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For the third time this season, a new team has topped the weekly Power Rankings.
While the contenders and pretenders seemingly separated themselves weeks ago, the battle is now beginning between the top teams aiming for that coveted bye week to start the playoffs.
Here are your Power Rankings for Week 12 of the 2019 NFL season.
1. Baltimore Ravens (8-2)
Last Week’s Ranking: 2
Week 12 Opponent: at Los Angeles Rams (6-4)
They don’t own the best record in the league, but no team can match the Baltimore Ravens right now.
In a matchup hyped as the battle between the top two quarterbacks from the 2017 NFL Draft class, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens dismantled Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans, 41-7.
Jackson supported his MVP campaign by throwing for 222 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for 86 yards on nine carries.
While Jackson’s play continues to steal headlines, the Ravens defense shifted the game with their constant pressure of Watson. Baltimore recorded seven sacks in the win with linebacker Matthew Judon leading the way with two sacks and four hits on Watson.
2. New England Patriots (9-1)
Last Week’s Ranking: 3
Week 12 Opponent: vs. Dallas Cowboys (6-4)
It took a Julian Edelman touchdown pass for the Patriots to sneak by the Eagles on Sunday. Yes, that’s where this Patriots team is currently at.
New England’s potent defense continued its excellence in the Patriots 17-10 win over the Eagles, but the offensive woes are what most people are talking about.
Tom Brady couldn’t find his rhythm in the matchup, throwing more incompletions in the first half than ever in his career.
But the Patriots still prevailed after their weakest offensive performance of the season. While some talking heads may say the sky is falling around Brady, New England currently sits at 9-1 and is in top position for a bye in the AFC.
3. San Francisco 49ers (9-1)
Last Week’s Ranking: 1
Week 12 Opponent: vs. Green Bay Packers (8-2)
After starting the season 8-0, San Francisco was 40 seconds away from back-to-back defeats.
While the score doesn’t reflect it, the 49ers escaped a battle with Arizona, 36-26, on Sunday, after Jimmy Garoppolo connected with Jeff Wilson Jr. for a 25-yard touchdown pass with 31 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
San Francisco scored again as time expired thanks to a Cardinals fumble, but the main takeaway is that the 49ers looked beatable for the second consecutive week.
This isn’t necessarily a cause for concern, especially since they dug deep to avoid the upset, but the San Francisco defense is looking more vulnerable against mobile quarterbacks. Russell Wilson stole the show on the Monday Night classic last week and now Kyler Murray is sliced and diced through the NFC’s most feared defensive front.
But, like the Patriots, there’s not too much to complain about when you’re 9-1.
4. Seattle Seahawks (8-2)
Last Week’s Ranking: 4
Week 12 Opponent: at Philadelphia Eagles (5-5)
Seattle almost went to the top of the NFC West without even playing a game.
Alas, the 49ers last-second victory stopped Seattle from claiming the top spot in the division during their bye week.
Even without playing a snap this past week, we’re still confident enough in the Wilson-led Seahawks that their place in these standings was safe for a week.
5. New Orleans Saints
Last Week’s Ranking: NR
Week 12 Opponent: vs. Carolina Panthers (5-5)
If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice that we kept Seattle in its spot but moved the Packers out of the top five after their bye week.
This is only because of the Saints impressive bounce-back performance against the Buccaneers in Week 11. Drew Brees threw for 228 yards and three touchdowns in the 34-17 win, while receiver Michael Thomas caught eight passes to become the first player in history to record over 90 receptions in the first 10 games of the season.
While the loss to the Falcons was a cause for concern last week, the Saints are healthy and seem to have bounced back properly.
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