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Foxboro Blog Top 12: Week 13

There were quite a few shake-ups at the top of the board this week with New England's miraculous comeback and the Chiefs hitting the skids.  Things could get crazy again this week with a #1 vs. #3, a #4 vs. #6, and a #9 vs #12 all on tap this week.  The Lions managed to play their way off the board and are replaced by the Eagles.  In other news, the Colts are falling almost as quickly as the Panthers are rising.


#1 – Seattle Seahawks

It's got to be nice to not play and get bumped all the way up to the top spot.  However, Seattle is going to have to earn its position for next week with the Saints coming to town.  Needless to say, the winner of that game will likely be holding the #1 spot next week, and, more importantly, home field throughout the NFC playoffs.

Last Week: 2      Change: +1       Record: 10-1       Next Game: vs. Saints


#2 – New England Patriots

The Patriots were 30 minutes away from going the way of the Detroit Lions and getting themselves kicked off the rankings this week.  Now they're holding the #2 spot.  It's amazing the difference that 30 minutes can make.

Last Week: 5      Change: +3       Record: 8-3   Next Game: @ Texans


#3 – New Orleans Saints

Gut check time.  Beat the Seahawks and they are in the NFC driver's seat.  Lose in Seattle, and Carolina may just overtake them and send them on the road in the Wild Card Round. 

Last Week: 3      Change: 0       Record: 9-2      Next Game: @ Seahawks


#4 – Denver Broncos

After blowing a 24-0 lead, dropping three spots in the rankings is not even a blip on the Broncos' pain radar.

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


#5 – Carolina Panthers

I don't know if they have enough in them to get past a road playoff game in Seattle, but if somebody else comes along and upsets the Seahawks, the Panthers could very well end up in Met Life Stadium in February.  They just have the look of a team that is going to get hot and catch everyone off guard in January.

Last Week: 6      Change: +1       Record: 8-3      Next Game: vs. Buccaneers


#6 – Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs followed up their nine game winning streak with a two game losing streak.  They better show up against Denver or it will be three in a row.

Last Week: 4      Change: -2       Record: 9-2       Next Game: vs. Broncos


#7 – San Francisco 49ers

The Niners stand pat after a ho-hum victory over the hapless Redskins.  I'm still not convinced that they're actually the 2nd best team in the NFC West. 

Last Week: 7      Change: 0       Record: 7-4      Next Game: vs. Rams


#8 – Cincinnati Bengals

With the Colts in free fall, the Bengals are in prime position to host a very weak #6 seed in the AFC to start the playoffs.  There may just be a playoff win in Cincinnati for the first time since 1991.  

Last Week: 9      Change: +1      Record: 7-4    Next Game: @ Chargers


#9 – Arizona Cardinals

The Cards are yet another sneaky NFC team that is catching everyone off guard.  Who's up for a Carolina/Arizona NFC Championship?   Anybody?

Last Week: 12     Change: +3       Record: 7-4  Next Game: @ Eagles


#10 – Chicago Bears

The Bears didn't play and yet still managed to take the lead in the "only slightly better than the NFC East" NFC North.

Last Week: 10      Change: 0       Record: 6-5    Next Game: @ Vikings


#11 – Indianapolis Colts

I don't think that the Titans have enough going for them to take the division, but Indy needs a quick turnaround or they won't be long for the post-season.

Last Week: 8      Change: -3      Record: 7-4     Next Game: vs. Titans


#12 – Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles have clawed their way onto the board.  Unfortunately, there's not much difference between team #12 and team #20 with the gigantic pile of teams that are 6-5 or 5-6 at the moment.  They can prove their worthiness by beating Arizona, or it's likely one and done for the Iggles on this list.

Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A       Record: 6-5       Next Game: vs. Cardinals


 

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 13

It's another busy week in the Top 12.  The top two spots stayed stable, but everyone else shifted around.


#1 – New England Patriots

You have to go back to the 1950's to find another team that racked up 108 combined points over the course of two weeks, and let's face it, what happened in the 1950's doesn't really count.  The Patriots are on a historic run over the past four games, and they're doing it without core players like Gronkowski, Hernandez, Mankins, Vollmer, and Chandler Jones.  The scary part is that Bill Belichick's teams tend to get better in December.

Last Week: 1      Change: 0     Record: 8-3       Next Game: @ Dolphins


#2 – San Francisco 49ers

It's extremely rare for teams as good as the Niners to have a quarterback controversy.  Luckily for them, they're likely going to win no matter who's throwing the balls.

Last Week: 2   Change: 0      Record: 8-2-1     Next Game: @ Rams


#3 – Atlanta Falcons

It hasn't been pretty, but Atlanta keeps getting the job done week in and week out.

Last Week: 5    Change: +2       Record: 10-1       Next Game: vs. Saints


#4 – Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning has his Broncos poised for the post-season and I'd be lying if I said they didn't scare me just a little bit. Given their easy schedule down the stretch, they may force New England to win out to keep their advantage over Denver in the seedings.

Last Week: 6      Change: +2     Record: 8-3     Next Game: vs. Buccaneers


#5 – Houston Texans

I don't care what the standings say, that game against Detroit with their bogus touchdown counts as a loss in the Top 12.  The Texans drop yet again as they've fail to inspire confidence the past few weeks.

Last Week: 4      Change: -1       Record: 10-1      Next Game: @ Titans


#6 – New York Giants

Despite the entire body of work over the past 3-4 weeks which would favor Green Bay, I absolutely can't put the Packers above the Giants after the absolute drubing that New York put on them this past week.

Last Week: 8      Change: +2       Record: 7-4       Next Game: @ Redskins


#7 – Green Bay Packers

That was about as ugly as it gets on Sunday Night.  Well, unless you're the New York Jets on Thursday night..

Last Week: 3     Change: -5       Record: 7-4      Next Game: vs. Vikings


#8 – New Orleans Saints

Credit the Saints for hanging with the Niners.  However, it was a brutal loss for New Orleans' playoff hopes. It doesn't get much huger now for them than Thursday's game against Atlanta.

Last Week: 8     Change: +1       Record: 5-6    Next Game: @ Falcons


#9 – Baltimore Ravens

Which was uglier, the win against Pittsburgh or the win against San Diego?  The Ravens are making a living at eeking out wins against really bad teams.  How does that inspire any confidence when a real challenge occurs this post-season?

Last Week: 7     Change: -2    Record: 9-2   Next Game: vs. Steelers


#10 – Chicago Bears

The Bears stopped the bleeding just in time to stay in front of the NFC North hunt.

Last Week: 11   Change: +1      Record: 8-3       Next Game: vs. Seahawks


#11 – Indianapolis Colts

Indy bounced back well from their game against the Pats and remain in the thick of the playoff chase.

Last Week: 12      Change: +1       Record: 7-4     Next Game: @ Lions


#12 – Seattle Seahawks

Losses like last week's to Miami can cripple your playoff chances.  Now the Hawks need a big win in Chicago to maintain their hold on that #6 seed.


Last Week: 10      Change: -2       Record: 6-5       Next Game: @ Chicago


 

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 13

This is a Top 12 first – no movement at all for the top half of the board.  I guess that’s what happens when you have an undefeated team and the five teams below them all winning by healthy margins. In other news, the Raiders and Bears made me look like a fool last week, opening the door for a New York resurgence.
 

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 logo 1 0 12-0 vs. Raiders
Much like the Patriots in 2007, as the weather takes a turn, we can expect some closer games for the Packers from here on out.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2

logo

2 0 9-3 @ Redskins
I was tempted to knock down the Patriots for the final score, but the truth of the matter is that they were up on Indy 31-3 in the fourth after playing offensive players on defense.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3

logo

3 +1 9-3 vs. Colts
The Ravens finally decided to not play down to the level of their inferior competition.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 4 0 9-3 @ Titans
New Orleans continues to hang tough and fight for the bye week with the NFC South all but wrapped up.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 5 0 10-2 @ Cardinals
San Fransisco continues to hold serve on the #2 seed, knocking out win after win.  Now they have to avoid falling into the same trap that Dallas did last week.  I’m thinking they’ll be ok.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6 logo 6 0 9-3 vs. Browns
There’s four 9-3 powers in the AFC and any one of them could earn the #1 seed.  Pittsburgh has one tough game left – @SF.  If the Ravens drop a game, and the Steelers beat the Niners, then Pittsburgh would have the tie-breaker over New England and get homefield throughout.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo 9 +2 9-3 @ Bengals
Give credit to the Texans.  They are down two quarterbacks but are still giving the AFC elite all they can handle in the standings.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 8 -1 7-5 @ Panthers
The Falcons are essentially playing for a wild card after faltering in Houston.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 12 +3 7-5 vs. Bears
The Broncos are just winning.  At this point, you could argue that only Green Bay is hotter. 
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo 8 -2 7-5 vs. Texans
Cincy is going to have a rough time making the playoffs if they go 0-4 against the Ravens and Steelers.  They’ll have an even harder time going anywhere in the playoffs if they can’t can’t beat them either.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo N/A N/A 6-6 @ Dallas
The Giants have had a brutal schedule and performed quite admirably against the Top 2 teams on the board.  That counts for something even if they’ve dropped 4 straight.  It’s all about beating Dallas twice for them now.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo N/A N/A 7-5 vs. Chiefs
Ugh.  Just when you thought they were dead…  


+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 13

So much for stability…  Week 13 sent teams scrambling all over the place, with only three of our twelve teams holding their positioning from last week.  Two of them are our top two teams, the Patriots and Falcons, who both continued their winning ways.   Another interesting tidbit is that the NFC, for all the talk of it being a “weaker” conference, holds six of the top ten spots.  

As far as the week’s “big riser” goes, we’ll have to pass on that honor as there was a four-way tie with no team moving up more than two spots.  The big faller?  None other than last week’s big riser, the Chargers, who came crashing back down to earth and .500 this week.   

Falling off the map are the tail-spinning Colts, who lost three straight.  This is the first edition of the Top 12 ever to not feature Indianapolis. Replacing them are the Chiefs, who are in good command of the AFC West and all but put the division away with a big win this coming week.

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 logo 1 N/A 10-2 @ Bears
That was a Belichikean smack down of epic proportion on Monday Night.  The Patriots gave the New York  Jets 45 reasons why their still the team to beat in the AFC East.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2 logo 2 N/A 10-2 @ Panthers
Tampa Bay was knocking on the door, but Atlanta slammed it shut.  They have one big NFC South test remaining.  Beat the Saints and they’ll all but wrap up a first round bye.  But first they have to avoid falling into the Carolina trap.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3 logo 4 1 8-4 @ Lions
The Pack continued their streak of solid wins by downing the Niners.  I smell a potential upset coming from the Lions though.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 4 1 8-4 @ Texans
Baltimore may very well end up on the road in the playoffs thanks to Flacco’s late game fumble.  Still, if there’s one team I don’t want the Patriots to see in the playoffs, its Baltimore.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 7 2 9-3 vs. Rams
For the first time in weeks (seriously, Randy Moss may have still been a Viking) the Saints are not the #7 team in the standings.  New Orleans is poised for a late-season peak and may just give everyone a big run for the title.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6 logo 8 2 8-4 vs. Bengals
Huge gutsy win by the Steelers, Roethlisberger in particular.  By shifting the balance of power in the AFC North, the Steelers may have just gone from likely “one and done” candidates to a spot in the AFC Championship.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo 9 2 9-3 @ Bengals
Chicago has earned my respect, and they’ll have the Patriots’ when they face off at Soldier Field.  A good showing by Chicago on Sunday could have them vaulting up these charts.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 6 2 9-3 vs. Dolphins
The Jets are good at talking and beating up on sub .500 teams.  What they clearly aren’t good at, is besting the New England Patriots.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 11 2 8-4 @ Cowboys
Philly needs to come up big against the suddenly streaking Cowboys to maintain position in the NFC East.  If either them or the G-Men can run the table down these last 4 games, it could mean a bye week.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo 10 N/A 8-4 @ Vikings
Solid wins over bad teams will only get you so far.  The G-Men hold tight at 10 after downing the Skins.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo 5 6 6-6 vs. Chiefs
The faster you rise, the fast your fall.  I bumped the Bolts six spots last week and they totally failed me.  Back down they go.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo N/A N/A 8-4 @ Chargers
The Chiefs are quietly playing some good footall.  I can tell you one thing, either the Chargers or Chiefs won’t be on the Top 12 next week.  Should be interesting…
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 13

The Top 12 was supposed to be a celebration of the Patriots’ dominance, instead, it’s become a weekly reminder that this team just keeps finding new ways to lose.  How much longer until the Pats fall off the map completely?  I’m thinking loss this week to the Panthers would probably do it.  But then again, if that happens, they’ll have much, much more to worry about than their standings in my arbitrary NFL rankings.  With five of last week’s Top 12 losing in Week 13, there’s going to be a fair amount of shifting going on, as well as some new faces popping up on our panel.  Without further ado, here’s the Top 12….

Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
1 1 0 12-0 @ Falcons
A win is a win when you’re trying to go undefeated.  The Saints survived a scare, but that’s bound to happen to any team who’s looking to go undefeated.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
2 logo 3 1 12-0 vs. Broncos
I’ll get you next time Gadget!  Next time…   I’m done predicting when it will happen, and am just resting assured that this team’s luck is going to run out at some point. 
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
3 logo 4 1 9-3 @ Cowboys
I could easily see these guys hoisting the Lombardi in February.  It’s mostly a matter of how cursed you believe New Orleans is.  I mean, could the SAINTS really go 19-0? 
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
4 logo 2 2 10-2 vs. Bengals
Minnesota definitely got knocked down a few notches after their loss to Zona.  Suddenly my statements about not beating good teams don’t seem so unfair after all.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
5 logo 8 3 8-4 @ 49ers
The Cardinals have frisky written all over them.  Nobody’s expecting back-to-back Super Bowl runs from them, but you have to like the way they handled the Vikings..
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
6 logo 6 0 9-3 @ Vikings
Again, is there any more valor in Cincy beating the Browns and Lions than the Patriots losing to the Saints and Dolphins?  Maybe Cincy comes out of those two games at 1-1 at best.  Then again, they did lose to the Raiders only weeks ago.  Bottom line – I could’ve easily flip-flopped them and the Patriots, but then I’d be dropping them a spot after a loss and looking like a total homer.  Just remember this the next time there’s a questionable call.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
7 logo 5 2 7-5 vs. Panthers
The Patriots have found some pretty ugly and awful ways to lose games.  My only hope is that the next four weeks of relatively easy competition allows them to remember how to play football again.  Last year’s team peaked in Weeks 14-17 as well.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
8 logo 9 1 8-4 @ Giants
Dallas and December are a bad combo.  The Eagles and the NFC East title may be the perfect match this year.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
9 logo 7 2 8-4 vs. Chargers
A brutal schedule mixed with December ghosts from seasons past are the perfect recipe for a monster collapse in Big D.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
10 logo 11 1 8-4 @ Bears
Green Bay has put together a nice streak.  I’m expecting it to continue next week against Chicago.  They could find themselves in the middle of these rankings fairly soon, and beating Arizona at the end could get them near the top.  It will be a very telling four weeks to end the year…
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
11 logo N/A N/A 8-4 @ Colts
Even if Denver loses to Indy and Philly, at 10-6, that should still be plenty good enough for a wild card.  Let’s just say the Broncos are the #1 team I’d rather not see coming to Foxboro in January.
Ranking Team Last Week Change Record Next Game
12 logo N/A N/A 7-5 vs. Dolphins
It was a toss up between the Jags and Miami.  I went with Jacksonville because A. The Patriots lost that game more than the Dolphins won it, and B. I think the Jags are getting the W this Sunday.
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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