NFL Power Rankings: 3 Teams Deserving of the No. 2 Spot Behind Green Bay Packers

Adam Spencer@AdamSpencer4Correspondent IDecember 4, 2011

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04:  Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots celebrates his touchdown in the third quarter against the Indianapolis Colts on December 4, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers are undoubtedly the best team in the NFL right now. No other team is really even close. 

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any other good teams in the league, just that none of them are on the Packers’ level. 

There’s a very strong second tier of teams, and several teams have a legitimate claim for the No. 2 spot in the power rankings. 

Let’s take a look at three teams worthy of the No. 2 spot now. 


New England Patriots (9-3) 

The Patriots demolished the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday afternoon, but that’s not surprising. Everyone has been beating up on the hapless Colts this year. 

The Patriots have found a groove, winning four games in a row to take a commanding AFC East lead.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have been carrying this team, and they have to be considered in the mix for the No. 2 spot behind Green Bay. 

They’ll have to prove they can win a home playoff game this year, something they haven’t been able to do the past couple postseasons. 

They appear to be the class of the AFC though, so they should have no problem getting a first-round bye and winning at least one playoff game.


Baltimore Ravens (9-3) 

Yes, they had an embarrassing loss to the Seattle Seahawks and have been inconsistent at times, but this team can still beat any other team in the league. 

Any time Ray Rice can get going, this team is nearly unbeatable. 

The problems come when they have to rely on Joe Flacco to make big plays.

He’s an enigma and hasn’t progressed as much as the Ravens coaching staff would have liked, but he can still win big games. 

As long as they keep winning, they deserve to be in the conversation for the second-best team in the NFL.


San Francisco 49ers (10-2) 

The 49ers clinched the NFC West title with a dominating win over St. Louis on Sunday. 

Now, they’ll continue to make a push for a first-round bye in the playoffs. 

Jim Harbaugh has his troops playing really well behind Frank Gore, Alex Smith and a steady defense. 

Patrick Willis was injured in Sunday’s game, so we’ll have to see how the defense holds up without him. 

But right now, things are going pretty well for San Francisco.


Adam Spencer’s NFL Power Rankings: 

  1. Green Bay Packers (12-0)
  2. New England Patriots (9-3)
  3. Baltimore Ravens (9-3)
  4. San Francisco 49ers (10-2)
  5. New Orleans Saints (8-3)
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3)
  7. Houston Texans (9-3)
  8. Atlanta Falcons (7-5)
  9. Detroit Lions (7-4)
  10. New York Jets (7-5)
  11. Denver Broncos (7-5)
  12. Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)
  13. Tennessee Titans (7-5)
  14. Dallas Cowboys (7-5)
  15. Chicago Bears (7-5)
  16. New York Giants (6-6)
  17. Oakland Raiders (7-5)
  18. Miami Dolphins (4-8)
  19. Buffalo Bills (5-7)
  20. San Diego Chargers (4-7)
  21. Seattle Seahawks (5-7)
  22. Carolina Panthers (4-8)
  23. Arizona Cardinals (5-7)
  24. Kansas City Chiefs (5-7)
  25. Washington Redskins (4-8)
  26. Philadelphia Eagles (4-8)
  27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-8)
  28. Cleveland Browns (4-8)
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-8)
  30. Minnesota Vikings (2-10)
  31. St. Louis Rams (2-10)
  32. Indianapolis Colts (0-12)


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