Power Rankings - Week 12
1. Saints (11-0) - Watching them pound Belichick and the Pats into early submission was a thing of beauty. Not even Roberto Duran looked that pathetic in their 4th QTR "NO MAS" moment. Saints offense is elite, and their defense is aggressive and opportunistic. They will be tough to beat.
2. Vikings(10-1) - A close second to the Saints. They are the most complete and well balanced team in the NFL, and only a narrow loss to Pittsburgh keeps them from being unbeaten.
3. Colts (11-0) - The most unimpressive 11-0 team I've ever seen. They keep squeeking out narrow wins, their offense isn't exactly lighting it up, and their secondary has a lot of holes. It should be another early playoff exit for the Colts at the hands of a 3-4 team like the Chargers, Broncos, or Steelers.
4. Bengals (8-3) - Reminiscent of the early 2000 Steelers. Pounding it on the ground and playing good defense. They also seemed destined to fail in the playoffs and their passing game has gone missing lately.
5. Cowboys (8-3) - The production is catching up to the talent, but make that 3 teams in a row in my top 5 that I just can't trust come playoff time.
6. Chargers (8-3) - After starting 2-3 they are now 8-3 and the #2 seed in the AFC. I still don't buy their defense, but right now they are as hot as anyone. Upcoming game vs Cincy should decide who gets the first round bye.
7. Eagles (7-4) - Another up and down team with a lot of talent. Desean Jackson is proving he should have been a 1st round pick last year.
8. Packers (7-4) - Serious O-line problems continue, the defense has been dominant at times, but is banged up now. They can score enough points to hang with most anyone.
9. Patriots (7-4) - The 'Champs' are the 'model franchise' and have shown the league how to win multiple Super Bowls in the salary cap era. Oh wait, it's 2009 and they haven't been relevant since 2004. Somebody alert the media.
10. Cardinals (7-4) - If they get into the playoffs healthy, they could shock the world again in the NFC. Maybe the only team that can realistically hang with Minnesota and New Orleans.
11, Broncos (7-4) - They have come back down to earth lately, but had an impressive win over the Giants to bounce back.
12. Giants (6-5) - Eli is back to being old Eli and the defense isn't what it once was. They still should be better than 6-5.
13. Falcons (6-5) Matt Ryan is now banged up and officially having a bit of a sophomore slump with a QB rating down near 80. They are fighting for their playoff lives. I think they die off.
14. Ravens (6-5) - Exacted revenge by beating the Steelers and moving into wild card contention. Realistically their defense is very average and their offense isn't much better. They look like a 6-5 team to be honest.
15. Jaguars (6-5) - Still a Jeckyl and Hyde team. Look good one week, awful the next. Jones-Drew is carrying them offensively. Right now they are a playoff team.
16. Titans (5-6) - Simply on fire after an 0-6 start they have won 5 straight. Nobody wants to play them right now, they have the terrible towel on their side. Vince Young is re-born and Chris Johnson is doing things the league has never seen.
17. Steelers (6-5) - Maybe a bit high for this team, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. From 6-2 to 6-5, this team finds new and inventive ways to give away games every week. Only team in the league that can realistically win or lose to any of the the other 31 teams in the NFL any given Sunday. If they somehow find their heads in the deep cave that is their ass and can make it to the post-season with a healthy Polamalu and Roethlisberger, they have as good a shot as anyone of winning the AFC.
18. Texans (5-6) - So close to getting over the hump, but they remind me of the Bengals from earlier this decade. Stuck on 8-8, waiting to cross that hurdle. Not this year kids, not this year.
19. Jets (5-6) - The luster has worn off "San-chize", and Rex Ryan's defense has been hit and miss as of late.
20. 49ers (5-6) Singletary has the team playing hard and competitive, but there still isnt enough talent to be a real threat.
21. Dolphins (5-6) - Still a solid team, just not a good team. No Ronnie Brown hurts.
22. Bears (4-7) - Jay Cutler is awful, and now the Bears have no 1st round picks to build around him. Oops!
23. Bills (4-7) - Up and down, still very mediocre. Apparently T.O plays for the Bills. He finally showed up last week.
24. Panthers (4-7) - Delhomme is awful to watch. Somebody put him out of his misery. Cowher has his work cut out for him!
25. Raiders (3-8) - Playing better and the defense is pretty good. Able to beat some good teams at home. It's a start. Bruce Gradkowski at QB is probably not the answer.
26. Seahawks (4-7) - All hype, not much talent. If not for the Rams being on the schedule twice a year they would look even worse.
27. Redskins (3-8) - Lots of talent, no direction, heart, or competent QB on the roster. Dan Snyder's suffering is delicious!
28. Chiefs (3-8) - At least they beat the defending SB champs. They'll have that to crow about after the season.
29. Lions (2-9) - Stafford has shown some flashes of brilliance and flashes of awful. They still need a lot of pieces.
30. Bucs (1-10) - Freeman may be an NFL QB. At least they have that going for them.
31. Rams (1-10) - Poor Stephen Jackson.
32. Browns (1-10) - Their defense has shown some flashes, then sunk back to mediocrity. Matt Roth will help the cause. Curious to see what direction they go with the first pick in the draft. D-line, QB, or Safety? Maybe they'll trade down repeatedly again.