Week 13 NFL Power Rankings: Houston Stays Put
Thanksgiving is behind us and December football is ahead. Who will make the playoffs? Who will win it all? Find out how I see the rest of 2012 shaking out. All statements are subject to change depending on injuries, bad calls and just because I feel like it.
1. Houston Texans (Power Number: 3.3391, Last Week Rank: 1): Projected Record: 13-3. The Texans will walk away with the AFC South and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They may even ride that all the way to a Super Bowl loss.
2. New England Patriots (3.0006, 3): Projected Record: 11-5. The Patriots have no real competition in the AFC East and will win the division, again. But do not be too surprised when they exit the post-season in the Wildcard round.
3. San Francisco 49ers (2.9373, 2): Projected Record: 11-4-1. The 49ers will take the NFC West for the second straight year. If Smith is the QB, they will win the Super Bowl.
4. Atlanta Falcons (2.5191, 4): Projected Record: 13-3. The Falcons should be able to maintain the best record in the NFC, but their home field advantage will not get them passed the Conference Championship game.
5. Denver Broncos (2.3806, 5): Projected Record: 12-4. The Broncos would have to totally fall in the bucket to miss out on winning the AFC West. A Conference Championship appearance will have the media falling at Manning’s feet, but they will not make the Super Bowl.
6. Chicago Bears (2.2373, 6): Projected Record: 12-4. The Bears will hold off the Packers and take the NFC North. They’ll earn a first round bye, but will lose at home in the Divisional round.
7. New York Giants (1.9364, 10): Projected Record: 10-6. The NFC East is the Giants division to lose, but do not expect them to make it out of the Divisional round of the playoffs.
8. Baltimore Ravens (1.9082, 8): Projected Record: 12-4. The Ravens have the AFC North within their grasp; they should earn a first round bye. But they will lose that game at home.
9. Green Bay Packers (1.5389, 7): Projected Record: 11-5. The Pack have had an up-and-down year, but they will get a wildcard berth. I expect an early exit.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1.4375, 11): Projected Record: 8-8. The Bucs will miss out on the post-season this season. A rocky early 2012 may have cost them, but they have shown a lot of promise since then.
11. Seattle Seahawks (1.2675, 9): Projected Record: 8-8. TheSeahawks do not quite have enough to grab a wildcard spot in the NFC. A little more explosion on offense and they could be a force in 2013.
12. Cincinnati Bengals (0.9895, 17): Projected Record: 7-9. The Bengals may finish with a worse record than in 2011, but as a team they took strides toward future successes.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers (0.8335, 12): Projected Record: 9-7. If Roethlisberger comes back this week then the Steelers will have enough to grab a wildcard spot. Do not look for anything more than a Divisional loss this year.
14. Washington Redskins (0.8295, 16): Projected Record: 7-9. Exciting, but inconsistent, the Redskins will fall short of the playoffs.
15. New Orleans Saints (0.8012, 14): Projected Record: 9-7. I feel confident that the final NFC wildcard spot will belong to the Saints, but they won’t do anything with it.
16. Minnesota Vikings (0.7535, 13): Projected Record: 7-9. The Vikings started hot, but have since found their place in the 2012 NFL. They are a middle of the road team with an exceptional running back.
17. Dallas Cowboys (0.7345, 15): Projected Record: 8-8. Are we all finally off the Cowboys bandwagon? Another season of high expectations and mediocre results.
18. Detroit Lions (0.5065, 18): Projected Record: 6-10. The Lions have been a big disappointment this season. After climbing out of the cellar and overachieving in 2011, they have settled in with the fair-to-middling crowd.
19. San Diego Chargers (0.3636, 19): Projected Record: 7-9. It’s probably the end of the road for Norv Turner in San Diego. Is it time to look elsewhere for a QB, too?
20. Indianapolis Colts (0.3389, 22): Projected Record: 9-7. The Colts will nab the last AFC wildcard slot. Setting up a media frenzy as the Colts play the Broncos in the first round. Peyton will prevail.
21. Carolina Panthers (0.3052, 23): Projected Record: 5-11. Hopes were high for the Panthers and Cam Newton this season, but it just did not come together. Are big changes in store for 2013 or do they see if this unit can gel?
22. St. Louis Rams (0.2686, 25): Projected Record: 7-8-1. The Rams will finish with a respectable record, but their most memorable game will be a tie with the 49ers.
23. Miami Dolphins (0.2012, 24): Projected Record: 8-8. The Dolphins are too streaky to make a serious run at the post-season.
24. Cleveland Browns (0.0490, 27): Projected Record: 5-11. The Browns are headed in the right direction. The new owner should keep Shurmur, but I have a feeling he will not.
25. Arizona Cardinals (0.0322, 21): Projected Record: 6-10. The Cardinals need to figure out their QB situation before 2013 rolls around.
26. New York Jets (0.0036, 20): Projected Record: 6-10. Tebow, Sanchez and Rex…who will still be a Jet next season?
27. Buffalo Bills (-0.2849, 26): Projected Record: 7-9. The Bills need a legit QB (don’t be totally shocked if it’s Alex Smith next year) and for their high-priced defense to figure out how to play together.
28. Tennessee Titans (-0.4321, 28): Projected Record: 6-10. The Titans look pretty good on paper, but just have not been able to put it on the field.
29. Philadelphia Eagles (-0.6185, 29): Projected Record: 5-11. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Andy Reid and Michael Vick will be gone at season’s end. For better or worse, it’s time for a new era in Philly.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (-0.9493, 31): Projected Record: 3-13. The Jags have played well the last couple of weeks, but it’s too late for 2012. Has everyone forgotten about MJD?
31. Oakland Raiders (-1.0935, 30): Projected Record: 5-11. It seems like there is no plan in Oakland…or at least no plan that makes sense.
32. Kansas City Chiefs (-1.2961, 32): Projected Record: 2-14. Quarterback must be addressed in the offseason, but will Pioli and Crennel be the ones making the decisions?