Dr. J's NFL Power Rankings: Week 12

It's like this…<br><br> Is it me or the later the year gets, the tougher the Patriots defense gets?…Cincinnati has taken the title of worst uniforms in football away from the Buffalo Bills…Those NY Giants red jerseys weren't much better than Eli Manning's performance…I'm still not sold on Atlanta. They lean on Michael Vick too much and he's still a bit scattershot with that rocket arm…

Props go to John Fox and the Carolina Panthers for not rolling over when the season looked lost…Joe Gibbs needs another year, but Bill Parcells may have had one year too many…

And that's the way it is…

1) Pittsburgh (10-1)
Last Week: 1st, Defeated Washington 16-7
Another week, a different Steeler hero, this week it's Antwaan Randle El.

2) New England (10-1)
Last week: 2nd, Defeated Baltimore 24-3
Wait a minute, don't the Patriots have a ton of injuries in their secondary? Can anyone tell?

3) Philadelphia (10-1)
Last Week: 3rd, Defeated NY Giants 27-6
A lackluster first half means nothing for the NFC East Champions.

4) Indianapolis (8-3)
Last Week: 4th, Defeated Detroit 41-9
What's not being talked about in Indy is the play of their defense, holding the Bears and Lions to a total of 17 points in the last two weeks.

5) San Diego (8-3)
Last Week: 5th, Defeated Kansas City 34-31
Chargers shake off shoddy special teams play and ill timed penalties to win in a place where they haven't won since 1996.

6) Atlanta (9-2)
Last Week: 8th, Defeated New Orleans 24-21
Falcons survive a slow start from Michael Vick with a timely defensive stand.

7) Green Bay (7-4)
Last Week: 9th, Defeated St. Louis 45-17
Brett Favre starts #200, but it's Ahmad Carroll and the Packers defense that comes to the rescue.

8) Minnesota (7-4)
Last Week: 10th, Defeated Jacksonville 27-16
A shaky Vikings' defense makes one big play at a big time.

9) Baltimore (7-4)
Last Week: 7th, Lost to New England 24-3
The good, the Ravens have the 3rd ranked defense. The bad, they also have the 30th ranked offense…

10) NY Jets (8-3)
Last Week: 12th, Defeated Arizona 13-3
Another win that doesn't quell the doubt in many people, including me.

11) Denver (7-4)
Last week: 6th, Lost to Oakland 25-24
An 11 point lead in the snow at home against a fading team should have been a lock.

12) Jacksonville (6-5)
Last Week: 11th, Lost to Minnesota 27-16
Could the magic be gone in Jacksonville?

13) Houston (5-6)
Last Week: 18th, Defeated Tennessee 31-21
Texans erase an 18 point lead right in front of Bud Adams' face.

14) St. Louis (5-6)
Last Week: 13th, Lost to Green Bay 45-17
Rams playing uninspired defense.

15) Cincinnati (5-6)
Last Week: 19th, Defeated Cleveland 58-48
Rudi Johnson rushes for a career best 202 yards in the 2nd highest scoring game in NFL history.

16) Buffalo (5-6)
Last Week: 26th, Defeated Seattle 38-9
Bills put up more points Sunday (38) than they have all season long (36).

17) Carolina (4-7)
Last week: 29th, Defeated Tampa Bay 21-14
Jake Delhomme pulls one out of the hat late.

18) Seattle (6-5)
Last Week: 14th, Lost to Buffalo 38-9
This team is a complete headshaker…

19) Tampa Bay (4-7)
Last Week: 15th, Lost to Carolina 21-14
It's too easy to blame the kicker, but since its Martin Gramatica, then I guess its okay.

20) Kansas City (3-8)
Last week: 17th, Lost to San Diego 34-31
Dante Hall's goal line fumble is just another example of how this year is so different from last year for the Chiefs.

21) NY Giants (5-6)
Last Week: 14th, Lost to Philadelphia 27-6
Better offensive line in New York huh Eli?

22) Oakland (4-7)
Last Week: 30th, Defeated Denver 25-24
Raiders show something they haven't shown much of lately, heart.

23) Tennessee (4-7)
Last Week: 23rd, Lost to Houston 31-21
Steve McNair is talking retirement after the season, and after the beating he's taken over the years, I don't blame him.

24) Dallas (4-7)
Last week: 28th, Defeated Chicago 21-7
Vinny Testaverde turns boos to cheers, at least for one afternoon.

25) Chicago (4-7)
Last Week: 20th, Lost to Dallas 21-7
Bears offense is as ugly as those orange throwbacks.

26) Arizona (4-7)
Last Week: 21st, Lost to New York 13-3
Shawn King, Josh McCown, John Navarre, po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to…

27) Detroit (4-7)
Last Week: 22nd, Lost to Indianapolis 41-9
Lions regressing again, yet again…

28) New Orleans (4-7)
Last Week: 25th, Lost to Atlanta 24-21
A first down, that's all the Saints needed.

29) Cleveland (3-8)
Last Week: 24th, Lost to Cincinnati 58-48
Butch Davis becomes another Jimmy Johnson protégé to fail as a head coach.

30) Washington (3-8)
Last Week: 27th, Lost to Pittsburgh 16-7
Redskins are the only team that has yet to score more than 20 points in a game this season.

31) Miami (2-9)
Last Week: 31st, Defeated San Francisco 24-17
How exactly does a Dolphin fan celebrate this win? Or does one celebrate at all?

32) San Francisco (1-10)
Last Week: 32nd, Lost to Miami 24-17
So what's it gonna be? Offense or defense with the 1st pick overall?

Thoughts? Share them with me and you just might get your name in print. E-mail me at Dr@Sandiegosports.net and if you're naughty or nice, you might end up in my mailbox column.

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