NFL Power Rankings, Week 12: Indianapolis Assumes Top Spot

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NFL Power Rankings, Week 12: Indianapolis Assumes Top Spot
Larry French/Getty Images

We have a new No. 1 in the NFL, and it should come as no surprise that the Colts' recent slew of victories over Houston, New England, and Baltimore is enough to push them just ahead of the Saints for the top spot.

Also, a pair of major AFC North upsets has the rankings shuffling around a bit heading into Week 12.

 

1. Indianapolis Colts (10-0)

The aforementioned trio of wins has been nice, but don't expect the Colts to let up any time soon.

Their next two games are against two divisional rivals in Houston and Tennessee.

 

2. New Orleans Saints (10-0)

Drew Brees and company went into Tampa and breezed through the Bucs Sunday.

It won't be so easy next Monday night, when the Patriots come to town.

 

3. Minnesota Vikings (9-1)

Brett Favre just keeps on trucking along.

Heading into game No. 11, Favre has thrown for 21 touchdowns with just three interceptions and is very much a part of the MVP race.

 

4. New England Patriots (7-3)

After avenging a loss earlier this season to the Jets Sunday, the Patriots can go a long way towards a first-round bye in the playoffs by marching into New Orleans and beating the Saints next week.

 

5. San Diego Chargers (7-3)

Remember when this team was 2-3?

They've stormed back in the AFC West, and now the division is theirs to lose. 

 

6. Cincinnati Bengals (7-3)

So, you beat the Steelers and respond by going to Oakland and coughing up a game to the Raiders?

 

7. Arizona Cardinals (7-3)

Interesting matchup for Arizona next Sunday, as they go on the road (where they're 5-0 this season) to face the suddenly red-hot Tennessee Titans.

 

8. Dallas Cowboys (7-3)

The Cowboys have scored a grand total of 14 points in their last two games, and Roy Williams piled up zero catches in Sunday's narrow win over Washington.

 

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3)

Considering how the rest of the AFC North performed Sunday, the Steelers blew a great opportunity to gain some big-time ground with their OT loss to the lowly Chiefs.

 

10. Philadelphia Eagles (6-4)

It's going to be a tough road to the playoffs for the Eagles.

Their remaining schedule: vs. Washington, at Atlanta, at New York Giants, vs. San Francisco, vs. Denver, at Dallas.

 

11. Green Bay Packers (6-4)

This team was dead in the water two weeks ago, but back-to-back wins over Dallas and San Francisco have Aaron Rodgers and company right back into the playoff race.

 

12. New York Giants (6-4)
After winning a game they had to have (barely), how will the Giants respond to the short rest for Thursday night's matchup in Denver?

13. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4)
If the season ended today, your Jacksonville Jaguars would be in the AFC playoffs.
How did this happen?
Maurice Jones-Drew has been fantastic, rushing for 4.8 yards per carry with 13 rushing touchdowns so far.

14. Denver Broncos (6-4)
After going from 6-0 to 6-4 and out of first place, things are looking bleak in the Mile High City right now.

15. Miami Dolphins (5-5)
Who needs Ronnie Brown?
Ricky Williams made it look like it was 2002 again against Carolina last Thursday, rushing for 122 yards and scoring three total touchdowns in a win.

16. Houston Texans (5-5)
Monday night's loss to Tennessee really dead-legs the Texans' playoff hopes.
However, for the second consecutive game, kicker Kris Brown had an opportunity to send the game into overtime and missed.

17. Baltimore Ravens (5-5)
The Ravens, once 3-0, have lost five of seven and still have two games left with the hated Steelers.

18. Atlanta Falcons (5-5)
With four of their final six games coming at home, the Falcons are still very much alive in the NFC playoff hunt.

19. Tennessee Titans (4-6)
In Monday night's win in Houston, Vince Young looked quite a bit like the guy that almost singlehandedly won a National Championship at Texas. 
He ran for 73 yards, including several huge third-down runs to keep Titan drives going. 

20. Carolina Panthers (4-6)
DeAngelo Williams has quietly had another stellar season.
He's run it 181 times for 982 yards (5.4 ypc) and seven rushing touchdowns.

21. San Francisco 49ers (4-6)
The Niners looked overmatched at Green Bay in the first half, but Alex Smith managed to turn things around in the second and ended up making it close.

22. New York Jets (4-6)
Mark Sanchez looks far different now than he did at the beginning of the season and has thrown six interceptions in the last two games.

23. Chicago Bears (4-6)
Jay Cutler and the Bears are reeling, and it doesn't get any easier for them this weekend as they play their first of two remaining games against the Vikings. 

24. Washington Redskins (3-7)
The 'Skins have looked like a completely different team the past two weeks, with a win over Denver and a narrow loss at Dallas. 
However, the season-ending injury to Ladell Betts means your starting running back is...Rock Cartwright?

25. Kansas City Chiefs (3-7)
After stunning the Steelers, the Chiefs are on a nice little two-game winning streak.
Can they do the unthinkable and dethrone the surging Chargers Sunday?

26. Oakland Raiders (3-7)
Oakland is looking like a house of horrors for visiting contenders.
Having already beaten Philadelphia, the Raiders shocked the world again by taking down the high-flying Bengals.

27. Seattle Seahawks (3-7)
Their rushing average in Sunday's loss to Minnesota: 11 inches per carry.
Justin Forsett was the leading rusher with nine yards on nine carries.

28. Buffalo Bills (3-7)
Terrell Owens came back from the dead against the Jaguars with nine catches for 197 yards and a touchdown.

29. Detroit Lions (2-8)
The Lions left everything on the field in their epic win over the Browns Sunday.
Unfortunately, when they take that same field on Thanksgiving Day against the Packers, they'll likely be without both Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson.

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-9)
It was a rough day for Josh Freeman against the Saints, throwing for one touchdown and committing four turnovers.

31. St. Louis Rams (1-9)
The greatness of Steven Jackson is often overlooked because of where he plays.
This season he's second in the league in rushing, having carried it 215 times for 1,031 yards.

32. Cleveland Browns (1-9)
Lost in the shuffle of Cleveland's heartbreaking one-point loss to the Lions was the great game had by Brady Quinn.
Quinn was 21-of-33 for 304 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.
What would Derek Anderson's stat line looked like had he played?
My guess is something like this: 4-of-52 for 16 yards with no touchdowns and 24 interceptions.
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