NFL Week 12 Power Rankings

Posted on November 22, 2011

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By Geoff Ratliff

Not much movement in the top ten teams this week as many of the expected contenders are starting to find their groove heading into the final third of the season. Week 12 brings us a couple of prime time match ups with Green Bay visiting Detroit and The Brothers Harbaugh squaring off in baltimore. A few other games pit teams jockeying for position against or fighting to stay on playoff life support, all of which should result in some really good football!

  1. Green Bay Packers (10-0) – Another week, another stellar performance by Aaron Rodgers. Now for the big showdown with the Lions on Thanksgiving which is sure to be a great test for the champs.
  2. San Francisco 49ers (9-1) – I think the 49ers are Limp Bizkit fans because they just keep rollin’, rollin’, rollin’, rollin’.
  3. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3) – Much needed bye week for this veteran squad before they come down the homestretch in good position to battle the Ravens for the AFC North crown and first round bye, despite the season sweep.
  4. New England Patriots (7-3) – Tyler Palko and the Chiefs aren’t a great measuring stick but as good as the defense looked last night, the slow start for the offense had to be a little disconcerting.
  5. Houston Texans (7-3) – The AFC playoff race is tight at the top and Matt Leinart will now take center stage as Houston fights for a first round bye.
  6. New Orleans Saints (7-3) – Can New Orleans stay focused enough these next six weeks to hold on to the NFC South crown?
  7. Baltimore Ravens (7-3) – The offense finally showed some signs of life, but even without Ray Lewis, they should not have allowed the Bengals sans A.J. Green to score 24 points. The emergence of Torrey Smith could be an x-factor for them in the postseason though.
  8. Chicago Bears (7-3) – Forget a division title, the injury to Jay Cutler has the Bears seriously in jeopardy of quickly falling out of the playoff race, a shame since Cutler was finally starting to prove a bunch of the haters – including myself -wrong about his leadership skills.
  9. Detroit Lions (7-3) – The defense is showing way too many holes which is not encouraging with the Packers coming to town, but that comeback against Carolina showed a lot of character, and may have been Matthew Stafford’s signature performance to date.
  10. Dallas Cowboys (6-4) – What a difference two weeks makes! All of a sudden the Cowboys are in the driver’s seat in the NFC East after a hard fought OT victory in Washington. We all know records go out the door when those two play so I won’t read too much into the closer than expected margin of victory.
  11. Atlanta Falcons (6-4) – The Falcons took care of business at home and have set themselves up to take advantage should New Orleans have another one of their now regular lapses.
  12. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) – While the Bengals lost both of their first real tests against the Steelers and Baltimore, they were highly competitive in both games, proving that this team will likely be in the wild card race till week 17.
  13. Oakland Raiders (6-4) – The Raiders have been impressive on the road this season, running their record to 4-1, but they need to show some fight at home too if they plan on hosting at least one home game in the playoffs.
  14. New York Giants (6-4) – The loss to the 49ers was understandable but losing to an injury-riddled Eagles team in disarray was unacceptable for a team that looked like a legit NFC Championship contender just two weeks ago.
  15. Denver Broncos (5-5) – Well now with an impressive fourth quarter comeback against the Jets, I have to start taking the Broncos and the Tim Tebow experiment seriously.
  16. New York Jets (5-5) – Rex Ryan is understandably frustrated with his team right now, especially with the D which could not stop Tebow from executing a 95 yard, game winning drive.
  17. Tennessee Titans (5-5) – Apparently the previous week’s performance was not a break out game for Chris Johnson as Atlanta quickly put him right back in the bottle he’s been trapped in all year.
  18. Buffalo Bills (5-5) – At this point, Ryan Fitzpatrick just needs to show enough to keep his job for next season, let alone justify the big contract extension.
  19. Philadelphia Eagles (4-6) – Vince Young just wins football games. The first half was ugly, but at the end of the day, VY simply did what he’s consistently done at the college and pro levels: delivered a win. Somehow, this team is still in the NFC East race with Ws over Dallas and New York.
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-6) – They managed to keep it close on the road and show some fight, but this is quickly becoming a lost season for the Bucs.
  21. San Diego Chargers (4-6) – The Norv Turner boo birds are getting louder! Time for this team to pull its normal November-December turnaround, and stat.
  22. Seattle Seahawks (4-6) – This has to be the league’s best bad team. How do they manage to win game with Tavaris Jackson doing such a poor impersonation of a competent NFL quarterback? The worst part is that a couple of more wins might put them out of Matt Barkley contention should he decide to leave school early.
  23. Kansas City Chiefs (4-6) – I could very well leave the comment unchanged from last week and nobody but my co-founder Jeremy would notice. The Tyler Palko era cannot end soon enough, and it’s only a week in.
  24. Cleveland Browns (4-6) – Maybe I spoke too soon on McCoy. The guy has always been a winner so maybe he can show enough over the last six week to encourage Mike Holmgren to get him a couple of shiny toys on offense this offseason.
  25. Miami Dolphins (3-7) – This is an impressive three game run for the Dolphins. While the playoffs are certainly out for this year, they are finding out a lot about what pieces can be built around for 2012, and they will have a lot to say about who’s in and out in the AFC and NFC playoff races over the next few weeks, starting with a trip to Dallas on Thursday.
  26. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7) – This was sort of a letdown against a Cleveland team without its top two running backs. This has been a Twilight Zone sort of season for the Jags who really need to give Blaine Gabbert some legitimate NFL targets.
  27. Arizona Cardinals (3-7) – So much for that momentum. The 49ers showed the Cardinals what a true contender looks like.
  28. Washington Redskins (3-7) – They fought the good fight, but ultimately came up short against the Cowboys with the some key miscues indicative of a 3-7 team in the midst of a six game losing streak.
  29. Minnesota Vikings (2-8) – The Vikings are keeping games close, a trend that may not continue if AP’s injury turns out to be more serious.
  30. St. Louis Rams (2-8) – I know the Rams have been beset by injuries this year, but you’ve gotta find a way to beat division foes at home, especially in the NFC West.
  31. Carolina Panthers (2-8) – As brilliant as Cam Newton has been this year, games like that one against Detroit are stark reminders that he is indeed just a rookie.
  32. Indianapolis Colts (0-10) – Indy is certainly playing to have six more bye weeks before the season officially ends..

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