NFL Power Rankings - Week 13: Broncos rising


NFL Power Rankings - Week 13: Broncos rising

Each week throughout the regular season, we'll be rankingall 32 NFL teams.

Take a look and offer up your thoughts inthe comment box below or to us on Twitter @BearsTalkCSN.

Previousrankings: Week1 Week2 Week3 Week4 Week5 Week6 Week7 Week8 Week9 Week10 Week11 Week12

SKJF Comments 1 SK: The Texans could clinch the AFCSouth this weekend.
JF: Had some luck on Turkey Day to get past Lions. 2 SK:Another win, but still waiting to see them do it in a more convincingmanner.
JF: Not playing their best, but continue to win. 10-1 stands for something.
3 SK: Was Harbaugh really consideringgoing back to Alex Smith this weekend?
JF: Went to New Orleans and took care of business. QB controversy in full effect.
4 SK:Denver may not lose another game in the regular season.
JF: Slid by Chargers to hold onto top spot in AFC.
5 SK:Averaging 43.8 points in their last five games...IMPRESSIVE.
JF: Two dominating performances in a row has their arrow pointing up.
6 SK: Still not convinced Ray Ricepicked up the first down on that 4th-and-29 play.
JF: Apparently the Giants are better than the Packers.
7 SK:Sunday just shows how valuable Jay Cutler really is to the Bears.
JF: Unimpressive win over Chiefs, but running away division title.
8 SK:Thoroughly manhandled the Pack, but which Giants team will show upeach week?
JF: Clearly I rated the Packers too high last week. They fell hard against the Giants.
9 SK: Will not go far in the postseasonwithout a running game and a brutal defense.
JF: Bears shouldn't drop a spot after a win, but the Giants' sudden rise is cruel.
10 SK: The Colts magical season continuedwith an impressive win over the Bills.
JF: Just barely missed a chance at knocking off the Falcons and making a statement.
11 SK:Don't sleep on the Law Firm. Cincy is right back in the thick ofthings.
JF: The Bengals may just be peaking at the right time of the year.
12 SK:Their run defense has collapsed as oflate.
JF: 'ChuckStrong' is more than a saying for the's a lifestyle in Indy.
13 SK:Tough stretch coming up for a young Buccaneers team with playoffaspirations.
JF: Continue to struggle on the road. Trend may continue this weekend in Chicago.
14 SK:Tough home loss to San Francisco, but still in the playoff hunt.
JF: Looked very mediocre in blowout loss to the Bears.
15 SK:Vikings really need Percy Harvin back if they want to sniff theplayoffs.
JF: Made Cowboys look silly on Thanksgiving. Probably too little, too late though.
16 SK:A loss to the Browns? Still think they'll get it together when BigBen returns.
JF: Just didn't have it vs. 49ers. Looked over matched throughout the game.
17 SK:A win on Monday would have the Redskins one game behind the Giants inthe NFC East.
JF: Worst loss of the year...besides when they lost their QB a few weeks ago.
18 SK:Face a "Must-win" game against the Eagles this weekend.
JF: Played well enough to beat Houston, but as usual the Lions came up short.
19 SK: Ryan Tannehill has already brokenDan Marino's record for yards thrown as a rookie.
JF: Ended a rough patch on the schedule with a win. Looking to make a late run.
20 SK:Too many head-cases on the Lions, including the man in charge.
JF: Just crushed the Cardinals. Rookie CB Jenkins is double the pleasure, double the fun.
21 SK:Norv Turner will make a good OC somewhere in 2013.
JF: Have the talent to be a playoff team, but once again that won't happen this year.
22 SK: I think CJ2K may be back inTennessee.
JF: Browns handled themselves against a battered Steelers squad.
23 SK:BOLD PREDICTION: Browns will be in the wild-card hunt next season.
JF: This team seems like it has an inability to be consistent.
24 SK:Could see a major shakeup in Buffalo this offseason.
JF: Finally getting it together in Carolina.
25 SK:Don't look now, but Cam Newton has really turned it around as oflate.
JF: After a 4-0 start, the Cardinals have lost seven in a row. OUCH!
26 SK:Janoris Jenkins is a stud. Should be in the running for DefensiveRookie of the Year.
JF: Hung tough with the Ravens for four quarters.
27 SK:Matt Barkley? Aaron Murray? Landry Jones? Kurt Warner? Anybody?
JF: What good can you say following a crushing defeat to Patriots?
SK:Chad Henne's resurgence may cost Blaine Gabbert his job inJacksonville.
JF: The Jags are a different team under Chad Henne...they may win FOUR games!
29 SK:You know the Jets are bad when even Fireman Ed has quit on the team.
JF: Could have had their fifth win against Jacksonville, but instead fall further down.
30 SK:The Phillies have won more recently than the Eagles.
JF: Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Wait, don't you have to be good before you can fall?
31 SK:On the bright side it looks like Oakland will be getting Run DMC backthis weekend.
JF: Oakland can't win on the road (1-5) and can't really win at home either (2-3).
32 SK:At least they have one win this season...
JF:Three more field foals to add to the season point total

Morning Update: Cubs open World Series tonight; Hawks lose in shootout

Morning Update: Cubs open World Series tonight; Hawks lose in shootout

Here are some of the biggest stories from the day in Chicago sports:

Complete Cubs-Indians World Series Game 1 coverage on CSN

Blackhawks get a point but Kris Versteeg wins it for Flames in shootout

Cubs see Kyle Schwarber looming as potential World Series hero

Five Things from Blackhawks-Flames: Same old story on the penalty kill

Local product and former fan Jason Kipnis has 'zero conflict' extending Cubs' World Series title drought

Bears get Jay Cutler back as QB competition with Brian Hoyer fades to black

No-brainer: Cubs rolling with Jon Lester again in World Series Game 1

The making of a superstar: Kris Bryant believes in Cubs — not goats or curses

What can the Cubs expect from the Cleveland Indians in the World Series?

Why Cubs wouldn't pay the price for Andrew Miller and got Aroldis Chapman from Yankees

Why Cubs wouldn't pay the price for Andrew Miller and got Aroldis Chapman from Yankees

CLEVELAND — As the New York Yankees marketed Andrew Miller this summer and prepared for their first sell-off in a generation, their demands started at either Kyle Schwarber or Javier Baez — and the Cubs still would have been forced to throw in more talent to get the All-Star reliever.

This could be the fascinating what-if for this World Series. The Cleveland Indians paid the price, giving up a four-player package headlined by outfielder Clint Frazier (the fifth overall pick in the 2013 draft) and left-hander Justus Sheffield (the No. 31 pick in the 2014 draft) to get what turned out to be the American League Championship Series MVP.

The Cubs didn’t make Schwarber untouchable because they thought he would be ready in time for the World Series, but he’s preparing to be their Game 1 designated hitter on Tuesday night at Progressive Field after a remarkable recovery from major surgery on his left knee.

“It was impossible to avoid some of the names — particularly the Cubs — (with) the year they were having,” Miller said. “Whether I wanted to avoid it or not I heard it. Guys in the clubhouse, our media was certainly bringing it to us.”

Even in other possible deals for pitching, the Cubs never came close to selling low on Baez, who broke out as the National League Championship Series co-MVP for his offensive production and defensive wizardry. 

Instead of getting Miller’s late-game dominance for three pennant races — and giving up five potential 30-homer, 100-RBI seasons with Schwarber — the Cubs closed a different blockbuster deal with the Yankees for a left-handed power arm.

The Cubs wanted Aroldis Chapman’s 100-mph fastball to get the last out of the World Series and would rationalize his 30-game suspension to begin this season under Major League Baseball’s domestic-violence policy. Already holding an age-22 All-Star shortstop in Addison Russell, the Cubs surrendered elite prospect Gleyber Torres.

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“Gleyber’s a good baseball player,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “That kid’s going to be really good. So you have to give up something to get something. But also our guys felt if we got Aroldis this year, we’d have a chance to be sitting here and answering this question. And they were right.

“It’s an entirely different thing when you get a guy out there throwing 100 miles an hour. You feel pretty good about it, regardless of who is hitting. So he’s really a big part of why we’re doing this right now.”

Chapman has saved five playoff games — and become that reassuring ninth-inning presence at Wrigley Field — but he clearly responds better to a scripted role.

Miller has been untouchable during the postseason, throwing 11 2/3 scoreless innings and striking out 21 of the 41 batters he’s faced, giving Terry Francona even more freedom to manage a lights-out Cleveland bullpen.

“To be utilized like Miller,” Maddon said, “not everybody is cut from the same cloth mentally, either, or the ability to get loose and prepare. Andrew Miller — having done a variety of different things in the big leagues as a pitcher — is probably more suited to be able to be this guy that can get up in the sixth, seventh, eighth or ninth and warm up in a manner that gets him in the game both mentally and physically.

“Whereas Aroldis — if he wanted to do that — I think that would have had to be done from spring training. He’d have to differentiate his mindset. He’d have to have a different way to get ready. I do notice he throws a heavy baseball before he actually throws a regular baseball. That’s his routine.

“Whether you agree with it or not, that’s just the way it is. So with a guy like Aroldis — to ask him to attempt to dump his routine right now (and) do something else — I think you’re looking for failure right there.

“We stretched him to five outs the other night, which is a good thing, I thought. So now going forward he knows he can do that. But to just haphazardly throw him in the sixth, seventh or ninth, I think would be very difficult to do.”

Even in a World Series featuring historic droughts, Cy Young Award winners, MVP candidates and star managers, this October could come down to the bullpens shaped by deals with the Yankees.

“Both teams made aggressive trades,” Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. “Both teams are still standing. There’s something to that.”