NFL Power Rankings: Week 12 Standings for All 32 Teams

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NFL Power Rankings: Week 12 Standings for All 32 Teams
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Week 11 has featured a number of interesting games, and with one more remaining, the power rankings have changed quite a bit.

The Carolina Panthers will be taking on the New England Patriots on Monday Night Football, and it's bound to be an incredibly interesting matchup.  The Panthers boast one of the best defenses in the NFL, while the Patriots have finally gotten healthy offensively with Tom Brady getting all of his weapons.

But before that game starts, let's take a look at the updated power rankings, breaking down all 32 teams.

 

32. Jacksonville Jaguars

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While they were able to grab a win last week, the Jacksonville Jaguars are back to having the worst record in the NFL after losing to the Arizona Cardinals.

There's not a lot to like on this team.  They have a couple of interesting pieces here and there, but no one has really stepped up.  They'll stay at the bottom of the rankings until they can prove to me that they're a team that can at least threaten to win games on a regular basis.

 

31. Houston Texans

Well this hasn't been a fun season for the Houston Texans.

Expectations were incredibly high for this team, but a sticky situation at the quarterback position was the catalyst for a number of different problems for this team.  Now that the offense is without Arian Foster and the defense is without Brian Cushing, there's a lack of star power in Houston, and that's very bad news.

 

30. Minnesota Vikings

Christian Ponder is officially done for the Minnesota Vikings.  After being pulled in the blowout loss to the Seattle Seahawks, there's no way that he's coming back.

I'm almost 100 percent certain that the starting quarterback for 2014 isn't on this roster right now and that the Vikings will be looking for one in the NFL draft in May.  Adrian Peterson can't do everything on offense, and the lack of defensive help as well is keeping this team from having any sustained success.

 

29. Atlanta Falcons

A blowout loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers confirms that the Atlanta Falcons aren't doing anything in 2013.

Matt Ryan is seriously struggling, throwing nine interceptions in his last four games.  Without Julio Jones or any truly healthy targets in the passing game, he can't get anything done.  The entire team seems to be banged up, so the Falcons might just need to hit the reset button and try again next year.

 

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Two straight wins officially have the Buccaneers in business, although it's already too little too late.

A lot of credit has to go to Mike Glennon, who has actually played very well over the past five games, throwing eight touchdowns and just one interception.  The offense also found an exciting new weapon in Bobby Rainey, who put up 163 rushing yards and three total touchdowns.

Stringing together two wins is great; now they just need to keep this streak alive for as long as possible.

 

27. Washington Redskins

Even when Robert Griffin III has a good game, the Washington Redskins still can't get anything done.

The reason for that is their terrible defense, which just can't stop anything at this point.  They're allowing more than 30 points per game, and that's not going to get the job done in the NFL.  

The NFC East is wide open, but it doesn't look like the Redskins are in the division race.

 

26. Cleveland Browns

A 41-20 loss isn't what the Cleveland Browns wanted to see after getting the big win last week over the Baltimore Ravens.

The Browns gave up 31 points in the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals, and that's something you never want to see as a football team.  Jason Campbell threw three interceptions, and the team just couldn't keep drives alive, which could be a big concern going forward.

 

25. Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills finally ended their three-game losing streak with a dominating win over the New York Jets, and that's a good sign moving forward.

E.J. Manuel is back, giving the Bills a big lift offensively.  He played a great game, completing 20 of his 28 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns.  Defensively, the Bills forced four turnovers and an interception return for a touchdown, so it was an overall great game for them.

Still, the Bills have been an inconsistent team, and I need to see more games like this before I move them up the rankings.

 

24. Oakland Raiders

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I was not prepared for Matt McGloin to have the game he did, and suddenly the Oakland Raiders are 4-6 with their win over the Texans.

McGloin threw for 197 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Raiders to their fourth win of the year.  Rashad Jennings was terrific as well, running for 150 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.

The Raiders just keep exceeding expectations, and while they won't be a playoff team in the tough AFC West, they're still showing everyone that they're looking to make a playoff push in the next couple of seasons.

 

23. Pittsburgh Steelers

A 4-2 record over their last six games has the Pittsburgh Steelers in business, although it's still going to be tough for them to take the AFC North from the Bengals.

The big 37-27 win over the Detroit Lions showed us that Ben Roethlisberger is determined to lead this team to a postseason appearance.  He threw for 367 yards and four touchdowns in the game, simply blowing people away.

With some upcoming games against some division rivals, the Steelers have a chance to gain some ground in the AFC North race.

 

22. Baltimore Ravens

It's really hard to be too upset with the overtime loss for the Ravens, but they're now sitting at 4-6 just one season after winning the Super Bowl.

The biggest positive to take away from the loss was that the ground game finally opened up.  The Ravens had been averaging just 2.8 yards per carry entering this one, but they ended up running for 174 yards in the game, averaging 4.2 yards per carry.

If the running game is really back, the Ravens could be in good shape, but they'll also need Joe Flacco to stop throwing so many critical interceptions.

 

21. Tennessee Titans

The AFC South is essentially locked up, but that doesn't mean that the Tennessee Titans can't fight for a wild-card spot.

However, a 4-6 record doesn't bode well for the Titans, especially with a recent loss to the Jaguars.  Ryan Fitzpatrick has played alright, but Jake Locker would have been the more reliable option if he wasn't injured.  Chris Johnson finally had another big game, but his inconsistency kills this team.

The Titans just need to find a way to be more consistent and play like they did in the first half against the Indianapolis Colts.  If they can do that, then they have a shot at a wild-card spot.

 

20. St. Louis Rams

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Even though the St. Louis Rams had a bye, they should still have a lot of momentum entering their game next week against the Bears.

A 38-8 win over the Colts last week was big, and they finally realized what they could do with Tavon Austin.  He only had two catches, but they went for 138 yards and two touchdowns, along with a punt return that he took to the house.

Sam Bradford may be out, but a more involved Austin could make this offense quite deadly.  Meanwhile, the defense can keep making plays with pass-rushers like Chris Long and Robert Quinn.

 

19. San Diego Chargers

A close loss to the Redskins and another close one to the Denver Broncos were understandable, but a third straight loss has the San Diego Chargers in big trouble.

The defense as a whole is struggling to keep them in games, as they're allowing big plays and aren't forcing enough turnovers.  Philip Rivers is having a solid season, but the defense needs to do something if they want to end this losing streak.

 

18. New York Giants

There are very few teams in the NFL that can say they've won four consecutive games this season, but now the New York Giants are one of them.

Sure, they've all been against bad teams, but winning four straight games has the Giants suddenly back in the NFC East race, just a couple of games behind the Philadelphia Eagles.  Eli Manning had thrown 14 interceptions in the first six games, but he's only had two picks in the last four.

Can Tom Coughlin really lead the Giants to another incredible comeback in the second half of the season?  Looking at their remaining schedule, there's a good chance that he might.

 

17. New York Jets

Throw out all the record books and statistics. The New York Jets are the most inconsistent team in the NFL, making them almost impossible to judge.

The Jets have yet to win or lose two consecutive games this season, which means that we should be expecting a win from them next week.  However, the only way that they'll be able to win games for the rest of the season is if Geno Smith can stop turning the ball over.

 

16. Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins got their second win in the last three games, and that's good news for a team that had previously lost its last four games. 

However, things aren't looking good in terms of protecting Ryan Tannehill.  He was sacked four times against the Chargers, and without three of his starting linemen, he could be in very big trouble for the rest of the season.

 

15.  Green Bay Packers

Scott Tolzien kept driving the Green Bay Packers down the field against the Giants, but the drives kept stalling just short, and he ended up with three interceptions in the game.

All of the blame can't go on Tolzien, as the secondary has been very bad on the other side of the ball.  The Packers were constantly letting guys get open and just couldn't stop the likes of Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks.  

Fans are waiting for Aaron Rodgers to come back, but it's the defense that they should be worried about right now.

 

14. Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys really needed a bye after getting demolished by the New Orleans Saints, but the Philadelphia Eagles have now taken their spot on top of the NFC East.

The defense is very concerning, as it has giving up 439.8 yards per game, the worst mark in the NFL.  Tony Romo has been playing at a high level this season, but the Cowboys can't keep putting him in tough positions if they want to stay in the division race.

 

13. Arizona Cardinals

Very quietly, the Arizona Cardinals have gone 6-4 this season.

I'm already anticipating a number of angry comments for having the Cardinals too high, but three of their four wins have been against terrific opponents, and they have big wins against teams like the Carolina Panthers and Detroit Lions.

The secondary for the Cardinals is one of the best in football with players like Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu.  Football Outsiders has the Cardinals as the second-best defense in the NFL behind only the Panthers, and that is what will help this team as it tries to take an NFC Wild Card spot.

 

12. Detroit Lions

The Lions had a real shot at taking the NFC North, but a loss to the Steelers has opened up the race once again.

Still, the Lions are having a great season, and so is Calvin Johnson.  He caught another six passes for 179 yards and two scores on Sunday, giving him over 1,000 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns on the year.

Consistency will be the big thing for the Lions to focus on after this loss, and they will likely be playing it safe after fumbling that fake field goal at the end of the game.

 

11. San Francisco 49ers

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The San Francisco 49ers have to be worried after losing two straight games once again because now the Cardinals are right next to them with the second spot in the NFC West.

Colin Kaepernick has had a very rough season, as he's missing some throws he made with ease in 2012 and simply isn't being a productive player in the passing game.  The ground game has slowed down a bit in the past two games as well, and that will need to change in order for them to start turning things around.

 

10. Philadelphia Eagles

I didn't initially want to put the Eagles in the top 10 of the rankings, but then I looked at the rest of the league and realized that they had to be put in here.

Nick Foles has completely turned this team around.  He keeps making big plays and, more importantly, is taking care of the ball.  The entire team seems to be rallying around him, as it's now won three straight games and is 5-1 when Foles starts, with the one loss coming after he had to leave with a concussion.

 

9. Chicago Bears

Even when Josh McCown plays, this team keeps winning.

The Chicago Bears are banged up, but that hasn't been an excuse for them.  McCown has thrown five touchdowns and zero interceptions when he's been on the field, and the defense has kept them in games without players like Henry Melton and Lance Briggs.

The NFC North is up for grabs, and the Bears should now be the favorites to win it.

 

8. Cincinnati Bengals

The losses of Geno Atkins and Leon Hall are serious concerns, but the Bengals showed everyone that they can still win games without them.

Despite putting up just 224 total yards of offense on Sunday, the Bengals came away with a 41-20 win thanks to big plays on special teams and defense.  Andy Dalton has been very streaky this season, and the team is just going to have to hope that he gets hot again at the very end of the year.

 

7. Indianapolis Colts

The Colts narrowly escaped Tennessee with a big comeback win, and they have more questions than answers at this point.

Without Reggie Wayne, the offense seems to be in a serious funk.  To make things even more confusing, Donald Brown has been playing better than Trent Richardson, creating a very interesting situation at the running back position.

They don't play pretty football, but the Colts keep on winning, and that's really all that matters if they're trying to get to the playoffs.

 

6. New England Patriots

Although he's struggled throughout the season, we should get back to seeing the old Tom Brady that we're used to as long as his weapons stay healthy.

With Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola back, Brady was sensational against the Steelers last week, throwing for 432 yards and four touchdowns.  With Shane Vereen set to return on Monday night, this offense could become one of the best in football.

 

5. Carolina Panthers

They have the best defense in football and a playmaker under center.  What more do the Panthers need?

Carolina is on a serious hot streak right now, winning its last five games and holding opponents to 15 points or fewer in each one.  Meanwhile, Cam Newton just keeps making plays, posting 17 total touchdowns and eight interceptions.

The scariest thing about the Panthers?  They're young and are only going to get better with time.

 

4. Seattle Seahawks

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Percy Harvin may not have played much against the Minnesota Vikings, but his presence is certainly going to make this offense a lot scarier.

The Seahawks scored 41 points against the Vikings, with Marshawn Lynch accounting for three total touchdowns.  Meanwhile, the defense is still one of the best in the NFL, and this is one of the most complete teams in the league.

 

3. Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs had to drop in the rankings with a loss, but you really can't drop them too far for losing to the Broncos.

There's still plenty to like about the Chiefs right now.  Their defense held Peyton Manning to just one touchdown and 27 points, the fewest the Broncos have scored the entire season.

The offense was still efficient, and Alex Smith had a solid day. They just got outplayed, and that will happen a couple of times during a season.

 

2. New Orleans Saints

It was a close one, but the Saints won against the 49ers and are the top team in the NFC in the latest power rankings.

Rob Ryan turned the worst defense in 2012 into one of the best squads in the league this season.  The Saints held the 49ers to just 196 total yards and 20 points, holding the NFL's best rushing team to just 81 yards on 22 carries.

Drew Brees didn't have a terrific game, but that will change quickly with an upcoming game against the Falcons.

 

1. Denver Broncos

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It's Peyton Manning's world, and we're all just living in it.

Even when Manning doesn't throw multiple touchdowns, he leads his team to wins.  He has a number of weapons, and his offensive line appears to be improving, as he wasn't sacked once against a tough Chiefs defense.  The Broncos have the league's best offense, averaging around 40 points per game.

With Von Miller on the other side of the ball, the defense is improving.  The Broncos have given up just under 20 points per game in their last three, and if they can keep that up, they will continue to be the No. 1 team for the rest of the season.

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