NFL Power Rankings Week 11: Texans Peak, Patriots Come Roaring Back

The football gods can indeed be very cruel. It really seemed, for a while there, that the balance of power was shifting in the NFL. The Patriots had lost two straight, the Bears were floundering, the once mighty Colts were done… In the meantime it seemed like there were new emerging powers like the Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions and Houston Texans.

This week though? The NFL looks more like we’re used to. The Patriots reversed their fortunes with a blowout win over the Jets, watched the Bills get crushed in Dallas and now once again sit atop the AFC East. The Bears, who started off 2-3, have now won four straight, their latest a 37-13 whipping of the Detroit Lions. And those Lions… they were everyone’s darling when they started the season 5-0, but they’ve started playing other NFC contenders and have quickly wilted against the competition with losses to the 49ers, Bears, & Falcons. They’ll be jockeying with two of those teams for a wildcard.

And the Texans, the cruelest choice of the NFL gods… Finally, Peyton Manning is out of their way. Finally, they have a defense. And finally they are just wrecking teams from week to week… and what happens? They lose their QB for the year and now need to rely on Matt Leinart to lead them. That just plain stinks.

With that, onto the week 11 power ranks.

1) Green Bay Packers – It’s getting silly at this point. The Pack are dominating people. LW (1)
2) San Francisco 49ers – At this point, it would be a surprise if the Niners don’t get a bye in the playoffs. (LW 3)

3) Houston Texans – This is really a shame. The Texans have been playing as good as anyone in this league over the last month and now it appears that they’ve lost Matt Schaub for the year. Who knows maybe Matt Leinart can keep…bwahahaha! (LW 6)

4) New Orleans Saints – Mike Smith deserves at least some of the credit for this Saints win. Great call there Mike. (LW 5)

5) Chicago Bears – The Bears have a very favorable schedule from here on. They have to be considered as favorites for the first wildcard. (LW 13)
6) New England Patriots – Just when we were about to write off the Pats, they go ahead and dominate the Jets in their own building. LW (14)

7) New York Giants – The Giants might have beaten the Niners if that game was in New York. It wasn’t though. (LW 4)

8) Pittsburgh Steelers – In a bad week for the AFC North, the Steelers come out on top. (LW 8)

9) Baltimore Ravens – If you look up “let down game” in the football encyclopaedia, you’ll find the Ravens vs the Seahawks. (LW 2)

10) New York Jets – That was a good old fashioned humbling defeat at the hands of the Patriots. (LW 7)

11) Dallas Cowboys – Getting embarrassed by the Eagles on national TV seems to have woken these Cowboys up. (LW 17)

12) Cincinnati Bengals – They might not be ready to hang with the big dogs yet, but they’re not far off. (LW 9)
13) Detroit Lions – Another chance to prove themselves against an NFC contender, another failure. (LW 10)

14) Buffalo Bills – Since signing that big new contract, Ryan Fitzpatrick is 0-2 and has thrown five picks. (LW 11)

15) Tennessee Titans – The Titans are suddenly in pretty good shape in the AFC South. They’re only a game back of the Texans, who have now lost Matt Schaub for the year. (LW 20)

16) Atlanta Falcons – Going for it on 4th down on your own 30 is dubious at any point in a game, doubly so in overtime. (LW 12)

17) Oakland Raiders – Carson Palmer looks more like his old self and suddenly the AFC West is theirs for the taking. (LW 21)

18) Kansas City Chiefs – This year KC has gone from the worst team in the league, to division leaders, back to one of the worst teams again. (LW 15)

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tampa has lost three straight and is fading fast in the NFC playoff picture. (LW 16)

20) Arizona Cardinals – They’ve got a full blown QB controversy in Arizona as John Skelton has outplayed Kevin Kolb in the two games he’s started. (LW 31)
21) San Diego Chargers – Gave up 489 total yards to the Raiders on Thursday night. (LW 19)

22) Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins are really playing well lately. Problem is, one more win puts them in a pack with a bunch of three wins teams, which means no sure shot at a franchise QB. (LW 28)

23) Philadelphia Eagles – How many wins does Andy Reid need to survive for next year? 7 or 8? That looks like a long shot at this point. (LW 18)

24) Denver Broncos – Tim Tebow completed two of eight passes and Denver still won. You can’t say the guy isn’t interesting. (LW 22)

25) Jacksonville Jaguars – The weekly winner of the “have the Colts on your schedule” sweepstakes. (LW 26)

26) Cleveland Browns – If Cleveland is in a position to draft Landry Jones or Matt Barkley, do they do it? (LW 23)

27) St. Louis Rams – Hopefully you didn’t have to watch their win over the Browns. (LW 29)

28) Seattle Seahawks – Seattle is just a tough place to play. Just ask the Saints or the Ravens. Records don’t matter up there. (LW 30)
29) Washington Redskins – Rex Grossman “earns” his starting job back with a 0 TD, 2 INT performance in which the Skins don’t manage a TD. (LW 24)

30) Minnesota Vikings – Their blowout at the hands of the Packers would be worse if it wasn’t entirely predictable. (LW 25)

31) Carolina Panthers – As good as Cam Newton has been, this team really isn’t anywhere near ready to contend. (LW 27)
32) Indianapolis Colts – Bill Polian says he’ll consider taking a QB if they get the #1 pick. My question is “If?” (LW 32)

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