2015 NFL Week 12 Power Rankings: Cardinals Continue to Rise
We are now 11 weeks into the season and have reached the final week of November. I don’t remember a season with so many “mediocre” teams. Out of 32 teams in the league, 18 of them have a record that is either .500 or one game away from it (either below or above). That tells me that the final six weeks of the season are going to be a heck of a ride as we figure out which 12 teams will be playing for a chance to win it all.
For the first time this season, I went unbeaten in picks last week, improving my season record to 16-18. Thanks to Turkey Day this week, there are five games on the docket. On Thursday I like the Packers to win as they retire Brett Favre’s number. I will also take the Panthers to remain undefeated as they face Dallas and I will take the Lions to win their third straight. On Sunday Night I will take the Patriots over the Broncos and in the who cares game of the week, I will take the Browns to edge out the Ravens on Monday Night Football by a final score of 4-2.
And with that, here are the 2015 NFL week 12 power rankings.
Teams’ previous ranking in ( ).
- New England Patriots (1): Injuries are starting to show for this team, but luckily for New England it appears Danny Amendola shouldn’t miss any time with a knee injury.
- Carolina Panthers (2): Cam Newton may not have been an MVP contender a month ago, but he has really escalated his play in November and is now near the top of many people’s lists.
- Arizona Cardinals (5): Two straight weeks the Cardinals walk away with closing, exciting wins. They may be 8-2 but it just doesn’t feel like many people are believers yet. Maybe because their fierce defense has allowed nearly 65 points the last two weeks.
- Cincinnati Bengals (3): Back to back prime time games, and back to back losses for the Bengals. Is this going to be another one and done in the playoffs for Cincinnati?
- Denver Broncos (7): Brock Osweiler gave Denver fans hope that if Peyton Manning is unable to be effective, that the Broncos can still be a Super threat.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (6): The Steelers are coming off a bye and suddenly have some hope that they can catch Cincinnati for the AFC North lead.
- Green Bay Packers (10): The defense played great and Eddie Lacy returned to form. If the Packers are going to be a serious threat in January, both of those must become staples.
- Seattle Seahawks (12): The Seahawks are undoubtedly the most talented 5-5 team in the league, and are one of the only teams that the other playoff teams would most fear.
- New York Giants (9): The Giants were able to maintain their lead in the NFC East, despite having the week off.
- Minnesota Vikings (4): Perhaps we got too excited about Minnesota too quickly. The Vikings really struggled against Green Bay and their upcoming schedule doesn’t get any easier.
- Atlanta Falcons (8): The Falcons have struggled mightily since their hot start and have nearly been eliminated from the division race. They still hold a wildcard at the moment but if they don’t turn things around soon they will be remembered as one of the only teams ever to start 5-0 and miss the playoffs.
- Buffalo Bills (11): Great effort by the Bills on Monday night but they came up just short. At 5-5 they are out of the division race but still have an excellent shot to get in as a wildcard.
- Kansas City Chiefs (16): The Chiefs were ranked 25th just about a month ago and have been playing some of the best football in the league since then. They still have an outside chance of catching Denver in the division, but their overall playoff picture looks much more promising now.
- Indianapolis Colts (17): Matt Hasselbeck has as many or more wins than seven teams this season. I know Andrew Luck is far more talented but you have to wonder if there might be any thought from the Colts to stick with Hasselbeck.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (22): I’m not sure what was more unlikely coming into the season; the Bucs winning five games or Jameis Winston throwing five TDs in a single game. Well both happened this past week and Winston has the Bucs played solid football and in the middle of a packed playoff picture.
- Houston Texans (20): Despite all the injuries, the Houston Texans sit at .500 and in the thick of a division race that is wide open.
- Philadelphia Eagles (13): The Eagles are currently 1-2 in a stretch where many thought they would go 4-0. Week 12 against the Lions is a must win for this team if they have any hope of winning the NFC East.
- Chicago Bears (15): The Bears’ playoff hopes may have been dashed with that poorly called 2 point conversion play. If the Bears win that game, they move to 5-5 with four very winnable games left. However, the loss in all likelihood will be too much for them to overcome.
- New York Jets (14): The Jets are coming back down to earth and are showing that a lack of talent at the quarterback position is beginning to hurt them.
- Oakland Raiders (18): The Raiders needed to beat a bad Lions team and just couldn’t get it done. They are improved but clearly are still a year or two away from really being relevant.
- St. Louis Rams (19): If the Rams played their entire 16 game schedule within the division, they could be a Super Bowl contender. But for whatever reason they struggle outside the division.
- Miami Dolphins (21): The Dolphins are 3-3 since the coaching change and based on the talent on this team, that’s really all that can be expected from them.
- Jacksonville Jaguars (26): Don’t look now but with games against San Diego and Tennessee upcoming, the Jags could find themselves sitting at .500 for the first time in a long, long time.
- New Orleans Saints (24): I know they haven’t looked all that great for much of the season, but if the Saints can find a way to beat the Panthers in a couple of weeks, they have a great shot to reach the playoffs, as the rest of their schedule involves teams under .500.
- Detroit Lions (29): Two straight wins for the Lions has given them some confidence. They aren’t going to make a return to the playoffs but being able to finish the season strong is something every team wants to do.
- Washington Redskins (23): Hard to believe a team ranked second in their division can be ranked this low, but that’s where the ‘Skins find themselves. Luckily for them the rankings mean nothing, and if they win this week they could find themselves in first place.
- Dallas Cowboys (31): If the Cowboys continue their trend of winning when Tony Romo plays, they will win out and finish 9-7 and that will most likely be good enough to win the division. The only problem with that formula is that Romo cannot suffer another injury.
- Tennessee Titans (25): The Titans have won just once in their last nine games but have some winnable games coming up. Regardless, they look to be on track for a top 5 pick and they really need to get Marcus Mariota some help on offense.
- Baltimore Ravens (32): I hope the Ravens enjoyed their win because losing Joe Flacco for the rest of the season likely means it was their final win of 2015.
- San Francisco 49ers (30): We are on the verge of a potentially ugly, public divorce between Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers. Question is, will anyone else give him a chance?
- San Diego Chargers (28): Six straight losses, and eight out of nine, has the Chargers tied for the worst record in the league. Changes are surely coming at the end of the season.
- Cleveland Browns (27): Did anyone really think that after checking himself into rehab, that Johnny Manziel wouldn’t show up partying somewhere? How the Browns continue to put up with his nonsense is puzzling.
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