Predominantly Orange Week 12 NFL Power Rankings
This Thanksgiving, the Dallas Cowboys are thankful for being ranked number one in the Predominantly Orange Power Rankings. See where everyone else ranks:
The Cowboys are officially the best team in the NFL according to these Power Rankings, and Dak Prescott should be atop the MVP voting if the season were to end today. New England bounced back after their first (real) loss of the season, and the Broncos re-joined the top-5 after the Chiefs were knocked off at home. What will happen on Thanksgiving? Is it time for the Cowboys to be bounced out of the number one seed by Captain Kirk and the Skins? Stay tuned and find out.
1. Dallas Cowboys (1)
It’s truly remarkable what is going on down in Dallas. Dak Prescott has taken over as the alpha on this team, and Ezekiel Elliott is leading the NFL in rushing by over 100 yards over former Cowboy Demarco Murray. Both rookies should be in contention for both rookie of the year, and should be in the top-10 for MVP voting as well. Prescott has thrown 17 touchdowns to only 2 INT’s. To put his season into perspective, his total QBR for the year is 84.5, trailing only Tom Brady this year. Peyton Manning’s QBR in 2013, the year in which he threw for 55 touchdowns, was 82.2. Dak Prescott should be the MVP of the NFL as a rookie, and it’s really not particularly close.
2. New England Patriots (3)
The Patriots bounced back after a tough loss with a win in Northern California. It wasn’t as easy as the final score looked. This was a one score game in the second half, and the Patriots were struggling to move the ball against a terrible Niners defense without Gronk. There was never really a doubt though that the Pats would pull it out—it just took longer than expected for them to pull away.
3. Oakland Raiders (4)
The Raiders got the win with some great plays, and with some very dicey officiating. The Texans had a clear touchdown waived off on their first possession, and also had back-to-back first downs that were given horrible spots in near sure field goal range. The Texans had 7 points taken off the board, the same 7 points they lost by. It helps to be lucky in this league, and the Raiders have been just that on their way to an 8-2 record.
4. Seattle Seahawks (5)
For the first time all year, Carson Wentz looked like a rookie. This was thanks to that dominant Seahawks defense that has been very good all season long. The Seahawks have really hit their stride now that Russell Wilson appears to be the Russell Wilson we all know. The Seahawks and the Cowboys are now the clear class of the NFC.
5. Denver Broncos (6)
Last we saw the Broncos, their defense had looked far more like the defense that won a Super Bowl this past February, not the one getting smacked around by the Raiders. Add in a healthy Aqib Talib and bring back Derek Wolfe should return them to the form they were at early on. The Chiefs come to town for a huge battle of 7-3 teams on Sunday Night Football. The rested, healthy Broncos will have a chance to flex their defensive muscles in front of the entire country. Should be a fun game to say the least.
6. Kansas City Chiefs (6)
The Chiefs did not have a good day Sunday, losing at home to the sub .500 Bucs. This was a bad loss, at a bad time as the Chiefs were trying to keep pace with the Raiders, and now have to travel to Denver to take on a rested Broncos team that is healthier than they’ve been in weeks. The Chiefs could very well be a turning point in the Cheifs season. Win and it could propel them towards a division title; lose and it could send them into a season ending tailspin.
7. Atlanta Falcons (8)
The Falcons went in to their bye with a shaky performance against the Eagles. Perhaps some R&R was needed to get themselves back on track. The Bucs are now only a game back, so a fast start out of the bye is going to be needed for the Falcons.
8. Washington Redskins (11)
How you like me now? The weekly soundbite from Kirk Cousins is becoming must-see TV. If Cousins has done one thing this year, he has earned himself a lot of money. Cousins will get a very rich contract this offseason, whether it’s from the Redskins, or from someone else.
9. New York Giants (10)
The Giants are now winners of five straight games, and would currently be in the first wildcard spot. New York also happens to be the only team to defeat the Cowboys this season. The only concern would be, despite a 7-3 record, the Giants have only outscored their opponents by 4 points total for the entire season. If the close wins turn to close losses, they could find themselves on the outside looking in.
10.Miami Dolphins (15)
The Dolphins have crawled from the depths of the Atlantic, all the way to 6-4. Early in the year, Miami looked like the worst team in the NFL. Now, they are right in the thick of the playoff race, sitting only a game behind Denver and Kansas City. Five straight wins, and the 1-9 Niners team coming to town, could this be the year they do better than 8-8?
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (14)
There is nothing like a match up against the Browns to get back on track. Ben still doesn’t look quite like himself, but LeVeon Bell is doing a fine job picking up the slack. When he is healthy, there is not a more dynamic, all-around back in the league. The Steelers are fortunate to be facing a red hot Colts team on Thanksgiving sans Andrew Luck. They are also fortunate to be sitting at 5-5 through 10 games, and tied for the lead in the division.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (7)
We all knew it was coming at some point—that game that made the rookie quarterback look like a rookie quarterback. Carson Wentz looked like a deer in the headlights in front of the hostile 12th man. Fear not Eagles fans—the future is still bright. I seem to remember a one, Peyton Manning looking like a deer in the headlights against a very familiar defense. This was the same Peyton Manning who had already thrown for 55 regular season touchdowns and another two playoff victories. Carson Wentz can get a pass for this one.
13. Minnesota Vikings (10)
After a four week run of mostly close losses, the Vikings avoided being the first team ever to start 5-0 and then drop five in a row. Their defense and special teams stepped up to the challenge in a big way, scoring two touchdowns in the winning effort. The offensive woes continue however, and will make it difficult for this team to make any sort of deep run without increased offensive production.
14. Arizona Cardinals (9)
Five weeks ago, the Cardinals losing a road game to the Vikings would have seemed like a given. However, after four straight Viking losses, this game just proved to be another head scratching loss for the Cardinals. What seems more and more apparent each week is that Carson Palmer is on the decline—not throwing with nearly the velocity that he was even a season ago. His goal line pick six was an absolutely despicable play but has summed up much of his play this season. It was enough to send his head coach to the hospital with chest pains—we can only pray the Bruce Arians is going to be okay.
15. Detroit Lions (17)
Yes, the Lions are still hold the division lead up North. The Lions are a dangerous team on the offensive side of the ball, but are the poster-child for inconsistent play. They should have handled the Jaguars with ease in front of their home crowd. Had they not blown games against the Titans and Bears—games that they should have won—the Lions would be sitting at 8-2. However the inexcusable losses will be the ones that prevent this team from playing up to their true potential. The Lions would easily benefit from a new head coach this offseason to maximize the talent they have.
16. Houston Texans (12)
Houston has to be one of the worst 6-4 teams in the history of the league, statistically speaking. They now sport a -34 scoring margin on the season. They squeak out close wins against bad teams, and get handled by good teams. However, Monday Night, the officials took at least seven points off the board for the Texans with horrific calls. This team perhaps should be the worst 7-3 team of all time, but they are forced to settle on 6-4. The Colts are now right on their tail, with a lot of momentum on their side. Houston may have caught a break as the Colts will be without Andrew Luck for their bout with the Steelers on Thanksgiving Night due to a concussion.
17. Tennessee Titans (13)
The Titans are a young bunch, so week to week inconsistency is to be expected. Just a week after going up 21-0 on the Packers, they got down 21-0 to the Colts. The worst part about this loss is that they are now 0-3 against the teams ahead of them in the division. This means they will likely have to finish a game ahead of both the Texans and the Colts in order to win the division. Winning the division would be the only likely path to the playoffs.
18. Carolina Panthers (21)
The Panthers recent trend of giving up big leads is actually a not-so-new thing. The Panthers were very poor with the lead a year ago as well, they just happened to win all of the games in which they surrendered large comebacks. This season they have not been so lucky, but they did get away with one on Thursday Night Football. The best part about playing on Thursday Night was that the Panthers got an extra few days rest for their superstar linebacker Luke Kuechly who is currently in the NFL’s concussion protocol.
19. Indianapolis Colts (25)
The Colts have put together their two best games of the season in back-to-back games. What they didn’t need, especially on a short week was for their star quarterback to suffer a concussion. The most troubling question asked shouldn’t be is Andrew Luck going to play Thursday? But why did Andrew Luck finish the game a week ago with a concussion?
20. Baltimore Ravens (18)
The Ravens hung in for awhile with the Cowboys, but at the end of the day the best team in the NFL prevailed. The Ravens need to look ahead, because if they plan to hold their lead in the AFC North, they are going to have to win win win moving forward.
21. San Diego Chargers (19)
The Chargers enjoyed their bye week to recharge the batteries, but the damage is most likely done. They are currently three games out of the wildcard with six to play, and have lots of teams in front of them. Their point differential shows them as a team that should be at or over .500. Unfortunately late meltdowns has been the doom of this team all year, and will likely cost them an opportunity to compete for a playoff spot.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (26)
The Bucs took notice of Atlanta’s pre-bye struggle and brought their A-game into Arrowhead to defeat a white-hot Chiefs team. They will need an even better performance this week if they’d like to keep pace as they welcome the scorching hot Seattle Seahawks to town. Best of luck.
23. Buffalo Bills (24)
The Bills snapped their losing streak with a great road win against a Bengals team fighting for their playoff lives. This was perhaps the best defensive performance of the year, as they limited the Bengals to 12 points. Then again, that shutout against the Patriots was pretty good too.
24. New Orleans Saints (22)
After a devastating loss to the Broncos, the Saints had a quick turnaround and nearly had a remarkable comeback win. However, it was the decision to choose coverage over pressure on third down that cost them the opportunity to close the deal. The Saints are only two games back in the division, but this doesn’t help.
25. Cincinnati Bengals (23)
Cincinnati is struggling. Losing A.J. Green for a few weeks, and Gio Bernard for the year will not help matters. If there is one bright light, it is that the rest of their division is struggling. However, given the way things have gone, it would be a stretch to think that they could make up the game and a half they are back in six weeks.
26. Green Bay Packers (20)
P-A-N-I-C. After being told to relax relax relax, now would be the time to panic. The Packers have lost four straight, and simply aren’t a good football team right now. It is weird seeing the Packers 2 games below .500 this late in the year. P-A-N-I-C.
27. Chicago Bears (27)
Jay Cutler may have very well thrown his last pass for the Bears after being ruled out for the rest of the season. The question is: Does this make Bears fans happy or sad?
28. New York Jets (29)
And the QB carousel continues as Ryan Fitzpatrick will again be the starter for the Jets. This is reminiscent of the 2015 Texans QB situation, minus the division title of course.
29. Los Angeles Rams (28)
Jared Goff looked mostly like a quarterback making his first ever NFL start. He was uneven, but put on a decent showing and had his team in position to win. The defense, that was stellar for 54 minutes were the ones that dropped the ball in the final six.
30. San Francisco 49ers (30)
For a quick moment, it appeared that the 49ers may upset the Patriots. Then reality hit and the Niners continued their second half woes. After a shutout win to start the season, the Niners have dropped nine straight, and now will be playing for draft positioning.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (31)
4th and 1, and everyone in the building knows the Lions are going to use the hard count to try and draw the Jags offsides—everyone except the Jaguars that is. That’s bad coaching. The weekly cries to fire Gus Bradley get louder by the week.
32. Cleveland Browns (32)
Mark these words—the Browns will go 0-16. They are just that bad. That is all.
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