Benigno’s Best: Week 12 NFL Power Rankings
By Joe Benigno
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It’s my favorite time of the season — Thanksgiving week. The byes are over, the playoff push is on with six weeks to go and Thursday boasts a stellar triple-header of holiday football.
1. Houston Texas 9-1 (1)
Houston showed its championship mettle with a stirring comeback for OT win versus lowly Jags. Nice job by Jacksonville coach Mike Mularkey going for the win in closing minutes of overtime. Huge games for Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson.
Next: @ Lions
2. Atlanta Falcons 9-1 (2)
Six Atlanta turnovers, five Matt Ryan interceptions, no problem for Falcons as they find a way to overcome Cardinals late in Atlanta.
Next: @ Bucs
3. San Francisco 49ers 7-2-1 (5)
How dynamic did Niners look in bludgeoning of Bears at Candlestick? You gotta believe Colin Kaepernick will take over as starter sooner rather than later for Jim Harbaugh after breakout performance versus Chicago.
Next: @ Saints
4. Green Bay Packers 7-3 (4)
Packers make it five straight wins with victory in Motown and do it without Clay Mathews, Charles Woodson and Greg Jennings. Revenge game with champion Giants up next. Now in first-place tie with Bears in NFC North.
Next: @ Giants
5. Denver Broncos 7-3 (3)
Denver all but clinched AFC West with win over fading Chargers in Denver. With cream-puff schedule the rest of the way, Broncs should land a first-round bye in AFC playoffs.
Next: @ Chiefs
6. Baltimore Ravens 8-2 (7)
Baltimore takes two-game division lead with win in Pittsburgh over Roethlisberger-less Steelers. Still something seems to be missing from this team and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Maybe it’s Ray Lewis.
Next: @ Chargers
7. New England Patriots 7-3 (8)
The Belichicks run up 59 on Andrew Luck and Colts. Surprised Bill didn’t go for two after final TD to get to 60. What’s Gronkowski doing on extra point team with New England up 35 and three minutes left?
Next: @ Jets
8. New York Giants (6-4) 10
Better hope Eli’s tired arm got rejuvenated during bye week, as G-Men finish season with murderous six game stretch.
Next: vs. Packers
9. Chicago Bears (7-3) 6
Chicago on two-game losing streak after total gashing by Niners in Frisco. Where was that vaunted Bears D? Better hope Jay Cutler gets back soon.
Next: vs. Vikings
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-4 (unranked)
Tampa cracks top 10 on heels of a four-game winning streak and behind suddenly one of league’s most explosive offenses. Bucs have scored 36, 42, 34 and 27 during streak. How good is rookie running back Doug Martin?
Next: vs. Falcons
BRO! What’s your top 10 look like? Be heard in the comments below!