NFL Power Rankings entering Week 12

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Top teams tumble

George Walker IV / Tennessean.com

It wasn’t a kind week to the NFL teams atop the Power Rankings. Led by the Tennessee Titans’ stunning loss to the Houston Texans, many of the elite tasted defeat. Let’s see how things stand heading into Week 12…

32. Detroit Lions (0-9-1, lost to Cleveland Browns)

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What is worse than the Lions being winless? The Lions playing on national TV on Thanksgiving. Next: vs. Chicago Bears

31. Atlanta Falcons (4-6, lost to New England Patriots)

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I would feel bad for Matt Ryan…if he wasn’t reeling in millions and millions of dollars. The Falcons have been abysmal over the last two weeks. Next: at Jacksonville Jaguars

30. New York Jets (2-8, lost to Miami Dolphins)

The Record

The Jets solidified their position in last place in the AFC East by losing to the Miami Dolphins. And of course, this week also featured Robert Saleh losing a media battle with Rex Ryan. Ugly times for Gang Green. Next: at Houston Texans

29. Houston Texans (2-8, defeated Tennessee Titans)

George Walker IV / Tennessean.com

Blame it on the weather. Or Tyrod Taylor proving he is more than a journeyman. This was about as unlikely a win as the Jets beating the Titans. Next: vs. New York Jets

28. Chicago Bears (3-7, lost to Batimore Ravens)

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Will Matt Nagy be coaching against the Lions on Thanksgiving? And if he is, why? Next: at Detroit Lions

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8, lost to San Francisco 49ers)

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Back home and back to losing—and losing badly—for the Jaguars. That victory over the Buffalo Bills isn’t looking all that impressive anymore. Next: vs. Atlanta Falcons

26. New York Giants (3-7, lost to Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

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New York was no match for the Super Bowl champions. There was a highlight moment of Andrew Thomas catching the TD pass; however, that is the kind of thing you hang on to when things are going poorly. Next: vs. Philadelphia Eagles

25. Carolina Panthers (5-6. lost to Washington Football Team)

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Cam Newton winning in his homecoming would have been a nice story. This is the NFL, though, where reality trips up wonderful tales. The Panthers are reeling, and it is going to be a long road to the end of the season. Next: at Miami Dolphins

24. Washington Football Team (4-6, defeated Carolina Panthers)

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Ron Rivera returned to Carolina and defeated his former team. He also ruined Cam Newton’s homecoming. Next: vs. Seattle Seahawks

23. Miami Dolphins (4-7, defeated New York Jets)

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The Dolphins wanted no part of last place in the AFC East and have now won two games in a row. Can’t be overjoyed because the Jets did play them tight. Still, the team appears to be moving in the right direction. Next: vs. Carolina Panthers

22. Seattle Seahawks (3-7, lost to Arizona Cardinals)

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This is about as atypical of a season as you get out of a Pete Carroll-coached team. The Seahawks’ offense is basically dormant, and getting Russell Wilson back has done zip to improve it. Next: at Washington Football Team

21. Las Vegas Raiders (5-5, lost to Cincinnati Bengals)

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The Raiders, per usual, are going in the wrong direction as the season heads into the final weeks. They are like a horse when it comes to past performances. Next: at Dallas Cowboys

20. Denver Broncos (5-5, Bye Week)

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The Broncos had the week off and were able to follow the scoreboard as everyone else in the AFC West was scheduled. Next: vs. Los Angeles Chargers

19. Minnesota Vikings (5-5, defeated Green Bay Packers)

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Wild finish! Shocking. The Vikings? They somehow got the benefit of a review and went on to kick the game-winning field goal against Green Bay. Would love to say this is a team moving in the right direction… but it seems to go the same place every week. Next: at San Francisco 49ers

18. San Francisco 49ers (5-5, defeated Jacksonville Jaguars)

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The Niners have found their footing, finally. They have won a couple in a row and catch an interesting opponent in Week 12. Next: vs. Minnesota Vikings

17. Philadelphia Eagles (5-6, defeated New Orleans Saints)

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Jalen Hurts might just be “The” quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. Imagine that? The Birds took care of the New Orleans Saints, finally winning a game at the Linc. Next: at New York Giants

16. Cleveland Browns (6-5, defeated Detroit LIons)

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A win is a win is a win—unless it is by three points and against Tim Boyle and the Detroit Lions. The Browns are going to have to fight and scrap for everything because of the injuries the roster has suffered. Not a dynamic plan to snag the AFC North. Next: at Baltimore Ravens

15. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4, defeated Las Vegas Raiders)

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Cincinnati found the perfect foe: The Las Vegas Raiders. Didn’t matter the game was in Sin City and not Cincinnati—when it comes to this time of year, everyone should want to play the Silver and Black. Joe Burrow, Joe Mixon & Co. were strong and did their jobs. Next: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

14. New Orleans Saints (5-5, lost to Philadelphia Eagles)

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The Trevor Siemian Saints aren’t doing wonders. Since the win over Tampa Bay, they have lost to the Falcons, Titans and Eagles. And upcoming is an expectedly eager Buffalo Bills team. Thanksgiving will be intriguing in the Big Easy: teams going in the wrong direction collide. Next: vs. Buffalo Bills

13. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4-1, lost to Los Angeles Chargers)

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Talk about a brutal way to lose. The Steelers were down all game before erupting for 27 points in the fourth quarter… only to see a Justin Herbert TD pass turn into the game-winner. Ouch. Next: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

12. Los Angeles Chargers (6-4. defeated Pittsburgh Steelers)

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There is no way to have any confidence in the Chargers, unless you want to bank on excitement. They were large and in charge of Pittsburgh. Austin Ekeler had scored four touchdowns, and yet, somehow the Bolts allowed the Steelers to score 27 points in the fourth quarter. Lead? What lead? Justin Herbert saved the day with a 53-yard TD pass to Mike Williams. Next: at Denver Broncos

11. Buffalo Bills (6-4, lost to Indianapolis Colts)

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Take the game film from this matchup and incinerate it. The Bills were haggard and battered by the Colts. And they need to forget it: Thanksgiving Day will be here quickly. Next: at New Orleans Saints (Thursday)

10. Los Angeles Rams (7-3, Bye Week)

USAT

The Rams return to work in Week 12 and their task will be to tackle the Packers in Green Bay. It won’t be easy—if the team that played in the last two games shows up for LA. Next: at Green Bay Packers

9. Indianapolis Colts (6-5, defeated Buffalo Bills)

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Frank Reich has pulled the Colts together and the murmurs about Carson Wentz have been silenced. The Colts are two games behind the Titans in the AFC South, which seems hard to believe given their start and losing both games to the AFC South leaders. Next: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

8. Dallas Cowboys (7-3, lost to Kansas City Chiefs)

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The Dallas offense that was awful against Denver, and then destroyed Atlanta, returned to a “meager status” against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Cowboys are fortunate they play in a weak division, where three to four more wins should get them the title. However, which is the real America’s Team has yet to be answered. Next: vs. Las Vegas Raiders)

7. Baltimore Ravens (7-3, defeated Chicago Bears)

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Let’s give credit to the Ravens rather than punching some more on the Chicago Bears. No Lamar Jackson. No Marquise Brown. And still, they found a way to win late in the Windy City. John Harbaugh is a coaching great and the team is working (and winnning) as a team. Next: vs. Cleveland Browns

6. New England Patriots (7-4, defeated Atlanta Falcons)

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Bill Belichick’s brilliance is on full display in 2021. The Patriots are in first place in the AFC East. Say it again: The Patriots are in first place in the AFC East! Talk about knowing how to create chemistry. Next: vs. Tennessee Titans

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-3, defeated New York Giants)

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The losing streak ended at two games. Tom Brady came out and was all business, as were the rest of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and they handled the New York Giants on Monday night. Every team won’t be as tepid as the Giants, but this could be the start of a roll. Next: at Indianapolis Colts

4. Tennessee Titans (8-3, lost to the Houston Texans)

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Baffling. The only word that can describe the Tennessee Titans. Absolutely baffling. Next: at New England Patriots

3. Green Bay Packers (8-3, lost to Minnesota Vikings)

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That was a tough one to take for the Packers. They thought they had a late pick but it was overturned upon review and the Vikings’ winning march continued. Exciting game but still— a defeat. Next: vs. Los Angeles Rams

2. Arizona Cardinals (9-2, defeated Seattle Seahawks)

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Arizona got a career game out of journeyman Colt McCoy. Yes, the Cardinals have won 9 of 11, but they need to get Kyler Murray back because you can’t expect a backup QB to deliver this way every week. Next: Bye Week

1. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4, defeated Dallas Cowboys)

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Chris Jones was the man as the defense dominated the Dallas Cowboys. That makes four wins in a row for the Chiefs, who appear to have shaken whatever was troubling them at the start of the season. Look out. Yes, we are looking into the crystal football and seeing a major run by K.C. Next: Bye Week

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