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Week 13 power rankings

In a season where there are plenty of great teams, the New Orleans Saints are a cut above everyone else as they continue to operate on another level.

1. Saints (10-1; last week No. 1): There’s a good chance this won’t be changing for the rest of the season.

2. Rams (10-1; No. 2): Aqib Talib can’t get back in the lineup soon enough.

3. Chiefs (9-2; No. 3): They still need to be very worried about the Chargers.

4. Patriots (8-3; No. 4): The AFC top seed seems like a formality for the Patriots, again.

5. Bears (8-3; No. 6): TRAP GAME ALERT.

6. Chargers (8-3; No. 7): Philip Rivers isn’t the only AFC West quarterback who should be getting MVP consideration.

7. Texans (8-3; No. 8): If they keep it up, they’ll earn a bye.

8. Steelers (7-3-1; No. 5): A team that had a shot at the top seed now has to worry about its grip on the AFC North lead.

9. Cowboys (6-5; No. 9): Yes, the Saints put their pants on the same way the Cowboys do. And then the Saints kick everyone’s butt while wearing them.

10. Vikings (6-4-1; No. 10): With tough road tests coming against New England and Seattle, the Vikings may have to win their last three games (Dolphins, at Lions, Bears) to nail down a playoff berth.

11. Seahawks (6-5; No. 11): They could be the most dangerous team in the NFC.

12. Colts (6-5; No. 14): Next year’s Super Bowl darling could still get there this year.

13. Ravens (6-5; No. 13): Flacco? Jackson? The Ravens should use both, extensively.

14. Panthers (6-5; No. 12): That Thursday night debacle continues to stick to a once-promising team.

15. Washington (6-5; No. 15): The playoffs start, as a practical matter, on Monday night.

16. Titans (5-6; No. 16): Some teams have a franchise quarterback. Some teams don’t. Some teams, like the Titans, aren’t quite sure what they have.

17. Broncos (5-6; No. 19): They may not make it to the playoffs, but they should feel good about beating a couple of playoff teams.

18. Eagles (5-6; No. 22): The margin for error is small, but the chances of a playoff berth are real.

19. Browns (4-6-1; No. 20): Gregg Williams could be coaching his way into the permanent job, or at least as permanent as the job ever gets in Cleveland.

20. Packers (4-6-1; No. 17): There could be some interesting stories from unnamed sources about the dysfunction in Green Bay if/when the team changes coaches.

21. Lions (4-7; No. 18): Matthew Stafford is still the quarterback of the future. It’s just not clear which team he’ll be quarterbacking in the future.

22. Dolphins (5-6; No. 21): Being the best team in Florida really isn’t saying much.

23. Bills (4-7; No. 26): They’re not as far away as their performances without Josh Allen would suggest.

24. Buccaneers (4-7; No. 27): Maybe Reuben Foster should have gotten a game ball.

25. Bengals (5-6; No. 23): Dave Shula has a better chance of being Cincinnati’s next coach than Hue Jackson does.

26. Falcons (4-7; No. 24): They’re simply not in the same class as the Saints, and they know it.

27. Giants (3-8; No. 25): Alex Tanney may eventually get a chance to play, which will be a great audition for his inevitable stint in the AAF.

28. Jets (3-8; No. 28): Losing to the Patriots by only 14 points feels a little like a win.

29. Jaguars (3-8; No. 29): Somewhere, someone bought their grandchild a Blake Bortles jersey for Christmas just before finding out he’d been benched.

30. 49ers (2-9; No. 30): The best they can hope for is a chance to spoil Seattle’s playoff run, twice.

31. Raiders (2-9; No. 31): And they still haven’t played the Chiefs yet.

32. Cardinals (2-9; No. 32): At least they had a 10-point lead.