clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NFL Power Rankings: Week 12 Edition

100% accurate assessment of all 32 teams.

New Orleans Saints v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Now that Week 11 of the 2021 NFL season is in the books, it’s time for everyone’s favorite meaningful exercise: NFL Power Rankings! What differentiates these rankings from others is that they’re the only truly accurate ones in the entire universe. Let’s take a look at how all 32 teams stack up entering Week 12. Even more league-wide discussion in this week’s episode of The ODDcast on The SB Nation NFL Show.

BLG’S WEEK 12 NFL POWER RANKINGS

1 - Arizona Cardinals (Last Week: 4) - The Cards went 2-1 without Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins, who they’re expecting back after this week’s bye. With one of the easier remaining schedules in the league, Arizona has a real path to lock up the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture. Especially if Zach Ertz continues to play well for them.

2 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 1) - Not going to *totally* crush Tennessee for their loss to Houston. That matchup had all the makings of a letdown game with the Titans coming off some really good wins and being banged up. Still, never inspiring to see your starting quarterback throw four interceptions. We’ll see if Ryan Tannehill and company can bounce back in a big matchup against the Pats.

3 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 2) - The good news is that Aaron Rodgers is back in full force. The bad news is that their defensive improvement may have been overstated.

4 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 7) - The Bucs predictably got the bad taste of losing to Washington out of their mouths by easily dispatching another NFC East team. Mike Evans in still unstoppable and Tampa’s defense is opportunistic.

5 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 8) - The Chiefs are back … sort of? Their offense didn’t do as much damage as one would’ve expected against Dallas. But it turns out their recent defensive improvement might be real. Preventing one of the NFL’s best offenses from scoring a single touchdown is pretty good.

6 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 6) - The Rams return from their bye to play at Lambeau Field. Huge matchup for playoff seeding purposes.

7 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 5) - Two of the Cowboys’ loss three games have been discouraging losses. Dallas being without Amari Cooper and Tyron Smith in KC certainly didn’t do them any favors. Still, they had enough to work with to score more than nine measly points. If Dak Prescott is truly the MVP, the Cowboys don’t look as lifeless as they did on offense. If the Dallas doesn’t pull off another get-right game on Thanksgiving, they might lose control of the NFC East.

8 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 9) - It wasn’t pretty but the Ravens found a way to get it done in Chicago despite missing Lamar Jackson. Important win to stay atop the very competitive AFC North.

9 - New England Patriots (LW: 10) - Five wins in a row. The Pats just keep rolling. They’re back in first in the AFC East and they might not surrender that top spot. Big test coming up with Tennessee next on the schedule.

10 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 11) - The Bolts have been inconsistent but they’d be in the postseason as the No. 6 seed in the AFC playoff picture if the season ended today (it doesn’t). Justin Herbert’s ceiling is tantalizing.

11 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 16) - At the very least, Jonathan Taylor is making a case for Offensive Player of the Year. He might win MVP if he continues to carry the Colts on his back down the stretch. JT’s the first player to rush for at least 185 yards and score five touchdowns in a game since Clinton Portis back in 2003.

12 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 3) - Big drop for the Bills. Like, what’s your deal, man? You lose to the Jags and then get trounced by Indy despite having one of the NFL’s best run defenses? Josh Allen isn’t really pulling his weight with four touchdowns, five interceptions, and one lost fumble in Buffalo’s last three games. If the season ended today, the Bills would be the No. 7 seed.

13 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 13) - A moral victory doesn’t help the Stillers when it comes to fighting for a playoff spot. Their offensive explosion against the Chargers could be a good sign moving forward, though? It better be for their sake because Pittsburgh has the NFL’s second-toughest remaining schedule .

14 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 15) - Despite some recent struggles, the Bengals can still make a run at the AFC North title. They’re second in the division and currently have a tiebreaker over Baltimore.

15 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 18) - Justin Jefferson is ridiculous. Eight catches for 169 yards (21.1 average) and two touchdowns in a huge win over Green Bay. The Vikings are likely the best team outside of the obvious top five playoff teams in the NFC.

16 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 14) - The Browns only managed to beat Detroit by three points as Baker Mayfield posted his second straight game with a passer rating in the 50’s. Cleveland owns the league’s toughest remaining schedule. Good chance they don’t even make the postseason, which would be a disappointing step back from last year.

17 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 19) - After a stretch where they went 1-5, the Niners have two wins in a row. They’ve been able to hide their quarterback by relying on a strong running game. How long will that strategy hold up? Big game against Minny this week with wild card implications on the line.

18 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 20) - Don’t look now but the Eagles actually have the 10th best point differential in the NFL. It sure helps that they’ve faced some bad quarterbacks. Still, they’re dominating lesser opponents. The Eagles finally have an identity. Their offensive line is setting up Jalen Hurts and Philly’s running game for success. Jonathan Gannon is no longer merely having the Eagles sit back and allow quarterbacks to do whatever they want to his defense. The Birds are heating up as they’re set to take on the league’s easiest remaining schedule. It’s suddenly not hard to think that Nick Sirianni could get to the playoffs in his first year on the job.

19 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 12) - The NFL’s No. 1 run defense couldn’t stop Philly’s rushing attack. After starting out 5-2, the Saints are in jeopardy of quickly falling to 5-6 with a game against Buffalo on Thanksgiving up next. Sean Payton’s done a good job with this team on the whole but the lack of an answer at quarterback combined with injuries is looking like too much to overcome.

20 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 17) - Ever since their blowout win over Philly, the Raiders are 0-3. A tumultuous season for Las Vegas will result in the team looking for a new full-time head coach. Doug Pederson could be the right guy to help bring stability back to their organization.

21 - Washington Football Team (LW: 25) - Believe it or not, Taylor Heinicke was Pro Football Focus’s highest graded QB from Week 11. His success over the last two weeks has prevented the Football Team from totally falling out of the playoff picture.

22 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 21) - Cam Newton’s return to Charlotte was ultimately spoiled by Ron Rivera’s return to Bank of America Stadium. On the bright side, Cam provides the Panthers with a more inspiring option than Sam Darnold. But it might be too little, too late for Matt Rhule’s crew.

23 - Denver Broncos (LW: 22) - The Broncos return from their bye to host the Bolts. Must-win game.

24 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 27) - Winners of their last three, the Dolphins aren’t totally out of the playoff picture. It’s not a likely outcome for them but they’re still on life support. They have four winnable games coming up next: vs. CAR, vs. NYG, vs. NYJ, at NO. Bad news for the Eagles when it comes to owning Miami’s first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

25 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 23) - The Seahawks obviously had a lot of success under Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson but that era has run its course. Time to turn the page and start anew.

26 - New York Giants (LW: 24) - Daniel Jones threw one of the worst interceptions of the season. The Giants’ offense continues to be totally inept under Jason Garrett.

27 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 26) - Matt Ryan has a 38.6 passer rating in his last two starts. Playing behind a terrible offensive line sure hasn’t helped him. Still, it’s time for Atlanta to move on. They really should’ve tried to get what they could for him in the offseason to help their rebuild. Instead, they doubled down on him and now it’ll be over $40 million in dead cap if they do trade him after 2021.

28 - Chicago Bears (LW: 28) - Justin Fields is hurt. Andy Dalton arguably gives the Bears a better chance to win in the short-term but the short-term doesn’t matter for Chicago. The Bears have a chance to break their losing streak on Thanksgiving with a win in Detroit. If they can’t do that, well, just fire everybody on the spot.

29 - Houston Texans (LW: 32) - The Texans’ upset over the Titans doesn’t accomplish anything other than ruining their draft positioning. Good win in a one week vacuum, though.

30 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 29) - The Jags have reverted to being really bad. Shocker.

31 - Detroit Lions (LW: 30) - Dan Campbell is knocking on the door of that first win. Might the Lions be able to pull off an upset against Chicago? Some Tim Boyle magic, perhaps? Probably not. But maybe!

32 - New York Jets (LW: 31) - The Jets didn’t look *totally* incompetent against Miami, so there’s that. But they’re still pretty pitiful.