Wednesday, 21 November 2012

NFL Power Rankings Week 12

  1. Houston Texans 9-1 (-) 
I’m not convinced Houston still deserve to be top after going to overtime, at home, with the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, I’m equally unconvinced that anyone else deserves to go above them. They got the win in the end, and whilst the top 10 certainly feels a lot less stable than it did a couple of weeks ago they should still beat the Lions on thanksgiving and cement their #1 seed further. 

Justin Blackmon and Andre Johnson were the first WR's to record 200+ receiving yards in the same game.

  1. San Francisco 49ers 7-2-1 (U6) 
What a performance from the young Kaepernick, who definitely proved to be more than the ‘capable back-up’ I dubbed him a week ago. To dominate the Bears the way they did showed this Niners side has the potential to go all the way, and with their ability to seemingly weather any injury that arises they should be confident of a deep post season run. Next up is a tough game in New Orleans.  

  1. Atlanta Falcons 9-1 (D1) 
Another improbable win from the Falcons. In one way it’s impressive they still managed to be victorious after 6 turnovers (including 5 M. Ryan picks), but in the majority of ways it is not. A better opposing offense would have punished them and they’ll need to avoid such unsightly mistakes to maintain their ranking. They have another challenging game at Tampa this weekend.  

  1. Denver Broncos 7-3 (-) 
Denver continue to go from strength to strength with a divisional beat down of San Diego. Losing McGahee hurts but they have a strong passing game and enough depth to ride it out. Next on the schedule is what should be a demolition of Kansas City.   

  1. New England Patriots 7-3 (-) 
A dominant win over the Colts but Gronk’s broken arm is a huge cause for concern for the remainder of the regular season and even post season. If anyone can account for their star TE’s absence though it’s Belichick so I’m sure the Patriots will continue to be the dominant offensive force they perennially are. A divisional show-down with the Jets Thursday night shouldn’t cause any problems. 

  1. Green Bay Packers 7-3 (-) 
The Pack struggled to beat Detroit, in no small part due to some inaccurate kicking. Even with notable injuries they still managed to secure the win though, and will always be a dangerous team home or away. Facing off with the Giants this weekend will provide a great spectacle, and one they should be confident they can grab a result from. 

  1. Chicago Bears 7-3 (D4) 
Let’s hope for the Bears’ sake Cutler gets back quickly as that was an ugly performance. He takes a lot of criticism, but clearly playing from behind that o-line is not going to make anybody look good. Their defence also had an off day, so they’ll need to rediscover their form to get back in the title race. They host the Vikings next in a key NFC North encounter – a loss here would put them on equal footing. 

  1. Baltimore Ravens 8-2 (D1) 
The Ravens beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh, but it was hardly a convincing performance, especially playing against the less than inspiring LeftwichA trip to struggling SD looms.  

  1. Seattle Seahawks 6-4 (-) 
A bye and no change for Seattle. A potentially testing away trip to Miami awaits.  

  1. New Orleans Saints 5-5 (U1) 
The Saints dominate the Raiders as expected and move up a notch. At 5-5 their early season troubles must seem like a half forgotten nightmare, but they’ll need to overcome the might of San Francisco to continue unimpeded along the comeback trail.  

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-4 (U2) 
The Buccs snatch a 2nd divisional victory from the Panthers in nail-biting fashion, and continue to show the league they are no pushovers. Next they host the Falcons, which could be a bridge too far for Freeman and co.   

  1. Minnesota Vikings 6-4 (U2) 
A bye week and a rise, mainly due to the poor form of their competition. Next they face a tough encounter at Soldier Field, and AP will have to be at his spectacular best to grab a W here.  

  1. Indianapolis Colts 6-4 (D1) 
The Colts get blown well and truly out the water by the Pats, but it won’t dampen their spirit. At 6-4 they are in a strong position to claim an AFC wildcard, and having the chance to beat one of their competitors by hosting Buffalo this weekend is great way to take a big step closer. 

  1. New York Giants 6-4 (U1) 
A bye and the Giants rise slightly. Let’s not over react too much, the Giants are still a very dangerous team and one in command of a division (at least for the time being), but unless they find a way improve their offensive fire power they look doomed to suffer an ugly SB-hangover year.  Up next are the visiting Packers, and what better opportunity to recover their 2012 post-season form than a rematch of the game that really kicked it into gear. 

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers 6-4 (D5) 
The Steelers lose narrowly, but fall big. With Big Ben side-lined for the near future their drop is reflective of the dearth of talent at QB to replace him. Their defence will have to be at it’s very best to keep them in games until they get him back, and luckily their upcoming game vs Cleveland shouldn't be a high scoring one. 

  1. Detroit Lions 4-6 (-) 
With an ugly divisional record and 3 better NFC North playoff prospects the Lions’ season is as good as over. The Texans visiting next should hammer the nail home. 

  1. Cincinnati Bengals 5-5 (U1) 
A confident unravelling of Kansas City may not say much to the league, but the Bengals are quietly sitting at 5-5, with the very real chance of leap frogging the QB-less Steelers in the division over the next couple of weeks. Oakland at home next should not pose too taxing. 

  1. Dallas Cowboys 5-5 (D1) 
The Cowboys are also sitting at 5-5 (although nothing concerning Dallas ever goes under the radar), and must fancy their chances of catching the Giants with a relatively more winnable game next in the visiting Redskins. They drop because they let Cleveland take them to overtime. 

  1. Washington Redskins 4-6 (U4) 
RG3 was near flawless vs Philadelphia, and they must have high hopes of grabbing a win over the Cowboys and setting them both to 5-6 in the process with the nation watching 

  1. Arizona Cardinals 4-6 (U1) 
The Cardinals lose again, but rise slightly due to a great defensive performance (including 6 turnovers) vs Atlanta. If they can play that well again vs St. Louis there is no excuse not to win.  

  1. San Diego Chargers 4-6 (D2) 
The Chargers get handled by the Broncos and will have to content themselves with at the very best a wildcard spot. Their problems are manifold but start with the O-line, compounded by Rivers and Turner. I’m ticking off the days ‘till Norv gets the boot.  

  1. Buffalo Bills 4-6 (U4) 
The Bills see off Miami and help set ¾ of the AFC West to 4-6. Any one of these 3 could take a wildcard spot if they go on a run, but the Bills are probably in the best position to do so. A trip to Indy on Sunday is a challenging but winnable encounter.  

  1. New York Jets 4-6 (U5) 
The Jets shocked the league by beating the Rams, which really tells you how far they have fallen in peoples’ estimations this year. They’ll need to dig even deeper to have a chance of a win vs New England this Thursday.  

  1. Miami Dolphins 4-6 (D4) 
They lose to the Bills and really find themselves up against it now. At 4-6 it’s still been a better season than I expected, but they face stiff competition next in travelling Seattle.  

  1. St. Louis Rams 3-6-1 (D3) 
Just when I thought the Rams were going to get back to winning ways they lose to the Jets. I guess I expected too much too soon, and with Danny A. going down mid game a loss was inevitable! They travel to the Cards next at just the wrong time it would appear. 

  1. Tennessee Titans 4-6 (D1) 
Fresh off a bye and down one, but they have the Jags next so no excuses if they lose this one.  

  1. Cleveland Browns 2-8 (U2) 
The Browns rise due to their spirited OT loss to the Cowboys. They have come a long way from being a pushover team in a short space of time, and will look to take advantage of the limping Steelers this Sunday. 

  1. Philadelphia Eagles 3-7 (D4) 
The Eagles lose, and show that life after Vick is going to be just as bleak (maybe even bleaker) than 2012 has been. Next they have the Panthers in the battle of the underachievers.  

  1. Carolina Panthers 2-8 (U2) 
They rise mainly because everyone else down here is so terrible. They ran the Buccs right to the wire, and should feel optimistic they can get a result from the Eagles this weekend. 

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-9 (U2) 
The Jags take Houston to OT in a high scoring affair! I’m pretty sure nobody in the whole world saw that happening, and Henne showed he can still cut the mustard. This should make their upcoming game with Tennessee a very interesting one.  

  1. Oakland Raiders 3-7 (D1) 
The Raiders get blown out by the Saints and slip further. They’ve had injury concerns of course, but the biggest concern is simply a lack of talent on both sides of the ball. They play the Bengals next. 

  1. Kansas City Chiefs 1-9 (D1) 
The Chiefs are just flat out the worst team in the league right now, and playing Manning and the Broncos Sunday isn’t going to make them look any prettier. 


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