NFL Power Rankings: Updated Standings Prior to Monday Night Football

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IINovember 25, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 24: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos and quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots shake hands after the New England Patriots defeated the Denver Broncos 34-31 in overtime at Gillette Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

With yet another wild week of football, the NFL power rankings with Week 12 winding down have shaken up quite a bit.

As if the Jacksonville Jaguars winning wasn't crazy enough, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won their third straight game after starting 0-8, while the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers ended a game in a tie.

Below are the updated power rankings heading into Monday Night Football, with a breakdown of all 32 teams.

32. Houston Texans

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 24:  Keshawn Martin #82 of the Houston Texans advances the ball after a catch and is tackled by Paul Posluszny #51 and Johnathan Cyprien #37 of the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second half at Reliant Stadium on November 24, 2013 in H
Bob Levey/Getty Images

Houston, we have a problem.  Sorry, I had to.

Somehow the Houston Texans lost 13-6 to the Jaguars.  After winning their first two games to start the season, suddenly this team has lost its last nine.  Offensively, the Texans just can't get it done, and they are now looking at a possible top-five draft pick.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars

Congratulations to the Jaguars, who are now 2-1 in their last three games.

Still, this is not a good team.  Their point differential of minus-182 is by far the worst in the NFL, and there is a serious lack of talent on this team, especially at the quarterback position.

These teams near the bottom of the league keep finding ways to win, but make no mistake about what the Jaguars really are.

30. Atlanta Falcons

Much like the Texans, the Atlanta Falcons came into the season with very high hopes.  However, a 2-9 record has the Falcons completely out of the playoff race as they now must look ahead and try to regroup for the 2014 season.

Injuries have plagued this team, with players like Julio Jones, Roddy White and Steven Jackson all missing extended periods of time.  Matt Ryan can't do it all, and the team is going to have to look ahead to next year and pretend like this one never happened.

29. Minnesota Vikings

At this point, the Vikings should consider a tie a major victory against a team like the Packers, even if they didn't have Aaron Rodgers.

Adrian Peterson continues to try to carry the team on his back, carrying the ball 32 times for 146 yards and a touchdown on Sunday.  Christian Ponder wasn't bad, but the quarterback situation has been a mess in 2013, and the Vikings may want to consider adding a quarterback in the NFL draft.

28. Washington Redskins

The Washington Redskins will be playing on Monday Night Football, but expectations shouldn't be high for this team.  

Robert Griffin III has been very inconsistent this season, but he can't get all of the blame.  Their defense has been dreadful, allowing 31.1 points per game.

For as bad as the NFC East has been, it doesn't even look like the Redskins will be able to make a push in the division, and that says a lot about this team.

27. Cleveland Browns

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 03:  Quarterback Brandon Weeden #3 of the Cleveland Browns throws as he is pressured by linebacker Arthur Brown #59 of the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 3, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Ge
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

The football gods are determined to find ways to get Brandon Weeden into the game for the Cleveland Browns, and that isn't a good thing.

With Jason Campbell being forced to leave the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Weeden had to come in, and he completed just 13 of his 30 passes for 209 yards, a touchdown and an interception.  

Luckily, there are a number of talented quarterbacks in next year's draft, and the Browns can finally cut ties with Weeden.

26. Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills entered their bye week with a big win over the New York Jets, but that dominant performance doesn't seem as impressive anymore.

The good news is that EJ Manuel is finally back, and this team has a lot of young talent.  The bad news is that these young players are still developing, and the team is struggling to pull out wins.  The Bills are currently sitting at the bottom of their division.

25. Oakland Raiders

Matt McGloin has played pretty solid football replacing Terrelle Pryor, but quarterback isn't the only position that the Oakland Raiders are worried about.

The pass defense is still an issue, as they let Ryan Fitzpatrick throw for 320 yards and two touchdowns in their loss to the Tennessee Titans.  The pass rush isn't bad by any means, and there are young pieces in place.  It's just going to take a couple of years for this defense to be solid.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It's just like everyone planned.  The Buccaneers would go 0-8 before winning three straight games with Mike Glennon under center.

Glennon has actually played very well this year.  He's now thrown for nearly 1,800 yards, 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions this season, and he just keeps improving.  At this point, it's too late for the Buccaneers to make a playoff run, but there are certainly signs that this team could be much better in 2014.

23. Tennessee Titans

A win over the Raiders is nice and all, but keep in mind that this is the same team that lost to the Jaguars a few weeks ago.

Defensively, this team has a lot of talent in its secondary, but the offense has struggled with consistency.  Still, Fitzpatrick looked pretty solid this week, and the Titans are hoping that can continue throughout the rest of the season as they try to hold on to a wild-card spot.

22. New York Giants

The four-game winning streak for the New York Giants is over, and they have now fallen to 4-7.

Still, the NFC East is wide open, and the Giants are known for making wild comebacks.  The addition of Andre Brown has been huge for the offense, as he ran for 127 yards in the loss.  Both sides of the ball look much better, but they need to keep winning in order to grab a playoff spot.

21. Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens really needed a big win against the Jets, and they got just that.  However, there are still a lot of things that should worry this team, mostly on offense.

The running game has been terrible, and it was once again this week.  The Ravens ran the ball for just 67 yards, averaging 2.2 yards per carry, and it has been like that almost every single week.  It looked like they had turned things around against the Chicago Bears, but that is simply not the case.

Joe Flacco hasn't been much better, and this team needs to work on fixing that offense for next year.

20. Miami Dolphins

Nov 24, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) is sacked by Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis (58) in the second half of a game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins were so close to pulling off the big upset, but Cam Newton led the Carolina Panthers down the field for the game-winning drive.

Ryan Tannehill needs to be protected, as he's struggling to stay upright.  He was sacked three more times in this game, and you can bet the Dolphins will be looking to bring in some offensive linemen over the offseason.

19. New York Jets

The streak of not winning or losing two consecutive games was finally broken for the Jets this week, just not in the way that they were hoping.

The loss to the Ravens shows just how inconsistent this team really is.  Geno Smith can't keep turning the ball over, because it is killing his team's momentum.  Still, he doesn't exactly have many weapons around him, and that's something that they're going to need to address.

18. Pittsburgh Steelers

A 5-2 record with some solid wins means that the Pittsburgh Steelers are back in business.  By no means does that mean they're a deep playoff contender, but their comeback is certainly impressive.

A lot of credit has to go to Ben Roethlisberger, who has thrown seven touchdowns and just one interception over their last three games.  Still, the lack of a running game is a concern, and the defense isn't where it once was, but things are certainly trending upward.

17. Green Bay Packers

Can I play quarterback next week?

In all seriousness, Matt Flynn wasn't bad, but this is the third backup quarterback to play, and the team hasn't won without starting QB Aaron Rodgers.  A tie against the Vikings has to feel like a major defeat, as a win could have put the Packers at the top of the NFC North along with the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions.

The secondary seems to be a major concern as well, as it keeps making bad plays.  Even when Aaron Rodgers comes back, this team will still have some problems to worry about.

16. St. Louis Rams

ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 24: Tavon Austin #11 of the St. Louis Rams rushes against the Chicago Bears during the first quarter at the Edward Jones Dome on November 24, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images)
Michael Thomas/Getty Images

Their past two wins may have been against questionable teams, but both the Indianapolis Colts and Bears are playoff-caliber squads, which makes it very interesting that the St. Louis Rams have blown out their last two opponents.

The combined score over the past two games has been 80-29, and the offense really seems to be in sync.  A lot of that has to do with using Tavon Austin effectively, as he has four total touchdowns over these two games.

If the Rams can keep using Austin like they have been, this team could win a few more games before the season is over.

15. San Diego Chargers

This team just confuses me.  The Chargers lost their last three games, then came back and won a thriller against none other than the Kansas City Chiefs.

Philip Rivers is a big reason for their success this season, including in this last game.  He's thrown 22 touchdowns with eight interceptions and over 3,300 yards, and he's well on his way to having one of the best seasons of his career.

14. Detroit Lions

The Lions had a chance to take the lead in the NFC North outright over the past two weeks, but they've failed to make the most of their opportunities.

Matthew Stafford is reminding us that he's an incredibly streaky quarterback, as he threw four interceptions in the loss.  The lack of consistency is making this a frustrating team to watch, and we will have to see if the Lions can overcome that and take the division before the season ends.

13. Indianapolis Colts

It's official.  The Indianapolis Colts defy logic.

The most likely explanation for the team's two recent blowout losses has been the absence of Reggie Wayne.  In the first half of the past four games without Wayne, the Colts have scored a combined 12 points.  Andrew Luck is a great quarterback, but he has almost no help around him, with the exceptions of T.Y. Hilton and maybe Coby Fleener.

If the secondary can't step up either, the Colts could be in for a very long end of the season.

12. Dallas Cowboys

For some reason I just feel dirty having the Dallas Cowboys at No. 12, but they still are tied for the top spot in the NFC East, and their offense is playing very well.

Tony Romo is arguably having the best season of his career.  He's thrown for 23 touchdowns and just seven interceptions, and he's led his team to a couple of game-winning drives.  It's certainly helped that he's had weapons like Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams and Jason Witten.

However, until their defense can stop giving up over 400 yards per game, the Cowboys will struggle to be a top-tier team in the NFC.

11. Chicago Bears

The loss to the Rams was certainly an ugly one, and much like the Lions, they're struggling to take advantage of the opportunity and grab the top spot in the NFC North.

However, unlike the Lions, the Bears have been trying to do that without their starting quarterback and star linebacker.  The team is banged up, but the good news is that most of its injured players should be back before the end of the season, which could give it a chance to take the division.

10. San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers play the Redskins on Monday, so they won't move around too much, but they need to prove that the passing game can get going, or else they may continue to drop in the rankings.

Colin Kaepernick hasn't looked like the same player that he was in 2012, and the 49ers rank last in pass offense, putting up just 168 yards per game.  This is their opportunity to work some things out in that regard, as they're playing one of the worst defenses in the league on Monday.

9. Philadelphia Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles had a bye this week, but with how hot they were playing, they might have been hoping for another game to keep the momentum going.

Three straight wins have helped put the Eagles on top of the division alongside the Cowboys.  Nick Foles has been terrific since becoming the starter, throwing 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions.  His presence has really helped the offense and the team as a whole.

However, the Eagles will have a very tough game coming out of the bye week against the Arizona Cardinals, and it will prove which one of these hot teams is the more legitimate contender.

8. Arizona Cardinals

Speaking of the Cardinals, they're on quite a roll as well.  They've suddenly won their last four games, and they're currently a wild-card team in the NFC.

The secondary deserves a lot of respect for playing so well.  Players like Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu have been terrific, and as long as this defense can keep playing like it has been, the offense led by Carson Palmer can keep making plays.

7. Kansas City Chiefs

Remember when the Chiefs were undefeated?  Two weeks later, they're now 9-2.

The defense came apart this week, allowing 41 points to the Chargers.  The offense was able to keep up, but that's not what this team is built around, and Andy Reid will be trying to make sure their defense never has a game like this again.

6. Cincinnati Bengals

The bye week gives the Cincinnati Bengals a chance to get healthy late in the season, and that's a very good thing.

Honestly, I thought that the defense would collapse without Leon Hall or Geno Atkins, but it has proved me wrong so far, and a lot of that has to do with Vontaze Burfict.

Still, a lot of this team's success will depend on Andy Dalton, and with how inconsistent he is, that worries me a bit.

5. New England Patriots

Some will say that it was a lucky win over the Denver Broncos, but the New England Patriots still came back from down 24 points to put themselves in a position to come out on top.

With Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola back, Tom Brady is looking a lot better.  Over the past three games, he's thrown for almost 1,100 yards, eight touchdowns and just one interception.  The defense hasn't been bad, and this is once again one of the best teams in the AFC.

4. Carolina Panthers

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 24:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers attempts to pass the ball in the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

It was certainly a scare, but a win is a win, and the Panthers have won eight games in a row, making them the hottest team in football.

The defense isn't a problem, but the offense needs some work.  Newton can't do everything on his own, and Steve Smith is certainly not getting any younger.  This is still a great team, but imagine how much better its offense will be if it drafts one of the talented receivers in May.

3. Denver Broncos

It was a very tough way to lose their second game, but the Broncos are still one of the best teams in the league.

Peyton Manning is still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and he has plenty of weapons to throw to in this offense.  Meanwhile, Knowshon Moreno had the best game of his career, running for 224 yards and a touchdown in the loss.

Von Miller's presence has helped out the defense considerably, but the secondary needs a bit of help before the Broncos can be considered the best team in football once again.

2. New Orleans Saints

The Thursday Night Football game could have been closer, but the New Orleans Saints are still 9-2 and look great.

Drew Brees is putting up the numbers that he always does, but the real story continues to be their defense.  Rob Ryan has completely turned things around, as the defense has allowed more than 20 points in just two games.

Jimmy Graham keeps playing like a monster at tight end, and with other weapons like Kenny Stills emerging on offense, this is going to be one tough team to deal with in the playoffs.

1. Seattle Seahawks

It took a little while, but the Seattle Seahawks are back on top of the NFL power rankings.

That's not saying that they weren't good.  They're arguably the most complete team in football.  They have one of the most intimidating defenses and effective offenses.  There are very few holes on this roster, and they have by far the most complete team in the NFL.

With just one loss and the best record in the league, it's quite a fun year to be a fan of the Seahawks, especially if you live in Seattle.