J.J. McDermott, NFL Columnist at Fantasy Football Maniaxs
Week 12 in the NFL was loaded with fantastic games. The Cowboys got back on track against the 49ers, the Giants beat the red hot Cardinals, and the Raiders stunned the Broncos among other great games.
Find out who the new number one in our Power Rankings is in this very special Thanksgiving edition of Power Rankings!
32. Lions 0-11
It will not be a very Happy Thanksgiving in Detroit on Thursday as the Lions must face a 10-1 Titans team, hungry for revenge after losing their first game of the season. Could the Lions really go 0-16?
31. Chiefs 1-10
You know it is a rough year when your defense only has six sacks in eleven games. The rebuilding process has been a very difficult one for Chiefs fans in 2008. Can the Chiefs seek revenge against the rival Raiders in Week 13?
30. Bengals 1-9-1
After another lopsided loss, Marvin Lewis is definitely on the hot seat in Cincinnati. With Chad Johnson being benched for Week 13’s match up, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and company will have to shoulder the load against a brutal Ravens defense. Housh’ has been plenty emotional over the past few weeks and against a top flight defense, let the temper tantrums continue!
29. Rams 2-9
After two big upsets over the Cowboys and Redskins, the Rams have gone on to drop five of their last games in a row. To make matters worse, Marc Bulger added another concussion to lengthy injury list. Will Bulger be able to start in Week 13 or will the injury waiting to happen backup, Trent Green be thrust into action?
28. Seahawks 2-9
One of the year’s largest disappointments, the Seahawks have won a pitiful two games on the season. With Matt Hasselbeck back in action, he will have to face tough match ups against the Cowboys and Patriots over the next two weeks.
27. 49ers 3-8
T.O. had revenge against his former 49er team in Week 12. The 49ers have now lost seven of their past eight games. Mike Singletary has a lot of work to do as he now must face the Bills, Jets, and Dolphins over the course of the next three weeks.
26. Raiders 3-8
Revenge, oh- sweet revenge in Week 12. The Raiders broke out of their offensive funk in Week 12 and totaled up 318 yards of total offense as well as three touchdowns on the day to end a game drought without an offensive touchdown. Now the Raiders will face the 1-10 Chiefs at home in hopes of going 2-0 against their division rival on the year.
25. Browns 4-7
Welcome to the Brady Quinn show! Quinn broke a finger on his throwing hand in Week 12 against the Texans and has been placed on the team’s injured reserve. With Quinn out, Derek Anderson will resume his starting position for the Browns. With Anderson back at the helm, he is stuck facing the Colts, Titans, and Eagles over the span of the next three weeks.
24. Texans 4-7
The Texans broke out of their three game losing streak by defeating the 4-7 Browns in Week 12. Known as one of the better backup quarterbacks in the league, Sage Rosenfels has continued to struggle since being named the starter in Houston. Rosenfels committed three turnovers against a depleted Browns defense in Week 12. Can Rosenfels and company turn things around and seek revenge against a Jaguars team who beat the Texans 27-30 in OT back in Week 4?
23. Jaguars 4-7
Since losing four of their past five games, it looks like the Jaguars may have given up on themselves in 2008. Their impressive rushing attack from 2007 has been non-existent this season while injuries have hurt them on both sides of the football. You know things are bad when your own coach tells the media that the playoffs are probably out of the picture.
22. Chargers 4-7
Talk about an off year, the Chargers seven losses have all been by nine points or less. There is no doubt that Norv Turner is on the hot seat in San Diego and where has LaDainian Tomlinson gone?! Tomlinson’s decline has opened the door for Philip Rivers to step up for the Chargers.
21. Packers 5-6
The Packers secondary is one of the leagues best but fell on their faces when facing a red hot Drew Brees in Week 12. Aaron Rodgers did not help the situation by committing three turnovers against a normally weak Saints defense. Somewhere in New Jersey Brett Favre must be chuckling to himself over his old team’s struggles…
20. Eagles 5-5-1
Has the Eagles struggles solely been based on Donovan McNabb’s poor play? With a nicked up Brian Westbrook and coach Andy Reid continuing to lean heavily on the passing game, McNabb can not solely be blamed. Coach Reid’s poor play calling has also been a huge factor in the team’s recent decline.
19. Broncos 6-5
Like the Chargers, the Broncos have continued to be inconsistent all season long. The Broncos were upset at home by what was a struggling Raiders team. Oddly enough, even with the loss, the Broncos are still on top of a weak AFC West division. The Broncos may have trouble getting on track against a red hot New York Jets in Week 13.
18. Bills 6-5
The Bills stopped their four game losing streak by defeating the 1-10 Chiefs in Week 12. The Bills put up a whopping 54 points in their Week 12 showdown while Trent Edwards and company were able to get back on track in the win. Even with the win, the Bills are currently last in the division. Can the Bills right the ship in Buffalo and work their way back in a tough AFC East division?
17. Saints 6-5
Drew Brees torched what is normally a top flight Green Bay secondary for 323 passing yards and four touchdowns in Week 12. The win against the Packers moved the Saints to 6-5 on the year but the team is currently stuck at the bottom of the NFC South division. Brees will have to face another tough secondary in Week 13 facing the Buccaneers, will he find similar success this week?
16. Vikings 6-5
The 37 year old Gus Frerotte has played well, leading his team to a 6-3 record as the Vikings starter but there are new reports that surround the team wanting to make a move for the Eagles Donovan McNabb. The Vikings will have their toughest test of the season in Week 13, they will face the Bears for the NFC North division lead.
15. Bears 6-5
Like Campbell’s chicken noodle soup, nothing fixes a team’s woes like facing a Rams team. Kyle Orton performed well while Matt Forte racked up 132 yards and two scores on the day. The Bears defense put a whooping on the Rams and knocked a brittle Marc Bulger out of the game. Now the Bears must travel in Minnesota to face the Vikings and defend their division lead.
14. Dolphins 6-5
After being blown out 28-48 by the Patriots in a game in which the Patriots threw for 415 yards, maybe Joey Porter was wrong about his comments about Matt Cassel. The Dolphins loss in Week 12 may have slowed them down but the team gets to face a wimpy Rams team this week in hopes of getting back on track.
13. Ravens 7-4
The Ravens have been red hot in recent weeks winning five of their last six games. Their defense dominated a struggling Eagles offense by forcing five turnovers on the day and one safety. Will the Ravens are given the gift of facing the Carson Palmer/Chad Johnson-less Bengals in Week 13 in hopes of catching up to the Steelers for the division lead.
12. Falcons 7-4
Matt Ryan is on top of my list for the NFL’s Rookie of the Year list. Ryan has continued to shoulder the load and as led his team to a 7-4 record on the year. It wasn’t Ryan’s brilliance that beat the Panthers team alone in Week 12 but Michael Turner’s huge game that included four touchdown runs. The Falcons now must travel to San Diego to take on a struggling Chargers team in Week 13 and then to New Orleans to face divisional rival Saints in Week 14.
11. Cowboys 7-4
Tony Romo is back and so are the Cowboys. The Boys’ have won two in a row and must face a 2-9 Seahawks on Thanksgiving Day. With Romo back at the helm in Dallas, the Cowboys must face the Steelers and Giants in the coming weeks in hopes of staying in the NFC East race.
10. Patriots 7-4
The Patriots are still on the hunt to catch up toe the Jets in the AFC East after defeating the Dolphins in Week 12. How about this, Matt Cassel has thrown for 400+ yards two weeks in a row. Not bad for a guy who before this season had not started a game since high school. Cassel will have trouble making it three 400+ games this week, facing a tough 8-3 Steelers defense.
9. Colts 7-4
They did it! The Colts have finally cracked the Top 10 in the Power Rankings this year. The Colts have been on a tear as of late, winning four in a row. Things will only get easier as the Colts will face four teams below .500 over the next five weeks. Will the Colts end 08’ on a high note and make the playoffs? Stay tuned!
8. Redskins 7-4
The Redskins stopped the bleeding and ended their two game losing streak by defeating the 2-9 Seahawks in Week 12. Their team MVP, Clinton Portis is nicked up but preserved the win as the Redskins are still staying afloat in the NFC East. Redskins fans everywhere can not help but pray that Portis will be on top of his game as the Redskins now must face the divisional rival Giants at home for Week 13.
7. Cardinals 7-4
The Cardinals fought valiantly but came up short losing to the Giants 29-37 in Week 12. The Giants have the ability to ruin anyone’s day as they forced Kurt Warner to fumble twice and throw one pick in Sunday’s showdown. Warner will have the opportunity to revenge last week’s performance as the Cardinals head east to face a floundering Eagles team in Week 13.
6. Panthers 8-3
The past few weeks we have picked on Jake Delhomme for his weak play but in Sunday’s loss, it was the Panthers defense that failed the team the most. The Panthers defense gave up four scores on the ground to the Falcons Michael Turner and only put up one sack on the day. The Panthers must right their ship quickly as they now face four teams above the .500 mark before season’s end. Do the Panthers have enough left in the tank to fight for the top spot in the NFC South?
5. Buccaneers 8-3
The Buccaneers fell behind the 0-11 Lions on Sunday 17-0 in the first quarter but put up 35 unanswered points to battle back for their eighth win of the season. The Buccaneers had a bad case of fumblitis in Week 12 that needs to be fixed now that they must face divisional battles against the Saints, Panthers, and Falcons over the course of the next three weeks.
4. Jets 8-3
The New York Bretts Jets are on a roll! They have had two huge upsets in the past two weeks and have won seven of their last eight games in that span. The offense and defense have gelled together to go 8-3, good enough to be the top seed in the AFC East. Brett Favre has worked his magic once again as the Jets are now looking forward to the playoffs soon enough.
3. Steelers 8-3
Talk about a team fighting adversity! Through all the injuries, the Steelers have played hard nosed football and gone 8-3 with one of the league’s most difficult schedules. The Steelers had no issues dispatching of the 1-9-1 Bengals and now must face four excellent teams above the .500 mark to finish off the season. Will they be able to hold onto their number one spot in the AFC North?
2. Titans 10-1
It was bound to happen, Brett Favre’s magic is still working in his favor as the Titans lost a tough one to the New York Jets in Week 12. What is worrying is the Titans lack of a running game in recent weeks. There is good news, the Titans face the porous Lions defense on what may be a Thanksgiving Day massacre in Week 13.
1. Giants 10-1
The Giants have always been the most complete team in the NFL and with the Titans first loss of the season, the Giants are now back atop of the Power Rankings. Even with injuries to top players on both sides of the football, the Giants are still dishing out wins on a weekly basis. Could the Giants go all the way and win back to back Super Bowls?
This is the way the rankings look for right now; have a Happy Thanksgiving and tune in next week once again to see how your team fares!