NFL Power Rankings: Packers Finally Knocked out of Top Spot

Torey ZiskaCorrespondent IIDecember 20, 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 18:   Brandon Carr #39 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after a win against the Green Bay Packers at Arrowhead Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Kansas CIty, Missouri.  The Chiefs defeated the Packers 19-14.   (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

I’m running out of euphemisms to describe the NFL at this point. I mean, can anyone figure out the NFL? It is wonderful in so many ways, and yet it just doesn’t make sense.

Can anyone explain how the Rams beat the Saints, how the Jaguars beat the Ravens, how the Chiefs went six straight weeks scoring 10 points or less, and then beat the undefeated Packers (and only scored 19 to do so)?

How did a Titan’s team beat the Ravens, nearly beat the Saints, and then lose to the Colts? The NFL makes about as much sense as the BCS. Nonetheless, the NFL is infinitely better than the BCS.

The rankings were dramatically shaken this week, as the only four teams that didn’t move up or down at least one spot, were the bottom four teams. The Cowboys, Seahawks and Bills made the biggest jumps—each team moved four spots.

It should be noted however, that Buffalo jumped four spots down in the rankings.

With just two weeks to go, five playoff spots have yet to be determined. Fifteen teams are still fighting to obtain one of those final five spots. And with that, here are this week’s rankings.

 Teams' previous ranking are in ( ).

No. 1 New Orleans Saints (2)

They move up to the top spot, but if it comes down to it, can they go into Lambeau and win? Drew Brees is on a heck of a roll right now, and might have slipped past a certain Green Bay quarterback for the lead in the MVP race.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 18: Darren Sproles #43 and Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints celebrate a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings during the second quarter on December 18, 2011 at Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome i
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images


No. 2 Green Bay Packers (1)

The Packers fell victim to the trap game. They will not make history, but will they even make the Super Bowl again? The defense is a disaster and the offensive line is in shambles.


No. 3 New England Patriots (5)

Has there ever been a better tight end combination (Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski) in the history of the NFL?


No. 4 San Francisco 49ers (7)

Despite a couple of power outages, the 49ers showed once again they are for real. It’s hard to call a team with an 11-3 record a sleeper, but they have to be considered a serious threat to win the NFC.


No. 5 Pittsburgh Steelers (3)

Pittsburgh missed a great opportunity to grab hold of the division. However, getting Big Ben fully healthy is the only thing that truly matters.

No. 6 Baltimore Ravens (4)

Even with two wins over the Steelers, the Ravens likely won’t win the division. The defense was embarrassed by the Chargers.


No. 7 Atlanta Falcons (10)

The Falcons are getting hot at the right time. We’ll learn how legitimate they are in Week 16 when they travel to New Orleans.


No. 8 Houston Texans (6)

The Texans will need two things in order to make a playoff run: to get the defense back on track and a healthy Andre Johnson.


No. 9 Dallas Cowboys (13)

Tony Romo is playing out of his mind right now. He must face an energized Eagles team this week that is still dreaming of big things.


No. 10 Detroit Lions (12)

The Lions have achieved a winning season and look to lock up a playoff berth next week.

No. 11 Denver Tebows (8)

You have to beat good teams in the NFL if you want to be a good team. Tim Tebow and company have played three games against teams that currently have winning records, and the only one they beat was the Jets, who are average at best.


No. 12 New York Jets (9)

Rex Ryan guaranteed a Super Bowl victory this year. Well, I’m guaranteeing the Jets will lose their final two games.

No. 13 New York Giants (11)

Is there any more inconsistent team than the Giants? Regardless, they still control their own destiny.

No. 14 Cincinnati Bengals (15)

Can Andy Dalton win rookie of the year? Absolutely.

In fact, if Cincy makes the playoffs, I think I’d split the award between Dalton and AJ Green.


No. 15 San Diego Chargers (17)

The Chargers are hot once again, but must win two straight road games if they want to make the playoffs.

No. 16 Seattle Seahawks (20)

Don’t look now, but the Seahawks are playing great and have a legitimate shot at finishing 9-7. Will it be enough to sneak into the playoffs?


No. 17 Chicago Bears (14)

The importance of a capable backup quarterback cannot be understated (just ask the Colts).


No. 18 Arizona Cardinals (19)

Needing overtime at home to beat a sorry Cleveland team is never a comforting feeling. Nonetheless, the slimmest of slim playoff hopes remain alive for Arizona.

No. 19 Tennessee Titans (16)

How does a team beat the Ravens, nearly take down the Saints, but lose to the Colts?


No. 20 Philadelphia Eagles (22)

The Eagles actually still have a chance at winning their division. That alone will likely assure Andy Reid that his job is safe for another season.

No. 21 Oakland Raiders (18)

The Raiders missed a golden opportunity to improve their playoff chances.


No. 22 Kansas City Chiefs (23)

Nobody, and I mean nobody, can honestly say they thought the Chiefs would pull that upset. Not even the Chiefs themselves.


No. 23 Carolina Panthers (24)

If the Panthers can grab a couple more wins, Cam Newton will win the Rookie of the Year award in a landslide.


No. 24 Miami Dolphins (26)

Reggie Bush undoubtedly determined the fate of numerous fantasy seasons with his 200-plus yard outburst against the Bills.


No. 25 Buffalo Bills (21)

That is seven straight losses for the Bills after a terrific start to the season. Will they become the next team to get “Tebow-ed?”

No. 26 Washington Redskins (28)

With all the coaches being fired lately, it appears Mike Shanahan’s team is doing everything they can to keep their coach around.

No. 27 Jacksonville Jaguars (25)

The Jags defense has really let them down lately. They have numerous draft needs on both sides of the ball.


No. 28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (27)

One has to wonder if perhaps Raheem Morris’ job is safe. He has one of the youngest teams in the league, but the Bucs have taken enormous steps backward this season.


No. 29 Cleveland Browns (29)

The Browns are likely to remain in the cellar of the AFC North for many years to come.


No. 30 Minnesota Vikings (30)

If the Colts pull off another win, the Vikings could find themselves with the No. 1 overall pick. Would they go offense or defense?

No. 31 St. Louis Rams (31)

The Rams too have a shot at that No. 1 pick now, and I don’t think there is any doubt, they have to address the offense and give Steven Jackson some help while he has some gas left in the tank.


No. 32 Indianapolis Colts (32)

Dan Orlovsky just has too much pride to be part of two winless teams in his career.


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