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2023 NFL Power Rankings: Week 12

The top ten of the NFL power rankings at Thanksgiving include the same top ten as last week—aside from the Bengals dropping due to Joe Burrow’s season-ending wrist injury.


1. Philadelphia Eagles (9-1) | Last week: 1

The Eagles arguably haven’t put together a full game on both sides of the ball this season, but they’re still 9-1 and made enough plays to get a massive win at Arrowhead. The extremely challenging stretch everyone had their eyes on when the schedule came out continues this weekend versus the Bills.


2. Kansas City Chiefs (7-3) | Last week: 2

Key drops—or at least not making plays where there are opportunities to do so—have been an issue for the Chiefs this season, and it’s shocking that an Andy Reid-Patrick Mahomes team is last in the NFL in second half points per game. That said, the defense continues to perform at a very high level, and Kansas City won in the trenches despite to loss to Philly.


3. Baltimore Ravens (8-3) | Last week: 3

The Ravens’ revamped receiving group and offense continued to show more life last Thursday night, with Rashod Bateman and new additions Nelson Agholor (off a deflection) and Odell Beckham Jr. all catching touchdowns versus the Bengals. The loss of tight end Mark Andrews (leg) is a blow, but Baltimore is built to still have success in the new scheme.


4. Detroit Lions (8-2) | Last week: 4

Jared Goff was making uncharacteristically poor decisions against the Bears, but he bounced back from three interceptions to quickly lead his team to two touchdowns down double-digits with a few minutes remaining—hitting Jameson Williams for a 32-yard touchdown before David Montgomery punched in the game-winner with 29 seconds left. Detroit is 8-2 for the first time since 1962 ahead of their annual Thanksgiving game.


5. San Francisco 49ers (7-3) | Last week: 5

The 49ers have a case for as high as No. 2 in the power rankings with how they’ve played the past two games off the bye—particularly quarterback Brock Purdy, who has been lights out dealing to his weapons and should be getting serious MVP consideration.


6. Dallas Cowboys (7-3) | Last week: 6

Cornerback DaRon Bland has been sensational this year, with now a single-season record-tying four pick-sixes to help make up for the loss of Trevon Diggs in the Dallas defense. The Cowboys might be determined after losing to then-rookie Sam Howell and the Commanders to end last regular season.


7. Miami Dolphins (7-3) | Last week: 7

Miami overcame some sloppiness to beat the Raiders by a touchdown, but the game never felt in much question thanks to the play of Vic Fangio’s defense. The group, which has gotten three interceptions from Jalen Ramsey in three games, has allowed 17 or fewer points in five of their past six outings.


8. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-3) | Last week: 9 (+1)

Speaking of defense, Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson doesn’t think his is talked about enough, and I agree. Remember, Josh Allen and the defense sparked the playoff appearance in the de facto AFC South title game last season. But it was very good to see Trevor Lawrence (two passing touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns) and Calvin Ridley (103 yards, two touchdowns) both get going against the Titans.


9. Buffalo Bills (6-5) | Last week: 10 (+1)

I don’t like to project forward too much in the power rankings, but I think the Bills can be a super scary team if the way the offense played versus the Jets defense is any indication. Interim offensive coordinator Joe Brady had the unit run through the running backs and tight ends, and overall, the team seems more willing to take a matchup-based approach moving forward. Defensively, Rasul Douglas had two interceptions and a fumble recovery and continues to fit right in with Buffalo like how he did when he joined Green Bay in 2021.


10. Cleveland Browns (7-3) | Last week: 13 (+3)

The Browns got on the board with an early touchdown by running back Jerome Ford, and Dorian Thompson-Robinson made enough plays to complement the elite Cleveland defense and improve to 7-3. The Joe Flacco signing is an interesting one, as the former Super Bowl MVP is essentially an insurance policy at quarterback.


11. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) | Last week: 11

After again being outgained and struggling to put up points, the Steelers decided to fire offensive coordinator Matt Canada. It’s easy to see where Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is coming from, as there is definite talent to utilize on offense—including running back Jaylen Warren, who seems to be getting better and better though two seasons. However, like Buffalo, the players need to play better, too.


12. Seattle Seahawks (6-4) | Last week: 12

The Seahawks were in control against the Rams but stalled a bit offensively—including while Geno Smith (elbow) was out of the game—and allowed the NFC West foe to stay in the game and pull off the win. Seattle’s now lost twice to LA this season, and they might look back and kick themselves if they struggle to get through the upcoming stretch of two games against the 49ers and showdowns with Philly and Dallas.


13. Houston Texans (6-4) | Last week: 16 (+3)

While rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud has caught a bit of the turnover bug after doing such a fantastic job through his first several games, he’s still unfazed and making big-time throws—most notably, to fellow rookie Tank Dell—to help the Texans get wins. Stroud joined Joe Burrow as the only rookie quarterbacks in NFL history with three consecutive games of 300+ passing yards.


14. Minnesota Vikings (6-5) | Last week: 14

The Vikings have been in a crazy number of close, one-possession games over the past couple of seasons; while they haven’t been as proficient as the record-breaking 11-0 last season, Kevin O’Connell does a really fine job of getting his guys to battle in tight contests. The ground game showed more improvement in the loss at Denver, and they still have something going with the defense.


15. Denver Broncos (5-5) | Last week: 17 (+2)

The Broncos could certainly be over the Vikings after getting a win over them, but I’ll keep them below for now after narrowly winning at home. But Russell Wilson—though not putting up big point totals offensively—is playing like vintage Wilson in key situations. Ja’Quan McMillian is making game-changing plays on defense, including a turnover in three consecutive games. However, the Broncos defense must tackle better despite their major progress on that side of the ball.


16. Cincinnati Bengals (5-5) | Last week: 8 (-8)

This strikes me as a year in the AFC where any team in the field can get hot and make a run (and the Bengals felt like they could easily be that team), so Joe Burrow’s season-ending wrist injury is extra disappointing for a team that finished in the top four in each of the past two seasons. Still, look for Cincy to play through Lou Anarumo’s defense and Joe Mixon, with Jake Browning making enough plays to keep them competitive.


17. Los Angeles Chargers (4-6) | Last week: 15 (-2)

Chargers head coach Brandon Staley was not happy after the loss to the Packers, and the vibes seem to be as off as they’ve been—now fans have totally lost it. LA had opportunities to make plays offensively and win at the end, but the pass defense continues to struggle—and I don’t think they should be absolved of blame. The Chargers will now be without star pass rusher Joey Bosa because of a foot sprain.


18. Indianapolis Colts (5-5) | Last week: 18

The big story for the Colts coming off their bye week is that they stunningly waived three-time first-team All-Pro linebacker Shaquille Leonard. The 28-year-old playmaker wasn’t getting enough playing time and has had his career derailed by injuries, but for Indy to just release someone of his talent level is a shocker.


19. New Orleans Saints (5-5) | Last week: 19

The Saints also had their bye last week, and health is the thing to track for them. Michael Thomas (knee) was placed on injured reserve, cornerback Marshon Lattimore looks uncertain for Week 12, and quarterback Derek Carr currently remains in the concussion protocol.


20. Las Vegas Raiders (5-6) | Last week: 20

While Miami stuffed the run to play a hand in it, Las Vegas got away from the run more than they would like to (14 carries, 39 yards for Josh Jacobs), so look for that the be remedied for a matchup with the Chiefs—though Kansas City won’t make it easy for them to pound the ball, either. He’s done some good things, but I don’t quite understand a team looking to push for a playoff spot playing rookie Aidan O’Connell over Jimmy Garoppolo.


21. Green Bay Packers (4-6) | Last week: 25 (+4)

Jordan Love had one of his best games, capped with a game-winning touchdown to Romeo Doubs to help the Packers remain within striking distance in the NFC playoff picture. Even after the Rasul Douglas trade and with Jaire Alexander (shoulder) out, the Packers defense has quietly been impressive over the past several games.


22. Los Angeles Rams (4-6) | Last week: 26 (+4)

The Rams ended their three-game losing streak to also remain in the playoff mix ahead of a road matchup with Kyler Murray and the Cardinals, and they get a boost on offense with dynamic running back Kyren Williams returning from his ankle injury. Hopefully Cooper Kupp (ankle) is ready to go, too.


23. New York Jets (4-6) | Last week: 21 (-2)

I don’t blame the Jets for just trying something different on offense in going with Tim Boyle, but the issues are obviously much deeper than Zach Wilson—and the defense might have had too much asked of them throughout the first ten games. Robert Saleh’s team will look to slow down the Dolphins’ attack for the first-ever NFL Black Friday game.


24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-6) | Last week: 22 (-2)

The big plays were the issue for the Tampa Bay defense, as they didn’t do a bad job of getting off the field in third-down situations—and the Bucs offense was able to convert 50% of their own third downs—but the chunk plays were undoubtedly a key factor in the game. They’re squarely in the NFC South discussion ahead of matchups with the Colts, Panthers, and Falcons.


25. Atlanta Falcons (4-6) | Last week: 24 (-1)

Desmond Ridder is back under center for the Falcons, and no matter where you stand on the move it’s probably smart for Arthur Smith to declare that they will stick with him for the rest of the season. The second-year quarterback won’t have to look over his shoulder, and he’ll have several games to see if the reset/benching helped.


26. Chicago Bears (3-8) | Last week: 29 (+3)

Giving up the lead in the fourth quarter is what will be remembered, but the Bears move up in this week’s power rankings despite the road loss to the Lions. They’ve shown definite progress under Matt Eberflus since the 0-4 start.


27. Arizona Cardinals (2-9) | Last week: 28 (+1)

The Cardinals defense recorded four sacks and three interceptions while attempting to upset the Texans at home, and they figure to remain highly competitive most weeks with Kyler Murray back at quarterback.


28. New York Giants (3-8) | Last week: 31 (+3)

Despite absorbing nine sacks, Tommy DeVito went 18/26 for 246 yards and three touchdowns for his first career victory at Washington. Saquon Barkley totaled 140 yards and two touchdowns, and the New York defense forced six turnovers.


29. Washington Commanders (4-7) | Last week: 23 (-6)

Perhaps they can go on an improbable run, but the clock appears to be running out for the current Commanders regime—with head coach Ron Rivera continuing to sound more like a politician in arguing that he’s done a good job since taking over.


30. New England Patriots (2-8) | Last week: 30

The quarterback situation will be monitored all week for New England, with Mac Jones’ hold on the starting job up in the air coming off the bye week. People on the outside will want to talk about draft position, but the Pats are just looking to get a win over the Giants this week.


31. Tennessee Titans (3-7) | Last week: 27 (-4)

The Titans are an example of what player personnel blunders—most notably, trading away arguably the NFL’s best receiver in A.J. Brown—can do to a team. You wouldn’t expect a Mike Vrabel team to become non-competitive on the scoreboard, but that’s been the case the past two weeks.


32. Carolina Panthers (1-9) | Last week: 32

The Panthers don’t seem to have much energy—especially on offense—and that’s been the case all season. Again, I feel badly for No. 1 pick Bryce Young in this situation, but hopefully he can shut out the noise and power through the final seven games of a tough rookie year.