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NFL Power Rankings

NFL Power Rankings: Week 12

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The NFL season is now 11 weeks old. Still, the Cleveland Browns have not won a game. They’ve fought hard in nearly every contest, but having a rookie QB and a defense full of youth, it’s not hard to see why they are winless in 10 games. At least they are letting DeShone Kizer work out his growing pains… The Denver Broncos have fallen hard from grace. I go by the saying, if you feel you have two quarterbacks, then you really don’t have one. Denver will keep the QB carousel going as Paxton Lynch will get the chance to right the sinking ship.

The San Francisco 49ers got their first win in Week 10, and then went on a bye. Was it bad or good timing? Only time will tell if they can continue the momentum to finish strong or that break may have hurt it… The New York Giants appeared to hit rock bottom a week ago. They got beat by the 49ers and questions surrounded the future of their head coach. Now a week later they bounced back against the Kansas City Chiefs. Thursday night’s game against Washington will tell where things go for the remainder of the season.

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It’s not clear where the Chicago Bears are headed for the future. It’s head coach, John Fox, looks to be on his final days there. Mitch Trubisky, the team’s rookie QB, has had his fair share of growing pains. So much so, his presence may have been a regression from Mike Glennon. With so many holes on the roster and a new coach on the horizons, it may be a while for the Bears before they’re in any contention for titles… The Green Bay Packers season was over when Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone. But, Brett Hundley has shown some flashes, just not enough to keep the Packers in the limelight.

Any chance of the Arizona Cardinals salvaging their season went down with Drew Stanton’s sprained knee. Losing to the Texans on a week in which both the Seahawks and Rams lost will hurt any chance of them getting back into the hunt for the NFC West crown… Another team already looking for answers for their future is the Indianapolis Colts. What are the odds Chuck Pagano and Andrew Luck being not with the Colts?

nfl power rankings

The Cincinnati Bengals picked up a much-needed win on Sunday against the fading the Denver Broncos. Don’t look now, but the Bengals are just one game out of the sixth seed in the AFC… Matt Moore is the NFL’s best relief QB. He replaced an injured and awful Jay Cutler on Sunday and got the Miami Dolphins‘ offense back on track. Unfortunately, his efforts were not enough against Tampa Bay.

Tom Savage finally QB’d the Houston Texans to victory, beating Arizona. Can he continue and make games like Sunday more consistent? He’ll be put to the test over the next couple of weeks with games against Baltimore, Tennessee, and Jacksonville over the next four weeks… A season of promise washed away in Mexico for the Oakland Raiders with a loss to New England. Now they have moved on from Ken Norton as their defensive coordinator. It’s safe to assume 2017 will be a wasted season for Oakland.

nfl power rankings

So much for that Nate Peterman experiment in Buffalo, right? Buffalo Bills‘ Sean McDermott is new to head coaching. He just learned a valuable lesson in his first year. It’s safe to assume Tyrod Taylor will be the starting QB going forward for the 2017 season if healthy… That’s two wins in a row for Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While the defense still has been shaky, there is some hope the Buccaneers can right the ship with a good push down the stretch with or without Jameis Winston.

The Dallas Cowboys are searching for good health and answers. The start of Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension coincides with the back and groin injuries of LT Tyron Smith. The combination has been detrimental for Dak Prescott. The Cowboys QB has failed to reach 200 yards passing in either of the last two games (without Elliott and Smith). In Sunday night’s loss to Philadelphia, Prescott had a 30.4 QB rating. The Cowboys’ offense has scored just one touchdown in the two games.

The New York Jets are building. With already four wins, those concerns and questions that existed at the start of the season have faded some. Josh McCown and his no-name receiving core has been solid for much of the season. With a youthful and improving defense, a strong finish down the stretch (whether playoffs or not) is all that matters for Todd Bowles’ team.

nfl power rankings

The Los Angeles Chargers are, well charging towards the postseason. They have won three of their last five. Their two losses during the stretch were against the Patriots and Jaguars. Both losses were by one possession. In fact, five of the Chargers six losses have been by one possession. With Kansas City fading as of late, L.A. is just two games out of first place in the AFC West… The Baltimore Ravens are another team to keep an eye on. They’ve won two of their last three with their lone loss being against Tennessee by a field goal. As bad as Baltimore has looked at times, they currently hold the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC.

You have to feel bad for Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins. No matter how good he and the offense plays against top-tier opponents, they find a way to lose the game. Sunday after leading by 15 with three minutes to play, the Redskins somehow lost to the New Orleans Saints in overtime 34-31. That’s back-to-back weeks the Redskins put up 30 or more points on one of the best teams in the NFC only to eventually lose. Throw in the fact they lost their best skilled offensive weapon, Chris Thompson, for the year to a fractured fibula, and it’s hard to say they can finish strong even with a favorable schedule with all the amounting injuries.

Speaking of the Kansas City Chiefs, remember when they were invincible and the best team in the NFL? Yeah, it’s hard to recall nowadays. The Chiefs have lost four of their last five games after starting the season 5-0. Now head coach Andy Reid has finally become critical of QB Alex Smith. With the addition of Kareem Hunt and the emergence of Tyreek Hill, this seemed like the year both Reid and Smith could knock the can’t win when it counts tag…

nfl power rankings

If there is a team that can bounce back from a drubbing like the Tennessee Titans got on Thursday night, it’s them. Thursday Night Football outcomes are almost always misleading. Meanwhile, Tennessee will have to shake their beat down in Pittsburgh because they’ll need to keep pace with the Jaguars for the AFC South title… Blair Walsh once again came up short when his team called for him. No, Walsh was not the lone reason the Seattle Seahawks lost in Atlanta on Monday night. However, at some point the trust must be taken away by Pete Carroll. Then again, he may have shown he no longer trusts Walsh with a horrendous fake field goal call.

The Detroit Lions dropped significantly a few weeks ago. But Matthew Stafford is becoming the league’s best comeback QB and all sudden their back in the top-10… The Atlanta Falcons weathered the comeback storm of Russell Wilson to top the Seahawks. Winners of three of their last four, and with five divisional games remaining on the docket, the Falcons will have ample chances to knock the Super Bowl runner-up hangover.

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Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are coming off a bye after winning three straight. Now as they close out the season down the stretch, they’ll have some stiff competition on their remaining schedule. But, if they somehow survive even with a 3-3 record and get into the playoffs, don’t forget this team is just two seasons removed from winning the NFC… The Los Angeles Rams got grounded by a better defense in Minnesota. Sean McVay and his team will face adversity with a loss for the third time this season. The previous two losses were followed by winning streaks.

The Minnesota Vikings are playing as good as anyone in the NFL. I’ve been blasted in the past for supporting this team’s Super Bowl chances each of the past two seasons. Third time’s a charm, right? Case Keenum is playing well enough to keep the starting QB job even with Teddy Bridgewater back. Keenum has rose to the occasion much of all season since taking over as the starter. He’s worth riding it all out with, just saying.

The New Orleans Saints just find ways to win. They played arguably their worst game of the season since Week 1 (when they lost to Minnesota) against the Redskins. Despite being down 15 with three minutes remaining, their defense and offense clicked on the switch and pulled it out with 18 unanswered points to win in OT. Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara may be the best RB combination we’ve seen in a generation.

nfl power rankings

Since getting hammered by Jacksonville and questions swarming about the future of Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers have now won five straight. While so many associate others as the best team in the AFC, the Steelers hold the No. 1 seed in the standings. Their defense is playing lights out collectively and not even the loss of CB Joe Haden should hamper them. Of course, it may all come down to can they beat the Jaguars or Patriots?

The Jacksonville Jaguars are the league’s most dominating defense. While defenses like the Seahawks and Broncos are fading, the Jaguars are priming to take the thrown. Can anyone throw against that secondary? Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are like watching Darrell Green and Deion Sanders playing together in their prime. Yes, I just said that.

The New England Patriots are back to form. So much for the writing off Tom Brady and Bill Belichick after another 2-2 start. It’s crazy, you’d think critics would learn that the Patriots starting slow in September means nothing towards January.

The Philadelphia Eagles have something special going. Carson Wentz gets all the praise, as most QB’s in large markets, but the Eagles have talent across the board. If they can hang on to that No. 1 seed in the NFC, it may be difficult to go into the Linc and pull off a win in January no matter who you are.

 

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