Power Rankings

    The Times’ NFL rankings (after Week 11)

    by Lance Pugmire

    Up: Bills + 8 | Down: Bears - 6

    1

    texans

    9-1
    0

    Can’t play perfectly every week, but with players like WR Andre Johnson around, with QB Matt Schaub going fantasy crazy, that’s OK.

    2

    falcons

    9-1
    0

    Five INTs by QB Matt Ryan against visiting Arizona a sign of trouble, couple questionable calls away from losing again.

    3

    broncos

    7-3
    1

    Loss of RB Willis McGahee will allow defenses to more liberally add a nickel back in secondary. Softer schedule in coming weeks helps.

    4

    packers

    7-3
    1

    WR Randall Cobb emerges as another solid target for QB Rodgers, who led victory despite two missed FGs by Mason Crosby, interception.

    5

    49ers

    7-2-1
    3

    Dominant pass rush led by Aldon Smith’s 5 1/2 sacks, emergence of backup QB Kaepernick vs. Bears strong case for NFC title run.

    6

    patriots

    7-3
    0

    Injury loss of TE Rob Gronkowski eliminates top catching option for Brady. Likely doesn’t matter as others in division fall by wayside.

    7

    ravens

    8-2
    0

    Showed what it takes to stand up to bully Pittsburgh in big road division game Sunday night. They were pounded last year at Chargers.

    8

    giants

    6-4
    2

    Had bye before drawing revenge-minded Packers in New Jersey. Will Manning revert to recent struggles or past big-game greatness?

    9

    bears

    7-3
    6

    As Houston, 49ers’ losses show, they clearly need Jay Cutler back to increase points production and limit defense’s time on the field.

    10

    steelers

    6-4
    1

    Another team desperate for its QB’s return will instead have to likely rely on third-string Charlie Batch at Browns.

    11

    seahawks

    6-4
    0

    Road tests off bye at Miami, Chicago will show if they’re more than a home-body. Defense ranks No. 2 in league vs. pass.

    12

    buccaneers

    6-4
    1

    WR Vincent Jackson earns his free-agent bucks with game-saving fourth-quarter TD and two-point catches in fourth straight win. Sharply improved team.

    13

    vikings

    6-4
    1

    Make-or-break three-game stretch awaits at Bears, at Packers, home to Bears. Getting WR Percy Harvin back from sore ankle seems critical.

    14

    saints

    5-5
    1

    They’ve found .500 after 0-4 start, but another slide seems probable as weak defense prepares for 49ers, Falcons, Giants.

    15

    colts

    6-4
    3

    Theory that seeing Tom Brady at work might benefit Andrew Luck seems impossinble to embrace getting rolled like that by Patriots.

    16

    cowboys

    5-5
    0

    Would’ve expected more convincing victory over visiting Browns. Seems far-fetched to project this group in the postseason.

    17

    bengals

    5-5
    0

    Relishing schedule break by rolling over Chiefs and awaiting Raiders. QB Andy Dalton directs league’s 10th-best pass offense.

    18

    redskins

    4-6
    1

    Robert Griffin III’s long bombs broke the will of Eagles. Tough stretch now wiuth Cowboys, Giants, Ravens in line next.

    19

    bills

    4-6
    8

    Too little, too late, or is Miami win the start of late surge with Colts, Jaguars, Rams next? Defense must remain stout.

    20

    dolphins

    4-6
    2

    Not enough offense to overcome recent slide against pass, and schedule unforgiving with Seattle, Patriots, 49ers up next.

    21

    titans

    4-6
    1

    RB Chris Johnson is getting better, but own run defense ranks 28th in league. Hard road to nine wins with Houston, Packers on schedule.

    22

    lions

    4-6
    1

    Losing to Green Bay just about does it for playoff hopes with Texans up on Thanksgiving, followed by Colts, at Packers.

    23

    jets

    4-6
    3

    Winning at St. Louis no little thing, as continued faith in QB Mark Sanchez pays off. Still, heavy ‘dog vs. Patriots Thanksgiving night.

    24

    chargers

    4-6
    6

    Offensive line ineptness worsens struggles of QB Rivers, run game. Meanwhile, G.M. A.J. Smith’s castoffs Brees, Jackson, Turner shine.

    25

    eagles

    3-7
    2

    Not showing up now despite edict from owner that playoffs were needed. More than the coach will lose job for this.

    26

    cardinals

    4-6
    1

    Rightfully booted John Skelton from QB after he missed WR Fitzgerald in end zone. Problem is rookie Lindley did nothing while defense gave all in Atlanta.

    27

    rams

    3-6-1
    3

    Committed three turnovers, and failed to force one for a fifth straight game in loss to slumping Jets. Now they go to Arizona.

    28

    browns

    2-8
    1

    Most recent loss reveals flaw in replay system, when officials were barred from reviewing “incomplete” pass that clearly was a lost Dallas fumble.

    29

    raiders

    3-7
    1

    Tough to hang in there without RBs, costly miscues by QB, defense in shambles. At Bengals next, 1-4 on road.

    30

    panthers

    2-8
    0

    Losing like bad teams do: late. At least they get chance to rehabilitate record some with Eagles, Chiefs up next.

    31

    chiefs

    1-9
    0

    Another lopsided loss mutes game effort week earlier, and now they face possible onslaught vs. streaking Broncos.

    32

    jaguars

    1-9
    0

    Their best showing of the year was in Sunday’s defeat vs. Texans, with WR Justin Blackmon showing why he was top pick.

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