Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2012 NFL Power Rankings: Week 15

1- New England Patriots - 10-3 (+1) - The Patriots may not have the best record in the NFL, but they certainly are the best team in the NFL right now. They now have seven wins in a row topped off by a smashing of the Texans.

2- Houston Texans - 11-2 (-1) - People are ready to write off the Texans already after that loss against the Patriots and that would be a bad idea. That game was certainly a wake-up call for them, but they can recover and learn from it. They have the chance to officially clinch the division this week against the Colts at home.

3- Denver Broncos - 10-3 (+1) - Not a pretty win for Manning and company against the Raiders on Thursday, but eight wins in a row is great going into a very important game against the Ravens this week.

4- Green Bay Packers - 9-4 (+1) - The Packers keep on fighting and continue to be clutch as they held on to beat the Lions who are a lot better than their record says they are. Since they already beat the Bears once this year, a win in Chicago this week  will give them the division.

5- Atlanta Falcons - 11-2 (-2) - Even though the Falcons are 11-2, I didn't even know if I wanted to put them in my top five this week after they got owned by Cam Newton. This team won't make it very far into the playoffs playing like this. They get a great test against this week as the G-Men come to town.

6- San Francisco 49ers - 9-3-1 (+0) - Colin Kaepernick gets back on track with a hard fought win against the Dolphins. We'll see what he's made of this week as the Niners take a trip to Foxboro to face the red hot Patriots.

7- Indianapolis Colts - 9-4 (+2) - It wasn't an easy win against the Titans, but the Colts pulled it off to guarantee them a winning record. They still have a shot to win their division as they play the Texans twice in the last three weeks. Their first shot at the Texans will be this week in Houston.

8- New York Giants - 8-5 (+2) - The way the Giants played on Sunday is how they need to continue playing the rest of the season. The Cowboys have won four of five and the Redskins have won four in a row. The problem is that its not going to be easy for them as they travel to Atlanta this week then travel to Baltimore the next week. Their big ray of hope is that both of those teams are struggling, so they can do it.

9- Seattle Seahawks - 8-5 (+2) - Now how's that for some rivalry revenge? The Seahawks lost a heartbreaker to the Cards in week one, so a 58-0 beatdown is always satisfying. That was also the Seahawks' first division win. They can't afford to slip up in Buffalo this week, because they end with the Niners and Rams and they need to get to 10 wins with the way this wild card race is shaping up.

10- Baltimore Ravens - 9-4 (-3) - The Ravens are now on their first losing streak of the season and that comes at a bad time because the Broncos are coming to town followed by the Giants. If they aren't careful they could be looking at a 9-6 record when they travel to Cincinnati week 17. It's a good thing the Bengals and Steelers also lost this week to give them a little bit of breathing room.

11- Chicago Bears - 8-5 (-3) - In a short span of time, the Bears have gone from favorites to win their division to questionable to make the playoffs. They need to beat the Packers this week to even have a shot at the division. It's a good thing for them that after hosting the Pack, they get to travel to Arizona and Detroit to end the season.

12- Washington Redskins - 7-6 (+3) - The Redskins are very much alive in both the divisional race and the wild card race. They get to play the Browns and Eagles at the same time the Giants will be playing the Falcons and Ravens. However, don't consider this week's Browns game a gimmie for them. It is in Cleveland and RG3's status is in question. To go along with that, the Browns are on a three game winning streak.

13- Dallas Cowboys - 7-6 (+3) - Just like the aforementioned Redskins, the Cowboys are still in this. The problem is their road is a little bit harder as they get to play host to the Steelers and Saints before the big match-up against the Redskins in week 17.

14- Minnesota Vikings - 7-6 (+3) - That was a huge win against the Bears that keeps the Vikings alive in the wild card hunt. They still need a lot of help from other teams, but they first need to beat the Rams in a game where the loser will be officially out while the winner will still hold onto a ray of hope.

15- Pittsburgh Steelers - 7-6 (-2) - The Steelers got a lucky break this past week as the Cowboys saved their lives by beating the Bengals. Now they get to play that same Cowboys team this week in a game where the loser will be in a really rough situation.

16- Cincinnati Bengals - 7-6 (-4) - A loss to the Cowboys really hurt them, but now they get to camp out in Pennsylvania for the next two weeks. At the end of their trip, they will know if they are in or out of the playoffs. If they win both games and the Ravens lose their next two games, week 17 they will get to host the Ravens in a game that will determine the division.

17- St. Louis Rams - 6-6-1 (+4) - Believe it or not, but the Rams are not out of this playoff race. If they win out, the Niners beat the Seahawks, AND the winner of the Redskins/Cowboys game loses one of their other two games, the Rams are in.

18- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 6-7 (-4) - The Bucs losing to the Falcons and Broncos is understandable. Losing to the Eagles is not. They really needed that win and now ending the Eagles' eight game losing streak cost the Bucs their playoff hopes. Technically it's possible, but realistically it's not. Especially if the Bucs can't beat teams like the Eagles.

19- San Diego Chargers - 5-8 (+3) - The Chargers finally looked like the Chargers usually look like when it comes to the end of the season. Its too bad they couldn't figure things out before they were already at eight losses.

20- Cleveland Browns - 5-8 (+6) - It's been since Derek Anderson was behind center when the Browns had a three game winning streak, so they get their moment of fame this week. From now on they get to play spoiler. Each of their next three opponents, the Redskins, Broncos, and Steelers, will get hurt pretty badly if they underestimate this young Browns team.

21- Miami Dolphins - 5-8 (+2) - From watching this team play, I believe that they have a promising future. But there present has them losing five of their last six. With the Jaguars and Bills on the docket next, they have a chance to end on a semi-positive note.

22- Buffalo Bills - 5-8 (-2) - If they want to end yet another disappointing season with a Buffalo pride, they have the opportunity to with the Jaguars and Dolphins on the schedule to finish things off. But first they get to host the Seahawks who just came off a 58 point win. If the Bills knock them off, it will put the Hawks in a really tough situation, so they can have fun with that.

23- New Orleans Saints - 5-8 (-5) - The good news of the day for the Saints is all their suspended players from the bounty scandal got their suspensions removed, that they hadn't yet served. Now if the NFL had decided that three or four months earlier when they should've, maybe the Saints would've had more motivation this year.

24- New York Jets - 6-7 (+1) - Congrats to the Jets for barely beating two of the worst teams in the NFL the last two weeks? Despite their 6-7 record, they are still playing like one of the worst teams in the NFL and should be embarrassed. Ironically, if the Bengals and Steelers continue to screw up, the Jets have winnable games against the Titans, Chargers, and Bills and could sneak into the playoffs. When's the last time one of the worst NFL teams was rewarded with a playoff appearance? Crazy!

25- Carolina Panthers - 4-9 (+3) - That Panthers team that showed up against the Falcons is the Panthers team that everyone thought would show up. It was a great win against an overrated Falcons team and if they continue to play like this, they could end the season on a nice winning streak. They have the Chargers, Raiders, and Saints left.

26- Detroit Lions - 4-9 (-3) - This team has the talent to be much better than 4-9, but a five game losing streak against five playoff contenders has spoiled Calvin Johnson's nearly historic season. Getting last place in the NFC North should benefit them next year as in theory they would have a much easier schedule then they've had to endure this year.

27- Tennessee Titans - 4-9 (-3) - This is another team that has great potential for the future with Jake Locker and company as they gave a good Colts team a run for their money, but they are currently owners of five losses in their last six games.

28- Philadelphia Eagles - 4-9 (+1) - Andy Reid looked happier Sunday at the end of that game than I have seen him in a long time. The Eagles have the chance to play spoiler as the Bengals, Redskins, and Giants are the games left on their schedule. If they win out, is it enough to save Andy Reid's job?

29- Arizona Cardinals - 4-9 (-2) - What an insult to this Cardinals team that was. Its one thing to have a nine game losing streak. It's another to have the ninth straight loss be the worst loss in franchise history. A loss to the Lions on Sunday will bring their losing streak to double digit games.

30- Oakland Raiders - 3-10 (+0) - The Raiders are a mess. Their next game, however, is a slightly important game as it will determine some positioning in next year's draft as they travel to Kansas City to play the Chiefs.

31- Jacksonville Jaguars - 2-11 (+0) - That near comeback on Sunday was almost impressive. It's too bad it was the Jets they were playing. Once again, Mark Sanchez tried his hardest to help the Jaguars win, but they couldn't capitalize.

32- Kansas City Chiefs - 2-11 (+0) - That was quite the homecoming for Romeo Crennell and Brady Quinn in Cleveland, in the embarrassing sort of way. When you make the Browns look like a great team, you know you have issues.

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