Welcome to the Week 12 edition of the Cubicle GM NFL Power Rankings. Every Tuesday you can look forward to our composite rankings, as well as a bit of brief insight and analysis about each of the 32 teams.
The rankings are determined by taking the average of each of the contributors here at The Cube. For Week 12, we have rankings from five members of the Cubicle GM team, including me, Gideon, Mickey, Walker and Smokey. So remember, if you disagree with some portion of our rankings, be sure to check the individual rankings to find the culprit.
The top four teams in the rankings seem to have distanced themselves from the pack. The Saints, Colts, Patriots and Vikings have been there since the Week 9 rankings, and for the sixth straight week, the Saints and Colts held on to the top two spots.
Only one team dropped out of the Top 10 this week, but they fell hard, as the Denver Broncos dropped five spots from No. 9 to No. 14 after a drubbing by the division rival Chargers. Moving back into the Top 10 after a one week absence were the Eagles, who climbed one spot to No. 10 after a win over the Bears.
The bottom of the rankings remained unchanged for the first time since the Week 8 rankings, as Cleveland and St. Louis held onto the bottom two spots. While the holder of the very bottom spot has been changing, the bottom six remained the same for the third straight week, as Detroit, Kansas City, Oakland, Tampa Bay, St. Louis and Cleveland have entrenched themselves below the No. 27 spot.
In what is now a continuing trend, there was less movement in the ranks than there has been the past few weeks, as 12 teams stayed in the same position as last week, including the aforementioned four at the top and two at the bottom. Of the 20 teams that did move, nine of them moved at least three spots up or down the ranks.
The biggest positive movement this week came from the New York Giants, who gained four spots after defeating the Falcons in overtime and ending their losing streak. The biggest downward mover was already mentioned, as the Denver Broncos dropped five spots after their fourth straight loss.
The disagreements among the rankers were nearly identical in number to last week, but the teams differed. There were just five disagreements of at least seven spots in their ranks, and for the second straight week there was one double digit disagreement between two of the contributors. And similar to last week, four of the five disagreements involved our pal Smokey.
Baltimore Ravens (7) – Jacob / Smokey 7, Mickey 14
Arizona Cardinals (10) – Smokey 9, Gideon 19
Green Bay Packers (7) – Smokey 8, Walker / Mickey 15
Jacksonville Jaguars (7) – Walker 13, Gideon 20
Seattle Seahawks (7) – Walker 22, Smokey 29
On the divisional side, the leader has changed for a second consecutive week, as the AFC South has all four teams in the Top 18, good enough for an average score of 12.95. The NFC East jumps back into second thanks to the Giants, coming in with an average score of 13.75. The bottom division remains the same for the ninth consecutive week and might just stay that way for the rest of the year. The NFC West checks in with a 22.65 average score, while second to last is the AFC West, coming in with a score of 18.45.
As a reminder, you can check out all the backup data here. Without further ado, onto the rankings. As always, last week’s ranks are in parentheses.
1. New Orleans Saints (1) – There was no doubt about this one, as the Saints put up the final 38 points of the game to demolish the Buccaneers.
2. Indianapolis Colts (2) – The Colts squeaked out another one, and now lead the entire AFC by three games. And if you haven’t seen it, check out Dallas Clark’s TD catch.
3. New England Patriots (3) – After missing the first meeting with the Jets, Wes Welker made sure they knew he was active for this one, grabbing 15 catches for 192 yards.
4. Minnesota Vikings (4) – The Vikings made it look easy against Seattle, scoring the first 28 points on four passing TDs by Brett Favre.
5. San Diego Chargers (7) – Just like that, the Chargers have a 1-game lead in the AFC West after throttling the Broncos on Sunday.
6. Cincinnati Bengals (5) – The Bengals have defeated Baltimore and Pittsburgh two times each, yet lost to the Raiders on Sunday. That doesn’t add up.
7. Dallas Cowboys (10) – They may have pulled out a win, but Cowboys fans have to be concerned that their team has scored just 14 points in the last two games.
8. Baltimore Ravens (8) – The Ravens have to be upset that they could not convert any of their opportunities into touchdowns in a close loss to the Colts.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (6) – The Steelers had the leading passer, rusher and receiver in their game against KC, but still managed to fall in overtime.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (11) – This year’s homecoming for Donovan McNabb was a sweet one, as the Eagles were able to hold off the Bears in Chicago.
11. Arizona Cardinals (14) – Arizona’s win over St. Louis was dominated by one story, the Kurt Warner head injury.
12. New York Giants (16) – The Giants’ long losing streak is finally over mostly thanks to Eli Manning and his 384 yards and 3 TDs.
13. Green Bay Packers (15) – The Packers defense took a major hit in their win over San Francisco, losing Al Harris and Aaron Kampman for the season with knee injuries.
14. Denver Broncos (9) – It didn’t matter if it was Chris Simms or Kyle Orton under center, the Broncos had no answer for San Diego on Sunday.
15. Atlanta Falcons (12) – The Falcons staged an impressive fourth quarter comeback in the Meadowlands, but didn’t touch the ball in overtime and fell to the Giants.
16. Houston Texans (13) – Another game, another last minute loss for the Texans, who missed a game-tying field goal with :01 left.
17. Jacksonville Jaguars (19) – Jacksonville’s ground game was ineffective against one of the worst run defenses in the league, but they found a way to win in the fourth quarter.
18. Tennessee Titans (21) – The Titans have won 4 straight with Vince Young at QB, but a bigger factor might be Chris Johnson, who has 646 rushing yards in that span.
19. Miami Dolphins (17) – No Ronnie Brown, no problem. Ricky Williams picked up the slack and did all the scoring with 138 yards and 3 TDs.
20. New York Jets (20) – Mark Sanchez now has 14 interceptions in his last seven games, six of which are losses.
21. Carolina Panthers (18) – The Panthers outgained the Dolphins on the ground and through the air, but came up short on the scoreboard.
22. San Francisco 49ers (22) – Sure they got down early, but giving Frank Gore just 7 carries doesn’t seem like the best recipe for victory.
23. Chicago Bears (23) – A week after throwing 5 picks, Jay Cutler’s confidence appeared shot as he missed 3 or 4 easy TDs in a close loss to Philadelphia.
24. Washington Redskins (26) – Down to their third string back, the Redskins got a nice contribution from Rock Cartwright with 140 total yards.
25. Buffalo Bills (25) – Forget last week, Terrell Owens’ best game of the year was this past week, with 197 yards including a 98-yard score.
26. Seattle Seahawks (24) – The Seahawks had a rough day against the Vikings defense, as their first six drives were shorter than 20 yards and all resulted in punts.
27. Detroit Lions (27) – Matthew Stafford’s coming out party was impressive, with 422 yards and 5 TDs, but it was probably not watched by too many people.
28. Kansas City Chiefs (29) – A week after scoring just 10 points and losing to Oakland, the Chiefs put up 27 points on Pittsburgh?
29. Oakland Raiders (30) – Both of the Raiders home wins have come against teams from the Eastern time zone.
30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (28) – The Buccaneers went 95 yards on their first drive of the game, but managed just 124 in the rest of the game in a blowout loss.
31. St. Louis Rams (31) – It’s back to Kyle Boller under center, but this time it’s due to a Marc Bulger broken leg.
32. Cleveland Browns (32) – What else could Browns fans possibly have to suffer through?