Pickswise Week 12 NFL Power Rankings
The Chargers, Redskins and Buccaneers take a hit on our NFL Power Rankings and there’s a good amount of movement in the middle of the pack as some teams hit their stride late in the season. The Patriots get a bye as the Texans and Bears move up the list. Finally, we got to see the Chiefs vs the Rams and both teams delivered.
1. New Orleans Saints (9-1) – New Orleans absolutely destroyed the defending Super Bowl champs 48-7 on Sunday. The defense is improved and they have a future Hall-of-Famer at the helm. Who dat? I’m not sure because this team is rolling.
2. Los Angeles Rams (11-1) – The Rams beat the Chiefs in a barn-burner of a game. They’ve lost to the Saints this year but have rebounded with wins over the always tough Seahawks and now the Chiefs. Saints get the slight edge only because of their defensive performance last few weeks.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2) – The Chiefs still have a lot going for them, but dropping games to New England and Los Angeles does not bode well for their playoff run. It’s a theme that has plagued Andy Reid his entire career and it may happen again.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2-1) – They barely made it out of Jacksonville with the win, but a “W” is a “W.” Pittsburgh has some heavy lifting ahead vs. San Diego, vs. New England, and at New Orleans.
5. New England Patriots (7-3) – Every year we wonder when the drop-off will come for Brady and the Patriots. It’s always hard to count New England out heading into December football.
6. Chicago Bears (7-3) – Da Bears! They are getting it done. Questions surround quarterback Mitch Trubisky’s shoulder and slumping stats, but Chicago fans are hopeful that the defense will lead the way.
7. Los Angeles Chargers (7-3) – A tough loss drops the Chargers to 7-3. They’ve looked suspect in a few games this year and have some tough sledding ahead of them.
8. Houston Texans (7-3) – The streak continues, 7 straight. Relatively easy schedule ahead, things are looking good for Bill O’Brien and the Texans.
9. Carolina Panthers (6-4) – Not a great start to chase a wildcard spot by losing to the Lions. Having the Saints upcoming 2 out of 6 times isn’t going to help either.
10. Dallas Cowboys (5-5) – If they keep feeding Ezekiel Elliott, Jason Garrett and Dak Prescott might be with Cowboys next year. Must-win game on Thanksgiving.
11. Seattle Seahawks (5-5) – The Seahawks picked up a solid win against the struggling Packers but they aren’t out of the woods yet. They still have to play at Panthers, vs. Vikings, and vs. Chiefs this season.
12. Indianapolis Colts (5-5) – Andrew Luck’s streak continues. Another 3 touchdowns and no interceptions against the Titans. Amazing what can happen when you protect your quarterback. Easy schedule coming too.
13. Minnesota Vikings (5-4-1) – They almost came back against the Bears, but couldn’t get it done. They still have to play at New England, at Seattle, and vs. Chicago.
14. Baltimore Ravens (5-5) – Lamar Jackson is an interesting work-in-progress but a running quarterback has never proven sustainable in the NFL.
15. Green Bay Packers (4-5-1) – Animosity is running wild in Wisconsin. Every week, it looks like the Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rogers relationship is going to end badly.
16. Tennessee Titans (5-5) – Where did the defense go? They were torched by the Colts. Mariota is beat up at best, injured again at worst. Not looking good for the Titans as they head to Houston.
17. Washington Redskins (6-4) –Ouch! Quarterback Alex Smith is facing a potentially career-ending injury after breaking his tibia and fibula. The Redskins have a chance to make a playoff run via defense and smash mouth offense.
18. Philadelphia Eagles (4-6) – Two losses in-a-row, including an embarrassing loss to the Saints. They have a must-win Sunday against the Giants in tight NFC East.
19. Cincinnati Bengals (5-5) – Still the worst defense in the league in yards, second worst in points. Hue Jackson may help against the Browns, but probably not against the Chargers or Steelers.
20. Miami Dolphins (5-5) – Tannehill may be ready to go. Unfortunately, the Dolphins may be heading to slaughter against the surging Colts.
21. Atlanta Falcons (4-6) – The Lions of the south continue to struggle. Heading to New Orleans is not likely to help. Great for fantasy stats, not for playoff prospects.
22. Denver Broncos (4-6) – The Broncos are coming off a win against the Chargers. No one is sure how, but it happened.
23. Detroit Lions (4-6) – I will never be able to make sense of this team. A hard-fought win against the Panthers bumps them up a few spots.
24. Cleveland Browns (3-6-1) – The Browns have had some success this year but some tough games ahead. Another coaching/management shake up in the off-season might be detrimental. For now, getting a few more wins should be viewed as a success.
25. New York Giants (3-7) – Eli is still playing well. He was 17/18 with 231 yards and 2 touchdowns against the struggling Buccaneers. Another east coast team improving too late.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7) – The defense was great against the Steelers…for 3 quarters. Blake Bortles threw for 104 yards, in the NFL, in 2018. What happened?
27. Buffalo Bills (3-7) – If the Bills can get some offensive production they have a relatively easy schedule ahead and a good defense. They can probably win just enough games to ruin their draft prospects.
28. New York Jets (3-7) – The Jets were finally able to not lose. They also didn’t play, having a bye week. They aren’t good and facing the Patriots twice, Titans, Texans and Packers is not going to help. Yay, for draft picks!
29. Oakland Raiders (2-8) – A win against the Cardinals still counts as a win, right? They couldn’t find the end zone in the 2nd half, and it took a last minute field goal, but it was still a win.
30. Arizona Cardinals (2-8) – Still winless against everyone except San Francisco. They are in rebuild mode, but they already have a quarterback. A tough schedule ahead bodes well for the 2019 draft though.
31. San Francisco 49ers (2-8) – The 49ers couldn’t beat Arizona, but they have beaten the Raiders. I’m not sure what that means, but good news for Seahawks’ fans they play San Francisco twice to close out the season.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7) – Back to Jameis Winston! What is the saying? If you have 2 quarterbacks, you don’t have any. Bye, Dirk Koetter.