1: Seattle Seahawks (11-2) Last Weeks Ranking: 1
Despite a narrow loss in an NFC West grudge match in Candlestick, the Seahawks are still the best team in the NFC, and are just about unbeatable at home. You'll have a tough time convincing anyone that a team can go into Seattle and roll over the Seahawks.
2: New Orleans Saints (10-3) Last Weeks Ranking: 5
Great bounce-back win against the Carolina Panthers to reaffirm themselves at the top of the NFC South for the time being. Much like the Seahawks, the Saints are so dominant at home, but the way they got turned over last week in Seattle is a cause for concern.
3: Denver Broncos (11-2) Last Weeks Ranking: 2
By far and away the best team in the AFC, the Broncos continue to steam roll themselves towards home-field advantage. It's hard to argue the case for anyone but Peyton Manning to win the MVP award.
4: San Francisco 49ers (9-4) Last Weeks Ranking: 6
A statement win against the Seahawks gives the Niners breathing space ahead of the Cardinals in the wildcard race in the NFC. Because both teams play such a similar style of football, should they meet again in the play-offs, there would be a case to be made for the resurgent 49ers.
5: Carolina Panthers (9-4) Last Weeks Ranking: 4
Their eight-game win streak comes to an end in New Orleans as the Panthers lose ground in the division standings. Cam Newton is still playing solid ball, but Riverboat Ron's team became too conservative in this game, which needs to be addressed down the stretch.
6: New England Patriots (10-3) Last Weeks Ranking: 3
Even though we saw the best and worst of Tom Brady on Sunday, the reason they slip this far, despite losing, if because they lost their most important weapon Rob Gronkowski to a torn ACL & MCL. He is the lifeblood of that offense, without him, how can you say with confidence the Patriots can keep up with the Broncos?
7: Kansas City Chiefs (10-3) Last Weeks Ranking: 7
A return to the W column with the Chiefs with a blow-out win against the hapless Redskins. The Chiefs defense and special teams showed up big in this game, which is key for their post season hopes.
8: Cincinnati Bengals (9-4) Last Weeks Ranking: 9
The Bengals took care of business against the floundering Colts on Sunday, and Andy Dalton had another solid day. The Bengals are a good regular season team, but can they take down any of the AFC superpowers in January? I have my doubts.
9: Philadelphia Eagles (8-5) Last Weeks Ranking: 10
A big win for the Eagles in terms of the NFC play-off race maintaining their lead in the NFC East. Despite throwing his first INT of the year, Foles held his own in the snow and managed to get it done when the stakes were at their highest.
10: Arizona Cardinals (8-5) Last Weeks Ranking: 13
The Cardinals kept their post-season hopes alive with the annihilation of the St. Louis Rams at home. The Cards are easily one of the toughest teams to play in their home stadium in the NFL, but with their only way into the play-offs being via the wildcard route, they'll be up against it on the road.
11: Chicago Bears (7-6) Last Weeks Ranking: 15
12: Indianapolis Colts (8-5) Last Weeks Ranking: 8
Really, the fact the Colts secured their division with a loss today says all you need to know about the AFC - it sucks. Who would've thought the loss of Reggie Wayne would have this big of an impact? At least we get to see my boy Da'Rick Rodgers bath in the limelight.
13: Baltimore Ravens (7-6) Last Weeks Ranking: 14
Really a must-win game against the Vikings, where we saw the $120 million man come back from the brink in the snow. Joe Flacco made a number of key throws in the fourth quarter to keep the Ravens wildcard hopes alive.
14: Dallas Cowboys (7-6) Last Weeks Ranking: 11
Dallas slipped back in the standings after getting December off to a very Cowboys-like December -- losing. Their defense is inept of stopping the opposition, as proven by the Bears last night scoring on every drive. They are now a game back of the Eagles and don't look half as good.
15: Green Bay Packers (6-6-1) Last Weeks Ranking: 19
The Packers are somehow still in the NFC North race with hopes that Rodgers could be back for Week 15. Matt Flynn came back from a two-score deficit to maintain the Packers' play-off push which had been dead in the water for weeks.
16: Detroit Lions (7-6) Last Weeks Ranking: 12
A disappointing loss for the Lions who failed to capitalize on field position and special teams plays. The weather didn't help one bit, but if they had won, the division would be in their grasp. Wide open race for the NFC North crown.
17: San Diego Chargers (6-7) Last Weeks Ranking: 20
Philip Rivers kept the flame burning on the Chargers' play-off hopes with a win on Sunday. Rivers' MVP-calibre season should surely warrant him the Comeback Player of the Year award as many thought this guy was on the brink of total collapse.
18: Miami Dolphins (7-6) Last Weeks Ranking: 17
Miami stay on par with the Ravens in the AFC thanks to the left foot of Antonio Brown stepping an inch out of bounds as time expired. Ryan Tannehill showed his resolve in the cold as he lead the Dolphins down the field in the fourth quarter to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
19: Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8) Last Weeks Ranking: 18
A crushing loss at home to the Dolphins all but ends their play-off hopes as they now need to win out and have the Ravens and Dolphins lose out from here on in, as well as a load of other outside circumstances. Big Ben and the offense has been let down big by an ageing, slow defense which needs to be retooled.
20: New York Jets (6-7) Last Weeks Ranking: 25
The Geno-Coaster got back on track as he threw his first touchdown pass since what seems like forever against the Oakland Raiders. The Jets are still somehow alive in the AFC play-off picture, but their destiny is out of their hands.
21: St. Louis Rams (5-8) Last Weeks Ranking: 21
Officially out of play-off contention with that loss to the Cardinals, but the Rams have a good nucleus of players at their disposal, and should be able to make a run at the play-offs next year. Big decision to make on Sam Bradford though.
22: New York Giants (5-8) Last Weeks Ranking: 16
Another team that is out of the play-off mix. The Giants have been a terrible team this year despite having five wins. They need to rebuild through the draft, but to ease their mind, they play in the abysmal NFC East, which is as wide open as it gets for divisions.
23: Tennessee Titans (5-8) Last Weeks Ranking: 26
One of many teams that needs to make a decision at quarterback in the near future. There is a $15 million option due for Jake Locker due in the offseason, and with reports circling that the current coaching staff may be fired, who knows what will happen.
24: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9) Last Weeks Ranking: 28
Mike Glennon looks by far and away the most developed of all the rookie quarterbacks. The Buccaneers are the talented team but need to refocus for next season, because they can make a play-off push.
25: Cleveland Browns (4-9) Last Weeks Ranking: 30
They way they pushed the Patriots on Sunday needs to be applauded because they really deserved to win that game. Josh Gordon is making a case of Offensive Player of the Year having missed two games and still leading the league in receiving yards. He's the best thing about the team.
26: Jacksonville Jaguars (4-9) Last Weeks Ranking: 24
Playing hard for their coaching staff who stayed true to them when times were tough. The only problem is, the Jaguars are playing their way out of QB territory in the draft, but the class is so deep, it' shouldn't be a problem.
27: Minnesota Vikings (3-9-1) Last Weeks Ranking: 22
A tough-fought loss against the Ravens on Sunday which should've gone their way but hey, that's the NFL. Big news was Adrian Peterson going down injured, but it doesn't look too mad upon initial tests.
28: Oakland Raiders (4-9) Last Weeks Ranking: 29
The team appear to be sticking with Matt McGloin despite a fleeting appearance from Terrelle Pryor on Sunday. If the Raiders could assemble a half-decent defense, they'll challenge a lot more teams and close out some games.
29: Buffalo Bills (4-9) Last Weeks Ranking: 27
E.J. Manuel doesn't look that good for the Bills who are very inconsistent. A very young team on offense who will all grow and develop together, this team is moving in the right direction long-term.
30: Atlanta Falcons (3-10) Last Weeks Ranking: 23
Once this team gets a pass rush (and Julio Jones back) they'll be a contender in the NFC, the fact this team is getting such a high draft pick is just unfair. They'll be a 10-win team next year.
31: Washington Redskins (3-10) Last Weeks Ranking: 31
There isn't a more dysfunctional team in the NFL, and now there are murmurs that the team are considering benching RG3 for the next game. This team doesn't know what they're doing, and it's evident on the field and off it.
32: Houston Texans (2-11) Last Weeks Ranking: 32
They fired Kubiak this week, which is a step in the right direction. This team has more holes than just the quarterback, so any aspiring coaches have a real rebuilding job on their hands.