NFL Power Rankings, Week 12 edition

Arian Foster and the Texans (with help from the refs and Lions) stay atop our weekly rankings.

1. Texans (10-1): Houston might have been gift-wrapped a win by the referees (and Jim Schwartz’s total imcompetence) on Thanksgiving, but they’ll take it. For the second straight week, Matt Schaub proved he might be the most underrated quarterback in the league. Of course, it doesn’t hurt having Andre Johnson — who set a record with 461 yards receiving in the past two weeks — available in crunch time.

2. Falcons (10-1): Is Atlanta the most unappreciated team in the NFL? They went into a hostile environment against a red-hot Tampa team and rallied for a comeback win.

3. 49ers (8-2-1): Colin Kaepernick is high risk and very high reward, and Jim Harbaugh can take that risk because the kid has the most dominating defense in football.

4. Ravens (9-2): “Hey diddle diddle, Ray Rice up the middle.” Fourth-and-29 keeps the Ravens on track and spawns the best slogan of the season.

5. Bears (8-3): Jay Cutler might rub some people the wrong way, but he’s game on. Let’s see how the Bears respond after suffering key injuries.

6. Broncos (8-3): What’s the ultimate compliment? Beating a team and then having its star running back ask for your autograph. That’s the Peyton Manning effect.

7. NY Giants (7-4): In the battle of Good Eli vs. Bad Eli, the Good Eli Manning showed Aaron Rodgers why two Super Bowl rings are better than one.

8. Patriots (8-3): As always, New England is peaking at the right time of the season. The Pats are 19-0 in the second half dating back to 2010.

9. Packers (7-4): The Pack looked  vulnerable without Clay Matthews anchoring the defense — and the offensive line did Aaron Rodgers no favors.

10. Colts (7-4): This team is no fluke as they continue to prove that tanking for a season isn’t a bad philosophy when a franchise quarterback is waiting in the draft.

11. Bengals (6-5): Might have the toughest trenches (O-lines, D-lines) in the league. A three-game winning streak has Cincy buying back in.

12. Buccaneers (6-5): Ronde Barber’s discovered the Fountain of Youth, and we want an invite. They have a big test this week, on the road in Denver.

13. Seahawks (6-5): Seattle just can’t win outside the Pacific Northwest (1-5 away record), and now Pete Carroll faces Adderall-Gate.

14. Steelers (6-5): Don’t blame Charlie Batch. It’s not his fault the Steelers don’t have a more competent third-stringer. Still, they were in position to win last week even with eight turnovers.

15. Vikings (6-5): Simply out-classed by Chicago. Up next, Green Bay, then a home date with Chicago. Could be out of playoff picture before Christmas.

16. Redskins (5-6): Stop comparing RG3 to other mobile quarterbacks. He’s better than Mike Vick and Cam Newton. The Skins are chasing an improbable playoff dream.

17. Saints (5-6): The dream of becoming the first team to win a Super Bowl in its home stadium isn’t dead yet — but it’s on life support.

18. Dolphins (5-6): Future is bright in South Beach. After watching “Hard Knocks” the fact that this team is even sniffing .500 is a tribute to Joe Philbin.

19. Cowboys (5-6): Not good enough to make a playoff run, but might be just good enough to ink Tony Romo a contract extension.

20. Lions (4-7): Same old Lions. Bad penalties, costly miscues and terrible decisions all over the field — and sideline. Ain’t that right, Jim Schwartz?

21. Rams (4-6-1): Not great. Not terrible. Have chance to play spoiler over last five weeks as they play four teams with postseason aspirations.

22. Chargers (4-7): Team gave up on Norv Turner in October and would have been riding a seven-game losing streak if Chiefs weren’t on schedule.

23. Cardinals (4-7): Here’s something we never thought we’d say: What would have happened if Kevin Kolb never got hurt?

24. Bills (4-7): C.J. Spiller has 830 yards for the NFL’s seventh-best rushing attack (140.3). No, really, look it up.

25. NY Jets (4-7): Mark Sanchez can’t get out of the way of his own linemen. And Tim Tebow can’t get out the way of his own shadow.

26. Titans (4-7): Enigma wrapped in a riddle. Averaging 35.5 points per game in four wins vs. 13.7 in seven losses.

27. Browns (3-8): Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Cleveland is a few pieces away. Beating Steelers was biggest win since new owners took over.

28. Raiders (3-8): Seems like Shane Lechler has been Oakland’s MVP for the past decade.  Yes, he’s the punter.

29. Panthers (3-8): Cam Newton looked like the old Cam Newton last week. Cam Newton was also playing the Eagles’ defense.

30. Eagles (3-8): Andy Reid is usually fighting for playoff seeding at this point in the season. Now, he’s got one foot out the door and the franchise is fighting for the No. 1 draft pick.

31. Jaguars (2-9): Should have been starting Chad Henne all along. Sigh.

32. Chiefs (1-10): Biggest question, will the KC fans boo Geno Smith?


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Attorney at heart of alleged insurance fraud took…

A Center City personal injury lawyer took his own life last week, days before D.A. Seth Williams released an indictment putting the lawyer at the heart of an alleged insurance…

National

Hamas, Abbas's PLO announce reconciliation agreement

The Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) agreed on Wednesday to a unity pact.

National

U.S. soldier convicted of WikiLeaks crimes granted name…

By Carey Gillam(Reuters) - Former U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, who is serving 35 years in prison for turning over classified files to WikiLeaks, can exchange…

Local

Teen enters guilty plea for accidental shooting of…

A teenager who admitted to accidentally shooting his best friend to death entered a guilty plea to charges of involuntary manslaughter today.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

Movies

Latin culture highlighted at Filadelphia film fest

Get ready to have a “Bad Hair” day at the upcoming Filadelphia Latin American Film Festival. We mean that in the best possible way. The…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

NHL

All signs suggest Steve Mason will start in…

Flyers head coach Craig Berube elected to put Steve Mason in net for the final minutes of Game 3.

NHL

Gary Bettman praises Philly prior to NHL draft

Gary Bettman will bring the NHL draft to Philadelphia this summer.

NHL

Flyers can’t solve Rangers shot blockers

The Rangers blocked a remarkable 28 Flyers' shots Tuesday night.

NHL

Flyers need much more from Claude Giroux

The Rangers have successfully shut down Claude Giroux so far, leading the Flyers 2-1 in the best of seven series.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."