NFL Power Rankings: Week 11
The NFL 's two undefeated teams certainly struggled to remain that way Sunday.
The Saints surprisingly had trouble with the one-win Rams, while the Colts needed a rare gaffe by Bill Belichick in order to keep their perfect record intact.
Meanwhile, the Bengals, it appears, are for real.
1. New Orleans Saints (9-0)
The Saints haven't been blowing teams out lately the way they were for the first few games of the season, but it's not necessarily a bad thing to be tested and show that you're capable of winning the close ones every now and then.
2. Indianapolis Colts (9-0)
Everyone is talking about how Bill Belichick gift-wrapped the ninth win of the season for Indy, but give Peyton Manning and company credit for being able to come back from a 31-14 second-half deficit.
3. Minnesota Vikings (8-1)
Somehow, Adrian Peterson's stellar season is getting lost in the shuffle.
Peterson has rushed for 917 yards on 181 carries (5.1 ypc) with 11 touchdowns through nine games.
4. Cincinnati Bengals (7-2)
The Bengals have gone 7-2 through the tougher half of their schedule.
The rest of their docket includes games against lowly Oakland, Cleveland, Detroit, and Kansas City.
5. New England Patriots (6-3)
Outside of a certain controversial coaching decision, the Patriots looked quite formidable for much of Sunday night's loss at Indianapolis.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)
Having been swept in the season series by Cincinnati, the Steelers may now have to set their sights on a Wild Card berth to make the playoffs.
7. San Diego Chargers (6-3)
Just like last season, the Chargers have come back from the dead and now face Denver this Sunday with the AFC West lead at stake.
Also, it was nice to see LaDainian Tomlinson show signs of life against the Eagles, rushing for 96 yards on 20 carries with two touchdowns.
8. Dallas Cowboys (6-3)
The Cowboys blew a golden opportunity to get some divisional breathing room over Philly with Sunday's loss at Green Bay.
9. Arizona Cardinals (6-3)
The defending NFC champs are just rolling right along under-the-radar, and appear to already have the NFC West won.
10. Denver Broncos (6-3)
The Broncos have lost three straight and are in big trouble with the Chargers surging.
11. Philadelphia Eagles (5-4)
It's tough to figure out who these Eagles really are, and their schedule the rest of the way is no cupcake.
12. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-4)
The Jaguars have snuck up on the rest of the league, and, with several winnable games left on the schedule, are certainly a threat to steal a Wild Card spot.
13. Houston Texans (5-4)
Coming off of a bye, the Texans are suddenly facing a must-win matchup with the dangerous Titans on Monday Night Football.
14. Baltimore Ravens (5-4)
Baltimore's next three games look rough: vs. Indianapolis, vs. Pittsburgh, at Green Bay.
15. New York Giants (5-4)
The Giants are going to need Brandon Jacobs and Eli Manning to find themselves again in order to contend for a playoff spot.
16. Carolina Panthers (4-5)
With Sunday's convincing win over Atlanta, Carolina is officially looking a team that nobody wants to play right about now.
17. Atlanta Falcons (5-4)
Atlanta is still right in the thick of things in the NFC, but without a real marquee victory so far, we're left wondering how good they really are.
18. Green Bay Packers (5-4)
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers essentially saved their season with the 17-7 win over Dallas Sunday.
With a decently easy schedule the rest of the way, their fate rests in their own hands.
19. Miami Dolphins (4-5)
This Thursday's game against Carolina will be a battle of two teams that appear to be better than their records show.
Ronnie Brown's absence opens the door for Ricky Williams, who has been very solid for the Dolphins all season long.
20. San Francisco 49ers (4-5)
Rookie Michael Crabtree has been integrated pretty well so far, with 18 catches for 215 yards in four games.
21. New York Jets (4-5)
The Jets could be in for a rude awakening when they go to New England Sunday to face a Patriots team angry about losing to New York earlier in the season, and angry about the way last week's game ended.
22. Chicago Bears (4-5)
Jay Cutler has thrown a whopping 11 interceptions total in Chicago's three night games so far this season.
23. Tennessee Titans (3-6)
If Vince Young can lead the resurgent Titans into Houston on Monday night and pull out a W, they'll not only be playing spoiler, but will still hold a slim playoff chance as well.
24. Washington Redskins (3-6)
Punter Hunter Smith is 1-1 passing with a touchdown on the season, and has one carry for a TD as well.
25. Seattle Seahawks (3-6)
TJ Houshmandzadeh finally broke out in Sunday's loss to the Cardinals, tallying nine receptions for 165 yards.
26. Buffalo Bills (3-6)
New interim head coach Perry Fewell wasted no time in shaking things up, benching QB Trent Edwards in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick.
27. St. Louis Rams (1-8)
While they're tied for the worst record in the league, it's clear that the Rams are playing hard, as evidenced by their close loss against the undefeated Saints.
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8)
The Bucs were very close to pulling off their second-consecutive win Sunday against the Dolphins, and Josh Freeman looks quite comfortable as the starting quarterback.
29. Kansas City Chiefs (2-7)
Interestingly enough, the Chiefs are 2-3 on the road this season, but 0-4 at home.
30. Oakland Raiders (2-7)
Will Bruce Gradkowski be able to step in for JaMarcus Russell and lead the Raiders to the promised land?
31. Detroit Lions (1-8)
The Lions travel to Cleveland this weekend to face the Browns in what's shaping up to be an all-time NFL stinkbomb.
32. Cleveland Browns (1-8)
Not even LeBron James would keep this team from being the worst team in the NFL.
Would he even want to play for them?
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