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NFL Power Rankings: Week 12

Before you sharpen your pitchforks, a short note on how we’ve come to rank the teams as we have: all NFLTR writers have compiled their own NFL power rankings, which we’ve compiled and averaged in the list below.  We hope you enjoy the fruits of our labor, and feel free to agree, disagree, or roast us in the comments below.

Week 1 : Week 2 : Week 3 : Week 4 : Week 5 : Week 6 : Week 7 : Week 8 : Week 9 : Week 10 : Week 11 

#1) Denver Broncos  

The Broncos maintain the top spot in our Power Rankings after a solid home win over the undefeated Chiefs. Earlier indications regarding Wes Welker’s status for Week 12 are positive, so we should be in for another solid matchup next weekend when they take on the Patriots.

#2) Seattle Seahawks 

Seattle continues to cruise towards an NFL title and home field advantage. Granted, the Vikings weren’t exactly a huge test for the Seahawks, but it was good to see Percy Harvin back on the field and making plays. Losing Brandon Browner could be an issue for their secondary, but they have a good deal of depth to fall back on.

#3) New Orleans Saints ( 1)

This game was going to be a huge win for whoever came out on top given the stacks with regards to the NFC playoff picture. As surprising as it may seem, the Panthers are just a game back of the Saints, who currently own the No. 2 seed. A short week against a reeling Falcons team is ahead of them, but it’s hard to imagine the Falcons stealing a game at this point in time.

#4) Carolina Panthers ( 2)

The Panthers finally get their due and move up two spots to No. 4 overall. There are some areas where Carolina could improve, but they are one of the most balanced football teams in the league, who are coming off of back-to-back wins over quality opponents. Hopefully everything checks out with Charles Johnson’s knee, because you would hate to see an awesome player go down like that.

#5) Kansas City Chiefs ( 2)

Dropping two spots following their first loss of the season really isn’t too bad. Their record is better than most of the teams above them, but they are still without a win against a team with a winning record. I thought Alex Smith looked pretty good overall, but his shortcomings are still apparent. The Chiefs are still good enough to be in the hunt for the No. 1 seed, but it will take a win over Denver in the coming weeks.

#6) San Francisco 49ers ( 1)

It’s probably hard for the 49ers to talk about that game following what appeared to be a legal on Drew Brees that would have essentially ended the game had a flag not been thrown. Either way, the 49ers need to regroup and focus on their remaining opponents. There’s a decent chance they will win all of their remaining games outside of the Seattle matchup, so a win over the Seahawks could get them right back in the mix for the NFC West crown, assuming that Seattle drops a game.

#7) New England Patriots ( 2)

The Patriots undermanned secondary eventually let them down as Cam Newton was able to come up with a huge late-game touchdown to take the lead. New England played pretty well overall given that they were on the road against a very solid team. If that flag stands, we could be talking about them getting the win instead. Even with the loss, the Pats are at least two games up on three shaky teams in the Dolphins, Jets and Bills.

#8) Indianapolis Colts ( 1)

The Colts came away with a win on Thursday, but it was another underwhelming game. Since beating the 49ers, Seahawks and Broncos, the Colts continue to look like an average team lesser opponents like Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Titans. Yes, they are 7-3 and probably have the AFC South locked up, but it’s hard to get excited about this team’s lack of depth and overall play in recent weeks.

#9) Cincinnati Bengals ( 2)

Just think about how good this team could be with decent quarterback play. It seems like every week I’m taking a shot at Andy Dalton and every week he seems to underwhelm. The Bengals beat the Browns 41-21 and more amazing than that, Dalton somehow threw three touchdowns, but had less than 100 yards passing on the day. A win is a win, so the Bengals can look to lock up the AFC North in the coming weeks.

#10) Detroit Lions ( 2)

The Lions had a lead on the road against a team with only a handle full of wins late into the fourth quarter, but couldn’t come out with a win. Detroit is good enough to compete with quality teams, but the lack of consistency appears to be a pretty big issue for them moving forward. I think it’s safe to expect them to beat the Buccaneers by 10 points if they are in fact a playoff contender.

#11) Chicago Bears ( 1)

Not sure how this happens, but the Bears drop a spot despite a solid win over the Ravens in Week 11. Apparently, our standards for what constitutes a “solid win” is quite high or we just overrated them a bit last week. They travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams and hopefully takeover as the NFC North leaders.

#12) Philadelphia Eagles ( 2)

Just a few weeks ago it appeared as though the Eagles for headed for the cellar, but now they are the best team in the NFC East and have found a solid starting quarterback along the way. They have a very interesting matchup against the Cardinals next week.

#13) Arizona Cardinals  ( 3)

Speaking of the Cardinals, they too continue to climb in the rankings and are now in contention for a wildcard spot in the NFC. Carson Palmer has been great the past few weeks, although their opponents have been pretty bad during their three-game winning streak. They get the Colts in Week 12, which is a game they can win.

#14) Dallas Cowboys 

The Cowboys were on bye in Week 11, which allowed the Eagles to take over as the leaders in the division. Dallas gets the improving Giants in Week 11, which is now a much more interesting game given that New York has rattled off a decent stretch of games.

#15) Green Bay Packers (3)

I think you could make the case that the Packers could be lower than this. A three game losing streak and the fact that they’re starting a third-string quarterback is enough to drop them even more, but the return of Rodgers would be enough to get them back in the playoff hunt. Scott Tolizien has five interceptions in two games compared to four from Rodgers all season.

#16) Pittsburgh Steelers ( 5)

The Steelers are another team who continues to climb despite a poor start to the season. They looked like a much improved team against the Lions and Big Ben has been doing a much better job of moving the ball through the air. The AFC wildcard is still in play for the Steelers as crazy as that sounds.

#17) Miami Dolphins ( 2)

I’m not sure any team needed a win more than the Dolphins and HC Joe Philbin. The outside distractions looked to be caving in on the team, but they managed to walk away with a four-point win over the Chargers on Sunday. Miami is currently 5-5 on the season, which is good enough for the final playoff spot in the AFC although they have pretty tough stretch ahead of them.

#18) Baltimore Ravens (1)

The Super Bowl champs went to a second overtime in as many weeks, but this time couldn’t get a win over the Bears. I really have no faith in this team. It was good to see Ray Rice doing some things on the field, but I wouldn’t bank on that success continuing. They get the Jets in Week 12, which should be a good matchup for them, but we’ll see how that goes.

#19) New York Giants ( 5)

The Giants beat a third-string quarterback on Sunday. They deserved the win, but I’m still not buying this team being much improved. Andre Brown looked pretty good and Eli Manning was able to make some good throws down the field, but they always look good against the Packers for some reason. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them lose to the Cowboys and Redskins in the next two weeks.

#20) San Diego Chargers (2)

The Chargers have lost three straight games and have two playoff contenders ahead of them in the Chiefs and Bengals. Their defense continues to be a major letdown. If the offense can’t score 30 points, then there is a decent chance of them losing. The season isn’t over by any means, but they have to win at least one of their next two games, despite the increase in competition. Not sure it’s going to happen.

#21) New York Jets  (8)

We hit the Jets pretty hard for that poor display against the Bills on Sunday. Buffalo didn’t even have their top-two receivers for that game and yet it was a blowout. New York is currently 5-5 and travels to Baltimore in Week 12. A win could prop them up a bit, but it’s just hard to get excited about an inconsistent team.

#22) St. Louis Rams (2)

The Rams drop a few spots due to the bye week and teams below them improving. They get the Bears in Week 12, which should be an interesting game if they defense looks anything like they did in Week 10.

#23) Cleveland Browns (1)

The fact that they are No. 23 probably says more about the lack of faith in the other teams than what the Browns have done to deserve this ranking. They do have four wins on the season, but have lost four of their five games. They get the improving Steelers in Week 12, so this could be one of their last chances to remain in contention for a playoff spot.

#24) Buffalo Bills ( 2)

What a win by the Bills. They were without Stevie Johnson and Robert Woods and yet their offense didn’t miss a beat against a pretty good defensive unit. They should be higher than this, but that’s just my opinion. They get a much needed bye in Week 12 and return to play the Falcons in Week 13.

#25) Tennessee Titans 

Tennessee put up a fight on Thursday night against the Colts, but still came away with a loss. They have a three-game road trip ahead of them, which includes another game against Indy in Week 13 and a trip to Denver. If they can win two of these games, it probably would be a miracle.

#26) Washington Redskins (3)

Washington’s offense has to put up the most garbage-time points of any team in the league. They were down 24-0 before scoring 16 straight points and getting within a single score. Not sure what that’s really worth in the end, but it’s clear that this team needs to be better prepared to set the tone in games instead of making late-game adjustments each and every week.

#27) Oakland Raiders ( 3)

How about Matt McGloin? It was honestly shocking to see him doing things in an NFL game. At this point, the Raiders seem to be willing to give him a shot, even if Terrelle Pryor is healthy. They get the Titans in Week 12, which is a winnable game.

#28) Houston Texans (1)

The Texans were actually 2-0 to begin the year. Now they are 2-8. Gary Kubiak didn’t help things by inserting Matt Schaub back into the game after Case Keenum struggled against Oakland, but he tried to repair the situation on Monday when he announced that Keenum would remain the starting quarterback. This team is a disaster and I feel bad for guys like Andre Johnson and J.J. Watt who are out there doing what they can to be relevant.

#29) Tampa Bay Buccaneers ( 2)

The Bucs continue their ascent with their second straight win, which has resulted in them moving out of the No. 31 spot for the first in several weeks. A blowout win against the Falcons at the very least inspired a small amount of hope for this team’s future. They get the Lions on Sunday, which could be a winnable game for them if they can stop Calvin Johnson. I think I’m picking the Bucs in an upset.

#3o) Atlanta Falcons (2)

This has to be rock bottom for Atlanta right? A blowout loss to the Buccaneers after all they’ve been through seems like a nightmare to me. Where’s the depth on this roster? For as good of a GM and head coach tandem as Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith are, how can there be no one capable of stepping in making a difference for a injury riddled team? Atlanta looks to have a top-five pick locked up.

#31) Minnesota Vikings (2)

Somehow we have the Vikings worse than the Falcons. They lost a game they really didn’t have a shot of winning on Sunday, but we clearly have zero faith in them going forward. Just a quick note regarding Minnesota; they have drafted five first-round picks in the last two years and yet their team is miserable. I don’t get how that’s possible, but apparently it is.

#32) Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars winning streak came to an abrupt halt. I have nothing positive to say about this team, so I’ll leave it at that.

 

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