NFL Power Rankings: Mid-Range Teams That Will Keep Climbing

Michael DixonAnalyst IIINovember 16, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 16:  Darren McFadden #20 of the Oakland Raiders runs the ball against the Cleveland Browns at O.co Coliseum on October 16, 2011 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Welcome to the parity era of the NFL. Look at how many teams are above .500. Look how many teams are right below .500. It's really amazing. 

Every one of these teams sits at 5-4. I am looking for all of them to make a strong finish this season.

Whether they make the playoffs or not depends on what other teams do as much as what they do. Still, look for these teams to do their part.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys have been inconsistent this year. They are capable of beating any team in the league, but also capable of losing to any team in the league. Neither would be a massive upset.

But they are immensely talented, and it's about time that that showed on a consistent level. Look for it to for the remainder of the season.

Who wins the NFC East will come down to their two games versus the Giants. I doubt that we'll see a wild card winner coming from that division. 

But even if they miss the playoffs, look for the Cowboys to finish 2011 on a much better note.

Oakland Raiders

The schedule that the Raiders face is actually rather difficult coming in. But what they have in their favor is that, ideally, the Raiders will soon be getting running back Darren McFadden back.

With him in the lineup, they have the offensive punch and variety to beat teams in any number of different ways. 

The Raiders have a perimeter game with their receivers, a power running game with Michael Bush and outside game in Darren McFadden. This is a scary team that will make a run to the playoffs.

New York Jets

While the Jets have battled inconsistency and a weak offense all season, their finishing schedule sets up very well. While 5-4 isn't exactly a great record in a loaded AFC, the remainder of the Jets' schedule sets up very well for a playoff run. 

Quite frankly, a 10-6 season is not at all out of the realm of possibility. I am not sure that it will be enough to get them into the playoffs this season, but of the teams they play, only the Giants and Bills are above .500. 

The Eagles, Chiefs and Broncos also remain. They are all unknowns, but this season sets up well for a Jets' push. Don't be surprised to see them in the playoffs.

Michael Dixon's Week 11 NFL Power Rankings

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

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