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NFL Week 12 Power Rankings: Vick's Eagles Keep Rising, While Pats Stand Strong

Nathaniel UyFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2010

NFL Week 12 Power Rankings: Vick's Eagles Keep Rising, While Pats Stand Strong

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    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    NFL Week 12 Power Rankings are ready for your viewing pleasure.

    The New England Patriots came away with a big win at home against the high-powered Indianapolis Colts offensive attack led by Peyton Manning.

    While the streaking Philadelphia Eagles also won at home against NFC rivals New York Giants to take sole possession of the NFC East.

    Those two teams are surely among the league's best.  But where do they all stand?

    Let's find out how far the Giants and Colts sank and how high the Eagles and Patriots rank. 

     

32-23: The Bottom Ten

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    32. Carolina Panthers (1-9): Their running game finally looks revived with Mike Goodson carrying the workload, but they were no match against the defense of the Baltimore Ravens. (Last Week: 32)

    31. Detroit Lions (2-8): The Lions have played against two of the league’s worst teams in their last two games and have no wins to show for it—it only gets harder going forward. (Last Week: 31)

    30. Cincinnati Bengals (2-8):  After giving up 35 straight points to the Buffalo Bills in the second half, TO described the team perfectly in his press conference: “Terrible!” (Last Week: 29)

    29. Buffalo Bills (2-8): The Bills are streaking; they earned their second straight win of the season in an impressive way with 49 points—including three touchdown connections between Fitzpatrick and Johnson. (Last Week: 30)

    28. Arizona Cardinals (3-7): Tons of penalties, defensive lapses and a struggling offense are what’s holding back this team. (Last Week: 27)

    27. San Francisco 49ers (3-7):  The Niners failed to hold home field against the upstart Bucs, Frank Gore failed to make any kind of contribution going against the soft run defense of the Buccaneers. (Last Week: 26)

    26. Minnesota Vikings (3-7):  Goodbye Brad Childress, your days were numbered—it’s just too bad Brett Favre won’t have a chance to end his career with a playoff appearance. (Last Week: 25)

    25. Denver Broncos (3-7):  The Broncos were offered a spanking in San Diego (Last Week: 24)

    24. Dallas Cowboys (3-7):  The Jason Garrett era continues to have success as the ‘Boys win their second straight; the whole team is now playing with a renewed sense of purpose. (Last Week: 28)

    23. Cleveland Browns (3-7): Peyton Hillis and friends are still having a hard time earning wins on the road. This past week injuries and failure to hold to a fourth quarter lead led to their downfall. (Last Week: 22)

22. St. Louis Rams (4-6)

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    (Last Week: 21)

    Why They Drop: The Rams were simply overmatched by a much better Falcons squad.  There’s no questioning that Atlanta is a very strong opponent. 

    But it shouldn’t be long until a steadily improving Sam Bradford can take the Rams to the next level.

21. Seattle Seahawks (5-5)

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    (Last Week: 23)

    Why They Drop: Against the defending champs, they Seahawks defense couldn’t even hold down Chris Ivory. 

    Their offense was only limited to one touchdown during the game.  And the tandem of Lynch and Forsett was rendered ineffective by the Saints defense.

20. Miami Dolphins (5-5)

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    (Last Week: 19)

    Why They Drop: The Dolphins are down two quarterbacks and had a difficult time scoring the football as they were shut out by the Bears defense.   

    Meanwhile, Brandon Marshall continues to make very little impact in his first season as a Dolphin.  The playoffs are slipping away!

19. Washington Redskins (5-5)

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    (Last Week: 23)

    Why They Rise: The struggling Redskins win a close one!  McNabb keeps throwing the ball for plenty of yards but just keeps having a hard time finding the end zone. 

    On the plus side, their woeful pass defense didn’t allow any passing touchdowns this weekend. 

18. Houston Texans (4-6)

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    (Last Week: 16)

    Why They Drop: The Texans looked like they were on the brink of a fabulous come-from-behind win, but instead, they went on to lose their fourth straight game.   

    Their playoff window is starting to get smaller and smaller, but you can’t really blame their offense.  Pass defense has and will ultimately lead to their demise. 

17. Tennessee Titans (5-5)

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    (Last Week: 13)

    Why They Drop: There’s plenty of drama in Tennessee, and it’s not being caused by Randy Moss.  Vince Young got in Fisher’s dog house for his poor play and is now possibly out for the season with a thumb injury. 

    After a strong 5-2 start, they’ve lost their last three games, and the losses may just keep coming. 

16. San Diego Chargers (5-5)

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    (Last Week: 18)

    Why They Rise: The Chargers continue to turn their season around, and they’re only going to get healthier.  Phillip Rivers is taking charge of the team, and the AFC West title is within reach.  Guess what? Vincent Jackson is also due to come back.

15. Oakland Raiders (5-5)

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    (Last Week: 14)

    Why They Drop: The surging Raiders hit a brick wall known as the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Their offense couldn’t buy themselves a touchdown as they were locked down by the Pittsburgh defense.

    The Raiders could only muster three points in the game.

14. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4)

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    (Last Week: 17)

    Why They Rise: They continue to find ways to win.  Maurice Jones-Drew has re-discovered the end zone in his last two games with three rushing touchdowns. 

    While David Garrard continues to be effective, Garrard and Jones-Drew helped lead the Jags to a big fourth quarter comeback.

13. Kansas City Chiefs (6-4)

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    (Last Week: 15)

    Why They Rise: Don’t look now but Dwayne Bowe is one of the hottest receivers in the league.  He has 10 touchdowns in his last six games.   

    It’s just the Chiefs defense that needs to learn to step up.

12. Indianapolis Colts (6-4)

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    (Last Week: 9)

    Why They Stay Drop: That’s a tough loss to take against the Patriots.  Manning had a chance to lead them from behind, but a key interception ensured they would lose. 

    It’s somewhat disappointing for the Colts when you consider that Reggie Wayne only nabbed his fourth touchdown pass of the season.  

11. New York Giants (6-4)

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    (Last Week: 8)

    Why They Drop: The supposedly strong offensive attack of the Giants were held down by the surging Eagles.  Eli Manning only threw for 147 passing yards while Bradshaw and Jacobs were limited to a combined 39 rushing yards. 

    Their once strong Giants defense were just no match for the elusive Michael Vick and the Eagles.   

10. Chicago Bears (7-3)

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    (Last Week: 12)

    Why They Rise:  It felt like it was just yesterday that Bears looked horrible running their offense with a 4-3 record.   But three straight wins have made them look like a much better team. 

    The NFC North is there for the taking.  Sorry Vikes, it will likely come down to the Bears or the Packers. 

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3)

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    (Last Week: 11)

    Why They Rise: That was a big win this Sunday against the 49ers.  Not only did they win on the road after a cross-country trip, but they shut them out. 

    That’s impressive!

8. Green Bay Packers (7-3)

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    (Last Week: 10)

    Why They Rise:  The Pack completed a Vikings sweep this season, and Aaron Rodgers was at the top of his game, throwing for four touchdown passes. 

    While their defense held Brett Favre and the rest of the Vikings offense without a touchdown.  It was such an impressive win that Brad Childress got fired.

7. New Orleans Saints (7-3)

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    (Last Week: 7)

    Why They Stay Put: Hey look at that! Chris Ivory must be hearing Reggie Bush’s footsteps as he nearly broke the century mark running the football. 

    The Saints staunch defense held the Seahawks to only three points in the second half, while Drew Brees made it look easy throwing for four touchdowns.

6. New York Jets (8-2)

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    (Last Week: 6)

    Why They Stay Put:  Man, the Jets just love to play it close.  This week a last minute drive was the reason they came up with a big home win. 

    Plus, the emergence of Santonio Holmes as the top threat in this passing attack has been paying dividends.

5. Baltimore Ravens (7-3)

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    (Last Week: 4)

    Why They Drop: There’s really no room to move up since all the other teams above them won this week.  Despite the win, they do drop a spot in favor of the Eagles who defeated a division rival.

    They did what was expected—they defeated one of the league’s worst teams in the Panthers. 

4. Philadelphia Eagles (7-3)

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    (Last Week: 5)

    Why They Rise:  Michael Vick and the rest are on a tear.  They locked in once again and are just playing at a completely different level with Vick leading the show. 

    There’s renewed confidence in Philly as even their defense stepped up their play this weekend.  This week they did away with NFC East rivals, NY Giants.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3)

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    (Last Week: 3)

    Why They Stay Put: They literally stopped the Raiders from scoring touchdowns.  They deployed a scary shut down defense that held Darren McFadden and Michael Bush to 47 rushing yards. 

    All the Raiders could do was kick a field goal on Sunday.

2. Atlanta Falcons (8-2)

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    (Last Week: 2)

    Why They Stay Put: The NFC’s best looked great against St. Louis.  They looked to be in a whole different category as their offense and defense were clicking on the road. 

    Matt Ryan, Roddy White and Michael Turner were all leading the attack, while their defense stepped it up in the four quarter for a 34-17 win.

1. New England Patriots (8-2):

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    (Last Week: 1)

    Why They Put: Where else can we put them?  They just took down the Peyton Manning and the Colts.  The Pats got a key interception on Manning late in the game as the Pats remained perfect at home. 

    Deion Branch and Wes Welker finally appear to be contributing to their passing attack.

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