Hock's Take: NFL Power Rankings For Week 12

Matthew HockingCorrespondent INovember 24, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 15: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates his teams 35-34 victory over the New England Patriots after the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 15, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

1. New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 1
Are Thankful For:  A cushy first-half schedule that has basically put them in the playoffs already.

2. Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 2
Are Thankful For:  Peyton Manning’s new best friend Justin Timberlake teaching them all their hot new dance moves.

3. Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 3
Are Thankful For:  Somehow being able to add Jared Allen, Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, and Brett Favre in the past few years.

4. New England Patriots
Last Week: 7
Are Thankful For:  The fact that Tom Brady doesn’t mind getting knocked to the ground every ten seconds behind a revolving door offensive line.

5. San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 6
Are Thankful For:  A second chance to put down the Broncos and solidifying their first-place spot in the AFC West.

6. Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 4
Are Thankful For:  Chad Ochocinco selling out all their home games for them. The fan apathy in Cincinnati is depressing.

7. Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 10
Are Thankful For:  A running game making a sudden appearance when they can’t count on Kurt Warner, or…of course, Matt Leinart.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 5
Are Thankful For:  Ben Rothlisberger being OK, for the most part. I don’t know if they could survive the next few games with Dennis Dixon as the starting quarterback.

9. Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 8
Are Thankful For: The Washington Redskins offense. Because, seriously, there’s no way they should’ve won that game otherwise.

10. Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 13
Are Thankful For: Robot Sheldon Brown. I don’t know how, but the guy usually manages to pull through and play, especially when he shouldn't.

11. New York Giants
Last Week: 14
Are Thankful For:  The rollercoaster that is the NFC East somehow managing to keep them in contention for a playoff berth despite their near mid-season collapse.

12. Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 19
Are Thankful For:  The fact that they’re somehow in the wildcard race despite a miserable start to the season and a fan base that has somehow reached negative digits.

13. Denver Broncos
Last Week: 9
Are Thankful For: The season. While things might not have panned out quite as they’d hoped after a 6-0 start, there's not a Broncos fan out there that wouldn’t have taken 6-4 before the season started.

14. Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 11
Are Thankful For:  Tony Gonzalez, who hasn’t been quite the catalyst to get them over the hump that they’d hoped he’d be, but has still been an excellent option and mentor for Matt Ryan.

15. Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 18
Are Thankful For:  Being in the playoff hunt with no offensive line, defensive line, special teams, or healthy members of their secondary.

16. Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 17
Are Thankful For:  Ricky Williams returning to form since he’s been back with the team, and keeping them alive without Ronnie Brown.

17. Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 12
Are Thankful For: Other teams having as many injuries as they have in this terribly unlucky streak.

18. San Francisco 49ers
Last Week: 15
Are Thankful For: Alex Smith finally making some plays. They’re not making a move quite yet, but now they don’t feel quite as bad for not drafting Aaron Rodgers.

19. Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 23
Are Thankful For:  Bud Adams deciding not to flip off the Houston crowd, because I don’t think they could’ve handled that riot.

20. Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 21
Are Thankful For:  Steve Smith Classic making a comeback after being shut down earlier this season. Believe it or not, the Panthers might be making a move.

21. Houston Texans
Last Week: 16
Are Thankful For: The fans not cheering for Vince Young more than them, even though they lost. Which is a nice change of pace there.

22. Chicago Bears
Last Week: 20
Are Thankful For: Another running back playing well despite the team failing to get into the end zone at the end of the game. Again.

23. New York Jets
Last Week: 22
Are Thankful For:  Mark Sanchez developing as a quarterback. He’s not as hot as he was at the beginning of the season, of course, but he’s learning on the job.

24. Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 27
Are Thankful For:  Another win, which means that Todd Haley will have to wait at least a couple hours before he starts screaming at them again.

25. Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 28
Are Thankful For:  Bruce Gradkowski at least being able to put the ball in the general vicinity of his receivers. Which is pretty new for them.

26. Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 24
Is Thankful For:  The winters in Toronto, which makes games in the Skydome much more appealing. Of course, L.A. is nicer.

27. Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 25
Is Thankful For:  T.J. Houshmandzadeh, because, for better or for worse, he’s there and not in Minnesota.

28. Washington Redskins
Last Week: 26
Are Thankful For:  A defense that somehow is making their offense look a little less depressing. I mean, they sort of almost won that Cowboys game.

29. Detroit Lions
Last Week: 31
Are Thankful For:  The Cleveland Browns, who somehow couldn’t beat the Lions. And hey! A national TV game!

30. Saint Louis Rams
Last Week: 27
Are Thankful For: Steven Jackson, who still appears to be the only player on this team actually trying. And…Kyle Boller, I guess.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 29
Are Thankful For:  The Creamsicle jerseys, which somehow simultaneously remind them of how much worse things could be, and that they actually played well once this season.

32. Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 32
Are Thankful For:  The fact that the season is more than half over.


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