Last week's ranking in parentheses.
1. Seahawks 12-3 (1): In big picture, hiccup against a very good Cardinals team might be just what Seattle needs to sharpen everything for Super Bowl run.
2. 49ers 11-4 (2): Appear to be peaking heading to January with NFL-high five-game winning streak, but trip to Arizona looms this week.
3. Broncos 12-3 (3): They lost Von Miller to a torn ACL, but Broncos were 6-0 to begin season without pass rusher.
4. Panthers 11-4 (5): Middle linebacker Luke Kuechly will be a household name soon and should win defensive player of the year.
5. Patriots 11-4 (6): In a season packed with close games, they pummeled Ravens to ready for the second season. Pats can secure a bye with a win over Bills.
6. Saints 10-5 (4): Road will be a hazardous journey for them in postseason. Rookie LT Terron Armstead predictably struggled against Panthers but keeps starting job.
7. Cardinals 10-5 (9): Ron Rivera coached his way off hot seat and into postseason, but Bruce Arians should be runner up for coach of the year.
8. Bengals 10-5 (10): One of three teams with a 7-0 home record (Patriots, Saints) and need to close with win over Ravens.
9. Colts 10-5 (12): Gritty team might be back on track after impressive victory in the cold at Kansas City.
10. Chiefs 11-4 (7): Defense was sloppy with too many missed tackles in home loss to Colts and that is a concern looking ahead.
11. Eagles 9-6 (11): After hanging 54 points on the Bears, how many will the Eagles score at Dallas?
12. Ravens 8-7 (8): Coming off worst loss in John Harbaugh's tenure, it will be interesting to see how Ravens respond in must-win situation at Cincinnati.
13. Chargers 8-7 (16): Need real help to make postseason, but a season sweep of the Chiefs would be a good way to head to 2014.
14. Steelers 7-8 (20): Playoff hopes are slim, but Steelers' recovery from rotten start has been impressive. Defensive rebuilding an offseason priority.
15. Bears 8-7 (13): With franchise records for offensive statistics being set, Bears are being undone by defense that is wilting down the stretch.
16. Dolphins 8-7 (15): Fell flat on their face at Buffalo, but Dolphins still look to have best shot at sixth seed in AFC. Have to beat Jets to have a shot.
17. Packers 7-7-1 (14): If Aaron Rodgers returns to face the Bears, how rusty will he be after almost two months off?
18. Rams 7-8 (17): Core is in place for a playoff defense, but Jeff Fisher has to figure out offensive future and that could be without Brian Schottenheimer.
19. Cowboys 8-7 (19): Jerry Jones insistent Jason Garrett is not coaching for his job, but there is no other way to view this deteriorating situation.
20. Jets 7-8 (21): With talent-challenged roster and real struggles at quarterback, some believe this is Rex Ryan's best coaching job to date.
21. Lions 7-8 (18): Would be unfair to talk about future of coach Jim Schwartz without wondering about status of GM Martin Mayhew.
22. Bills 6-9 (23): Shutout of Dolphins was a nice boost and Bills can really end season on high note with upset of playoff-bound Patriots.
23. Giants 6-9 (26): Lot of chatter about future of Tom Coughlin, but his track record warrants another season with owners who respect him.
24. Buccaneers 4-11 (22): Short spurt of decent football in second half of season will be easy to forget if Saints hand Bucs fourth loss in last five games.
25. Vikings 4-10-1 (24): Final game in the Metrodome on Sunday could very well be last game for Vikings coach Leslie Frazier and Lions coach Jim Schwartz.
26. Titans 6-9 (27): Reports indicate Mike Munchak has reached out to Penn State to express interest in the event Bill O'Brien departs. That means Munchak is as good as gone, right?
27. Jaguars 4-11 (25): Season finale at Indianapolis could be the final game in a Jaguars uniform for Maurice Jones-Drew, who ranks fifth among active rushers with 8,032 yards.
28. Falcons 4-11 (29): Made fine showing in final regular-season game at Candlestick and could be factor in NFC race with upset of Panthers at Georgia Dome.
29. Browns 4-11 (28): Have held a lead in each of their last four games, but bad teams find a variety of ways to lose.
30. Raiders 4-11 (30): Will start Terrelle Pryor in season finale versus Broncos and his agent says it is with the hope the quarterback fails. Yes, this is a full-blown circus.
31. Redskins 3-12 (31): Mike Shanahan says he expects quick answer on the future after season ends. Wasn't his fate sealed weeks ago?
32. Texans 2-13 (32): Will own the No. 1 overall pick for the third time since 2002 with a loss to the Titans or a win by the Redskins.
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