Power Rankings

    The Times’ NFL rankings (after Week 12)

    by Lance Pugmire
    It still looks like a Houston-Atlanta Super Bowl, but Indianapolis is moving up fast.

    Up: Colts + 5 | Down: Packers - 5

    1

    texans

    10-1
    0

    Getting ready to clinch a playoff spot with favorable game at Titans after avoiding OT Thanksgiving loss in Detroit.

    2

    falcons

    10-1
    0

    “Matty Ice” adds to reputation by leading fifth fourth-quarter comeback of season in Tampa. Ryan threw for 353, perfect strike to WR Jones en route.

    3

    broncos

    8-3
    0

    Said thanks to Chiefs for settling for field goals, and got 85 rushing yards from Knowshon Moreno, two TDs from Manning. Home to Tampa Bay now.

    4

    49ers

    8-2-1
    1

    Turned two Drew Brees passes into their own TDs, and Colin Kaepernick rewarded Harbaugh’s confidence with impressive road debut.

    5

    patriots

    8-3
    1

    Some argue they’re the league’s best team, and 35-point quarter at Jets is a sound case. At Dolphins next.

    6

    ravens

    9-2
    1

    Their will to win is unquestionable, and the face of that was Ray Rice’s mad dash on fourth-and-29. Get Steelers for second time in three weeks now.

    7

    giants

    7-4
    1

    Needed to end losing skid, and doing so by dominating Packers shows they are who we thought they were.

    8

    bears

    8-3
    1

    Jay Cutler returns and all is right with the world again, as the opportunistic group collected two fumbles and an INT to keep Vikings at bay.

    9

    packers

    7-4
    5

    Injury depleted defense gave up nearly 400 yards in Giants’ loss, and offensive line wasn’t much better, letting five sacks happen. Big game vs. Vikings now.

    10

    colts

    7-4
    5

    Amid news that leukemia-sidelined Coach Cuck Pagano is in remission, T.Y. Hilton steps up with TD catch and punt return vs. Bills.

    11

    steelers

    6-5
    1

    – If Charlie Batch was going to be their QB rest of the way, rankings fall would be greater, but Ben Roethlisberger could be back Sunday at Ravens.

    12

    buccaneers

    6-5
    0

    Went toe to toe with top NFC team despite RB Doug Martin getting slowed. Defense will have to be better in critical moments at Denver.

    13

    bengals

    6-5
    4

    Loving this AFC West schedule assignment after decking Raiders’ Carson Palmer four times, compiling 415 yards with Chargers next.

    14

    seahawks

    6-5
    3

    Allowing 17 points in the final half of the fourth quarter quite a demoralizing feat. What’s worse is they have to go to Bears now.

    15

    redskins

    5-6
    4

    After scorching Cowboys on Thanksgiving, they try to pull within a game of East-leading Giants Monday night.

    16

    vikings

    6-5
    3

    Will the NFC North big boys send them to oblivion? First meeting with Bears a good indicator, now they go to Lambeau.

    17

    dolphins

    5-6
    3

    Inspired rally vs. Seahawks keeps them in playoff hunt in December, impressive feat for rookie head coach, QB.

    18

    saints

    5-6
    4

    Drew Brees not only threw two pick-sixes, he was sacked five times by 49ers. Now face tough task of Thursday road game at revenge-minded Falcons.

    19

    cowboys

    5-6
    3

    Coach Jason Garrett likely out of a job after Thanksgiving showing, another playoff absence. Might want to replace Tony Romo while at it, too.

    20

    bills

    4-7
    1

    Seemed to be in good spot to stage rally at young Colts, but slipped on special teams, couldn’t get defense off field.

    21

    lions

    4-7
    1

    Didn’t they used to be tough on Thanksgiving? Now, they not only lose routinely as they did in OT vs. Texans, they find creative ways to do it.

    22

    rams

    4-6-1
    5

    Intercepted Arizona rookie QB four times, and Steven Jackson back to old tricks with 139 yards on ground. Now host 49ers.

    23

    titans

    4-7
    2

    Losing to Jacksonville greatest indignity yet. Time to start scouring web for mock-draft rankings.

    24

    browns

    3-8
    4

    Season-long effort pays off in turnover-fest victory over hated Steelers. Defensive work deserves applause it won, to Oakland next.

    25

    jets

    4-7
    2

    They might win vs. Cardinals Sunday, but Thanksgiving blowout to Patriots makes it clear now heads beyond Fireman Ed’s will roll.

    26

    chargers

    4-7
    2

    Likely in middle of another long playoff absence like 1984-91, 1996-2003 after fourth-and-29 conversion challenges lost 24-0 lead as greatest choke of campaign.

    27

    panthers

    3-8
    3

    QB Cam Newton accounts for four TDs at Philadelphia. Gets a similar soft touch Sunday at Kansas City.

    28

    eagles

    3-8
    3

    Seventh straight loss despite 178 yards from rookie RB Bryce Brown worsens Coach Reid’s final-year spiral. At Dallas Sunday.

    29

    cardinals

    4-7
    3

    John Skelton lost job because of a bad pass, but Ryan Lindley keeps his with four INTs? Beanie Wells (48 yards) wasn’t ground-game boost they need.

    30

    raiders

    3-8
    1

    Oh, the carnage! Down 24-0 at halftime, 146 passing yards, four sacks and 415 yards allowed. Owner has apologized. Can’t get much worse, right?

    31

    jaguars

    2-9
    1

    QB Chad Henne leads them to rare victory with 261 yards, two TDs vs. Titans. Back-to-back wins not impossible with trip to Buffalo next.

    32

    chiefs

    1-10
    1

    You can’t make a case to defend Romeo Crennel kicking a FG up 3-0 on Broncos’ 5-yard line. Well, maybe that Crennel wanted to seal his firing.

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