NFL Power Rankings: Week 12

With Thanksgiving still fresh in our minds, some NFL teams have much to be thankful for.

The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos are thankful for Tom Brady and Peyton Manning respectively, who have led their teams to long winning streaks while putting up MVP-like numbers.

The San Francisco 49ers are thankful for their defense, which has allowed the fewest points in the league.

And the Houston Texans are thankful for Jim Schwartz, the head coach of the Detroit Lions who may have cost his team the game by throwing a challenge flag for a play that would’ve been automatically reviewed (and reversed).

As for us fans, we’re just thankful for football in general, as it continues to entertain us week in and week out. With just five weeks remaining in the regular season, the playoff race is beginning to heat up.

Photo courtesy of AJ Guel Photography/Flickr

 

Team

Rank

Previous Rank

Record

Thoughts

 

 

 

Houston Texans

 

1

 

1

 

10-1

Back to back wins in overtime over sub-.500 teams leave many questioning the Texans. Are they worse than their record indicates, or do they just know how to win?

 

San Francisco 49ers

2

2

8-2-1

Going into New Orleans and shutting down a hot Saints’ offense was impressive. The QB dilemma could be ultimately be costly though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atlanta Falcons

3

3

10-1

At this point, it’s almost comical how Atlanta keeps sneaking out these close wins. You’ve got to tip your cap though. Beating a hot Tampa Bay team on the road, even by a single point, is nothing to sneeze at.

New England Patriots

4

6

8-3

Just how historic is the Patriots’ recent scoring outburst? Consider this: the 190 points scored over their past four games is the third most points in a four-game span of all time.

Denver Broncos

5

7

8-3

Denver didn’t play it’s best against the lowly Chiefs, but like the best teams in the league, i.e. Atlanta, Houston, and Baltimore, they found a way to grind a win out.

 

Baltimore Ravens

6

7

9-2

The Ravens needed a little bit of luck (converting a 4th and 29), but were able to pull out a win in OT. They have a chance to bury the rival Steelers next week.

 

 

 Chicago Bears

7

8

8-3

With Jay Cutler back, Chicago put up 28 points against Minnesota. The defense also bounced back after letting up 32 points a week ago.

 

 

 New York Giants

8

12

7-4

The script seems to be the same for this team year after year. Just when they look done, they have the ability to flip the switch and look like one of the best teams in the league. Case in point, the 38-10 whopping of Green Bay after a two game losing streak.

 

 

 

Green Bay Packers

9

4

7-4

Well that was a shocking end to a five game winning streak. An alarming stat: Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 37 times this season, far and away the most of any QB.

 

 

 

 

 Indianapolis Colts

10

15

7-4

Big bounce-back win for the Colts. This young team continues to impress and looks destined to make the playoffs.

 

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

11

10

6-5

What a crushing defeat against Atlanta. The Bucs are certainly the real deal though. They’ll end up making the playoffs.

 

 

Cincinnati Bengals

12

17

6-5

Two wins in a row has the Bengals in prime position to grab a wild-card spot. Cincy better take care of business these next three weeks before divisional matchups against Pittsburgh and Baltimore to close out the regular season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seattle Seahawks

13

9

6-5

Seattle really struggles away from home. They have a 1-5 road record

 

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

14

11

6-5

 The loss of Ben Roethlisberger was incredibly unfortunate for a team on the upswing. This week’s loss to the Browns puts the playoffs in jeopardy.

Washington Redskins

15

18

5-6

RGIII put on a show on Thanksgiving in Dallas. Just when everyone was ready to bury Washington, they’re just one game back in the wild card race.

 

 

New Orleans Saints

16

13

5-6

With the losses of Seattle, Tampa Bay, Minnesota, and Dallas, the loss to an elite 49ers team isn’t crippling for the Saints.

 

Miami Dolphins

17

21

5-6

Miami kept its playoff hopes alive with a win over Seattle. They welcome a red-hot New England team to Miami next week.

 

 

 

Minnesota Vikings

18

14

6-5

Minnesota’s offense is far too one dimensional to be successful. Adrian Peterson is great, but QB play needs to be better if they wish to make the playoffs.

 

 

Dallas Cowboys

19

16

5-6

In typical Cowboy fashion, Dallas lost an important game just when you thought they may have hit their stride.

 

 Detroit Lions

20

19

4-7

Detroit is officially cursed on Thanksgiving day. This time they were done in by an illegal challenge flag thrown by their head coach.

 

 

St. Louis Rams

21

26

4-6-1

In all likely hood, the Rams season is over. They certainly have some talent moving forward though.

 

 

 

 

 

 San Diego Chargers

22

20

4-7

In typical Charger fashion, San Diego found a way to lose. Miraculously, they gave up a 4th and 29 to Ray Rice. It’s absolutely mind boggling how this team continues to underachieve.

 

Cleveland Browns

23

27

3-8

I’m not sure I’ve ever liked a 3-8 team more than these Cleveland Browns. If they can solidify their QB play, they could be competitive down the line.

 

Buffalo Bills

24

23

4-7

The Bills’ playoff hopes all but evaporated at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday. Too many flaws on what was supposed to be a revamped team.

 

 

 

New York Jets

25

22

4-7

The “bumble,” “asstue of liberty,” or any other clever name you can come up with will be a running joke for years to come.

 

 

 

 

Tennessee Titans

26

24

4-7

It doesn’t get much worse than losing to 2-9 Jacksonville. A new offensive coordinator will hopefully bring some necessary changes.

 

 

 

 

Arizona Cardinals

27

25

4-7

After their 4-0 start, many were skeptical of how good Arizona truly was. But after seven straight losses, it’s clear that they’re even worse than many thought.

Carolina Panthers

28

29

3-8

Carolina finally found a way to close out a game. Cam Newton looked like the rookie that captured our attention a year ago.

 

 

 

 

Philadelphia Eagles

29

28

3-8

What a mess this team is. To be fair, the injuries did this team in from the beginning. With half their offensive line out, their quarterbacks never had a chance.

 

 

 

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

30

31

2-9

Jacksonville has played well these last two weeks; taking Houston to overtime a week ago before beating Tennessee on Sunday.

Oakland Raiders

31

30

3-8

Oakland’s point differential of -138 is second worst in the league. Rumors of a QB change have surfaced.

 

 Kansas City Chiefs

32

32

1-10

Kansas City put up a fight against Denver. I watched the game and I must say that their offense is frustratingly bad.

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