Chris Moore| BKD TV Insiders
Welcome to December football ladies and gentleman. It’s where the contenders rise to the top and the pretenders fade to the bottom. A couple of statements were made on Thanksgiving weekend by the Eagles, Seahawks, and Green Bay Packers. We apologize for not having our weekly Power Rankings last week due to holiday travels and such. We are back this week and we are here to give you our top ten teams in the NFL coming into December.
1. Green Bay Packers. Average Rank: 1. Votes Received: 5.
Next Week: vs. Atlanta
A big time win and statement made by Green Bay in the Game of the Week on Sunday. Hosting the New England Patriots, Aaron Rodgers and company fought and won a game that many believe was a Super Bowl preview. If it was, we are in for a dandy on the first Sunday in February. Now they host a desperate Atlanta team that is fighting for it’s playoff lives.
2. New England Patriots. Average Rank: 2. Votes Received: 5.
Next Week: at San Diego
A case could be made that the Patriots were more impressive than the Packers on Sunday. They went into Lameau Field and battled the dominant Packers all the way to the end in a close finish. Belichick was very complimentary of the Pack on Sunday as what could be a psychological ploy knowing they could see them in the Super Bowl.
3. Denver Broncos. Average Rank: 3.2. Votes Received: 5.
Next Week: vs. Buffalo
The Broncos went into Kansas City and battled their way to another divisional win and are looking like a team that can win in the cold weather. We finally saw a pulse for the running game and that could be the secret sauce for the Broncos combined with the much improved defense. Now they host a legitimate Bills team, another one fighting for their playoff lives.
4. Philadelphia Eagles. Average Rank: 4.2. Votes Received: 5.
Next Week: vs. Seattle
The Eagles went into the biggest game of their season and rolled over the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving. Now the turnaround is quick because they play another “biggest game of the season” against Seattle on Sunday. This game is huge as far as playoff seeding implications go.
5. Seattle Seahawks. Average Rank: 6. Votes Received: 5.
Next Week: at Philadelphia
Here they come. The Seahawks appear to be hitting their stride at just the right time. They look like last years champions on the defensive side of the ball. Meanwhile on offense, they are still looking for touchdowns and not field goals. They went from maybe missing the playoffs, to a chance at a first round bye with a win this weekend in Philly. Put me on record, this is the only team in the NFC that can go to Green Bay and win.
6. Detroit Lions. Average Rank: 6.2. Votes Received: 5.
Next Week: vs. Tampa Bay
The Lions won a game they should have on Thanksgiving after coming back from a 14-3 deficit to Chicago. Calvin Johnson stepped up and looked like the best receiver in the game again. The Lions are a team that quietly, still has a chance at first round bye, but they will have to win out; including going on the road in Green Bay.
7. Cincinnati Bengals. Average Rank: 8.2. Votes Received: 5.
Next Week: vs. Pittsburgh
With all three other AFC North teams losing, the Bengals opened up a game and a half lead in the division. They played a much closer game than they should have against Tampa Bay, but got a win never the less. Now they host the Steelers in a big game that could eliminate the Steelers from AFC North contention.
8. Arizona Cardinals. Average Rank: 8.6. Votes Received: 5.
Next Week: vs. Kansas City
Can this Arizona team possibly fall out of the playoff race? In a word: yes. They are desperately struggling to score and they are putting more and more pressure on the defense. They have been excellent this year, but injuries continue to pile up and I just don’t know how they will win with their remaining schedule. A loss this week could send them into a downward spiral they can’t turnaround.
9. Indianapolis Colts. Average Rank: 6.25. Votes Received: 4.
Next Week: at Cleveland
The Colts defense looked very vulnerable giving up more than 300 yards passing to Colt McCoy and a couple of touchdowns. On the other hand, Andrew Luck continues to carry a team with an absent running game and an absent defense. He has as strong of an MVP case as anyone. Now they go to Cleveland and face the Brian Hoyer (announced today) led Browns. Will they be prepared for Johnny Football as well? We might find out.
10. Dallas Cowboys. Average Rank: 8.33. Votes Received: 3.
Next Week: at Chicago
The Dallas Cowboys division title hopes took a huge hit on Thanksgiving. Now they have to win in Philadelphia, which they can do. They are 5-0 on the road this year and looking to be 6-0 after the Thursday night game. On the flip side, if they lose this week, playoff hopes will start to come into question as will another Dallas collapse.
11-32 filled in from “SportsNation Rank ‘Em” on espn.com