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NFL Power Rankings Week 12


The NFL Energy Rankings are a giant fan of the vacations (who does not love Thanksgiving soccer?), so we’re utilizing this area this week to establish what we’re grateful for throughout the league. Whether or not it is feel-good tales (Washington), nice success (Steelers) or being artistic (Jets), our NFL Nation writers picked one facet of the groups they cowl to toast this week.

How we rank in our Energy Rankings: Our energy panel — a bunch of greater than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities — evaluates how groups stack up all through the season.

Earlier rankings: 11 | 10 | 9 | 8 | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | Preseason

Bounce to:
ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | CAR | CHI | CIN
CLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | IND
JAX | KC | LV | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN
NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF
SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

Week 11 rating: 1

What they’re grateful for: QB Ben Roethlisberger

At 10-0, the Steelers’ cup actually runneth over with gratitude. The Steelers ought to be pleased about an undefeated file, together with wins in lure video games and in opposition to beforehand undefeated opponents. And, after all, there’s the three-game lead over the remainder of the division. However the factor — or moderately, particular person — the Steelers ought to be most grateful for this season is simple: Roethlisberger. With out the quarterback, the Steelers would not be on this place. He is a chilled, veteran presence able to taking on a recreation, which he has executed a few occasions this season. And his well being is the difference-maker for a staff that was 8-8 final 12 months with out him. — Brooke Pryor

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Ryan Clark calls for Stephen A. Smith respect the Steelers’ 10-0 file after Stephen A. calls the staff extra overrated than underrated.

Week 11 rating: 2

What they’re grateful for: Coach Andy Reid

Positive, Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and a number of other others can be acceptable right here. However Reid is the one who turned the franchise round. The Chiefs have a successful streak of at the very least 5 video games in every of Reid’s eight seasons. They received not more than 4 video games in 4 of the six seasons earlier than his arrival. And there is additionally final season’s Tremendous Bowl win to interrupt a 50-year championship drought. — Adam Teicher


Week 11 rating: 4

What they’re grateful for: A cornucopia of quarterbacks

In a league the place so many groups are affected by their incapacity to discover a QB they’ll belief, the Saints have now received video games with Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston behind heart over the previous two seasons. In fact it helps that they’ve Sean Payton calling the shots and a protection enjoying at an elite stage. However there’s a lot to be grateful while you’re 8-2. — Mike Triplett

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Stephen A. Smith debates Dan Orlovsky and Max Kellerman about why he believes the Packers are the fourth finest staff within the NFC North.

Week 11 rating: 3

What they’re grateful for: A salary-cap magician

The Packers are dealing with maybe their most tough offseason when it comes to managing the wage cap and money spending, however happily they’ve probably the most revered capologists within the NFL in director of soccer operations Russ Ball. He has virtually at all times made it so the Packers by no means needed to launch a participant merely for salary-cap functions moderately than efficiency. The lowered wage cap for 2021 — mixed with the megadeals for Kenny Clark and David Bakhtiari — ensures that Ball, together with GM Brian Gutekunst, are going to should get artistic once more. — Rob Demovsky


Week 11 rating: 7

What they’re grateful for: A franchise quarterback

Though he improved drastically in his second 12 months, the jury was nonetheless out on Josh Allen being the Payments’ franchise quarterback. The thought was, by the center of the 2020 season it will be clear whether or not he was worthy of the title. Ten video games in, he has the Payments at 7-3, in place to win their first AFC East title since 1995, and ranks seventh within the NFL in passing yards. He’s a authentic MVP candidate at his finest and a very good starter at his worst. After almost twenty years of below-average play on the place, Buffalo followers can sit comfortably figuring out Allen will captain this offense for years to come back. — Marcel Louis-Jacques


Week 11 rating: 6

What they’re grateful for: QB Tom Brady

Who else? Did anybody suppose in 1,000,000 years that Brady would select a downtrodden franchise that hasn’t been to the postseason since 2007 and hasn’t received a playoff recreation since 2002? In 2020, he has led the Bucs to a 7-4 begin for the primary time since 2010 and helped reinstall a successful tradition. They’re removed from a completed product, however few, if any, outwork Brady, whose affect could be seen all over the place — from execution within the crimson zone to Byron Leftwich’s playcalling and the efficiency of their younger, however rising, protection. — Jenna Laine


Week 11 rating: 10

What they’re grateful for: The Carlos Dunlap commerce

Dunlap leads Seahawks defensive linemen with 3.5 sacks regardless of enjoying solely three video games along with his new staff. That offers you an concept of how impactful he has been and the way badly the Seahawks wanted him. His second sack this previous Thursday sealed their win over Arizona. He additionally has seven further QB hits and 5 tackles for loss since coming over in a commerce with Cincinnati final month. Earlier than then, the Seahawks did not have almost sufficient edge-rushing firepower with their finest menace, Bruce Irvin, on injured reserve since September. — Brady Henderson

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Tim Hasselbeck breaks down how the Colts’ protection helped them safe a win over the Packers.

Week 11 rating: 11

What they’re grateful for: A legit protection

High-ranked protection and Indianapolis are phrases that have not been in the identical sentence an excessive amount of through the years. However the Colts have a authentic protection that has spent a good portion of the season ranked No. 1 within the NFL. The unit, led by linebacker Darius Leonard and lineman DeForest Buckner, has compelled 17 turnovers (12 interceptions, 5 fumble recoveries) this season, that are tied for the second most within the league. — Mike Wells


Week 11 rating: 9

What they’re grateful for: Protection

Sean McVay constructed an offensive juggernaut in his first two seasons as coach, however now in his fourth season, the defense has taken over and ranks second within the NFL in effectivity and common factors allowed per recreation (18.7). Defensive deal with Aaron Donald has set the tone with 32 pressures getting into Monday night time and 9 sacks whereas Jalen Ramsey has not solely been a lockdown cornerback, however has proved he can play numerous positions within the secondary. The Rams even have a number of lesser-known gamers who’ve stepped up, together with cornerback Darious Williams, who leads the staff with 4 interceptions. — Lindsey Thiry


Week 11 rating: 12

What they’re grateful for: RB Derrick Henry

Henry simply is the participant the Titans ought to be most grateful for. It is at all times the team-first strategy for Henry. He has change into a pacesetter and is fast to heap reward on teammates when requested about private achievements. Henry is without doubt one of the Titans’ most constant and explosive gamers. He takes a pounding week after week however still shows up in key moments. There is no higher instance of his well timed dominance than his 419 dashing yards within the fourth quarter/time beyond regulation this season. Henry’s two dashing touchdowns in time beyond regulation function proof that he’s the finisher for the Titans — the reward that retains on giving. — Turron Davenport


Week 11 rating: 5

What they’re grateful for: Simple December schedule

After a Thanksgiving night time recreation in Pittsburgh, the banged-up and reeling Ravens get a much-needed reprieve with the simplest remaining schedule within the NFL. Baltimore’s final 5 opponents have a mixed 16-33-1 file (.333). The Ravens do not look very similar to a playoff staff proper now after dropping three of their previous 4 video games. However Baltimore ought to attain the postseason for a 3rd straight season by caring for the Cowboys (3-7), Jaguars (1-9), Giants (3-7) and Bengals (2-7-1). — Jamison Hensley

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Dan Orlovsky says the Ravens do not have an identification on offense and calls on Lamar Jackson to be the man to raise the staff.

Week 11 rating: 8

What they’re grateful for: QB Kyler Murray

With out Murray enjoying like he has, no matter his ups and downs, the Cardinals would not be 6-4 and within the playoff image. He has bailed out the Cardinals’ offense and coach Kliff Kingsbury on many events through the use of his legs to make performs, get first downs and rating touchdowns when a play has damaged down. He has been capable of learn the protection a selected means on an RPO or when Kingsbury has known as a designed run. As Kingsbury stated lately, Murray has lined for lots errors and made them proper. And, for that, Cardinals followers ought to be saying additional thanks this Thanksgiving. — Josh Weinfuss


Week 11 rating: 14

What they’re grateful for: QB Derek Carr

Who else is sufficiently old to recollect when Carr was going to get replaced by $7.5 million backup quarterback Marcus Mariota by midseason? Whereas Mariota has but to be energetic for a recreation, Carr is flourishing on this, his third season in coach Jon Gruden’s offense. Positive, many would really like Carr to revert to his previous gunslinger methods at occasions, however he has proven he can win by throwing deep, taking what defenses give him, or by commanding a punishing working recreation. — Paul Gutierrez


Week 11 rating: 15

What they’re grateful for: The offensive line

In a single 12 months, the Browns have gone from having one of many worst offensive traces within the NFL to boasting one in every of its finest. Cleveland, in truth, is prime 10 within the league in each cross block and run block win fee. With the additions of Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills Jr. at deal with and the emergence of Wyatt Teller at guard, the Browns don’t have any weaknesses up entrance. And the offensive line has been a driving pressure behind Cleveland’s turnaround. — Jake Trotter


Week 11 rating: 13

What they’re grateful for: A wholesome Xavien Howard

Howard has reestablished himself because the NFL’s finest ballhawk and one of the best cornerbacks in the league. After lacking 11 video games with a knee harm in 2019, Howard is again and tied for the NFL lead with six interceptions. The Dolphins’ protection generally is a lot extra aggressive and productive with Howard patrolling the passing lanes, and his presence is unquestionably cause to be grateful. — Cameron Wolfe


Week 11 rating: 16

What they’re grateful for: LB Roquan Smith

Smith is enjoying at an All-Professional stage. The within linebacker leads the NFL with 15 tackles for loss and ranks tied for third with 96 whole tackles by way of Week 11. Smith, 23, arguably has been the most effective participant on Chicago’s ferocious protection; a unit that additionally options former Professional Bowlers Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Eddie Jackson and Kyle Fuller. The eighth general choose of the 2018 NFL draft, Smith’s upside is gigantic. The Bears would possibly perpetually battle on offense, however the protection ought to be in good palms with Smith for years to come back. — Jeff Dickerson


Week 11 rating: 17

What they’re grateful for: LB Fred Warner

Since good well being definitely is not on the listing of issues the Niners can be pleased about this season, their appreciation for the continued ascent to stardom of their center linebacker undoubtedly is. Whereas a lot of their star energy has been misplaced to harm, Warner has been the one fixed in the course of the protection, providing sturdiness, productiveness and management in giant doses. Warner is lastly getting the popularity he deserves as one of many league’s finest linebackers and is in line for a large contract extension, maybe as quickly as the approaching offseason. — Nick Wagoner


Week 11 rating: 18

What they’re grateful for: RB James White‘s presence

The outpouring of assist for White on Sept. 20, when he was getting ready to play a prime-time recreation in opposition to the Seahawks earlier than studying that his father was killed in a automotive accident, speaks to how revered he’s throughout the NFL. His presence, and the category and management he exudes each day, makes the Patriots higher on and off the sector. — Mike Reiss


Week 11 rating: 19

What they’re grateful for: LBs Eric Wilson and Eric Kendricks

These two are the glue that has held the Vikings’ protection collectively. Kendricks is having one other All-Professional-type season whereas Wilson has emerged within the absence of Anthony Barr and leads all NFL linebackers with three interceptions. Minnesota’s protection has skilled fixed ups and downs given accidents and the youth/inexperience on the defensive position and within the secondary. Kendricks and Wilson are important elements in sustaining stability, and Wilson’s play on particular groups (he blocked an additional level in opposition to Dallas) is value noting, too. — Courtney Cronin


Week 11 rating: 20

What they’re grateful for: QB Teddy Bridgewater

Transferring on from franchise quarterback Cam Newton drew criticism and angst from many exterior Financial institution of America Stadium, however Bridgewater has proved to be the whole lot the teaching employees was on the lookout for, and extra. He has dealt with the transition with class and dignity and has proven that he’s greater than worthy of changing the most effective quarterback — perhaps finest participant — in franchise historical past. Bridgewater has proven you’ll be able to carry out at a excessive stage and be humble and fun-loving with out being the focus, as Newton usually was due to his celeb standing. — David Newton


Week 11 rating: 23

What they’re grateful for: Some spine

Positive, their unhealthy moments have been actually unhealthy. They’ve 13 gamers on injured reserve (a listing that features Von Miller, Courtland Sutton and Jurrell Casey), have handled a number of COVID-19 circumstances, had an surprising bye when the Week 5 Patriots recreation was moved and have 12 gamers 23 years previous or youthful on the roster. But they’ve saved digging in and proven some toughness, highlighted by Sunday’s win over the Miami Dolphins. That will not get them a benefit badge, however there have been extra gifted groups that did not work this difficult to try to overcome as a lot as this staff has. — Jeff Legwold

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Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and Dan Orlovsky get right into a heated debate over whether or not it is time for the Eagles to bench Carson Wentz.

Week 11 rating: 21

What they’re grateful for: C Jason Kelce

Kelce will begin his one hundredth consecutive recreation Monday, extending the longest energetic streak amongst facilities. He’ll accomplish that in ache, as he suffered an elbow harm in opposition to the Browns on Sunday that restricted him to the purpose the place his teammates needed to buckle his chin strap for him. But he continued to play, as he has by way of so many accidents over his 10-year profession. It is a part of the explanation why he is without doubt one of the most revered Eagles of all time. — Tim McManus


Week 11 rating: 25

What they’re grateful for: QB Justin Herbert

Herbert has taken the Chargers to a new level and is on tempo to set a number of rookie quarterback data. He has saved followers invested and — at the same time as they began 3-7 — and will in the end be what attracts followers within the Los Angeles market to the Chargers. His 2,699 passing yards have been 99 % enjoyable to look at. And his new haircut simply tops it off. — Shelley Smith


Week 11 rating: 22

What they’re grateful for: The offensive line

Detroit’s offensive line — significantly the left facet — has been phenomenal (save for Sunday in opposition to Carolina). Left deal with Taylor Decker is enjoying at a Professional Bowl stage. Heart Frank Ragnow is also at a Professional Bowl stage. Rookie left guard Jonah Jackson seems to be like a steady blocker for years to come back and will find yourself on a bunch of all-rookie groups. Whereas proper guard has been a problem, Tyrell Crosby has stepped in at proper deal with and performed effectively. However in one other down Lions season, the offensive line has sparked a run recreation and guarded Matthew Stafford fairly effectively. — Michael Rothstein


Week 11 rating: 24

What they’re grateful for: WR well being (after they can get it)

Julio Jones was restricted once more by a hamstring harm all through Sunday’s loss at New Orleans — yet one more reminder of how precious his well being is to the Falcons’ fortunes (Jones has 20 catches for 328 yards and three TDs this season). When Jones and Calvin Ridley are wholesome, Atlanta would put its WR duo in opposition to any within the league. — Mike Triplett

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Dan Orlovsky is adamant Daniel Jones and the Giants are the most effective staff within the NFC East.

Week 11 rating: 26

What they’re grateful for: Coach Joe Decide

Whereas the Giants have not received a lot this season, it seems they could have discovered their coach. Decide has put his program in movement and the early returns are constructive. The Giants are enjoying laborious for his or her new coach and seem like paving the street for fulfillment sooner or later with Decide on the helm. Lastly, one thing to be optimistic about. — Jordan Raanan


Week 11 rating: 28

What they’re grateful for: QB Deshaun Watson

Because the McNair household seems to be for the Texans’ subsequent normal supervisor and head coach, they need to be pleased about the quarterback they’ll construct round. Though the Texans are 3-7, that file is not indicative of how well Watson has played. And on Sunday in opposition to the Patriots, he confirmed simply how a lot he has needed to do to will the Texans to a win, accounting for 380 of Houston’s 399 web yards. He additionally scored all three of the Texans’ touchdowns. — Sarah Barshop


Week 11 rating: 30

What they’re grateful for: The NFC East

How can or not it’s something apart from the NFC East? If not for the division, the ultimate six video games can be about draft positioning. At 3-7, the Cowboys have as many wins as anyone within the division. They’re in it, no matter that really means. However if you happen to’re on the lookout for one thing completely different, go along with rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb. He holds the staff’s rookie file for catches in a season and has shown he can be a cornerstone piece for the longer term. — Todd Archer


Week 11 rating: 29

What they’re grateful for: QB Alex Smith

In a 12 months that has been sometimes unhealthy or dreadful for this franchise, Smith has served as a feel-good story. There are some gifted younger gamers in Washington, notably receiver Terry McLaurin and defensive finish Chase Young, however Smith’s play — coupled along with his two-year restoration from a horrific leg harm — serves as an inspiration. On the sector, Smith provides Washington a shot to finish strong. His data and luxury within the offense has been evident and his calmness rubs off on the others. Even when Washington does not win a foul division, Smith has helped develop its younger gamers along with his expertise and knowledge. — John Keim

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Stephania Bell goes into element about Joe Burrow’s harm and explains how a lot harm was executed.

Week 11 rating: 27

What they’re grateful for: WR Tee Higgins

Discovering something to be pleased about is extremely tough after Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending knee injury. Nevertheless, Higgins has been one of many brilliant spots in a season that’s rapidly headed south. The second-round choose provides the Bengals one other necessary piece to construct round heading into 2021 and past. Higgins is poised to step into the function vacated by A.J. Green, who slowly is changing into the Bengals’ WR3 as he transitions into the subsequent stage of his profession. — Ben Child


Week 11 rating: 31

What they’re grateful for: RB James Robinson

Robinson is without doubt one of the only a few brilliant spots for the Jaguars. He has been their finest offensive participant and is third within the NFL in dashing behind Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook with 762 yards and is the fifth undrafted rookie in NFL historical past to achieve 1,000 scrimmage yards. If he stays wholesome, he ought to break Dominic Rhodes’ NFL file for many yards from scrimmage by an undrafted rookie (1,328 in 2001) moderately simply. — Mike DiRocco


Week 11 rating: 32

What they’re grateful for: Bert Bell

Who? The late Eagles co-owner was the driving pressure behind the creation of the NFL draft in 1936 — and the draft is the one factor Jets followers can embrace as they endure the worst season in franchise historical past. The 2021 draft is especially interesting as a result of it would embody a generational quarterback prospect, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. In order their 0-10 staff careens towards the No. 1 general choose, Jets followers can discover solace in figuring out there’s hope sooner or later. So, a Thanksgiving toast to Bert Bell, who beats Le’Veon with regards to impactful Bells for the franchise. — Wealthy Cimini



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