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.
#1) Seattle Seahawks ( 1)
Despite being on a bye in Week 12, the Seahawks have reclaimed the top spot in our rankings. This obviously has a lot to do with the Broncos recent loss, but Seattle is certainly deserving of being No. 1 overall. It will be interesting to see how their secondary holds up against the Saints now that Browner and Thurmond are gone.
#2) Denver Broncos ( 1)
Apparently gifting the Broncos 21 points isn’t enough for them to hold off the Tom Brady-led Patriots over the course of four quarters plus. Denver certainly had some great performances from Knowshon Moreno and Von Miller, but it’s just shocking to see them give up 31 unanswered points. They get the Chiefs in Week 13.
#3) New Orleans Saints
It was a little surprising to see the Falcons hang around in Thursday’s game, but that tends to happen when you’re playing a division rival. They travel to Seattle for one of the most anticipated matchups of the season and will try to do what no team has been able to accomplish this season – beat the Seahawks at home.
#4) New England Patriots ( 3)
That was one hell of performance from the Patriots and Tom Brady. For as bad things started for them, they regrouped in the second-half and managed to put up 31 unanswered points. In the end, they still needed a muffed punt to seal the deal, but they really had no business getting back into that game. New England gets the Texans in Week 13.
#5) Carolina Panthers ( 1)
The Panthers drop a spot, despite a close win over the Dolphins. There’s no question that Carolina could have played a lot better in the first half, but they managed to right the ship and come away with a win in the end. They are just a game back of the Saints for the division lead, which a New Orleans loss to Seattle (possible) and a win over the Buccaneers would be enough for them to gain a share of the division. Carolina plays the Saints twice in the next four weeks.
#6) San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers made the Redskins look like an expansion team last night. They allowed just 190 yards and their offense was clicking on all cylinders. San Francisco’s physicality was a big issue for Washington and getting Aldon Smith back makes this a really dangerous team moving forward.
#7) Kansas City Chiefs ( 2)
After winning nine straight – all of which were wins over teams without a winning record – the Chiefs have lost their last two games. Surprisingly enough, their offense managed to score a season-high 38 points, but that wasn’t enough to come away with a home win over the Chargers. Losing Tamba Hali and Justin Houston to injuries is a bit concerning as well. They get the Broncos this weekend in what looks like a must win for them if they are to compete for the division title.
#8) Arizona Cardinals ( 5)
The Cardinals got their best win of the season in Week 12 as they completely dominated the Colts. Granted, Indy has been playing horribly as of late, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Cardinals now have 7 wins are knocking on the door for a playoff spot. They have games against PHI, TEN and STL in the next three week so they will need as many victories as they can get as their final two games are against SF and SEA.
#9) Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals hold tight at No. 9. They were on bye in Week 12, but travel to the SD to take on the Chargers this weekend.
#10) Dallas Cowboys ( 4)
The Cowboys are back above .500 following a tight win over the Giants this past weekend. They now have a share of the division lead with the Eagles, but their remaining games appear to be pretty tough. DAL gets the Raiders on Thursday, but after that they travel to CHI, home for GB, on the road against WAS and home against PHI. They can’t afford to drop Thursday’s game to the Matt McGloin-led Raiders.
#11) Detroit Lions ( 1)
The Lions put forth a miserable effort at home against the Buccaneers on Sunday. Stafford threw three touchdowns passes, but his four interceptions allowed TB to hang around and eventually steal the game. The Packers continue to play a different QB each week and the Bears also dropped a game. DET isn’t good enough to squander these opportunities to put the division away. They get GB on Thursday.
#12) Chicago Bears ( 1)
Apparently playing the Kellen Clemens-led Rams isn’t as easy as it appears. At least not for their defense that allowed 42 points to the Rams. For as much love as HC Marc Trestman got for their win over BAL, I would say that he’s received an equal share of criticism for the loss to the Rams. They travel to MIN in Week 13.
#13) Indianapolis Colts (3)
The Colts are in really bad shape right now. They’ve lost two of their last four games and their two wins came by a slim margin over the Titans and Texans. They just got blown out by Arizona and look like they have no answers whatsoever to what opposing defenses are doing to them. They still have three division games in the next five weeks, which should be enough to get them in the playoffs, but it’s hard to see them winning a playoff game unless improvements are made across the board.
#14) Philadelphia Eagles (2)
PHI was on bye in Week 12, which resulted in them dropping two spots. They just announced that Nick Foles will be their starting quarterback for the remainder of the season.
#15) San Diego Chargers ( 5)
If the Chargers could just work on their consistency they could easily secure a playoff spot. They’ve had multiple impressive performances this season, but they’ve also had just as many letdown games. Another win over the Bengals would go a long way towards securing a playoff spot.
#16) Green Bay Packers ( 1)
The Packers had no business even tying the Vikings after a pretty bad first-half performance. Matt Flynn stepped in a led them to four straight scoring drives, but ultimately couldn’t come away with a much needed win. Thankfully for them, a tie keeps them close to the Bears and Lions for the division lead, but a short week against DET could be too much for GB.
#17) Baltimore Ravens ( 1)
The Ravens came away with a much needed win over the Jets in Week 13 and really look like they are starting to improve as a team. They’re currently 5-6 and will get the Steelers this weekend. A win over PIT would leave them in the hunt for a wildcard and a CIN loss would have them just a game back in AFC North. There’s still time to turn things around.
#18) Pittsburgh Steelers (2)
At one point, PIT was 2-6 and it looked like it was time call it quits, but since then they have won three straight and are in the same position as BAL. If they can beat the Ravens in Week 13, they will be firmly in the hunt for a playoff spot and possibly the division depending on what happens with the Bengals.
#19) St. Louis Rams ( 3)
It’s just shocking to see the Rams win their past two games by a total of 80-29 with Kellen Clemens as their starting quarterback. Clearly, their defense has stepped up big, but they are scoring a lot more points than I would have expected. As things stand right now, they are 5-6 with games against SF, NO and SEA in the next five weeks. It’s really hard to see them making the playoffs with that in mind.
#20) Miami Dolphins (3)
Miami looked like they were going to get a much needed win over a very good Panthers team, but sure enough, Cam Newton lead a second-half comeback and the Dolphins didn’t score another point. Haven’t seen this before? MIA is still in the mix for a wildcard spot, but they should plan on winning four of their last five games in order to get in the playoffs.
#21) Tennessee Titans ( 4)
I’m not sure how the Titans move up four spots following a win over the Raiders and yet the Steelers drop two positions following their win over the Browns. It’s great that TEN was able to get a much needed road win and are currently the No. 6 seed in the AFC based on tie breakers, but I’m really not buying this team making the playoffs. That could change with a convincing win over IND in Week 13.
#22) New York Giants (3)
The Giants had a shot on Sunday to get back in the mix for the NFC East title, but ultimately couldn’t beat the Cowboys at home. It’s not over for them, but it will take a lot for New York to make the playoffs. In fact, they should just plan on winning out to have any shot.
#23) New York Jets (2)
The Jets streak of winning every other game ended following their second straight loss. While the loss brings their record to 5-6, they have a very favorable schedule in the next five weeks. They get MIA twice, CLE, OAK and a tough game against CAR. Four wins would likely be enough for them to get in the playoffs and they could certainly do it with just three wins.
#24) Buffalo Bills
The Bills were on bye in Week 12. They get the Falcons on Sunday.
#25) Washington Redskins ( 1)
I have no idea how WAS moves up a single spot in the ranking following such a miserable performance, but it happened. The WAS offense is horrible at its core and it’s really to the point where changes need to be made this offseason. The problem is that the Shanahan’s are running this team, so that would likely require them to part with both the HC and the OC. Should be a popular topic in the coming weeks.
#26) Cleveland Browns (3)
Despite showing some signs of life this season, the Browns are starting to fall back to Earth. Jason Campbell’s recent concussion could open the door for another Brandon Weeden evaluation period, which should result in an improved draft pick for CLE.
#27) Tampa Bay Buccaneers ( 2)
I really think the Bucs deserve to be higher than this. They have three straight wins! Sunday’s win was on the road against a team that would make the playoffs right now. It seems unbelievable that the Bucs and Greg Schiano could get things turned around after what was an atrocious first-half, but there is at least a chance he could be back next season.
#28) Oakland Raiders (2)
Oakland should have won that game against the Titans, but if you can’t stop a Ryan Fitzpatrick-led Titans’ offense, you really don’t deserve a win. While the Raiders have four wins on the season, it’s doubtful they add many more. OAK will be up against DAL, NYJ, KC, DEN, and SD in the next five weeks.
#29) Atlanta Falcons ( 1)
ATL moves up one spot for keeping things close against NO. That’s the ultimate “moral victory” for this team. They travel to BUF in Week 13 and will hopefully come away with another loss so they can draft Jadeveon Clowney.
#30) Minnesota Vikings ( 1)
Minnesota should be embarrassed. They had that game won. Matt Flynn needed three scores to get GB into overtime. I probably shouldn’t expect too much from this team, but they really had the game won and yet only managed to walk away with a tie. MIN gets CHI in Week 13.
#31) Jacksonville Jaguars ( 1)
It’s mind-blowing that the Jaguars are no longer the worst team in the league. I really can’t believe it. I mean, they have two wins this season. I was almost convinced they were going 0-16 this season, but I guess the decision to not play Blaine Gabbert helped their chances of getting a win.
#32) Houston Texans (4)
How does it feel Houston? You are now in poll position to secure the No. 1 overall pick next year. The Texans will try to keep up with the Patriots for two quarters on Sunday.