PackFan’s NFL Power Rankings 2018: Week 12

This week was absolutely wild, with most of the games being decided by 3 points or less. Close games and comebacks were everywhere this week, but where do the winners and losers of those rank?

#1. New Orleans Saints (9-1)
Another week, another blowout win. This time, the victims were the defending super bowl champion Eagles. Final score? 48-7. These Saints are legit. Believe me.

#2. Los Angeles Rams (10-1)
That Monday Night was one of the most fun games I’ve ever watched. A thriller between Jared Goff and Patrick Mahomes to the end, but it ended in Los Angeles’ favor, as they won 54-51. On a side note, this game was the first game in NFL history where both teams scored over 50 points. Crazy, huh?

#3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2)
I don’t blame them for their two primetime losses. After all, they were both within three points and against the Patriots and Rams. Anyway, I wouldn’t be surprised if they went 14-2 the rest of the way, because that offense is unstoppable.

#4. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2-1) +1 ⬆️
Not sure if they deserve to move up, because though they won against the Jaguars after falling into a 16-0 hole, it was a less than stellar game from Ben Roethlisberger, James Conner, and most of the team. But in the end, a team that can make a comeback against a defense like Jacksonville’s deserves some credit, and they will get it.

#5. Los Angeles Chargers (7-3) -1 ⬇️
They may be a very good team, but what I’ve learned over time is that their division rivals are often their kryptonite. The Chiefs flattened them at first, and now the Broncos squeak by them. What is up with the Chargers never capitalizing in the AFC West?

#6. New England Patriots (7-3)
After a bye week following an embarrassing loss to the Titans, the Patriots now enter a critical stretch to try to snag the #2 seed in the AFC from the Steelers.

#7. Chicago Bears (7-3)
With their dominant win on Sunday Night Football against their division rival in purple, the Bears solidified themselves as the NFC North’s top team. For years, it was either the Packers or Vikings who dominated the division, but the role has shifted to a team that looks to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010.

#8. Houston Texans (7-3) +2 ⬆️
If you expected the Texans to be 7-3 at this time after they started 0-3, then you’re a liar. Now after capping off their seventh straight win, they hold a firm lead in the AFC South. But with the emergence of the upstart Colts, they better stay wary.

#9. Minnesota Vikings (5-4-1) -1 ⬇️
The Vikings are trying to hold on to a wild card spot in the NFC, but their awful game against the Bears did not help that matter. Now the 5-5 Seahawks and Cowboys loom behind them, and look to snag the #6 seed if Minnesota slips up again.

#10. Carolina Panthers (6-4) -1 ⬇️
Well to be fair, they only lost by one point, and from what many teams have seen this season, the Lions are a nightmare for kickers, including their victim of this week, Graham Gano. But after losing their second straight game against an under average Lions squad, should there be concern for this Panthers team?

#11. Baltimore Ravens (5-5) +3 ⬆️
Who knew that Lamar Jackson would be the man to keep their playoff hopes alive. He was also their first 100 yard rusher this season, which is kind of sad. But thanks to his play, the Ravens are still alive in the race for the #6 seed in the AFC.

#12. Washington Redskins (6-4) -1 ⬇️
Now the Redskins playoff hopes are in serious jeopardy. After Alex Smith gruesomely broke his leg, it leaves Colt McCoy with Mark Sanchez (oh jeez) as their quarterbacks. Not an ideal situation with the Cowboys in hot pursuit of the NFC East lead.

#13. Seattle Seahawks (5-5) +4 ⬆️
Convincing win over the Packers, and now they sit at 5-5, just outside the playoffs. They’ll need to win out to have a shot.

#14. Green Bay Packers (4-5-1) -2 ⬇️
After a heartbreaking loss to the Seahawks, their season is once again in jeopardy. But Aaron Rodgers said after the game, “of course there’s hope.” Will that turn out to be one of his prophetic statements? I just don’t see that happening.

#15. Cincinnati Bengals (5-5) -2 ⬇️
After starting off hot, the Bengals have cooled down and are now fighting for a playoff spot with a flock of other 5-5 teams. If they don’t make it, then maybe they will finally fire Marvin Jones. It is long, long overdue.

#16. Indianapolis Colts (5-5) +3 ⬆️
If there’s an AFC team I want to make the playoffs the most, it’s the Colts. I’m loving what I’m seeing from them right now, with Andrew Luck and Eric Ebron being unstoppable, and the defense achieving glory. I would also like to see a rematch of the 2014 AFC championship game with them facing the Patriots in the playoffs. Deflategate 2.0?

#17. Dallas Cowboys (5-5) +4 ⬆️
Anyone who saw their first few failures and thought they’d still be in the playoff race right now is a wizard. After a field goal win over the Falcons, things got easier after Redskins quarterback Alex Smith broke his leg. This gives Dallas a chance to take control of the NFC East.

#18. Atlanta Falcons (4-6) -1 ⬇️
Slow day for the Falcons after a playoff destroying 22-19 loss to the Cowboys. Now, they sit at 4-6, and are unlikely to win out with the Saints still looming. Their playoff chances are less than 5% in my opinion.

#19. Miami Dolphins (5-5) +1 ⬆️
After a bye week, it is time to see if this unhealthy Dolphins team can make a late season playoff push.

#20. Philadelphia Eagles (4-6) -5 ⬇️
Before the season began, I never thought I would dip them this far, but here they are. After an abysmal performance by the Eagles against the Saints, they fell to 4-6, and I believe this means they will miss the playoffs. My question is, what went wrong in Philly?

#21. Tennessee Titans (5-5) -3 ⬇️
Just when they looked to be gaining a little momentum, they got manhandled by the rising Colts, and that certainly didn’t help their playoff chances. What’s worse is that Marcus Mariota is hurt, and as Blaine Gabbert showed on Sunday, he’s not capable of carrying a team to the postseason.

#22. Denver Broncos (4-6) +3 ⬆️
Denver was supposed to lose this one in a blowout, but they instead stun the Chargers and upset them in a small win. Case Keenum led his third fourth quarter comeback win on Sunday. And yes, I am fully aware that Denver only has four wins, which means three of those were barely wins.

#23. Detroit Lions (4-6) +1 ⬆️
Surprise, surprise, the Lions upset the Panthers. But it was just a one point win, and it wasn’t highly impressive on their part (unless you’re Kenny Golladay). But hey, a win is a win.

#24. Cleveland Browns (3-6-1) -1 ⬇️
It was a much needed bye week for this team, as they look to get back on track after a big win over the Falcons.

#25. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7) -3 ⬇️
They are Ben Roethlisberger’s weakness, and they had the Steelers down 16-0, and had a win coming for them. But then, they slacked, and lost 20-16. All hope for this team has officially been lost.

#26. New York Giants (3-7) +3 ⬆️
They had such a good draft spot before pumping off two straight wins, and it’s stupid that they’re actually trying this late in the season. Oh, and to the Giants fans thinking New York will wind up 9-7, you guys won against the 49ers and Buccaneers. Those aren’t wins to be proud of.

#27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7) -1 ⬇️
You know there’s an issue when you can’t beat the Giants. Also on a side note, who is their starting quarterback at this point? Jameis Winston will probably flame out again, and then it is on to Ryan Fitzpatrick, and back and forth. They need a true #1 quarterback.

#28. San Francisco 49ers (2-8) -1 ⬇️
After a bye week, they continue to look to tank the rest of the season.

#29. Buffalo Bills (3-7) -1 ⬇️
Like the 49ers, they may as well tank the rest of the season, because they are not going anywhere.

#30. New York Jets (3-7) +1 ⬆️
Well I wouldn’t be surprised if their confidence level is really low coming out of their bye week, especially with an injured Sam Darnold. Might as will tank, NY.

#31. Arizona Cardinals (2-8) -1 ⬇️
Yeah, yeah, they lost to the Raiders, but let’s not forget that it was by a mere field goal. The Cardinals are terrible, but still better than Oakland.

#32. Oakland Raiders (2-8)
Well, well, well, it appears there has been a brief relief in their dumpster fire season, with a cut kicker kicking their game winning field goal. But let’s not forget just how awful this team is.