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My 2016 NFL Power Rankings Week 12

Updated on November 29, 2016

NFL Power Rankings

That’s it. Football in November is over. The next NFL game on the docket is in December. The first to be exact. Thursday if you still aren’t sure. That is when the Dallas Cowboys (who still reign supreme in my rankings) will square off against the Minnesota Vikings as both teams will be playing on their second Thursday in a row. Kind of a weird scheduling thing there. That said, if the Vikes can pull off the upset we will know that a new team has a chance at being number one next week. This week? More of the same. You’ll see.

  1. Dallas Cowboys (10-1) ~ Ten wins in a row for Big D which is a new franchise record. Lately it seems all the Cowboys have been doing is setting new records. Will they keep this thing rolling Thursday night in Minnesota? (Last Week’s Ranking 1)
  2. New England Patriots (9-2) ~ It wasn’t the prettiest of games but Tom Brady and the Pats picked up yet another win on Sunday, the 200th of Mr. Brady’s career. That is tied with Peyton Manning for the most all-time with regular season and playoffs combined. He will look to break that tie Sunday when the Patriots host the Los Angeles Rams. I’m betting he does just that. (LWR 2)
  3. Oakland Raiders (9-2) ~ If the playoffs started this week the Raiders would be the top seed in the AFC. I’m going to repeat that because it bears repeating. If the playoffs started this week the Raiders would be the top seed in the AFC. The Raiders. The team that just clinched their first winning season since 2002. Inconceivable! (LWR 4)
  4. Seattle Seahawks (7-3-1) ~ OK. It was a bad loss. They were held out of the end zone for the third time this season and are 0-2-1 in those games. That means when they do score at least one touchdown they are 7-1. That’s nothing to sneeze at. I think it’s a safe bet that Seattle will find the end zone in more games than they don’t from here on out. (LWR 3)
  5. Atlanta Falcons (7-4) ~ If you want to know how fast Taylor Gabriel is just ask some of Arizona’s defenders. The speedy wideout torched the Cardinal secondary by taking two short screen passes 35 and 25 yards for scores. He has just 13 catches over his last four games but has found the end zone four times. It looks like an already explosive offense has found yet another weapon. (LWR 6)
  6. Kansas City Chiefs (8-3) ~ Tyreek Hill is making a name for himself. Hill has been starting in place of the injured Jeremy Maclin and his three touchdown day in Denver helped the Chiefs steal a tough win within their division. He has also shown how versatile he is by scoring once through the air, once on the ground and once on a return. It’s safe to say that even when Maclin comes back, the Chiefs will need to keep Hill in the starting lineup. (LWR 7)
  7. Denver Broncos (7-4) ~ They allowed a late touchdown and two-point conversion which forced overtime. Then they allowed two field goals in said overtime, the second with no time left on the clock. Denver is now tied for the fourth-best record in the AFC yet they are in third in the brutally tough AFC West. (LWR 5)
  8. New York Giants (8-3) ~ This one was all about the defense. Big Blue stepped up in a big way totaling seven sacks, 11 tackles for loss, three fumble recoveries and a touchdown. Somewhere, Lawrence Taylor was smiling after that performance. (LWR 8)
  9. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) ~ Antonio Brown leads the league with 82 receptions and 10 touchdowns. He needs just two more yards to reach 1,000 on the season. He is arguably the best in the business and this week he will take the field against another in that same air: New York’s Odell Beckham Jr. Should be fun to watch. (LWR 10)
  10. Detroit Lions (7-4) ~ The Lions are alone in first place in the NFC North as the calendar is shifting to December. I really wonder how Calvin Johnson feels about all of this. What if he hung on for one more year? (LWR 11)
  11. Washington Redskins (6-4-1) ~ Kirk Cousins has amassed 3,540 yards which is just 47 yards behind Drew Brees for most in the NFL. With five games left in the season he should obliterate last year’s total of 4,166 which is a franchise record. The Redskins are going to have to open up the wallet to keep this prolific passer in town. (LWR 9)
  12. Miami Dolphins (7-4) ~ Are the….are the Dolphins good? This is a serious question. Six straight wins has taken the team from an afterthought at 1-4 to a team in playoff contention. The last time Miami made the postseason was 2008 with Chad Pennington at the helm. Needless to say it’s been a while. (LWR 14)
  13. Baltimore Ravens (6-5) ~ If the season ended today the Ravens, not the Steelers, would be crowned kings of the AFC North. Then why are the Ravens still ranked below the boys from Steel City? Because I think the Steelers are better. Don’t you? (LWR 17)
  14. Minnesota Vikings (6-5) ~ Sam Bradford has thrown just three interceptions all season, however, his pick late in the fourth quarter deep in their own territory gifted the Lions the win on Thanksgiving Day. Minnesota has now lost five of six after starting the year 5-0. (LWR 12)
  15. Green Bay Packers (5-6) ~ After allowing at least 30 points in their last four games the Packers defense stymied a Philadelphia attack that has been very efficient at home. They also became the first team to score more than one touchdown against Philly’s defense at home. All in all a good day at the office for the Pack who kept their playoff hopes alive. (LWR 18)
  16. Houston Texans (6-5) ~ Two straight losses and all of a sudden the division lead is down to just a half game. A lot of that can be attributed to the offensive woes. The Texans have only outscored the Rams and Chicago Bears this season. (LWR 15)
  17. Buffalo Bills (6-5) ~ Sammy Watkins is back. He returned from a foot injury and tallied 80 yards on just three catches. The Bills have virtually no passing game to speak of so his return to form is a critical need as they fight for their playoff lives. (LWR 19)
  18. Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) ~ The offensive line is in shambles. Ryan Mathews is hurt. Now Jordan Matthews may also be hurt. They are the only team in the NFC East without a winning record. Maybe it isn’t always sunny in Philadelphia. (LWR 13)
  19. Tennessee Titans (6-6) ~ Tennessee is off this week due to the late season bye but they could still move into a tie for first place in the AFC South if the Texans lose this weekend. Not a bad spot to be in and not a spot many predicted for the Titans before the season started. (LWR 20)
  20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5) ~ Back-to-back wins over Kansas City and Seattle has to have opened some eyes. We all know Mike Evans is a stud but these wins could be a sign that Tampa is ahead of schedule in their turnaround. (LWR 24)
  21. San Diego Chargers (5-6) ~ San Diego’s defense has been their downfall this season but it isn’t all bad. Casey Hayward picked off his sixth pass over the weekend which is the most in the league. Will he make Jameis Winston his next victim this Sunday? (LWR 23)
  22. Arizona Cardinals (4-6-1) ~ Their only wins this season have come against the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Bucs and San Francisco 49ers (twice). Those teams have a combined record of 10-23. It’s fair to say this season has been a disaster in the desert. (LWR 16)
  23. Indianapolis Colts (5-6) ~ I preface this with the caveat that Andrew Luck will be able to return from a concussion. If he needs to miss an extended period of time you can officially put the nail in the Colts season. (LWR 21)
  24. New Orleans Saints (5-6) ~ When you think of the Saints offense your mind immediately goes to Drew Brees. There’s nothing wrong with that. The fact of the matter is, that this year, Brees has some help. The Saints have the ninth-best rushing attack in football thanks to the two-headed monster of Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower. (LWR 26)
  25. Carolina Panthers (4-7) ~ A year after leading the league with 15 wins, they are a road game in Seattle away from clinching a non-winning season. They did win there last year but this version of the Panthers is vastly different from last year’s version. (LWR 25)
  26. Cincinnati Bengals (3-7-1) ~ Because of the “quality” of the AFC North, the Bengals still have a shot at the playoffs. They take on the Eagles this week who have equally bleak playoff hopes. The loser of that game can officially kiss their hopes goodbye. (LWR 22)
  27. Los Angeles Rams (4-7) ~ Jared Goff’s second NFL start went much better than the first. At least for him. At least as far as stats go. The number one overall pick threw for 214 yards and the first three touchdowns of his career. His team was blown out in the second half, however, so even when the Rams score points they can’t seem to win. (LWR 27)
  28. New York Jets (3-8) ~ Last week I questioned why Head Coach Todd Bowles was sticking with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. After this weekend’s game a Jets fan I know questioned the same thing. I have a feeling he isn’t alone among Jets fans. (LWR 28)
  29. Chicago Bears (2-9) ~ In his first career NFL start Matt Barkley threw for 316 yards and three touchdowns. That’s pretty darn good. He also threw two picks which isn’t so good. Also, if you are asking Matt Barkley to throw the ball 54 times in his first start? Yeah, maybe your team isn’t very good. Where’s the balance? (LWR 29)
  30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9) ~ For the first time in 25 games Jacksonville scored a touchdown on their opening possession. It almost seems unfathomable that something like that could happen. No matter. The Jags blew that early lead as well as a 21-20 lead in the fourth quarter to clinch yet another losing season. (LWR 30)
  31. San Francisco 49ers (1-10) ~ Colin Kaepernick did all he could, but in the end he came up a yard short of the potential tying touchdown in Miami. That’s 10 straight losses for the 49ers for the first time in their proud history. (LWR 31)
  32. Cleveland Browns (0-12) ~ Every time the Browns have taken the field this season they have lost. This weekend will be different. This weekend the Browns will not lose. That’s because this weekend the Browns will enjoy their bye week. (LWR 32)

That's all she wrote folks. Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave them right here. Or if that's not good enough you can follow/harass me on Twitter @therichwhiteguy. It wouldn't be the biggest waste of your time.

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