Week 12 NFL Power Rankings (2020)

For all the good that we have seen so far this season, the NFC East is, without a doubt, the most compelling storyline in the league. The Giants were off this week, the Cowboys and Football Team both won, and the Eagles lost to the Browns. That means that the Eagles are in first place at 3-6-1, and every other team in the division is 3-7. Keep in mind, no matter how bad their records are, one of these teams is going to host a playoff game in January. With how the NFC West and NFC South are shaping up, there is a good chance that an 11 or possibly even 12-win team is going on the road in the first round to take on the worst team in NFL playoff history.

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32) New York Jets (Prev: 32)

The Jets just missed out on their best chance to win a football game this season. With just six games remaining, all but one of their contests will be against a team with a winning record. That one game against a below .500 team: a trip to Foxborough to take on the Patriots in Week 17. It’s starting to look like a real possibility that the Jets are going to be the third 0-16 team in NFL history.

31) Jacksonville Jaguars (Prev: 31)

Jake Luton threw four interceptions, as the Jaguars lost for the ninth straight time. Jacksonville actually led 3-0 against the Steelers but gave up 27-straight points on their way to a blowout loss. If it wasn’t for a shocking Week 1 upset of the now 7-3 Colts, there would have been a serious chance we’d have two 0-10 teams, both with real possibilities of finishing winless.

30) Cincinnati Bengals (Prev: 26)

Joe Burrow’s injury was just another in a long line of horrific NFL and college football leg injuries. There needs to be a way to address this, as leg injuries of a tragic nature are happening way too often over the past few seasons. Burrow finishes the season with 2,688 yards, 13 touchdowns, and five interceptions. Whenever he comes back from his injury, his future is clearly incredibly bright. However, without him, the Bengals are going to have a hard time finding another win on their schedule.

29) Dallas Cowboys (Prev: 30)

The Cowboys earned a much-needed victory over the Vikings, and they are now in a position to take over first place in the NFC East, for at least a few days, with a win over the Football Team on Thanksgiving. Ezekiel Elliott broke the 100 yard mark for the first time this season, and Andy Dalton threw for three touchdowns, including a game-winner to Dalton Schultz with just 1:37 remaining.

28) Washington Football Team (Prev: 29)

The Football Team continues to get success from their young talent on the offensive side of the ball. Antonio Gibson rushed for another touchdown and added 94 yards on the ground, while Terry McLaurin hauled in five catches for 84 yards. But it was the defense that shut down Ryan Finley in the second half and put Washington in position to take the lead in the dreadful NFC East.

27) Philadelphia Eagles (Prev: 22)

Now that every team in the NFC East has three wins, it’s finally time to drop the Eagles back to the rest of the pack. Carson Wentz is a serious problem for Philadelphia. The former MVP cannot get anything going and threw two more interceptions on Sunday. That brings his season total to 14, which is the same amount of touchdowns he has thrown. The only thing keeping the Eagles in first place is their tie against Cincinnati, but with the hardest schedule remaining of any NFC East team, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Eagles finish at the bottom of the division.

26) Los Angeles Chargers (Prev: 28)

The Chargers finally picked up their third win of the season in a very close game against the winless Jets. The victory ended a span of eight games where LA won just one game, and though it won’t do anything to help their playoff chances, Justin Herbert continues to shine in his first season. The rookie threw for 366 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

25) Detroit Lions (Prev: 20)

After Sunday’s embarrassing shutout loss to the Panthers, one has to wonder how much longer Matthew Stafford is going to be the starting quarterback for the Lions. The veteran had a thumb issue, which kept him from being at 100%, but maybe Matt Patricia should have went with a backup QB in order to give his team a chance to win. The Lions look like they’re well on pace for a below .500 season yet again. If that happens, most personnel may look different next season in Detroit.

24) Houston Texans (Prev: 27)

The Texans’ victory over the Patriots won’t do anything for their playoff chances, but it proves that this team is going to fight to the very end of the season, no matter how bad their record is. Deshaun Watson threw for 344 yards and two touchdowns, and he led the team in rushing with 36 yards and one touchdown.

23) New York Giants (Prev: 23)

The Giants were off this week, and they were definitely happy to see the Eagles fall to the Browns. They are now just a half-game behind Philadelphia for first place in the division. The bad news is, every other team in the division won this week, which means they’re tied with the Cowboys and Football Team at 3-7.

22) Atlanta Falcons (Prev: 19)

The Falcons looked like they were going to run away with Sunday’s game against Taysom Hill and the Saints, but they settled for field goals early, and then completely fell apart in the second half. The offensive line was an absolute disaster, giving up eight sacks, and paving the way for just 52 rushing yards. Matt Ryan threw two interceptions in the loss.

21) New England Patriots (Prev: 18)

New England could not afford to lose Sunday’s game versus the Texans. In a crowded AFC, a loss like that all but dooms their playoff chances, as they are now sitting at just 4-6 on the season. Cam Newton had a great day passing the ball, throwing for 365 yards and one touchdown, and while the Patriots didn’t turn the ball over once, they just couldn’t find a way to score points when they needed them most.

20) Carolina Panthers (Prev: 24)

In his first NFL start, PJ Walker led the Panthers to a 20-0 victory over the Lions. The former XFL QB showed a lot of promise, but he also threw two red zone interceptions, which made the game a bit closer than it needed to be. The defense was phenomenal in shutting down all aspects of the Lions’ offense. They allowed just 185 yards throughout the entire game.

19) Minnesota Vikings (Prev: 16)

Just when it looked like the Vikings had turned the corner, they went out and lost a home game to the Cowboys. The offense was led by a well-balanced attack, but it wasn’t enough to overcome two turnovers or a defense that struggled to stop a Dallas offense that has been far from effective this season without Dak Prescott. Minnesota is now 4-6 and will have an uphill battle if they plan to make it into the playoffs.

18) Denver Broncos (Prev: 25)

The Broncos played one of their most well-rounded games of the season, and it led to a 20-13 defeat of the Miami Dolphins. The offense produced 459 yards, and while they only managed 20 points, the defense bailed them out by allowing only 223 yards. Melvin Gordon rushed for 84 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.

17) San Francisco 49ers (Prev: 21)

The 49ers were off this week, but they were grateful to see the Cardinals, Lions, and Vikings all lose. The losses bring everyone back to San Francisco in the playoff standings, and while there is only a very small chance this beat-up team can make a run, there is still some hope. They will take on the Rams and the Bills in their first two games after the bye.

16) Chicago Bears (Prev: 17)

The Bears were off this week, but with losses by the Vikings and Lions, they maintain their second-place position in the NFC North. They are on a four-game losing streak but are still just one game out of the playoffs. They will look to get back in the win column at Green Bay in Week 12.

15) Baltimore Ravens (Prev: 10)

Is Baltimore going to be able to fix their offensive problems before it’s too late? They managed just 306 total yards in their loss to the Titans, and like many other times this season, Lamar Jackson was mostly ineffective. The reigning MVP has struggled to put up numbers even remotely close to what he accomplished last season, and the Ravens are currently on the outside looking in when it comes to the AFC playoffs. The defense was mostly good, but they were unable to stop Derrick Henry in the second half, which led to the overtime loss.

14) Cleveland Browns (Prev: 14)

The Browns did exactly what they were supposed to do against the Eagles, and they are now 7-3 and all alone in second place in the AFC North. If the playoffs started today, the Browns would own the AFC’s sixth seed. The playoff race is very crowded, but Cleveland holds one of the easiest remaining schedules of all contenders. They will play the Jaguars, Giants, and Jets in three of their final six.

13) Arizona Cardinals (Prev: 8)

The Cardinals had a chance to take over the top of the NFC West standings but failed to complete a season sweep of the Seahawks on Thursday night. Arizona is now holding onto the last spot in the NFC playoffs, and they are one DeAndre Hopkins Hail Mary catch away from being on a three-game losing streak. Kyler Murray threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.

12) Las Vegas Raiders (Prev: 12)

The Raiders lost on Sunday night, but don’t lose any ground in the power rankings due to their performance against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. The Raiders played the Chiefs tough all throughout a back and forth game, and held the lead with 1:43 remaining thanks to a Derek Carr touchdown pass to Jason Witten. However, the defense was unable to hold up against Mahomes. The Raiders have proven this season that they can play with the best of the best, which makes them a legitimate threat to get into the postseason.

11) Tennessee Titans (Prev: 15)

Derrick Henry ran all over the Ravens in the second half, and his 29-yard touchdown run in overtime gave the Titans a much-needed win. At 7-3, the Titans will get a rematch against the Colts this weekend, a team that demolished them just two weeks ago on Thursday Night Football. The winner of the game will be in first place in the AFC South.

10) Miami Dolphins (Prev: 7)

The Dolphins’ five-game winning streak finally came to an end in Denver to the tune of a 20-13 loss. Tua Tagovailoa was mostly ineffective and was benched for Ryan Fitzpatrick late in the game. But there is still reason to remain hopeful in Miami. The Dolphins’ next two games are against the Jets and the Bengals. They should win both of those, which would bring them to 8-4. Then the key will be finding one or two wins in their last four against the Chiefs, Patriots, Raiders, and Bills.

9) Seattle Seahawks (Prev: 13)

The Seahawks got their revenge on Thursday night when they defeated the Cardinals 28-21 to move to 7-3 on the season. It was the usual cast of characters in the passing attack, with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett both scoring touchdowns. However, the real difference in this game was the rushing attack led by Carlos Hyde who filled in for the still injured Chris Carson. He rushed for 79 yards and one touchdown in the game.

8) Green Bay Packers (Prev: 5)

The Packers turned the ball over four times in Sunday’s loss to the Colts, including a fumble in overtime that led to the game-winning field goal by Rodrigo Blankenship. Green Bay led by as many as 14 in the game, but let the Colts back into it with their ball security issues. They now have an uphill battle to get the top seed in the NFC. The good news for them is that the Lions and Vikings lost, meaning that the only team that seems to be any sort of threat for the NFC North is the Bears, a 5-5 team that has lost four straight games.

7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Prev: 4)

Tom Brady did not have it on Monday night, and the Bucs lost another primetime game. The defense allowed just 37 rushing yards and intercepted Jared Goff twice, but the offense was unable to do much with the turnovers. Tampa Bay only managed 42 rushing yards of their own, and Brady threw two really bad interceptions, including one in the final seconds to seal the game. The Bucs are now two games behind the Saints in the loss column.

6) Indianapolis Colts (Prev: 11)

The Colts used four turnovers to spring a two-score comeback victory over the Packers. After a few weeks in which he struggled, Jonathan Taylor received a majority of the carries and rushed for 90 yards. With a win this weekend over Tennessee, the Colts would complete the season sweep, and essentially hold a two-game lead over their only real divisional competition.

5) Los Angeles Rams (Prev: 9)

The Rams traveled all the way across the country and took care of business against one of their toughest foes to date. At 7-3, the Rams are tied for first in the NFC West, but currently hold the tiebreaker over the Seahawks thanks to head-to-head record. With the ground game totally ineffective, Jared Goff threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns. He connected with Cooper Kupp 11 times for 145 yards and Robert Woods 12 times for 130 yards and one touchdown.

4) Buffalo Bills (Prev: 6)

The Bills were off this week, but they were certainly happy with the Broncos knocking off the Dolphins and the Texans knocking off the Patriots. Buffalo now holds a one-game lead over Miami in the AFC East.

3) New Orleans Saints (Prev: 3)

Taysom Hill got the start, and despite a sluggish first half, the Saints had no problem taking care of business against the Falcons. Hill didn’t throw for any touchdowns, but he did rush for two, and he finally brought Michael Thomas to life in the passing game. The defense was outstanding, holding the Falcons to three field goals and sacking Matt Ryan eight times.

2) Kansas City Chiefs (Prev: 2)

Patricks Mahomes found Travis Kelce for a 22-yard touchdown with 28 seconds remaining, to avenge the Chiefs’ only loss of the season and send Kansas City to 9-1. It wasn’t always easy on Sunday night, and the Chiefs will need to improve both offensively and defensively if they hope to repeat as Super Bowl champions, but they now hold a three-game lead in the AFC West, and still have a chance to capture the number one seed in the conference.

1) Pittsburgh Steelers (Prev: 1)

Chase Claypool became the first rookie in the Super Bowl era to score 10 touchdowns in his first 10 games, as the Steelers routed the Jaguars to move to 10-0 on the season. They’ll take on the Ravens this week. With a win, Pittsburgh would make it all but impossible for the Ravens to have any shot at the AFC North crown

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