NFL Power Rankings Week 12: Cowboys Still No. 1
The NFL Power Rankings for week 12 are lead by the same top two teams. The Dallas Cowboys and the New England Patriots hang on as the top two teams in the NFL.
The NFL Power Rankings list the Dallas Cowboys as the number one team in the NFL. They continue their winning streak, to hang on for a second straight week at number one. Despite only having one loss, they have teams hot on their trails to knock them off their top position.
In week 11, the NFL set a new record. There were 12 missed extra points for the week. This is the most since the 1970’s merger. One thing about that is it kept the games interesting. It was pretty windy in most games, but that is not an excuse to miss an extra point.
Week 11 also featured, Oakland and Houston playing in the first Monday night game in Mexico City, to a sell out crowd. Kansas City fell to Tampa Bay and Minnesota stopped their losing streak at four. Detroit continued to come from behind in the fourth quarter to win the game. Seattle continued to impress on defense smothering the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Giants pull off another victory in what most considered a trap game. Baltimore kept the Cowboys within arms length but fell in the end. While Arizona continues to disappoint their fans. With their 11th straight loss, the Cleveland Browns knocked themselves out of the playoffs.
Last week: 8-1
Last rank: 1
The game was tied at 10 at halftime. In the second half, the Cowboys scored 17 points and the Ravens only scored seven. This was the Cowboys eighth straight game with 400+ total yards. That is the longest streak since 2012.
Dak Prescott went 27-of-36 for 301 yards and three touchdowns. Prescott is the first rookie in NFL history to have 300+ yards, multiple touchdowns and zero interceptions in back-to-back games. With the way he has been playing, Prescott has secured his starting position unless he completely falls apart.
The Cowboys have a short week. They kick off week 12 on Thanksgiving, against the Washington Redskins. Both teams have dynamic offenses right now. This game will come down to which team has the better defense.
New England Patriots
Last week: 7-2
Last rank: 2
The Patriots went into the half with only a 13-10 lead of over the 49ers. Both teams were held scoreless in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Patriots took over scoring 17 points, holding the 49ers to only seven points.
Brady went 24-of-40 for 280 yards and four touchdowns. Four different receivers scored a touchdown for the Patriots. LeGarrette Blount rushed 19 times for 124 yards. Blount was held without a touchdown for the first time in weeks.
Up next for the Patriots is the New York Jets. These two teams hate each other. The Patriots hold on to a two-game lead in the AFC East. The Patriots will need to stop the Jets rushing attack in order to win this game. It is going to be hard to rush the ball against the Jets, so the line is going to need to give Brady time to throw the ball.
Last week: 7-2
Last rank: 4
The Raiders couldn’t find their rushing game and were held to seven yards in the first half. They only had a total of 120 yards by the end of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Derek Carr came alive throwing two touchdowns passes to give the Raiders the victory.
Carr went 21-of-31 for 295 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Jamize Olawale grabbed three receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown. This was the Raiders fourth straight win. They haven’t won four straight since 2002.
The Raiders haven’t been to the playoffs since 2002. With the way this team has been playing, it is looking like that is going to change this season. This week, they play the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have been playing better the past few weeks, but suffered some injuries on defense in their last game.
Last week: 6-2-1
Last rank: 6
The Seahawks defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 26-15. They took a 16-7 lead into halftime and never relinquished their lead. Wilson went 18-of-31 for 272 yards, a touchdown and rushed eight times for 19 yards. Doug Baldwin grabbed four receptions for 104 yards and threw a 15-yard touchdown to Wilson.
Rookie C.J Prosise rushed four times for 76 yards and a touchdown. A bulk of his yards came on his 72-yard touchdown run. The Seahawks offense is clicking. They are starting to dominate games. This team is going to be hard to catch in the NFC West.
This week, they come up against the Tamp Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers just beat the Chiefs. The Seahawks will need to stop Jameis Winston and Mike Evans in order to get the win. Winston will be ready for the Buccaneers on Sunday.
Last week: 5
Last rank: 7-3
The Broncos offense hasn’t been that good this season. They are 14th in the league in points, 22nd in rushing yards and 23rd in passing yards. The defense is the reason this team is tied for second place in the AFC West.
The defense is ranked second in passing yards allowed, ninth in points allowed and fourth in yards allowed. Their weakness is their rushing defense. They are 29th in the league in defending the rush.
This is going to be an interesting game. Neither one of these teams wants to fall to third place in the AFC West. Trevor Siemein will need to get the offense going in order to win this game. The defense won’t be able to do it alone.
New York Giants
Last week: 6-3
Last rank: 7
The Bears started the game strong, going into half time with a 16-9 lead. The Giants came out in the third quarter and scored two touchdowns to take a 22-16 lead. Both teams were held scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Eli Manning went 21-of-36 for 227 yards and two touchdowns. The key to this game was that Manning didn’t turn the ball over. Sterling Shepard grabbed five receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown. Rashad Jennings rushed 21 times for 85 yards and a touchdown.
The Giants defense has come up big the past few games. Against the Bears, the defense sacked Cutler four times, grabbed an interception and forced a fumble. The defense is a big reason for this five game winning streak.
This week, the Giants play the winless Browns. The Giants are sitting in second place in the NFC East. They should have no problem getting the win on Sunday.
Kansas City Chiefs
Last week: 7-2
Last rank: 3
The Chiefs controlled their own destiny, owning the tie breaker over the Raiders. They had an opportunity to pull out the win, but an interception in the end zone early in the fourth quarter sealed their fate. The Buccaneers turned that interception into a touchdown of their own to put them ahead 19-10.
Alex Smith went 24-of-31 for 261 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Travis Kelce grabbed seven receptions for 108 yards. Smith’s touchdown came with 2:27 left in the game to Albert Wilson. This pulled the Chiefs within two points. But that would be all they get.
On Sunday night, the Chiefs play the Broncos for second place in the AFC West. If the playoffs started right now all three AFC West teams would get in, but there are still six weeks left to play. They don’t want to fall to third place in the division.
Last week: 6-4
Last rank: 8
Matt Ryan is going to have to find ways to score on the Cardinals defense. The Falcons are first in the NFL in points, second in passing yards and third in total yards. The running game is going to have to get going to keep the pressure off of Ryan.
Devonta Freeman is going to need to have a big game. If the Falcons are able to get the running game going, than Ryan will be able to make big plays in the air. If they are one-dimensional against the Cardinals this game is going to be hard for them to win.
The defense is going to have the task of stopping David Johnson and containing Carson Palmer. The Falcons are 16th in the league in run defense but are 31st in passing defense. Matt Ryan will have to get a comfortable lead early, so the defense won’t be tasked with having to win the game.
Last week: 5-4
Last rank: 9
The Lions are the first team in NFL history to have six fourth quarter comebacks within the first 10 games. They have trailed in all 10 games this season. The Lions need to figure out how to stop this or it will come back to hurt them.
Matthew Stafford went 24-of-33 for 278 yards. Eric Ebron grabbed three receptions for 70 yards and one rush for a one-yard touchdown. The offense is always coming from behind and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
The Lions start week 12 on Thanksgiving with a battle for first place int he NFC North. They are playing the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings were on a four-game losing streak, which sent the Lions into first place in the division. A win would give the Lions a one game lead in the NFC North.
Last week: 5-3-1
Last rank: 12
In the fourth quarter, Jay Gruden had his team go for it on fourth down which led to a touchdown, putting the Redskins up two scores. This led to their victory because it made it impossible for Aaron Rodgers to make a comeback.
The defense sacked Rodgers twice, grabbed on interception and forced a fumble. Ryan Kerrigan became the fifth player in NFL history with at least 7.5 sacks in each of his first six seasons. The defense forced a fumble with 2:59 left in the game. This allowed the Redskins to run out the clock for the win.
Cousins went 21-of-30 for 375 yards and three touchdowns. Robert Kelley rushed 24 times for 137 yards and three touchdowns. The Redskins offense proved to be too much for the injured Packers defense.
The Redskins kick off Week 12 on Thanksgiving against the Dallas Cowboys.
Last week: 5-4
Last rank: 13
This was the first game in Vikings history with touchdowns scored rushing, on an interception and on a kickoff return. Cordarrelle Patterson scored on a 104-yard kickoff return and Xavier Rhodes scored on a 100-yard interception return.
Sam Bradford went 20-of-28 for 169 yards, a touchdown and a fumble. The Vikings had a 20-17 lead at half. In the third quarter, they scored 10 more points giving them enough to hang on for the win.
Up next is a battle for first place with the Detroit Lions. The winner of this game will take a one game lead over the division. The Vikings hope snapping their losing streak will get them back on the right track. This game is going to be a battle to the end.
Last week: 6-3
Last rank: 10
The Texans held the Raiders to only 7 yards rushing in the first half and a total of 120 yards by the end of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Texans went for it on fourth down. After two questionable spots, the Texans turned the ball over on downs. The Raiders capitalized, scoring the go ahead touchdown.
The defense did a great job of containing the Raiders offense for most of the game. The game was played 7,380 feet above sea level. This made it hard to play in the fourth quarter. Brock Osweiler went 26-of-39 for 243 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Lamar Miller rushed 24 times for 104 yards and a touchdown.
This loss gives them only a one game edge over the Colts in the AFC South. This week, they play the San Diego Chargers. This won’t be an easy game. The Chargers keep it close in every game they play. The Texans will need to win to keep their lead over the AFC South.
Last week: 5-4
Last rank: 17
The Dolphins had no offense against the LA Rams, until four minutes left in the game. With a little over four minutes left in the game, the Dolphins were down 10-0. Ryan Tannehill found Jarvis Landry for a touchdown to make the score 10-7.
With 36 seconds left in the game, Tannehill threw a touchdown to Devante Parker to go ahead 14-10. The Rams ran out of time and the Dolphins pulled out the victory. Tannehill went 23-of-34 for 172 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Up next, the Dolphins play the 49ers. The 49ers are capable of putting up points. The Dolphins can’t play the way they did against the Rams and expect to win this game. In order to win this game, the defense will need to keep Colin Kaepernick in the pocket.
Last week: 5-4
Last rank: 11
The Eagles have been on a downfall since starting the season hot. They lost 26-15 to the Seahawks. Carson Wentz went 23-of-45 for 218 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Zach Ertz grabbed six receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles lost Ryan Matthews and Darren Sproles to injuries during this game. Matthews suffered a knee injury and is day-to-day. Sproles suffered a rib injury and is being held out of practice. Wendell Smallwood, a rookie, would take over the position if neither player can go on Monday night.
On Monday night, the Eagles will play the Green Bay Packers. The Packers are suffering from numerous injuries themselves. Both teams are becoming desperate, which will make this a good game. Both teams need to win in order to stay alive in their divisions.
Last week: 4-5
Last rank: 14
The Bills scored six points in the second half, which was just enough to get the victory. Tyrod Taylor went 19-of-27 for 166 yards and an interception. LeSean McCoy rushed five times for 33 yards and a touchdown.
Buffalo is third in the AFC East and are three games out of first place. Their hopes of making the playoffs are slimming. They need to start being more consistent and win more games. The Bills will also need help from the Dolphins and other AFC teams to stand a chance of getting a playoff spot.
The Bills play the Jacksonville Jaguars next. The Jaguars are capable of putting up points but they also turn the ball over. The Bills will need to capitalize on the turnovers to pull off the win.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last week: 4-5
Last rank: 18
Jameis Winston went 24-of-39 for 331 yards and one touchdown. Winston had five passes for over 18 yards each, including a 31-yard pass to Mike Evans. Evans grabbed six receptions for 105 yards. The way the offense was throwing the ball in this game, it is hard to believe they only had one touchdown.
The Buccaneers are in second place in the NFC South. Any of the four teams could end up winning this division. The Buccaneers are a game out of first place. This division is tight and the Buccaneers only have a one game lead over the Saints and Panthers.
This week they have their work cut out for them. They come up against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks have turned their season around in the past couple of games. The Buccaneers defense is going to have to contain Russell Wilson and stop the deep ball in order to win.
Last week: 5-4
Last rank: 16
In this game, Steve Smith Sr. became the 14th player in NFL History to reach 1,000 career receptions. Smith grabbed eight receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown. Joe Flacco went 23-of-35 for 269 yards and one touchdown.
The defense had one sack and held Ezekiel Elliott under 100 yards rushing. They gave up 301 passing yards. Even with the loss, the Ravens hold on to the number one spot in the AFC North. They are tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but the Ravens hold the tie breaker.
Up next, the Ravens face off with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals lost two key offensive players in week 11. The Ravens defense has been playing better the past few weeks and will make it hard for the Bengals to score.
With Pittsburgh hot on their trials, the Ravens will need to get a win against Cincinnati to stay on top.
Last week: 4-5
Last rank: 19
The Steelers defense had eight sacks, one interception and one forced fumble. James Harrison set the Steelers career sack record with his one sack in the game. The defense smothered Cleveland, holding them scoreless in the first half.
Roethlisberger went 23-of-36 for 167 yards. LeVeon Bell rushed 28 times for 148 yards and a touchdown and grabbed eight receptions for 55 yards. The Steelers offense didn’t have to do much to get this win. They were able to get the win without Roethlisberger throwing a touchdown.
Up next, the Steelers play the Indianapolis Colts. Both teams sit in second place in their division and hope to stay in the mix. They will both be looking for the win. The Steelers have an advantage with their defense. Andrew Luck is the most hit quarterback in the league. The Steelers defense will get to Luck.
Last week: 3-6
Last rank: 22
The Panthers lost Luke Kuechely to a concussion, center Ryan Kalil with a shoulder, defensive end Mario Addison with a foot and cornerback Leonard Johnson with a chest injury. They were still able to hang on for a 23-20 victory.
Cam Newton went 14-of-33 for 192 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown was a 40-yard pass to Ted Ginn Jr. This win ties the Panthers for third place in the NFC South. They are only two games out of first place.
This week, they play the Oakland Raiders. Hopefully the Panthers will have Kuechely back for this game. The Raiders have a high-powered offense. The defense is going to have to get to Derek Carr in order to stop them.
Last week: 4-4-1
Last rank: 15
Carson Palmer was hit 23 times and sacked four times in this game. The Cardinals need to do a better job of protecting their quarterback. Palmer is going to be 37 next month and can’t keep getting hit like that if he is going to last the season. He is prone to injuries.
The Cardinals need Palmer in order to make a run for the division. They are going to have to figure out how to stop teams from hitting their quarterback, if they want to win more games. Larry Fitzgerald in winless in his home state of Minnesota, in his career.
In the second half, the Cardinals only got five first downs. It is hard to produce offense when you always have defenders hitting you. Palmer went 20-of-38 for 198 yards, two touchdown and two interceptions. David Johnson rushed 22 times for 103 yards and a touchdown.
This week, they play the Atlanta Falcons. The defense is going to need to figure out how to contain Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. If they can keep the defenders away from Carson Palmer, they may have a chance.
Last week: 4-5
Last rank: 23
In the second half, it was a different story for the Colts. They were held to only 20 yards in the third quarter. It was a good thing they had a big enough lead to fend off a Titans comeback. The Colts only scored three points in the second half.
Andrew Luck went 15-of-28 for 262 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. T.Y. Hilton grabbed five receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown. Frank gore rushed 18 times for 50 yards and grabbed four receptions for 71 yards. The offense was on fire in the first half. They stalled in the second half.
In order to get a win this week, the Colts will need to play a complete game. They will be playing the Pittsburgh Steelers. Both teams need to win if they want to stay in the mix of their divisions. The Colts jumped into second place with their win against the Titans.
Last week: 5-5
Last rank: 20
The defense held the Colts to only 20 yards in the third quarter. They also had two sacks and an interception. After giving up 21 points in the first half, the defense held the Colts to only three points in the second half.
Marcus Mariotta went 25-of-38 for 290 yards and two touchdowns. DeMarco Murray rushed 21 times for 70 yards and grabbed three receptions for nine yards and a touchdown. Murray has scored a touchdown in six straight games. That is the longest streak in the NFL this season.
The Titans are currently in third place in the AFC South. This division is still up for grabs. In order to stay alive in their division, they will need to get a win this week against the Chicago Bears. If the Titans can get back to scoring over 35 points, they will have no problem getting a win over the Bears.
New Orleans Saints
Last week: 4-5
Last rank: 21
New Orleans had a short week, playing on Thursday night. They fell behind 23-3 going into the fourth quarter. Drew Brees and the Saints offense staged a come back in the fourth quarter but only scored 17 points.
The Saints got the ball back with 14 seconds left in the game, but the Drew Brees wasn’t able to get his team in field goal range. Brees went 35-of-44 for 285 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Michael Thomas grabbed five receptions for 68 yards.
The Saints are tied with the Panthers in the NFC South. They are only two games out of first place. This week, the Saints play the LA Rams. They need to get the win in order to stay alive in their division.
San Diego Chargers
Last week: 4-6
Last rank: 24
The Chargers are second in the NFL in points. They average 29.2 points a game. They are eighth in the NFL in total yards, averaging 378.1 yards a game. The Chargers are fourth in passing yards, averaging 275.1 yards a game.
The offense is dangerous and can dominate a game. The only down fall on the offense is the turnovers. Phillip Rivers has a bad habit of throwing the ball up in the air, resulting in interceptions.
The Chargers are going to have to win the shoot-out with the Titans to claim the victory. The Chargers defense is 28th in passing yards allowed. They are fourth in rushing defense. If they can contain DeMarco Murray, they will be able to keep this game close.
Los Angeles Rams
Last week: 4-5
Last rank: 27
Todd Gurley put the Rams on the board early with a 24-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Gurley was finally able to get going. He still hasn’t had a 100-yard rushing game yet, but got close in this game. Gurley rushed 20 times for 76 yards and a touchdown.
Goff went 17-of-31 for 134 yards, in his debut. As Goff becomes more comfortable with the offense, the Rams will be able to put up more points. Goff did not turn the ball over, which was a problem for Case Keenum.
The Rams defense sacked Ryan Tannehill four times and grabbed one interception. They held the Dolphins offense scoreless for three-quarters. The Rams kept Jay Ajayi to under 100 yards rushing. The defense is the strength of this team. They are sixth in the NFL in points allowed, passing yards allowed and total yards allowed.
Up next for the Rams is the New Orleans Saints. The Rams defense is going to have to stop the Saints offense from making big plays down the field. Goff will be more comfortable in this game after another week of practice.
Green Bay Packers
Last week: 4-5
Last rank: 26
The Packers have a lot of injuries on defense and are incapable of stopping anyone. The defense did get two sacks. Julius Peppers’ one sack to put him in sixth place, ahead of Jason Taylor on the all-time sack leader board.
The defense has allowed 146 points in four games. That is the most points allowed in a game span by the Packers since 1958. It is hard to stop offenses when you run out of players to fill in for the injuries.
The offense has no running game, also due to injuries. This makes the Packers a one-dimensional team. Rodgers is the reason this team is able to stay in games. In the fourth quarter, Rodgers was able to move the ball down the field with ease. They just couldn’t contain the Redskins offense enough to stage a comeback.
Next week doesn’t get any easier as they play another NFC East team. The Packers face off with the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night.
New York Jets
Last week: 3-7
Last rank: 28
The Jets have struggled on offense but are 11th in the league in rushing yards behind Matt Forte. Forte has rejuvenated his running attack with the New York Jets. He will have to play big against the Patriots defense.
The Jets defense is fourth in the league in rushing defense. They only allow an average of 85.4 yards per game. They are 11th in the league in yards allowed. The Jets allow on average 345.9 yards per game.
The Jets defense will have a lot of work to do on Sunday. The Patriots have shown a weakness in giving up points on defense. The Jets will need to keep this game close and not turn the ball over in order to make this a good game. They hate the Patriots. If the opportunity presents itself, they would love to take them.
Last week: 2-7
Last rank: 29
The Jaguars made the Lions uncomfortable all game. The defense sacked Matthew Stafford three times and forced a fumble. The offense played decent until the fourth quarter.
Blake Bortles went 22-of-35 for 202 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Jaguars leading rusher and receiver in the game was Chris Ivory. Ivory rushed 17 times for 39 yards and grabbed six receptions for 75 yards.
The Jaguars didn’t play a terrible game and found themselves in a position to win the game. This week, they play the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have a solid defense. The Jaguars will need to be error free if they plan on beating the Bills.
Last week: 3-5-1
Last rank: 25
Cincinnati’s season is in jeopardy after Sunday. During the game, the Bengals suffered two devastating injuries on offense. AJ Green went out in the first half with a hamstring injury. Green is out for a couple of weeks.
Giovanni Bernard tore his ACL and will be out for the rest of the season. These two players are the backbone of the Bengals offense. Without Green and Bernard, there is no hope left for this team. They are already struggling to keep up in their division and this will keep the division out of reach.
Andy Dalton went 24-of-43 for 207 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The season doesn’t get any easier going forward. This week they play the division foe Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens defense is coming into this game hot.
The Bengals will need to figure out an offense without their top players. This is going to be tough to do against the Ravens defense.
Last week: 2-7
Last rank: 30
Chicago had a chance to win the game but Cutler threw an interception to Landon Collins to end their chance. The Bears fell 22-16, unable to score in the second half. In order to win games, the Bears need to produce a complete game.
Cutler went 17-of-30 for 252 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Zach Miller grabbed three receptions for 61 yards and one touchdown. Miller was Cutler’s go-to-guy in the first half.
The defense was unable to get to Eli Manning. They only forced one fumble in the game. They were unable to keep the ball out of Manning’s hands.
This week, the Bears play the Tennessee Titans. With both teams coming off a loss this will make for an interesting game. The Titans have an explosive offense. The Bears defense will need to do better in this game in order to keep it close.
San Francisco 49ers
Last week: 1-8
Last rank: 31
Both teams were held scoreless in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, the 49ers gave up 17 points and only scored seven. Colin Kaepernick played a decent game going 16-of-30 for 206 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed four times for 32 yards.
The 49ers offense has gotten better over the past couple of weeks. The defense has had trouble containing opponents. They gave up 17 points in the fourth quarter to make a win unattainable. The 49ers didn’t look like a 1-9 team throughout the course of this game.
The offense keeps improving as the weeks go along. They just can’t seem to get and keep a lead. The strength of this team remains to be their rushing offense. The 49ers have the sixth ranked rushing offense in the NFL. They average 119.8 rushing yards a game.
The 49ers will continue to be tested this week as they face the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are another tough opponent from the AFC East. This will be a battle of the rushing games.
Last week: 0-10
Last rank: 32
Again, the Browns had to split the quarterback position between Cody Kessler and Josh McCown. Kessler got hurt and was replaced by McCown. Maybe now, the Browns will stick with just McCown going forward.
They can’t keep switching between quarterbacks. I believe this why they can’t get a win. Hue Jackson needs to let one quarterback run the offense. If they want to win a game they need an offensive leader.
The Browns need to get a win and in order to do that they need to stick with one quarterback. Kessler went 7-of-14 for 128 yards and an interception. McCown went 14-of-27 for 118 yards and a touchdown.
This week, the Browns face off with the New York Giants. Getting a win here will be difficult with the Giants defense getting better every week.
Week 12 is Thanksgiving week. Kicking off the week are the Lions and Cowboys in heated divisional match ups. The Cowboys and Lions are always slated to play on Thanksgiving. In recent years, the NFL added a night game to the Thanksgiving lineup.
This is a huge game with the Redskins and Giants just a couple of games back in the NFC East. The Seahawks are just a game game for the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs too. So Thursday will the week for the push for the playoffs.
With only five weeks remaining, teams are giving it all they have going forward to secure a spot in the playoffs. The NFL is about to get real interesting going forward.