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NFL Power Rankings (Week 12): Broncos, Seahawks, Saints Claim Top Spots

There's a lot of movement in our power rankings as we head into Week 12.

Tom Pennington

The Chiefs drop out of first place in our rankings, and we have a new top three in the Broncos, Seahawks and Saints.

The biggest climbers this week: Giants (up four spots), Dolphins (3), Raiders (3), and Buccaneers (3). The biggest sliders are the Jets (-4), Chiefs (-3), Lions (-3), Packers (-3), and Redskins (-3).

RANK TEAM W/L Power_rankings_logo_medium MOVE (LW)
Den_medium 9-1 Before the season even started, a lot of people penciled in the Broncos to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. It looks like a lot of people may have been right. (Tom) Gn-arrow-up_medium (2)
2 Sea_medium 10-1 Seattle was up 24-13 on the Vikings with about 14 minutes remaining and Minnesota with the ball. Four minutes later, it was 41-13. Interception then touchdown, interception for a touchdown, interception then field goal. Someone explain to me how this isn't the best team in the NFL. (KD) Gn-arrow-up_medium (3)
No_medium 8-2 The Saints came out on top in a very intense game, scoring three unanswered field goals in the fourth quarter, the last of which was the game-winner with time expiring. The Saints are brimming with confidence - you could see it in the way they played and coached against a fierce 49ers team. This team will go far. (OCC) Gn-arrow-up_medium (4)
Kc_medium 9-1 The Chiefs dropped their first game of the season, and it wasn't really close, but it will be interesting to see what happens in the rematch in Arrowhead in two weeks. The defense is still full of monsters and it was the first time someone held Denver under 28 since Wk 14 last year, when they stopped trying in the fourth against Oakland. Don't write off the Chiefs just yet. (KD) Rd-arrow-down_medium (1)
Ne_medium 7-3 The Patriots came within one penalty of putting up more points against the stingiest defense in the league than any other team has done so far this year. (OCC) (5)
6 Car_medium 7-3 Bolstered by the league's leading defense, the Panthers are suddenly one of the hottest teams in the NFL. They look almost certain to make the playoffs, and still have both games against the Saints to play to determine who wins the division. (Tom) (6)
7 Ind_medium 7-3 The NFL is not a beauty contest, so it doesn't matter how you win games. But at some point the Colts won't be able to eke out these narrow wins anymore. (OCC) Gn-arrow-up_medium (9)
8 Cin_medium 7-4 Apparently, the crowd in Cincinnati started booing when the Bengals fell behind 13-0 before eventually winning 41-20. DE Michael Johnson didn't like that one bit: "If you're not believing and being positive, leave," Johnson said. "We don't need you. Because that's what we're about around here -- staying focused, staying positive and keeping our energy going. Negativity breeds negativity, and we don't do that around here." (OCC)
Gn-arrow-up_medium (10)
Sf_medium 6-4 Despite only losing seven games over the past two complete seasons, the 6-4 49ers actually have four more losses as a team than do the Dallas Cowboys since 2000. What does that mean? Absolutely nothing, but it's pretty hard to get a beat on this team at the moment. At least they'll end Washington's season on Monday night. (KD) Rd-arrow-down_medium (8)
10 Det_medium 6-4 Matthew Stafford threw for 327 yards in the first half of Sunday's loss to the Steelers but then went 3-for-16 in the second half. Calvin Johnson had 6 catches for 179 yards in the first half and none in the second. The Lions briefly looked unstoppable, but there wasn't much to like about the way they played after that. (OCC) Rd-arrow-down_medium (7)
Chi_medium 6-4 In five hours and twenty minutes of weather-delayed overtime football, the Bears scraped out a win to move up to 6-4, not bad considering their injury situation. The Bears face the Rams next, and could potentially make a move more first place in the NFC North. (OCC) Gn-arrow-up_medium (12)
12 Ari_medium 6-4 In his tenth game of the season, Carson Palmer finally finished a game without an interception, and his 402 passing yards had to bail out a ground game that managed a shockingly low 14 yards on 24 carries. You may win against the Jaguars like this, but not against many other teams. (OCC) Gn-arrow-up_medium (14)
13 Phi_medium 6-5 The Eagles head into their bye week and can relax in the knowledge that they'll at least be tied for first in the NFC East when they come back. If only there wasn't this pesky divisional tiebreaker ... (OCC) Gn-arrow-up_medium (15)
Gb_medium 5-5 Without Aaron Rodgers, this is not a good team. Any chance of turning this around depends on how fast he comes back. Most likely, he is going to be back for the game with Dallas, because, well, that's how it's going for the Cowboys this year. (Tom) Rd-arrow-down_medium (11)
15 Dal_medium 5-5 The Cowboys are 5-5 for a reason, and it's extremely unlikely that they'll magically find a way to suddenly go 6-0 or 5-1 over the remaining games. They will struggle all the way to the finish line again this year. (OCC) Gn-arrow-up_medium (16)
16 Mia_medium 5-5 The Chargers and Dolphins went to-to-toe for a full 60 minutes, and the Dolphins were able to save the win on the final play of the game, a defensive
play in the endzone with no time remaining on the clock. At 5-5, the Dolphins are very much alive in the playoff race. (OCC)
Gn-arrow-up_medium (19)
17 Nyj_medium 5-5 The Jets have a points differential of -85, the second worst value in the league. The fact that they have a 5-5 record is a miracle - sainthood has been granted for lesser miracles. (OCC) Rd-arrow-down_medium (13)
18 Sd_medium 4-6 The Chargers have the toughest remaining schedule of any team in the NFL. Already on a three-game skid, they still have to face the Chiefs twice and the Broncos once, and also host the Bengals. They'll be lucky not to end up last in the division, and yes, I know that the Raiders play in that division too. (OCC) Rd-arrow-down_medium (17)
19 Cle_medium 4-6 The Browns have not won more than five games since 2007. They've dropped four of their last five and with the kind of performance they showed in the 41-20 drubbing at the hand of the Bengals, getting to six wins may turn out to be a challenge. (OCC) Rd-arrow-down_medium (18)
Ten_medium 4-6 The Titans were up on the Colts by 14 points at one point, but then they did what they've been doing so effectively this season: drop the ball and blow a football game they could have won. (OCC) (20)
21 Bal_medium 4-6 The loss in Chicago drops the Ravens into a three-way tie for second place with Cleveland and Pittsburgh, 2.5 games behind the Bengals. The loss doesn't end the postseason hopes, but I wouldn't put any kind of money on the Ravens. (OCC) (21)
22 Oak_medium 4-6 UDFA Matt McGloin is the 17th quarterback to start for the Raiders since the start of the 2003 season, and his performance against Houston could mean Terrelle Pryor won't get his job back once he's healthy. (OCC) Gn-arrow-up_medium (25)
23 Nyg_medium 4-6 The Giants are on a four game winning streak. The four teams they beat were quarterbacked by Josh Freeman, Matt Barkley, Terrelle Pryor and Scott Tolzien. They face a game against Tony Romo and the Cowboys that may effectively end one team's chances for the playoffs. (Tom) Gn-arrow-up_medium (27)
Stl_medium 4-6 Coming out of their bye week, the Rams have the second toughest remaining schedule in the league, with the 49ers, Cardinals, Saints and Seahawks still on their schedule. This could turn ugly. (OCC) Rd-arrow-down_medium (22)
25 Pit_medium 3-7 At the very least, we now know the Steelers can make halftime adjustments. After hemorrhaging 327 yards in the first half, the Steelers tightened up and held the Lions to 124 yards in the second half. (OCC) Rd-arrow-down_medium (23)
26 Buf_medium 4-7 Remarkably, the Bills could still be in the hunt for a playoff spot, even at 4-7. They play the Falcons, Bucs and Jaguars in sequence and could be 7-7 after that stretch. (OCC)

27 Was_medium 3-7 Ha Ha Ha! (KD) Rd-arrow-down_medium (24)
28 Tb_medium 2-8 The Buccaneers probably still aren't a very good team, but they are much better than the Falcons. (OCC) Gn-arrow-up_medium (31)
29 Hou_medium 2-8 The Texans allowed undrafted Matt McGloin to throw for 3 touchdowns, no interceptions and a 105.9 passer rating in his first career start. They've now lost eight straight. Things are really bad in Houston. (OCC) Rd-arrow-down_medium (28)
30 Min_medium 2-8 Hard to believe, but the Vikings pulled to within four points (13-17) with 48 seconds in the second quarter, only to see the Seahawks take a 24-13 halftime lead en route to a 41-20 win. Bad teams find ways to lose. (OCC) Rd-arrow-down_medium (29)
31 Atl_medium 2-8 Last year, the Falcons were an NFC-best 13-3 and narrowly lost the Conference Championship game. More recently, they've lost their last four by a combined 135-61. The epicness of their meltdown is fascinating. (OCC) Rd-arrow-down_medium (30)
32 Jac_medium 1-9 Teddy Bridgewater, off to Jacksonville you go. (OCC) (32)


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