Wednesday, November 28, 2012

2012 NFL Power Rankings: Week 13

1- Houston Texans - 10-1 (+0) - That is now two straight games that it took the Texans overtime to beat a team that they shouldn't have had a huge problem with. And had the refs made the correct call on the 80 yard touchdown run (should've only been a five yard run), the Lions would've most likely got the Thanksgiving win. The Texans have a date in New England with the Patriots in a couple of weeks, so they need to get themselves back on track.

2- New England Patriots - 8-3 (+1) - With a 49-19 Thanksgiving beatdown against the Jets, the Patriots have now averaged 47.5 PPG over their last four games. The thing that other teams should be scared of is that in this past game, the defense actually showed up and made plays. Sure, it was against a team without an offense, but still. 

3- San Francisco 49ers - 8-2-1 (+3) - The Niners looked really good against the Saints and the confusing thing is that Kaepernick looked really good in the process. I say confusing because now the Niners have themselves a quarterback controversy going into December. Not something that usually happens when you are an 8-2 team going into December. I'd still say give it to Smith come playoff time. As good as Kaepernick looks, he has no playoff experience and that could be a deal breaker for the Niners in a tough NFC.

4- Denver Broncos - 8-3 (+0) - That was a minor bump in the road for the Broncos as the Chiefs decided that they wanted to play spoiler on Sunday. Losses to the Texans and the Patriots earlier in the season may come back to bite them as they try to fight for a first round bye in the playoffs.

5- Atlanta Falcons - 10-1 (+0) - The Falcons barely escaped yet again this week but this time it was actually impressive because the team they barely beat was a hot Bucs team. It was their first impressive win since week two against the Broncos. They have games against the Saints and Giants in  the next three weeks, so they'll actually get tested.

6- Baltimore Ravens - 9-2 (-4) - With the Steelers struggling, the Ravens have the division locked down, but that was a sloppy game they played in San Diego. If they play like that against the Texans, Broncos, or Patriots during the playoffs they are going to be an early exit, so they need to pick it up.

7- Chicago Bears - 8-3 (+0) - It's quite noticeable what a difference Jay Cutler means for this team. He was out for a game and a half and they look sloppy and awful. He comes back and once again they look like a scary team to play. But they got hurt with injuries to other key players on Sunday, so we'll see if they can make it through that.

8- New York Giants - 7-4 (+5) - Something went very right for the Giants during that bye week because that was an impressive turnaround. Thanks to that clobbering against the Packers combined with the Cowboys losing on Thanksgiving, they are back in control of that division.

9- Green Bay Packers - 7-4 (-1) - If you payed attention to my power rankings the last few weeks, you knew that I thought the Packers were overrated. I didn't think they were a top five team and that showed on Sunday. However, I still think they will be fine. They'll shake this loss off and make a run in the playoffs.

10- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 6-5 (+0) - That was really a heartbreaking loss for the Bucs. Had they come through in the end against the Falcons, they'd be in the drivers seat to make a wild card spot. It's a good thing for them that the Seahawks and Vikings also got losses.

11- Indianapolis Colts - 7-4 (+0) - It may have only been against the lowly Bills, but the Colts bounced back after that embarrassing showing against the Pats. They have the Bengals right on their tail and with two games against the Texans left as well as the Lions next week, this AFC wild card race will be interesting.

12- Cincinnati Bengals - 6-5 (+4) - The Bengals have been a very streaky team this season and lucky for them, they are streaking in the right way right now. Add to that a favorable schedule and they could pull off a playoff spot, especially with the state of the Steelers and the young Colts team as their only competition.

13- Seattle Seahawks - 6-5 (-4) - They couldn't afford that loss to the Dolphins this week, but lucky for them everyone else in contention for the NFC Wild Card also lost. It won't get much easier for them as the are travelling to Chicago next week. After that three of their last four games are against their division, of which they are 0-3 so far.

14- Pittsburgh Steelers - 6-5 (-2) - The Steelers really need Ben Roethlisberger back because the last two weeks without him has been awful. They have had 11 turnovers in his absence, 8 of them against the Browns last week. If they don't get him back soon, the Bengals will quickly pass them up and won't look back. The two teams are already tied, with the tiebreaker going to the Steelers.
15- Minnesota Vikings - 6-5 (-1) - The Vikings are the third team tied up in the NFC wild card mess, but it looks like they will be the odd team out. They got in the way of a Bears team that was hungry to turn things around and now they get the same situation with a Packers just got clobbered by the Giants. To make things worse, after the Packers game, the get the Bears again.

16- New Orleans Saints - 5-6 (-1) - It looks like the Saints are done. They really needed that win against the Niners Sunday, but didn't get it and now get rewarded with a two game road trip against the Falcons and Giants starting tomorrow night.

17- Washington Redskins - 5-6 (+5) - RG3 is back! Two straight weeks of ridiculously good games might get the Redskins fans hopes up. They are going to need a ton of help though if they want to make the playoffs, especially since the Giants look like they are back on track.

18- Dallas Cowboys - 5-6 (-1) - It's amazing how fast things can change. Last week at this time, they had a legitimate shot at the division. One week later, after a Cowboy loss to the Redskins and a Giants blowout of the Packers, the Cowboys are probably done. 

19- Miami Dolphins - 5-6 (+2) - That was a nice win against the Seahawks on Sunday, but with back to back wins against the Patriots and Niners, the playoffs are a long shot. If they do make it though, it would be well deserved.

20- Detroit Lions - 4-7 (-2) - A valiant effort against the Texans on Thanksgiving. But in the NFL all that counts is wins and losses and the Lions now have three losses in a row. What a disappointing followup to last year's breakout season.

21- San Diego Chargers - 4-7 (-2) - It's 4th and 26. All you need to do in order to win the game against the Ravens is prevent the first down. But yet the Chargers can't do it. Yeah, its been that kind of season for the Chargers. It's still been since week two that they've won a game against a team other than the Chiefs.

22- St. Louis Rams - 4-6-1 (+4) - The Rams have been quite the bipolar team, but I suppose they just have a thing against their division in which they are still undefeated. Next week we will get a Rams vs Niners rematch that will hopefully not end up in a useless tie.

23- Buffalo Bills - 4-7 (-3) - Any hope of a surprise playoff run ended this past week as the Bills dropped a game to the Colts. The season will end with yet another disappointing year for this squad.

24- Tennessee Titans - 4-7 (+0) - They had a week off to figure out which team they were and the answer comes with them getting taken down by the one win Jaguars. That was rather embarrassing.

25- New York Jets - 4-7 (+0) - The Jets gave the Patriots trouble the first time the two teams met this season, but this time around it was quite the polar opposite as the Pats have been on fire since that first Jets game. The Jets need to forget about that Thanksgiving night and move forward because they have a winnable schedule ahead of them.

26- Arizona Cardinals - 4-7 (-3) - Remember when the Cardinals were undefeated this year? Yeah, neither did I. They have now lost seven games in a row. It's a battle of the losers this week as the Cardinals travel to New York to play the Jets.

27- Carolina Panthers - 3-8 (+3) - After all those close losses, it is a relief that the Panthers finally hung on and won a close game in the fourth quarter. Too bad it was only against the Eagles who forgot how to win games.

28- Cleveland Browns - 3-8 (+1) - Each of the Steelers running backs fumbled the ball on Sunday in addition to Charlie Batch throwing a few interceptions. They turned the ball over eight times total. And the Browns only won by six. But hey, a win's a win and the Browns will take what they can get. Can they make it two in a row against the NFL's most giving defense?

29- Philadelphia Eagles - 3-8 (-1) - I wonder who's going to win a game first, the Eagles or the Cardinals. Both teams won in week four and haven't won since. Now both teams will get two game road trips coming up, so start placing your bets!

30- Oakland Raiders - 3-8 (-3) - Carson Palmer whined his way out of Cincinnati for this? I wonder if he was wishing he was still retired. The Raiders have given up 42 PPG in their current four game losing streak.

31- Jacksonville Jaguars - 2-9 (+0) - That's two weeks in a row where Chad Henne has played quite well, this time getting a win over the Titans. Four of their last five games are winnable games, so we'll see how far Henne can take this team.

32- Kansas City Chiefs - 1-10 (+0) - They actually put of a fight against the Broncos on Sunday, which was surprising. That is their defense did. But a loss is still a loss and the Chiefs become the first team this year to get to double digit losses.

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