The Texans hold onto the top spot in this week’s NFL Power Rankings, despite needing overtime to take down the last place Jacksonville Jaguars. Houston entered the game as a 16 ½-point favorite at home, but gave up 37 points to a suddenly rejuvenated Jacksonville offense.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers move up to second place following a dominating performance against the Chicago Bears. The Patriots sit in third after putting up 59 points against the Colts, while the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos round out this week’s top five.
Here’s where each squad sits in the rankings after Week 11, featuring a few key stats, notes, thoughts and figures for every team in the NFL.
KP’s NFL Power Rankings: November 21, 2012
*Stats, records and information through Week 11 of the 2012 NFL season
1. Houston Texans (245 points)
One of the big surprises of Week 11 was how the Jaguars pushed the Texans to overtime, while also scoring 37 points. Houston’s victory, plus it’s offensive explosion gave the Texans a boost in points, while its defense set them back a bit. Either way, the top spot is still very much in Houston’s hands.
2. San Francisco 49ers (209 points)
The 49ers dominated the Bears on Monday night, but the bigger story was the performance of backup QB Colin Kaepernick, who played so well that many argue that San Francisco is fully entrenched in a quarterback controversy.
3. New England Patriots (191 points)
Andrew Luck is off to a great start in his career, but even with all the solid play, this year’s Colts-Patriots matchup couldn’t compare to when Peyton Manning was in Indy. Brady and the Pats put up 59 points, and New England boosted its status, jumping into the top three.
4. Atlanta Falcons (185 points)
Matt Ryan threw five interceptions against the Cardinals last week, but Atlanta still won. Consider that a good sign (and not a bad one) for the Falcons going forward.
5. Denver Broncos (177 points)
The Broncos continued its hot stretch, both on offense with Payton Manning and on defense with Von Miller. Willis McGahee exited with a major injury, and Ronnie Hillman (plus others) will be expected to pick up the slack going forward.
6. Chicago Bears (151 points)
Say all you want about Jay Cutler, but the Bears need him. Over the last two games, Chicago’s offense has struggled, leaving the Bears to fall four spots after last week’s blowout loss to San Francisco.
7. Green Bay Packers (135 points)
James Starks started in place of Alex Green, but Green Bay’s offense remains pass heavy and one-dimensional. Starks averaged less than three yards per carry, the norm in Green Bay these days.
8. Baltimore Ravens (132 points)
The Ravens survived its grudge match with the Steelers, even after managing zero touchdowns on offense. Baltimore’s only TD was a punt return on special teams.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (126 points)
Ben Roethlisberger is healing, while Byron Leftwich is also out with an injury. Charlie Batch will start for Pittsburgh this weekend.
10. New York Giants (123 points)
The Giants offense has really struggled over the last three games, and New York is hopeful that a week off to rest will be helpful when the Giants take on the Packers this weekend.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (122 points)
Rookie Doug Martin has exactly 1,000 rushing yards on the season and currently is ranked third in the league in rushing (behind Marshawn Lynch and Adrian Peterson).
12. Seattle Seahawks (106 points)
The Seahawks struggle on the road and travel to Miami this week to face a Dolphins team that is falling apart offensively.
13. Minnesota Vikings (85 points)
Adrian Peterson continues to impress coming off knee surgery. The Minnesota running back leads the NFL in rushing yards (1,128), with a 100-plus yard lead on his competition.
14. Cincinnati Bengals (78 points)
The Bengals continue to chase the Steelers and Ravens in the division race. This week, Cincinnati faces an Oakland team that is really struggling.
15. Dallas Cowboys (71 points)
DeMarco Murray continues to miss practice and once again is a question mark heading into Dallas’ next game. Without the explosive running back, the Cowboys have lacked consistency on offense.
16. Indianapolis Colts (59 points)
Last week’s blowout loss to the Patriots has to be considered a lesson for Andrew Luck and the Colts, who hope to bounce back this week against the Buffalo Bills.
17. Detroit Lions (58 points)
Detroit’s road doesn’t get any easier after a tough home loss to the Packers. On Thanksgiving, the Lions take on the Texans, who have lost just once this season.
18. Washington Redskins (56 points)
Alfred Morris joins Doug Martin as one of two rookie running backs to be in the NFL’s top five in rushing. Morris has 869 yards on the season.
19. San Diego Chargers (56 points)
Danario Alexander has been a pleasant surprise for the San Diego offense, scoring 20-plus fantasy points in each of San Diego’s last two games.
20. New Orleans Saints (45 points)
Once left for dead in the playoff race, the Saints are suddenly resurrected and have been sparked by Drew Brees (3,066 passing yards) and a defense that has improved in recent weeks.
21. Miami Dolphins (21 points)
Ryan Tannehill has made some rookie mistakes over the last few weeks, while the Dolphins as a team have struggled both offensively and defensively.
22. New York Jets (17 points)
The Jets rebounded with a solid 27-13 road win over the Rams, and now will face off against Tom Brady and the Patriots on Thanksgiving night.
23. Arizona Cardinals (9 points)
The Cardinals intercepted Matt Ryan five times last week, yet still lost. The freefall continues after a 4-0 start to the season. Next up: a home game against the Rams.
24. St. Louis Rams (5 points)
The Rams are struggling with consistency, following a stellar performance against the 49ers with a clunker against the Jets at home.
25. Buffalo Bills (-3 points)
The Bills got a key division win against the Dolphins last Thursday and this week face off against a Colts team that gave up 59 points to the Patriots.
26. Philadelphia Eagles (-10 points)
The Philadelphia free fall continues. Nick Foles and the offensive line struggled against the Redskins last week. To top things off, star running back LeSean McCoy left the game with a concussion.
27. Carolina Panthers (-18 points)
Luke Kuechly was a tackle machine at Boston College, and he continues to be just that in the NFL. Currently, the rookie linebacker has 97 tackles, which is the third most in the NFL to date.
28. Tennessee Titans (-24 points)
The Titans follow its bye week with a game against a Jacksonville team that has suddenly found its offense. Look for Jake Locker and Chris Johnson to control the ground game for the Titans.
29. Cleveland Browns (-42 points)
The Browns have just two wins, but continue to be a tough out for opponents, specifically the Ravens and Cowboys over the last two games.
30. Oakland Raiders (-48 points)
Carson Palmer is third in the NFL in passing yards, with 3,035. Certainly, Oakland falling behind in games (plus McFadden’s injury) has a lot to do with that stat.
31. Kansas City Chiefs (-67 points)
The struggles in KC continue – and an already anemic offense saw Dwayne Bowe leave last week’s game with a neck injury.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (-111 points)
The Jacksonville offense exploded for 37 points last week against one of the league’s best defenses. Yet, the Jags still lost. On the bright side, Justin Blackmon had a breakout game and may finally be headed in the direction of his true potential.
* All stats per NFL.com
The Wife Hates Sports’ NFL Power Rankings system has a method to its madness, attempting to be different and not just rank by popularity and record. It mixes a secret formula of eight completely different categories, meshed into a points system. The categories don’t just include team results regarding record, but how each team has performed on the road, as well as incorporating some statistics on both a team’s offense and defense, too.