NFL Week 12 Power Rankings: Patriots, Jets and Eagles Win, But Who's No. 1?
NFL Week 11 games are just about over and we have the first look at this week's power rankings.
Michael Vick looked more human on Sunday night, but the Eagles looked great as a team. Then there was yet another improbable last-minute victory by the Jets and the Patriots pulling out a great win over the Colts.
The Bills have left behind their place at the bottom of the rankings and the new No. 32 should come as a surprise to no one.
With that in mind, let's get to the rankings.
The Bottom Two
32. Carolina Panthers: Futility, thy name is Brian St. Pierre. Right now it's a good question whether or not the Panthers have to draft a quarterback next year, again, or if they just need somebody new to coach them.
31. Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals are a team that doesn't know how bad they are, which means things could get worse.
One Step Up from the Bottom
30. Minnesota Vikings: It's debatable at this point who is worse, the Bengals or the Vikings. The Vikings at least still have Adrian Peterson.
29. Buffalo Bills: If the Bills keep playing the way they have, they might actually move into the upper 20s on the power rankings. Ryan Fitzpatrick almost makes you think the Bills don't need to draft a quarterback. But then you sober up and realize what happened.
Scrambling for Answers
28. Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals have Derek Anderson—who can't find Larry Fitzgerald—and they have no defense. Meanwhile, Kurt Warner continues to feel guilty about retiring.
27. San Francisco 49ers: What looked promising a week ago doesn't look as promising now, as Troy Smith looked terrible and so did the rest of the team.
Also Scrambling for Answers
26. Detroit Lions: The Lions looked like they were on the verge of a breakthrough, but injuries are taking their toll and, the truth is, the Lions just aren't ready yet. But they're close.
25. St. Louis Rams: The Rams faced a great Falcons team this week and didn't roll over, but they still lost and now have to deal with it.
Stuck in Limbo
24. Dallas Cowboys: Two games, two wins under Jason Garrett. This week the Cowboys beat the depleted Lions, a team missing its starting quarterback. Still, it's an improvement.
23. Cleveland Browns: The Browns have lost five games this year in the fourth quarter. Nobody knows how to tackle anymore and now the right side of the offensive line is riddled with injuries. This could get ugly.
Teams That Should Be Better
22. Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins were supposed to challenge for the playoffs, but now they're down to Tyler Thigpen at quarterback, Brandon Marshall is begging for a throw and they now have trouble putting points on the board.
21. Houston Texans: This team has one of the worst defenses in the league, otherwise it'd be a top-10 team. Three tough losses in a row pretty much have put the Texans out of contention.
20. Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 21
Despite the loss, the Seahawks move up one spot because of how many teams in front of them had bad losses. The Seahawks played the Saints and a loss was almost a foregone conclusion with this defense.
19. Denver Broncos
Last Week: 22
Even with a loss predicted for tonight, the Broncos still seem to be better than the Seahawks at this point and they benefit from other teams' downward movement.
18. Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 12
Besides losing to the Washington Redskins, the Titans lost Vince Young to injury and a complete meltdown.
This team is starting to collapse and it's quite a turnaround from a month ago, when the Titans looked like they were going to be a lock for a deep playoff run.
Now we're not so sure.
17. Washington Redskins
Last Week: 26
The Redskins solved most of that quarterback dilemma and didn't get blown out this week, but, granted, this is one heck of a one-week rise.
When you look at everything around them though, it's tough to rank them behind teams like the Dolphins and the Texans at this point.
This could change.
16. Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 17
The Jacksonville Jaguars had another last-minute victory over the Cleveland Browns, but the Jags had six turnovers in the game, so it hardly inspires confidence or a huge rise in the rankings.
15. Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 10
While Ben Roethlisberger took a shot to the chin, the Raiders got slapped around by the Pittsburgh Steelers and looked more like the team that opened the season than the one that's been dominating for the last month.
14. Chicago Bears
Last Week: 18
The Bears move up a few spots with the win over the Dolphins, but only scoring 16 points against a reeling team isn't going to move them up much more than this.
Still, the defense is solid and you have to give credit when credit is due.
13. Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 16
The Chiefs also move up a few spots with a win over the lowly Cardinals. The Chiefs are keeping things interesting with the win, but this divisional fight with the Oakland Raiders is far from over.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 15
The Buccaneers continue to keep Atlanta and New Orleans on their toes with their latest win over the San Francisco 49ers.
11. San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 13
This ranking is partially based on the prediction the Bolts win tonight, but it also reflects the fact they have one of the best offenses and one of the best defenses in the league. It's the special teams that are a mess.
Don't ask me how I'd re-order the rankings if the Chargers lose. My headache is bad enough as it is right now.
10. Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 8
The Colts were in the game with the Patriots to the very end, and they could've won it. The Colts still are one of the best teams in the league, even with their 6-4 record.
9. New York Giants
Last Week: 6
The Giants played a great game that was completely insane to watch. Somebody had to lose though, and it was the Giants.
8. New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 11
The Saints move back into the top 10 with their latest win over the Seahawks.
The Saints have a lot to do still, with the Bucs nipping at their heels and the Falcons still believing the division is theirs.
7. Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 9
The Ravens creep back up the top 10 with their latest win over the Carolina Panthers, which really was nothing more than an exhibition game when you think about it.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 7
The Steelers dominated the Raiders and kept the "Best Team in the AFC" race alive. The Steelers are a little banged up right now and this race promises to stay interesting going into the end of the season.
5. Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 2
The only winning team to lose a few spots, but look at who is in the top five. The Packers went out and beat a Vikings team that is going to struggle to win a game for the rest of the season, so the top five sorted itself out with the quality of the win.
4. Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 4
The Falcons don't move at all with their win over the Rams, a slightly higher-quality win than the Packers over the Vikings.
The Falcons are going to be moving up in these rankings, though. It's just a matter of time.
3. New England Patriots
Last Week: 5
The New England Patriots got a great win over the Indianapolis Colts, but they never dominated the game.
Still, a win is a win and the Patriots appear to be headed for a deep postseason run again, provided they can get past the next team.
2. New York Jets
Last Week: 3
The Jets have had three improbable victories in a row and that can't be a coincidence. The Jets, like any good team, find ways to win.
With their victory over the Patriots earlier this year, that gives them a slight edge in the rankings. But this could change after the next meeting.
1. Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 1
Last week, I came under heavy criticism for ranking the Eagles No. 1 prior to the Monday night game.
Who's laughing now?
The Eagles are the most complete team in the league at the moment, and that's just the way it is.
They're No. 1 until proven otherwise.