The Texans survived an overtime battle with the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving and remain in the top spot of KP’s latest edition of NFL Power Rankings. San Francisco holds onto the second slot after fending off the Saints on the road.
Tom Brady and the Patriots gained some ground on the top two clubs after a blowout victory over Rex Ryan and the fading Jets.
Elsewhere, the Green Bay Packers fell five spots to 12th place after a blowout loss at the hands of Eli Manning and the New York Giants.
Here’s where each squad sits in the rankings after Week 12, featuring some stats, notes, thoughts and figures for every team in the NFL.
KP’s NFL Power Rankings: November 29, 2012
*Stats, records and information through Week 12 of the 2012 NFL season
1. Houston Texans (252 points)
J.J. Watt had three sacks in Houston’s Thanksgiving victory over Detroit, increasing his season total to 14 ½, the most in the AFC and the second most in the NFL.
2. San Francisco 49ers (226 points)
Alex Smith has the 5th highest QB rating (104.1) in the NFL, but has lost his starting job to the explosive and multi-dimensional Colin Kaepernick.
3. New England Patriots (217 points)
Jerod Mayo has anchored the New England defense, leading the NFL with 112 total tackles.
4. Atlanta Falcons (198 points)
Matt Ryan followed his five-interception game with a stellar performance against the Bucs, going 26-32, with 353 yards passing and a touchdown.
5. Denver Broncos (193 points)
Knowshon Moreno returned to the Denver lineup last week, carrying 20 times for 85 yards.
6. Chicago Bears (176 points)
Jay Cutler returned from a concussion, going 23-31 for 188 yards and a touchdown.
7. Baltimore Ravens (154 points)
Rumors are floating that Ray Lewis could possibly return before the playoffs, but the coaching staff refuses to show their hand, saying he’s simply rehabbing.
8. New York Giants (143 points)
New York’s four-touchdown victory over the Packers was a surprising one, clearly re-opening the discussion that the Giants have an argument as the best team in the NFC.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (114 points)
Doug Martin managed two touchdowns against the Falcons, but was held to just 50 yards rushing.
10. Cincinnati Bengals (109 points)
A.J. Green is fourth in the NFL with 1,022 receiving yards.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (105 points)
With the Ravens on deck, Pittsburgh has many open questions, with Troy Polamalu likely returning and Ben Roethlisberger an outside possibility, too.
12. Green Bay Packers (102 points)
A blowout loss at the hands of the Giants dropped the Packers five spots and out of the top ten.
13. Seattle Seahawks (93 points)
The Seahawks continue to struggle on the road, managing just one victory. Next week’s game isn’t any easier, as the ‘Hawks face the Bears in Chicago.
14. Washington Redskins (75 points)
Following a Thanksgiving victory over the Cowboys, Robert Griffin III and the Redskins face the Giants with a chance to cut New York’s division lead in half.
15. Indianapolis Colts (70 points)
Reggie Wayne is one of the comeback of the year stories, posting 1,105 receiving yards on the season, which is the second most in the NFL after Week 12.
16. Minnesota Vikings (66 points)
Adrian Peterson may be in the coach’s doghouse, but his talent will keep him on the field, especially with a huge divisional game against Green Bay coming.
17. Dallas Cowboys (58 points)
The Cowboys have struggled in the run game without DeMarco Murray, falling to dead last in the NFL in rushing yards (78.7 per game).
18. Miami Dolphins (40 points)
The Dolphins have just 8 passing TD’s as a team on the season. Only Kansas City has thrown fewer.
19. Detroit Lions (40 points)
Detroit’s 501 passing attempts and 3,437 passing yards are both ranked #1 in the NFL.
20. San Diego Chargers (39 points)
The 4th and 29 conversion allowed to Ray Rice and the Ravens may have single-handedly cost Norv Turner his job at the end of the season.
21. New Orleans Saints (30 points)
A tough loss to the 49ers was only the beginning, as the 10-1 Falcons are next for the Saints.
22. St. Louis Rams (24 points)
In the Rams’ 31-17 victory over the Cardinals, Sam Bradford only threw 17 passes and had just eight completions on the day.
23. Carolina Panthers (-2 points)
Cam Newton logged his best game of the season against the struggling Eagles, with four total touchdowns (two on the ground) and 306 yards passing.
24. Arizona Cardinals (-4 points)
Ryan Lindley threw four interceptions in his first start, and the Cardinals lost its seventh straight game.
25. New York Jets (-7 points)
The Jets allowed 35 points in the second quarter of its ugly 49-19 loss to the Patriots on Thanksgiving.
26. Buffalo Bills (-19 points)
C.J. Spiller had 107 yards on 14 carries against the Colts, upping his season average to 6.7 yards per carry.
27. Philadelphia Eagles (-22 points)
Bryce Brown (19 carries, 178 yards and 2 TD’s) was the bright spot in Philadelphia’s loss the Panthers on Monday night.
28. Cleveland Browns (-29 points)
The Browns are 3-3 over its last six games and have two winnable games on the horizon, with Oakland next and Kansas City to follow.
29. Tennessee Titans (-38 points)
Chris Johnson now has 80 or more yards rushing in six straight games.
30. Oakland Raiders (-75 points)
The Raiders have now given up 34 or more points in four straight games (all losses).
31. Kansas City Chiefs (-79 points)
Despite just one win and a team filled with struggles, the Chiefs are still ranked fourth in the NFL in rushing, with 1,602 yards on the ground.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (-102 points)
Cecil Shorts has 291 receiving yards and 3 TD’s over Jacksonville’s last three games.
* 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.