Poor Russell Wilson.
Already a five-time Pro-Bowler, Wilson has tossed a league-leading 24 touchdown passes in 2019. The 30-year-old has also led the Seattle Seahawks to a 9-2 record.
And yet, if the 2019 NFL regular season ended today, Wilson would almost certainly finish runner-up to Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in the NFL MVP race, especially after Jackson turned in a five-touchdown performance on Monday Night Football.
More importantly, the 9-2 record that he's led the Seahawks to would only be enough to clinch the top Wild Card spot in the NFC and go on the road on NFC Wild Card weekend. Despite handing the San Francisco 49ers their first lost of the season earlier this month, the 49ers are 10-1 after blowing out the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football, which is enough to hold onto the NFC West lead and the top spot in the NFC playoff picture.
Of course, there's still five weeks left in the 2019 season. Things can change. Right now, though, it looks like Wilson may have picked a bad year to have the most dominant season of his illustrious career.
With that in mind, here's the Week 13 RADIO.COM NFL Power Rankings:
1. Baltimore Ravens (Last Week: No. 1)
Lamar Jackson had perhaps the defining performance of his young career in Week 12, as he threw five touchdown passes and ran for 95 yards in a 45-6 beatdown of the defending NFC Champion Los Angeles Rams. In addition to him, the Ravens No. 1 ranked rushing attack continued to flex its muscle. Mark Ingram II ran for 111 yards on 15 carries. Gus Edwards and Justice Hill also got in on the fun. The Ravens may not be able to usurp the New England Patriots for the top overall seed in the AFC, but their running attack will travel anywhere. Right now, they are the favorites to win the Super Bowl, and Jackson is the talk of the sport.
2. San Francisco 49ers (Last Week: No. 5)
For whatever concerns there may be about Jimmy Garoppolo's ability to go toe-to-toe with the NFC's elite quarterbacks in the postseason, he may not have to. The 49ers are 10-1, and if the season ended today, they would have home-field advantage throughout the NFC postseason. They have the No. 1 overall defense in the NFL, and the No. 2 rushing attack in the NFL. Keeping George Kittle, who is playing through a broken bone in his ankle, on the field is crucial.
3. New England Patriots (Last Week: No. 2)
It's not unfair to wonder if the Patriots will have the offensive firepower to compete with the Baltimore Ravens - and possibly the Kansas City Chiefs - in the postseason. But they're 10-1, and their defense is allowing just 10.6 points-per-game. If the Patriots end up with home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, which they're on pace for, Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady may find a way to get a seventh championship, even if this Patriots team is even less sexy than last year's installment.
4. Seattle Seahawks (Last Week: No. 4)
The Seahawks win in Philadelphia in Week 12 didn't enhance Russell Wilson's NFL MVP candidacy. That said, in damp conditions, Wilson and the Seahawks defeated the Eagles 17-9 in a game that wasn't as close as the score may lead you to believe. It is very concerning that running back Chris Carson has fumbled four times in the Seahawks' last three games. More concerning is that the 9-2 Seahawks still find themselves on track to go on the road on Wild Card weekend because they're a game back of the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC West.
5. Minnesota Vikings (Last Week: No. 7)
Make no mistake, this is Kirk Cousins' moment. The 31-year-old is having the best season of his career, as he's thrown 21 touchdown passes and been picked off just three times. The Vikings are 8-3, and after an ugly loss by the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football, even record-wise at the top of NFC North. While a Week 16 Monday Night Football showdown with the Packers may ultimately decide who wins the NFC North, the Vikings will travel to Seattle this week for a Monday Night Football tilt that will go a long way in determining postseason seeding in the NFC playoffs.
6. New Orleans Saints (Last Week: No. 6)
It's mildly concerning that the Saints nearly lost a game to the Carolina Panthers that they led by 13 in the third quarter, but ultimately, Will Lutz's game-winning field goal sent the Saints to 9-2. They have a very real chance to secure a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs. And while the NFL MVP race is between Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson, it's worth noting how incredible Michael Thomas has been - the fourth-year wideout leads the NFL with 104 catches and 1,242 receiving yards.
7. Green Bay Packers (Last Week: No. 3)
Aaron Rodgers threw for just 104 yards in a Week 12 Packers' loss in San Francisco where the team was limited to just 198 yards offensively. The 49ers averaged 5.1 yards-per-carry against the Packers' defense, which is the 26th-ranked unit against the run. The Packers' offense will bounce-back, they're led by one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. But their struggles against the run are concerning when you consider they could face Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara or the aforementioned 49ers' rushing attack in the postseason.
8. Kansas City Chiefs (Last Week: No. 8)
The Chiefs managed to stay afloat on the ground last season after having to release Kareem Hunt, but over the course of a full season, they've struggled to replace his production. The Chiefs are the 22nd-ranked rushing offense in the NFL in 2019. When you couple that with the fact that they're the 25th-ranked defense in the sport, there's a world of pressure on Patrick Mahomes to be superman. They're almost certainly going to be a playoff team in 2019, but whether they can make a run in the AFC playoffs remains to be seen.
9. Houston Texans (Last Week: No. 11)
On a short week, the Texans rebounded after a blowout loss in Baltimore to win a crucial game over the division-rival Indianapolis Colts on Thursday Night Football, 20-17. Will Fuller V and DeAndre Hopkins combined for 13 catches for 234 yards in the win, a reminder of the offensive skill position might that the Texans have when healthy.
10. Buffalo Bills (Last Week: No. 13)
Last week, this space was used to reflect on the lack of playoff-caliber teams that the Bills have defeated in 2019. Even with that acknowledged, the Bills have eight wins after a 20-3 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 12. Their schedule does get harder down the stretch - they'll play the Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots in three of their final five games - but they have the inside track to a Wild Card spot in the AFC.
11. Dallas Cowboys (Last Week: No. 9)
No team has won the NFC East in consecutive seasons since the Philadelphia Eagles won four consecutive division titles since 2001-2004. The table seems to be set for the Cowboys to snap that streak in 2019, though after a 13-9 loss in New England, the discussion has shifted to the future of head coach Jason Garrett, as opposed to how the 6-5 Cowboys lock up their second consecutive NFC East title.
12. Indianapolis Colts (Last Week: No. 10)
Ahead of their Thursday Night Football showdown with the division-rival Houston Texans, the Colts got a boost by getting wide receiver T.Y. Hilton back from a calf injury. However, while Hilton has traditionally carved up the Texans secondary, he was limited to just three catches for 18 yards in a loss. The Colts, who are 6-5, will look to regroup in Week 13, as they're still very much in the AFC South and AFC Wild Card races.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers (Last Week: No. 17)
For the second time in three weeks, the Steelers will play the division-rival Cleveland Browns. And while the brawl that took place in the fourth quarter of their Thursday Night Football tilt earlier this month will be on the minds of many, neither Myles Garrett or Mason Rudolph will play. Garrett is suspended, and Rudolph has been benched in favor of Devlin "Duck" Hodges. Amazingly, at 6-5, the Steelers' seventh-ranked defense has kept them in the AFC Wild Card picture.
14. Tennessee Titans (Last Week: No. 18)
Derrick Henry ran for 159 yards in a 42-20 Titans win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12. The Titans are 6-5, and find themselves in the thick of the AFC Wild Card race, and not entirely out of the AFC South picture. Ryan Tannehill was again effective in Week 12, throwing for two touchdowns and adding in 40 yards on the ground. He may just be the Titans starting quarterback in 2020.
15. Oakland Raiders (Last Week: No. 14)
The upstart Raiders came back down to earth in Week 12, as they were upset in New Jersey 34-3 by the Jets. Derek Carr, Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller all struggled, with is a pretty disastrous formula for the Raiders. At 6-5, they'll attempt to regroup - and stay alive in the AFC West race - this weekend in Kansas City.
16. Los Angeles Rams (Last Week: No. 12)
The Super Bowl hangover is real in Los Angeles. The Rams were embarrassed by the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football in Week 12, and don't have a realistic path to the postseason, whether it's in the NFC West or NFC Wild Card picture. They also have just three picks in the first five rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft, so they'll have to get creative this offseason as they attempt to re-tool and compete in a heavily-competitive NFC West.
17. Carolina Panthers (Last Week: No. 16)
If not for a poor day kicking - and blocking during kicking attempts - the Panthers may have beaten the Saints in New Orleans in Week 12. Instead, they lost 34-31, likely ending any remaining hopes of reaching the postseason in 2019. That said, it was a good showing for Kyle Allen, who completed 23 of 36 pass attempts and tossed three touchdowns. The rest of the 2019 season is about deciding how to proceed at quarterback, and keeping Allen as the team's starter is one of three paths the Panthers could choose to take.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (Last Week: No. 15)
Carson Wentz tore his ACL in Week 14 of the 2017 season, ending his NFL MVP candidacy. 2018 was an injury-riddled campaign. He's been relatively healthy in 2019, but both he and the Eagles have been wholly disappointing. While Wentz has had a lack of legitimate NFL talent at wide receiver to work with, he's shot himself in the foot the past two weeks and looked unconfident. The Eagles, who entered 2019 with Super Bowl aspirations, are just 5-6.
19. Arizona Cardinals (Last Week: No. 20)
Given the beatdown that the 49ers put on the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football this past week, it feels pretty remarkable that the Cardinals have lost two close games to their 10-1 division rivals this month. Kyler Murray has completely changed the culture in Arizona, even if the team's 3-7-1 record doesn't necessarily reflect that.
20. Cleveland Browns (Last Week: No. 25)
With the caveat that it came against the Miami Dolphins, Week 12 was a fruitful one for the Browns, as they attempted to move past the Myles Garrett fiasco. Jarvis Landry had 10 catches for 148 yards and two touchdowns. Odell Bekcham Jr. had six catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. Baker Mayfield threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns. And the running back duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt helped the Browns rush for nearly 150 yards. If the Browns upgrade their offensive line this offseason, it's not hard to envision a scenario where they take a major step forward in 2020. It will be interesting to see if a strong finish can save the job of head coach Freddie Kitchens.
21. New York Jets (Last Week: No. 28)
Don't look now, but the Jets have won three consecutive games, with the most impressive of those three wins coming in Week 12, when the Jets shocked the Raiders in a 34-3 blowout win. At 4-7, 2019 is still largely going to go down as a lost season for the Jets. That said, it's a very encouraging sign that Sam Darnold has thrown seven touchdowns and been picked off just once over the last three games.
22. Chicago Bears (Last Week: No. 22)
What's there left to say? Sure, Mitchell Trubisky threw for a touchdown and ran for another in a 19-14 win over the lowly New York Giants, but the Bears put up just 19 points and Trubisky was also picked off twice. The Bears are very much headed for a crossroads at the end of this season with their third-year quarterback. It is of note that Allen Robinson III had the best game of his season in Week 12, hauling in six passes for 131 yards.
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Last Week: No. 27)
The Buccaneers' Week 12 win over the Atlanta Falcons featured a vintage Jameis Winston performance. He did throw for 313 yards and three touchdowns in a win over the Atlanta Falcons, but he also threw two more interceptions, bringing his league-leading total on the season to 20. It's unclear how the Buccaneers plan to proceed with the former No. 1 overall pick, who can become a free agent this offseason. Whoever is playing quarterback for the Buccaneers in 2020 will have great weapons at his disposal, as both Chris Godwin and Mike Evans surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in 2019 on Sunday.
24. Los Angeles Chargers (Last Week: No. 23)
Philip Rivers will turn 38 in December, and as the Chargers return from their bye week, his future with the team is uncertain. While he's going to draw legitimate Hall of Fame consideration at the conclusion of his career, he's thrown 14 interceptions in 2019. Rivers' deal with the Chargers will expire at the conclusion of the season, and as they get ready to move into SoFi Stadium, it feels like we may be watching his final few games with the Bolts.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (Last Week: No. 21)
While the Jaguars offense hasn't heated up in Nick Foles' first two games back from a broken collarbone, it's been the team's defense that's failed them the most the last two games, as the Jaguars have allowed 75 points over their last two games. Still, the final five games of the 4-7 Jaguars' season may determine how the team proceeds at quarterback. It will also be interesting to monitor Doug Marrone's future as head coach.
26. Detroit Lions (Last Week: No. 19)
Without Matthew Stafford, the Lions have regressed from an early-season upstart, to another team competing for a higher pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. After losing to the lowly Washington Redskins, the Lions are 3-7-1. They did limit the Redskins to just 19 points in the loss, but it still doesn't reflect well on head coach Matt Patricia - a defensive mind - that the Lions have a bottom-five defense in 2019. They appear to have the offensive talent to compete in 2020. But they'll need to vastly improve their defense this offseason to be able to compete in the heavily-competitive NFC North.
27. Atlanta Falcons (Last Week: No. 24)
The two-game honeymoon for new defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich came to an end in Week 12, as the Falcons lost 35-22 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They picked off Jameis Winston twice, but that's not even that impressive at this stage. They also allowed him to throw for 313 yards and three touchdowns, while wide receiver Chris Godwin had a huge game, going for seven catches and 184 yards. The Falcons are 3-8 in 2019, and 1-4 at home. The future of Dan Quinn as head coach is still murky.
28. New York Giants (Last Week: No. 30)
Pat Shurmur's Giants responded to pregame rumors of mutual interest between the Giants and Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett by falling 19-14 to the Chicago Bears. The most concerning trend for the team this season is that after a historically-dominant rookie season, Saquon Barkley has disappointed in 2019. In five games since returning from a high-ankle sprain, Barkley is averaging just 2.8 yards-per-carry. After hauling in 91 catches for 721 yards in his rookie season, Barkley has just 35 catches for 259 yards in eight games in 2019.
29. Denver Broncos (Last Week: No. 26)
Courtland Sutton, as has become custom in 2019, led the Broncos in receiving yards in their Week 12 loss to the Buffalo Bills. The problem is Sutton had just one catch for 27 yards in a 20-3 loss in Orchard Park. It's hard to think of a reason why the Broncos shouldn't give 2019 second-round pick Drew Lock a few games to start before the conclusion of the season, especially when they'll be in position to draft another quarterback if they determine that Lock isn't their long-term answer at the position.
30. Washington Redskins (Last Week: No. 31)
While Dwayne Haskins wasn't especially inspiring in Week 12, the Redskins were able to defeat the Detroit Lions 19-16 in Week 12 for their second victory of the week. Certainly, it was a nice moment for Haskins to get his first victory as a starter, but it essentially ended any chance for the team to land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. If they don't end up with the No. 2 pick, it's possible that they'll miss out on a chance to take Ohio State defensive end Chase Young, who is viewed by most as the best overall player in next year's draft class.
31. Miami Dolphins (Last Week: No. 30)
It was a very fruitful week for the Dolphins, at least from the perspective of trying to push their way back into having one of the top picks in the 2020 NFL Draft. Not only did they lose by a comfortable margin to the Cleveland Browns, but the Washington Redskins and New York Jets both secured victories. It seems unlikely that the Dolphins will leapfrog the Bengals for the No. 1 overall pick, but they could still end up with the second pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Whether they feel comfortable taking Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa - or whether he's on the board when they pick - remains to be seen.
32. Cincinnati Bengals (Last Week: No. 32)
With a loss in Week 12 to the Pittsburgh Steelers and a Washington Redskins victory, the Bengals appear overwhelmingly likely to have the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Every other team in the NFL has won at least two games, so the Bengals could even afford to win a game in the five remaining weeks of the 2019 season, and they would still end up with the right to draft LSU quarterback Joe Burrow or whoever they choose. For the sake of our friend living on the roof of his bar, we hope they can pull out at least one win.