NFL Power Rankings Week 12: Chiefs claim top spot, Dolphins climb during bye and Vikings sink
The Kansas City Chiefs take the top spot in the newest edition of Power Rankings after a dramatic comeback road win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Dallas Cowboys had the headline performance of Week 11 with a blowout win over the Minnesota Vikings as Kansas City jumped on the opportunity to take the top spot with a primetime road win over the Los Angeles Chargers. With seven weeks to go, there is still plenty of time for teams to move up and down in the standings, but the playoff picture is starting to take shape.
Here is our newest edition of NFL Power Rankings after Week 11.
1) Kansas City Chiefs 8-2, last week 2
The Chiefs have been hanging around the top spot all year, and finally I’ve wisened up and put them at the top spot where they probably deserved to be all year. Another week and another bit of Patrick Mahomes brilliance. The Chiefs had to go on the road in a tough, primetime divisional matchup against one of the few teams that has troubled KC trouble since Mahomes became the starter in Aarowhead. The Chiefs went to Sofi banged up missing Smith-Schuster and Hardman, but as long as Mahomes has Travis Kelce the Chiefs will be just fine. The TE had three TD catches on Sunday night and now leads the league in touchdown receptions.
2) Philadelphia Eagles 9-1, last week 3
The Eagles were against the ropes on Sunday in Indy and showed the kind of team that they are. After losing to their division rivals last week, they went into Indy and played a dangerous Colts team in the midst of a midseason resurgence. The Eagles aren’t going to blow out every team, and these tight games are going to help Hurts and Philly once the post season comes rolling around.
3) Miami Dolphins 7-3, last week 4
The Miami Dolphins went into their Week 11 bye week as one of the best teams in the league, and they look like they are only getting stronger as the season goes on. Their schedule is far from a cake walk to end the season, so this week of R&R will be much appreciated as Miami heads into the final stretch of the season fresh and healthy.
4) Buffalo Bills 7-3, last week 5
It had been a tumultuous two weeks for the Bills after a mid season slump had media and experts casting doubts around Josh Allen and Buffalo. A snow storm in Western New York complicated things even more as the Bills were transplanted to Detroit, and it took the better part of two quarters for them to figure things out on the offensive end. It was Tyler Bass’ six field goals, not Josh Allen who led the Bills Ford Field continues to stutter. The team we saw dominate the league for the first half of the season is still there, they just have to get the train back on the tracks.
5) Dallas Cowboys 7-3, last week 7
No better way to forget about a disappointing loss the week before than blow out one of the best teams in the league on their own turf. We saw this Cowboys team light up the scoreboard just before their bye when they sank the Bears in a 49 point performance. On Sunday we saw the offense look just about as good as it could, while the defense showed up and shut down Kirk Cousins and the Vikes. That’s the performance we expected to see from the Cowboys coming off of their week off. Better late than never I suppose for Mike MCarthy and Dallas.
6) Baltimore Ravens 7-3, last week 6
Baltimore came off of their bye week knowing they have one of the easiest final stretches to the regular season, and played like they have one of the easiest final stretches of the regular season. They came out flat, and unmotivated against a terrible Panthers team. Fortunately for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens they didn’t need much to beat Carolina. These games should be serve as prep for the playoffs, but Sunday’s win looked more like a preseason game.
7) Minnesota Vikings 8-2, last week 1
For all the hope and faith I put into the Vikings after their win in Buffalo last week, the 40-3 home drubbing throws all of that in the flames. The big question was if the Vikings could hang with good teams. They needed multiple miracles to beat the Bills last week. Not even 100 miracles could have saved them in Minnesota on Sunday.
8) Tennessee Titans 7-3, last week 11
Defensively, the Titans are one of the top sides in the league. In the ground game, no one is more dominant than Derrick Henry. If the pass attack can deliver like they did in Lambeau on Thursday night than the Titans will go from Super Bowl hopefuls to one of the Super Bowl favorites.
9) San Francisco 49ers 6-4, last week 10
Finally! On Monday night in Mexico we finally saw what this San Francisco 49ers team is capable of. The defense was dominated as usual, but we had yet to see all of the Niners weapons firing at the same time. There was a perfect balance of runs and passes as Jimmy G threw 4 TDs, and Kyle Shanahan got a little adventurous with the play calling south of the boarder. If the Niners can maintain that level of play this team will turn into one of the favorites to life the Lombardi Trophy in February.
10) Cincinnati Bengals 6-4, last week 12
How about the Bengals offense over the last month and a half? They have scored 30 or more points in four of their last five games, and let’s remember that the Bengals have been without star receiver Ja’Marr Chase for the last three games. It’s true the defense gave up 30 points to the Steelers, but if their offense can play like they have been then the defense will have a much wider margin for error.
11) New York Giants 7-3, last week 8
Is there trouble brewing in the Big Apple? They are no doubt in their most turbulent moment of the season, having lost two of their last three, with their only win during that stretch coming against the Texans in an 8 points victory. A couple late touchdowns kept this game from being a blowout, as Saquon Barkley was shut down by the Lions defense and for the first time this season we saw shades of Daniel Jones playing like he has for the last few years making costly mistakes that put the Giants behind the eight ball early on.
12) Seattle Seahawks 6-4, last week 13
The Seahawks trip to Munich was a long one. Losing to the Bucs two weeks ago in Germany made the trip even longer. It seemed like Seatlle was riding a wave of momentum through the first half of the season, let’s see if they can catch that wave coming out of their bye and earn themselves what would be one of the most surprising playoff births in recent memory.
13) Washington Commanders 6-5, last week 15
The Commanders went from playing the top team in the league to the bottom team in the league in back-to-back weeks. Riverboat Ron’s defense locked down the Texans as Taylor Heinicke continued to work his magic with in his fourth win in five starts. The Commanders are officially a Wild Card contender in the NFC after 11 weeks.
14) New York Jets 6-4, last week 9
The way the Jets were talking in their post game interviews was probably the most comforting thing about their ugly loss to the Pats. After gaining just 12 yards in the second half, a scoring three points after coming off of their bye week. The Jets knew that their performance was unacceptable. They know they should be better, and Robert Saleh will have his side ready to make a playoff push in the final seven weeks of the season.
15) Los Angeles Chargers, 5-5, last week 14
The Chargers finally started a game with both of their star receivers, Mike Williams and Keenan Allen, on the field at the same time. It didn’t last long. Mike Williams tweaked that injured right ankle again in the first quarter and say out the rest of the way. Justin Herbert and Austin Ekeler were able to carry the Chargers for most of the game, but the LA defense allowed the Chiefs to drive down the field way too easily to take the lead with a half minute to go in the game. This team is going to be dangerous if they ever get fully healthy, but that’s a big “if.”
16) New England Patriots 6-4, last week 16
The Pats know things aren’t going to get easier as we go inching towards the end of the regular season and New England will take any win they can get any way they can get it. Marcus Jones’ dramatic run back to beat the division rival New York Jets could be the play of the season if New England reach the playoffs.
17) Indianapolis Colts 4-6, last week 18
The Colts were a pass interference penalty away from handing the Eagles their second straight loss late in the fourth quarter on Sunday. Had they won, construction would have began on Jeff Saturday’s statue outside of Lucas Oil Stadium. Indy may have lost, but the Saturday era is looking good after the first two weeks.
18) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 5-5, last week 17
The Bucs went into their bye on a two game win streak after a dreadful start to the season. Despite the despair, the Bucs lead their division and look like the clear favorites to take the NFC South. There are still plenty of questions surrounding the Tampa Bay offense, lets see if they found any answers during the break.
19) Atlanta Falcons 5-6, last week 20
The Falcons were supposed to be a team that struggled this season, much like their Week 11 opponents the Chicago Bears. But the difference between these two teams was on display on Sunday afternoon. The Falcons make plays to win games, and the Bears didn’t. Cordarrelle Patterson had a 103 yard kick off return on a day where their offense wasn’t at their best. When they needed points late in the game, it was the run game that took over and marched down the field to set up the game winning field goal.
20) Detroit Lions 4-6, last week 27
The Lions are on a three game win streak for the first time in over five years. It hasn’t been easy, and it hasn’t been pretty over the last half decade in Detroit, but all that suffering makes wins like the one the Lions had over the Giants on Sunday that much sweeter. Dan Campbell, who is now officially my favorite coach in football, said “Everything that we said we had to do and needed to do to beat this team, we did that for almost all of the game,” Campbell continued. “There were a couple of spots in there. These guys are playing their (butts) off and they’re starting to figure out a way to win.”
21) Green Bay Packers 4-7, last week 19
The win against the Cowboys in Week 10 seemed to be a potential turning point for the Packers, but the Titans brought them back to reality by airing it out on a cold night in Lambeau. Next week’s game against the Eagles could make or break their season.
22) New Orleans Saints 4-7, last week 28
Dennis Allen’s decision to name Andy Dalton the Saints QB1 had been called into question over the last few weeks after the offense came to a stand still against the Ravens and the Steelers. His three TD performance on a day where he went 21/25 certainly helped his case for the starting role, but that didn’t make Jameis Winston feel any better about the situation.
23) Arizona Cardinals 4-7, last week 21
It turns out that Colt McCoy wasn’t the solution to all of the Cardinals problems. Arizona got waxed in Mexico as the offense shut off in the second and the Niners ran away with the victory. The Cardinals are drifting out of the playoff race quickly, and Kliff Kingsbury’s seat has just gone from hot to scorching.
24) Los Angeles Rams 3-7, last week 23
Fortunately, or unfortunately, for Matthew Stafford the Rams are still in the playoff hunt (kind of) which means he will continue to be under center for Los Angles. Until the Rams are mathematically out of the postseason picture, you have to think they will want their QB1 on the field, but he has been getting beaten up this year, and went to the locker room early after hitting his head on the turf in the third quarter. If the O Line can’t block for their quarterback, they best way to protect Stafford might be benching him.
25) Pittsburgh Steelers 3-7, last week 25
Pittsburgh has come out of their Week 9 bye looking much more competitive. After beating the Saints last week, the Steelers gave the Bengals all they could handle on Sunday afternoon. The Steelers used Najee Harris as their anchor on the offensive end and he paid them back with two rushing TDs. Right now Harris should be the best friend and closest ally for rookie QB Kenny Pickett.
26) Chicago Bears 3-8, last week 22
I know the Bears are limited in options on the offensive end, but they have to have a bit more balance in their offense. Justin Fields has exploded on to the scene, but if he has to get the brunt of the running plays and lead the Bears through the air, opposing teams will be able to focus on just the QB, not to mention the punishment that awaits the new face of the franchise.
27) Cleveland Browns 3-7, last week 24
Anytime the Browns fail to get the run game going, it almost guarantees a loss for Cleveland. Jacoby Brissett carried the Browns for a quarter and a half, but a fumbled snap changed the course of the game, and Cleveland never recovered. The countdown to Deshaun Watson’s debut has begun, but the Browns might be out of the playoff picture once he gets his first start.
28) Carolina Panthers 3-8, last week 26
The little surge that the Panthers had when Steve Wilks took over seems to have come to an end. He seemed to like P.J. Walker more than Baker Mayfield, but Walkers’ ankle forced him out for the loss against the Ravens. The defense did a great job against Jackson and the Ravens, but Mayfield threw two INTs and passed for less than 200 yards as the Panthers scored just 3 points. Once Walker is healthy let’s see who Wilks puts under center.
29) Jacksonville Jaguars 3-7, last week 30
The Jaguars enjoyed a much needed week off to prepare for the final stretch of the season. They most likely won’t be a part of the AFC playoff picture, but the last seven games will prove very important for Doug Pederson’s team and the future of this franchise.
30) Las Vegas Raiders 3-7, last week 31
It was a battle of two coaches on the hot seat in Denver and Josh McDaniels came and the Raiders came away with an overtime win to earn their coach at least another week on the sidelines. As in their previous three wins, Josh Jacobs brought a balance to the LV offense going for 109 yard on 24 rushes. That allowed Derek Carr to go for 300 yards and two TDs including the game winner to Davante Adams in the overtime.
31) Denver Broncos 3-7, last week 29
There have been many low points for the Broncos this season, but losing to the Raiders has to be the most painful moment of the season. Clock management has been one of many problems for the Broncos this year, and it came back to bite them in the butt on Sunday. On the 3rd down right after the Two Minute Warning and Raiders with no timeouts the Broncos took a deep shot down the right side, which fell incomplete and stopped the clock allowing the Raiders enough time to get the ball back and kick a game tying field goal with 16 seconds left. With momentum on their side the Raiders took three plays to punch the ball into the end zone in OT.
32) Houston Texans 1-8-1, last week 32
There weren’t many expectations for the Texans coming into this season, but there was hope that this young team would improve as the season progressed. They have kept games tight for most of the season, but they never had a chance against the Commanders on Sunday. Gaining 148 yards in four quarters is never going to give you a shot to win games late in the game.