Week 12 NFL Power Rankings
by Robert Ferringo - 11/21/2006
And without further ado here are my Week 12 Power Rankings:
1. Indianapolis (9-1) - I see them playing better without the weight of undefeated expectations on them.
2. Chicago (9-1) - It was amazing how pared down and conservative Ron Turner's offense was against the Jets. I liked it. Amazingly, the Bears defense is 28th in the NFL when it comes to giving up rushes of 20 or more yards (10).
3. Baltimore (8-2) - The Ravens are averaging more than 300 yards on offense for the first time this year. They lead the NFL in interceptions and will be prepared to play without Ray Lewis.
4. New England (7-3) - How many points will they manage against the Bears with no true breakaway threat? I believe they'll find one, if for only a day, and turn Sunday's tilt into a shootout.
5. San Diego (8-2) - If that defense ever gets everyone back and healthy (imagine if Glenn Foley hadn't gotten filled up like Robocop) it is going to be terrifying.
6. Denver (7-3) - If the Broncos lose on Thursday they'll have fallen from first to third in four days. I think anyone calling for Jay Cutler is a damn fool. Grossman, Rivers and Romo all had previous NFL experience.
7. Dallas (6-4) - The past seven teams that defeated the lone unbeaten were 4-3 ATS in their next game. They managed without him for one game, but the loss of Greg Ellis is going to haunt this team.
8. Carolina (6-4) - DeAngelo Williams gets a brunt of the carries and the Panthers run for a team-record 242 yards. Coincidence? Probably not. Carolina's defense has given up just three points in the past six quarters against Tampa and St. Louis.
9. Jacksonville (6-4) - David Garrard looked fantastic on Monday Night, and the Jags looked dominant in general. The loss of Donovin Darius - again - in the secondary is going to be a huge one for the Jags.
10. Kansas City (6-4) - Standout linebacker Derrick Johnson will likely miss Thursday's tilt with Denver. I don't expect Brian Waters to be back, and Tony Gonzalez will likely be a game-time decision.
11. Seattle (6-4) - Green Bay is in serious trouble. Matt Hasselbeck will be back and up against a weakened Brett Favre. Seattle will have its full compliment of offensive players and the benefit of the 12th man. I have a feeling this one is going to get ugly.
12. New Orleans (6-4) - Their defense has fallen to absolute pieces. The Saints are 4-1 ATS against the Falcons, but I think Atlanta is looking for payback for that MNF embarrassment they were dealt earlier in the year. The Saints are last in the league in turnover differential (-9).
13. New York Giants (6-4) - In two games without Amani Toomer the Giants have mustered just 321 net passing yards and have completed just 33-of-73 passes.
14. New York Jets (5-5) - They still have a realistic shot at going 5-1 down the stretch, though I see 3-2 as a more likely outcome.
15. Pittsburgh (4-6) - The average margin of victory in the Steelers' two games with the Ravens last year was just two points. Six of their past 10 regular season meetings with Baltimore have been decided by five points or less. The other four were all decided by 13 points or more.
16. Cincinnati (5-5) - The problem with a quick-strike offense is that it hangs your deplorable defense out to dry. The Bengals are 31st in time of possession, and their defense is on the field for more than 32 minutes per game.
17. Philadelphia (5-5) - The veterans on this team, guys like Brian Dawkins and Jon Runyan, know that their last hope of ever winning a championship ended on Sunday.
18. St. Louis (4-6) - The Rams mustered only eight carries against Carolina on Sunday. That number matched the low of the last 12 years.
19. Atlanta (5-5) - Starting guard Matt Lehr will be back from his steroids suspension this week, and the Falcons are hoping to regain the services of Jimmy Williams and Edge Hartwell this week for their showdown with New Orleans. Anything would give this team a boost right now.
20. San Francisco (5-5) - Linebacker Jeff Ulbrich's status is up in the air this week. He may have to have thumb surgery, but I expect him to play. Cornerback Shawntae Spencer, however, will likely miss the St. Louis game. And cornerback depth isn't a 49er strength.
21. Green Bay (4-6) - After watching Aaron Rogers play, now I know why everyone is so desperate for Favre to stick around. The Pack is just 1-4 both SU And ATS in Lambeau this season.
22. Miami (4-6) - We're going to find out a lot about how this team feels about Joey Harrington by how it performs in Detroit this weekend. And how about the potential QB controversy this team is headed for in 2007?
23. Cleveland (3-7) - If you throw out a 17-point knockout at Cincinnati, the Browns have lost six games by an average of six points.
24. Washington (3-7) - The Redskins are on the hook for $13.7 million for their two starting corners and two starting safeties. That's the foundation of the league's 30th-ranked pass defense.
25. Buffalo (4-6) - The Bills ended their record-setting streak of 13 consecutive losses in games decided by three points or less with their victory over Houston.
26. Minnesota (4-6) - Remember when we thought this was a good team?
27. Houston (3-7) - The defense has improved, but they still can't get off the field on third down. They are dead last in the NFL, with opponents converting 46.2 percent on third down.
28. Tennessee (3-7) - The Titans have the sixth-best red zone scoring percentage in the league at 90.5. That's an important lesson for Vince Young to learn - don't take points off the board.
29. Tampa Bay (3-7) - Detroit, Houston, Oakland, Arizona, Miami, Buffalo and Tampa Bay - what do they all have in common? They are in the bottom third of my Power Rankings and they all have serious, serious problems along the offensive line. Coincidence?
30. Detroit (2-8) - Define irony: The Lions may need to take a receiver (Calvin Johnson, maybe?) with their first pick next year.
31. Oakland (2-8) - That was a vintage Aaron Brooks moment - throwing a crippling INT in to triple coverage to end the chances of a Raiders comeback. It didn't take him long to get back into form. This has been one of Warren Sapp's best years as a pro.
32. Arizona (2-8) - If they don't take offensive linemen and linebackers with their first five picks Denny Green should be water boarded.
Questions or comments for Robert? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out his Insider Page here.