NFL Carolina Panthers

2013 NFL Power Rankings Week 11: Carolina Panthers Make Huge Statement

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2013 NFL Power Rankings Week 11

2013 NFL Power Rankings Week 11
(Kelley L. Cox/USA Today Sports)

After another exciting week in the NFL, it's time to take a look at the 2013 NFL Power Rankings for Week 11.

Over the last couple of weeks, the Carolina Panthers emerged as one of the hottest teams in football as their defense has made them look like a playoff contender and after Sunday's big win on the road against the San Francisco 49ers--it's safe to say they belong in the playoff picture. With Cam Newton and the defense playing at a high level, the Panthers certainly have what it takes to make some noise once January rolls around and it will certainly be interesting to see if Carolina can remain hot over the final six weeks.

As for the rest of the league, who would have thought the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers would pick up their first wins of the season in the same week? While the Jaguars shocked us all with a big win on the road against the Tennessee Titans, the Buccaneers pulled off an impressive win against the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football.

And of course, with Week 11 finally here, everyone is anxious to see how the Kansas City Chiefs will perform against the Denver Broncos as this will be their biggest challenge yet. There's plenty of football to discuss, so let's take a look at the 2013 NFL Power Rankings for Week 11.

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32. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-8 (32)

(Don McPeak/USA Today Sports)

They finally did it--the Jacksonville Jaguars finally won a football game for the first time this season. What's even more impressive is they managed to pick up their first win on the road while scoring 29 points in the process--which nobody could have expected in Week 10.

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31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1-8 (31)

(Kim Klement/USA Today Sports)

Who would have thought the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jaguars would win in the same week? After a long first half of the season, the Buccaneers finally earned their first win of the season--which was exciting to see considering how close they were to almost blowing the game.

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30. Houston Texans 2-7 (29)

(Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports)

What has happened to the Houston Texans? After a 2-0 start, the Texans have now lost seven-straight games as they suffered yet another frustrating loss on the road to the Arizona Cardinals--a game in which they could have easily won.

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29. Atlanta Falcons 2-7 (26)

(Dale Zanine/USA Today Sports)

It's a good thing Matt Ryan signed his hefty contract extension when he did because this year has been nothing but ugly for the Atlanta Falcons. Another week, another frustrating loss for the Falcons as they're moving even closer to playoff elimination following their seventh loss of the year.

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28. Minnesota Vikings 2-7 (30)

(Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today Sports)

Thanks to a strong rally in the second half, the Minnesota Vikings managed to pick up their second win of the season against the Washington Redskins. Of course, thew in didn't come without another injury as Matt Cassel was forced to finish the game for Christian Ponder as he suffered a dislocated shoulder.

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27. Buffalo Bills 3-7 (24)

(Mark Konezny/USA Today Sports)

As nice as it was to see E.J. Manuel back in the lineup, the Buffalo Bills just couldn't get anything going on offense against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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26. Oakland Raiders 3-6 (25)

(Jim O'Connor/USA Today Sports)

The Oakland Raiders struggled again on offense as Terrelle Pryor (11 of 26 for 122 yards) had one of his more disappointing games against the New York Giants.

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25. Washington Redskins 3-6 (20)

(Brace Hemmelgarn/USA Today Sports)

It's a shame to see impressive performances by Robert Griffin III (281 passing yards and three touchdowns) and Alfred Morris (139 rushing yards) go to waste as this was a game the Washington Redskins should have won.

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24. Pittsburgh Steelers 3-6 (28)

(Mark Konezny/USA Today Sports)

As crazy as it sounds, the Pittsburgh Steelers are still in the hunt for the AFC North despite their disappointing start. Sunday's game against the Bills was one they needed to win and let's be glad they managed to do so.

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23. New York Giants 3-6 (27)

(Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

The NFC East is so bad, even the New York Giants still have a shot at winning the division. Eli Manning struggled once again, but it was nice to see the ground game finally pick up with Andre Brown back in the lineup as the Giants won their third-straight game.

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22. Tennessee Titans 4-5 (17)

(Jim Brown/USA Today Sports)

Not only did the Tennessee Titans hit rock bottom by losing to the Jaguars, but they lost to them on their own field. For a team that looked like a possible contender for a Wild Card spot in the AFC--this was a devastating loss for the Titans.

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21. Miami Dolphins 4-5 (16)

(Rob Foldy/USA Today Sports)

Speaking of teams who hit rock bottom--what has happened to the Miami Dolphins since the beginning of the season? For a team many believed would give the New England Patriots a run for the money in the AFC East, the Dolphins have now lost five of six after a 3-0 start.

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20. Cleveland Browns 4-5 (21)

(Rick Osentoski/USA Today Sports)

It's hard to believe, but the Cleveland Browns are in the hunt for the AFC North as they'll look to beat the Cincinnati Bengals for the second time this year in Week 11 and earn a share of first place in the division.

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19. Green Bay Packers 5-4 (13)

(Benny Sieu/USA Today Sports)

This team certainly misses Aaron Rodgers as the Green Bay Packers couldn't get anything going against the Philadelphia Eagles. A few weeks ago, the Packers looked like the team to beat in the NFC North, but with Rodgers out of the lineup--that is clearly no longer the case.

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18. San Diego Chargers 4-5 (15)

(Robert Hanashiro/USA Today Sports)

Sunday's game was the perfect example of how important touchdowns can be instead of field goals as the San Diego Chargers missed numerous key opportunities against the Denver Broncos. With the amount of talent in the AFC, the Chargers playoff hopes appear to be slipping away, but there's still plenty of time left in the regular season.

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17. Baltimore Ravens 4-5 (22)

(Evan Habeeb/USA Today Sports)

After letting the Cincinnati Bengals get back into it thanks to a Hail Mary pass to A.J. Green at the end of regulation, give the Baltimore Ravens credit for holding on in overtime. This team may still be in the hunt for the AFC North title, but if Ray Rice (30 rushing yards on 18 carries) continues to struggle, this team won't make it to the playoffs.

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16. St. Louis Rams 4-6 (23)

(Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports)

Who saw this upset coming? The St. Louis Rams pulled off arguably the biggest surprise of Week 10 with a huge win on the road against the Indianapolis Colts.

In fact--it was a blowout.

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15. Arizona Cardinals 5-4 (18)

(Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports)

Another strong defensive performance by the Arizona Cardinals as they managed to win a close one against the Texans--which is impressive considering Larry Fitzgerald was limited to just three catches for 23 yards.

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14. Philadelphia Eagles 5-5 (19)

(Benny Sieu/USA Today Sports)

Not only is Nick Foles finding ways to win games in the most impressive ways, but the defense looked solid once again against the Packers--even if Aaron Rodgers wasn't in the lineup.

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13. Dallas Cowboys 5-5 (11)

(Robert E. Hingle/USA Today Sports)

The Dallas Cowboys didn't just lose to the New Orleans Saints--they got absolutely crushed. The defense may as well not even showed up against the Saints as they allowed an NFL record 40 first downs.

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12. Chicago Bears 5-4 (12)

(Mike Dinovo/USA Today Sports)

Clearly, the Chicago Bears rushed Jay Cutler back too quickly as they fell just short against the Detroit Lions--which is surprising considering Josh McCown has looked impressive when filling in at quarterback.

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11. New York Jets 5-4 (14)

(Robert Deutsch/USA Today Sports)

The New York Jets have been one of the biggest surprises of the 2013 season so far and it will be interesting to see if they can continue to play well following their bye week.

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10. Cincinnati Bengals 6-4 (10)

(Evan Habeeb/USA Today Sports)

Two weeks ago, the Cincinnati Bengals looked like the team to beat in the AFC North. Now, they're putting up a fight just to hold on to their division lead after a devastating overtime loss to the Ravens.

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9. Indianapolis Colts 6-3 (6)

(Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports)

While the Rams deserve plenty of credit for the way they played on defense, it's safe to say the Indianapolis Colts were officially exposed on Sunday. What an embarrassing loss at home for a team many believed were one of the best in the AFC.

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8. San Francisco 49ers 6-3 (3)

(Kelley L. Cox/USA Today Sports)

This was a tough loss as the San Francisco 49ers were one of the league's hottest teams entering Week 10, but they did lose to a very tough defense in the Carolina Panthers.

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7. New England Patriots 7-2 (5)

(David Butler II/USA Today Sports)

With a two-game lead in the division, the New England Patriots control their own fate in the AFC East and should be well rested coming off their bye week. This team continues to find impressive ways to win and expect that to continue as long as Tom Brady remains healthy.

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6. Detroit Lions 6-3 (8)

(Matt Marton/USA Today Sports)

What a big win for the Detroit Lions on the road to remain alone in first place in the NFC North. Another solid performance by Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson against the Bears as this team looks like one of the best in the NFC.

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5. Carolina Panthers 6-3 (9)

(Kyle Terada/USA Today Sports)

Talk about a huge statement win as the Carolina Panthers came up big on the road against the 49ers. This defense may be the best in the league and they certainly have what it takes to make a run at the playoffs.

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4. New Orleans Saints 7-2 (7)

(Derick E. Hingle/USA Today Sports)

40 first downs in a single game? This New Orleans Saints team is loaded with talent and is playing their best football at the right time after a big win in the national spotlight over the Cowboys.

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3. Denver Broncos 8-1 (4)

(Robert Hanashiro/USA Today Sports)

As impressive as Sunday's win against the Chargers was, the Denver Broncos need to keep an eye on Peyton Manning's health. The last thing the Broncos need to deal with is losing Manning at quarterback--so Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs will be interesting to watch.

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2. Seattle Seahawks 8-1 (2)

(Dale Zanine/USA Today Sports)

Another week, another big win for the Seattle Seahawks as they looked impressive once again on the road against the Falcons. And thanks to the Panthers, the Seahawks were able to increase their lead over the 49ers in the NFC West.

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1. Kansas City Chiefs 9-0 (1)

(Timothy L. Ludwig/USA Today Sports)

It's finally here as the Kansas City Chiefs will face their toughest task of the season going against Peyton Manning and the Broncos on Sunday Night Football. The Chiefs have faced plenty of challenges already this season, but this could be a true statement as far as being one of the top contenders in the AFC.