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NFL Power Rankings Poll Week 12: Patriots and Ravens Tied at No. 1

Also, Cowboys hop back into the top 10, Titans slide into the top half as Panthers fall out, Falcons continue to rise as the team keeps winning (?!) and the bottom five teams see no upward movement.
Mark Ingram

This week’s NFL Power Rankings Poll voters:

Andrew Brandt, Business of Football Columnist
Albert Breer, Senior NFL Reporter / Lead Content Strategist
Mitch Goldich, Producer/Writer
Gary Gramling, Senior Editor
Kalyn Kahler, Writer/Producer
Bette Marston, Associate Editor
Conor Orr, Staff Writer
Jenny Vrentas, Senior Writer

Skinnies for each team written by Jake May.


Previous rank: 2
Points in poll: 246
Highest-place vote: 1 (4 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 6 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Houston, 41-7
This week: at L.A. Rams (Mon.)

The Seahawks, Patriots and now Texans have all taken an L at the hands of Lamar Jackson and the Ravens in the last month. Jackson (17-of-24, 222 yards, 4 TDs, 86 rush yards) did his thing, but a round of applause for a new-look Ravens defense under coordinator Wink Martindale that logged seven sacks, eight tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and an interception against Deshaun Watson and a good Houston offense.


Previous rank: 1
Points in poll: 246
Highest-place vote: 1 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 3 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Philadelphia, 17-10
This week: vs. Dallas

More of the same from the defending champs as Brady threw 15 incompletions in the first half but got just enough out of a sputtering offense. Props to the defense once again for their three quarters of shutdown play, and a tip of the cap to punter/kickoff man Jake Bailey, who pinned the Eagles inside their own 15 on five of his eight punts.


Previous rank: 3
Points in poll: 233
Highest-place vote: 1 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 6 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Arizona, 36-26
This week: vs. Green Bay

A week after he couldn’t close out the Seahawks, Jimmy Garoppolo overcame a seemingly costly fourth-quarter pick to piece together an eight-play, 65-yard game-winning drive in the final 2:02. Deebo Samuel put together his second strong game in a row with eight receptions for 134 yards.


Previous rank: 4
Points in poll: 226
Highest-place vote: 3 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 9 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: at Philadelphia

The Niners kept their nose out front in the NFC West with a win over the Cardinals, but Seattle can keep their momentum going with a winnable game in Philadelphia this Sunday.


Previous rank: 5
Points in poll: 218
Highest-place vote: 1 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 8 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: at San Francisco

The Vikings kept pace with a comeback against the Broncos, and the Packers’ upcoming showdown with the 49ers has been flexed into the SNF slot. It will be an exciting, implication-laden first matchup for Kyle Shanahan and Matt LaFleur as head coaches.


Previous rank: 7
Points in poll: 218
Highest-place vote: 3 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 8 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat L.A. Chargers 24-17
This week: Bye

The Chiefs take sole possession of the tight AFC West with Monday night’s win over the Chargers in Mexico City. This team could make a run at a playoff bye, but their remaining five games (after a Week 12 bye) isn’t a walk in the park—Raiders, at Patriots, Broncos, at Bears, Chargers.

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Previous rank: 6
Points in poll: 216
Highest-place vote: 4 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 8 (3 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Denver, 27-23
This week: Bye

A resounding comeback was the only path to salvation in this one, and Kirk Cousins led the way on 29-of-35 passing for 319 yards and three second-half touchdowns. Dalvin Cook was quiet, but Stefon Diggs (five receptions, 121 yards, TD) and the receiving core picked him up as Minnesota keeps pace near the top of the NFC.


Previous rank: 8
Points in poll: 209
Highest-place vote: 5 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 11 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Tampa Bay, 34-17
This week: vs. Carolina

Back to form for Drew Brees and the Saints after the Atlanta abnormality, with the 40-year-old signal caller spinning a 28-of-35, 228-yard, three-touchdown gem. Michael Thomas continued another elite season with eight catches for 114 yards and a touchdown.


Previous rank: 11
Points in poll: 187
Highest-place vote: 9 (5 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 11 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Detroit, 35-27
This week: at New England

Despite a quiet night rushing the ball, Dak ripped up the Lions secondary for 444 yards on 29-of-46 passing and three touchdowns. Michael Gallup (nine catches, 148 yards) and Randall Cobb (four catches, 115 yards) showed there’s plenty of depth to one of the best offenses in the league.


Previous rank: 9
Points in poll: 181
Highest-place vote: 9 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to New England, 17-10
This week: vs. Seattle

Carson Wentz and the offense had no answer for New England’s defensive adjustments following the first quarter and went the final 42:20 without scoring despite their own unit keeping it close. Coupled with another Cowboys win and the Seahawks visiting next week, this loss could haunt the Eagles down the stretch.


Previous rank: 12
Points in poll: 175
Highest-place vote: 7 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Jacksonville, 33-13
This week: at Houston (Thurs.)

The keg stand celebration was top-notch, as was the backfield tandem of Marlon Mack (14 carries, 109 yards, TD) and Jonathan Williams (13 carries, 116 yards, 1 reception, 31 yards) stomping all over the Jaguars’ expensive front seven. But Mack will be out of commission for a bit with a broken hand.


Previous rank: 14
Points in poll: 170
Highest-place vote: 1 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 15 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Miami, 37-20
This week: vs. Denver

The Bills rolled another bad team and have the Broncos on deck before a four-game stretch against the Cowboys, Ravens, Steelers and Patriots. That should give us a better idea of how far this team can go, but they’ll take outings like this from Josh Allen (21-of-33, 256 yards, 3 TDs, 117.7 rating with 56 rushing yards and a TD) and John Brown (nine catches, 137 yards, 2 TDs) on any given Sunday.


Previous rank: 15
Points in poll: 159
Highest-place vote: 11 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Cincinnati, 17-10
This week: at N.Y. Jets

Derek Carr (25-of-29, 292 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 105.7 rating) and Josh Jacobs (23 rushes, 112 yards) continued their productive, under-the-radar seasons while a young defense led by Maxx Crosby (4 sacks, forced fumble) turned in their second strong effort in as many weeks as the Raiders stay glued to the Chiefs’ bumper in the West. Could this team actually make the playoffs?


Previous rank: 10
Points in poll: 155
Highest-place vote: 11 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 17 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Baltimore, 41-7
This week: vs. Colts (Thurs.)

The PI non-call was a head-scratcher but getting blown out was certainly not part of the plan for the Texans. They slide back into the Wild Card slot after converting just two of 10 third downs but can quickly redeem themselves against the Colts on Thursday night.


Previous rank: 16
Points in poll: 152
Highest-place vote: 12 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Chicago, 17-7
This week: vs. Baltimore (Mon.)

The Rams defense locked up a poor Bears offense (continuing a streak of four games holding opponents under 20 points), and Todd Gurley continued his weekly improvements, leading the offense with 25 rushes for 97 yards and a touchdown as well as three receptions for 36 yards.


Previous rank: 18
Points in poll: 131
Highest-place vote: 14 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: vs. Jacksonville

The Titans have edged their way closer to the frame of the AFC playoff picture with a Texans’ loss. With a game apiece remaining against Indianapolis and Jacksonville as well as two against Houston, Tennessee is very much alive.


Previous rank: 13
Points in poll: 123
Highest-place vote: 15 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost Atlanta, 29-3
This week: at New Orleans

The Panthers should have known the Falcons would be juiced up again this week, but it was 26-0 with 13:04 to go before Carolina got on the board. Despite a typically elite outing from Christian McCaffrey (191 total yards), Kyle Allen’s four interceptions (three inside the Atlanta 25) sucked the soul out of a team taking on water in the NFC.


Previous rank: 20
Points in poll: 112
Highest-place vote: 18 (2 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Beat Pittsburgh, 21-7 (Thurs.)
This week: vs. Miami

Myles Garrett’s helmet assault on Mason Rudolph marred what was a great effort from the Browns defense, highlighted by four interceptions. It will be interesting to see how the unit can move forward from turning in one of its best effort of the season while losing its best individual player for the remainder of 2019.


Previous rank: 19
Points in poll: 112
Highest-place vote: 16 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Kansas City, 24-17
This week: Bye

A tough game for Philip Rivers, who threw four interceptions in the thin Mexico City air. It puts him second for most interceptions thrown this season (14) behind Jameis Winston—a position no QB wants to be in.


Previous rank: 17
Points in poll: 112
Highest-place vote: 16 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Cleveland, 21-7 (Thurs.)
This week: at Cincinnati

We all saw what happened at the end, but this was a bad showing from the Steelers. The offense continued to severely underwhelm, with Mason Rudolph turning in a stinker (23-of-44, 221 yards, 1 TD, 4 INTs, 36.3 rating) before being clubbed over the head for his troubles.


Previous rank: T-21
Points in poll: 103
Highest-place vote: 15 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 23 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Indianapolis, 33-13
This week: at Tennessee

Nick Foles lost, but he was decent in his return (33-of-47, 296 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT). The problems for the Jaguars stemmed from a pitiful afternoon defending the run (264 yards allowed, 3 rush TDs) and an inability to rush the ball themselves (nine team carries, 29 yards).


Previous rank: 27
Points in poll: 87
Highest-place vote: 16 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Carolina, 29-3
This week: vs. Tampa Bay

The feisty, post-bye Falcons rode their defense to another surprising win over a division opponent. Matt Ryan kept it tight offensively while the D nabbed four picks, got to Kyle Allen for five sacks and recovered two fumbles.


Previous rank: 26
Points in poll: 71
Highest-place vote: 21 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 28 (2 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Minnesota, 27-23
This week: at Buffalo

Up 20-0 over a playoff team at halftime and 23-7 at the start of the fourth, the Broncos completely unraveled against the Vikings. Inside the five with the game on the line, Brandon Allen threw three straight incompletions to seal the defeat.

24. DETROIT LIONS (3-6-1)

Previous rank: 24
Points in poll: 70
Highest-place vote: 23 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Dallas, 35-27
This week: at Washington

A full week of prep helped Jeff Driskel (15-of-26, 209 yards, 2 TDs, 109.3 rating), but Detroit couldn’t stay in it late without their trusty starter, especially since Driskel almost lead the way on the ground with eight rushes for 51 yards and a touchdown.


Previous rank: 25
Points in poll: 69
Highest-place vote: 23 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 28 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to San Francisco, 36-26
This week: Bye

A second tight loss to the 49ers had Kyler Murray feeling some feelings. There are plenty of silver linings in the desert, but blowing leads of 16-0, 19-17 and 26-23 against one of the NFC’s best hurts in the midst of a 3-win season.


Previous rank: 23
Points in poll: 65
Highest-place vote: 20 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 28 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to L.A. Rams, 17-7
This week: vs. N.Y. Giants

This was one they had to have to keep any playoff hopes alive against an NFC opponent also failing to live up to expectations. The offense stunk again (3-10 on third down), and Trubisky sitting out the last drive (hip) only intensifies questions about whether he is worth the $23 million option year next season.


Previous rank: T-21
Points in poll: 53
Highest-place vote: 25 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 27 (4 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Saints, 34-17
This week: at Atlanta

Mercurial as ever, Jameis Winston threw four more picks on Sunday to extend his lead of the rest of the NFL in interceptions (18) and pick-sixes (4). As long as his play continues to fluctuate violently, his future will remain similarly in flux.

28. NEW YORK JETS (3-7)

Previous rank: 28
Points in poll: 44
Highest-place vote: 26 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Beat Washington, 34-17
This week: vs. Oakland

The Jets have won two games in a row, and Sam Darnold deserves some credit. He went 19-of-30 for the second week in a row, totaling 293 yards, four TDs and an interception for a 121.3 quarterback rating.


Previous rank: 29
Points in poll: 28
Highest-place vote: 28 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to Buffalo, 37-20
This week: at Cleveland

Back to the tank grind for the Dolphins after a feel-good two weeks. The lack of a running game (23 team rushing yards) hurt, but DeVante Parker did log his best game of the season (seven receptions, 135 yards).


Previous rank: 30
Points in poll: 27
Highest-place vote: 29 (3 voters)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (5 voters)
Last week’s result: Bye
This week: at Chicago

Not much too see here, but Saquon Barkley says he’ll play out the string as the Giants try to regain a modicum of team health. A six-game losing streak could end this week, but games against the Packers and Eagles follow.


Previous rank: 31
Points in poll: 16
Highest-place vote: 30 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (1 voter)
Last week’s result: Lost to N.Y. Jets, 34-17
This week: vs. Detroit

A 17-point (and it wasn’t even that close) home loss to the Jets doesn’t even move the needle anymore on this factory of sadness. 54 team rushing yards is putrid (albeit against a stingy Jets front seven), but Dwayne Haskins (19-of-35, 214 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT) looks better since being named the starter.


Previous rank: 32
Points in poll: 11
Highest-place vote: 30 (1 voter)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (6 voters)
Last week’s result: Lost to Oakland, 17-10
This week: vs. Pittsburgh

The Bengals were in one late and kept swinging, but a pair of key drops on their second-to-last drive was too much to overcome. Joe Mixon (86 rush yards on 15 attempts, 1 TD, 17-yard reception) continues to be the lone bright spot.

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