Power rankings revisited: Week 13

The Colts made a strong case for the top spot in ESPN's NFL Power Rankings, due for release Tuesday.

One of our panelists foolishly ranked them third a week ago.

I won't mention any names, but the chart doesn't lie. It shows how each panelist voted last week, with my votes listed in the first column, followed by votes from John Clayton, Paul Kuharsky and Jeff Chadiha.

Red lettering identifies teams that lost in Week 13, including No. 3 Minnesota and No. 6 New England.

How far should those teams fall? Should the Colts retake the top spot after handling the previously hot Titans? Or should the Saints' comeback victory over an inferior opponent be enough to keep them No. 1?

I obviously need your input after daring to rank the Vikings among the top two last week.

Fire away.

And now, on to the power rankings revisited ...

The reckoning: Five games featured lower-ranked teams defeating higher-ranked teams:

  • (28) Oakland 27, (12) Pittsburgh 24: The Steelers are now two games better than the Raiders in the AFC standings. How can that be?

  • (25) Seattle 20, (20) San Francisco 17: Nine carries for Frank Gore in a close, cold-weather game against a team he has owned.

  • (19) Miami 22, (6) New England 21: Patriots failed to exceed 21 points for the fourth time this season.

  • (15) New York Giants 31, (7) Dallas 24: The Cowboys lost a road game to a division opponent. Not time to panic or overreact.

  • (8) Arizona 30, (3) Minnesota 17: Cardinals haven't looked this good since the playoffs.

Still to play: (11) Baltimore at (13) Green Bay on "Monday Night Football."

Fraud alert: The Giants deserved our skepticism in past weeks. The 49ers, Steelers and Texans qualify this week.

Rising in defeat: The Redskins gave another superior team all it could handle. Well done under the circumstances.

Northbound in a hurry: The Cardinals must command respect after defeating the Vikings so decisively. Let's also remove Oakland from the "utterly horrible" category.

Look out below: The Steelers and Texans have each lost four in a row -- same as the Rams.

My early favorite for the No. 1 spot: Indianapolis. Underestimate the Colts at your peril.