For the second straight week, not a single team held its position. That's fitting considering that any one of the twelve teams who qualify for the post season could easly end up playing in the Super Bowl. So what do these rankings then matter? Pretty much not a thing...
#1 - Carolina Panthers
Nobody had a bigger win this week than Carolina. They are a win against the hapless Falcons away from claiming a bye week that nobody saw coming.
Last Week: 2 Change: +1 Record: 11-4 Next Game: @ Falcons
#2 - Seattle Seahawks
In all fairness, the Cardinals had much more to play for than the Seahawks, who will likely wrap up the division in relatively easy fashion against the Rams. Still, that loss definitely took the "invincibility" angle away from Seattle. Now any playoff foe will feel like they have a legit shot of knocking off the Hawks.
Last Week: 1 Change: -1 Record: 12-3 Next Game: vs. Rams
#3 - New England Patriots
That was a major statement game from New England. Here's hoping that it set the bar for the rest of the season. If they continue to perform like that, there's absolutely no reason that they won't be playing in New Jersey in February.
Last Week: 5 Change: +2 Record: 11-4 Next Game: vs. Bills
#4 - San Francisco 49ers
San Fran wasn't the most impressive last week against the Falcons. They can have a good playoff-level test this week against the desperate Cardinals.
Last Week: 3 Change: -1 Record: 11-4 Next Game: @ Cardinals
#5 - Denver Broncos
The loss of Von Miller could be extremely damaging to this team and their already-leaky defense.
Last Week: 4 Change: -1 Record: 12-3 Next Game: @ Raiders
#6 - Indianapolis Colts
Colts got a good look at their likely first-round foe. They aced the test.
Last Week: 8 Change: +2 Record: 10-5 Next Game: vs. Jaguars
#7 - Cincinnati Bengals
I punished Cincy a bit too hardly for their dismal performance against the Steelers. When they hang 40 like they did last week, and several times previously this season, they're a scary-looking team.
Last Week: 12 Change: +5 Record: 10-5 Next Game: vs. Ravens
#8 - Arizona Cardinals
Gotta love the fight that the Cardinals are showing. Their odds are slim for making the post-season. A win on Sunday would likely put them with the 2008 Patriots as the only 11-5 teams to miss the playoffs in the current playoff format.
Last Week: 9 Change: +1 Record: 10-5 Next Game: vs. 49ers
#9 - New Orleans Saints
New Orleans will likely need to win four road games to hoist the Lombardi. That loss to Carolina may have been a season-killer.
Last Week: 6 Change: -3 Record: 9-5 Next Game: vs. Buccaneers
#10 - Kansas City Chiefs
Will anybody back KC in the playoffs given their awful performances against the league's elite teams? Now watch them end up in the AFC Championship game... You know it's gonna happen.
Last Week: 7 Change: -3 Record: 11-4 Next Game: @ Chargers
#11 - Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles get the playoffs a weak early. Can't ask for a much better setup than playing the choke-prone Cowboys without Tony Romo.
Last Week: N/A Change: N/A Record: 9-6 Next Game: @ Cowboys
#12 - San Diego Chargers
San Diego has a puncher's chance at the playoffs. I doubt they get in, but they should if there's any justice. Between Baltimore, Miami, Pittsburgh, and the Bolts, I think the Chargers deserve that last spot the most.
Last Week: N/A Change: N/A Record: 8-7 Next Game: vs. Chiefs