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Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 12

There are wild weeks, and then there was last week.  Five of our eleven teams shifted three or more spots as a result of this weekend's festivities.  The head-to-head battles shifted the balance of power, and there were some overwhelming and underwhelming performances from the rest of the crew to make this a truly volatile week in the rankings.   As is often the custom, we bid farewell to last week's #12 team, the New York Jets, who disgraced themselves in Buffalo.  I doubt that we'll be seeing them back here any time soon.  Sayanara!


#1 – Denver Broncos

The Broncos hold on to the top spot for yet another week.  That all may change when they head to Foxboro on Sunday Night.

Last Week: 1      Change: 0       Record: 9-1       Next Game: @ Patriots


#2 - Seattle Seahawks

Tom Brady would like nothing more than to hand the Seahakws the #1 spot as they come out of their bye.

Last Week: 5      Change: +3       Record: 10-1   Next Game: Bye Week


#3 - New Orleans Saints

The Saints pulled of a big conference win on Sunday, but now they have the Panthers storming behind them in the rearview mirror. 

Last Week: 6      Change: +3       Record: 8-2      Next Game: @ Falcons


#4 - Kansas City Chiefs

After that Denver loss, they still haven't beaten a team with a winning record.

Last Week: 2      Change: -2       Record: 9-1     Next Game: vs. Chargers


#5New England Patriots

I almost didn't want to drop the Patriots after getting screwed by the refs.  But just like the Jets game, their own mistakes opened up the door for the Patriots to get screwed.

Last Week: 4      Change: -1       Record: 7-3      Next Game: vs. Broncos


#6 - Carolina Panthers

Don't sleep on the Panthers, (not that anyone is after Monday Night).  They are just the type of team that could knock the Saints on their butt and sneak away with the division down the stretch.  They still play New Orleans twice.

Last Week: 9      Change: +3       Record: 7-3       Next Game: @ Dolphins


#7 - San Francisco 49ers

The Niners have been up and down all season.  Right now, they're down, and in the dogfight that is the NFC Wild Card race, nothing is guaranteed if they don't get their act together. 

Last Week: 3      Change: -4       Record: 6-4      Next Game: @ Redskins


#8 - Indianapolis Colts

The Colts are tied for the two spot, but their last few games have been quite shakey.  

Last Week: 7      Change: -1      Record: 7-3    Next Game: @ Cardinals


#9 - Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals put together a solid win heading into the bye and should roll their way to the division title over their remaining five games.

Last Week: 10     Change: +1       Record: 7-4  Next Game: Bye Week


#10 - Chicago Bears

The Bears managed to claw their way out of the eleven spot finally, and into a tie for the division lead at the same time.

Last Week: 11      Change: +1       Record: 6-4    Next Game: @ Rams


#11 - Detroit Lions

Unlike the Panthers, the Lions clearly don't know how to handle success.

Last Week: 8      Change: -3      Record: 6-4     Next Game: vs. Bucaneers


#12 – Arizona Cardinals

Surprise!  San Francisco should be very worried that they might not be the Wild Card team coming out of the NFC West.

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 6-4       Next Game: vs. Colts


 

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 12

After a quiet few weeks, chaos has resumed in the Top 12 with teams flying up and down the board.  And folks, there's a new #1 in town…


#1 – New England Patriots

Who looked better than the Patriots last week?  Nobody.   Who looked like they belonged to even be mentioned in the same sentence as the Patriots last week?  The Niners, maybe?  But San Fran was beating up on a backup QB.  While most of the other contenders with slipping and struggline, the Pats hung 59 on a potential playoff team.  The only reason I can think of to not put them #1 is the Gronk injury, but it's not like everyone else is so healthy.

Last Week: 5      Change: +4     Record: 7-3       Next Game: @ Jets


#2 – San Francisco 49ers

Another dominant win for the Niners, but it may not have been quite so lopsided if Jay Cutler was playing.  Their next game against New Orleans could make quite the statement if they stamp out a streaking Drew Brees.

Last Week: 6   Change: +4      Record: 7-2-1     Next Game: @ Saints


#3 – Green Bay Packers

With a better showing against the Lions, Green Bay could have climbed to #1.  Up next are the Giants, who seem to have the Pack's number as of late.

Last Week: 3     Change: 0       Record: 7-3       Next Game: @ Giants


#4 – Houston Texans

#1 teams don't need overtime to barely hang on and defeat 1-9 teams like the Jaguars.  That was about as disgraceful of a win as you can get. 

Last Week: 1      Change: -3       Record: 9-1     Next Game: @ Lions


#5 – Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta just hung on to escape the Cardinals.  Another non-inspiring win from a big-time team.  They'll have to do better than that against the red-hot Buccs this Sunday.

Last Week: 2      Change: -3       Record: 9-1      Next Game: @ Buccaneers


#6 – Denver Broncos

The Peyton Manning hype train is picking up a lot of steam. Tom Brady may just have to derail it this January.

Last Week: 7      Change: +1       Record: 7-3       Next Game: @ Chiefs


#7 – Baltimore Ravens

I'm not really sure they deserve a raise in the rankings after how putrid that battle was with the Steelers.   However, the Ravens keep finding ways to win despite their crop of injuries and you have to respect that a bit.

Last Week: 8     Change: +1       Record: 8-2      Next Game: @ Chargers


#8 – New York Giants

The G-Men get a bump coming off their bye.  Now they play the Packers in a game that will either have everyone back on the bandwagon, or back to calling for Coughlin and Eli's head.  Fickle New York Giants fans… 

Last Week: 9     Change: +1       Record: 6-4      Next Game: vs. Packers


#9 – New Orleans Saints

Talk about a feel good story.  The much maligned Saints have crawled their way back to .500  It's a very tough road ahead, but everyone will be cheering them on as they seek to stick it to Commisioner Goodell.

Last Week: N/A     Change: N/A     Record: 5-5      Next Game: vs. 49ers


#10 – Seattle Seahawks

Seattle holds steady after a week of rest.  This next game against Miami is a critical one for securing a playoff spot.  They can't afford to let opportunities like this slip by.

Last Week: 10   Change: 0      Record: 6-4       Next Game: @ Dolphins


#11 – Chicago Bears

I feel bad dropping Chicago this far, but they looked downright awful without Cutler on Monday Night.  What happened to their prolific defense?

Last Week: 4      Change: -7       Record: 7-3     Next Game: vs. Vikings


#12 – Indianapolis Colts

Indy ran into a buzzsaw on Sunday, but for the first 20 minutes or so they had me sweating.  The post-Manning Colts are going to be just fine.


Last Week: 11      Change: -1       Record: 6-4       Next Game: vs. Bills


 

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 12

After a wild Thanksgiving Weekend, we have some new faces in the Top 12 and a lot of swapping up and down near the top of the board.  This week #6 plays #8 and #7 plays #9, so the middle of the board will be the place to keep your eye on.  Also a loss to a team like the Colts, Browns, or Rams could send one of our contenders tumbling…
 

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 logo 1 0 11-0 @ Giants
The Pack are looking like prime candidates to match the Patriots’ 16-0.  I say let ‘em have it.  Then the Pats can play the role of the Giants in Indy and make Green Bay feel the pain of 18-1.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2

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3 +1 8-3 vs. Colts
The Patriots have learned to play defense while three of their arguably Top 6 defensive players are injured. (Chung, McCourty, Spikes).  If the D can hold, then the offense is diverse enough now, where I don’t believe they will stall out like the did in the playoffs the past two years.  It’s all about Gronk, Welker, Hernandez, and Branch staying healthy and giving Brady options to throw to.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3

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4 +1 8-3 @ Browns
You could argue that the Ravens deserve to be #2 after knocking off the Niners.  However, their ugly losses continue to haunt them and the Patriots looked every bit as solid in dismantling Philly.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 6 +3 8-3 vs. Lions
The Saints are making a serious case for Green Bay not being a total lock for the Super Bowl.  My only question is how Brees and Co. will fare in Lambeau in January.  Global warming anyone?
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 2 -3 9-2 vs. Rams
A tight loss to Baltimore is no cause for a three spot drop, but things are so close in spots 2-6 that the slightest error can send you tumbling.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6 logo 5 -1 8-3 vs. Bengals
Pittsburgh looked less than impressive in their win over KC.  They just haven’t been all that impressive since they rose to the occasion against the Pats.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo 8 +1 7-4 @ Texans
It’s not unreasonable to think the Saints could fall against the Lions.  So there could be more at stake than just the top wild card slot when the Falcons play Houston.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 7 -1 7-4 @ Steelers
HUGE game for the Bengals here.  It’s time to prove they can play with the big boys.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 10 +1 8-3 vs. Atlanta
Losing your QB for the season in back-to-back weeks is just brutal.  Still, Houston should be able to hang onto the South and be at home for their first playoff game ever. 
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo N/A N/A 7-4 @ Dolphins
The Raiders can play D, they can run, and week by week, Carson Palmer is improving their passing game.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo 9 -2 7-4 vs. Chiefs
The loss of Jay Cutler is just a killer for the Bears.  They were potential Super Bowl contenders and would be on the opposite end of this rankings board had he not gotten injured.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo N/A N/A 6-5 @ Vikings
Sorry Jets – Buffalo had every opportunity to beat you at the end and couldn’t execute.  Sorry Cowboys – you should have thomped Miami, not eeked out the win.  Sorry Giants – you’ve lost three games in a row.  Sorry Tebow Haters – there’s no denying that the guy just wins and has rightfully put Denver into this week’s Top 12.  


+1
Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 12

Stability is beginning to set in on the Top 12, and after twelve weeks of football, why shouldn’t it?  By now, we have a pretty good idea about what each team is made of.   Still, there’s stability, and then there’s stability.  An unprecedented 7 of 12 teams hold the exact same spot as they did last week.  This is even more surprisng when you consider that we had six of last week’s twelve teams going head-to-head.  We’ll see if things continue to hold firm as four of our top 5 AFC teams are facing off again in Week 13.  At some point, something’s got to give, right? 

This week’s big riser is the San Diego Chargers, who are racing up the board six spots after crushing the Colts on the road.  San Diego has won four straight and are looking more and more like the team everyone expected.  We have a three-way tie for this week’s big faller with the Steelers, Eagles, and Colts all dropping three spots each.  Leaving us this week is last week’s #12 team, the Buccaneers.  Replacing them is a team who’s looking like a threat to remain on the board for the remainder of the season, the Chicago Bears.

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 logo 1 N/A 9-2 vs. Jets
You could make a case for Atlanta being the #1 team as they clearly downed a tougher NFC North opponent this past week.  However, the Patriots mission on Thanksgiving was simply to survive the awkward trap game to fight this coming Monday night.  The fact that they put up 45 points in the process is simply icing on the cake.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2 logo 2 N/A 9-2 @ Buccaneers
Atlanta took some big steps towards the NFC’s #1 seed and an all-dome playoff run by beating the Packers. The only thing standing in their path are division rivals Tampa Bay and New Orleans.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3 logo 3 N/A 8-3 vs. Steelers
Baltimore looked solid in their thumping of the Buccs.  A win this week will all but wrap up the NFC North and a bye-week.  It doesn’t get much bigger than that.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 4 N/A 7-4 vs. 49ers
I can’t fault Green Bay too much a last-second loss to the top team in the conference, especially when they might have won if not for an Aaron Rodgers fumble.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 11 6 6-5 vs. Raiders
The Chargers are pulling their annual mid-season turn around.  They still need to take care of business with Oakland and KC, but all signs are pointing toward yet another AFC West title.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6 logo 6 N/A 9-2 @ Patriots
To be fair, if the Jets hadn’t lucked out three weeks in a row against their bottom-feeding opponents, they’d be 6-5 just like San Diego.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo 7 N/A 8-3 @ Bengals
New Orleans has been locked at #7 for weeks now.  I thought they’d be moving up when they were pummeling Dallas, but then they let the Cowboys sneak right back in.  #7 it is, again.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 5 3 8-3 @ Baltimore
The Steelers were a dropped pass away from losing to the Bills.  I have extremely little confidence in them as they head into Baltimore.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 9 N/A 8-3 @ Lions
I’ll admit when I’m wrong.  I was totally sleeping on Chicago the past couple of weeks.  At 8-3, coming off a huge win against Philly, there’s no denying them any longer.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo 10 N/A 7-4 vs. Redskins
New York pulled off a gutsy win over Jacksonville and with it, pulled even with Philly for the NFC East lead.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo 8 3 7-4 vs. Texans
The Eagles got taken to the shed by Chicago.  Now it’s time for Vick to carve up Houston’s awful pass defense.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo 9 3 6-5 vs. Cowboys
Putting the Colts in 12th, doesn’t seem right.  Yet at the same time, if the season ended today, they’d be out of the playoffs.
Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 12

Another big game for the Patriots, another big disappointment.  I’ve been ragging on the Colts and Vikings for not beating anyone of substance, and it’s time to come to grips with the fact that, honestly, the Patriots haven’t beaten many good teams either.  Sure, Baltimore was scorching hot back in Week 4, and the Falcons were much better in Week 3 than they are now, but by and large, the Patriots have spent their season roughing up the bottom-feeders and getting smacked around by the big boys. Out of the seven teams they’ve beaten, none hold a record better than 6-5.   On the flip side, the combined record of the four opponents they’ve fallen to, at the time of their defeat, is a staggering 25-0.

Right now the Patriots are an enigma wrapped in a mystery.  Here’s what we know: they’re undefeated in New England and in the original England.  They’re 0-4 in road games in America.  They’ve played seven of their eleven games against undefeated competition and won three of them.  The other four games against teams with at least one loss, were pretty lop-sided victories.  I honestly don’t know what to make of this team any more.  They’re shutting teams out 59-0 one week, and getting burned for 75 yard TD passes the next. All I know is that after Monday’s pathetic performance, they’re due for a tumble in the our rankings.

Click on “Read More” to view this week’s edition of our Top 12 Rankings…

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 1 0 11-0 vs. Redskins
What else is there to say, New Orleans completely whipped the Patriots.  Whatever slight Super Bowl hopes that I’m clinging to rely heavily on soembody in the NFC knocking these guys out before the big game.  I want no part of this team again.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2 logo 3 1 10-1 @ Cardinals
I can’t stand Brett Favre, but he’s doing exactly what he needs to for the Vikes to be successful.  As a firm believer in AFC dominance, I think we’re seeing the torched passed here with New Orleans and Minnesota. 
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3 logo 4 1 11-0 vs. Titans
One of these days, somebody isn’t going to blow that 14 point lead that Indy’s given up.  One of these days…
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 5 1 8-3 @ Browns
I was tempted to slide San Diego up to #3.  Right now, they’re my pick to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.  Mostly, I just wanted to leave some good room to drop the Colts after Vince Young handles them this week.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 2 3 7-4 @ Dolphins
The Patriots have ruined their chances for good playoff positioning. They’re inability to win on the road will force them to go on the road in the post-season.  New England needs to wrap up the division this week and then fine-tune their game for what’s looking like a guaranteed 4th seed.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6 logo 6 0 8-3 vs. Lions
I could’ve gone either way with the five and six spots. Is squeaking by the Browns any more noble than getting blasted by the Saints?  I say, no.  Especially when you lost to Jokeland the week before.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo 8 1 8-3 @ Giants
Dallas finally found their offense again, so they get to move up.  If they can officially stomp out the Giants’ season this week, they may rise even higher.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 7 1 7-4 vs. Vikings
It was a bad last-second loss to a hot team.  The Cardinals get their chance for a big rebound vs. Minnesota.  The real question for this team is the health status of Kurt Warner
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 9 0 7-4 @ Falcons
Philly’s still lurking in the NFC East.  If they make the playoffs, it’ll be because they earned it with Atlanta, New York, Denver, and Dallas on tap.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo 9 1 6-5 @ Packers
They pulled out a must-win game over the Steelers on Sunday Night.  It keeps their playoff hopes alive, but they still drop a spot. You shouldn’t need overtime to take out the Steelers missing Big Ben.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo N/A N/A 7-4 vs. Ravens
Green Bay has quietly worked its way back into the playoff picture  They won’t get a home game thanks to Minnesota’s dominance, but they could spell trouble for a team like Arizona.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo N/A N/A 5-6 @ Colts
Well look who bounced back from their 59-0 drubbing!  Tennessee, winners of five-straight, are in must-win mode for the rest of the season.  Everything’s on the line for them against the Colts.  I smell 11-1 coming…
Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

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