November 28, 2012
Most NFL division races are all but over but the wild card spots are a different story. By my count, there are 11 teams still fighting for those four spots. But what they all really care about is where they fall in my power rankings.
1 Houston Texans (10-1) — Houston has won five straight for the second time this season. If they can make it six, they could lock up the AFC South title.
3 San Francisco 49ers (8-2-1) — So far so good for Kaepernick. Of course, it helps when your defense puts up as many points as you do.
5 New England Patriots (8-3) – They have scored 190 points in the last four games. Can the Patriots offense be stopped?
7 Chicago Bears (8-3) — The Bears made Jay Cutler look like an MVP when they played without him in San Fransisco. After losing six starters to injury against the Vikings, he might have to be the MVP for the Bears to win the NFC North.
9 Green Bay Packers (7-4) – That was an ugly performance against the Giants. The Packers still control their fate in the NFC North with four divisional games still to play.
10 Seattle Seahawks (6-5) – Losing both starting cornerbacks to a four-game suspension would be a serious blow to a team that is tied for the second wild card spot.
11 Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) – Another loss to the Ravens would put the Steelers’ playoff hopes in serious jeopardy. Will Roethlisberger be able to play?
12 Cincinnati Bengals (6-5) – Three straight wins have Cincinnati back in the playoff hunt. They’ll need to make it four straight this week with some tough teams to close the season.
13 New Orleans Saints (5-6) – They may have to win out to earn a wild card spot. That will be tough with road games at the Falcons, Giants, and Cowboys ahead.
14 Dallas Cowboys (5-6) – The Cowboys already beat Philly. They better do it again or they can kiss the postseason goodbye.
16 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-5) – Heading into a meeting with Peyton Manning isn’t the best time to have a cornerback suspended. It could prove costly on Sunday.
17 Minnesota Vikings (6-5) – As if losing three of four isn’t bad enough, the Vikings have the Packers and Bears in the next two weeks.
18 Washington Redskins (5-6) – You think people in Washington are thankful for RGIII? They will be if he gets them back in the NFC East race with a win over the Giants on Monday.
19 Detroit Lions (4-7) – After three losses in a row, the Lions are probably out of it. They have too much talent to be 4-7.
20 Arizona Cardinals (4-7) – Could they go from 4-0 to 4-12. It’s starting to look like it.
21 New York Jets (4-7) – The Jets were outscored 21-0 in less than a minute against New England. That was the worst 52 seconds I can remember. Maybe ever.
22 St. Louis Rams (4-6-1) – They played the Niners to a draw in San Fransisco. Can the Rams do better this week at home?
23 Tennessee Titans (4-7) – Offensive coordinator Chris Palmer’s firing could be a sign of more to come for the disappointing Titans.
24 Miami Dolphins (5-6) – Miami stayed in the wild card discussion by beating Seattle. They won’t stay there with the Patriots and 49ers up next.
27 Buffalo Bills (4-7) – The Bills aren’t getting much return on all the money the spent in the off-season.
28 Philadelphia Eagles (3-8) – The Eagles are the most disappointing team in the NFL.
29 Cleveland Browns (3-8) – They forced eight turnovers against the Steelers. The Browns are making progress.
31 Oakland Raiders (3-8) – The losses are piling up quickly in Oakland. They aren’t even competitive right now.
32 Kansas City Chiefs (1-10) – The Chiefs have a pretty good defense. All they need now is an offense.