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NFL Power Rankings: Bye Bye Bye (Playoff Hopes)

While the Arizona Cardinals are far from mathematical elimination, from a realistic standpoint playoff aspirations were lost along with the game on Sunday vs the St. Louis Rams. Most fans of any NFL team have by now either hunkered up for a tight playoff race down the stretch, or have accepted the inevitable and have started looking towards 2013 in hopes of glory. Power Rankings for the remainder of the season should give a good idea as to which category each team falls under.

I already feel immense disdain for this man. The rich get richer in San Fran
I already feel immense disdain for this man. The rich get richer in San Fran
Chris Graythen

1. San Francisco 49ers - Full fledged QB controversy of the good kind brewing in San Fran. If Kaepernick maintains this level of play, I don't think there's a team out there that can beat the Niners.

2. Houston Texans - Haven't won in convincing fashion in a while, but to pull out a win on a short road week is very impressive. Houston will take the week and a half breather and come back strong.

3. Denver Broncos - Even when Manning doesn't play like his usual All-Pro Manning self, he still plays remarkably. The AFC may have the edge in legitimate Super Bowl contenders now.

4. New England Patriots - Two weeks, two blowouts, two games in which Belichick has probably kept his starters in too long.

5. Atlanta Falcons - Two weeks, two very unconvincing victories, and Atlanta starts to fall a bit in power rankings. They've been able to overcome turnover troubles, but need to right the ship quickly.

6. Baltimore Ravens - Fourth and 29, converted and Baltimore ties the game and then goes on to win it. Unbelievable.

7. New York Giants - Eli and co. looked impressive in manhandling the (injury-depleted) Packers. Defending champs are getting their grove back at the right time of year.

8. Green Bay Packers - Is the blowout loss cause for major concern? Probably not, but the Pack desperately need to get healthy. As good as Rodgers is, he can't do it all on his own.

9. Chicago Bears - Whaddaya know? Chicago has taken first place in the NFC North. Cutler needs to stay healthy, as this team is nowhere near as good with Jason Campbell.

10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Sunday's game against Atlanta was a big litmus test for the Bucs, and they looked good. Didn't end up with the win, but they are still in the thick of the playoff race.

11. Indianapolis Colts - Filed under unexpected: Andrew Luck is already carrying a mediocre team into a post-season race, much like Peyton Manning. Big things coming soon for the Colts.

12. New Orleans Saints - They lost to one of the most complete teams in the NFL, and while the upcoming schedule is unforgiving, this Saints team is very much alive in the wild card race.

13. Pittsburgh Steelers - Oh, Ben where art thou? In probably the worst game the Steelers could have played offensively, they still kept it close with Cleveland.

14. Minnesota Vikings - It's make or break time for Minnesota. They have to prove quickly whether they are a contender or a pretender this season.

15. Cincinnati Bengals - Talk about rubbing it in, Bengals showcased all the nice things they got in Palmer's absence, while Carson is left to lose a bad Raiders team.

16. Seattle Seahawks - In the battle of the "other rookie QBs", Ryan Tannehill has the upper hand as he calmly led the Dolphins to an impressive fourth quarter comeback.

17. Washington Redkins - Robert Griffin III is a lot of fun to watch, and I've gotten to the point where I wish Arizona had tried to trade up to grab him.

18. Miami Dolphins - Miami is my comeback team of the year pick for 2013, good young QB, solid defense. Just need to build and add onto the offense.

19. St. Louis Rams - I'm sorry I doubted you St. Louis, you guys deserved to win both games against us this year. We'll see you again next year, and hopefully we'll have our starting QB healthy.

20. Dallas Cowboys - In very un-Tony Romo fashion, Dallas almost pulled off a huge Thanksgiving Day comeback, but the wunderkind was too much for Dallas to handle

21. San Diego Chargers - I actually feel really bad for Chargers fans. In recent Charger's history there has been so much talented wasted, now they're just finding even crazier ways to lose.

22. Detroit Lions - Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Seasons over in the motor city, but they have enough talent to screw up their draft slotting as well.

23. Tennessee Titans - It's never a good sign when a Chad Henne led team beats you, but there is talent in place to succeed next year with Locker at the helm.

24. Buffalo Bills - I have no idea why CJ Spiller is not getting more touches, although at this point in the season, its probably smart. Spiller alone could win Buffalo a few games and take them away from precious top ten draft talent.

25. Arizona Cardinals - I have no words that haven't already been said about the disappointment that is the Cardinals season. Why'd they have to give us hope and win four straight to start the season? So, how 'bout those top ten draft prospects?

26. Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton was back to rookie form on Monday night, and that is absolutely a compliment.

27. Cleveland Browns - OLB Jarvis Jones would really help out the Browns sad excuse of a pass rush.

28. New York Jets - Judging from how the Cardinals season has gone, Rex Ryan will finally play Tebow this week, and he will pull off some inexplicable fourth quarter victory.

29. Philadelphia Eagles - End of an era in Philly as Andy Reid will and should be shown the door at the end of the season.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars - Chad Henne will end up winning enough meaningless games to end the season that the Jags just miss out on a player that would fit perfectly in their scheme.

31. Oakland Raiders - There is very little to be excited about in Oakland on the football field, so Raiders fans will have already started imagining the potential blue-chip prospects they can draft.

32. Kansas City Chiefs - I've said it once, I'll say it again, Kansas City picked the worst year to suck. They need a quarterback, and this draft does not look like the one to get a franchise guy.