NFL Power Rankings Week 11: Teams Primed to Make a Move

Darin PikeContributor INovember 13, 2012

How will Cutler's concussion affect the Bears?
How will Cutler's concussion affect the Bears?Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Week 10 of the NFL season is in the books and there were several upsets and surprises that will shake up the Week 11 power rankings. Most teams will have a new ranking this week but five clubs will continue to move in coming weeks.

Schedules over the next month give some teams an opportunity to make a run, while others turn decidedly unfavorable. 


Going Down

Chicago Bears

It is hard to ignore how good of a start the Bears had in 2012. But their first eight games included just two teams that have a winning record.

The Green Bay Packers beat Chicago. The other winning team was the Indianapolis Colts, whom the Bears beat in their opener. It is hard to deny Indianapolis a currently a much better team than the squad Chicago faced.

Chicago's next five games are against teams with winning records and the Bears will possibly face a few teams without starter Jay Cutler.

It is put-up time for the Bears, starting with a trip to San Francisco on Monday.


Miami Dolphins

Two weeks ago Ryan Tannehill was leading a 4-3 team that was inching up the power rankings. Following a pair of losses there's reason to believe his Dolphins have entered a death spiral.

Teams are finding holes in Miami's secondary and Chris Johnson showed it is possible to run the ball on the Dolphins' front-seven.

Next up is a road game against the Buffalo Bills. There are no guarantees in that game, but visiting teams have not fared well in Thursday night games.

A loss would loom very large for Miami, as the following three games are against teams ranked in the Top 10.

The Dolphins could see a 4-3 record become 4-9.


Moving Up

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys have been a bit over-ranked this season. They've regularly had the highest ranking of teams with a losing record.

Now there is a good chance Jerry Jones' team is sitting on the front of a five-game winning streak.

If journalists liked them with a losing record, what will they think if the Cowboys reach 8-5?

The next time Dallas plays a team that currently has a winning record is Week 15. The Cowboys will host the Pittsburgh Steelers, the only team left on Dallas' schedule that isn't below .500.

The New Orleans Saints will march into Dallas in Week 16. They will likely be above .500 at that point and that game could have legitimate playoff ramifications.


Denver Broncos

There isn't much room above Peyton Manning on the power rankings but he won't be content until he's holding the trophy. Even then, don't expect the sentiment to last long.

Denver dismantled the Panthers on Sunday and has a few favorable matchups looming. They host the Chargers on Sunday and then visit Kansas City where they could almost wrap up the AFC West. 

An 8-3 record, including a five-game winning streak, could boost the Broncos into the Top Five. Finishing with a 12-4 mark is a realistic expectation.


Seattle Seahawks

Pete Carroll takes his team into their bye week riding a two-game winning streak. The Seahawks have been untouchable at home but suspect on the road.

Seattle will have the opportunity to come out strong after their bye. They travel to Miami where they will have several favorable matchups.

A win over the Dolphins would give the Seahawks the confidence they need to notch a win in Chicago for the third consecutive season. 

Last week I stated the NFC West was over, but a San Francisco 49er tie to the St. Louis Rams gives the Seahawks hope.


Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and the Seattle Seahawks.