What a week! Not for us, really. That’s ok, though. When you think about it, we’ve now had two consecutive weeks without Bills-related heart attacks! I mean, that Jets game was just cheering and laughter. I’m hoping that the Toronto game against the Falcons includes more of the same from our side. Cheering and laughter. I’m all for that this weekend. Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy the rankings!
1. Seattle Seahawks (+2): What a great way to spend a Bye week! The Seahawks watched themselves become the only team with a single loss this week, and I’m sure they feel good about that. Now comes the best Monday Night Football game in years, as Seattle faces New Orleans in a (likely) battle for home field advantage.
2. Denver Broncos (-1): As disturbing as the loss the Patriots was, I can’t push Denver too far down this list for losing to a great team in overtime. Denver is still a force to be reckoned with, and they still hold the top spot in the AFC. That could change, however, if the Chiefs have their way.
3. New Orleans Saints (+1): The Saints struggled more than you would have expected against the Falcons, but they won, and they maintain a slim lead in their division. Against the Seahawks, they’re fighting for more than just home field advantage… they might be fighting just to avoid becoming a wild card team.
4. Carolina Panthers (+1): Speaking of which, the Panthers are keeping the heat on those Saints. Cam Newton still needs to learn some things about leadership (he’s very quick to tell everyone how awesome he is in post-game interviews), but he’s leading his team to wins, and that’s usually what counts. Now they need to end the Bucs win-streak.
5. New England Patriots (+1): Is this a low rank for the Patriots? I don’t think so. Carolina beat them recently, and the games against Denver and New Orleans were toss-ups. Despite the comeback, the Pats were SCORELESS in the first half this week. The only way they managed that win was because the Broncos let them back into the game. Of course, the Pats get an easy game this week against the miserable Texans.
6. Kansas City Chiefs (-4): I hate dropping the Chiefs out of the top 5, but Power Rankings are partly about how you’re playing right now, not your record. With the Chiefs dropping two in a row, they are looking a lot less powerful than the teams above them. A win over Denver changes EVERYTHING, though.
7. Cincinnati Bengals (same): Bye week is done, and the Bengals are looking to finish strong. The division is theirs to lose at this point. This week they get to visit the Chargers, who haven’t been afraid of a challenge.
8. Arizona Cardinals (+5): Just like that, the Cardinals are legit. Yes, I’ve ranked them higher than the Niners. Frankly, the Cardinals have seen better QB play from Carson Palmer thank the Niners have seen from Kaepernick. I mean, they DESTROYED the Colts. If they could run the ball better, they’d be elite.
9. San Francisco 49ers (same): Sure they won, but it was against the hapless Redskins. If the Niners want to impress me, they’ll find a way to slow down the Rams.
10. Indianapolis Colts (-2): What happened? I mean, this team remains in the top-ten simply because the other teams below look worse, but this ship needs righted fast. Wait… who am I kidding, the Colts are running away with the AFC South, right? Aren’t they? Well, if they lose to the Titans this week, suddenly the Colts only hold a slim, one-game lead.
11. Philadelphia Eagles (+1): Coming off the Bye to face the Cardinals, here’s a stat for you: Nick Foles and Carson Palmer have the same amount of TDs on the season (16). The glaring difference, though, is that Nick Foles has less than half the passing attempts (and significantly less playing time) than Palmer. The Eagles have found their starter, and he’s on fire.
12. Chicago Bears (-2): The Bears lost to a good team in the Rams, but they’re having significant problems at the wrong time. With Jay Cutler not projected to return until Week 14, the Bears need another win from Josh McCown. He SHOULD be able to manage that against the Vikings.
13: Detroit Lions (-2): A few weeks ago, the Lions were comfortably in charge of their division. Now they’re fading fast, and their only saving grace is facing a Packers team that is likely starting Matt Flynn. I mean, the Lions just got beat by the Bucs. Seriously.
14. Baltimore Ravens (same): I’m so glad the Ravens continued to make the Jets look terrible (a process we began the week before). Their playoff hopes are hardly dead, but they seem to hinge on beating the Steelers on Thanksgiving night.
15. Dallas Cowboys (+1): Kudos to the Cowboys for effectively silencing the Giants fanbase. They’re still battling for the division, but I don’t imagine the Eagles will give them much room to breathe. They need to keep the wins coming against Oakland.
16. San Diego Chargers (+3): That was an INCREDIBLE and well-fought game by the Chargers. This might not be enough to keep them relevant, but if they keep playing like they did against the Chiefs, who knows where they might end up.
17. St. Louis Rams (+3): This team is RED HOT, and yet they’re still at the bottom of the NFC West (which is easily the best division in the league right now). Beating the Niners this week would mean that the NFC West doesn’t have a team with a losing record. Wow.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers (+6): The Steelers unlikely rise from the basement of their division continues. They already passed up the Browns by stomping them, and now they get the chance to do the same thing to the Ravens. While catching the Bengals may be difficult, the wild card isn’t out of reach.
19. Green Bay Packers (-4): Per the timeline, Aaron Rodgers is returning for the last three games of the year. If the Packers don’t win until then, the season is over.
20. New York Giants (-2): Just when we thought the Giants were gonna pull off some magic, their dreams got crushed by Dallas. This week’s battle against the Redskins just seems like a fight for draft position at this point.
21. Cleveland Browns (-4): They couldn’t beat the Steelers, and Brandon Weeden is QB again. Poor Cleveland. They can beat the Jags, right? Right?
22. Buffalo Bills (same): The Bye was mostly good, including watching a lot of our Wild Card competition get beat. We are officially only one game back from the 6th seed, though winning those tiebreakers may be an issue. To be safe, let’s just win out and call it good, ok? Start with the Falcons in Toronto, please.
23. Miami Dolphins (-2): I’m not entirely sure who I want to win this week in the Jets/Dolphins battle. I guess Miami, since we have the chance to sweep them (therefore winning any tiebreakers by head-to-head record). I’m ok with a tie, though.
24. New York Jets (-1): Can you believe the Jets owned the #6 seed in the AFC before Week 12 began? Now that they’ve been embarrassed for two weeks in a row, I’m eager to see how they respond against Miami.
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3): Three wins in a row can make a pretty bad team look pretty good. I mean, the Lions were a tall order, and the Bucs still got the win. It’s all just playing for pride at this point, but wouldn’t it be amazing if they beat the Panthers? The NFL would EXPLODE.
26. Tennessee Titans (same): The Titans beat the Raiders, leaving them at 5-6. Guess what? That actually puts them in the #6 Seed for the AFC. Yes, the Titans control their own destiny with 5 games left to play. At the rate things are going, they might be able to beat the Colts this week and try to challenge for the division.
27. Oakland Raiders (-2): Everything’s bad for the Raiders at this stage. Visiting the Cowboys for Thanksgiving probably won’t be fun for them.
28. Washington Redskins (-1): For the first time in his career, RG3 finished a game without a TD. The Niners get some credit for that, but someone has to explain how the Redskins became such a train wreck.
29. Minnesota Vikings (same): NFL games really shouldn’t end in ties. It’s just weird. I think we can be confident the Vikings won’t end up tied with the Bears this week. I’m less confident about their chances of winning, however.
30. Atlanta Falcons (same): It’s great that we’re facing such a terrible team this week, but let’s not forget that Matt Ryan is a good QB. Only last year this team was elite. Please let the Falcons remain terrible, but also PLEASE don’t let the Bills underestimate them.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (+1): WHAAAAAA???? The Jaguars are NOT the worst team in the league? It’s a Thanksgiving miracle! Sure, they beat another terrible team…. So there’s not a lot to say there. I don’t think the Browns will be as easy to handle, but who knows nowadays?
32. Houston Texans (-1): On the bright side, the Texans are in GREAT position to find a new QB next year. On the not so bright side, they play the Patriots this week.