Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2012 NFL Power Rankings: Week 16

1- Denver Broncos - 11-3 (+2) - It's a really confusing top 5 here for the power rankings this week because just about every team has lost to another team here in the top 5. When push came to shove, I awarded the top position to the team that hasn't lost a game since the first week in October.

2- San Francisco 49ers - 10-3-1 (+4) - That impressive win over the Patriots earned them a significant jump in the power rankings. They need to take that momentum into Seattle to face a red hot Seahawks team to officially lock down that division.

3- Houston Texans - 12-2 (-1) - That was a big win on Sunday to clinch the division. They'll host a Vikings team this Sunday fighting for their playoff lives. Win and they will lock down home field advantage in the playoffs, something they'll desperately need with the way the Patriots and Broncos are playing.

4- New England Patriots - 10-4 (-3) - The loss to the 49ers on Sunday was a bit of a setback for them, but don't worry too much about them. They will bounce right back and be dangerous in the playoffs.

5- Atlanta Falcons - 12-2 (+0) - After all the disappointing showings for them this season, it was great to see them flex their muscles against the Giants on Sunday. They just need to use that newly gained momentum and take it with them into the playoffs and maybe they'll be able to do something.

6- Green Bay Packers - 10-4 (-2) - They don't really deserve to drop two spots in the rankings after winning a clutch game against the Bears to win the division. I't just huge wins for the Falcons and Niners gave those teams kudos in these rankings. Packers haven't been winning impressively, but don't sleep on them.

7- Seattle Seahawks - 9-5 (+2) - Two straight wins where they score 50+ points? Pete Carroll is getting this team to look like his USC teams. Now lets see them do that to a team that is not the Cardinals or the Bills. The fake punt, by the way, was one of the more unclassy things I've seen this season. Uncalled for.

8- Washington Redskins - 8-6 (+4) - Right now this team is pretty magical and officially on top of their division. They only have a weak Eagles team in their way before their game of the year against the Cowboys that will most likely determine the division winner.

9- Dallas Cowboys - 8-6 (+4) - All they have to do this week is beat the Saints and they will set up an epic divisional match-up against the Redskins where a likely situation will be that the winner will take the division and the loser will miss the playoffs. No pressure.

10- Indianapolis Colts - 9-5 (-3) - A loss on the road to the Texans wasn't a complete surprise, but they did give them a run for their money. A win at Kansas City on Sunday will guarantee them a spot in the playoffs.

11- Baltimore Ravens - 9-5 (-1) - Luckily for them the tiebreakers have fallen just the right way that no matter what happens, they will at least get a playoff spot, but right now this is a team that looks like they won't make it very far at all in the playoffs. They could use a confidence booster these next two weeks.

12- New York Giants - 8-6 (-4) - Usually the Giants are pretty good at these late season runs to sneak into the playoffs which is why you would've thought they would've made the trip to Atlanta on Sunday. Now they have to go into Baltimore and beat the Ravens to even get a wild card spot. They're lucky the Ravens have been sucking it up as well.

13- Cincinnati Bengals - 8-6 (+3) - After suffering a disappointing loss to the Cowboys, they did their job and beat the Eagles Thursday night. Now its time for a huge game against the Steelers which should determine which team makes it in. All the tiebreakers go against them, so they need a win here or else they are done.

14- Minnesota Vikings - 8-6 (+0) - Thanks to what looks like a super human performance by that monster named Adrian Petereson, the Vikings are still alive. If the playoffs began this weekend, they'd actually be in, but to keep that spot, they have a tall order in front of them. Travel to Houston and knock of the Texans, then go back home and knock of the Packers. If they do it, AP definitely deserves MVP.

15- Chicago Bears - 8-6 (-4) - Sorry Brian Urlacher, if your team sucks it up like they have, your fans have every right to boo you. Emotions from him and Brandon Marshall definitely show what this Bears team is going through right now.  Lucky for them they finish the season with the Cardinals and Lions.

16- Pittsburgh Steelers - 7-7 (-1) - They really could've used that win against the Cowboys on Sunday, because now they are in a tight position. Lose to the Bengals on Sunday and their season is over. Ironically, if they win and the Ravens lose out, they could still win that division. They own the tiebreaker if they end up tied with the Bengals and Ravens at the seasons end.

17- St. Louis Rams - 6-7-1 (+0) - I guess mathematically the Rams aren't out of it, but barring a miracle, Adrian Peterson's monster performance on Sunday eliminated them. They need to keep their heads up though, because they have a lot of positive things to build on for next season.

18- New Orleans Saints - 6-8 (+5) - The Saints have got to be one of the most bi-polar teams I have seen in quite some time. One week they get smoked by the Giants and the other week they completely light up the Bucs. They have chance to spoil the Cowboys' season on Sunday if they keep their switch on.

19- Miami Dolphins - 6-8 (+2) - Despite yet another disappointing season for the Dolphins, their future still looks bright with Ryan Tannehill as their quarterback of the future. Great rookie year for him.

20- Cleveland Browns - 5-9 (+0) - The Browns almost spoiled the Redskins magic, but unfortunately they couldn't hang on. They end their year on a fun two game road trip to Denver and Pittsburgh.

21- Carolina Panthers - 5-9 (+4) - After starting 2-8, they've managed to avoid complete embarrassment this year by climbing out of the NFL basement with three wins in their last four games. Put a few more pieces around Cam Newton and this could be a team that competes in the near future.

22- San Diego Chargers - 5-9 (-3) - Norv Turner only has two games left with the San Diego Chargers before its time for the Bolts to officially start the search for a coach that can actually do something with this talented roster they have here in San Diego.

23- Buffalo Bills - 5-9 (-1) - It's rather embarrassing when any team scores 50 points on you. But hey, as a silver lining, they made it into the top plays of the week with an awesome one handed catch by Stevie Johnson. Too bad that's almost been the highlight of their season so far.

24- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 6-8 (-6) - What in the world happened to the Tampa Bay Bucs? Just four weeks ago they are standing at 6-4 and are one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Now they are on a huge slide and turning into the laughing stock of the league again. That's quite the change.

25- Tennessee Titans - 5-9 (+2) - I have no idea who thought it was a good idea to put the Titans and Jets on the schedule for Monday Night Football, but somehow the Titans survived one of the messiest games of the year. Mark Sanchez was once again doing everything he could to help his opponent win and this time it worked.

26- New York Jets - 6-8 (-2) - I don't know why it took Rex Ryan until week 16 to realize starting Mark Sanchez isn't the way to help your team win. Maybe this is why the Jets are awful - they have a clueless idiot leading them. Time to redo this whole team and that starts with getting a new head coach.

27- Arizona Cardinals - 5-9 (+2) - Hey look! The Cardinals got a win this past Sunday! I don't know what sparked that sudden burst of greatness, but if they keep it up next week they have an opportunity to essentially eliminate the Bears from the playoffs.

28- Philadelphia Eagles - 4-10 (+0) - For a bit there, it seemed liked they were going to pull off a two game winning streak, but that poor Eagles team that we are so used to this year showed up and the Eagles dropped to double digit losses for only the second time since 2000.

29- Detroit Lions - 4-10 (-3) - Calvin Johnson only needs 182 yards to top Jerry Rice's single season receiving yards record and being that he has averaged 147 yards per game over the last 7 games, he should get it. It's too bad the rest of the Lions team didn't show up this season.

30- Oakland Raiders - 4-10 (+0) - Shutting out their division rival Chiefs 15-0 surely felt good for them. McFadden also had a nice game with over 100 yards rushing in his second game back. But that's still only the fourth win for this club.

31- Jacksonville Jaguars - 2-12 (+0) - The Jaguars are back on a slump after showing some signs of life a few weeks ago. This makes the Patriots happy as the Pats look to get back on track after that heartbreaking loss to the Niners this week as they travel to Jacksonville.

32- Kansas City Chiefs - 2-12 (+0) - You know you are having a bad season when you travel to Oakland and not only get shut out, but you only manage to get 46 plays off for a terrible 119 yards with your star running back getting only 10 yards on 9 carries.

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