First and 10: Monday afternoon NFL power rankings

November 28, 2011|By Matt Vensel

Because doing a full, 32-team list of power rankings is too much work for a Monday afternoon, I will rank the top 11 teams in the NFL after each exciting football Sunday (that's where the "first and 10" comes in).

Here's the balance of power heading into Monday night's Week 12 finale between the Saints and Giants:

1. Packers: They’re closing in on the NFC's top seed and are five games away from (regular season) perfection.

2. Ravens: With a pair of huge wins over quality teams in five days, they’re redeemed for the Seahawks letdown.

3. Patriots: It sure was foolish to think the Patriots were in trouble a month ago when they had a 5-3 record.

4. Saints: America will get a good look at the Saints on Monday night, and I’m guessing it will like what it sees.

5. 49ers: They won’t drop too much after a loss to the Ravens, but I’m not sure they can win with Alex Smith.

6. Steelers: Looking at the schedule, the Steelers could possibly run the table. At worst, they will finish 11-5.

7. Cowboys: Winners of four in a row -- they don’t have to be pretty -- they have seized the NFC East lead.

8. Raiders: Carson Palmer got off to a rough start, but they’re better than they were with Jason Campbell.

9. Falcons: Don’t look now, but Roddy White has 17 catches in his past two games for 267 yards and a score.

10. Texans: Houston got Andre Johnson back Sunday, but they lost Matt Leinart. Can T.J. Yates finish the job?

11. Bengals: The Bengals will do themselves -- and the Ravens -- a favor if they beat the Steelers in Week 13.

Biggest rise (not on the list): The Broncos, who are stunningly one game out of a wild card spot in the AFC.

Biggest fall (not on the list): The Chargers, who for a second straight year dug a hole they can’t climb out of.

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