2012 NFL Power Rankings | Wild Card Playoffs Edition
The 2011 NFL regular season is dead and gone, but a whole new season starts with the 2012 NFL Playoffs ready to hit us smack in the face this weekend. With it comes the Wild Card round and four exciting games. However, before we get there, we wanted to give our readers an idea of where all 12 playoff teams stack up in our NFL Power Rankings.
Technically (or literally) these are our first power rankings of the 2012 season. Here’s how they stack up going into sudden death mode:
Green Bay didn’t go undefeated but they still wrapped up their season in convincing fashion. And now they have an extra full week to get completely healthy. Look out.
They’re second because they have to be the favorite to get to the Super Bowl for the AFC. That defense bends a lot, sure, but it also stops teams and forces turnovers when it absolutely has to. This team can still make it all the way, no question.
This is the only offense I fear on the level of the Packers. The problem is, they’ll likely have to go through Green Bay to make it to the Super Bowl, and I don’t love their chances in Lambeau.
There’s not a team above them that plays more balanced football and can shut teams down better on defense. Only the Ravens and Steelers do that better.
They still have an elite defense and can clearly run the ball, but there’s no question their offense lacks consistency. Maybe with everything on the line they’ll start playing like they can every single week.
I’d rank them higher, but Big Ben is hurt, Rashard Mendenhall is out for the year, and Ryan Clark can’t play at Denver due to sickle cell trait. That, and they’re on the road against a sometimes magical Broncos team. If ever I smelt an upset…
This is a tricky team. They look like they’re in full collapse mode, and suddenly they win their final two games and make it into the playoffs. And now they have a home game!
The Lions can score like crazy and have a nice pass-rush, but they can’t consistently stop the run or pass. That spells big trouble against the Saints in the dome.
The Falcons are a solid, balanced team that has the necessary tools to make a deep playoff run. Unfortunately, they’re inconsistent and they have to start the post-season at New York.
Houston has a borderline elite defense and can run the ball with the best of them. But how far can T.J. Yates really take them?
The Bengals are another balanced team that does everything OK. They run the ball and stop it pretty well, but you still have to assume Andy Dalton will come undone eventually in his rookie year.
Tim Tebow has had a magical run, but he’s imploded over the past two weeks. What part of his was the mirage, the past couple of weeks or that string of ridiculous late-game comebacks? We’re about to find out.