Week 12 NFL Power Rankings: Broncos atop AFC; Seahawks keep winning

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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Finally, the world outside of western Missouri know what the Kansas City Chiefs are made of and its decidedly not the mush that molded its 2012 campaign. Instead, its forged of iron and gave the NFL favorite Denver Broncos a fight at Mile High Stadium.

In a game where Peyton Manning wasn't touched, he could only muster 27 points. However, it was good enough to seize control of the AFC West heading into the biggest two week stretch of the season. Other big winners this week were the Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints, both improving to the clear cut favorites in the NFC. On the week when the Broncos travel to Arrowhead, those two NFC juggernauts face off in what could turn out to be the deciding game for homefield advantage for the conference.

If I had to pick six teams to represent the very top echelon of both conferences, I would have to go with the Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Kansas City Chiefs, New England Patriots, and the Carolina Panthers. I can't quite put the Cincinnati Bengals or San Francisco 49ers up here, but they are good too.

Let's see how things got blown up this week in my NFL Rankings. Check out last week's power rankings here.

RNK
TEAM
INSTANT ANALYSIS
CHG

1

Denver Broncos

The Broncos made a statement on Sunday Night Football by leading the game from start to finish. Not only that, they won by double digits against the leagues best defense in football. Peyton Manning and the Broncos biggest test of the season is the next two games, however, so we'll see how that plays out. Homefield advantage is most definitely at stake.

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2

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks keep winning by margins similar to the Broncos and certainly look the part of a champion. If the road to the Super Bowl ends up going through Seattle then they could very well end up playing in the big game. My eye is definitely on that Monday Night Football matchup in two weeks with the team listed directly below.

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3

New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees and the Saints won a hard fought victory over the 49ers. It was easily their worst home performance all season, but I still have the 49ers in my Top 10, so I must account for that. This team controls its own destiny if they can beat the Seahawks in two weeks and take care of their division.

+1

4

Carolina Panthers

I should put an asterisk next to this ranking, but that just seems silly. The Panthers, and more importantly Cam Newton, played a phenomenal football game to earn their victory over the AFC powerhouse. It's easily their biggest win of the year and puts them in the discussion for the NFC South. Plus Newton can do this...

+1

5

Kansas City Chiefs

Normally when a team loses they don't rise in power rankings, but I have been trolling Chiefs fans heavily for a few weeks and have been ranking this team unfairly low. They are a solid football team, but that offense needs to start putting up some points or its going to be one and done in the playoffs. Jamaal Charles was averaging over four yards a carry, easily the best any running back has done against the Broncos this year, yet the Chiefs threw the ball like forty times. Huh? Arrowhead Stadium in two weeks is not going to be a pleasant task for the Broncos, but a victory there is essential to secure the AFC West.

+2

6

New England Patriots

Wow. How they picked up the flag at the end of the game is beyond me. We can laugh as Broncos fans, but this has been a troubling trend this season with the blown calls. My main concern now is that the Patriots will get all of the calls their way next week to compensate. Just wow.

-3

7

Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck is turning into a young John Elway for the Colts in his young career. The dude is the NFL's comeback king so far over the last two season. He will keep the Colts in any game, but I don't trust this team enough to put them any higher. They tend to play up or down to their opponents, which strikes me as a team lacking either experience or maturity.

+2

8

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals stop a two game skid with a second quarter explosion against the Browns. This team is a playoff team for sure, but I just don't trust them. I think they take down the Chiefs in the Wild Card if it ends up playing out that way, but they will promptly get obliterated by Peyton Manning in the division round.

+2

9

San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers offensive woes were hidden by the final score, because of their defense providing several short fields resulting in 17 of their 20 points. I give the offense credit for getting those touchdowns, but outside those short fields they were horrendous for a second straight week.

-3

10

Arizona Cardinals

Guess who is sitting at 6-4 tied for second place in the NFC West? Holy crap, yeah its the Cardinals led by Carson Palmer and that stingy defense. Don't go drinking the koolaid though, Cardinals fans. You're team is a painful 0-3 in within the division, which is ... well, bad.

+1

11

Detroit Lions

The Lions lost this week. Matt Stafford was average, but that wasn't why the Lions fell to the Steelers. No, that goes to their idiot coach who wrongly believed that going for it in the red zone up by four points midway through the fourth quarter was the only way to secure victory. Laughably, it sparked the Steelers to several scores and a ten point victory over the village idiot-led Lions.

-3

12

Philadelphia Eagles

Boy the Eagles are rolling. Three straight wins for Nick Foles, who most of us thought should have been the starting quarterback from Week 1 over Michael Vick. This team is going to find a way to nine or ten wins to send the Cowboys home crying to mama, err, Jerry Jones.

+3

13

Chicago Bears

Jay Cutler plays football and the Bears lose. Jay Cutler sits on the bench and the Bears win. I think we all know what this means. The coaching staff will immediately put Cutler back in as soon as he is healthy. That's just how coaches roll.

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14

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys had a Bye, but I think Tony Romo is getting his gag reflex exercised over the Bye week so he won't choke again down the stretch. He will.

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15

Green Bay Packers

Without Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are toast. I am keeping them this high only because I know Rodgers will return and the Packers won't suck like a porn star. At this point, I doubt they will even be in playoff contention anyway. Time to draft an offensive lineman in the first round, Green Bay.

-3

16

New York Jets

Geno Smith. I've said it several times this year. Good rookie, bad rookie. On Sunday, we saw horrible rookie. I would drop this team like a stone, but every time I've done that after a bad Geno Smith performance, the Jets win the next week. I'll hold off on judgement for that reason.

-3

17

Miami Dolphins

Why can't the Dolphins just throw in the towel and give up like they should? They have an apparent racist and an apparent mass murderer(based on text transcripts) out and publicly airing out their dirty laundry, so why not just capitulate and wait until next year to play football? That's what France would do.

+7

18

New York Giants

Who has the third longest winning streak in the NFL? Yeah, that would be Eli Manning and the resurgent Giants with a four game win streak under their belt. Not only that, but they have the Cowboys coming to town. I would call that a very winnable game given how the Cowboys never seem to know how to win a football game. This team could be a game out of first place after next week. WHAT?!

+4

19

Pittsburgh Steelers

Despite rumors of Ben Roethlisberger's pending trade in the offseason, the Steelers are winning some football games. They have four division games remaining, so they could very well end up wrestling control of this division back from the Bengals who seem to be more capable of coming up short in big games as they are at winning them against lesser teams.

+4

20

St. Louis Rams

In rare fashion, I dropped a team significantly during a Bye week. What's worse, the Rams are coming off a 38-8 drubbing of a playoff contender. It's not right and I apologize, but I can't help that every single team above and below them won this week. It is what it is. The only thing to do is for the Rams to win again next week. lol

-3

21

Baltimore Ravens

Led by Joe Flacco's elite arm, the Ravens fell 20-23 in overtime to the Bears on Sunday. I just can't believe the two interceptions and 161 yards passing didn't translate into another Super Bowl run for Ravens fans. It's so hard being elite.

-5

22

San Diego Chargers

The Chargers took a dump on Sunday. Philip Rivers should have been able to win that game, but like Tony Romo, couldn't. As typical, the Chargers dominated offensively and failed to score more than 20 points. They have now dropped three consecutive games and are playing themselves out of the playoffs again this season.

-3

23

Tennessee Titans

Jake Locker is done for the season, but apparently the Titans will not give up. I've always liked the bearded fellow out of Harvard or Yale or whatever the hell he went to school and am glad to see him out there ballin'.

-2

24

Cleveland Browns

Whelp, the Browns little run there has finally come to an end. They have now won just one out of their last five games. It was so cute to see them try to pretend to be good for a little while.

-6

25

Buffalo Bills

The Bills won big against the Jets, but I decided not to move them anywhere again this week. I've found that every time I move this team up after a win they fail the very next week. Plus, they suck at life when it comes to getting C.J. Spiller out in space where he could actually make plays. I'm predicting they will run up the middle three straight times for no gain and lose next week.

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26

Oakland Raiders

Matt McGloin is two bad series away from being yanked as the starting quarterback, but he played pretty well in leading the Raiders to victory on Sunday. Terrelle Pryor, from how it sounds, has the locker room as the starter, which is why McGloin must keep playing well to keep his job.

+3

27

Washington Redskins

I think Robert Griffin III will be back in top form after this season, as most quarterbacks to tend to regress a little in their second season. Colin Kaepernick is also going through a similar regression. The Redskins just need to keep grinding and Mr. Snyder needs to not fire his coach after this season, but we'll see.

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28

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After briefly holding the title as the leagues only winless team, the Buccaneers have started a win streak. This is a team that has lost several very close games this season, so it looks like a strong finish could be in the works.

+2

29

Minnesota Vikings

Without Adrian Peterson, the Vikings would be Jaguars bad. How awesome would it be to have Peterson end up a Bronco? Yeah, my thoughts exactly ... it would be TOTALLY AWESOME.

-3

30

Houston Texans

Gary Kubiak is being very schizophrenic with his quarterbacks right now and I think its hurting his team. There was no reason for his decision to bench Case Keenum for Matt Schuab on Sunday. After seeing how Keenum played with the game in question, I also believe it cost the Texans the game. Unfortunately, Kubiak has got to be near the top of the list of coaches who may get fired at the end of this season.

-2

31

Atlanta Falcons

Another week, and another graphical metaphor for the Falcons season.

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32

Jacksonville Jaguars

Hey, if you can't beat them ... pull their hair out and throw it on the ground. Stay classy, Jacksonville!

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