by John Newman
*Brackets [ ] indicate last week’s power rankings
High Jumps of the Week: Bucs +12, Steelers +8
Free Falls of the Week: Eagles -11, Texans -10
- Cowboys (11-1) 
The Cowboys continue to dominate, winning their 11th straight in a hard fought win against the Vikings. With Dez Bryant healthy and playing well, this amazing offense just got even better. They’ll face a test against the 8-4 Giants this week on the road.
2. Patriots (10-2) 
Good News: The Patriots have won 3 straight games and are tied with the Raiders for the best record in the AFC.
Bad News: Gronk is out for the season. Losing the best TE in the league, and arguably the best of all time, is going to severely hurt the Patriots’ offense. New England will have to rely on Martellus Bennett to fill the void, and he’s gonna need more than the 4 yards he had last week if he wants to do that.
3. Raiders (10-2) 
Derek Carr is playing like the best QB in the league. Down 24-9 in the 3rd quarter, he was able to lead a rally against the Bills to win 38-24. This young team is so fun to watch, and Carr has my vote for MVP. Not to mention Khalil Mack has continued to put up monster numbers, making this team a real Super Bowl contender.
4. Chiefs (9-3) 
The Chiefs were able to get a big win over the Broncos last week, thanks to late game heroics by Eric Berry. Berry was able to get a pick 6, and he came up with the game winning score when he took an intercepted 2-point conversion to the house. Kansas City will face Oakland at home this week on Thursday Night Football.
5. Seahawks (8-3-1) 
The Seahawks made the Panthers look like a Middle School JV team last week, but that was secondhand to the injury sustained by Earl Thomas. Thomas tweeted right after the injury, saying retirement was crossing his mind, which left many Seahawks fans worried. He’ll be out for the season.
6. Broncos (8-4) 
Paxton Lynch played last week’s game against the Jaguars due to Siemian’s injury, but he didn’t play well. He amassed only 104 yards, throwing for no TDs. Luckily, the defense was able to bail him out with strong performances from Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr.
7. Lions (8-4) 
Another week, another win for the Lions. Matthew Stafford and Golden Tate were able to connect in a 28-13 victory over the Saints. This was a much needed win, as Detroit has a difficult schedule to finish off the season. They’ll be playing the Bears at home this week.
8. Steelers (7-5) 
What a showing from the Steelers’ defense last week. They were able to hold the hot Giants in check, allowing only 7 points with a minute left in the game. Pittsburgh’s offense was just clicking in all directions, with solid outings from Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, and Ladarius Green.
9. Falcons (7-5) 
In a a close games against the Chiefs, the Falcons came up just short, losing 29-28. Matt Ryan’s MVP hopes went down the drain, and suddenly Atlanta finds itself fighting against the Bucs for the NFC South title.
10. Giants (8-4) 
The winning streak was nice til it lasted. After an embarrassing performance by the offense in the lost to the Steelers, the Giants now sit at 8-4. I’m not sure what to make of this team. The defense has been great all season, but the offense has been the problem. LT Ereck Flowers has been a huge disappointment this season, but it’s not like there are any other options. This team needs to turn their offense around soon, otherwise a playoff appearance may not even happen, let alone fan aspirations of a ring.
11. Ravens (7-5) 
QB Joe Flacco had a great game against the Dolphins last week, snapping their 6 game winning streak. He posted 381 yards and 4 TDs. There were questions about this team’s quality of wins, but beating the Dolphins was definitely a big statement.
12. Bucs (7-5) 
Completely out of nowhere, the Bucs are now 7-5. They’ve won 4 games straight and are now in a tie for the NFC South. With this offense getting hot at the right time, look for this team to make some noise if they make the playoffs.
13. Redskins (6-5-1) 
The Redskins lost a tough game against the Cardinals, which was a must needed win. Now at 6-5-1, their playoff hopes are quickly diminishing, and they’ll have to rely on teams like the Giants or Bucs to lose a game or two if they want to win a wild card spot.
14. Dolphins (7-5) 
Miami finally lost its first game last week after a 6 game winning streak, but it might cost them their playoff chances. The two wild card spots will likely go to the Broncos and the Chiefs, and the Dolphins will have to win out if they want to make it over those two teams.
15. Vikings (6-6) 
The Vikings put up a fight last week, but weren’t able to get it done against the number 1 ranked Cowboys. Minnesota’s offensive line struggled once again, and remains a big reasons on why this offense is so stagnant. Expect the Vikings to make big moves in the offseason.
16. Bills (6-6) 
Midway through the 3rd quarter on Sunday, the Bills looked very impressive. They had a big lead over the Raiders, but there was nothing they could do to stop Derek Carr from pulling off another 4th quarter comeback. Now to make the playoffs, the Bills will have to win out.
17. Packers (6-6) 
The Packers now find themselves back on track, with a big win over the Texans in the snow on Sunday. They’ll need to hope that Detroit loses one of their next 3 games if they want to win the division.
18. Texans (6-6) 
With a 3 game losing streak, the Texans have suddenly lost control of the AFC South, finding themselves in a race for the playoff. The Colts and Titans are tied with Houston at 6-6, leaving the Texans very little room for error.
19. Colts (6-6) 
As somebody who owns T.Y. Hilton in fantasy football, thank you. His 14+ points were able to snag me the 2nd seed, but he was overshadowed by TE Dwayne Allen in this game. Allen had a monster game, hauling in 3 TDs to go along with 72 yards in the Colts’ blowout victory over the Jets.
20. Titans (6-6) 
After the buy week, the Titans now find themselves in a 3 way tie for the AFC South. Unfortunately for them, they’ll have to play the Chiefs and the Broncos over the next 2 weeks. They’ll have to win at least one of these games to keep their playoff hopes alive.
21. Cardinals (5-6-1) 
Arizona was able to get by Washington last week in a 31-23 win. Larry Fitzgerald moved ahead of Marvin Harrison for number 3 on the all time receptions list. Although this was a good win for a struggling Cardinals team, they’ll have to move on from Carson Palmer at the end of the season. Arizona will be facing Miami on the road this week.
23. Eagles (5-7) 
With a loss to the Bengals last week, the Eagles are realistically out of playoff contention. Wentz was a big reason why they started off so hot and exceeded expectations, but the Eagles receiving core is just plain bad.
23. Chargers (5-7) 
The Chargers weren’t able to get it done last week, losing 28-21 to the Bucs last week. Honestly, this season was over since they started out 1-4. They’ve been decent ever since, but this is a team that has been decimated by injuries.
24. Saints (5-7) 
Drew Brees was able to throw for 326 yards, but came up with 0 TDs against a loss to the Lions last week. It was the first time he didn’t thrown a TD at home in 61 games. The defense also failed to do it’s job, letting Matt Stafford and Golden Tate abuse them all game.
25. Bengals (4-7-1) 
Despite a disappointing season, the Bengals were able to crush the playoff hopes of the Eagles last Sunday, winning 32-14. This was their first win in over a month. With their record, winning didn’t really mean much, but it was a good sign that some young players were able to play well. Expect them to be a competitive team next season.
26. Panthers (4-8) 
The Panthers’ nightmare season continued in a 40-7 loss on Sunday Night Football. Cam Newton was benched at the start of the game, but it wasn’t related to injury. The team decided to do this to punish Newton for not wearing a tie during the press conference. However, a new report indicates that he was actually punished for allegedly bringing teammates to a strip club the night before the game, way past the the players’ curfew.
27. Rams (4-8) 
Two more years of Jeff Fisher! Seriously, what were the Rams thinking? Guess they’ll have to settle for two more years of going 7-9.
28. Bears (3-9) 
In a game that nobody wanted to watch, the Bears beat the 49ers 26-6. At least, that’s what the box score says. Seriously, I don’t think anybody watched this game, so good win Bears, I guess? While a win may help them in power rankings, it’s not doing them any favors for the draft.
29. Jets (3-9) 
The Jets were humiliated on Monday Night Football, in a 41-10 blowout loss to the Colts. Fitzpatrick’s awful first half got him benched for the second, but backup QB Bryce Petty wasn’t much better. He did manage to throw a TD after overthrowing the ball a couple of times in a row, but at that point, the game was already decided.
30. Jaguars (2-10) 
The Jaguars continued their disappointing season, with a 20-10 loss to the Broncos. This team was supposed to be middle of the pack, with many people projecting them around 8-8. Blake Bortles has played nothing like the way he did last year, and that’s a big reason Jacksonville has been so bad. In fact, Blake Bortles has more pick sixes thrown (11) than career wins (10), which is insane.
31. 49ers (1-11) 
See number 28. A loss to the Bears helped the 49ers stay in the race for the number 1 draft pick. Unfortunately, they also need the Browns to win a game to get it, which doesn’t seem likely at this point.
32. Browns (0-12) 
Even when the Browns don’t play, they still lose. With wins for the Ravens, Steelers, and Bengals this past weekend, the Browns move down even further in the AFC North standings. To make Browns fans even more miserable, a loss this week for Cleveland would mark a full year without a win.