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Power Rankings: Week Twelve

As we near the final stretch of the NFL regular season, although the races are all still very tight, we’re finally starting to see distinct separation between the have’s and the have not’s.  If the Superbowl were held today, even money would be on the Pats and Falcons facing off in Dallas, but with the way the chips have fallen in the NFL this season, it’s anyone’s game from here on out. As always if you think you can do better than my rankings, leave your own rankings in the comments below. Teams in bold were on the bye week and their position remains unaffected.

1. New England Patriots (9-2).  Belichick can’t be resting easy haven given up so many points to the Lions. Last Week: #1

2. Atlanta Falcons (9-2). Statement win over the Packers shows this team is for real, well at least for real when playing at home. Let’s see what happens when they’re cast out into the frozen tundra. Last Week: #2

3. Baltimore Ravens (8-3).  This team could easily be undefeated or it could be sitting at .500. Inconsistency worries me when looking at the schedule down the stretch. Steelers, Saints, at Texans and at Browns, a tough road ahead.  Last Week: #4

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3). It’s Ravens week in Steeler-Land. The Prize is the AFC North Crown. To the victor go the spoils. Maybe the almost loss to the Bills was a result of a little bit of forward thinking.  Last Week: #8

5. New Orleans Saints (8-3). A Cowboys blunder in the waning minutes was needed for the Saints to survive. Last Week: #5

6. New York Jets (9-2).  I’m still a hater. The win over the Bengals does not impress me much. Last Week: #7

7. Chicago Bears (8-3). Bears throttled Mike Vick and the Eagles. Having Urlacher back is a massive boon. Last Week: #10

8. Green Bay Packers (7-4). Packers get a loss at the worst possible time in their race against the Bears. Last Week: #3

9. Philadelphia Eagles (7-4). Eagles just couldn’t keep pace with the Bears. Maybe it was too much turkey. Last Week: #6

10. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4). Chiefs absolutely drubbed the Seahawks. That was a hate beating if I’ve ever seen one. Last Week: #12

11. San Diego Chargers (6-5). The Chargers are hitting on all cylinders and will be very difficult to beat from here on out. Last Week: #14

12. Indianapolis Colts (6-5).  The Steelers can’t beat the Patriots, the Ravens can’t beat the Bengals, and the Colts just simply can’t beat the Chargers. Every team has an Achilles heel. Last Week: #9

13. New York Giants (7-4). Comeback win over the Jags is not very impressive. Things still aren’t quite right on the good ship Giants. Last Week: #15

14. Miami Dolphins (6-5). Beat the Raiders handily. Last Week: #17

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4). Still haven’t beaten a team with a winning record. That being said, this team looks a lot like the 2008 Ravens. Young, talented, and almost there. Last Week: #11

16. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-5). If the Jags had stopped Eli on the final drive, they’d be sitting at a game and a half over the Colts with five to play. Scary stuff. Last Week: #13

17. Houston Texans (5-6).  Despite losing Andre Johnson to an ejection, the Texans blank the defensively sound Titans. Last Week: #26

18. Cleveland Browns (4-7). Peyton Hillis is a monster born straight from the nightmares of Defensive Lineman and Linebackers league wide. Last Week: # 20

19. Washington Redskins (5-6). Injuries and inconsistency have plagued this team. Kyle, Mike and Bruce have got a lot to keep them busy as they rebuild. Last Week: #17

20. Oakland Raiders (5-6). With a consistent QB this team can make some noise, without one, they’re dead in the water. Last Week: #18

21. Minnesota Vikings (4-7).  Running the Ball helped the Vikings win this game. If Peterson is out any extended time, can they keep things rolling? Last Week: #27 

22. St. Louis Rams (5-6). I’d be a lot higher on the Rams this week had they not allowed 20 points in the fourth quarter. Last Week: #25

23. Dallas Cowboys (3-8). Jason Garret has got the team moving in the right direction, and there’s no question that the Cowboys are better than their record, but to lose like that against the Saints is borderline inexcusable. Last Week: #21

24. San Francisco 49ers (4-7). Not a pretty game for Troy Smith, but Brian Westbrook comes to the rescue and shows he has a little gas left in the tank after all. Last Week: #23

25. Buffalo Bills (2-9). Once again the Bills snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Last Week: #22

26. Tennessee Titans (5-6).  Cortland Finnegan is a no talent thug, and just an aside, the Titans have not won a game since acquiring Randy Moss. Last Week: #19

27. Denver Broncos (3-8). Spy Gate part II did nothing to help McDaniels’ cause in Denver. Last Week: # 24

28. Detroit Lions (2-9). Just didn’t have enough gas to keep things going against the Patriots. Last Week: #28

29. Seattle Seahawks (5-6).  Hooray for new lows in Seattle. Last Week: #29

30. Arizona Cardinals (3-8). From playoffs to meltdown in elevn short weeks. Last Week: #30

31. Cincinnati Bengals (2-9). Would be the worst team in the league if not for the Panthers. Last Week: #31

32. Carolina Panthers (1-10). What’s that smell? Oh, it’s just the Carolina Panthers. Man do they stink. Last Week: #32

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