Tuesday, November 20, 2012
2012 NFL Power Rankings: Week 12
1- Houston Texans - 9-1 (+0) - The defense didn't show up against the Jaguars, which is a little troubling. But that offense was as good as ever as Matt Shaub set personal records with nearly 600 passing yards. They also showed that they can be really clutch, winning in overtime after being down by double digits later in the game.
2- Baltimore Ravens- 8-2 (+2) - The Ravens have quietly moved their way to the top of these power rankings. A few weeks back when Ray Lewis went down with a few others on defense, people thought they were in trouble, but they pulled it together and with the Steelers playing with Byron Leftwich at quarterback, the Ravens look like they are going to cruise to a divisional title.
3- New England Patriots - 7-3 (+2) - The defense still has some question marks, but their offense is more than making up for it. Tom Brady and company have averaged 47 points per game over their last three games. They will miss Gronk for the next month, but they should still be fine.
4- Denver Broncos - 7-3 (+2) - Payton's club has now made it five wins in a row and six wins in their last seven games. They look to make it six in a row going into Kansas City.
5- Atlanta Falcons - 9-1 (-2) - They followed up their loss to the Saints with an awful showing against a Cardinals team playing with their third string rookie quarterback. Matt Ryan's zero touchdown, five interception outing is not going to cut it when playing anyone else but the Cardinals. They may have the best record in the NFL, but they are far from being the best team right now.
6- San Francisco 49ers - 7-2-1 (+1) - Hope was restored in San Francisco once again as the Niners got an impressive win against the Bears where the Niners proved that they have the better backup quarterback. Please no quarterback controversy talk. The job is Smith's when he gets back.
7- Chicago Bears - 7-3 (-5) - The Bears hope that Jay Cutler will return soon. Him getting injured against the Texans has now led to a two game losing streak. Their defense is good, but not good enough to carry them completely without an offense.
8- Green Bay Packers - 7-3 (+0) - With the Bears on a two game losing streak, the Packers are now winning the division via tie breaker. But they still haven't had a convincing win since beating the Texans in week six and that was their lone convincing win of the season.
9- Seattle Seahawks - 6-4 (+2) - After a week off, they go on a stretch where they get three of their next four games on the road, all against teams that are trying to get back on track. The NFC wild card race is looking really tight, so they need to do good on this stretch.
10- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 6-4 (+3) - The Bucs are riding high, having won five of their last six. Now three of their next four games come against teams that are a combined total of 15-3 in their last six games respectively. We're about to learn a lot about this young Bucs team.
11- Indianapolis Colts - 6-4 (-2) - Welcome to the NFL Andrew Luck! Tom Brady and the Pats just gave the young quarterback a taste of what it is like in the NFL. If you are going to be a playoff team, those are the types of teams you are going to have to deal with.
12- Pittsburgh Steelers - 6-4 (-2) - The Steelers better hope Big Ben heals fast, because they have a red hot Bengals team that is only a game back from them in the wild card hunt ready to take them over if they continue to struggle with Byron Leftwich under center.
13- New York Giants - 6-4 (-1) - The bye week came at a great time for the Giants, now they better kick it into gear because the Cowboys are only a game back in that division and the next five games for the G-Men are going to be tough ones.
14- Minnesota Vikings - 6-4 (+0) - The Vikings are now in a dead-lock with the Bucs and Seahawks for that last wild card spot and with four of their next five games on the road, the Vikings really need to take advantage of a reeling Bears team this week.
15- New Orleans Saints - 5-5 (+0) - After starting 0-4, the Saints are now only a game behind the last Wild Card spot. The problem is that there are three teams that are one game ahead of them tied for that spot, three teams only one game back of the Saints at 4-6, and one additional team tied at 5-5 with them. To make things worse, the Saints' next five games are against teams that are .500 or better, so they really need to flex their muscles and get a lot of help if they are going to sneak in.
16- Cincinnati Bengals - 5-5 (+2) - The Bengals are in a pretty good position right now being only a game behind both the Colts and Steelers. It turns out that the rest of their schedule is fairly easy, so they just need one of those two teams to slip up to sneak in to the playoffs.
17- Dallas Cowboys- 5-5 (-1) - The race for the NFC wild card spot is quite intense right now, so the Cowboys really need to focus on stealing the division away from the Giants in order to make it in. They are only a game back and have a much easier schedule, so they could very well pull it off.
18- Detroit Lions - 4-6 (-1) - After Justin Blackmon racked up over 200 receiving yards against the Texan pass defense, Calvin Johnson is licking his lips for his upcoming Thanksgiving matchup against that unit. The Lions could use a good boost after that heartbreaking loss to the Packers.
19- San Diego Chargers - 4-6 (+2) - It was a good effort against the Broncos on Sunday, but nonetheless they still got the loss. Their next three games are against the AFC North playoff contenders, so if they want to make a run for a wild card spot, now is the time to start.
20- Buffalo Bills - 4-6 (+4) - The toughest part of the Bills' schedule is over. Their last six games are all winnable games and so they have a shot to get the wild card spot. Although their next game is against the Colts in Indianapolis. That game is a must win. Lose and they are done.
21- Miami Dolphins - 4-6 (-2) - They are on a three game losing streak and their next three games are against the Seahawks, Patriots, and 49ers. They are most likely done.
22- Washington Redskins - 4-6 (+4) - The reappearance of RG3 against the Eagles was nice for the Redskins. However, remember it was just the Eagles. In a crazy NFC, it is too little, too late for the Redskins. They are playing for the future right now. Unless of course both the Giants and the Cowboys collapse in that division.
23- Arizona Cardinals - 4-6 (-1) - Their losing streak has now been extended to six in a row. How long will this continue? Their next two games are against the Rams and Jets, so it could end soon, but they are playing without a quarterback essentially, so we'll see how this plays out.
24- Tennessee Titans - 4-6 (-1) - They had a week off to see if they can try to find their identity. Now they get to travel to Jacksonville to see which Titans team ends up showing up.
25- New York Jets - 4-6 (+3) - The Jets seem like a bipolar team right now. The route of the Rams was semi-impressive. Now they get rewarded with a Thanksgiving night match-up against the Patriots at home. They did almost knock off the Patriots last time they played them, but that was a different Patriots team back then.
26- St. Louis Rams - 3-6-1 (-6) - They followed up an impressive showing against the Niners by barely even showing up against a terrible Jets team. That's really embarrassing. Can they remain undefeated in their division after their upcoming two game stretch against their division?
27- Oakland Raiders - 3-7 (-2) - Their offense isn't terrible, but they are 3-7 because their defense is. They have given up an average of 45 points in their last three games. That stat should make the Bengals happy when the Raiders come to town this Sunday.
28- Philadelphia Eagles - 3-7 (-1) - It is almost a done deal in my mind that Andy Reid won't be back next year. Now that they extended their losing streak to six by getting destroyed by the lowly Redskins, I'm not even sure that Andy Reid will last it through the rest of the season.
29- Cleveland Browns - 2-8- (+0) - Once again, the Browns play a game where they compete and almost win, but once again, they fall. They'll provide some challenges to teams down the road, but when push comes to shove, you have to learn to win in the NFL, not just compete. The Browns don't know how to do that.
30- Carolina Panthers - 2-8 (+0) - This Panthers team once again found a way to lose this past week. They have a two game stretch against the Eagles and the Chiefs. The last time one of those teams got a win was back in week four, so you would think that the Panthers could find a way to win these next two games.
31- Jacksonville Jaguars - 1-9 (+1) - The Jags may have found a momentary fix at quarterback with Chad Henne and certainly had to be excited to see rookie first round pick Justin Blackmon rack up 200+ receiving yards. They were a defense away from pulling off the biggest upset of the year. It's a shame their defense didn't make the trip to Houston.
32- Kansas City Chiefs - 1-9 (-1) - After a one week pit stop at number 31 in these power rankings, they are back here at the bottom after getting annihilated at home to the Bengals. They have a chance to end their losing streak as they have upcoming games against the Panthers, Browns, and Raiders. But first Payton and company come to town to put on a show in Kansas City.