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NFL Power Rankings, Week 11: Imperfection

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Week 10 saw the last undefeated team in the NFL go down. So where do all 32 imperfect teams rank after the latest round of games?

Patrick Smith

Nobody's perfect. The NFL has proved that fact now that Atlanta has finally joined the other 31 teams in the loss column. In fact, the parity-driven league has already shown us that any team can beat any other team. There's a neat graphic and everything.

So we know that no team is infallible. The "any given Sunday" mantra has been proven over and over again during the topsy-turvy 2012 season. But which teams are best equipped to expose the weaknesses of their opponents before succumbing to their own? Well, that's what our weekly power rankings are for.

As always, we list our power rankings with each team's record followed by how their ranking changed compared to last week.

  1. Texans (8-1, +1): Houston is back on top because they showed that they can win ugly in Chicago. The Texans have shown that they can win shootouts and defensive battles alike. They aren't perfect, but their versatility will make them a tough out in January.
  2. Falcons (8-1, -1): Hey, it was bound to happen. No need to penalize them too much for their first loss. But Atlanta could certainly use some improvement in their running game and defensive backfield.
  3. Ravens (7-2, +5): Reports of their decline may have been greatly exaggerated. Any time a team puts up a 50 burger--even against the porous Oakland defense--the rest of the league must take notice.
  4. 49ers (6-2-1, -1): What ain't exactly a win, ain't exactly a loss, and ain't exactly gonna do you any favors in the power rankings? A tie at home against a sub-.500 team.
  5. Packers (6-3, NC): It's always nice to gain ground on the teams ahead of you in the NFC during your bye week. The Pack were hitting their stride before the bye--if they keep it up after, they'll be one of the favorites.
  6. Bears (7-2, -2): Same song, different week--the defense is outstanding, but the offense needs to start pulling their weight. Chicago better hope that Jay Cutler is OK based on how they fell apart after his injury last year.
  7. Patriots (6-3, NC): Another W for the Pats, but they still have problems putting inferior teams away. New England is to defense as Chicago is to offense. In other words, they're both Achilles heels.
  8. Broncos (6-3, +1): Here they come...I'm not saying that Denver will run the table for the rest of their regular season schedule, but every loss until the playoffs will probably be a surprise.
  9. Giants (6-4, -3): If you have started Eli Manning the past three weeks in fantasy football, I send my condolences. I'm still convinced that New York is throwing games just to make sure they don't get a first round bye so they can make their usual improbable playoff run.
  10. Seahawks, (6-4, +1): Still perfect at home. They better use the bye week to figure out how to win on the road if they want to make the postseason.
  11. Steelers (6-3, -1): We've all heard of moral victories. Pittsburgh's overtime victory against lowly Kansas City was a moral defeat. It might be even more painful if Ben Roethlisberger misses time.
  12. Colts (6-3, NC): Couldn't find room in the rankings to move them up after their win in Jacksonville. If they can find a way to win in New England next week, the Colts will be comfortably in the top 10.
  13. Buccaneers (5-4, +1): Fine, I'll ask: is this the best offense in the NFL? It's hard to find a unit playing better than Tampa's right now.
  14. Vikings (6-4, +2): Will the real Christian Ponder please stand up? Minnesota will be in the hunt all the way to the end if Sunday's version of their quarterback shows up more frequently after they bye. And oh yeah--that Adrian Peterson fella is ridiculous.
  15. Cowboys (4-5, +3): Zero turnovers equals one win. If Dallas can make that equation look like simple arithmetic instead of quantum physics, they might actually have a shot.
  16. Saints (4-5, +3): Their defense finally made a couple big plays to knock off unbeaten Atlanta. If it's the beginning of a trend, New Orleans has the offense to beat anyone. If it's an anomaly, they're going to lose too many shootouts to make the postseason.
  17. Lions (4-5, -4): So much for all that momentum. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson put up huge numbers on Sunday but Detroit still makes too many mistakes at crucial times.
  18. Bengals (4-5, +6): Cincy made the defending champs look awful on Sunday. Sure, the Giants helped out too, but the Bengals showed that they can still play at a pretty high level when everything's clicking.
  19. Dolphins (4-5, -4): "Laying an egg" doesn't even begin to describe what Miami did at home against Tennessee. Are the 'Fins hitting a wall?
  20. Chargers (4-5, -3): San Diego hasn't beaten a team other than Kansas City since Week 2. "Norvember" might have an unhappy ending for their head coach this year.
  21. Rams (3-5-1, +2): St. Louis had way too many chances to win in San Francisco to feel good about coming away with a tie.
  22. Redskins (3-6, -1): Washington has three straight divisional games coming off their bye. It'll be time to focus on drafting some help for Robert Griffin III unless they go 2-1 or better,
  23. Cardinals (4-5, -1): One losing streak is coming to an end on Sunday: Arizona's 5-game skid or Atlanta's 1-game streak. I think it'll be the latter.
  24. Titans (4-6, +3): Are we sure that Tennessee doesn't secretly have separate Varsity and JV teams that randomly alternate from week to week? Because that's the only we that I can explain their up-and-down performances.
  25. Eagles (3-6, -5): [To the tune of the annoying chant that Philly fans do throughout every game] C-A-N-N-E-D FIRED!
  26. Jets (3-6, -1): Ten weeks in and this team still has no identity. Except "terrible", of course.
  27. Bills (3-6, +1): They put up a good fight in Foxboro yet still managed to end the game in the most Bills way possible: an awful Ryan Fitzpatrick interception.
  28. Raiders (3-6, -2): It's like Al Davis never left.
  29. Panthers (2-7, NC): It's no longer a Sophomore Slump for Cam Newton. It's a Sophomore Stupor.
  30. Browns (2-7, NC): Dallas' defense and special teams scored 3 touchdowns in less than a quarter this week. Cleveland's entire team has scored 3 touchdowns in their last 3 games.
  31. Jaguars (1-8, NC): The Ravens scored 55 points at home on Sunday. The Jaugars have scored 44 points at home this year.
  32. Chiefs (1-8, NC): When the highlight of your season is "finally taking a lead but still losing a sloppy game in overtime", that usually means you're the worst team in the NFL.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.