NFL Power Rankings: Week 12

Posted: November 29, 2011 by vindanton in Pro Sports

By Vin D’Anton

1. Green Bay Packers (1): They weren’t as dominant as they wanted to be before Ndamukong Suh stomped his way out the game, but they pulled away. Consistency defines that offense. The secondary has a big test against Eli Manning this week, but Clay Matthews and the boys should provide a great pass rush. Question though. Were they at all exposed before they pulled away?

2. Baltimore Ravens (4): Great win in the “Harbaugh Bowl” for John and his team. Without Ray Lewis, the defense did more than show up. They are a scary defense when they are clicking. With the Steelers primed for a run, they can’t have a letdown week against a fighting Cleveland team.

3. San Francisco 49ers (2): They were in the game until the end. They were a Frank Gore chop block away from busting that game open. They play with confidence and have a great defense. Even with Dallas creeping up, to whom they would lose a tiebreaker too, the schedule is in their favor to clinch the second seed.

4. Houston Texans (3): Fine, T.J. Yates (yes, T.J. Yates) and the offense were awful in the second half, but they still beat a team they were supposed to beat with that defense. But let’s face it, this franchise has no luck whatsoever. While I would like to see them get Brett Favre, Jeff Garcia is the perfect fit for them. But they decide to sign Jake Delhomme? Head scratcher.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (5): That was a close game in a tough environment in KC, but they won the game. With or without Polamalu, I think the defense will be fine. They face a Bengal team looking for revenge this week at the Big Ketchup Bottle.

6. New Orleans Saints (6): Drew Brees is sensational at home. With that crowd, it is going to be tough to go win a game in January there. The defense did a poor job in the second half, you need to complete a game. They got a young Lions team coming in desperate for a win; could be Monday Night all over again.

7. New England Patriots (7): They dominated the Eagles on offense. They just know how to utilize their weapons and they got a platoon of decent running backs. The defense could gain some confidence if they do what they are supposed to against the Colts this week.

8. Dallas Cowboys (10): They can clinch the division on December 11th. Unbelievable; everybody pushed them aside and then came along DeMarco Murray. If Wade Phillips was their coach, they don’t win that game on Thanksgiving. They are a complete team at this point. They have an easy road test this week against Arizona.

9. Atlanta Falcons (12): They are ready to roll to the playoffs. The schedule is favorable and they got the manpower to win all their games till that big meeting in New Orleans Week 16. They are nearly a lock for the Wild Card.

10. Oakland Raiders (14): They snuck one out against a great defense, and Carson Palmer may be worth it, but he’s got a long way to go. Sebastian Janikowski and Shane Lechler are the best kicker and punter combination in the league. They travel east to play a tough Miami team.

11. Chicago Bears (8): Even if Caleb Hanie doesn’t make that mistake, they would have still lost. He was not a total disaster though, he can make plays and he has a hell of a defense fighting for him.

12. Cincinnati Bengals (13): The kids scratch and clawed for a win over a divisional opponent. Good win at home and great response after two tough divisional losses. They will fight till the last snap at Pittsburgh this week.

13. Detroit Lions (9): The offense is fully exposed right now and they need a healthy running back with Jahvid Best out for the year and Kevin Smith banged up. They can’t succumb to the national spotlight in their first NBC Sunday Night game ever. They need to get Calvin Johnson back on track.

14. New York Giants (11): You got smoked Monday Night, nothing you can do about it. Now they have to get their stuff together and pull out all the stops the rest of the way. Eli, Cruz and Pierre-Paul were only ones that showed up; that can’t happen. If they get healthy, they can make a run.

15. Denver Broncos (15): Tebow should be thanking God for his defense, not his ability. They keep them in games and John Fox deserves credit for that alone. They completed the trifecta with three divisional road wins. Expect the streak to continue this week at Minnesota.

16. New York Jets (16): Mark Sanchez didn’t throw for a lot of yards, but he did his job. Four touchdowns and an outstanding fourth quarter is what he needed for a confidence boost for the playoff run. That defense needs work. Yup Rex, I said it.

17. Tennessee Titans (18): Solid win at home. Chris Johnson could be a key to a possible division title. I think you leave Hasselbeck in at this point. Like I said last week, who knows with Houston, you got a legit shot. Big road test at Buffalo this week.

18. Buffalo Bills (19): What tough pill to swallow losing at the Jets the way they did. This team has no luck. They have talent but the injury list is too long. Auditions for next year have begun.

19. Philadelphia Eagles (17): Lose one more it is over. NFL gave another bad break for a team traveling to an opposite coast on a short week as they go to Seattle, but they should win the game. You would think Andy Reid is on the hot seat, but he is probably not.

20. Kansas City Chiefs (21): That was a hard fought battle against Pittsburgh on Sunday Night, but Tyler Palko is all you need to say. If this team was healthy, they could have had a shot this year. Let’s see what happens with Todd Haley.

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (20): You have to win that game, you were the better team. Now we find out that Josh Freeman hurt his thumb a month ago in a gun shooting range accident. Where is the responsibility from your young leader?

22. San Diego Chargers (22): They are mathematically alive, but you have to believe it’s over. Norv is going to be gone. That was a heartbreaker at home and the fan base will call for change. They’ll be one of the most intriguing stories this offseason.

23. Seattle Seahawks (23): Tough loss at home to Washington. You really thought they could start to show you something than that happens. They have to stop being in denial about the quarterback position. Matt Barkley?

24. Cleveland Browns (24): This team fights hard every week and I am sure Mike Holmgren is evaluating Colt McCoy’s every home. They need a playmaker if they want any quarterback to succeed.

25. Washington Redskins (25): Shocking road win at Seattle. Rex plays hard, no arguing that, but he is not the answer. Maybe they have a nice player in Roy Helu who has played well the past two weeks.

26. Miami Dolphins (26): They continue to fight for Sparano. They had that game at Dallas in the bag. That game could bring a letdown this week as the Raiders come to town.

27. Arizona Cardinals (28): Another good win. They have talent with Wells, Peterson and obviously Fitzgerald. The defense has stepped up lately too. Anxious to see what they do with a healthy Kolb next year.

28. Carolina Panthers (27): They beat a team they were supposed to beat so they are happy, but offseason priority will be defense.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (29): With a rookie quarterback and 17 players on IR, they have struggled. Question to me is why did you fire Jack Del Rio? You are obviously in the rebuilding process, so why did you even keep him? Now with a new owner, who wants to keep the team in Jacksonville, things are going to change.

30. Minnesota Vikings (30): You have to be happy with Christian Ponder who is using his weapons and moving the ball. If Adrian Peterson isn’t fully healthy, don’t play him the rest of the year. Get him ready for 2012.

31. St. Louis Rams (31): Injuries have killed them and we expected they would fall back a little this year, but not this bad.

32. Indianapolis Colts (32): They are 21 point underdogs in New England this week, so they make the switch to…Dan Orlovsky? No comment.

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