Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s to hoping that the Cowboys and Raiders game makes it to halftime before Uncle Frank uses a racial slur worse than “Redskin.”
Think of PFPod’s Rankings as the half-breed love-child of traditional “Power Rankings” and the NFL playoff format: from Best to Worst, we rank the 8 Division Leaders and 2 Wild Card Contenders from each conference. Our Top 12 rankings give you all the fun of a college poll AND a meaningful outlook on the NFL playoff picture!
Top 4: Bye-week bound Divisional Leaders
1. Seattle Seahawks. (10-1). While many Seattle fans will watch Monday Night Football with a bong packed full of legally purchased weed, suspended CB Walter Thurmond will sit a home, another victim of America’s failed war on (non-performance enhancing) drugs #NewJimCrow
2. New Orleans Saints. (9-2). Saints’ fans hope a win over Seattle on Monday will put New Orleans in position to grab home field advantage in the NFC. Too bad the Saints can’t even bank on the NFC South title—with two games remaining against Carolina, New Orleans could be fighting for a wild card spot…
3. New England Patriots. (8-3). Can New England still win home field advantage? If Denver beats KC this weekend, the Pats will need help from one of the Broncos’ sub-.500 opponents in the last four weeks of the NFL season #GoodLuck
4. Denver Broncos. (9-2). The Broncos turned three Pats’ fumbles into 17 points in the first quarter. Then Peyton stunk up his home field in the 4th quarter and OT, completing less than half his passes in final two periods. Manning may be older and wiser these days, but he still can’t close out close games against top contenders #DesperatelySeekingJohnFox
Best of the Rest: NFL Power Rankings 5-12
5. Carolina Panthers. (8-3). The Panthers won narrowly at Miami last week. Carolina has gotta play a lot better to beat the Saints in the Superdome.
6. Cincinnati Bengals. (7-4). The Bengals have a tough road game against the Chargers this week. If Cincinnati loses, the winner of the Ravens-Steelers’ Thursday Night Game will be one game behind the Bengals.
7. Kansas City Chiefs. (9-2). The Chiefs are who we thought they were.
8. Arizona Cardinals. (7-4). The Cards and their 4- game win streak runs into the Eagles, who have also won three games in a row.
9. Indianapolis Colts. (7-4). Since Reggie Wayne suffered a season ending injury in Week 7, opponents have outscored the Colts 93-12 in the first half. Don’t look now, but the Titans can pull within a game of the divisional lead with a win over Indy on Sunday.
10. Detroit Lions. (6-5). Despite back-to-back losses, the Lions still lead the NFC North, thanks to their season sweep of the Bears. This year’s Thanksgiving game against Green Bay should decide the division—if the Packers can just win this one game without Aaron Rodgers, expect Discount Doublecheck to lead his team to another divisional title in December.
11. Philadelphia Eagles. (6-5). The Eagles meet the Cowboys in the last week of the season. Until then, the NFC East remains irrelevant.
12. San Diego Chargers. (5-6). Among the glut of 5-6 teams in the AFC, the Chargers had the most impressive win on Sunday, beating the Chiefs on the road. Look for the winner of the Steelers-Ravens game on Thanksgiving to take over the #6 seed in the AFC…