TEXAS, Sporting Alert – The Carolina Panthers are the new No. 1 team in the 2015 ESPN NFL Power Rankings for Week 13 on Tuesday, Dec. 1.
Carolina (11-0) replaced New England after staying undefeated during the last fixtures and the Patriots suffered their first loss of the season.
The Panthers are known for their good defensive work, but recently the offense has been sparking, which make them a dangerous outfit on current form.
According to ESPN Stats and Info, Carolina leads the NFL in defensive scoring, at 16.5 points per game and takeaways, at 37 during their current 15-game regular-season winning streak.
Cam Newton and the Panthers will take their undefeated streak on the road against the New Orleans Saints in the next fixture, but the star quarterback says he “could care less” that the NFC leaders are the only perfect team left in the league.
“I know it’s only ink just for the media,” Newton said. “We can’t make it bigger than what it is.
“Nothing’s changed as for our preparation. It’s about becoming 1-0 by the end of Sunday.”
The Patriots (10-1), in the meantime, fell one spot to No. 2 after losing in overtime against the Denver Broncos on Sunday Night.
There is good news, however, for Tom Brady and the defending champions after it was revealed that Rob Gronkowski, who picked up a foot injury in the defeat to the Broncos, isn’t expected to be out for a long period.
In fact, the receiver could even be back for the next fixture against the Eagles.
Broncos (9-2) stayed stable at No. 3 with Brock Osweiler, who started in back-to-back games for the injured Peyton Manning, piloting the AFC side to successive wins after ending a two-game skid.
The Arizona Cardinals (9-2) and the Cincinnati Bengals (9-2) completing the top five.
Stepping into the top 10 this week are the Kansas City Chiefs (6-5) on the back of a five-game winning streak.
Alex Smith and the Chiefs have jumped three places this week to No. 10.
Minnesota Vikings (8-3), No. 6, Seattle Seahawks (6-5), at No. 7, the Green Bay Packers (7-4), No. 8 and Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) are also in the ESPN NFL Power Rankings this week.
Meanwhile, falling the heaviest this week were the Dallas Cowboys (3-8), who dropped eight spots to No. 29, with quarterback Tony Romo injured again and could be out for the rest of the season.
The biggest jumpers this week were the Washington Redskins (5-6) who improved seven places to No. 13 after Kirk Cousins inspired the NFC East leaders to victory over fellow divisional rivals New York Giants (5-6).
2015 ESPN NFL Power Rankings: Week 13
Tuesday, December 1
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1 Carolina Panthers (11-0)
2 New England Panthers (10-1)
3 Denver Broncos (9-2)
4 Arizona Cardinals (9-2)
5 Cincinnati Bengals (9-2)
6 Minnesota Vikings (8-3),
7 Seattle Seahawks (6-5)
8 Green Bay Packers (7-4)
9 Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5)
10 Kansas City Chiefs (6-5)
11 Houston Texans (6-5)
12 New York Jets (6-5)
13 Washington Redskins (5-6)
14 Indianapolis Colts (6-5)
15 Atlanta Falcons (6-5)
16 Oakland Raiders (5-6)
17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-6)
18 New York Giants (5-6)
19 Buffalo Bills (5-6)
20 Chicago Bears (5-6)
21 Detroit Lions (4-7)
22 New Orleans Saints (4-7)
23 Miami Dolphins (4-7)
24 Philadelphia Eagles (4-7)
25 Baltimore Ravens (4-7)
26 Saint Louis Rams (4-7)
27 San Diego Chargers (3-8)
28 Jacksonville Jaguars (4-7)
29 Dallas Cowboys (3-8)
30 Tennessee Titans (2-9)
31 San Francisco 49ers (3-8)
32 Cleveland Browns (2-9)