The Seahawks didn’t play on Sunday but that didn’t stop them from taking over the top spot in ESPN.com’s weekly NFL Power Rankings on Wednesday.
The Seahawks took over the No. 1 spot for the first time since Week 4 when they were 3-0.
ESPN.com defended their decision by saying:
Tough to dispute this one. Seattle’s bye week was the best result for last week’s top three, with both the Broncos and Chiefs dropping decisions Sunday.
The Denver Broncos (9-2) were the No. 1 team on the rankings last week but their overtime loss to the New England Patriots (8-3) dropped them to No. 3 in Week 13. The Patriots moved up to No. 4 in the rankings.
The Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) dropped their second straight game on Sunday and fell to No. 6 in the power rankings, after being dubbed one of the top teams for the majority of the season.
The No. 2 team in the Week 13 power rankings is the New Orleans Saints (9-2), which makes the Monday Night Football game in Seattle even more intriguing.
However, the Seahawks have a slightly easier road ahead of them, at least theoretically. ESPN.com noted:
The Saints face the Panthers twice in their final five games. New Orleans finishes the season against opponents currently a combined 34-20, including Seattle next Monday night.
The Carolina Panthers (8-3) have been one of the biggest surprises this season, re-energized by a bruising defense. They are ranked as the No. 5 team in the NFL and could share the NFC South lead if the Seahawks beat the Saints and the Panthers beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-8) this weekend.
At 10-1, the Seahawks have the best record in the NFL and will play three of their last five games of the season at CenturyLink Field, where they have not lost since 2011.
Their final five opponents have a combined record of 32-23.