NFL Power Rankings Week 11: Teams Ready to Rise Following Divisional Triumphs

Tom LoughreyAnalyst IIINovember 16, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 13:   Deion Branch #84 and Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots celebrate after a touchdown against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on November 13, 2011 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Nothing turns an NFL team’s season around faster or more effectively than winning a divisional game. When a squad beats someone they see twice a year, it can do miraculous things for team confidence in the long run.

Here are three teams who won a divisional contest in Week 10, and will follow it up with another victory this week.

New England Patriots

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 06:   BenJarvus Green-Ellis #42 of the New England Patriots carries the ball as  Mathias Kiwanuka #94 of the New York Giants defends on November 6, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

New England dominated the second half against the New York Jets on Sunday, outscoring their rivals 24-7 in the third and fourth quarters.

This week, they’ll play the Kansas City Chiefs, who weren’t able to stop the run in a loss to the Denver Broncos last week. The Patriots aren’t a dominant running team, but BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Stevan Ridley will be able to get something going against the Chiefs’ 26th-ranked run defense.

If not, Tom Brady will do the trick against the lackluster Kansas City.

Oakland Raiders

SAN DIEGO, CA - NOVEMBER 10:  Running back  Michael Bush #29 of the Oakland Raiders runs the ball against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on November 10, 2011 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Carson Palmer finally looked comfortable in an Oakland Raiders uniform on Thursday, beating the San Diego Chargers for two touchdowns in a game where he had a perfect QB rating for a while.

Michael Bush stole the show, ripping off long runs on multiple occasions. The Raiders defense also looked solid, holding the Chargers to 17 points.

The Raiders are the most complete team in the AFC West. In Week 11, they’ll convince everyone in Minnesota by defeating the Vikings. 

New Orleans

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 13:  Tracy Porter #22 of the New Orleans Saints is called for pass interference against Roddy White #84 of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 13, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

We know the New Orleans Saints have the offense to win games. However, their defense has really taken a big step since their 31-21 loss to the St. Louis Rams.

In their last two games, the Saints have only allowed 39 combined points against more potent offenses in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons. The Saints also picked up consecutive divisional wins to cushion their NFC South lead.

The Saints have a bye in Week 11, but they will display their vice grip on the NFC South when they return to action.

Tom Loughrey’s Week 11 NFL Power Rankings 

1. Green Bay Packers

2. San Francisco 49ers

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

4. Houston Texans

5. New York Giants

6. New England Patriots

7. New Orleans Saints

8. Dallas Cowboys

9. Baltimore Ravens

10. New York Jets

11. Cincinnati Bengals

12. Chicago Bears

13. Detroit Lions

14. Atlanta Falcons

15. Oakland Raiders

16. Tennessee Titans

17. Buffalo Bills

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

19. Miami Dolphins

20. Philadelphia Eagles

21. San Diego Chargers

22. Denver Broncos

23. Seattle Seahawks

24. Arizona Cardinals

25. Kansas City Chiefs

26. Minnesota Vikings

27. Washington Redskins

28. Carolina Panthers

29. St. Louis Rams

30. Jacksonville Jaguars

31. Cleveland Browns

32. Indianapolis Colts


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