As the top of the power rankings stays the same, the fringe playoff contenders continue to fluctuate in the middle. With six weeks remaining, almost every division along with every wild card spot is up for grabs. Who will prevail?
1. New England Patriots 9-1
Last Week: 1
The Patriots bounced back after a loss to Baltimore by taking down the Eagles in Philadelphia. In a sluggish game, Tom Brady and the Patriots’ offense did not look too good. Their defense stepped up, and so will their offense before the end of the year. They always do.
Week 12: vs DAL; Sunday 4:25pm ET
2. Baltimore Ravens 8-2
Last Week: 2
Lamar Jackson is leading the MVP discussion after 11 weeks and for very good reason. In the air and on the ground, Jackson has looked the part of the next superstar QB in the NFL. It’ll be a fun competition between Jackson, Wilson, and others the rest of the way for MVP. It’ll be also fun to watch the Ravens continue to move the ball on offense and be stout on defense. They’re the biggest threat to New England to make it to Miami.
Week 12: @ LAR; Monday 8:15pm ET
3. New Orleans Saints 8-2
Last Week: 3
Drew Brees and the Saints bounced back as well by beating the Buccaneers. Brees looked fully healthy and ready to help lead the Saints to another NFC South title. Along with Brees, the Saints’ defense has been stellar lately and should play a factor in their playoff push.
Week 12: vs CAR; Sunday 1:00pm ET
4. San Francisco 49ers 9-1
Last Week: 4
San Francisco’s defense and run game have been the team’s backbone this season. As the defense has continued, the run game has fallen off a bit. Not to worry though, as Jimmy Garoppolo and the passing attack have been great the last few weeks. If everything clicks for the 49ers, the NFC can be theirs.
Week 12: vs GB; Sunday 8:20pm ET
5. Seattle Seahawks 8-2
Last Week: 5
Seattle took a win in San Francisco before having a bye in week 12. With only being one game back of first place, the Seahawks can’t afford any losses as the 49ers continue to roll. Russell Wilson will continue his MVP campaign in Philadelphia against another team that can’t afford a loss.
Week 12: @ PHI; Sunday 1:00pm ET
6. Green Bay Packers 8-2
Last Week: 6
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have a slim lead over the Vikings in the NFC North. Their defense has been shaky lately, but the balance on offense has made Matt LaFleur’s first season in Green Bay go swimmingly. A massive matchup looms on Sunday night in San Francisco.
Week 12: @ SF; Sunday 8:20pm ET
7. Kansas City Chiefs 7-4
Last Week: 8
The Chiefs squeaked out a win in Mexico against the Chargers on Monday night. Their defense needs to step up if the Chiefs want to fend off the red-hot Raiders in the AFC West. Even with a high-powered offense, Kansas City isn’t as much of a lock for a division title as many believed.
Week 12: BYE
8. Minnesota Vikings 8-3
Last Week: 9
Kirk Cousins has had an up-and-down season, and he had an up-and-down game this week. He and the Vikings came out sluggish and gifted the Broncos a 20-0 lead in the first half. It was all Vikings after that as they went on a 27-3 run to pull out the win. It’s shaping up as a two-team race in the NFC North, and if good Kirk Cousins can show up consistently, Minnesota can take the crown.
Week 12: BYE
9. Buffalo Bills 7-3
Last Week: 10
The Bills looked much better this week, though it was against the Dolphins. With no shot at taking the AFC East from New England, Buffalo looks to be shooting for the first wild card spot. With their defense and an above-average QB in Josh Allen, the Bills could be a tough out for anyone.
Week 12: @ MIA; Sunday 1:00pm ET
10. Oakland Raiders 6-4
Last Week: 12
The Raiders have been on fire and will continue that hot streak on Sunday in New York when they take on the Jets. With every passing week, it becomes more and more clear that Oakland can take the NFC West this year.
Week 12: @ NYJ; Sunday 1:00pm ET
11. Houston Texans 6-4
Last Week: 7
The Texans got whooped in Baltimore on Sunday. It was a bad game for them on both sides of the ball. If Houston wants to fend off Indianapolis, they need to forget Sunday quickly because the Colts are coming to town on Thursday.
Week 12: vs IND; Thursday 8:20pm ET
12. Indianapolis Colts 6-4
Last Week: 14
The Colts got their man Jacoby Brissett back and dominated the Jaguars. They are currently tied for the lead in the AFC South with the Houston Texans at 6-4. A big game looms between the two teams on Thursday night in Houston. If Brissett is on, the Colts could be dangerous the rest of the year, and their TD celebration game is on point (even if it wasn’t a TD).
Week 12: @ HOU; Thursday 8:20pm ET
13. Los Angeles Rams 6-4
Last Week: 16
The Rams won a sloppy game against the Bears on Sunday night. Their defense continues to improve, but Jared Goff and the offense have not looked half as good as they did last year. In a tough conference and division, Los Angeles’s offense needs to kick it into high gear.
Week 12: vs BAL; Monday 8:15pm ET
14. Dallas Cowboys 6-4
Last Week: 17
Dak Prescott continues to have a career year in his contract year. The Cowboys’ defense has declined throughout the year, and if something doesn’t change, I don’t see them making it past their first playoff game if they even get there.
Week 12: @ NE; Sunday 4:25pm ET
15. Carolina Panthers 5-5
Last Week: 11
The Panthers got demolished by the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, and Kyle Allen looks to be coming back down to earth. Still, with the best RB in football, the Panthers will be fighting for a wild card spot.
Week 12: @ NO; Sunday 1:00pm ET
16. Pittsburgh Steelers 5-5
Last Week: 13
Pittsburgh lost an ugly game against the Browns when they needed to take home the win. With the Browns coming unhinged with eight seconds left, you would think they were the team coming up short. If Mason Rudolph doesn’t improve his game, it will be tough for Pittsburgh to find a playoff spot.
Week 12: @ CIN; Sunday 1:00pm ET
17. Philadelphia Eagles 5-5
Last Week: 15
The Eagles have problems on both sides of the ball. Their wide receiver corps is one of the worst in the league, and though their defense though improved last week, it has been a weakness this year. With the Cowboys having the lead in the NFC East, the Eagles need to find their stride or else they will be out of the playoffs.
Week 12: vs SEA; Sunday 1:00pm ET
18. Tennessee Titans 5-5
Last Week: 18
The Titans have been up-and-down all season long, but QB Ryan Tannehill has a 3-1 record as a starter. Derrick Henry can put the team on his back as well, and the defense is one of the best in the AFC. While the playoffs are a reach, you can never count it out, especially in the AFC South.
Week 12: vs JAX; Sunday 4:05pm ET
19. Cleveland Browns 4-6
Last Week: 26
The Browns have rattled off two impressive wins in a row to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Likely losing their best player Myles Garrett for the season, the Browns have an uphill battle to climb thanks to a dreadful, undisciplined display on the field by Garrett.
Week 12: vs MIA; Sunday 1:00pm ET
20. Jacksonville Jaguars 4-6
Last Week: 19
The Jaguars are 4-5 in a tight division and are reportedly going back to injured QB Nick Foles this week. We’ll see if Foles can be a spark to an offense that has been out of sorts the last couple of games.
Week 12: @ TEN; Sunday 4:05pm ET
21. Los Angeles Chargers 4-7
Last Week: 20
The Chargers and Philip Rivers have been in almost every game, but they keep losing. Rivers has had a number of costly turnovers, and it looks like a loss to the Chiefs has officially ended their season.
Week 12: BYE
22. Chicago Bears 4-6
Last Week: 21
The Bears have had a rough go of things this year as they haven’t lived up to expectations. It’s looking like a wasted year with a lot of work ahead of them in the offseason.
Week 12: vs NYG; 1:00pm ET
23. Atlanta Falcons 3-7
Last Week: 27
The Falcons beat up on the Saints and then beat up on the Panthers. After a rough start to the season, Atlanta is finally playing up to their potential, but it’s way too late. 2020 could be a bounce-back year for the Falcons.
Week 12: vs TB; Sunday 1:00pm ET
24. Detroit Lions 3-6-1
Last Week: 22
The Lions have lost starting QB Matthew Stafford for at least another week. Their defense has been rough, and without Stafford, the offense is not the same. Maybe 2020 is the year.
Week 12: @ WSH; Sunday 1:00pm ET
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-7
Last Week: 23
After a good game last week, Jameis Winston had a rough go of things this week. With some great talent in the organization, the Buccaneers should look much better next year.
Week 12: @ ATL; Sunday 1:00pm ET
26. Arizona Cardinals 3-7-1
Last Week: 24
The Cardinals almost took down the one-loss 49ers on Sunday, but they couldn’t pull off the upset. In their final five games, the Cardinals can play spoiler.
Week 12: BYE
27. Denver Broncos 3-7
Last Week: 25
The Broncos blew a 20-0 lead to the Vikings on Sunday. In a lost season, the Broncos couldn’t play spoiler this week.
Week 12: @ BUF; Sunday 1:00pm ET
28. New York Jets 3-7
Last Week: 29
Sam Darnold keeps improving after having to sit out the first quarter of the year. If he can improve leading into next year, the Jets could look better.
Week 12: vs OAK; Sunday 1:00pm ET
29. Miami Dolphins 2-8
Last Week: 28
Miami has had a long season that will see them picking in the top-five come next year’s draft. They could possibly find their franchise QB in a decent draft class.
Week 12: @ CLE; Sunday 1:00pm ET
30. New York Giants 2-8
Last Week: 30
The Giants have a rough rebuild ahead of them. The development of Daniel Jones needs to continue for Giants fans to be optimistic.
Week 12: @ CHI; Sunday 1:00pm ET
31. Washington Redskins 1-9
Last Week: 31
Washington, like many of the teams at the bottom of the power rankings, are in rebuild mode. A good draft next year is what the Redskins need to build around some of the nice pieces already in Washington.
Week 12: vs DET; Sunday 1:00pm ET
32. Cincinnati Bengals 0-10
Last Week: 32
The Bengals will likely find themselves picking first next year. If they continue down their current path, they will have their choice of whichever QB they want.
Week 12: vs PIT; Sunday 1:00pm ET
Featured Photo: Nick Cammett/Getty Images