NFL Power Rankings for December 20th, 2012

Just last week, the New England Patriots ascended to the top of our power rankings following a domination of the Houston Texans. However, they didn’t hold the spot for too long after a shootout with the San Francisco 49ers. Speaking of which, who would’ve thought that the Niners would be relying on a high-powered offense to beat teams? With only two weeks left in the NFL’s regular season, let’s look at which teams are still in contention for the number one ranking.

1. Denver Broncos (11-3) – There were a number of questions surrounding the Broncos to start the season – namely Peyton Manning coming off of neck surgery. He’s certainly cleared up any questions while Knowshon Moreno continues to provide Denver with fresh legs at the end of the season (22CAR, 118RYDS, 1TD against Baltimore).

Last Game: 34-17 win over Baltimore
Next Game: vs. Cleveland Browns

2. San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1) – Over the past two seasons, most people have talked about San Francisco’s hard-nosed, defensive approach. But last game against the Patriots was more about the offense as they relied on young Colin Kaepernick. The Nevada product certainly lived up the challenge by throwing for 215 yards, four touchdowns and just one interception. The celebration will be cut short though because a tough road game against Seattle looms ahead.

Last Game: 41-34 win over New England
Next Game: at Seattle Seahawks

3. New England Patriots (10-4) – Despite throwing for 443 yards, Tom Brady had his struggles against San Francisco after tossing just one TD against two picks. Plus the team had major fumbling issues while playing the Niners and fell behind 31-3 early. But we still tab New England as one of our top two bets to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

Last Game: 41-34 loss to San Francisco
Next Game: at Jacksonville Jaguars

4. Houston Texans (12-2) – Due to defensive injuries, we’re not quite sure if these are the same Texans as in the first half of the season. But they looked good against the Colts with Adrian Foster running for 165 yards and Andre Johnson adding 151 receiving yards and a touchdown. For the second straight year, Houston is the AFC South champion.

Last Game: 29-17 win over Indianapolis
Next Game: vs. Minnesota Vikings

5. Atlanta Falcons (12-2) – Atlanta looked the most impressive that they have in weeks after stomping the New York Giants 34-0. The only problem is that a few teams above them also played well enough to keep their top spots. Even still, the Falcons are poised to grab the NFC’s number one seed with a single win.

Last Game: 34-0 win over New York Giants
Next Game: at Detroit Lions

6. Seattle Seahawks (9-5) – This was a close call over the Packers, but who can deny the Seahawks with how they’ve been playing? QB Russell Wilson and RB Marshawn Lynch are proving to be quite an offensive duo. The two combined for 205 rushing yards and four touchdowns on just 19 carries against the Bills.

Last Game: 50-17 win over Buffalo
Next Game: vs. San Francisco 49ers

7. Green Bay Packers (10-4) – Green Bay has done an admirable job of being successful through a number of big injuries. Linebackers Clay Matthews and A.J. Hawk are back on the field, while Jordy Nelson and Charles Woodson figure to be back soon. Will this be enough to propel the Pack to the Super Bowl?

Last Game: 21-13 win over Chicago
Next Game: vs. Tennessee Titans

8. Indianapolis Colts (9-5) – We like the Colts’ chances to win their final two games against Kansas City and Houston. First off, the Chiefs have put up little fight against most good teams this year. And the Texans may not have anything to play for in their final game if they lock up the AFC’s top seed.

Last Game: 29-17 loss to Houston
Next Game: at Kansas City Chiefs

9. Dallas Cowboys (8-6) – It’s no coincidence that Dallas’ run game returned after DeMarco Murray came back from injury. Now the Cowboys have a multi-faceted offense with the way Murray and QB Tony Romo have been playing over the past few weeks. Will it result in a playoff berth? A Week 17 contest against the Redskins may answer this question.

Last Game: 27-24 win over Pittsburgh
Next Game: vs. New Orleans Saints

10. Washington Redskins (8-6) – It was no easy challenge winning in Cleveland with rookie backup Kirk Cousins starting for the injured Robert Griffin III. However, Washington grabbed a huge win and are currently battling with the Cowboys and Giants for the NFC East title.

Last Game: 38-21 win over Cleveland
Next Game: at Philadelphia Eagles

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