Tuesday, November 24, 2009

LRN Power Rankings: Week 12

Vince Young is leading the Titans on an impressive comeback trail. That's something I thought I'd never say again. While the world puts their focus on New Orleans/New England next Monday Night, we're giving you the Week 12 Power Rankings:

Get After It!

1. Indianapolis Colts (1) Peyton & Co. marched into Baltimore and left still undefeated. The now 10-0 Indianapolis Colts are poised and tested, winning their fourth straight game by four points or less.

2. New Orleans Saints (2) The Saints are good, very good. Their 10-0 record is the best start in team history. However, if you want to earn everyones respect you've got to take care of business on November 30th, Monday Night.

3. Minnesota Vikings (4) A real chance exists that the 9-1 Vikings will end up playing in the postseason with home field throughout. Don't think that matters? Favre and the Vikings haven't scored less than 27 points in that dome. With that defense on the other side of the ball, 27 points is plenty.

4. New England Patriots (5) We know the Patriots are good at home (6-0), but it is about time they get it done outside of Foxborough. Beating an undefeated New Orleans team in the Superdome would prove a point.

5. San Diego Chargers (7) After a 2-3 start, the Chargers have stormed back winning five straight and taking control of the AFC West. Over that stretch quarterback Phillip Rivers has tossed 10 touchdown passes and just three interceptions.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (3) How does a team which wins in Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Green Bay then lose in Oakland? The Bengals are good, I give you that much. Losses like this one in Oakland is what makes them not good enough.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (6) After losing to Kansas City, the Steelers have made their trip to Baltimore next week even that much more important. Another loss would put alot more heat on a team that has flat out underachieved as defending champions.

8. Baltimore Ravens (8) How much tougher can their schedule get? Indy this week, Pittsburgh next week, and then to Green Bay the week after. The 5-5 Ravens can expect a dog fight for a Wild Card spot and only hope to sneak in.

9. Dallas Cowboys by Default (9) A 7-6 win against a bad Redskins team is nothing to be proud of; However I like what Tony Romo said "You have to keep the game in front of you, don't look back." Trust me, no one is looking back at that one.

10. Philadelphia Eagles by Default (11) The Eagles are still hovering, there loss to Big D and average 6-4 win loss record holds them back. We have to take notice of LeSean McCoy and his ability to get them yards on the ground as they wait for Brian Westbrook to get back.

11. Houston Texans by Default (10) That was the type of win Houston should have had; but they lost and now they sit back at 5-5 where they are very used to being. On the flip side, I do still believe they knock off Indianapolis next week.

12. Arizona Cardinals (15) My concern is the Cardinals won't get up for non-division games knowing that they have the NFC West all but wrapped up. We'll get to see how good the Cardinals really are when Minnesota comes to their place in two weeks.

13. Miami Dolphins (14) No Ronnie Brown for the remainder, but Ricky Williams can carry the load as long as Miami can find another dimension. They'll literally play every team which will be battling them for a Wild Card. Jacksonville, Tennessee, Houston, and Pittsburgh on the schedule.

14. Green Bay Packers (13) It was great to see the Packers win two straight games and play their way back into the mix, but losing two defensive starters and almost blowing a huge lead is no way to stay in that mix.

15. Tennessee Titans (21) The once 0-6 Titans have pulled a complete turnaround in the middle of the season winning four straight. Since November 1st Chris Johnson has rushed for 161 yards per game and quarterback Vince Young playing mistake free football and keeping one thing in mind. Just W-I-N.

16. New York Giants (20) The Giants did a few things by beating Atlanta. First off, they stopped pressing and you saw Eli in the post game saying how he was relieved after 42 days since their last win. Secondly, they're only one game behind the division lead and get to play Dallas again.

17. Denver Broncos (12) The Broncos couldn't talk the talk. After winning six straight and now falling to 6-4 with a crucial loss to division rival San Diego, things are getting ugly. Kyle Orton needs to get healthy or this will spiral way out of control.

18. Carolina Panthers (16) Tough loss against Miami, but with the play of borderline teams in the NFC, anything is possible. No team finishes tougher with games against the Patriots, Giants, Saints, and Vikings. Ouch!

19. Jacksonville Jaguars (19) Jacksonville is playing for a playoff spot now tied with Pittsburgh, Denver, Miami, and most likely division rival Houston. Luckily for the Jags they get two of those four teams in their own place over the next three weeks.

20. Atlanta Falcons (17) The now .500 Falcons should have one particular goal in mind: Finish above .500 It's important that this franchise accomplish something after having such a tough schedule to navigate, that would be having two straight winning seasons which is something the Falcons have never done.

21. San Francisco 49ers (18) The Niners put together a great second half and gave Green Bay a good scare in Lambeau. Unfortunately they're 4-6 and are playing their way out of a possible postseason push.

22. Chicago Bears (22) When Donovan McNabb made it a point to find Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and assure him things would get better after the Bears 24-20 loss, he forgot to tell him one thing from me: HAND THE BALL TO MATT FORTE AND RUN THE DAMN BALL!

23. Kansas City Chiefs (25) They are easily the best of the worst, you saw that when they had what it took to beat Pittsburgh in overtime. With Larry Johnson gone this team can breath and get back to playing football, you saw that this week.

24. New York Jets (23) Look, Mark Sanchez sucks. I'm sorry, that may have been to harsh, but 16 interceptions isn't going to get you a rookie of the year that's for sure. Let me say this one thing, new quarterbacks don't hit the ground running without slip ups. Look at what Ryan & Flacco are doing this season, they are having growing pains as well.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (24) I probably give too much credit to a team which boasts a 1-9 record through 11 weeks. Tough break for the Bucs to have played New England, Green Bay, Miami, and New Orleans in consecutive weeks. Nice to know you have a Top 3 picked all but locked up.

26. Oakland Raiders (30) I give up. Bruce Gradkowski was under center and somehow the Raiders come out with a win. I'm telling you, when teams go into that black hole things get very interesting.

27. Washington Redskins (28) Back to back weeks the 'Skins have brought it against playoff hopeful teams. I'm going out on a limb here, but I think this is a good opportunity for one of those 'big' name coaches, so long as they get personnel control.

28. Buffalo Bills (29) Things aren't good in Buffalo, however firing Dick Jauron and starting fresh is moving in the right direction. Note to NFL franchises, firing your offensive coordinator before you take a snap is never a good idea.

29. St. Louis Rams (26) Quietly, running back Steven Jackson is second in the league in rushing (1,031 yards). I won't be the first to think Jimmy Clausen is their future.

30. Seattle Seahawks (27) How did this (3-7) Seahawks team knock off Jacksonville to the tune of 41-0 just over a month ago. Since then they've lost 4 of 5 and are setting themselves up for another Top 10 draft pick.

31. Detroit Lions (31) I love Matt Stafford coming back in after being injured. The Lions haven't had a player who wants to lead that team in a very long time, Matt Stafford wants that job.

32. Cleveland Browns (32) That loss in Detroit will linger. A 1-9 Browns team couldn't have lost in a worse way than on a defensive pass interference call that cost them their 2nd win. Ugly.

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