NFL Power Rankings – Week 12

Week 12 NFL Power Rankings

Who’s up, who’s down? Frank Schwab surveys the NFL landscape now that the Week 11 games are in the books.

32. Arizona Cardinals (2-8, Last Week: 31)

Losing like that stinks but the loss to the Raiders might end up landing Arizona the first pick of the draft. That eases some of the pain. (Leonard Johnson)

31. Oakland Raiders (2-8, LW: 32)

It’s important over the rest of this season to find some young talent, and receiver Marcell Ateman might be a good one. The seventh-round pick had four catches for 50 yards in his debut. (Marcell Ateman)

30. New York Jets (3-7, LW: 30)

Sam Darnold still wasn’t practicing Monday due to a foot injury. Some time off won’t be bad for him, and the Jets should be very conservative with his return. (Sam Darnold)

29. San Francisco 49ers (2-8, LW: 29)

Could San Francisco steal the first pick of the draft? The Raiders’ recent win helps. (George Kittle)

28. Buffalo Bills (3-7, LW: 28)

Josh Allen is on track to return as the Bills’ starting quarterback this week. That’s good news for the Bills, and good news for Matt Barkley too. He’s on a one-year deal, and it wouldn’t be the worst thing for him to have one very good game against the Jets, then hit free agency again. (Matt Barkley)

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7, LW: 25)

The risk with playing Jameis Winston again is that his $20.9 million option for next season is guaranteed due to injury. Keep that in mind as Winston gets his last (?) chance to impress before the offseason. (Jameis Winston)

26. New York Giants (3-7, LW: 27)

Have to love the NFL. A 1-7 team wins two straight close games and all of a sudden we’re talking about playoff possibilities. Guess that’s better than talking about benching the quarterback. (Saquon Barkley)

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7, LW: 22)

The Jaguars got so tight the fourth quarter against the Steelers and it cost them. (Jalen Ramsey)

24. Cleveland Browns (3-6-1, LW: 24)

If the Browns-Condoleezza Rice story came from somewhere within the organization, Cleveland probably assumed it’d get universal praise. As we know, that did not happen. (Condoleezza Rice)

23. Denver Broncos (4-6, LW: 26)

Somehow, the Broncos aren’t out of the playoff race. They’re just a game behind a glut of teams that are 5-5 for the final wild-card spot. The wild-card races might be really crazy this season. (Phillip Lindsay)

22. Miami Dolphins (5-5, LW: 21)

Four of the Dolphins’ final six games come against teams who sit at .500 or less. Two of those games are against the Bills. If the Dolphins can win those games and get to 9-7 … just saying. It seems like some 9-7 team will make the AFC playoffs. (Ryan Tannehill)

21. Detroit Lions (4-6, LW: 23)

Teams like the Broncos and Lions dealt away key players before the trading deadline, but they’ll go into Thanksgiving still in the playoff race. (Bruce Ellington)

20. Atlanta Falcons (4-6, LW: 20)

The Falcons have had four games decided in the final seconds this season and are 0-4 in them. There’s something to be said about having a fatal flaw that prevents teams from closing games, and maybe that’s the Falcons’ issue this season. (Julio Jones)

19. Cincinnati Bengals (5-5, LW: 19)

Bengals running backs had 19 yards on 14 attempts against the Ravens. A.J. Green’s absence doesn’t just affect the passing game. Without much to worry about in the pass game, opponents can focus on turning Joe Mixon into a non-factor. (Joe Mixon)

18. Philadelphia Eagles (4-6, LW: 15)

The Super Bowl hangover is real, and that has affected Philadelphia. Some injuries have been an issue, but a lot of teams deal with injuries. (Carson Wentz)

17. Green Bay Packers (4-5-1, LW: 11)

Mike McCarthy’s mismanagement extends far beyond one game. This team hasn’t been that good all season, and there’s too much talent on the roster for that to be the case. (Mike McCarthy)

16. Tennessee Titans (5-5, LW: 13)

It wasn’t too crazy to think the Titans might lose on the road to the Colts. But like that? (Marcus Mariota)

15. Indianapolis Colts (5-5, LW: 18)

It seems clear already that Frank Reich is a very good coach. Still, his most notable decision this season might haunt the Colts. Remember that he went for it on fourth down in his own territory late in overtime of a game against the Texans. They didn’t get it and the Texans won after a short drive. Reich could have punted and taken the tie. The Colts are two games behind the Texans, but they’d be just one back if Reich punted and took the half-win. (T.Y. Hilton)

14. Baltimore Ravens (5-5, LW: 17)

A quarterback can’t hold up running 27 times, like Lamar Jackson did against the Bengals on Sunday. And in the NFL, you need to pass. (Lamar Jackson)

13. Seattle Seahawks (5-5, LW: 16)

The Seahawks still play at Carolina, host the Vikings and the Chiefs. At very least the Seahawks are probably going to have to beat the Vikings to make the playoffs. Their schedule has been really tough. (Ed Dickson)

12. Washington Redskins (6-4, LW: 12)

Alex Smith is 34 and in great shape so maybe be bounces back and is fine next season. What makes it tricky is Washington gave Smith $71 million guaranteed and he’s on the cap for $20.4 million next season no matter what. (Alex Smith)

11. Dallas Cowboys (5-5, LW: 14)

Not to be negative, but now that the Cowboys look like favorites in the NFC East and have gotten everyone’s hopes back up, if Dallas ends up not making the playoffs now it’s going to look even worse on Jason Garrett. (Ezekiel Elliott)

10. Minnesota Vikings (5-4-1, LW: 7)

You can’t lay all of the Vikings’ issues at Kirk Cousins‘ feet. Though, they paid him all that money to play better in games like Sunday night. (Kirk Cousins)

9. Carolina Panthers (6-4, LW: 9)

The Panthers lost, and their decision to go for two and the win at the end was questionable, but rookie D.J. Moore’s seven-catch, 157-yard day was a nice development. It seems like the Panthers might have finally found a real No. 1 to grow with Cam Newton. (D.J. Moore)

8. Houston Texans (7-3, LW: 10)

Demaryius Thomas had one target and no catches on Sunday. Thomas still might end up being a huge part of the Texans offense, but Sunday’s quiet day was a reminder that it’s hard for any player to join a team midseason and contribute right away. (Demariyus Thomas)

7. Los Angeles Chargers (7-3, LW: 4)

Now that the Chargers have lost at home to the Broncos, you look back at their wins in a different light. They haven’t beaten a team with a winning record all season. (Melvin Gordon)

6. Chicago Bears (7-3, LW: 8)

It’s concerning that the Bears said Mitchell Trubisky wouldn’t have been able to practice on Monday due to a right shoulder injury. (Mitchell Trubisky)

5. New England Patriots (7-3, LW: 6)

There aren’t many more important injury-related questions in the NFL than how Rob Gronkowski comes out of the bye week. (Rob Gronkowski)

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2-1, LW: 5)

The Steelers looked bad for almost three quarters on Sunday, but a win is a win. They’ll need every one as they chase that second AFC bye (and they’re not that far from grabbing the No. 1 seed either). (James Conner)

3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2, LW: 1)

A leftover thought from the Monday night thriller: Patrick Mahomes may loses ground in the MVP race despite 478 yards and six touchdowns. That sounds crazy, but he did turn it over five times. (Patrick Mahomes)

2. Los Angeles Rams (10-1, LW: 3)

Defensive players are practically ineligible to win MVP, but Aaron Donald should be considered a legitimate candidate for the award. He’s still got a shot at 20 sacks from the defensive tackle position, which would be every bit as impressive as any number Drew Brees or Patrick Mahomes will post. (Aaron Donald)

1. New Orleans Saints (9-1, LW: 2)

If the Saints defense is going to play like they did against the Eagles the rest of the season – game over. (Drew Brees)

Week 12 NFL Power Rankings

Who’s up, who’s down? Frank Schwab surveys the NFL landscape now that the Week 11 games are in the books.