Only a minor change in this week’s power rankings, but I still bring my A-game with the analysis, so hit that jump to check them out!
1. Packers (12-0; Last week: 1) — If the Giants had any semblance of a competent defense, the Packers would have lost to them over the weekend. The Packers’ defense is a liability if they sincerely wish to go undefeated. I harp on this point every week. Their record is perfect, but their defense is far from it. Eli Manning and his mates on the Giants offense played very well. But unless you can figure out how to slow down the Packers offense, you hardly stand a chance.
2. Ravens (9-3; LW: 2) — In what was probably the most exciting thing to happen to Browns football this season, a squirrel delayed the Browns-Ravens game Sunday while prancing about on the field. And now the Ravens will win the World Series.
3. Steelers (9-3; LW: 3) — Here’s how the balance of the Steelers’ schedule shakes out: Browns (4-8), at Niners (10-2), Rams (2-10), then close season at Browns. So, the Steelers will be closing the regular season out against teams with a combined record of 20-28 (counting the Browns twice). Next week’s lesson will cover multiplication tables.
4. Texans (9-3; LW: 4) — The Texans handed the ball off 42 times Sunday. What’s more, Arian Foster got a ludicrous 31 of those carries. This is what must be done when your starting QB becomes rookie fifth-round pick TJ freakin’ Yates; You sacrifice the future well-being of your best player. Oh, and the Texans are STILL the top-seeded team in the AFC.
5. Patriots (9-3; LW: 5) — Hey! Chad Ochocinco got a catch against the Colts last weekend, marking just the second game in which he’s recorded at least one catch since Week 5. Yikes! I guess it doesn’t matter when Rob Gronkowski gets like two touchdowns every game. There have been rumors the Patriots might pick up Terrell Owens in anticipation of the playoffs. I don’t know what that would mean for Ochochinco’s Patriots future. Hopefully they would keep both guys because it would mean a possible return of The T.Ocho Show. And the universe is more balanced when The T.Ocho Show is on television.
6. Saints (9-3; LW: 7; +1) — The Saints move up a spot just out of consistently getting it done against at least decent teams. I know the Niners won, too. Nothing against the Niners, but they can cruise their way to a first-round bye, crushing teams like the Rams and Cardinals, all they want. The fact remains they’re hardly playing anybody worthy. Not true next week with the Steelers coming into town. Who was I supposed to be talking about again? Oh… the Saints. Anyway: Here’s what Jimmy Graham used to look like.
7. 49ers (10-2; LW 6; -1) — In Sunday’s game, Frank Gore became the Niners’ all-time leading rusher, which I feel like is the equivalent of being the highest-rated show on The CW. The numbers aren’t earth-shattering, but you’re still the best out of some notable names. And, like, in this comparison, like, Garrison Hearst is, like, sooo Gossip Girl.