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Sid Saraf’s NFL Power Rankings: Week 13

Vaya con dios, Eli.

I, for one, will never forget where I was when I heard the news. The story that sent ripples of shock through the fabric of society. The moment where truth never seemed more like fiction. The time stood still.

The Giants benched Eli Manning, ending his streak of consecutive starts at 210.

The horror. The … horror.

OK, everyone stop it for just one second. Now, I was as surprised as the next guy that Big Blue decided to go in a different direction at this point. It makes sense that the organization wants to see what they have at the position now that they’ve been officially eliminated from the playoff race, but going with Geno Smith this week instead of Davis Webb? Why end Eli’s streak for that guy?

(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)

However, the reaction in New York was way out of line. I’ve seen less crying in North Korea after a fearless leader dies and the citizens compete with each other to see how many tears they can produce. Look it up on YouTube. It’s amazing.

Former players were irate. Celebrities cried Twitter tears. The citizenry was up in arms.

Am I missing something here? This happens in the NFL. Eli’s big brother Peyton once lost his job due to injury. Kurt Warner was the man at the center of the Greatest Show on Turf and the Rams ditched him to go with the immortal Marc Bulger.

Good lord, there was talk about the Patriots possibly ditching Tom Brady in the near future in for Jimmy Garoppolo.

These things happen. Quarterbacks, even legendary ones, come and go. That’s how the NFL machine works.

Anyway, let’s see how the league is shaping up heading into Week 13.

NFL’S TOP 10

1) Patriots – This team is like the Lakers from the 1980s. The Patriots rarely have challengers within their own division. Must be nice to have six easy wins every season, regardless of how dirty the Dolphins might play every now and then. Am I being a hater. Maybe a little.

2) Eagles – I can’t wait to see their showdown in Seattle on Sunday. And as a Rams fan, here’s hoping this game is physical and really takes something out of the birdies before they come to Los Angeles next week.

3) Vikings – I enjoy the occasional hot take. Here’s mine for this week: Case Keenum should be in the MVP conversation. This isn’t based on numbers or any other kind of scientific data. This is based purely on my desire to make people roll their eyes and my own admiration of a man who floundered in Los Angeles season, only to pick himself up and get a shot to lead a decent squad. What a guy.

4) Steelers – No, I’m not impressed that Pittsburgh needed Antonio Brown to save a victory over the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers. And we all know what’s going to happen going forward. The Steelers are going to get smoked by the Patriots at home on Dec. 17, and will likely run into New England in the playoffs. And guess what? They’ll get stomped again.

5) Rams – Man, what a win over the Saints, even though New Orleans was missing both starting quarterbacks. By the way, at what point will we see St. Louis implode in fury over this team’s success?

6) Panthers – This team seems to thrive when they don’t have many offensive standouts. Sure, Jonathan Stewart and Christian McCaffrey are doing a fine job running the ball, but it seems Devin Funchess is their only receiving option now that Greg Olsen reinjured his foot. Whatever, they keep winning.

7) Saints – Just give the ball to Alvin Kamara. All the time. Throw in an occasional play-action and you’re fine. And good lord, Cameron Jordan seems unblockable.

8) Falcons – Are the Super Bowl Falcons back? Looks like they’ve untwisted themselves over the past few weeks. We’ll know for sure on Sunday.

9) Seahawks – Their defense picked it up last week, but that was against the 49ers. Sunday night will tell us where the Seahawks are headed.

10) Jaguars – Great defense! Bad quarterback! One day they might be great on both sides of the ball … could be next season. Cough, Eli Manning, cough.

WHAT’S THE CHATTER?

Matt Lauer: What the hell is up with this guy? And what’s with having a secret door lock in your office? Dude, go stand in the corner for a while and don’t turn around until we tell you.

NFC East: A Cowboys loss on Thursday night will wrap up the division title for the Eagles. Remember, I picked the Giants to win the grouping before the season. Predictions are dumb.

Josh Gordon: Browns coach Hue Jackson says the oft-suspended wide receiver will start on Sunday in his official return to the NFL.

Herm Edwards: Who saw this coming? After several years at ESPN, the former NFL head coach has taken the job at Arizona State. His energy and enthusiasm will work well at the college level. Or maybe it won’t. A lot of people fail with the Sun Devils.

WHAT TO WATCH IN WEEK 13

Redskins at Cowboys: Thursday night games are usually a bore, but it’s always entertaining when Dallas loses.

Vikings at Falcons: This is going to be a good one. With the Falcons offense kicking it into high gear as of late, let’s see what happens when they face a strong Vikings defensive front.

Panthers at Saints: The NFC South is taking center stage this week. And the Panthers are actually catching the Saints at the right time as they got a bit beat up in Los Angeles last week. I’m going with the Panthers to pull out the win in the dome.

Eagles at Seahawks: This is easily the most watchable game of the week. I’m going with the Eagles here, due to all the injuries in Seattle’s secondary.

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Sid Saraf

Currently a Mobile Editor at Yahoo, Saraf spent 5.5 years (Oct. 2010 - Feb. 2016) working for FOX Sports as an NFL Editor and Writer. Prior to that, Saraf worked for CBS Interactive for 4.5 years (May 2006 - Oct. 2010) as a Staff Editor.

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