J.J. McDermott, NFL Columnist at Fantasy Football Maniaxs
2008 in the NFL is a season for the ages, and Week 11 did not disappoint. Week 11 had many shootouts and showdowns all around the league. The big stories include the Titans staying undefeated at 10-0, the Jets beating the Patriots in overtime to reach the top of the standings in the AFC East, and the Cowboys having their revenge on the Redskins.
Without boring you with details, I present to you Week 12’s Power Rankings.
32. Lions 0-10
The Lions are officially one week closer to going 0-16. There is not much to report on when it comes to the Lions. Good luck against the 7-3 Buccaneers in Week 12!
31. Chiefs 1-9
The Chiefs once again fought valiantly in Week 11 only to come up short of pay dirt. Tyler Thigpen has continued to perform well and with Larry Johnson back in the lineup, less stress will be put on Thigpen’s shoulders.
The Chiefs have the ability and schedule in place to possibly win a game or two before season’s end, maybe even this Sunday against a fallen 5-5 Bills team.
30. Bengals 1-8-1
Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson has remained relatively quiet this season while battling through injuries while T.J. Houshmandzadeh has now taken the podium as the wide receiver on the Bengals with the biggest mouth.
Many of us saw T.J. throw his temper tantrums all day long in the Bengals overtime tie to the Eagles. Now at 1-8-1, will the Bengals finally place Carson Palmer on the injured reserve?
29. Raiders 2-8
I have spoken to many Raiders fans as of late and I agree with them as many have said the Raiders will not return to glory until the former mastermind owner turned Crypt Keeper, Al Davis finally bites the dust. Many of those Raiders fans are still wishing Lane Kiffin was still leading the team this season.
The offense has been non-existent and his looked horrible while interim coach Tom Cable has been in charge. Will the Raiders be humiliated once again by the Broncos in Week 12, or will they revenge their Week One blowout?
28. Seahawks 2-8
Matt Hasselbeck and Deion Branch’s returns were not enough as the Seahawks lost their third straight game on Sunday against the division leading Cardinals. Hasselbeck looked extra rusty, throwing for three interceptions on the day. Poor Mike Holmgren…
27. Rams 2-8
The past three weeks have been absolutely brutal for the Rams. They have surrendered over 30 points in each of the past three games and haven’t scored more than 16 points themselves in that span.
There is a long list of positions the Rams will be shopping around for and drafting in the offseason. Jim Haslett will have to energize his team in hopes to turn things around as the Bears come to town this week.
26. 49ers 3-7
Congratulations to Mike Singletary on his first win as the 49ers head coach! Shaun Hill may be the answer in San Francisco after managing the 49er offense efficiently in Sunday’s blowout win over the Rams. Hill will have his hands full in Week 12, as the 49ers head to Dallas to face the 6-4 Cowboys.
25. Texans 3-7
The Texans came up short in a shootout versus the up-and-coming Colts in Week 11. Sage Rosenfels has continued to struggle at quarterback as the Texans have heavily relied on the legs of Steve Slaton and Ahman Green recently. Matt Schaub's return could not come sooner for Texans fans.
24. Jaguars 4-6
The Jaguars did a decent job silencing the Titans run game in Week 11 but failed to prevent Kerry Collins from torching them for three touchdown passes in Sunday’s loss. With the Jaguars now out of the playoff mix, and linebacker Mike Peterson possibly in his last year as a Jaguar, will the Jags’ set their sights directly on 2009 or put up a fight against a tough Vikings team in Week 12?
23. Browns 4-6
Welcome to the Brady Quinn show! Quinn has played efficiently and mistake free football since taking over the starting quarterback slot while finally incorporating Braylon Edwards into the mix in Monday night’s thrilling win over the Bills.
Can Quinn and the Browns go for two in a row against a 3-7 Texans team in Week 12?
22. Chargers 4-6
The Chargers have been the poster boys for inconsistency and major disappointments of 2008. What is sad for the Chargers is that all six losses this season have been decided by nine points or less. If the Chargers finish below .500 on the year, will Norv Turner be back for the Chargers in 2009?
21. Bills 5-5
Making it all the way to No. 5 on our Power Rankings earlier in the season, the Bills have suffered from the worst midseason meltdown in the NFL.
The Bills started the season at 5-1 only to drop their last four straight including three divisional contests. Trent Edwards had his worst game as a pro in Week 11, and Lee Evans was nonexistent for the third game in a row.
Have the Bills officially faded in 2008?
20. Saints 5-5
For the second year in a row, the Saints have been heavily favored to make a run to the Super Bowl but have not performed to the highest standard. To make matters worse, Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey have both been major disappointments in 2008. Can the Saints salvage their season starting with the Packers in Week 12?
19. Vikings 5-5
The Vikings fought valiantly against a tough Buccaneers team in Week 11 but came up short losing 19-13. Gus Frerotte has performed well when called upon this season but without consistency at quarterback, it is certain that the Vikings will be shopping around for a quarterback and other offensive weapons in the off-season to compliment star running back Adrian Peterson.
18. Bears 5-5
Kyle Orton’s return to the lineup in Week 11 did not work out as planned for the Bears as they were blown out at home by the Packers 37-3.
Orton will have to rally the troops to stay in the hunt in the NFC North as they head to St. Louis to face a 2-8 Rams team in Week 12.
17. Packers 5-5
Aaron Rodgers and company put a whipping on their NFC North rivals in Week 11, blowing out the Bears 37-3. Even better news for the Packers, Ryan Grant has averaged over four yards a run the past three weeks in a row now. Grant and the Packers look to continue their second half surge on the road against the Saints in Week 12.
16. Eagles 5-4-1
Coach Andy Reid has overstayed his welcome in Philly. Facing the Bengals in Week 11, Reid opted to continue to throw the ball into the strong gusts of wind in Cincinnati. How much of an idiot can you be to throw against the wind consistently against one of the better secondaries and not run against a poor rush defense?
Andy Reid better get smart quick before the Eagles fade into the sunset in 2008.
15. Broncos 6-4
With Ryan Torain, Michael Pittman and Andre Hall all on the injured reserve, the Broncos incorporated a running back by committee approach in Sunday’s win over the Falcons. From the look of things, Peyton Hillis will be the preferred goal line back for the remainder of the season.
Jay Cutler and the Broncos will take their two game winning streak home to take on the Raiders in Week 12 in a rematch that last ended in the Broncos torching the Raiders 41-14 in Week One.
14. Dolphins 6-4
The Dolphins were able to squeak by a lame duck Raiders team on Sunday. Week 12’s matchup will pin Bill Parcells versus Bill Belichick in a must-win game for both teams to stay alive in the AFC East. Can the Dolphins protect their 1-0 record against the Patriots this season on Sunday?
13. Ravens 6-4
The Ravens would like to forget that Week 11 ever happened after they were embarrassed by the Giants. Joe Flacco through for two interceptions in the loss but led his team in rushing with 57 yards.
Luckily for the Ravens, things get easier for them as they face a struggling Brian Westbrook and Eagles team in Week 12.
12. Falcons 6-4
The Falcons came up short against the Broncos in a must-win game in Week 11. Matt Ryan and company will have to improve on last week’s loss by stepping up their game when they take on their division leading rival, Panthers in Week 12.
11. Cowboys 6-4
Not so fast, Redskins fans, the Cowboys are back! It may not have been pretty but at least we can say the Cowboys are since they were able to get Tony Romo and Jason Witten back for their Week 11 road game win.
Even better news for Cowboys fans, Adam “Pacman” Jones has been activated from his suspension and Felix Jones is also close to returning to the lineup as well. The Cowboys look to continue course to get back on a track by taking on the 49ers and Seahawks at home in Weeks 12 and 13.
10. Patriots 6-4
Can you believe that Matt Cassel led all quarterbacks with 400 yards and three scores through the air in Week 11 but still lost the game in the end? Week 11 was Cassel’s best game as a pro but his play alone was not enough to beat the red hot Jets.
After losing to the Jets in overtime, the Patriots seek their revenge on the Dolphins, who upset the Pats’ in Week Three.
9. Colts 6-4
The Colts won a shootout against the Texans in Week 11 without defensive leader, Bob Sanders. Without Sanders in the lineup, the Colts defense surrendered 177 yards and three scores on the ground.
The good news being that Peyton Manning and the Colts offense looked to be back on its game. Now can Manning and the Colts continue their luck against an unpredictable Chargers team in Week 12?
8. Redskins 6-4
So much for the Skins’ going 2-0 against the Cowboys in 2008. We know that Clinton Portis is a little nicked up as of late but where has the offense gone over the past few weeks? At least the Redskins should have a pretty good chance to get back on a track in Week 12 against a weak 2-8 Seahawks team.
7. Cardinals 7-3
Kurt Warner is a freak of nature at the age of 37; with the way he has shredded defenses in 2008, he is a definite candidate for MVP. So, as hot as Kurt Warner and the Cardinals have run away with the NFC West, but can they win on the road against the defending world champion Giants in Week 12?
6. Jets 7-3
Congrats Jets Nation, ‘Brett the Jet’ did exactly what he came to New York to do, beat the Patriots. The Jets are now on a roll, winning 6 of their last 7 games as they head to Tennessee in Week 12. Now can this revived Jets team put a stop to the Titans undefeated season?
5. Buccaneers 7-3
The Buccaneers were able to grind out their second win in a row on Sunday against Jared Allen and the Vikings. Jeff Garcia and company fought back in the fourth quarter to seal the Buccaneers seventh win of the season but their win came with a cost.
The Bucs’ played leading rushed Earnest Graham on the injured reserve on Wednesday after Graham severely injured his ankle in Sunday’s win.
With Graham gone, the Buccaneers will leave their running game in the hands of Warren Dunn and recently activated Cadillac Williams for the remainder of the season.
The real question is, are the Buccaneers talented enough to catch up to their NFC-South-leading Panthers?
4. Steelers 7-3
The Steelers Week 11 win over the Chargers may have been quite sloppy but with one of the NFL’s most difficult schedules, a win is a win. Sunday’s hard earned win in the snow did showcase the fact that the Steelers offense may finally be coming together.
Big Ben Roethlisberger threw for an impressive 308 yards, and a healthy Willie Parker was able to run for 115 yards in the Steelers seventh win of the season. Now can the Steelers go 8-3 after facing the one-win Bengals in Week 12?
3. Panthers 8-2
The Panthers running game and defense have been off the hook over the past two weeks. The Panthers have averaged an insane 213 yards and two scores a game. Of course, these totals are inflated due to the fact they have been against weak Lions and Raiders defenses. The running game has been impressive but the passing game has been much to be desired as of late.
Jake Delhomme will need to vastly improve on his previous two game total of 170 yards through the air and who can forget his 4 interceptions to 2 touchdown passes ratio.
2. Giants 9-1
The Giants have come up big thus far in the second half of their season. Averaging 209 rushing yards a game and two scores over the span of the last three contests against the Ravens, Eagles, and Cowboys have been quite impressive. Beating their opponents by as much as 21 points a game can not hurt either, can it?
1. Titans 10-0
The Tennessee Titans are officially 10-0 after eleven weeks of football. What is more impressive for the Titans is the fact that they have been able to play excellent all around football.
Teams like the Jaguars and Bears have excellent jobs limiting the Titans running game in recent weeks but Kerry Collins and company have been able to win games through the air as of late.
The Titans must now defend their undefeated season against the red hot, AFC East leading Jets in Week 12.
This is the way the rankings look for right now; tune in next week once again to see how your team fares!