NFL Power Rankings Week 12: Falcons make jump after two straight wins

Dave Holcomb

For the first time since the end of last December, the Atlanta Falcons have won two straight games. As a result, they were rewarded nicely in our NFL Power Rankings this week, making the biggest jump of any team.

Following a 29-3 victory at Carolina, the Falcons rose four spots to No. 23 this week. Fresh off two dominating wins in the NFC South, the Falcons have moved up seven spots on our rankings since their bye week.

In Week 12, Atlanta will face a team ranked worst than them for the first time in several weeks -- the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Another win likely won't result in as much movement next week, but the Falcons are definitely trending in the right direction after a horrible first half.

As for the rest of our list, there really wasn't much movement. Eight of the Top 10 teams on last week's list either won or were on a bye, but even more incredibly, only three of the teams ranked in the bottom half of last week's rankings won. 

That's three out of 16!

Therefore, the Top 5 didn't change, and the only team that fell out of the Top 10 was the Houston Texans, who suffered a 34-point loss to our No. 1 team for a second straight week -- the Baltimore Ravens.

One team that probably does stick out on our rankings, though, is the Buffalo Bills. They have yet to crack our Top 10, and despite seven wins, the Bills still sit at No. 16 behind the Raiders and Steelers, who are behind the Bills in the AFC Wild Card race.

The Bills may have seven wins, but they also possess, by far, the worst strength of schedule in the league with a .330 win percentage. Their strength of victory is even lower at .214, the lowest mark in the AFC. 

Until the Bills beat a team with a winning record, they won't be able to sniff our Top 10. 

Here's our full NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 12:

1. Baltimore Ravens (8-2)
2. New England Patriots (9-1)
3. Seattle Seahawks (8-2)
4. San Francisco 49ers (9-1)
5. Green Bay Packers (8-2)
6. New Orleans Saints (8-2)
7. Minnesota Vikings (8-3)
8. Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)
9. Dallas Cowboys (6-4)
10. Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)
11. Houston Texans (6-4)
12. Indianapolis Colts (6-4)
13. Los Angeles Rams (6-4)
14. Oakland Raiders (6-4)
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-5)
16. Buffalo Bills (7-3)
17. Tennessee Titans (5-5)
18. Chicago Bears (4-6)
19. Los Angeles Chargers (4-7)
20. Carolina Panthers (5-5)
21. Detroit Lions (3-6-1)
22. Arizona Cardinals (3-7-1)
23. Atlanta Falcons (3-7)
24. Cleveland Browns (4-6)
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-6)
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-7)
27. Denver Broncos (3-7)
28. Miami Dolphins (2-8)
29. New York Jets (3-7)
30. New York Giants (2-8)
31. Washington Redskins (1-9)
32. Cincinnati Bengals (0-10)

Comments (1)
No. 1-1

After the bye, this team is playing to their expectation finally. Hopefully they can keep this going and start playing week 1 next year rather than week 10