Week 12 power rankings: Titans hold off Giants

Week 12 power rankings: Titans hold off Giants

Posted by Bob LeGere on Tue, 11/18/2008 - 03:25
1. Tennessee Titans (10-0): They were on the ropes vs. Jags, trailing 14-3 in third quarter, until ex-Bear WR Justin Gage hauled in 2 long TD passes to run regular-season win streak to 13. Last week: 1. 2. New York Giants (9-1): Tough not to move them to No. 1 after 5 straight wins, including each of the last 4 against teams with winning records. Last week: 2. 3. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3): Statistically dominated Chargers but barely escaped with 11-10 victory, the first such score in NFL history. Last week: 3. 4. Carolina Panthers (8-2): Overcame early 10-0 deficit against 0-10 Lions to run home record to 6-0. Despite letdown still boast stingiest defense in NFC. Last week: 7. 5. Indianapolis Colts (6-4): Weak run defense remains a major concern, but Peyton's finally getting hot, and anemic run game showed signs of life last week. Last week: 8. 6. Baltimore Ravens (6-4): NFL's best run defense was shredded by the Giants for 207 yards last week in disappointing 30-10 loss that snapped four-game win streak. Last week: 4. 7. Dallas Cowboys (6-4): Romo was rusty after missing 3 games, but it's a different team with him at QB -- and when they're smart enough to get Marion Barber the ball (24 carries, 114 yards, 6 catches, 39 yards). Last week: 13. 8. Tampa Bay Bucs (7-3): Excellent defense and decent offense have been a successful combination for Gruden's team, which has won 4 of last 5 and allowed less than 14 points in 4 of 5. Last week: 10. 9. Philadelphia Eagles (5-4-1): If only they could have kept playing in Cincy, student-of-the-game McNabb might have found a way to break disappointing tie with 1-8-1 Bengals that dropped Philly into cellar of ultra-competitive NFC East. Last week: 5. 10. Arizona Cardinals (7-3): Have won 4 of last 5, averaging 33 points per game in the victories behind WR's Boldin and Fitzgerald, and QB Warner, who's having an MVP season. Last week: 9 11. Washington Redskins (6-4): Gutsy effort by “Southeast Jerome,” (injured RB Portis) wasn't enough to spark sluggish offense in tough loss to Cowboys. Last week: 6. 12. New England Patriots (6-4): Need to win at Miami to keep pace in AFC East after Thursday night loss to division-leading Jets, but they'll have 3 extra days to prepare. Last week: 9. 13. Green Bay Packers (5-5): Made major statement with 37-3 rout of Bears and look like the best of NFC North tri-leaders, but they have to avoid letdown in Monday nighter on the road at New Orleans. Last week: 17. 14. New York Jets (7-3): Have won 6 of 7 and finally beat a team with a winning record in huge, 34-31 Thursday night victory at New England that moved them into AFC East lead. Last week: 18. 15. Miami Dolphins (6-4): Narrowly escaped against Raiders for fourth straight win to stay 1 game out of AFC East lead, as QB Chad Pennington continues to disprove his doubters. Last week 19. 16. Denver Broncos (6-4): Handed Falcons first home loss last week, winning second straight following 3-game losing streak to stretch NFC West lead to 2 games. Last week: 20. 17. Atlanta Falcons (6-4): Stellar run game inexplicably stalled vs. weak Denver run defense in surprising 24-20 loss. Play each of 3 division foes in NFC South in next 4 weeks. Last week: 12. 18. Chicago Bears (5-5): They're not as bad as they looked in Green Bay – I think. Should get back on track Sunday against pathetic Rams in St. Louis. Last week: 14. 19. Minnesota Vikings (5-5): Missed a chance last week to take control in NFC North, as offense struggled in 19-13 loss at Tampa. Host Bears in 2 weeks. Last week: 16. 20. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-6): Let 14-3 lead over unbeaten Titans slip away, along with any realistic playoff hopes in 24-14 defeat, their third in 4 weeks. Last week: 21. 21. New Orleans Saints (5-5): Drew Brees continued to put up big numbers in victory over Chiefs, but next 3 are home vs. Packers, at Tampa and home vs. Falcons. Last week: 22. 22. Cleveland Browns (4-6): Avoided the embarrassment of blowing yet another double-digit lead as they came back to nip the Bills in Monday nighter at Buffalo. Last week: 24. 23. Buffalo Bills (5-5): Have lost 5 of 6 after bitter defeat at home Monday night against Browns to fall into cellar of AFC East. Last week: 13. 24. San Diego Chargers (4-6): Lost for third time in 4 weeks but played Steelers tough in 11-10 loss. Running out of time if they're going to make a title run on putrid AFC West. Last week: 23. 25. San Francisco 49ers (3-7): Singletary's bunch looked pretty good vs. Rams, but who hasn't lately. Let's see how they fare at Dallas this week. Last week: 24. 26. Houston Texans (3-7): Good news is they gave Colts a game at Indy last week. Bad news is they still lost third straight, and QB Matt Schaub is out for 2-4 more weeks. Last week: 27. 27. Cincinnati Bengals (1-8-1): Tie vs. Eagles has to count as a moral victory. The real kind will be tough to come by with Steelers, Ravens, Colts and Redskins up next. Last week: 29. 28. Seattle Seahawks (2-8): Hasselbeck returned but run game and offense did not, as he threw 3 picks, but they somehow kept it close in 26-20 loss to Cards. Last week: 28. 29. Oakland Raiders (2-8): Lost in final minute to Dolphins. Offense still hasn't scored more than 18 points since Sept. 21, but defense has allowed just 17 in each of last 2 games. Last week: 31. 30. Kansas City Chiefs (1-9): Kept it close for a while vs. Saints but still lost for 18th time in last 19 games. Defense has allowed over 29 points per game in last six. Last week: 26. 31. St. Louis Rams (2-8): Have lost 4 straight and allowed an average of 39 points in last 3. Bulger's 295 passing yards last week should concern Bears. Last week: 30. 32. Detroit Lions (0-10): Rookie RB Kevin Smith as been a bright spot for anemic offense. Have lost 16 of last 17 but now have 3 straight at home, although they're against the Bucs, Titans and Vikings. Last week: 32.
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