NFL Power Rankings: Week 12

My current NFL Power Rankings for Week 12 of the 2021 NFL Season.

I’m going to use these rankings as the order for my 2022 NFL Mock Draft during the 2021 season. Follow @walterfootball.

I’ve gone from WORST to FIRST, so if you don’t see reverse numbering (via Javascript), don’t worry; the Jets and Texans aren’t my top teams.

Updated: Nov. 23

  1. Detroit Lions NFL Power Rankings Detroit Lions (0-9-1) – Previously: 31.
    Why is Tim Boyle in the NFL? All he did in college was throw interceptions. I’m not exaggerating. He didn’t study, date girls or even eat at the dining commons. All he did at school was throw interceptions. Why would any NFL team roster him?

  2. Houston Texans Houston Texans (2-8) – Previously: 32.
    My Texans under four wins bet is going to lose, and part of the reason why was Houston’s fluky win over the Titans. Sure, the Texans won by nine, but they were outgained 420-190, and Tennessee averaged 2.2 more yards per play. The difference was Tennessee’s five turnovers. Houston, conversely, didn’t give up the ball on a single occasion. I think you could simulate that game 1,000 times, and you wouldn’t get a result like that twice, considering the talent level of the two teams. Nevertheless, the Texans are no longer at the bottom of these power rankings.

  3. New York Jets New York Jets (2-8) – Previously: 30.
    The Jets and Dolphins looked evenly matched this past Sunday. The Jets lost by seven, but had drives end at the Miami 5-, 22- and 36-yard lines without a single point. New York easily could’ve won, but the fans have to be thrilled that their team was able to preserve draft positioning.

  4. Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville Jaguars (2-8) – Previously: 29.
    The Jaguars had played better lately, but they were completely dismantled by the 49ers. It’s insane that Trevor Lawrence was on the field for just four snaps by the time the game was 17-0 in the middle of the second quarter. Jacksonville can’t defend the middle of the field, which is where San Francisco repeatedly attacked them.

  5. New York Giants New York Giants (3-7) – Previously: 28.
    Daniel Jones has shown no improvement against the blitz throughout his 3-year career thus far. That said, his offensive line continues to be dreadful, so the Giants need to work on fixing it this offseason.

  6. Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins (4-7) – Previously: 27.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Dolphins are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  7. Atlanta Falcons Atlanta Falcons (4-6) – Previously: 26.
    Look at how many fans were eager to watch the Falcons on Thursday night:

    Imagine trying to play hard with this sort of support from your fans. No wonder the Falcons had a sleepy performance against New England.

  8. Chicago Bears Chicago Bears (3-7) – Previously: 23.
    Justin Fields was horrible against the Ravens. He looked rattled against their blitz-heavy attack, which is how he appeared versus Tampa’s blitz-heavy defense. I’m sensing a theme here!

  9. Carolina Panthers Carolina Panthers (5-6) – Previously: 22.
    Cam Newton certainly got tons of hype, as the Panthers were favored by more than a field goal over the superior Redskins. Newton had a fine game with some exciting plays, but his defense had no answer for Taylor Heinicke in between the 20s. The Panthers would’ve lost by two scores had Antonio Gibson not fumbled in the red zone.

  10. Washington Redskins Washington Redskins (4-6) – Previously: 25.
    I was wrong last week when I wrote that the Redskins can’t be underrated following their victory over the Buccaneers. No one gave them any shot to beat the Panthers. No one, except the sharps, that is, because they bet Washington down from +3.5. The Redskins prevailed by six, but would’ve won by more had Antonio Gibson not fumbled in the red zone. Taylor Heinicke was terrific in this game, at least in between the 20s.

  11. Denver Broncos Denver Broncos (5-5) – Previously: 24.
    The Broncos imploded versus the Eagles, committing two penalties that wiped out touchdowns and coughing up a fumble that was returned for six. That said, the Broncos are missing so many starters on defense that it’s going to be difficult for them to stop anyone down the stretch. Also, Teddy Bridgewater’s unwillingness to tackle Darius Slay might demoralize the locker room.

  12. Seattle Seahawks Seattle Seahawks (3-7) – Previously: 15.
    This Seahawks team sucks! I’m so ashamed of myself for not betting on the Cardinals because I love teams using their backup quarterbacks. I just thought the Seahawks would win because it was a desperate contest for them, and Russell Wilson would rebound off a loss. Instead, Seattle was utterly dominated by an Arizona team missing Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, Justin Pugh and J.J. Watt.

  13. New Orleans Saints New Orleans Saints (5-5) – Previously: 18.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Saints are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  14. Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4-1) – Previously: 20.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Steelers are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  15. Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia Eagles (5-6) – Previously: 21.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Eagles are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  16. Las Vegas Raiders Las Vegas Raiders (5-5) – Previously: 19.
    The Raiders can’t be designated as overrated anymore because they’ve been exposed. That said, they nearly outgained the Bengals and averaged more yards per play. The problem was that they self-destructed every time they crossed midfield. They had four trips into Cincinnati territory that resulted in no points.

  17. San Francisco 49ers San Francisco 49ers (5-5) – Previously: 17.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the 49ers are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  18. Indianapolis Colts Indianapolis Colts (6-5) – Previously: 16.
    I marked down the Colts as overrated on my overrated-underrated page, but then I talked myself into them being underrated in our Week 11 NFL Picks video:

    I’m glad I came to that conclusion because I was able to place a two-unit bet on Indianapolis. That said, I did not expect that sort of onslaught.

  19. Cincinnati Bengals Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) – Previously: 11.
    The Bengals shot themselves in the foot so many times versus Cleveland, so they were bound to benefit from another team doing that to itself. That was the Raiders, who constantly screwed up this past Sunday. The Bengals outgained the Raiders by just 10 yards and averaged fewer yards per play. Still, a win is a win, and Cincinnati needed one after two defeats to the Jets and Browns.

  20. Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns (6-5) – Previously: 10.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Browns are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  21. Tennessee Titans Tennessee Titans (8-3) – Previously: 12.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Titans are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  22. Los Angeles Chargers San Angeles Chargers (6-4) – Previously: 14.
    Justin Herbert rebounded nicely, dominating the Steelers with both his arm and his legs. Some may see a 41-37 score and not really be impressed, but the Chargers outgained Pittsburgh, 535-300. The Chargers kept the Steelers around with the blocked punt and the tipped interception.

  23. Minnesota Vikings Minnesota Vikings (5-5) – Previously: 13.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Vikings are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  24. New England Patriots New England Patriots (7-4) – Previously: 9.
    I’ve had the Patriots on the underrated list, but that can’t be the case anymore in the wake of their huge victories over the Browns and then the Falcons on national TV. Many now believe that New England is the best team in the AFC, which is insane. This team recently averaged 1.7 fewer yards per play than the Chargers!

  25. Baltimore Ravens Baltimore Ravens (7-3) – Previously: 8.
    I can’t believe Lamar Jackson missed Sunday’s game. If he were healthy, the Ravens definitely would’ve beaten the Bears by more than a touchdown. I feel robbed of three units.

  26. Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys (7-3) – Previously: 4.
    I don’t think we can make anything out of the Cowboys’ loss to the Chiefs. They were already missing Amari Cooper and Tyron Smith, and then they lost CeeDee Lamb to a concussion. Their backup receivers couldn’t catch anything. I think chalking this defeat up to a mulligan for Dallas is the best way to approaching this evaluation, though it might be tough for Cooper, Lamb and Smith to return in four days.

  27. Arizona Cardinals Arizona Cardinals (9-2) – Previously: 6.
    The Cardinals won their second of three games without Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and J.J. Watt. Perhaps Colt McCoy will win the MVBQB award this February when the NFL has its annual awards ceremony. Just kidding, no one cares about backup quarterbacks, but McCoy should be commended for keeping Arizona in first place during Murray’s absence.

  28. Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers (8-3) – Previously: 5.
    It figures that the Packers would lose for the first time in a while the second I took them off the overrated list. However, Aaron Rodgers put on quite a show for having a painful toe injury. He and the rest of his team will be much better once he and David Bakhtiari are healthy, which should be soon.

    By the way, we have a t-shirt to support Aaron Rodgers in our merch store! This is your chance to support Rodgers, who has been attacked unfairly by the scumbag media!

  29. Kansas City Chiefs NFL Power Rankings Kansas City Chiefs (7-4) – Previously: 7.
    The Chiefs continue to snap out of their funk, though they were able to benefit from lots of Dallas’ mistakes. The offense, meanwhile, scored just three points after halftime, which is a bit of a concern. That said, the Chiefs’ scoring attack was terrific in the first half, so perhaps that’s a sign of things to come.

  30. Buffalo Bills Buffalo Bills (6-4) – Previously: 3.
    The Bills were caught looking ahead to Thanksgiving. That’s the explanation I have for that loss. It simply wasn’t Buffalo’s A+ effort, or even B+ or C+ or D+ effort. It was basically showing up drunk to a final, which I did on one occasion during my six years at Penn State. At any rate, I wouldn’t read anything into Buffalo’s loss to Indianapolis. Now, if the Bills lose to the Saints…

  31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3) – Previously: 2.
    The Buccaneers went through their usual mid-season swoon but are back to their winning ways after they dominated the Giants. They won by 20 despite dropping four passes, including one that turned into an interception that allowed the Giants to get their only touchdown of the night.

  32. Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Rams (7-3) – Previously: 1.
    The Rams’ loss to the 49ers reminds me of when the Buccaneers were blown out by the Saints during the middle of the 2020 season. They were trying to integrate a new piece into the offense (Antonio Brown), and it just didn’t work. The Rams will rebound and finish strong unless Matthew Stafford’s back continues to be a problem.

    MVP Race:

    1. Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals
    2. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
    3. Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers
    4. Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens
    5. Josh Allen, QB, Bills

    Scrubs of the Week:

    1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
    2. Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
    3. Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
    4. Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
    5. Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
    6. Chase Claypool, WR, Steelers
    7. Aaron Jones, RB, Packers
    8. Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
    9. Josh Allen, QB, Bills
    10. Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
    11. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs

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2022 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Post-Super Bowl Power Rankings | Post-Free Agency Power Rankings | Post-NFL Draft Power Rankings | Post-Preseason Power Rankings | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17

2021 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Post-Super Bowl Power Rankings | Preseason Power Rankings | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | Playoffs |

2020 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Post-Super Bowl Power Rankings 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | Playoffs |