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INSIDER WEEK 12 POWER RANKINGS
By Glenn Bernardi
Jets Insider.com Contributing Writer
November 28th, 2006
The Bolts stay on top with a win over Oakland.
The Bolts stay on top with a win over Oakland.
1. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS {9-2} - Last Week #1
You knew they were ripe for a letdown coming off those thrilling comebacks at Cinci and Denver, but serious contenders find a way to win despite the letdown as the Chargers did here {SD 21 OAK 14}. So now it's five in a row for SD as they head to Buffalo.

2. BALTIMORE RAVENS {9-2} - Last Week #4
It's time to take these guys dead serious. With the Steelers desperately trying to salvage their season, the Ravens blasted them into full draft mode with a 27-0 demolition. They nipped SD by 3 in their own building some weeks back, which means they're pretty evenly matched on a neutral field, but I give SD a slight edge because they have the world’s greatest football player in LaDainian Tomlinson.

3. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS {10-1} - Last Week #3
Their explosive offense was on full display yet again verses the fading Eagles, who they lit-up for 45 in the dome.

4. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS {8-3} - Last Week #5
They matched Chicago turnover for turnover, but in the end they did what the Patriots have been doing for a long time, made more plays than the other guys, did a better job at capitalizing on mistakes, and closed the deal at the wire with an INT following their own fumble. Most teams lose that late fumble and blow the game, but NE just regroups and makes another play.

5. CHICAGO BEARS {9-2} - Last Week #2
This team can win a Superbowl with that defense, but Grossman can sabotage it all if he keeps throwing INT's by the bushel basket.

6. DALLAS COWBOYS {7-4} - Last Week #7
Five TD Passes on Thanksgiving Day, 4-1 as a starter, sole possession of 1st Place in the NFC East, and dating Jessica Simpson. Can life get any better for Tony Romo? Even Terrell Owens is saying nice things about his QB, which must be a sign of the Apocalypse.

7. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS {7-4} - Last Week #10
How well did they play on Thanksgiving? Good enough to send Mike Shanahan scrambling for Jay Cutler .. and Larry Johnson just keeps on rolling downhill like a bull in a china closet.

8. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS {7-4} - Last Week #13
If the season ended today Drew Brees should start for the NFC in the Pro Bowl. He has been nothing short of fantastic.

9. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS {7-4} - Last Week #11
It took Hasselbeck and Alexander some time to shake off the rust, and then they started to roll verses Green Bay. This week they get the first crack at Jay Cutler in Denver, on Sunday night football, and that's must see TV in my book.

10. CINCINNATI BENGALS {6-5} - Last Week #12
These guys have had a pretty tough schedule and it doesn't get any easier as the Ravens come into Cincinnati this week, but Sunday they finally caught a tomato can and took full advantage by pounding the Brownies 30 to Zip.

11. DENVER BRONCOS {7-4} - Last Week #6
Tatum Bell has been banged up and the running game has struggled mightily. Exacerbating their offensive woes has been a dreadful Jake Plummer. Enter Jay Cutler as Mike Shanahan throws a Hail Mary by tabbing his strong-armed neophyte.

12. NEW YORK JETS {6-5} - Last Week #15
Are the Jets better than Carolina and Jacksonville on paper? No, and they even got killed in Jacksonville to prove it, but this team is over-achieving, playing with heart, and they're getting better as the season progresses. I don't know how long it will last, maybe they toss it all away in Green Bay {I hope not}, but right now they're playing with passion and that's enough to leap the teams that are stealing money.

13. CAROLINA PANTHERS {6-5} - Last Week #8
I think it's time to call these guys what they are, classic under-achievers who shouldn't cash their paychecks after losing to the bottom-feeding Redskins during the heat of a playoff run. The sad part is, and really its borderline criminal, these under-achievers would make the playoffs if the season ended today, which says more about the state of the NFC than it does about them.

14. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS {6-5} - Last Week #9
Ditto Carolina, only they wouldn't make the playoffs if the season ended today.

15. MIAMI DOLPHINS {5-6} - Last Week #17
Give our hated rivals some credit, they're mounting a frantic charge and this week they get the under-achieving Jaguars in their building.

16. NEW YORK GIANTS {6-5} - Last Week #14
Well that was fun, huh? Lends new meaning to the phrase, "Snatched Defeat from the Jaws of Victory". And how priceless was Tom Coughlin's reaction when Kiwanuka just released Vince Young from his grasp, a gimmie sack on 4th & LONG, only to watch him scramble for a first down. Coughlin looked like he was about to pull a Woody Hayes and clothes-line Vince Young as he ran by him. Instead he turned his wrath on Kiwi and it was all downhill from there, as the G-Men soon completed the collapse that will live in infamy.

17. BUFFALO BILLS {5-6} - Last Week #19
Sunday they beat the Jags, making it three of their last four, and the one they lost was only by one point in Indianapolis.

18. ST LOUIS RAMS {5-6} - Last Week #22
It was a long time between sips of champipple for the Rams, six weeks to be exact, and that's why they don't deserve champagne for finally winning a game at the expense of the 49ers. That deserves only a Fred G. Sanford delight, champagne mixed with ripple.

19. SAN FRAN 49ERS {5-6} - Last Week #18
Frank Gore became the latest RB to flat-out gash that putrid Rams rushing defense, but Steven Jackson returned the favor and the Rams won it by 3. By the way, Frank Gore has already exceeded 1100 Yards rushing and he should be ticketed for Hawaii.

20. MINNESOTA VIKINGS {5-6} - Last Week #26
Another blessed NFC team that finds itself very much alive in the wild card chase after failing to win a game for a month prior to beating Arizona on Sunday.

21. TENNESSEE TITANS {4-7} - Last Week #27
WOW .. WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!

22. HOUSTON TEXANS {3-8} - Last Week #23
This will sound crazy coming on the heels of the Jets blowing them out, but these Texans are a lot better than 3-8 and they're not as far away from being a team that really matters as some people might think. For one thing, you can build a heck of a defense around cats like Super Mario & DeMeco Ryans.

23. ATLANTA FALCONS {5-6} - Last Week #20
This week Jim Mora {Senior} called Michael Vick, coached by Jim Mora {Junior}, a coach killer. Now this is getting interesting, gotta stay tuned, cause I sense the infamous "Playoffs?!?!" speech on the horizon. You just never know what Senior will say next once he enters full loose cannon mode.

24. PITTSBURGH STEELERS {4-7} - Last Week #16
Ravens 27 Steelers 0, and so ends the 2006 season for the 2005 Superbowl Champs. Bye-Bye Steelers.

25. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES {5-6} - Last Week #21
I'm sure they were hoping Jeff Garcia could help them salvage the season. No such luck, stick a fork in the Eagles, their season went down the tubes when Donovan McNabb limped off that field and into the O.R.

26. GREEN BAY PACKERS {4-7} - Last Week #24
At 4-7 it's over, even the NFC can't be that bad, right? But if I could offer the Jets some friendly advice, expect the Packers to treat this one like Custer's last stand, and be ready to match their intensity.

27. WASHINGTON REDSKINS {4-7} - Last Week #29
In classic Any Given Sunday form, which should serve as a glaring reminder for the NY Jets and every other contender who thinks they have a gimmie this week or any other week, on Sunday the woeful Redskins knocked off the under-achieving Panthers and put their playoff hopes in serious peril.

28. CLEVELAND BROWNS {3-8} - Last Week #25
I can't believe we lost to this team. Even with a horrible hometown call and Any Given Sunday always looming on the horizon, I just can't believe the Jets actually lost to this awful football team. I just had to get that off my chest.

29. TAMPA BAY BUCS {3-8} - Last Week #28
If there's anything worse than losing a ton of football games, it's losing a ton of football games when your best players, or many of them, are all getting long in the tooth at the same time. Barber, Brooks, Rice, Galloway, the list is endless. This is a bad team AND an aging team at the same time. And Cadillac Williams doesn't exactly look like a savior either.

30. ARIZONA CARDINALS {2-9} - Last Week #30
This is the opposite of Tampa. Right now they're bad, downright awful, but at least kids like Leinart, Boldin, Fitzgerald, Adrian Wilson, etc. can give you a glimmer of hope for the future.

31. OAKLAND RAIDERS {2-9} - Last Week #32
I keep waiting for the Raiders defense to join the Raiders offense and just flat-out steal their money for the rest of the season, but so far the defense is playing like they care and that's enough to pull them out of dead last this week despite the constant losing and dysfunctional nature of their organization as a whole.

32. DETROIT LIONS {2-9} - Last Week #31
I think it's time we draft a petition and have their Thanksgiving Day Game privileges revoked once and for all. Seriously, we all love Turkey and Football, it's an annual tradition we all love, and these guys are ruining it for everyone. Why should that be allowed? This team reeks to wholly hell and I say it's time we give them the hook!