NFL Power Rankings: Elite teams squeak out wins

Kevin C. Cox

It had all the makings of the week of the upset, as a large portion of the games were decided by a single score, but in most of those games, the favoured team came out on top. Check out the weekly Revenge of the Birds Power Ranking and see where your team's ranked.

1. Houston Texans - Texans finally jump ahead of the Falcons in the Power Rankings, even though both teams won. Easily the team to beat in the AFC.

2. Atlanta Falcons - Probably shouldn't have won this game, but found a way to come out on top despite a very bad day on offense.

3. San Francisco 49ers - QB controversy might be brewing in San Fran. But unlike the Cardinal's controversy, it is about who's better, not who sucks the least.

4. Denver Broncos - Peyton Manning sure would have looked good in Cardinal red right about now... Broncos challenging Houston as class of the AFC

5. Green Bay Packers - Rodgers and the Pack essentially sealed the Lions fate for the season. Detroit will need a lot of help to climb back into the playoff picture.

6. New England Patriots - If nothing else, the Pats victory proved that karma exists. Exhibit A: Rob Gronkowski breaks his arm as the Pats run up the score.

7. Baltimore Ravens - Tough to figure out what to make of the Ravens victory. On one hand, they beat a tough division rival. On the other hand, the game was that close with Leftwich at QB for Pittsburgh.

8. Chicago Bears - Bears all-world defense looked very human on Monday night against the Niners. Every Bears fan is praying for a quick recovery for Cutler.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Tampa Bay has played some very exciting football, and there offense ranks up there with the best. Best bet for a shootout each week is a Tampa game.

10. Seattle Seahawks - Seahawks are in the midsts of a very tight playoff race down the stretch. Fortunately they have one of, if not the strongest defense of those involved.

11. New Orleans Saints - Records be damned, New Orleans is back in a big way. Not many teams can match up with this fire power, and defense is improving.

12. New York Giants - The Super Bowl hangover seems to have finally hit the Giants. Maybe a bye week is all they needed to sober up and get back to their winning formula.

13. Minnesota Vikings - Of the three teams Minnesota is fighting with in the Wild Card hunt (Seattle and Tampa Bay), Minnesota is the most balanced. But losses to those two aforementioned teams really hurts their chances.

14.Pittsburgh Steelers - Big Ben Roethlisberger's rib injury looks to be very severe, potentially fatal even. If Byron Leftwich, or *shudder* Charlie Batch is forced to start for an extended period, the Steelers season is over.

15. Dallas Cowboys - In very un-Tony Romo fashion, the Cowboys had a big fourth quarter. Romo tried his best to restore the natural order with a fumble late in the game, but the Cowboys overcame and conquered the mighty Browns in overtime.

16. Indianapolis Colts - I envy Indianapolis. Even in the after losing a blowout, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic. For this season and the next.

17. Cincinnati Bengals - A.J. Green is otherwordly

18. Tennessee Titans - Momentum can mean a lot for a team. Tennessee not as talented as other teams in this range, but are playing some good football.

19. Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III is otherwordly

20. Buffalo Bills - One victory is not going to make me a Bill-iever, but they did win against a strong Miami defense.

21. San Diego Chargers - Phillip Rivers and Norv Turner are each others soul mates. And not in the lovey dovey, story book way.

22. Detroit Lions - Points for effort, but the season looks like its over for the Lions. They'll be my pick for a comeback team next year.

23. Miami Dolphins - There are some strong pieces in place for Miami to be a very good team, very soon. But right now, the pieces don't align. Not all the cogs are in place.

24. Arizona Cardinals - I had a lot of trouble with this one, but I can honestly say I would not consider any of the teams behind Arizona better than the Cards. Defense looked much improved against Atlanta, offense is a mess. Hurry back Kevin Kolb.

25. New York Jets - Just when you think it might be close to Tebow time, Mark Sanchez goes out and plays a pretty decent game. Still not convinced Sanchez can be anything better than a game manager.

26. St. Louis Rams - All of the sudden, murmurs about Sam Bradford begin to arise. Tons of potential, but can he reach it?

27. Carolina Panthers - Good for Cam the Panthers. They went blow for blow with a very good offense, and pushed it all the way to overtime. Keep progressing.

28. Oakland Raiders - Marcel Reese is proving his worth. Hottest waiver wire commodity and maybe the hottest Raider player right now.

29. Cleveland Browns - Proof that a good OL by itself does not make a QB good. Some receivers would probably help in Weeden's development though.

30. Philadelphia Eagles - Nick Foles did a pretty darn good Michael Vick impression.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars - Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon are one of the most intriguing young WR tandems in the NFL.

32. Kansas City Chiefs - Poor Kansas City. The year that they suck in and have a big QB need, is one of the worst QB draft classes.

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