NFL Power Rankings Week 12

Steve O Speak

  1. New Orleans Saints
  2. Indianapolis Colts
  3. Minnesota Vikings
  4. Cincinnati Bengals
  5. Arizona Cardinals
  6. Dallas Cowboys
  7. San Diego Chargers
  8. New England Patriots
  9. Pittsburgh Steelers
  10. Philadelphia Eagles
  11. Baltimore Ravens
  12. Denver Broncos
  13. Green Bay Packers
  14. New York Giants
  15. Jacksonville Jaguars
  16. Atlanta Falcons
  17. Houston Texans
  18. Miami Dolphins
  19. Tennessee Titans
  20. San Francisco 49ers
  21. New York Jets
  22. Chicago Bears
  23. Carolina Panthers
  24. Seattle Seahawks
  25. Buffalo Bills
  26. Kansas City Chiefs
  27. Oakland Raiders
  28. Washington Redskins
  29. Detroit Lions
  30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  31. St. Louis Rams
  32. Cleveland Browns

Top Ten:

After Monday Night’s drubbing of the New England Patriots, the Saints have finally passed the Colts in the Power Rankings department. That was an impressive win, that showed the Saints are for real and can beat any team. The Colts have had to come from behind these last few weeks, but they still have Peyton Manning and an 11-0 record. Brett Favre is playing some of the best football of his career, and the Vikings are another top contender with a 10-1 record. The Bengals are tops in the AFC North, which is good enough for 4th place in the Power Rankings. To stay up in the 4th spot the Bengals will need to get healthy, with upcoming road games against the Vikings and Chargers. The Cardinals might not have as many wins as a few of the other teams on this list, but their last loss was a heartbreaker at the end, and they played without Kurt Warner. Come playoff time Arizona is not a matchup I would want to have. The Cowboys have been a streaky team this season, so their Power Ranking is hard to determine, until you know which team will show up on Sunday. It could be the team that managed just two TD’s (combined) in consecutive weeks against the Packers and Redskins. Or the team that blew out the Raiders on Thanksgiving, and beat the Eagles in Philadelphia a few weeks ago. The Chargers seem to be in firm control of the AFC West now, but their running game is still non-existent. I can’t see them going to far this postseason if they can’t move the ball on the ground. The Patriots will win the AFC East so they have a playoff spot, but this does not look like a playoff team right now. They can’t stop teams through the air, which doesn’t bode well this season. And Brady is facing more pressure than he has ever faced, and its starting to show some weaknesses.

I know having the Pittsburgh Steelers ranked in the top ten will ruffle a few feathers, especially fans of teams that have a better record (Eagles), or that just beat Pittsburgh on Sunday night (Ravens), but I don’t know how you can leave them out of the top 10. Pittsburgh lost on Sunday, but it was in overtime, on the road, and with their 3rd string quarterback. Yes they have had some tough losses, but those have come without Troy Polumalu. With Rothelisberger and Polumalu coming back for the postseason run, you have to keep your eye on Pittsburgh down the stretch. The Eagles are a good football team, but their luck has helped them more than their talent level. They barely squeaked by the Bears and Redskins these past two weeks, and now face a Falcons team without Matt Ryan.

Next 10:

The Ravens and Broncos are fighting for one playoff spot if Pittsburgh rebounds. The Broncos were impressive Thursday night against the Giants, but I’m still waiting for that other shoe to drop. While they do face the Colts and Eagles in their remaining five games, they also have the Chiefs twice and the Raiders, so 10 wins is attainable. The Ravens also have three easy games remaining (Lions, Bears, Raiders) but that only gets them to 9 wins. They will have to beat the Packers or Steelers on the road if they want to secure themselves a playoff spot. The Packers and Giants are really the only teams that can get the last playoff spot in the NFC. Green Bay has played better of late, but that offensive line is still a big concern for me. If they can’t keep Rodgers upright, then they have no shot of winning. They also have a tough remaining schedule coming up with the Ravens, Steelers and Cards. The Giants also face a tough road ahead of them, facing the Cowboys, Eagles, and Vikings. The only good news for the Giants is the Cowboys and Eagles games are at home for them (also they should have easy wins against the Redskins and Panthers). As for the rest of the 11-20 teams, I don’t see any of them making a serious playoff run. The Jags have turned their season around, but I still don’t trust Garrard at QB, and their defense has been pretty bad this season. The Texans and Titans have been exciting of late, but I don’t think they have the staying power now. I would have said the Falcons could make a run, but that was before Matt Ryan went down with injury. Even if he only is out this week, another loss will put the Falcons pretty much out of it (if the Packers and Giants win). If the Dolphins had Pennington and Ronnie Brown healthy, they could have maybe made a run (especially since the Pats appear to be vulnerable), but without them, their playoff hopes are over. The 49ers could be an impressive team, but they desperately need consistent play from their quarterback to be competitive.

The Rest:

Its been an ugly year this season. If not for the fact that so many of these weaker teams played one another, I would have said that 2-3 teams could have gone winless this year. The only thing these teams have to look forward to is the offseason and next April’s draft. Its gonna be an ugly remaining 5 weeks for the majority of these teams.

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