Week 12 NFL Power Rankings

Ian O'BrienCorrespondent INovember 26, 2009

BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 22:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts drops back in the pocket to make a pass play during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 22, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Colts defeated the Ravens 17-15. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

1. Indianapolis Colts (10-0)

If there was a PhD in football, Peyton Manning would have one. He is the master of making big plays with two minutes left, and he now has 3,171 yards and 21 TDs on the season. He is my pick for MVP so far.

2. New Orleans Saints (10-0)

The Saints have an all-around great team as demonstrated by their 10-0 record, and Drew Brees is in the discussions for MVP. The Saints have many receiving weapons and a great defense and could win their first Super Bowl ever.

3. Minnesota Vikings (9-1)

Brett Favre is having an MVP-caliber season, and Sidney Rice is having a huge breakout year and could wind up in the Pro Bowl. We'll see if Favre can lead the Vikings to a Super Bowl.

4. New England Patriots (7-3)

It looks like the Patriots are back to being Super Bowl contenders, and Tom Brady is having a great season. Wes Welker was impressive with a career-high 15 catches.

5. San Diego Chargers (7-3)

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Once again, the Chargers get off to a bad start and then recover nicely. They killed the Broncos, and L.T. appears to have a little juice left in him.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (7-3)

The Raiders pulled another upset out of nowhere, but the Bengals are still in the AFC North lead since the Steelers and Ravens lost too. They are still Super Bowl contenders with an excellent defense.

7. Arizona Cardinals (7-3)

Kurt Warner is injured yet again, and we may see a Vince Young-Matt Leinart matchup when the Cardinals play the Titans this Sunday.

8. Dallas Cowboys (7-3)

The game against the Redskins was epic, and Tony Romo showed that he is capable of making big plays. Let's see if he can do that in the playoffs for once.

9. Philadelphia Eagles (6-4)

Did anyone notice Dimitri Patterson pantsed Devin Hester? The Eagles are in contention for the wild card and could still win the NFC East. LeSean McCoy looked good against the Bears, and he's filling in for Brian Westbrook very well.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4)

The Steelers don't appear to be destined for a Super Bowl repeat as of now, and the upset from the Chiefs was a shocker, but fortunately for them, the Bengals and Ravens lost too. Ben Roethlisberger is most likely out next game, so Dennis Dixon may get his first crack at starting, and he couldn't have been faced with a more important game.

11. Green Bay Packers (6-4)

Al Harris and Aaron Kampman are out for the season, and it may cost the Packers a chance to play in the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers continues to play sharp despite getting little protection, although the offensive line appears to be improving. He has only thrown five interceptions against 19 TDs. 

12. Baltimore Ravens (5-5)

Joe Flacco is struggling, and the lack of a decent receiving unit isn't helping all. The pass defense could use some improvement to take the pressure off of Ed Reed. The game against the Steelers is crucial and will determine who will fight the Bengals for the AFC North title.

13. New York Giants (6-4)

The Giants finally snapped their four-game losing streak, and they are in contention for the wild card. Eli Manning seems to be out of his slump, and maybe he can shine when it counts just like he did when the Giants won the Super Bowl.

14. Miami Dolphins (5-5)

Benching Ted Ginn seems to be paying off for the Dolphins, and Chad Henne is doing a respectable job at QB. Ricky Williams is making a case for Comeback Player of the Year. He just needs to continue to stay away from all that marijuana.

15. Atlanta Falcons (5-5)

Matt Ryan had a respectable performance against the Giants, and time will tell whether he is back on track. The Falcons are still in the playoff picture, but they're falling behind.

16. Denver Broncos (6-4)

I have never seen a more fake 6-0 team than the Broncos. I didn't buy it for a minute, and now they have lost four games in a row. Josh McDaniels is a terrible coach, and Eddie Royal is not getting thrown to as much as he should be.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4)

Jack Del Rio is lucky that the Jaguars won because he did fewer rushing plays than he should have since Buffalo has terrible rush defense, and Maurice Jones-Drew is an excellent RB. Even with three wins in a row for the Jaguars, I'm still not convinced that they are playoff contenders. Their defense is awful. 

18. Tennessee Titans (4-6)

Vince Young is now 4-0 this season. Benching Kerry Collins was a genius move on Jeff Fisher's part, and he is coaching Young well. Chris Johnson is having a monster year and is leading the NFL in rushing yards.

19. Houston Texans (5-5)

Gary Kubiak played way too conservatively on Monday, and Kris Brown ended up missing a field goal after Matt Schaub kneeled down. Next, Rob Bironas kicks the winning field goal. Kubiak's butt is definitely on the line now, especially if the Texans miss the playoffs.

20. San Francisco 49ers (4-6)

Vernon Davis is finally showing what was expected of him when the 49ers drafted him, thanks to Mike Singletary's excellent disciplinary action on his team. Michael Crabtree is looking great too after he finally ended his holdout. Alex Smith is starting to have some bright moments, but two of his three TDs could have very well been because the Packers stopped blitzing after taking a 30-10 lead.

21. Carolina Panthers (4-6)

Jake Delhomme has had a roller coaster of a season, and he looks like he's improving, but it may be time for the Panthers to move on without him and head coach John Fox, who has been in the hot seat the whole season since the playoff loss to the Cardinals.

22. Chicago Bears (4-6)

Jay Cutler now has 18 interceptions on the season, which leads the NFL. And what happened to Matt Forte? I finally had it with him and dropped him in my fantasy league. 

23. New York Jets (4-6)

Mark Sanchez is clearly exhausted and hitting the rookie wall (five INTs against Bills, four INTs against Patriots). It's only natural for a rookie to struggle though, and he has shown the potential he has. The Jets have lost last four of their five games, and they're hanging on by a thread in the playoff picture.

24. Washington Redskins (3-7)

The Redskins' defense looked very sharp against the Cowboys, and Brian Orakpo has turned out to be a prize draft pick (seven sacks). He almost had his eighth, which would've made the Redskins 4-6, but Romo threw the ball just in time.

25. Kansas City Chiefs (3-7)

How in the world did the Chiefs beat the Steelers? Matt Cassel played like a QB that is being paid $60 million, and Todd Haley may have a brain after all since he finally figured out how great Jamaal Charles is.

26. Oakland Raiders (3-7)

With JaMarcus Russell on the bench and Bruce Gradkowski starting, the Raiders pulled off a shocking upset. The Raiders seem to have a glimmer of potential with upsetting both the Eagles and Bengals, but they need to part ways with Russell and draft a QB, and they need a coach that doesn't hit girls that will make them a winning team again.

27. Buffalo Bills (3-7)

Terrell Owens finally had a memorable game in a Bills uniform, but it was against the Jaguars, and they have terrible pass defense. The Bills have a problem at QB with neither Trent Edwards nor Ryan Fitzpatrick able to carry an offense efficiently.

28. Seattle Seahawks (3-7)

Brett Favre got his career-high completion percentage against the Seahawks. The pass D and the offensive line are a big mess, and Matt Hasselbeck barely has juice left in him.

29. Detroit Lions (2-8)

Congratulations Lions, you're not the worst team in the NFL anymore. But you still have a long way to go, and Matthew Stafford can only take so many more blows to the head because of no up front protection.

30. St. Louis Rams (2-8)

Marc Bulger's career is over, and it's time for the Rams to move on without him. Steven Jackson is having an incredible comeback season, but everything else on the team is lacking.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-9)

Josh Freeman struggled mightily, throwing three interceptions, and the defense is a huge mess as it showed allowing 38 points against the Saints.

32. Cleveland Browns (1-9)

Eric Mangini may be the dumbest coach in the NFL. What kind of coach would let his team blow a 24-3 lead against the Lions and lose while scoring 37 points? The Browns may as well throw the rest of their games and go for the first pick to get Jimmy Clausen or Jake Locker or whoever they are targeting in the draft.


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