The Depth Chart: Week 12

November 20th, 2008 - 12:00 pm

My power rankings for the NFL.

(Previous Rank; Last Week’s Result; Movement in the Depth Chart).

High Five

1. Tennessee Titans (10-0)
(No. 1; W, 24-14 vs. Jac; No Change)
Reached an unbelievable milestone with a victory over their division rival. Jets, Steelers, and Colts. At least one of them will beat the Titans, but who will be first?

2. New York Giants (9-1)
(No. 2; W, 30-10 vs. Bal; No Change)
The class of the NFC, the Giants appear to be in a league of their own.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3)
(No. 3; W, 19-13 vs. Min; No Change)
Tampa Bay grinded out a tough victory over the Vikings. They’re no unbeatable, but they’re tough.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3)
(No. 4; W, 11-10 vs. SD; No Change)
Heck of a comeback victory over the Chargers. First time in league history that a game ended with the score 11-10.

5. Carolina Panthers (8-2)
(No. 6; W, 31-22 vs. Det; Up 1)
Falcons, Packers, Buccaneers, Broncos, Giants, and Saints remain on their schedule. How long will Carolina be a Top 5 team? I guess we’ll find out if they’re the real deal.

Contenders

6. Arizona Cardinals (7-3)
(No. 7; W, 26-20 vs. Sea; Up 1)
I’m definitely impressed with how well the Cardinals have played this year. They’re not only one of the top offenses in the league, but they’re figuring out how to play some defense, too.

7. Washington Redskins (6-4)
(No. 5; L, 14-10 vs. Dal; Down 2)
Washington lost the rematch against the Cowboys. The division title appears almost out of reach, so the Redskins have their hands full trying to get the wild card.

8. Indianapolis Colts (6-4)
(No. 10; W, 33-27 vs. Hou; Up 2)
They’re back in the thick of the hunt for an AFC wild card after struggling early.

9. New York Jets (7-3)
(No. 11; W, 34-13 vs. NE; Up 2)
Huge divisional victory over the Patriots last Thursday night. In sole possession of first place in the AFC East.

10. New England Patriots (6-4)
(No. 8; L, 34-31 vs. NYJ; Down 2)
Lost a close one to the Jets this past week but are still in good shape.

11. Atlanta Falcons (6-4)
(No. 9; L, 24-20 vs. Den; Down 2)
Couldn’t muster up the defense to stop the Broncos’ strong offense. They fell two games behind the Panthers in the NFC South.

12. Dallas Cowboys (6-4)
(No. 13; W, 14-10 vs. Was; Up 1)
With Romo back, the Cowboys could make a return back to relevance. But their defense has to shore up.

Muddled Middle

13. Denver Broncos (6-4)
(No. 17; W, 24-20 vs. Atl; Up 4)
Jay Cutler is proving to be one of the solid up and coming quarterbacks in the league but the Broncos have to play better defense to get anywhere in the postseason.

14. Baltimore Ravens (6-4)
(No. 14; L, 30-10 vs. NYG; No Change)
The Ravens ran in to a tough Giants team this past week but they’ve played pretty good offense to support their dominant defense as of late.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (5-4-1)
(No. 16; T, 13-13 vs. Cin; Up 1)
The Eagles had a perfect opportunity to pick up an easy victory but they made it difficult and were lucky to walk away with a tie. This game could come back to haunt them.

16. Green Bay Packers (5-5)
(No. 20; W, 37-3 vs. Chi; Up 4)
Complete domination of the Bears this week and the Packers are now tied for first place in the NFC North.

17. Chicago Bears (5-5)
(No. 12; L, 37-3 vs. GB; Down 5)
Not only has their defense been bad against the pass all year, but the offense matched its ineptitude against the Packers, which could be big trouble if they can’t turn it around.

18. Buffalo Bills (5-5)
(No. 15; L, 29-27 vs. Cle; Down 3)
From first to worst, the Bills have dropped four in a row and are in last place in the AFC East.

19. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-6)
(No. 18; L, 24-14 vs. Ten; Down 1)
The Jaguars kept it close but couldn’t take down the undefeated Titans this week and are now in serious jeopardy for making the postseason.

20. Minnesota Vikings (5-5)
(No. 19; L, 19-13 vs.TB; Down 1)
Tampa was too much for the Vikings, but Minnesota is still in a three-way tie for first place in the NFC North.

Pretenders

21. New Orleans Saints (5-5)
(No. 21; W, 30-20 vs. KC; No Change)
The Saints were able to hold off the impressive young Chiefs offense and could be getting Reggie Bush back this week.

22. San Diego Chargers (4-6)
(No. 22; L, 11-10 vs. Pit; No Change)
The Chargers nearly pulled off the upset over the Steelers but lost by a last minute field goal.

23. Miami Dolphins (5-4)
(No. 23; W, 17-15 vs. Oak; No Change)
Miami’s got the benefit of an easy schedule in their pursuit of a playoff spot, but they nearly coughed one up against the Raiders.

24. Cleveland Browns (4-6)
(No. 25; W, 29-27 vs. Buf; Up 1)
Benefitted from a 56-yard Phil Dawson field goal late in the fourth quarter and a 47-yard miss by Rian Lindell. Brady Quinn has played adequate so far.

25. Houston Texans (3-7)
(No. 24; L, 33-27 vs. Ind; Down 1)
Just can’t seem to put up a defensive effort to match their high-powered passing attack.

26. Seattle Seahawks (2-8)
(No. 26; L, 26-20 vs. Ari; No Change)
I can’t remember the last time the Seahawks were this bad, which is a tribute to how good Mike Holmgren has kept this team for so long.

27. San Francisco 49ers (3-7)
(No. 28; W, 35-16 vs. Stl; Up 1)
The 49ers have played really well the past two weeks and picked up a big division win over St. Louis last week.

Low Five

28. Cincinnati Bengals (1-8-1)
(No. 30; T, 13-13 vs. Phi; Up 2)
In one sense, the Bengals were lucky to get a tie against the Eagles. In another sense, Philadelphia played so bad that a tie should be disappointing for the Bengals.

29. St. Louis Rams (2-8)
(No. 27; L, 35-16 vs. SF; Down 2)
The Rams were bad enough with Steven Jackson in the lineup. Without him, they’re even more dreadful.

30. Kansas City Chiefs (1-9)
(No. 29; L, 30-20 vs. NO; Down 1)
If only the defense could match what this young Chiefs offense is doing, Kansas City could string together some wins.

31. Detroit Lions (0-10)
(No. 31; L, 31-22 vs. Car; No Change)
The Lions are still winless with a Thanksgiving Day matchup against the undefeated Titans coming up next week. If Detroit loses to Tampa this week and Tennessee beats the Jets, what an interesting matchup that would be.

32. Oakland Raiders (2-8)
(No. 32; L, 17-15 vs. Mia; No Change)
The Raiders almost beat the Dolphins in Miami, but until they win another game, they’re staying put in the cellar.