Tuesday, November 13, 2012

2012 NFL Power Rankings: Week 11

1- Houston Texans - 8-1 (+1) - With the fall of the Falcons from the undefeated, the Texans deserve this top spot. They are the most balanced team in the NFL right now and are fresh off a win against the Bears on a rainy night in Chicago.

2-Chicago Bears - 7-2 (+1) - A mild bump in the road is all that was on Sunday. That was a potential Super Bowl preview and one team had to lose. A dog fight in the rain with two strong defenses usually results in a low scoring game. The bigger concern for the Bears right now is Jay Cutler's concussion. He needs to be back if they are going to continue to do well.

3- Atlanta Falcons - 8-1 (-2) - I mentioned last week that they were in danger and could very well lose to the Saints and that is exactly what happened. They are still in very good shape, but they need to hone up a few things if they want to avoid another disappointing playoff exit.

4- Baltimore Ravens - 7-2 (+3) - Maybe I was too hard on the Ravens last few weeks. Or maybe the Raiders are just that bad. Either way, they masked a struggling defense by being really touchdown prone against the Raiders. If they continue that, they should be fine.

5- New England Patriots - 6-3 (+0) - It's a good thing they have Tom Brady and the offense on board or else this team would be doing a lot worse. Never count out the Patriots as they are on a pretty good role right now. Now they just need to figure out that defense.

6- Denver Broncos - 6-3 (+0) - If there was anyone thinking that the AFC West teams could catch the Broncos that was put to rest Sunday as the Broncos rolled by the Panthers and everyone else got embarrassed again.

7- San Francisco 49ers - 6-2-1 (-3) - The quarterback position took a huge hit this week as Alex Smith was one of four starting quarterbacks to get knocked out. The Niners should be grateful that the Rams game ended in a tie, because they certainly weren't playing like a top team in the NFC and deserved a loss.

8- Green Bay Packers - 6-3 (+2) - Thanks to some help from the Texans and a four game winning streak of their own coming off a bye, the Packers are in position to make the race for the NFC North crown very interesting. They just need to be more convincing in their wins.

9- Indianapolis Colts - 6-3 (+2) - Were you with me in thinking that the race for the AFC South crown was over a long time ago? Well, think again because the Colts are only two games back. It'll be interesting to see how they match up against the Patriots this week.

10- Pittsburgh Steelers - 6-3 (-2) - Big Ben was another quarterback that got knocked out this past week and that could not have come at a worse time. The rumor is he'll be out a while and that is bad news for the Steelers, especially right before their big match-up with the Ravens.

11- Seattle Seahawks - 6-4 (+1)  - The Seahawks were as disappointed as anyone that the Rams vs Niners game ended in a tie as they could've really used some help from the Rams. They have a lot of momentum headed into a bye week, which should help them as three of their next four are on the road.

12- New York Giants - 6-4 (-3) - They've certainly been here before, but they need to pick it up because their remaining schedule is quite difficult. A week off to think about things should help.

13- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 5-4 (+0) - The Bucs are very much in position to grab a wild card spot with the way they are playing, but right now they are chasing the Packers, Vikings, and Seahawks and looking at their schedule they need to make sure they don't trip up in Carolina this week or else it will essentially be over as their schedule is really tough down the stretch.

14- Minnesota Vikings - 6-4 (+2) - They may have saved themselves by beating the Lions this past week. They have a week off to prepare for back to back road games against the Bears and Packers. And it doesn't get much easier after that. If this team gets a wild card spot, they will definitely have deserved it.

15- New Orleans Saints - 4-5 (+3) - A win against the best team in football is a good way to keep your confidence riding high. If there is any team that can break the trend of teams that start 0-4, its this Saints team. However, they will need a lot of help if they are going to pull it off.

16- Dallas Cowboys - 4-5 (+3) - With the Giants spiraling downwards, don't overlook this Cowboy team. They have a much easier road than the Giants and could sneak up and shock the defending champs. While the Giants have dates with the Packers, Saints, Ravens, and Falcons, the Cowboys are about to start a three game home stand against Browns, Redskins, and Eagles.

17- Detroit Lions - 4-5 (-3) - It's not too late for the Lions to go on a run, but they have their work cut out for them. Six of their final seven games are against playoff caliber teams.

18- Cincinnati Bengals - 4-5 (+4) - The Bengals have had good luck in Manning world recent weeks. They almost knocked off Payton's team and did shut down the Eli's team last week. If they play off of that luck, things could work out for them. Their next three are against the reeling teams in the AFC West.

19- Miami Dolphins - 4-5 (-4) - That beat down in the hands of the Titans may have been the dagger in the heart for this Dolphins team. They had playoff aspirations after starting 4-3, but now they have a trip to Buffalo followed by a three game stand against the Patriots, Seahawks, and 49ers. They couldn't afford the last two losses.

20- St. Louis Rams - 3-5-1 (+3) - Kudos to the Rams for putting the Patriots game behind them and giving the 49ers a run for their money. Had it not been for a few key mistakes they would've won that game. Playoffs might be out of the picture at this point, but they have many opportunities to play spoiler from here on out.

21- San Diego Chargers - 4-5 (-4) - Since their week two win against the Titans, the only team the Chargers have managed to beat is the one win Chiefs on two separate occasions. That's five losses in seven games. At this point, I think its only a matter of time before Norv Turner gets the ax.

22- Arizona Cardinals - 4-5 (-2) - They got a week off to think about their five game losing streak. With three of their next four games on the road, you gotta wonder when their next win is going to come. Most likely not in Atlanta this next week where the Falcons will be looking to get back on track.

23- Tennessee Titans - 4-6 (+2) - Ten weeks into the season and I still don't know what team this is. Consistent is certainly not the answer. Maybe they'll figure it out on their bye week before they get three straight divisional games.

24- Buffalo Bills - 3-6 (+2) - Thanks to a rough New England defense, their offense got back on track this past week. Tom Brady was just too much for them. Their last seven games are all winnable games. They problem is that they have to win all of them to get to the playoffs and that won't happen.

25- Oakland Raiders - 3-6 (-4) - Allowing 55 points is never good no matter what team you are playing. The Saints will be licking their chops as they travel to Oakland this next week.

26- Washington Redskins - 3-6 (+2) - They had a week off to prepare for the upcoming divisional battle they will be in. Five of their final seven are against divisional foes. Ending the year with a little momentum will be good for RG3's future.

27- Philadelphia Eagles - 3-6 (+0) - I've been a big Andy Reed fan for a long time, but I think his tenure in Philly has come to an end. He didn't sound very convinced when he told the press that he believes in this team, so the Eagles need to find someone who is.

28- New York Jets - 3-6 (-4) - This whole season has been a disaster for the Jets. Rex Ryan for some odd reason still believes in Mark Sanchez. Either that or he knows that the backup plan in Tebow isn't much of an upgrade. Rex Ryan and his big mouth might be done in New York as he can't seem to back up his talk.

29- Cleveland Browns - 2-7 (+0) - They have the Cowboys and the Steelers up next on their schedule as well as a few other playoff hopefuls. It'll be interesting to see how many times they can play spoiler. Maybe next year they will learn to not take a 90 year old quarterback in the first round.

30- Carolina Panthers - 2-7 (+0) - Cam Newton's sophomore slump continues. They have winnable games with the Eagles and Chiefs scheduled after the red hot Bucs this next week. So there are opportunities for Cam to get some confidence back.

31- Kansas City Chiefs - 1-8 (+1) - They get rewarded a spot up for a good showing against the Steelers on Monday Night Football. But nonetheless it was still a loss and now that is six of them in a row.

32- Jacksonville Jaguars - 1-8 (-1) - It looks like trading up for Blaine Gabbert a couple years back was a mistake that has set this team back a bit and they may be looking for an upgrade in next year's draft. With Los Angeles looking for a new team and the Jacksonville fans being as unsupportive as ever to a terrible football team, could we be seeing the Los Angeles Jaguars in a few years?

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