Matzek's NFL Power Rankings: Week 12
BIGGEST JUMP: Miami Dolphins (from 29 to 23)
BIGGEST DROP: Kansas City Chiefs (from 22 to 25)
1 (1). GREEN BAY PACKERS - Still undefeated, and about to play their third game in eleven days. Thanksgiving against the Lions will be the toughest game in that stretch, and perhaps this season for the high flying Packers.
2 (2). SAN FRANCISCO 49ers - Like the Packers, the 49ers have perhaps their toughest matchup on Thanksgiving on the road at Baltimore (are they flying around Asia to get there? Sheesh.). Should be an interesting chess match between Jim and John Harbaugh. Too bad most of the country won't see it because it's on the NFL Network.
3 (3). PITTSBURGH STEELERS - BYE week. Ben Roethlisberger suffered a fractured thumb on his throwing hand on November 13th against the Bengals. He will play this weekend against the Chiefs.
4 (4). NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - BYE week plus. The Saints will have to wait until Monday night to face the NY Giants.
5 (5). NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - The Bills were a nice story. The Jets are pretenders. The AFC East belongs to the Patriots once again.
6 (6). HOUSTON TEXANS - BYE week. Alright Matt Leinart...what'chu got?
7 (7). CHICAGO BEARS - Has anyone in Chicago commented on how Ben Roethlisberger will play this Sunday with a fractured thumb, while Jay Cutler will sit the rest of the season with a similar injury? I'm not calling Cutler a wuss for this, but it seems like something Chicago media would jump on.
EDITOR'S NOTE: I wouldn't be surprised if Kyle Orton found his way to the Texans or Bears for the stretch run.
8 (9). BALTIMORE RAVENS - Which Ravens team will show up on Thursday night against the 49ers? The one that demolished the Steelers 35-7, or the one that lost to the Jaguars 12-7.
9 (10). DETROIT LIONS - I question all the talk about how powerful their defense is. The Lions gave up 35 points at home to Carolina, and 37 the week before to the Bears. Very good front 4, but there is little else to be concerned with.
10 (11). ATLANTA FALCONS - All the people who thought Michael Turner and Tony Gonzalez were wearing down before the season started should take a closer look: Turner has 888 yards rushing and 8 TD's, while the ageless Gonzalez has 50 receptions for 561 yards receiving and 7 TD's.
11 (8). NY GIANTS - Would ya just stop kicking to DeSean Jackson already?!
12 (14). DALLAS COWBOYS - They're heating up!
13 (13). CINCINNATI BENGALS - Tough loss on the road against Baltimore without stud rookie wideout AJ Green. The Bengals are still 6-4 and in the hunt for a playoff berth.
14 (16). OAKLAND RAIDERS - Oakland is back on top of a jumbled and bizarre AFC East.
15 (12). NY JETS - 5-5 with a terrible quarterback is no place to be. The Jets are in trouble.
16 (15). TENNESSEE TITANS - If Houston stumbles, the Titans could steal the AFC South. I thought Jake Locker looked great filling in for Matt Hasselbeck.
17 (20). PHILADELPHIA EAGLES - Maybe Vince Young's "Dream Team" quote only applied to his playing quarterback rather than Michael Vick. Nice win over the Giants. Season still alive...but they have a ton of work to do.
18 (18). TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS - Put together a great effort against Green Bay, but 9 penalties, 2 turnovers, and 2 long drives that ended in field goals were too much to overcome.
19 (21). SEATTLE SEAHAWKS - In recent history, 4-6 in the NFC South meant contending for the division lead. The Seahawks have won two straight and are playing better, but they stubbed their toes too often the first half of the season.
20 (17). BUFFALO BILLS - It was fun while it lasted. The Bills are a sinking ship.
21 (23). DENVER BRONCOS - Playing well enough with Tim Tebow that they released Kyle Orton. I'm completely fascinated by this team.
22 (19). SAN DIEGO CHARGERS - Tied for last place in the AFC West. The charade continues.
23 (29). MIAMI DOLPHINS - Out of no where the Dolphins have scored 86 points in their last three games - all wins.
24 (27). CLEVELAND BROWNS - Peyton Hillis continues to support the Madden Curse theory, but the Browns DID earn a win last weekend.
25 (22). KANSAS CITY CHIEFS - I credit their defense for holding New England to single digits for much of the first half, but where were they in the second half? And where was the offense?
26 (24). ARIZONA CARDINALS - Never really had a chance against the 49ers. Richard Bartel played quarterback in the 4th quarter (???).
27 (25). JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS - Doesn't it seem like the Jaguars always play the Browns?
28 (26). WASHINGTON REDSKINS - Nice effort against the surging Cowboys, but the Redskins just don't have enough fire power.
29 (28). CAROLINA PANTHERS - It seems like they should have more than two wins.
30 (30). ST LOUIS RAMS - I really didn't see this poor of a season coming for the Rams.
31 (31). MINNESOTA VIKINGS - See above comment.
32 (32). INDIANAPOLIS COLTS - BYE week = no loss!