Neil Reynolds' Week 12 Power Rankings

Every team in my top five won last weekend, so there is not much change at the top. That said, I do have the Miami Dolphins swapping places with the Buffalo Bills, who are having to dig deep right now to stay in the fierce AFC playoff race. The Las Vegas Raiders are my biggest risers this week, while the Arizona Cardinals make the biggest fall.

1
Kansas City Chiefs
2022 · 9-2-0

The Chiefs were not firing on all cylinders against the Los Angeles Rams last weekend, but they never needed to. Kansas City have the NFL’s number one-ranked attack in five major metrics and that’s hardly surprising given the continued excellence of Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce.

2
Philadelphia Eagles
2022 · 10-1-0

The Eagles rushed for 363 yards and three touchdowns against Green Bay on Sunday night, further emphasising their ability to control games along the line of scrimmage. Jalen Hurts can beat you with his legs, for sure, but he has also grown into a very accomplished passer. What a weapon.

3
Dallas Cowboys
2022 · 8-3-0

I was frustrated by the Cowboys in the first half on Thanksgiving Day and they went into the break trailing 13-7. They looked more like themselves in scoring the next 21 points in the game and Ezekiel Elliott reminded us that he will be an important part of the backfield committee the rest of the way.

4
1
Miami Dolphins
2022 · 8-3-0

The Dolphins shot out to a 30-0 lead against Houston and then cleared the starters from the field while improving to 8-3 on the season. Those eight wins have come when Tua Tagovailoa has started and played the majority of the game. They are 0-3 when Tua misses the majority of a game in 2022.

5
1
Buffalo Bills
2022 · 8-3-0

The Bills have been leapfrogged by the Dolphins because they look just a little bit off. The Bills lost two in a row before bouncing back against Cleveland. And then the Detroit Lions gave them all they could handle on Thanksgiving. Josh Allen was the eventual difference between the two sides.

6
San Francisco 49ers
2022 · 7-4-0

The 49ers would have vaulted into the top five had it not been for their offensive stuttering during Sunday’s 13-0 win over the New Orleans Saints. But the fearsome defense makes San Francisco one of the most powerful and feared teams in the league. Can Jimmy G deliver on a big stage, though.

7
3
Cincinnati Bengals
2022 · 7-4-0

When I think of the Bengals, I picture beautiful Joe Burrow passes that are reeled in by Tee Higgins and, when fit, Ja’Marr Chase. But their defense made me think about them on Sunday when they held Derrick Henry to 38 rushing yards on 17 carries. The Bengals won in a much grittier way.

8
1
Minnesota Vikings
2022 · 9-2-0

The Vikings have only lost twice during this regular season with both defeats against Philadelphia and Dallas seeing some heavy pressure sent after Kirk Cousins. The quarterback faces another big challenge on Sunday as Minnesota take on the New York Jets, who play some very stout defense.

9
2
Tennessee Titans
2022 · 7-4-0

The Titans are on a course to win the AFC South division and then their season will become about taking that next step, so we consider them one of the true elite of their conference. They’re not there yet, but a win at Philadelphia in Week 13 would make a major difference to how they are viewed. 

10
2
Baltimore Ravens
2022 · 7-4-0

The Ravens let another lead slip in Week 12 as they fell to the Jacksonville Jaguars. That’s now four blown games where Baltimore have led by at least nine points in the second half. It led to a pretty damaging and vulgar tweet from Lamar Jackson in response to a disgruntled fan. Not a good look.

11
3
New York Jets
2022 · 7-4-0

Can Mike White repeat his big day against the Vikings in Week 13? The replacement for the benched and de-activated Zach Wilson threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns against the Chicago Bears. Tougher challenges lie ahead and he will need to deliver if New York are to stay on a playoff course.

12
Seattle Seahawks
2022 · 6-5-0

Little mistakes have crept into Seattle’s game during back-to-back losses to Tampa Bay and the Las Vegas Raiders. They should get back on track with games coming up against the Los Angeles Rams and the Carolina Panthers. Then a sterner test beckons in Week 15 against the San Francisco 49ers.

13
2
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

It’s not just not quite clicking for the Buccaneers, who wouldn’t normally blow a late lead and lose a game like they did against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. The offense couldn’t get going for much of the game and the loss of left tackle Tristan Wirfs to an ankle injury is a devastating blow.

14
3
Los Angeles Chargers

Injuries at wide receiver have created an historic moment for running back Austin Ekeler. He had 11 receptions and scored the touchdown that led to the winning two-point conversion against Arizona. Ekeler now has 80 catches – that’s the most for a running back in NFL history through 11 games.

15
2
New England Patriots

A week after the Patriots won a game built on the back of their defense and special teams, those two units let New England down on a night when the offense showed up on Thanksgiving Day against the Minnesota Vikings. Such inconsistencies suggest the Patriots are a middle-of-the-road team.

16
1
New York Giants
2022 · 7-4-0

Are the Giants coming back to a more realistic level? After a surprising 6-1 start, the Big Blue have lost three of their last four. That is not a massive surprise given the dearth of offensive weapons, but did anyone see the rushing yards drying up for Saquon Barkley so dramatically? He has disappeared.

17
1
Washington Commanders

The Commanders have won six of their last seven games and have quietly moved into the NFC playoff picture. It’s not an easy run-in for Washington. They face the Giants twice, San Francisco, the Deshaun Watson-led Cleveland Browns and the Dallas Cowboys.

18
1
Detroit Lions
2022 · 4-7-0

The Lions are fun, competitive and not to be taken lightly under Dan Campbell. The Lions already have four wins to their name this season and there are chances to add to that tally with games still to come against Jacksonville, Carolina, Chicago and Green Bay (in Week 18 when they will be done).

19
1
Atlanta Falcons
2022 · 5-7-0

We should be talking about the 5-7 Falcons playing for pride down the stretch, but no one seems intent on running away with the NFC South so Arthur Smith’s side are very much alive. Atlanta will lead with the ground attack after gaining 167 rushing yards against Washington last week.

20
3
Cleveland Browns
2022 · 4-7-0

The Browns will now turn the reins over to Deshaun Watson, who is coming off a league-mandated suspension imposed due to more than 20 cases of sexual assault during his time with the Texans. How quickly he can shake off the rust will determine if the Browns stay alive in the playoff race.

21
6
Las Vegas Raiders
2022 · 4-7-0

Feed Josh Jacobs the football. He gained more than 300 yards from scrimmage against Seattle on Sunday and scored twice. He and Davante Adams have the talent to turn a game on its head any weekend, even though the Raiders have been suffering through an indifferent season.

22
2
Green Bay Packers
2022 · 4-8-0

Aaron Rodgers now has an oblique injury to go with his broken thumb as the 4-8 Packers stumble towards the finish line of a disappointing season. Sure, they are still mathematically live. But the reality is that they are done for this year. Is it time to take a look at Jordan Love under center?

23
Jacksonville Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence is in a very good run of form having thrown six touchdown passes and no interceptions in his last three outings. He looked assured and confident in leading Jacksonville on a game-winning drive against Baltimore in Week 12. Now, he and his team need to keep it going.

24
5
Pittsburgh Steelers
2022 · 4-7-0

The Steelers are 4-7 and may not be able to avoid a first losing season under the leadership of Mike Tomlin. But they have to feel good about the baby steps being taken by rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett. And wide receiver George Pickens should be a good player for many years to come.

25
5
Carolina Panthers
2022 · 4-8-0

Sam Darnold sent the Panthers into their bye week in a winning way but let’s not kid ourselves here, the defense is keeping Carolina alive… just. They are 4-8 but that means they are still alive in the winnable and still-open NFC South.

26
5
New Orleans Saints
2022 · 4-8-0

The Saints are a team that must frustrate their fans. They won in Week 11 off the back of some nice Andy Dalton throws, overcoming another no-show from the defense. Then in Week 12 against San Francisco, the defense played very well but the offense laid an egg in a difficult showing.

27
1
Indianapolis Colts
2022 · 4-7-1

The gloss is coming off Jeff Saturday as head coach of the Colts and he is unlikely to have as much wiggle room as other coaches in the NFL. That said, Colts owner Jim Irsay absolutely loves the guy so maybe all the rules go out of the window on this one.

28
6
Arizona Cardinals
2022 · 4-8-0

I have to believe that Kliff Kingsbury is skating on very thin ice for the Cardinals, who have lost six of their last eight games. When you’re under pressure, it helps if you can appease your own fans. But the Cards have gone 1-6 in their own building this season.

29
5
Chicago Bears
2022 · 3-9-0

I’m a massive believer in Justin Fields and the young quarterback was sensational to watch for a month or so. But Fields has an injured shoulder and if you’re going to make me watch Trevor Siemian then I’m going to feel very differently against Chicago. They need their talisman leading the attack.

30
2
Los Angeles Rams
2022 · 3-8-0

The Rams have given up on this 2022 season and who knows how often we will see the likes of Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald the rest of the way. This has officially collapsed into the least successful Super Bowl title defence in NFL history. Stick that on your CV!

31
Denver Broncos
2022 · 3-8-0

Russell Wilson likes to end interviews with his new phrase of “Let’s ride.” There are now players in Denver’s locker room who would like the struggling quarterback to ride off into the sunset. It’s a mess of monumental proportions because the Broncos are tied to Wilson through 2028.

32
Houston Texans
2022 · 1-9-1

The Houston Texans were down by 30 points to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday and yet they felt the desire to break out choreographed dances after scoring a couple of meaningless touchdowns. I suppose you celebrate any highlight in a season as miserable as this one.