Chris Simms' NFL Power Rankings Ahead of Week 12

Chris Simms@@CSimmsQBNFL Lead AnalystNovember 21, 2016

Chris Simms' NFL Power Rankings Ahead of Week 12

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    Hey, I have a great idea to make the NFL even more exciting!

    Let’s push the extra-point attempt back. Let’s make it a 33-yard attempt instead of a gimme or an afterthought. And let’s put jobs and seasons on the shoulders of guys who had nothing to do with the previous 90-yard scoring drive.

    Or not. Twelve point-after attempts were missed this week, an NFL record. My question is…why? What was wrong with football before kickers booted easy PATs? Why do we put more on the plate of guys who have no impact on the plays preceding a drive?

    Kickers should have little to do with the final outcome. Instead, the result of the game is now in the balance every time they line up to boot a football. That seems foolish to me—and a lot of current and former NFLers, I’m sure.

    Check out these Week 11 power rankings. Just remember that place-kickers played a huge role in where your favorite team landed on my list.

32. Cleveland Browns

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    Jason Miller/Getty Images

    Current record: 0-11

    Last week: 32 (same)

    Cleveland received the little brother treatment in Week 11.

    Sure, the Browns hung around. They kept things interesting. But when push came to shove, they were never a threat to the Steelers. They took noogie after noogie from their big AFC North brother.

    Le’Veon Bell was the one doling out most of those noogies. He had 79 total yards…on Pittsburgh’s opening drive. Ben Roethlisberger just threw Bell checkdowns and watched him work all afternoon long. Cleveland’s inferior defense was helpless to stop it.

    Looking forward: Josh McCown gives Cleveland the best odds at winning a game. That game won't take place in Week 12 against the Giants, though.

31. San Francisco 49ers

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Current record: 1-9

    Last week: 31 (same)

    Chip Kelly’s defense was in two horrible positions for a sizable chunk of Week 11.

    First, it was on a short field after a handful of big Patriots plays—like a long Danny Amendola punt return or a big LeGarrette Blount run. Then, it fell behind by multiple scores.

    Those two factors are tough for any team to overcome, let alone one facing Tom Brady. I’m impressed New England’s margin of victory wasn’t bigger.

    Hats off to Colin Kaepernick for hanging tough, even in the face of New England’s defense. He collaborated with Carlos Hyde on a few eye-opening runs, but that was about all the offense San Francisco could consistently scratch up.

    Looking forward: Ajayi left. Ajayi right. Ajayi middle. A cross-country trip to Miami should expose San Francisco's bad run defense.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Current record: 2-8

    Last week: 30 (same)

    I was still a Florida resident the last time Jacksonville posted a winning season.

    That streak won’t end in 2016. Gus Bradley’s team punched its ninth straight non-winning season by—you guessed it—finding ways to hand over a win.

    Let’s list them: Blake Bortles threw a pick-six. Special teams allowed a huge Andre Roberts punt-return score. Telvin Smith lost Eric Ebron on a 61-yard play. And when the game was still in the balance, Sen’Derrick Marks jumped offside to extend a game-icing Lions drive.

    It all adds up to another disappointing Jaguars year.

    Looking forward: Rex Ryan's ball-hawking defense should be licking its chops at the prospect of all Jacksonville's giveaways. 

29. New York Jets

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    Current record: 3-7

    Last week: 29 (same)

    Gang Green won't dip any lower in my power rankings this week. The Jets were on a bye in Week 11.

    Looking forward: A week off won't change the fact that New York’s roster is still hopelessly flawed. Quarterback is a constant issue. The running game, which has been better of late, can disappear. That defense plays well for three quarters and then surrenders a backbreaker. Todd Bowles is squarely on the hot seat. It won’t cool off with New England in town.

28. Chicago Bears

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    Current record: 2-8

    Last week: 28 (same)

    After 30 minutes of play, the Bears started hibernating.

    There’s no other way to describe Chicago’s Week 11 effort. Jordan Howard and Jay Cutler led a few impressive drives and had New York on its heels. Then, after one halftime break, it all disappeared.

    What happened? Injuries, for starters. Chicago lost both guard Josh Sitton and linebacker Leonard Floyd in the second half. Without Sitton, the Giants' pass rush found new life up the middle. Chicago couldn't generate its own pressure without Floyd. The Bears also lost tight end Zach Miller (broken foot) and were without top wideout Alshon Jeffery (suspension).

    Looking forward: Cutler (shoulder) might've played his last down in Chicago. And that's not bad news for a team that needs to rebuild from the quarterback down.

27. Los Angeles Rams

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    Current record: 4-6

    Last week: 27 (same)

    I thought Los Angeles was built to win ugly, defensive-minded football games?

    It doesn’t get any uglier than rain in the Coliseum. It doesn’t get any more defensive-minded than a 14-10 game. And yet the Rams couldn’t pull it off.

    Perhaps a few more undisciplined plays had something to do with it. Alec Ogletree and Aaron Donald were flagged with personal fouls on back-to-back drives that assisted Miami in its comeback and spoiled any defensive momentum built up through the majority of the game.

    The good news? Jared Goff didn’t look overwhelmed. Just by watching on television, it’s clear he has more zip on his throws than Case Keenum did. For instance, his 19-yard slant was fit perfectly into Kenny Britt on L.A.'s second drive. Todd Gurley scored the team's only touchdown one play later.

    Looking forward: L.A.'s defense couldn't stop Ryan Tannehill down the stretch. Drew Brees should fare a lot better.

26. Cincinnati Bengals

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    Current record: 3-6-1

    Last week: 24 (-2)

    Andy Dalton (two interceptions) and Mike Nugent (two missed extra points) added the insult.

    But we’ll be talking about the injury. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, A.J. Green tore his hamstring and could miss significant time. All playoff aspirations for this Bengals team go out the window with that subtraction.

    That's not to fault the Bengals defense, which played much better than in last week’s Monday night game. It held Buffalo to two big field goals—including one after Dalton’s pick set Tyrod Taylor up at Cincinnati’s 3-yard line.

    Green’s loss proved too much to overcome. Dalton and Co. managed only 300 yards of total offense.

    Looking forward: Cincinnati will need to run the rock to overcome offensive losses...starting next week. Baltimore won't allow it in Week 12.

25. Green Bay Packers

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    Patrick Smith/Getty Images

    Current record: 4-6

    Last week: 22 (-3)

    Contrary to my Twitter mentions, I’m not a Packers hater.

    I’m a Packers realist. And the reality of their season is it’s going to end in Week 17. Green Bay’s roster isn’t talented or healthy enough to stay afloat in the playoff race.

    On defense, that’s particularly true. Washington took advantage of Green Bay’s paper-thin defensive backfield—it’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and a bunch of reserves. Kirk Cousins was able to hit on nearly every downfield throw he tried. That’s embarrassing, as was the inability to stop the run.

    The offensive output was just as weak, which is to say nothing changed. Aaron Rodgers can’t play quarterback and running back at the same time. Jared Cook emerged in Week 11; he’s about 10 weeks too late.

    Looking forward: Green Bay's comeback path gets narrower with a Monday night trip to Philadelphia. Playing at the Linc ain't easy.

24. Arizona Cardinals

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    Current record: 4-5-1

    Last week: 23 (-1)

    Breaking news: Old man Carson Palmer isn’t going to win many games when he attempts 38 throws.

    Coach Bruce Arians must be in shock. It’s clear he wants his offense to win with video game-like passing stats, running game be dammed.

    Therein lies the Cardinals’ biggest problem: Arizona’s offensive line was bulldozing Vikings defenders early on. David Johnson was bursting through crease after crease. But Arians won’t stand for that; Palmer just has to drop back 40 times a game behind a bad pass-protecting offensive line.

    That’s when turnovers happen (see: Xavier Rhodes' pick-six). That’s when your talented defense tires out. And that’s when your offense musters only 290 total yards.

    Looking forward: Arizona won't be out of wild-card contention after a trip to Atlanta...officially.

23. New Orleans Saints

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    Current record: 4-6

    Last week: 17 (-6)

    How many heartbreaking losses can one team endure?

    The Saints seem intent on finding out. Sean Payton’s team played good enough to win for the second time in a four-day span only to be let down by turnovers and special teams miscues.

    The latest disaster involved a blocked field-goal attempt late in the first half. One play later, Cam Newton found Ted Ginn Jr. for a 40-yard score that put the Saints down 20-3 following the extra point instead of 13-6.

    Throw in two Drew Brees turnovers (which led to 10 Panthers points), and you’ll see why, despite a much-improved defense, New Orleans won’t be playoff-bound in 2016. It’s too error-prone to be taken seriously.

    Looking forward: Payton and Brees needed a Week 11 win. They'll need a Week 12 win even more (and some help from all the wild-card contenders ahead of them).

22. Carolina Panthers

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    Current record: 4-6

    Last week: 26 (+4)

    Ever lace up the cleats?

    Then you were scared you-know-what-less by Luke Kuechly’s concussion and reaction. I know I was.

    Let’s credit the Panthers for winning in spite of it. Kuechly’s defense allowed Drew Brees and Co. to mount drives, but it didn’t permit giant game-changing throws. It also got the football back to Cam Newton on one big interception.

    Carolina still asks too much from Newton, though. Its entire offense last Thursday night was predicated on his ability to stand in the pocket and deliver deep outs or deep crossers. That can’t be the only plan of attack if this team wants to rise from the dead.

    Looking forward: It's Cam vs. Carr out on the West Coast. An upset win would do wonders for Carolina's slim playoff hopes.

21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Current record: 5-5

    Last week: 25 (+4)

    Jameis Winston just out-possessed the best possession team in football.

    Tampa Bay’s offense held the ball for over 35 minutes. It was 11-of-16 on third down. It also showcased Doug Martin (105 total yards) off his injury hiatus. As is the case with so many good Buccaneers outings, production from the running back position proved crucial.

    Also crucial: a defense that allowed long drive after long Kansas City drive with only 17 points to show for it. Credit Chris Conte for making yet another late interception to seal a gigantic victory in Arrowhead Stadium. 

    Looking forward: These Bucs are only a game back in the NFC South. Can they keep the pace up with a huge home game versus Seattle?

20. San Diego Chargers

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    Current record: 4-6

    Last week: 18 (-2)

    Philip Rivers and Co. didn't suit up in Week 11. The Chargers were on a bye week.

    Looking forward: Here’s hoping San Diego enjoyed its week off. It’s nothing but stress and pressure off the bye week. Because if this team wants to re-enter the playoff picture, it’ll probably need to win out. That improbable path starts with a showdown against the Texans in Week 12. Rivers needs to do a better job avoiding Houston’s secondary than he did avoiding the Dolphins’ in his last appearance.

19. Tennessee Titans

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    Current record: 5-6

    Last week: 14 (-5)

    Tennessee had a chance to enter the playoff conversation this week.

    Instead, it was reminded about the natural order of its division. Indianapolis and Houston always win the AFC South. Tennessee is a perennial loser.

    That has to hurt, particularly when the Titans’ much-improved defense was ripped to shreds on the first few drives. Coordinator Dick LeBeau can outscheme anyone, but it’s clear he can’t bridge the gap between what his defense can do and what Andrew Luck can.

    Luck took Tennessee out of its offensive plan in no time flat. Marcus Mariota threw his team back in the game in the second half, but without any big runs from DeMarco Murray or Derrick Henry, he was doomed.

    Looking forward: Tennessee's offensive line was shown up in Week 11. I wouldn't want to be the Bears in Week 12.

18. Minnesota Vikings

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    Current record: 6-4

    Last week: 20 (+2)

    The defense found the end zone.

    The special teams made a few "wow" plays.

    Sound familiar? It should. Minnesota replicated the formula for its 5-0 start in Week 11. In doing so, it looked like the team that once climbed as high as No. 2 in these power rankings.

    That’s not to say the Vikings are back to that level of play. Concerns still remain, particularly with Sam Bradford’s protection and a predictable offense chock-full of shallow cross routes.

    Minnesota’s other phases masked all those problems, though. Xavier Rhodes turned in the pick-six this defense missed since its bye week. Then, Cordarrelle Patterson broke the long touchdown return that snapped a losing streak.

    Looking forward: I'm thankful for a first-place showdown on Turkey Day. The NFC North is up for grabs on Thanksgiving with Vikings-Lions.

17. Indianapolis Colts

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    Current record: 5-5

    Last week: 21 (+4)

    I predicted Andrew Luck would need to pull three rabbits out of his ass to win in Week 11.

    He pulled out four. You can’t underestimate his ability to even a playing field, despite playing a Titans team I still believe is better from top to bottom.

    Two throws separated No. 12 in this one. The first: an early second-quarter toss with Brian Orakpo squeezing both of Luck’s legs for a sack attempt. Luck whipped his body from the waist up to generate torque on a pass to T.Y. Hilton. 

    The second: a 4th-and-1 throw to Hilton in which Luck threw through a defender’s hands. Luck dug Tennessee an early three-score hole and was deadly all afternoon.

    Looking forward: Indianapolis gets the late game on Thanksgiving. And it gets a shot at a hostile AFC South takeover should it outduel Pittsburgh.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Current record: 5-5

    Last week: 16 (same)

    Le’Veon Bell on the handoff.

    And Le’Veon Bell on the checkdown.

    There you have it! That was Pittsburgh’s entire offensive strategy in Week 11—more than enough to top the hapless, winless Browns and remain right up there in the AFC North race.

    Bell posted a 135-yard first half. He finished with 201 total yards. Credit offensive coordinator Todd Haley for getting the ball in his hands early and often. His 36 touches were five shy of a Steelers record.

    Credit Pittsburgh’s defense too. It swallowed up Cleveland’s quarterbacks to the tune of eight sacks. Stephon Tuitt looked like his normal self; he had 2.5 of those sacks.

    Looking forward: You get the feeling that a late-season Steelers run is brewing. A Thanksgiving night bout against Indy can confirm those feelings.

15. Buffalo Bills

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    Current record: 5-5

    Last week: 19 (+4)

    Even after a Week 11 victory, Rex Ryan can’t be feeling good about his team’s chances.

    His offense, already devoid of big-time talent, just lost two more. Both LeSean McCoy (thumb) and Robert Woods (knee) were forced into early exits against the Bengals. Add them to the pile of shelved playmakers if they can’t go next week.

    Ryan’s defense didn’t fare much better. It allowed the Bengals to score in both of their red-zone trips—without A.J. Green. It was smacked with penalties; the team was flagged nine times for 75 yards.

    Ryan’s team won its Week 11 battle. But it might’ve lost the war to gain entrance to the AFC playoff field.

    Looking forward: Loosen that arm, Tyrod Taylor. You'll have to throw the Bills past the Jaguars; it's no easy showdown for Buffalo.

14. Baltimore Ravens

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    Current record: 5-5

    Last week: 11 (-3)

    Baltimore lost its Week 11 game before it even kicked off.

    That’s when the team ruled out Jimmy Smith, its top cover corner and the only Ravens defensive back capable of hanging with Dez Bryant.

    Without Smith, rookie Tavon Young or the struggling Shareece Wright split coverage duties on No. 88. The end result was predictable (two touchdowns) and interrupted other solid defensive performances. For instance, the Ravens held Ezekiel Elliott to under 100 yards rushing on the game.

    Meanwhile, the offense continued to sputter. Penalties are this team’s worst nightmare. Joe Flacco and Co. went in the tank for long stretches.

    Looking forward: Baltimore won't have to face A.J. Green in Week 12, so it won't have to worry much about Cincinnati's offense.

13. Philadelphia Eagles

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    Current record: 5-5

    Last week: 10 (-3)

    Sometimes, I wonder who the real Eagles rookie is.

    Is it Carson Wentz, who’s shown wisdom beyond his years? Or is it any Eagles receiver on the other end of Wentz’s passes? Most of those guys can’t catch a cold, let alone a perfect Wentz spiral.

    The same old Eagles issues popped up in Week 11. Those aforementioned drops let a super-hot Russell Wilson back onto the field. There, he exploited a less-than-stellar secondary and even caught a touchdown throw.

    More troubling: Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham were hardly heard from. I would’ve expected a better showing from those stalwarts.

    Looking forward: Green Bay is circling the drain. Let's see if Philadelphia is the kind of team that finishes off other ones.

12. Detroit Lions

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    Current record: 6-4

    Last week: 15 (+3)

    The cardiac wings at every Detroit-area hospital must be on high alert each weekend.

    Detroit doesn’t win easy. It scratches and claws its way to the fourth quarter, then leans on Matthew Stafford to win it. For the sixth time this season, the quarterback delivered.

    Consider Detroit had no running game to speak of (14 yards on 21 carries). Yet Stafford, in all his brilliance, orchestrated a 15-play drive that spanned almost eight minutes to steal a victory from Jacksonville.

    He also found Eric Ebron on a sweet 61-yard play that gave the Lions a sloppy but important post-bye victory. They’re moving up my power rankings.

    Looking forward: It'll be strange to watch a Thanksgiving game without Calvin Johnson. It'll be weirder if the team he retired from opens up a one-game lead in the NFC North.

11. Houston Texans

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    Current record: 6-4

    Last week: 12 (+1)

    Can Bill O’Brien get one call?

    His Texans team outplayed the AFC’s new No. 1 seed Monday night. But the other team in white and black—the one with vertical stripes—cost his team two touchdowns that would’ve come in handy in a 27-20 loss.

    O’Brien isn’t without blame. His decision to punt the football after the second upheld call, an Akeem Hunt first-down run that remained 4th-and-1, was questionable. It allowed Oakland to regain possession and close Houston out for good.

    The positives? Jadeveon Clowney toyed with any Raiders blocker he faced. Lamar Miller played like a top-five back should. And most importantly, Brock Osweiler performed up to his contract for the first time as a Texan. If all three keep up, Houston might get another crack at Oakland this winter.

    Looking forward: The same two stars Houston nearly rode to a Week 11 win will be needed this week. Lamar Miller and Jadeveon Clowney must contribute with the Chargers looming.

10. Miami Dolphins

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    Current record: 6-4

    Last week: 13 (+3)

    Miami needed about 55 minutes to get its ass in gear.

    Then, Ryan Tannehill and DeVante Parker took over.

    The quarterback-receiver duo of the Dolphins’ future strung together not one, but two scoring drives. They connected five times for 57 yards when it mattered most.

    Jay Ajayi couldn’t get much going. The offensive line was without Branden Albert and Mike Pouncey before losing Laremy Tunsil too. But the Tannehill-Parker connection makes a mostly stagnant offensive day (and a cross-country plane trip) feel much better.

    Looking forward: The Dolphins are 6-4, making them a postseason player. And postseason players don't let teams such as San Francisco trip them up.

9. Atlanta Falcons

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    Current record: 6-4

    Last week: 8 (-1)

    The Dirty Birds took a week off in Week 11. They'll be back in the coop off a bye.

    Looking forward: All of a sudden, the Falcons have company in the NFC South. They’ll need to re-establish themselves as division kings when Week 12 rolls around, because the three teams behind Atlanta in the standings are no more than two games out. Up next: a home contest against the struggling Cardinals. Atlanta needs to reinvigorate its run game or risk another standings slide.

8. Kansas City Chiefs

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    Current record: 7-3

    Last week: 4 (-4)

    Can you smell that?

    That’s the stench emitting from Kansas City’s offense. Alex Smith and the offense he commands aren’t playing like an AFC contender.

    Smith quarterbacked the team to its first offensive touchdown since Week 9. He drove inside the Buccaneers’ 10-yard line twice; a field goal and a ridiculous interception were the result.

    And I haven’t started on this defense, which is far too talented to let Jameis Winston pick and choose his receivers. Tampa Bay converted on almost 70 percent of its third-down tries. More shockingly, it ran the ball on K.C. with success. That cannot happen in order for this team to thrive.

    Looking forward: Kansas City can't wallow in a crushing home loss. It's off to Denver for a divisional game with huge wild-card implications.

7. Washington Redskins

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    Current record: 6-3-1

    Last week: 9 (+2)

    Washington welcomes any and all shootouts. In fact, it prefers its games played fast.

    By now, coach Jay Gruden must know his team can separate in a scorefest. Green Bay tried to go touchdown-for-touchdown against Kirk Cousins and Co. and came up way short.

    Cousins deserves accolades for his spot-on deep-ball throwing. He also now has the benefit of A) an offensive line that can thrive even without Trent Williams and B) a running back in Robert Kelley who can accelerate through holes that line opens up. Both factors have turned Washington into an unstoppable force.

    Josh Norman and the secondary don’t need to make tons of plays. They just need to make one to give Washington the edge.

    Looking forward: In Week 2, Washington nearly handed Dallas its second loss. It'll have another crack at it on Thanksgiving.

6. Denver Broncos

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    Current record: 7-3

    Last week: 6 (same)

    Denver stayed put in these rankings. They're back from a Week 11 bye week.

    Looking forward: There have been no quarterback rumblings from Dove Valley of late. That means Paxton Lynch will (probably) remain sidelined in Week 12. And Trevor Siemian, who struggled in stretches before Denver’s bye week, will quarterback his defensive-minded team down its home stretch. Can he be the mistake-free passer we saw earlier this season? A Sunday night test against the rival Chiefs will be his barometer.

5. New York Giants

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    Current record: 7-3

    Last week: 7 (+2)

    The New York Giants have found their identity.

    Big Blue isn’t a blow-you-out kind of squad. It wins behind a power running game and a few crucial Eli Manning throws—especially on fourth down.

    Both of those criteria were met in Week 11. Rashad Jennings (85 yards on 21 carries) looks like a brand-new ball-carrier. Meanwhile, coach Ben McAdoo rolled the dice on fourth down and found Sterling Shepard again for an early but crucial conversion.

    Jason Pierre-Paul and Olivier Vernon took over in the second half, squashing any Chicago comeback hopes. This is a top-tier NFC team when the pass rush and running game get going.

    Looking ahead: New York nearly let one slip versus Chicago. It'll need to take Cleveland seriously to reach 8-3.

4. Seattle Seahawks

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    Current record: 7-2-1

    Last week: 5 (+1)

    Watch out for Seattle.

    It’s on the same playoff trajectory as last season. Except this year, there might not be an NFC defense skilled enough to extinguish Russell Wilson’s hot streak.

    Just look at what he did against the Eagles, a top-five group featuring serious front-seven talent. The guy put up over 270 passing yards and two total touchdowns (one passing, one receiving).

    Remember: Seattle is accomplishing all these feats without its best defensive player. When Michael Bennett returns to rush passers? Like I said, watch out.

    Looking forward: A cross-country trek to Tampa Bay should be simple enough, right? Wrong. The Bucs just handled Kansas City and will pose a big problem in Week 12.

3. Oakland Raiders

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    Current record: 8-2

    Last week: 3 (same)

    Oakland had 81 yards heading into the halftime locker room.

    Let that sink in for a moment: This high-powered high-wire act of an offense was putting up Brock Osweiler-like stats down in Mexico City. All signs pointed to its third loss this year.

    That didn’t happen, and that speaks volumes about Jack Del Rio’s impact. The Raiders coach stuck with the run for three quarters despite Jadeveon Clowney’s best efforts to destroy right tackle Austin Howard. Del Rio was confident his team could pull away in the fourth quarter; a gutsy fourth-down call (Latavius Murray up the middle) backs that up.

    Of course, No. 4 was awesome too. Derek Carr finally broke down a stout Texans defense in the game’s final quarter. His perfectly placed throws connected for 75- and 35-yard touchdowns and let Oakland claim the AFC’s top seed, despite an off night.

    Looking forward: Give it time and Oakland's offense can make plays against any defense. Can it make enough to top Cam Newton, though?

2. Dallas Cowboys

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Current record: 9-1

    Last week: 2 (same)

    Anyone who claims Dallas’ rookie quarterback is just a product of his offensive line needs to look at this game.

    Sure, Dak Prescott had time aplenty to throw against Baltimore. He also had large human beings hot on his trail and/or jumping his throws. Prescott showed the necessary patience to hit on almost every one.

    Some of those throws went to Dez Bryant. My guess is that a few more will next week; Dallas’ star wideout is playing with the post-injury swagger that makes "Big D" a force in the league.

    This could’ve been a huge letdown week for the Cowboys. Everyone jumped on their bandwagon after the Steelers win. To keep all that momentum going is impressive.

    Looking forward: It's not all turkey and stuffing in Dallas this Thanksgiving. There's a fight at hand for the future of the NFC East. Will the Cowboys or the Redskins own it?

1. New England Patriots

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    Current record: 8-2

    Last week: 1 (same)

    New England played without its top tight end and its top defensive lineman in Week 11.

    It still rolled right by San Francisco. Tom Brady tossed four touchdowns in his Bay Area homecoming and could’ve had more. With his next win, he’ll tie Peyton Manning for the most in NFL history.

    That shouldn’t be hard with the way his team is rolling. LeGarrette Blount exposed San Francisco’s improved rush defense with 124 yards. Malcolm Mitchell emerged as a deep threat for New England on a 56-yard throw. Plus, five Patriots tallied a sack on the elusive Colin Kaepernick.

    All in all, another solid outing for the top team in the NFL.

    Looking forward: Just in time to face New's Ryan Fitzpatrick! Expect New England back up in this spot for the next power rankings release.


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