NFL Power Rankings – 4th Quarter Edition

The 2012 season is nearly over, each team has four games to be played.  Because I do not have much to fill my time with I collaborated yet again with Anthony Crowell to put together a set of power rankings before the 4th quarter of the season.  His power rankings can be found here.  Hopefully we make some sense to someone other than ourselves.

1. Houston Texans – The loss of Brian Cushing looked to be devastating to the Houston Texans defense (I think we all remember the shellacking by Green Bay).  In recent weeks it looks as if they may be doing fine without him. – sjm

2. Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons find ways to win games, period. Their team has talent across the board and the defensive schemes seem to be shutting down most all of the opposing quarterbacks. – arc

3. Denver Broncos – Peyton Manning has shaken off the rust and is making all the throws he needs to put the Broncos into great po. sition to win every week.  The loss of Willis McGahee may hurt, but Manning has won games with a poor running game in the past. – sjm

4. New England Patriots – The offensive skill players are dropping like flies around QB Tom Brady. Yet the train still keeps rolling along.  The defensive unit has played better in recent weeks, especially rookie CB Alfonzo Dennard. – arc

5. Green Bay Packers – The Green Bay Packers despite injuries all over the defense continue to win games.  They are not pretty but they are winning them. QB Aaron Rodgers has been sacked the most times in the NFL this season. – arc

6. San Francisco 49ers – If not for Colin Kaepernick’s promotion they may be ranked lower here.  He is basically a faster, younger and more accurate Alex Smith.  He also sees openings (and hits them) that I have never seen Smith go for. – sjm

7. New York Giants – This team seems to play well when they need to.  At least during two of the last five seasons.  Are they going to turn it on these last four weeks and win their division or will they succumb to the Washington RGIII’s? – sjm

8. Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens defense is not quite as good as it once was. The loss of MLB Ray Lewis and shutdown CB Lardarius Webb has been something that is difficult to overcome in games.  QB Joe Flacco is not very good on the road and if they don’t win the easy games on their schedule will not advance deep into the playoffs. – arc

9. Chicago Bears – A defense that seemed to be one of the best in recent history is slowly falling apart.  The sad thing is that’s not the worst news, their already poor offensive line has been shuffled due to injury; the bright side about this is that I don’t see a way it could have possibly gotten worse. – sjm

10. Seattle Seahawks – A gigantic win against the Bears on the road last week. They own the tiebreaker against both the Packers and the Bears if it comes down to it when all is said and done. – arc

11. Washington Redskins – Before I saw Robert Griffin III play in the National Football League I had reservations about the pre-draft trade.  I now believe the trade greatly benefited both sides and depending on who the St. Louis Rams choose with their picks it is hard to call a winner.  For now it is the Redskins. – sjm

12. Indianapolis – QB Andrew Luck may not have the completion percentage that RG3 has but the plays he is forced to make with a subpar group around him is quite spectacular.  The throws he makes to get his receivers open are remarkable. – arc

13. Cincinnati Bengals – If their defense can play up to the same level their offense has been they will be in the post-season for the second straight season.  The quarterback pressure has been phenomenal, hopefully that holds up against their upcoming mobile opponents. – sjm

14. Pittsburgh Steelers – The ageless one QB Charlie Batch gets a road win over the Baltimore Ravens. No one saw that one coming.  That keeps their wild card playoff dreams alive. The schedule the rest of the season is very favorable. – arc

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The slight ineptitude of Josh Freeman has been covered by the emergence of Doug Martin.  Their defense has played well enough to win lately and they are on the verge of pushing into a wildcard spot. – sjm

16. New Orleans Saints – Too bad the Saints struggled to start the year or else the playoff race would look even more jumbled than it already is in the NFC. – arc

17. Dallas Cowboys – Jerry Jones has got to go. This team is loaded with amazing individual talents; the problem is trying to meld them together to form a winning unit. – sjm

18. San Diego Chargers – The Chargers had the Ravens on the ropes a couple of weeks ago. They should have won that game and probably a few more this season. Head Coach Norv Turner has seen his time all but run out and QB Philip Rivers needs a new coach to keep him reigned in.  The defense has been a pleasant surprise.- arc

19. Detroit Lions – The Lions are all but out of the playoff race.  Good news is Calvin Johnson has either broken or disproved the Madden curse (depending on your stance on the issue.) – sjm

20. Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins do have a solid team for how awful they looked in the preseason and during the television series Hard Knocks.  They could upgrade at the RB and WR position. – arc

21. Minnesota Vikings – Their fast start came to a fast sizzle.  They won a couple of games they shouldn’t have and lost a couple of games they probably should have.  In the end they are probably out of the wildcard race, largely thanks to the injury to Percy Harvin and the poor play of Christian Ponder.  On a side note, Adrian Peterson is doing his best to show he is still the best running back in the NFL. – sjm

22. St. Louis Rams – I apparently like the Rams more than other people I talk to.  This is not because they have the 49ers number. They are a well-disciplined team under Head Coach Jeff Fisher and will end the season on a high note. – arc

23. Cleveland Browns – Not much to say here except they may have found what they have been looking for at the skill positions on offense.  Josh Gordon could turn out to be the best Supplemental Draft pick ever. – sjm

24. Buffalo Bills – The defense has continued to let this team down. There were high expectations at the start of the season. Instead they will be looking to draft in the top half of the first round. – arc

25. Carolina Panthers – This self-anointed Super Bowl team has had trouble living up to their own expectations.  Did anyone believe them?  Apparently Cam Newton didn’t. – sjm

26. Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Chad Henne has been throwing extremely well in the absence of QB Blaine Gabbert.  Henne’s play has allowed for the growth of young WR’s Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts. The defense is not that bad but will be upgraded in the offseason. – arc

27. Oakland Raiders – RB/FB Marcel Reese has been a great fill-in for RB Darren McFadden, too bad QB Carson Palmer still throws interceptions like children throwing candy on parade floats. – arc

28. Philadelphia Eagles – Michael Vick is out and soon to be fired Nick Foles will be leading the charge the rest of the season.  Bryce Brown has caused a stir the last couple of weeks in LeSean McCoy’s absence and there could be a trade in the works, possibly for a better quarterback?  Who will be coaching the Eagles next season? – sjm

29. Tennessee Titans – The team will be playing for draft positioning the rest of the way. I do not know what area of the team they will choose to improve in the early rounds of the draft because they could upgrade any position except Running Back. – arc

30. New York Jets – Rex Ryan has finally admitted what everyone else has known for the last couple of years, Mark Sanchez is not the guy for the job in New York, or possibly anywhere.  Neither is Tim Tebow, and Greg McElroy is yet to be determined. – sjm

31. Kansas City Chiefs – The murder-suicide that has rocked the organization can only be described as tragic.  Not much else to say. – sjm

32. Arizona Cardinals – Where’s Kurt Warner? Glad he is not playing, the offense has given up 47 sacks leaving the three QB’s on the ground more than upright. – arc

About millerhour

I will probably write about a lot of things nobody cares to read. There is also a good chance I do not update this very often.
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