8, Miami has forced nine turnovers and recorded 14 sacks, although the season-ending Achilles injury to Jaelan Phillips could impact the pass rush moving forward. Kicker Jason Sanders has been accurate within 49 yards but has struggled over the past three seasons from distance. Since 2021, Sanders has connected on just 6 of 16 kicks from 50 or more yards out; he has hit on consecutive such attempts over the past two weeks, however, so his struggles may be behind him. — Marcel Louis-Jacques

Week 12 ranking: 4

Offense: 8
Defense: 28
Special teams: 4

The numbers tell a tale of two teams. For the second year in a row, the Lions’ offense is among the best in the league, averaging the second-most yards per game (405.5), while the defense ranks among the bottom — despite showing flashes of their potential. The Lions excel offensively with a plethora of options to score from rushing to passing, while the defense lacks in the secondary and pass rush, notably against mobile quarterbacks. The Lions are allowing their opponents to score a touchdown in the red zone 68.6% of the time — the third-worst mark in the league. Special teams coordinator Dave Fipp has the Lions performing among the best in that department with his coaching creativity. The Lions, who sit atop the NFC North, can still get better. — Eric Woodyard

Week 12 ranking: 9

Offense: 13
Defense: 7
Special teams: 7

The expected improvement on offense in the second season in coach Doug Pederson’s scheme has not materialized, and two of the biggest issues are the offensive line and third downs. The offensive line has played well in pass protection the past two games — just one sack and four QB hits allowed — but still rank 29th in the NFL in pass block win rate (47.9%), per NFL Next Gen Stats. The Jaguars rank 22nd in third-down conversion rate (36.8%) and have been especially bad on third-and-3 or less (51.2%, 29th). The defense has thrived on forcing turnovers (20) and LB Josh Allen is having the best year of his career (12 sacks). Kicker Brandon McManus, signed during OTAs after he was released by Denver, is 23-for-26 on field goal attempts and perfect on PATs (23-for-23). — Michael DiRocco

Week 12 ranking: 15

Offense: 17
Defense: 9
Special teams: 21

The biggest surprises of the Steelers’ rankings are that their special teams is a bottom-half unit and the offense is a middle-of-the-road bunch. Though the offense put up just 16 points — even below its season average mark entering Sunday’s win against the Bengals — it finally crested 400 yards of offense in the first game without Matt Canada, proving that this group is capable of moving the ball and supporting a top-10 defense. Kicker Chris Boswell has missed just one field goal this season — his best to date — but special teams is more than an automatic kicker. Punter Pressley Harvin III has a net average of 39.8, one of the worst marks in the NFL. — Brooke Pryor

Week 12 ranking: 10

Offense: 2
Defense: 12
Special teams: 2

This is largely a reflection of the team’s issues closing out wins, with the Bills holding a 2-6 record in one-score games. The team holds a plus-101 point differential through 12 games, the 268th team to be plus-100 or better through 12 games but the second team to not have a winning record (1950 Eagles). Buffalo’s many injuries on defense have hurt some of the unit’s production, and some of the offense’s inconsistencies over the course of the season aren’t reflected here. Overall, the Bills’ FPI rankings reflect the team’s inability to close out games. — Alaina Getzenberg



McAfee questions McDermott after another close loss

Pat McAfee wonders if there should be questions surrounding Sean McDermott’s coaching after the Bills fall to 6-6.

Week 12 ranking: 8

Offense: 29
Defense: 1
Special teams: 12

The Browns have an awesome defense. They’ve been stellar on special teams. But injuries have killed their offense and prevented this from becoming a complete team. All-Pro running back Nick Chubb (knee) and franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson (shoulder) have already had season-ending surgeries. But the Browns have still found a way to keep their playoff hopes intact, manufacturing a franchise-record four winning drives in the final two minutes of regulation. Unfortunately, with a limited offense, the margin for error for Cleveland is slim — even with a spectacular defense. — Jake Trotter

Week 12 ranking: 12

Offense: 11
Defense: 27
Special teams: 5

The Texans’ offense has been great — ranking ninth in offensive points per game (22.9) — mainly because of rookie QB C.J. Stroud. Stroud is second in passing yards (3,266), seventh in touchdowns (19 yards) and has thrown for the most passing yards for a rookie through his first 11 starts of a career. That’s why they have a chance to make the playoffs. But the defense has regressed of late. Going into Week 9 against the Buccaneers, the Texans ranked eighth in scoring defense (18.3). Since then, they have fallen to 14th (21.1). — DJ Bien-Aime

Week 12 ranking: 17

Offense: 15
Defense: 22
Special teams: 20

The quirky side of the numbers is the Broncos’ defense — which has labored at, or near, the bottom of most of the major statistical categories for much of the year thanks to the team’s 1-5 start that included the 50-point loss to Miami in Week 3. But it is also the defense that has fueled the team’s current five-game win streak. The Broncos have 16 takeaways during the win streak, 15 in the past four games, and defensive coordinator Vance Joseph’s group has surrendered fewer touchdowns in the past six games combined (nine) than it did to the Dolphins. If the offense, which has flashed some quality work when it muscles up a little more in the run game and play-action pass game, can continue to find a rhythm, the Broncos will stay in the playoff chase. — Jeff Legwold



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Week 12 ranking: 11

Offense: 12
Defense: 24
Special teams: 17

Forget the fact that the Seahawks currently hold the final wild-card spot in a weak NFC. They’re barely over .500 with a minus-20 point differential, and the FPI numbers illustrate their mediocrity. They’ve gone seven straight quarters without an offensive touchdown and have just three in the past four games. Their big issue on defense is getting off the field. Seattle ranks sixth worst in third-down rate (44.1%). Their special teams has been buoyed by a strong return game (top seven in average kickoff- and punt-return yardage) and a typically strong season from punter Michael Dickson. — Brady Henderson

Week 12 ranking: 13

Offense: 19
Defense: 10
Special teams: 26

The Vikings have played more games without injured star receiver Justin Jefferson (7) than they have with him (5) and have started three different quarterbacks, so to have an average offense this season should be considered an accomplishment. Their defense has been perhaps the biggest factor in getting them back in the playoff race after an 0-3 start. From Week 4 to Week 12, it ranked No. 2 in the NFL in defensive efficiency. Their special teams has produced two successful fake punts, but very little in the return game. — Kevin Seifert

Week 12 ranking: 19

Offense: 10
Defense: 20
Special teams: 30

The Rams’ offense has had its ups and downs this season — especially when QB Matthew Stafford and RB Kyren Williams were injured — but showed its potential Sunday against the Cardinals, when it scored 37 points. On the flip side, the Rams lost several veterans on the defensive side of the ball during the offseason, opting to go with a young defense this year. The group has taken strides this season under defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, but it still has room to grow. — Sarah Barshop

Week 12 ranking: 24

Offense: 16
Defense: 13
Special teams: 32

For all the handwringing over defensive coordinator Joe Barry and his 27th-ranked run defense (135.2 PPG), it’s Rich Bisaccia’s special teams group that has proven to be a hindrance. Penalties haven’t helped. They’re second in the league in special teams penalties with 15 through 10 games. Bisaccia also has a rookie kicker (Anders Carlson) and a first-year punter (Daniel Whelan).— Rob Demovsky



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Week 12 ranking: 18

Offense: 20
Defense: 19
Special teams: 18

Offensively, the Colts’ underwhelming ranking might not match up with their 6-5 record. But their ability to win even without strong offensive production was evidenced by victories in Weeks 9 and 10 — the Colts’ two worst games this season in terms of total yardage (they averaged 231 yards in those two contests). The defense bailed them out in both those games, another example of the Colts’ lack of complementary football this season. And whatever special teams blunders they’ve had are somewhat offset by the kicking of Matt Gay, who has already matched a career high with seven field goals of 50 yards or longer through 11 games. — Stephen Holder

Week 12 ranking: 14

Offense: 23
Defense: 15
Special teams: 9

The Bengals’ rough offensive year is evidenced by the FPI, but that’s not the only number that tells the story. Cincinnati ranks 27th in yards per game (291.7) as the offense has managed around QB Joe Burrow‘s injury. But regardless of whether he has been healthy, the Bengals have dealt with an arrhythmic offense. Defensively, Cincinnati has allowed the second-most yards per game (389.3) and struggles with stopping big plays. Those are the primary reasons Cincinnati is under .500 entering December. — Ben Baby

Week 12 ranking: 25

Offense: 25
Defense: 17
Special teams: 8

The simple way to explain all of this is inconsistency. The Falcons’ defense started the season well but has given up 350 or more yards in the past four games. The offense — particularly quarterback Desmond Ridder — has far too many turnovers (18), including two Sunday against New Orleans. Special teams has been consistent because of kicker Younghoe Koo and punter Bradley Pinion, but Cordarrelle Patterson is on pace for the fewest kick returns of his career (he has five this season and had nine last year). — Michael Rothstein

Week 12 ranking: 16

Offense: 14
Defense: 16
Special teams: 29

Much like last year, the Saints are struggling to stop the run, particularly against mobile quarterbacks, and have not progressed as an offense. The Saints came out of the bye looking the same as before, with an offense that cannot consistently score touchdowns in the red zone, scoring a TD on 42.5% of red zone trips (ranks 29th). On special teams, a lot has been asked of rookie kicker Blake Grupe, who is 24-of-30 this year but has often been the only source of offense. As Saints running back Alvin Kamara said: The team is “consistently inconsistent.” — Katherine Terrell

Week 12 ranking: 20

Offense: 28
Defense: 23
Special teams: 10

This is not a misprint. Despite the presence of reigning All-Pros at receiver and running back in Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs, the Raiders’ offense is at the bottom of the barrel, and the defense, long the team’s weak link, had been keeping things competitive. Consider: Only twice have the Raiders scored more than 20 points this season, and one time it took a safety from the defense to break that threshold. Last month’s firings of GM Dave Ziegler, coach Josh McDaniels and offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi and the benching of $72 million QB Jimmy Garoppolo — while promoting Champ Kelly, Antonio Pierce, Bo Hardegree and Aidan O’Connell to those respective roles as interims — hit reset on the franchise. Again. At least punter AJ Cole and kicker Daniel Carlson have been consistent and good. — Paul Gutierrez

Week 12 ranking: 22

Offense: 18
Defense: 18
Special teams: 28

On defense, the Buccaneers are still struggling as one of the worst third-down teams in the league, giving up a 44.5% third-down conversion rate (29th), but they’re only giving up 37.8% of touchdowns in the red zone — second best in the league — with 20.6 points surrendered per game. On offense, they’re averaging roughly 300 yards per game (which ranks 23rd in the league) but scoring in the red zone remains a challenge, as they’re averaging 18.6 offensive points per game, 22nd in the league. As for special teams, the Bucs rank 27th in yards per kick return (20.1). — Jenna Laine

Week 12 ranking: 21

Offense: 7
Defense: 26
Special teams: 13

The Chargers’ defense has been the Achilles’ heel for three seasons under coach Brandon Staley, and those frustrations were apparent when he scolded a reporter a week ago for asking whether he would consider significant changes to the defense. The unit is allowing the most passing yards per game in the league (280). The offense led by QB Justin Herbert has been the bright spot, consistently among the league’s highest-scoring units. Meanwhile, the Chargers’ special teams got a boost this year from rookie Derius Davis, who is second in the league in average yards per punt return (16.3) and returned a punt for a score in Week 8. — Kris Rhim

Week 12 ranking: 23

Offense: 22
Defense: 31
Special teams: 22

These rankings explain why Washington is 4-8; it’s a collective failure and none of these areas have served as a pick-me-up to offset other unit’s struggles. Washington’s defense ranks last in scoring (29.2 PPG) and 29th in yards (377.7) — one year after being seventh and third, respectively, in those areas. That group was supposed to lead the way while the offense — with a new coordinator (Eric Bieniemy), inexperienced quarterback (Sam Howell) and a questionable line — meshed. That hasn’t happened. Howell has improved and in the past six games they rank ninth in yards — but 22nd in points. In the first six games they ranked 22nd in yards but 15th in points. — John Keim

Week 12 ranking: 27

Offense: 26
Defense: 29
Special teams: 6

The biggest problem for the Titans’ offense is their struggles in the red zone. Tennessee has scored touchdowns on only 38% of its visits inside the 20-yard line, almost 30% down from last year (64.2%). That’s the second-worst percentage in the league. The Titans have lost four of their seven games by one score or less. The defense has uncharacteristically struggled against the run. It’s allowing 110.8 yards rushing yards per game as opposed to last season’s league-leading 76.9-yard average. Opponents ran for 125 or more yards in four of the Titans’ seven losses this season. The special teams unit ranks high primarily because of Nick Folk, who has made 95% of his field goal attempts, including four out of five from 50-plus. — Turron Davenport

Week 12 ranking: 28

Offense: 21
Defense: 25
Special teams: 16

The Bears once again have a top rushing offense (averaging 137.7 yards per game) and have seen improvements with their passing attack, up from 32nd a year ago to 25th. Matt Eberflus’ defense has made significant strides against the run but has struggled with its pass rush, leading to a league-low 17 sacks. Kicker Cairo Santos has been consistent, connecting on 92% of his field goals and extra points. — Courtney Cronin

Week 12 ranking: 26

Offense: 31
Defense: 3
Special teams: 27

The offensive ranking is an accurate reflection of a unit that is putting up historically bad numbers across the board. It has produced only 10 touchdowns in 11 games and ranks last in third-down conversions (24.1%) and red zone efficiency (28%) — both by a wide margin. The defense is good, but the ranking here is high, especially after allowing an average of 148 rushing yards over the past three games. The special teams has ranged from great to poor, depending on the week. — Rich Cimini

Week 12 ranking: 29

Offense: 32
Defense: 21
Special teams: 23

The Giants’ offense has been a problem from the jump, when it was shut out in the opener. It really hasn’t gotten much better. It is averaging a league-low 13.3 points per game and onto its third-string undrafted rookie quarterback. But no stat represents its struggles more than the 69 sacks allowed. That is 14 more than any other team. The Giants are 26th in pass block win rate (51.3%) and 31st in run block win rate (68.2%) this season. Combine that with subpar offensive targets and unspectacular quarterback play, and you have the league’s worst offense. — Jordan Raanan

Week 12 ranking: 31

Offense: 24
Defense: 32
Special teams: 15

The Cardinals’ defense was once the backbone of the team, carrying it while Arizona waited for Kyler Murray‘s return. It was so good it was ranked in the top five in sacks. Now it’s tied for 11th and has continued to struggle as the season has gone, especially against the run — it allowed 228 rushing yards Sunday against the Rams. The offense will continue to be a work in progress this season now that Murray is back and the unit tries to figure out a way to play together. — Josh Weinfuss

Week 12 ranking: 30

Offense: 27
Defense: 8
Special teams: 31

The Patriots are averaging 13.4 points per game. Quarterback Mac Jones has been pulled from four games this season as the offense — with shaky QB play one key factor alongside a mix-and-match offensive line and limited skill-position targets — has been the anchor holding the team back. And for the financial and roster-based investments Bill Belichick makes on special teams, that area has also been a disappointment. — Mike Reiss

Week 12 ranking: 32

Offense: 30
Defense: 30
Special teams: 14

The struggles on offense, in particular rookie QB Bryce Young, are why coach Frank Reich was fired Monday. The Panthers have averaged only 11.5 points the past four games and haven’t scored more than 15 points the past five games. The offensive line is making history in a bad way by giving up 40 sacks on Young. On defense, the Panthers give up 304.5 yards per game (ranks seventh) and opponents score 26.5 points per game (ranks 30th). However, they allow many points off turnovers. For example, the Colts scored 27, but 14 came on pick-sixes. — David Newton

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