2016 NFL Week 12 Powre Rankings
1. Dallas Cowboys (9-1).
They have the best record right now, but there are three teams they want no parts of in the playoffs, and they are almost certainly going to run into one of them in their first playoff game.
Unless they blow the division.
2. Oakland Raiders (8-2).
The Oakland Raiders marched into Mexico City with a mammoth offensive line, acrobatic wide receivers, punishing running backs, a superb :”corner linebackers” and an extraordinary young quarterback vying for the league’s Most Valuable Player award at the conclusion of the season, and left the match up with the Houston Texans with a scintillating 27-20 win (John Facenda Voice).
3. Seattle Seahawks (7-2-1).
Seattle will likely do as they normally do this time of year: not lose another regular season game.
4. New York Football Giants (7-3).
Considering the Giants have not gotten out of third gear all year offensively (and it isn’t defenses that are stopping them from doing so), and their defense has held four straight opponents to six total points in the last four fourth quarters, the Giants defense is the “closer” that teams need if they want to make deep playoff runs.
5. New England Patriots (8-2).
You don’t get points for beating San Francisco. Everyone does that. If not for Jeff Fisher being Jeff Fisher, the 49ers would be 0-10. And, for those who were actually watching the game, the Patriots were struggling through three quarters of this game. San Francisco was within one score until the Niners missed strip sacking Tom Brady by a fingernail, instead leading into a long catch and run by Malcolm Mitchell that put the game out of reach.
6. Denver Broncos (7-3).
The B-men got their bye at the right time, and should be getting Aqib Talib and a couple of others back as they attempt to maintain pace with the Raiders in the AFC West.
7. Kansas City Chiefs (7-3).
A mildly surprising loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home, but most expected a close game anyway. We’ve just become so accustomed to the Chiefs winning those games. Jameis Winston made winning these types of games an art at Florida State in 2014, however.
8. Atlanta Falcons (6-4).
The bye won’t fix the Falcons’ defensive shortcomings, and Matt Ryan’s inability to win in cold weather games in November and December.
9. Detroit Lions (6-4).
10. Washington Redskins (6-3-1).
Their offense is efficient, which masks their defensive shortcomings. We do not know how long this will last, however. A stiff test awaits in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day.
11. Miami Dolphins (6-4).
The Fins have quietly won five straight games; the latest coming in thrilling and gutsy fashion when Ryan Tannehill looked like one of the worst quarterbacks in NFL history along with Marc Wilson, before awakening late to lead two scoring drives, including the game-winner.
12. Houston Texans (6-4).
This team is lucky that half its wins have come against the woeful AFC South.
13. Minnesota Vikings (6-4).
Minnesota is equally lucky that the Cards out-Viked the Vikes in this one. They’re not “back on track” in a game they very well should have lost.
14. Buffalo Bills (5-5).
Rex’s Bills needed a win in the worst way and thoroughly mashed the Bengals in the process of achieving that win.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5).
The Steelers still have a lot of work to do defensively if they expect to win their division (likely their only route to the playoffs) and do any damage once there.
16. Indianapolis Colts (5-5).
Does anyone outside of the Colts fandom like watching this team or take them seriously?
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5).
Despite some ghastly performances, the Bucs are only one game out of first place in the NFC South. Bears watching. Jameis Winston is putting up monstrous statistics this season.
18. Baltimore Ravens (5-5).
Joe Flacco is one delusional cat. His postgame comments included a proclamation that they should have beaten Dallas, yet he overlooked Dennis Pitta being wide open on at least four or five occasions when he could have exploited Dallas’ defense and made poor decisions with the ball instead.
19. Philadelphia Eagles (5-5).
They are who we thought they were.
20. Tennessee Titans (5-6).
As you see, the Titans can’t seem to get out of their own way when they are in close games late.
21. Arizona Cardinals (4-5-1).
Carson Palmer just needs to hang them up. This team has a young core and can be good for years, but he’s not taking them anywhere.
22. Carolina Panthers (4-6).
The Panthers are still within striking distance, but they are going to need another annual collapse by Atlanta (and Tampa, for that matter) if they have any hopes of winning the division. And that may be without all-world Luke Kuechly for a while.
23. San Diego Chargers (4-6).
The Bolts have to practically win out to have any hopes of making the playoffs. Should they get there, no one is going to want to play this team.
24. New Orleans Saints (4-6).
You can always count on the Saints being mediocre on the road on grass.
25. Green Bay Packers (4-6).
We have seen some people still ranking the Packers in the mid-teens after losing four straight games (MIKE FLORIO, who picked them to win the NFC) but this team is just not good. And they’re down to signing guys off the street to START GAMES.
26. Cincinnati Bengals (3-6-1).
The Bengals season is over.
27. Los Angeles Rams (4-6).
Jared Goff wasn’t as bad as he was in the preseason, but he wasn’t great, either.
28. New York Jets (3-7).
The Jets also lost in their bye week.
29. Chicago Bears (2-8).
The Bears have been feisty even if they’ve lost all of these games, but Jay Cutler is now out for season, and his last image on the field in a Bears uniform may be crumpling under the collapse of Johnathan Hankins, Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul on top of him, injuring his shoulder at Giants Stadium in Week 11. His time with the Bears is almost certainly over.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8).
“The best 2-8 team I’ve ever seen” — Rex Ryan. Wait, is that a compliment?
31. San Francisco 49ers (1-9).
We are two and a half months into the season and still wondering how they not only beat the Rams, but shut them out.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-11).
They just need to finish the tank job and fill as many of the holes along their offensive and defensive lines, and secondary as possible this offseason. In a draft where none of the QBs are future Hall of Famers or even perennial All-Pros, it is probably a good thing that the Browns don’t necessarily need one; that is, if Cody Kessler can ever stay healthy.