NFL POWER RANKINGS: Where Every Team Stands With Two Games Left

denver broncos peyton manning

[credit provider=”Doug Pensinger/Getty Images”]

In a crystal-clear indication of how much parity defines the 2012 NFL season, here were the combined records of the teams in last week’s power rankings in this week’s games:

  • Top 10: 5-5
  • Middle 12: 6-6
  • Bottom 10: 5-5

Amazing.

As we steam toward the playoffs, there are 16 teams vying for 12 spots.

Click here to see the rankings >
Once again, here’s how we came up with them.

We took our rankings from last week and moved teams up and down based on the following criteria:

  • A win: up 2 spots
  • A loss: down 1 spot
  • A loss by 10+ points: down 2 spots
  • A win against a top-5 team from the week before: up 2 spots
  • A win against a top-12 team from the week before (aka, a playoff team): up 1 spot
  • Covering the point spread: up 1 spot
  • A winning record: up 1 spot
  • A losing record: down 1 spot

[slideshow]
[slide
permalink=”1-denver-broncos-2-last-week-beat-the-ravens-1″
title=”1. Denver Broncos (#2 last week): Beat the Ravens”
content=”Record: 11-3

Biggest thing we learned this week: Even though Denver has only lost once since September, they desperately needed a signature win. They got that with a solid W over Baltimore on the road.”
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[slide
permalink=”2-san-francisco-49ers-3-last-week-beat-the-patriots-2″
title=”2. San Francisco 49ers (#3 last week): Beat the Patriots”
content=”Record: 10-3-1

Biggest thing we learned this week: Colin Kaepernick is great, but he’s he hasn’t revolutionised the QB position in San Francisco the way some people say he has.”
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[slide
permalink=”3-houston-texans-4-last-week-beat-the-colts-3″
title=”3. Houston Texans (#4 last week): Beat the Colts”
content=”Record: 12-2

Biggest thing we learned this week: JJ Watt isn’t regressing. He had his best game of the year with three sacks and six tackles for a loss in a meaningful bounce-back win for Houston.”
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[slide
permalink=”4-atlanta-falcons-5-last-week-beat-the-giants-4″
title=”4. Atlanta Falcons (#5 last week): Beat the Giants”
content=”Record: 12-2

Biggest thing we learned this week: Speaking of bounce-back wins, the Falcons showed that focus is all the difference in torching the Giants. They looked disinterested against Carolina last week, but when fully engaged they are a true contender in the NFC.”
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[slide
permalink=”5-new-england-patriots-1-last-week-lost-to-the-49ers-5″
title=”5. New England Patriots (#1 last week): Lost to the 49ers”
content=”Record: 10-4

Biggest thing we learned this week: The defence is improved, but this loss proved that when the offence turns the ball over and struggles, there’s no defensive safety net. Tom Brady even attempted a tackle at one point.”
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[slide
permalink=”6-green-bay-packers-6-last-week-beat-the-bears-6″
title=”6. Green Bay Packers (#6 last week): Beat the Bears”
content=”Record: 10-4

Biggest thing we learned this week: The Green Bay identity shift continued. Even though they couldn’t run the ball all that well (3.5 yards per rush), they didn’t abandon it completely and it paid off in the time of possession stats.”
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[slide
permalink=”7-seattle-seahawks-11-last-week-beat-the-bills-7″
title=”7. Seattle Seahawks (#11 last week): Beat the Bills”
content=”Record: 9-5

Biggest thing we learned this week: They’ve outscored their opponents by 91 points in the last 8 quarters.”
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[slide
permalink=”8-indianapolis-colts-9-last-week-lost-to-the-texans-8″
title=”8. Indianapolis Colts (#9 last week): Lost to the Texans”
content=”Record: 9-5

Biggest thing we learned this week: It was a letdown to get beat as soundly as they did, but they should get a lift when coach Chuck Pagano attempts to return to the sidelines next week.”
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[slide
permalink=”9-new-york-giants-8-last-week-lost-to-the-falcons-9″
title=”9. New York Giants (#8 last week): Lost to the Falcons”
content=”Record: 8-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: NY suddenly stinks on the road. They’ve lost to Cincy, Washington, and Atlanta in their last three away games.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4f2f46a26bb3f72356000010/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”10-baltimore-ravens-7-last-week-lost-to-the-broncos-10″
title=”10. Baltimore Ravens (#7 last week): Lost to the Broncos”
content=”Record: 9-5

Biggest thing we learned this week: Joe Flacco summed it up this collapsing team perfectly, ‘We’re a 9-5 football team and it feels like we’re 0-14 right now.'”
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[slide
permalink=”11-washington-redskins-13-last-week-beat-the-browns-11″
title=”11. Washington Redskins (#13 last week): Beat the Browns”
content=”Record: 8-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: There are clearly reasons this team wins that have nothing to do with RGIII (big plays on defence, playmakers at the skill positions).”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/506db8c2eab8eaf170000004/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”12-dallas-cowboys-14-last-week-beat-the-steelers-12″
title=”12. Dallas Cowboys (#14 last week): Beat the Steelers”
content=”Record: 8-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: Ridiculous stat — the Cowboys will have a winning record in December for the first time since 2001.”
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[slide
permalink=”13-minnesota-vikings-15-last-week-beat-the-rams-13″
title=”13. Minnesota Vikings (#15 last week): Beat the Rams”
content=”Record: 8-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: Adrian Peterson is a freak. He’s on pace to break the single-season rushing record a year after blowing out his knee.”
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[slide
permalink=”14-pittsburgh-steelers-10-last-week-lost-to-the-cowboys-14″
title=”14. Pittsburgh Steelers (#10 last week): Lost to the Cowboys”
content=”Record: 7-7

Biggest thing we learned this week: They’re teetering. They still control their destiny, but with Roethlisberger still shaky and Rasheed Mendenhall’s status uncertain, things are looking bleak.”
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[slide
permalink=”15-cincinnati-bengals-16-last-week-beat-the-eagles-15″
title=”15. Cincinnati Bengals (#16 last week): Beat the Eagles”
content=”Record: 8-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: This is the hottest team in the division. A win at Pittsburgh next week would be a huge changing-of-the-guard moment.”
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[slide
permalink=”16-chicago-bears-12-last-week-lost-to-the-packers-16″
title=”16. Chicago Bears (#12 last week): Lost to the Packers”
content=”Record: 8-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: The Bears are in a total free-fall. A sure sign — Brian Urlacher is now going after the fans.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4f1ec26a6bb3f78978000020/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”17-miami-dolphins-22-last-week-beat-the-jaguars-17″
title=”17. Miami Dolphins (#22 last week): Beat the Jaguars”
content=”Record: 6-8

Biggest thing we learned this week: Nothing, the Jaguars are that bad.”
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[slide
permalink=”18-new-york-jets-18-last-week-beat-the-jaguars-18″
title=”18. New York Jets (#18 last week): Beat the Jaguars”
content=”Record: 6-8

Biggest thing we learned this week: The buttfumble wasn’t a one-time thing.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/50d0b960ecad043112000009/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”19-tampa-bay-buccaneers-17-last-week-lost-to-the-saints-19″
title=”19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (#17 last week): Lost to the Saints”
content=”Record: 6-8

Biggest thing we learned this week: They got shutout by a defence that was on pace to give up the most yards in the history of football earlier this year.”
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[slide
permalink=”20-carolina-panthers-24-last-week-beat-the-chargers-20″
title=”20. Carolina Panthers (#24 last week): Beat the Chargers”
content=”Record: 5-9

Biggest thing we learned this week: The mini-meltdown Carolina had in the middle of the year probably cost them a chance at a nice season. They now appear to be back on track, and could be a team to watch in 2013.”
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[slide
permalink=”21-st-louis-rams-19-last-week-lost-to-the-vikings-21″
title=”21. St. Louis Rams (#19 last week): Lost to the Vikings”
content=”Record: 6-7-1

Biggest thing we learned this week: The defence has been the best part of the team all year, but they really let down this week. Adrian Peterson ran the Vikings out to a 30-7 halftime lead.”
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[slide
permalink=”22-cleveland-browns-20-last-week-lost-to-the-redskins-22″
title=”22. Cleveland Browns (#20 last week): Lost to the Redskins”
content=”Record: 5-9

Biggest thing we learned this week: Demoralizing loss. They had a chance to finish the season strong and save their coach’s job, but they fell flat against a Washington team without RGIII.”
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[slide
permalink=”23-san-diego-chargers-21-last-week-lost-to-the-panthers-23″
title=”23. San Diego Chargers (#21 last week): Lost to the Panthers”
content=”Record: 5-9

Biggest thing we learned this week: This might be the game that ends this era of Chargers football. There’s no saving face with a 8-8 season now. Things will change.”
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[slide
permalink=”24-new-orleans-saints-27-last-week-beat-the-bucs-24″
title=”24. New Orleans Saints (#27 last week): Beat the Bucs”
content=”Record: 6-8

Biggest thing we learned this week: There’s a tiny chance they can make the playoffs, but it’s all about setting things up for 2013 right now.”
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[slide
permalink=”25-arizona-cardinals-28-last-week-beat-the-lions-25″
title=”25. Arizona Cardinals (#28 last week): Beat the Lions”
content=”Record: 5-9

Biggest thing we learned this week: At the end of the day, these are pro athletes. Arizona got embarrassed 58-0 last week, and it looks like that was enough to motivate them to restore some pride.”
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[slide
permalink=”26-detroit-lions-23-last-week-lost-to-the-cardinals-26″
title=”26. Detroit Lions (#23 last week): Lost to the Cardinals”
content=”Record: 4-10

Biggest thing we learned this week: The Cards lost to Seattle by 58 last week. This should be a wake-up call that Detroit’s miracle 2011 season was a fluke, and they need help all over.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4e80c0a36bb3f79a40000016/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”27-tennessee-titans-29-last-week-beat-the-jets-27″
title=”27. Tennessee Titans (#29 last week): Beat the Jets”
content=”Record: 5-9

Biggest thing we learned this week: Nothing, the Jets are that bad.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/5061efc269beddfd61000025/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”28-buffalo-bills-25-last-week-lost-to-the-seahawks-28″
title=”28. Buffalo Bills (#25 last week): Lost to the Seahawks”
content=”Record: 5-9

Biggest thing we learned this week: They gave up more points Sunday (50) than they did in the four weeks before that combined (47).”
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[slide
permalink=”29-philadelphia-eagles-26-last-week-lost-to-the-bengals-29″
title=”29. Philadelphia Eagles (#26 last week): Lost to the Bengals”
content=”Record: 4-10

Biggest thing we learned this week: They’re bad all over. They’ll get a minor lift this week if Lesean McCoy can return from injury.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/50327a516bb3f74a25000003/image.jpg”
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[slide
permalink=”30-oakland-raiders-32-last-week-beat-the-chiefs-30″
title=”30. Oakland Raiders (#32 last week): Beat the Chiefs”
content=”Record: 4-10

Biggest thing we learned this week: Nothing like five field goals to really get the team going after a rough season.”
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[slide
permalink=”31-kansas-city-chiefs-30-last-week-lost-to-the-raiders-31″
title=”31. Kansas City Chiefs (#30 last week): Lost to the Raiders”
content=”Record: 2-12

Biggest thing we learned this week: They had 119 yards against a truly bad Raiders defence.”
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[slide
permalink=”32-jacksonville-jaguars-31-last-week-lost-to-the-dolphins-32″
title=”32. Jacksonville Jaguars (#31 last week): Lost to the Dolphins”
content=”Record: 2-12

Biggest thing we learned this week: They just got blasted by the Jets and Dolphins in consecutive weeks. This might be the only hopeless NFL team.”
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[slide
permalink=”now-see-the-best-highlights-from-week-15-33″
title=”Now see the best highlights from Week 15″
content=”The Best Moments You Missed From This Week’s NFL Action >
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[/slideshow]