2014 NFL Power Rankings - Week 12
Here are my Week 12 NFL power rankings:
1. New England Patriots - Record: 8-2, Last Update: No. 1
Initially credited with only 199 rushing yards (a stat correction added two yards to make it 201), Jonas Gray scored his first four rushing touchdowns of the season on Sunday Night Football. Gray's four rushing scores were more than the team's combined total of three from Weeks 1 to 10.
2. Arizona Cardinals - Record: 9-1, Last Update: No. 3
As every week passes, it continues to baffle me why Bruce Arians did not get an opportunity to become an NFL head coach sooner in his career. Excluding his stint as interim head coach in Indianapolis, one of the most impressive coaching seasons ever given the circumstancese, Arians is 19-7 (.731) in his first 26 games as Arizona's coach.
3. Green Bay Packers - Record: 7-3, Last Update: No. 4
The Packers have scored 50-plus points in back-to-back games, something that has happened only three times since 1970. Not only is Aaron Rodgers and the offense playing great, but the Packers defense and special teams have scored four touchdowns over the past two weeks.
4. Denver Broncos - Record: 7-3, Last Update: No. 2
Going into last week, the Broncos had scored 20-plus points and Peyton Manning had thrown multiple touchdowns in every game this season. That streak ended as the Rams held the Broncos to only seven points (and one Peyton touchdown). On a(nother) negative note, Manning has now thrown multiple interceptions in three consecutive games.
[Related poll: Will Demaryius Thomas extend streak of 100-yard games to eight this week?]
5. Dallas Cowboys - Record: 7-3, Last Update: No. 8
Although the Cowboys had the week off, it was a good week. Not only did Tony Romo get an opportunity to get some more rest and rehab, but all three of the other NFC East teams were in action and lost.
6. Kansas City Chiefs - Record: 7-3, Last Update: No. 10
Running back Jamaal Charles carried the ball 20 times for 159 yards and two touchdowns in Week 11 against the Seahawks. Charles has now scored in six consecutive games as they face the 0-10 Raiders on Thursday night.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers - Record: 7-4, Last Update: No. 12
With 33 carries for 204 yards and a touchdown, Le'Veon Bell became the fourth Steelers running back to reach the 200-yard milestone in a game. Through 11 games, Bell has 1,435 yards from scrimmage, which puts him on pace for 2,087 YFS this season.
8. Detroit Lions - Record: 7-3, Last Update: No. 5
The Lions still rank first in the NFL in total and scoring defense through Week 11. The last time that the Lions finished in the top 10 in either scoring or total defense for a full season was 1997 (10th in scoring, 14th in total defense).
9. Philadelphia Eagles - Record: 7-3, Last Update: No. 6
The Eagles have had so much success scoring non-offensive touchdowns this season, but they gave up three non-offensive scores (plus four offensive scores) in Week 11 to the Packers.
10. Indianapolis Colts - Record: 6-4, Last Update: No. 7
Both Ahmad Bradshaw and Dwayne Allen left Sunday's games with injuries. While it's unfortunate that Bradshaw will miss the remainder of the season, Allen suffered a less serious ankle injury and is considered "day to day" (aren't we all?). If Allen misses Week 12, the Colts will be without the recipients of nearly half (13) of Andrew Luck's 28 touchdown passes this season.
11. Seattle Seahawks - Record: 6-4, Last Update: No. 9
Not only did Marshawn Lynch not go to the locker at halftime, but he didn't speak to the media after the game and got fined $50,000 (plus lost another $50,000 fine in escrow). Here's how his press conference went on Wednesday:
Marshawn just "spoke" to media for 10 minutes. Its pretty funny. Every football question, he responded by talking about his cleats or music— Dave Softy Mahler (@Softykjr) November 19, 2014
12. San Francisco 49ers - Record: 6-4, Last Update: No. 11
Benching himself during the game, Ahmad Brooks said that he "did not quit on the team; [he] did not take [himself] out of the game." In a week that saw a handful of complainers shown the door, coach Jim Harbaugh says they "need" Brooks to win a championship.
13. Miami Dolphins - Record: 6-4, Last Update: No. 13
The Dolphins rank second in the NFL in total defense (302.5 YPG allowed), but they have allowed a league-low 255.3 YPG over their past three games. Although the Broncos scored only seven points in Week 11, the Dolphins defense will be put to the test in Week 12 against the high-powered Broncos offense.
14. Cincinnati Bengals - Record: 6-3-1, Last Update: No. 16
While it appears that Giovani Bernard will return in Week 12, Jeremy Hill had his second 150-yard rushing day in the past three weeks filling in for Bernard. Over those three weeks, he rushed 63 times for 361 yards and two touchdowns and added three catches for 28 yards.
15. Cleveland Browns - Record: 6-4, Last Update: No. 14
The Browns get a skill-position player back from suspension (Josh Gordon) and got rid of another (Ben Tate). The return of Gordon, who led the NFL in receiving last year, obviously gives the passing game a huge (and much-needed) boost.
16. Baltimore Ravens - Record: 6-4, Last Update: No. 15
The Ravens rank fifth in the NFL in rushing defense (84.5 YPG allowed) and are middle of the pack in terms of most 20-yard runs allowed (five). That said, nobody has allowed a shorter long run than the Ravens (26 yards) this season.
-> Continue to Teams 17-32
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