The Patriots survive another nail biter once again and the fall from grace continues for the Atlanta Falcons. Here are your Week 12 Top 15 Team Power Rankings.
1. New England Patriots
The Patriots remain the number one ranked team in the National Football League, after taking care of business against the Buffalo Bills. However, the Bills became the second team that fails to utilize the clock wisely against the Pats.
2. Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers continued their undefeated season as they demolished the Washington Redskins 44-14 at Bank of America Stadium. Cam Newton threw a career-high five touchdown passes. Up next for Carolina, is a Thanksgiving Day Showdown with the rejuvenated Dallas Cowboys.
3. Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals showed everyone why they are a serious threat to take down the Green Bay Packers or the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship Game if possible when they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 34-31. After throwing two interceptions in the first half, Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer got back on the track by tossing four touchdown passes against the best defense in the entire National Football League.
4. Denver Broncos (Previous Ranking 6th)
The Denver Broncos finally got back on track after a two-game losing skid. They defeated the red-hot Chicago Bears 17-15 without the services of Peyton Manning. Manning’s replacement Brock Osweiler threw for 250 yards and two touchdown passes. Those were some impressive numbers for a quarterback that started the first game of his career. However, Osweiler performance against the unbeaten New England Patriots this Sunday will determine if Osweiler is the long-term answer for the Broncos going forward.
5. Green Bay Packers (Previous Ranking 9th)
The Green Bay Packers finally came alive after losing three consecutive games in a row. They faced a familiar opponent in the Minnesota Vikings. The Packers reminded the up and coming Vikings that they are still the team to beat in the NFC North. The Packers manhandled the Vikings 30-13 in a contest that was for supremacy in the division that has been mostly dominated by the Packers.
6. Cincinnati Bengals (Previous Ranking 4th)
The Cincinnati Bengals gave Carson Palmer and the Arizona Cardinals ample time to put themselves in the position to win the showdown on Sunday Night Football. It will not get any easier for the Bengals because their next opponent will also be from the NFC West in the St. Louis Rams. The Rams are on a three-game losing streak and will come into Paul Brown Stadium motivated to play.
7. Minnesota Vikings (Previous Ranking 5th)
It is clearly evident that the Minnesota Vikings are not ready to contend with the “Big Boys” of the NFC just yet. They blew a perfect opportunity to take a commanding lead in the NFC North when they lost to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday. The Vikings will now face the tougher side of their schedule in the upcoming weeks. Those opponents are the Falcons, Seahawks, and Cardinals. Those three games will tell if the Vikings will make the playoffs this season.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (Previous Ranking 7th)
The Pittsburgh Steelers were on a bye this week. They return to action this week to take on the Seattle Seahawks, at the hostile confines of Century Link Field.
9. Indianapolis Colts (Previous Ranking 14th)
The Indianapolis Colts came from behind to defeat the struggling Atlanta Falcons 24-21. Backup quarterback Matt Hasselback did an outstanding job stepping in for Andrew Luck this season. Hasselback has shown that he can still lead a team to victory at the age of 40. His current record is 2-0 when he’s under center for the Colts this season.
10. Kansas City Chiefs (Previous Ranking 13th)
If there’s a defense that is a playing “lights out” right now, it is the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs latest victim was division rival the San Diego Chargers. In the last four games, the Chiefs have outscored their opponents 130-39. Those are some very impressive numbers for a football team that lost its number one threat on offense for the rest of season in running back Jammal Charles. The Chiefs have an opportunity to take sole possession of the 6th seed in the AFC Playoff race when they host the Buffalo Bills this Sunday at Arrowhead.
11. New York Giants (Previous Ranking 10th)
The New York Giants were also on a bye in Week 12. They return to action this Sunday to take on the Washington Redskins in the “Nations Capital.”
12. Atlanta Falcons (Previous Ranking 11th)
Once again the once red-hot Atlanta Falcons lost another game in the fourth quarter. The opponent that they faced was the Andrew Luckless Indianapolis Colts. After starting off the season 6-0, the Falcons are now 6-4 and will most likely miss the postseason if their losing skid continues. Their next opponent is the Minnesota Vikings, who will be coming into the Georgia Dome angry after losing to division rival the Green Bay Packers the previous week.
13. Seattle Seahawks (Previous Ranking 15th)
After last week’s crushing defeat, the Seattle Seahawks got back on track when they defeated the San Francisco 49ers 29-13. For once, they did not blow a fourth quarter lead to their opponent. The Seahawks are capable of making the playoffs, but they must stay consistent when it comes to closing out ball games. They will face another premier offense in the league this Sunday when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers.
14. Buffalo Bills (Previous Ranking 8th)
Rex Ryan has yet again failed to defeat his nemesis Bill Belichick, and the New England Patriots. The game was competitive throughout its entirety, but the Bills failure to manage the clock eventually caused them the victory at the end.
15. New York Jets (Previous Ranking 12th)
A few weeks ago, many analysts around the league believed that the New York Jets were indeed a playoff team after starting off the season with a record of 4-2 and an exciting contest against the New England Patriots in Week 8. Fast forward to today, the Jets record is 5-5, and they are in a fight for the 6th wildcard spot in AFC with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills.
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