NFL Contenders and Pretenders After Week 12 of the 2012 Season

Josh Zerkle@JoshZerkleChief Writer IIINovember 26, 2012

While the NFL's playoff picture hasn't completely solidified, we still have plenty of opportunity to debate the haves and the have-nots of the 2012 season. Which teams have got it going on this fall, and which teams need to get back on the treadmill and give it another go-round in 2013?

One team that has become a surprise contender is the Indianapolis Colts, who have ridden the waves of both Andrew Luck's rookie season and the goodwill stemming from Chuck Pagano's public battle with leukemia. Pagano's head coaching duties have been turned over to offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who managed to navigate this Colts team to within striking distance of a playoff berth in the AFC.

One team that will surprise no one with its pretender status is the Dallas Cowboys. While all that happens in JerryWorld seems to do so under a five-pointed magnifying class, the mishaps in Dallas have been especially brutal. Tony Romo has fronted an inept offense that has shown flashes of brilliance, but also a seeming reluctance to come together on the field for head coach Jason Garrett.

To see all of my contenders and pretenders for Week 13, check out the video above. And leave your own contenders and pretenders in the comments below. As always, thanks for watching.