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Subject: Week 12 NFL Power Rankings: Train wrecks, triumphs and toss-ups
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Subject: Week 12 NFL Power Rankings: Train wrecks, triumphs and toss-ups
Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2017 14:01:32 -0800
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Week 12 NFL Power Rankings: Train wrecks, triumphs and toss-ups


Where is your team's season heading -- toward train wreck or triumph? Or 
is it still a toss-up?

NFL Playoff Picture: How Week 11 changed the bracket
The juggernauts in both conferences keep winning, but there are some new 
entrants in the race for the AFC wild-card slots.

What we learned (and didn't) in Week 11: Players about to get paid
Remember that one-year deal Alshon Jeffery took last offseason? Expect 
him to do much better in free agency in 2018. He's not alone. This 
week's lessons run through guys in position to land big new contracts.

Best and worst QBs of Week 11: Rotten days for Peterman, Prescott
Nathan Peterman had one of the worst first starts in NFL history while 
Dak Prescott had his worst game yet.
Here's a rundown of the Week 12 Power Rankings, as voted on by our power 
panel -- a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities 
-- with a look at how each team is trending.

ESPN Stats & Information's John McTigue contributed the following 

Methodology: These rankings are based on which teams voters think would 
win head-to-head matchups. Higher-ranked teams would be favored against 
lower-ranked teams. Coming off a win doesn't guarantee a jump, and a 
loss doesn't guarantee a fall.

Previous rankings: Week 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | Preseason

1. Philadelphia Eagles

2017 record: 9-1
Week 11 ranking: No. 1

Triumph: The Eagles have had an OK season. They have the best record, 
have scored the most points, thrown the most passing touchdowns, have 
the best red zone efficiency, forced the third-most turnovers, allowed 
the second-lowest third-down conversion percentage ... you get the point.


2. New England Patriots

2017 record: 8-2
Week 11 ranking: No. 2

Triumph: Remember when the Patriots opened the season 2-2 and were 
allowing the second-most points per game (32.0)? Well, the defense has 
made a triumphant return, allowing 12.5 points per game and no more than 
17 points in a single game since. The lesson, as always, is to never 
write off the Patriots.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

2017 record: 8-2
Week 11 ranking: No. 4

Triumph: The Steelers have held their opponents to 17 or fewer points in 
five straight games -- all wins. Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell and 
Antonio Brown might be the biggest stars in Pittsburgh, but the 
defense's return to prominence and third overall ranking in the Football 
Power Index is the biggest triumph for the Steelers this season.

4. Minnesota Vikings

2017 record: 8-2
Week 11 ranking: No. 6

Triumph: Case Keenum has turned this season into a win for the Vikings. 
He has taken just one sack in his past six games and has posted the 
league's best Total QBR (94) against the blitz this season. He ranks 
second in overall QBR this season, behind the injured Deshaun Watson.

5. New Orleans Saints

2017 record: 8-2
Week 11 ranking: No. 3

Triumph: The Saints have won eight straight games on the back of 15 
rushing touchdowns in that span. Even if the Saints had failed to come 
back on Sunday, this season would have been a success. But overcoming a 
15-point deficit late in the fourth quarter to beat Washington has 
turned this year into something special for New Orleans.

6. Los Angeles Rams

2017 record: 7-3
Week 11 ranking: No. 7

Triumph: The Rams are coming off a loss to the Vikings, but that's not 
the end of the world. Los Angeles is 7-3 and should have no problem 
finishing the year with a winning record. If that happens, it'll be the 
franchise's first winning season since 2003.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

2017 record: 7-3
Week 11 ranking: No. 9

Triumph: The Jaguars already have their most wins in a season since 
2010, when they went 8-8. The defense has been dominant, Leonard 
Fournette has impressed and Blake Bortles has done just enough. The team 
would have to go completely off the rails for this season to be anything 
less than a triumph for Sacksonville.

8. Carolina Panthers

2017 record: 7-3
Week 11 ranking: No. 10

Triumph: Two of Carolina's three losses are to the 9-1 Eagles and 8-2 
Saints. The Panthers also have rushed for 200 yards and multiple scores 
in back-to-back games, and if that type of success on the ground 
continues, the sky could be the limit for Carolina.

9. Atlanta Falcons

2017 record: 6-4
Week 11 ranking: No. 11

Toss-up: The Falcons were 6-4 through 10 games last season and ended up 
in the Super Bowl. There's still a lot of work left for Atlanta to 
repeat last season's success, but a win in Seattle on Monday night was a 
step in the right direction.

10. Seattle Seahawks

2017 record: 6-4
Week 11 ranking: No. 8

Toss-up: There's only so much Russell Wilson can do. Injuries in the 
secondary have Seattle's defense looking mortal while kicker Blair Walsh 
has made only three of his past eight field goal attempts. The Seahawks 
can still be a dangerous team, but they're trending the wrong way.

11. Kansas City Chiefs

2017 record: 6-4
Week 11 ranking: No. 5

Toss-up: At one point it looked like a triumphant season for the Chiefs, 
who opened the year with a 5-0 start. After losing four of their last 
five games, it has turned into a toss-up. Kansas City still has a 96 
percent chance to make the playoffs, according to FPI, but this recent 
downfall can't generate much optimism.

12. Detroit Lions

2017 record: 6-4
Week 11 ranking: No. 14

Toss-up: The Lions have won three straight, including back-to-back games 
they had trailed by 10 points, after losing three straight. A 
Thanksgiving Day win over the Vikings would mean a season sweep against 
Minnesota, and also would put the Lions squarely in the hunt for the NFC 
North title.

13. Dallas Cowboys

2017 record: 5-5
Week 11 ranking: No. 13

Toss-up: The Cowboys have been outscored 64-16 over the past two weeks 
and have genuinely looked awful. They're still 5-5 though, and a win 
over the Chargers on Thanksgiving could help right the ship, but another 
big loss could move the Cowboys into train wreck territory.

14. Tennessee Titans

2017 record: 6-4
Week 11 ranking: No. 12

Toss-up: The Titans are currently positioned for a wild-card spot and 
are above .500, but they also have been outscored by 31 points this 
season and Marcus Mariota's four-interception game under the bright 
lights of "Thursday Night Football" last week wasn't encouraging. A 
playoff berth would be a positive step forward, but it seems the Titans 
are leaving something on the table.

15. Washington Redskins

2017 record: 4-6
Week 11 ranking: No. 18

Toss-up: The Redskins are 4-6, but they've lost to the Eagles (twice), 
Chiefs, Cowboys, Vikings and Saints -- teams that have a combined .720 
win percentage this season. The schedule eases up moving forward, so no 
need to bury this team just yet.

16. Los Angeles Chargers

2017 record: 4-6
Week 11 ranking: No. 19

Toss-up: The Chargers have won four of their past six games following an 
0-4 start. Five of their losses have been by eight or fewer points. Most 
Chargers games are toss-ups, so it's no surprise their season has been 
one too.

17. Baltimore Ravens

2017 record: 5-5
Week 11 ranking: No. 20

Toss-up: The defense has been triumphant, pitching three shutouts for 
just the second time in franchise history (it had four in 2000). But the 
offense is leaving a lot to be desired, ranking 31st in FPI's efficiency 
rating. That makes the Ravens a perfect middle-of-the-road candidate.

18. Cincinnati Bengals

2017 record: 4-6
Week 11 ranking: No. 27

Toss-up: The Bengals play four of their next five games at home and have 
three more division matchups, so they're still very much in the AFC 
playoff picture. They've gone 4-3 since dropping their first three games.

19. Houston Texans

2017 record: 4-6
Week 11 ranking: No. 21

Toss-up: This season was trending toward a triumph with Deshaun Watson 
at the helm, especially after the rookie QB threw four touchdowns for a 
third time in his final game. But his replacement, Tom Savage, has 
thrown four touchdowns all season. Still, the Texans are in the hunt, so 
all is not lost.

20. Oakland Raiders

2017 record: 4-6
Week 11 ranking: No. 15

Train wreck: The Raiders were considered a contender at the start of the 
season. And after a 2-0 start, that expectation seemed legit. Since 
then, the Raiders have been held to fewer than 20 points in six games 
(all losses) and have seen their playoff chances dip to 4.8 percent, 
according to FPI. Unless they can string together some wins, this season 
is off the rails.

21. Arizona Cardinals

2017 record: 4-6
Week 11 ranking: No. 25

Toss-up: Another loss and the Cardinals probably can be written off, but 
they do play four of their next five at home, so there is a chance to 
pick up some wins. If they can win a few more without Carson Palmer and 
David Johnson, that's worth something.

22. New York Jets

2017 record: 4-6
Week 11 ranking: No. 24

Triumph: According to FPI, the Jets entered the season with the lowest 
projected win total (4.0) and the worst playoff odds (0.6 percent). If 
the Jets lose out, we could be singing a different tune. But this team 
has exceeded all expectations so far.

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2017 record: 4-6
Week 11 ranking: No. 23

Train wreck: The Buccaneers have won back-to-back games with Ryan 
Fitzpatrick at the helm. While that's encouraging, they're 2-6 with 
Jameis Winston under center. Winston is the franchise's future, not 
Fitzpatrick, so there's plenty of reason to be concerned with how this 
season has progressed.

24. Buffalo Bills

2017 record: 5-5
Week 11 ranking: No. 16

Train wreck: What was once a promising start for the Bills has turned 
into a disaster. This team benched Tyrod Taylor for a rookie 
quarterback, Nathan Peterman, who threw five interceptions on 14 
attempts. The team has allowed 135 points in the past three games alone. 
And they now sit at .500 after opening the year 5-2.

25. Chicago Bears

2017 record: 3-7
Week 11 ranking: No. 28

Toss-up: Expectations were low for the Bears this season, so the 3-7 
record isn't a shocker. The defense has shown a lot of improvement and 
Jordan Howard is closing in on a second-straight 1,000-yard season. 
Rookie Mitchell Trubisky has posted only a 32 Total QBR, but at least 
he's getting NFL reps.

26. Green Bay Packers

2017 record: 5-5
Week 11 ranking: No. 17

Train wreck: Including the game he got hurt, the Packers are now 1-4 
without Aaron Rodgers this season, averaging 13.4 points per game in 
those contests. This looked like it would be a promising season for 
Green Bay, but after a shutout loss to the Ravens at Lambeau Field, it's 
hard to see the remainder of the season being anything short of a mess.

27. Denver Broncos

2017 record: 3-7
Week 11 ranking: No. 22

Train wreck: Following a 3-1 start, the Broncos have dropped six 
straight games for the first time in a single season since 1990. 
Offensive coordinator Mike McCoy already has lost his job, and there's 
no clear-cut No. 1 QB on the roster. This season couldn't get much worse 
for Denver.

28. Miami Dolphins

2017 record: 4-6
Week 11 ranking: No. 26

Train wreck: The record isn't terrible, but the Dolphins have been 
outscored by 97 points this season, third worst in the NFL. Not even the 
1-9 Niners have been outscored by that much. Some narrow victories 
aren't enough to save this season for Miami.

29. New York Giants

2017 record: 2-8
Week 11 ranking: No. 30

Train wreck: The Giants are 2-1 against the AFC West this season, so 
maybe they're just in the wrong division? Unfortunately, they're 0-7 
against every other division this year, and for a team that made the 
playoffs in 2016, that is not going to cut it.

30. Indianapolis Colts

2017 record: 3-7
Week 11 ranking: No. 29

Train wreck: Jacoby Brissett has shown an ability to make some big 
plays, as only Alex Smith has thrown more 40-yard touchdowns this 
season. But Brissett isn't the future of the Colts. Andrew Luck is. And 
with Luck out all year and the Colts sitting at 3-7, this season is a 
loss for Indy.

31. San Francisco 49ers

2017 record: 1-9
Week 11 ranking: No. 31

Train wreck: It's hard to say a 1-9 team is anything but a train wreck. 
But -- if Jimmy Garoppolo takes over at quarterback and shows his 
potential (he had an 89 Total QBR in two starts last season) -- the 
49ers would have hope going into next season.

32. Cleveland Browns

2017 record: 0-10
Week 11 ranking: No. 32

Train wreck: Fun fact: The Browns are the only team in the NFL to force 
a turnover in every game this season. Despite that, they have yet to win 
the turnover battle in any game -- and oh yeah, they also have yet to 
win one.

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