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NFL Top 10: Week 15, 2011
By on December 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm

With just three weeks left in the regular season, all’s quiet in the top five of this week’s power rankings, thanks to wins by the Packers, Saints, Steelers, Ravens, and Patriots. That said, there’s some shuffling in the bottom half of the Top 10 and, yes, the Broncos make their firstĀ appearanceĀ of the season. So, as we head into Week 15, we all know that there’s plenty of NFL drama ahead; here’s this week’s Top 10 and don’t forget to vote in the poll, as well…

#10: Denver (Unranked last week, 8-5): I couldn’t hold out anymore. As much as I’d love to continue to leave the Tebows out of the Top 10, he and THE REST OF HIS TEAM are doing a great job of winning games right now. Will be interesting to see how they match-up with the Pats on Sunday–just don’t forget that New England has the 32nd (last) ranked defense in the NFL.

#9: San Francisco (#6, 10-3): The 49ers take a little tumble after their loss at Arizona. While it would be easy to excuse it by pointing out that they clinched the division the week before–it was still the Cardinals. Now the Niners have a much tougher test, as they welcome the Steelers to the ‘Stick on Monday night.

#8: Atlanta (#10, 8-5): The Falcons needed some late heroics, but they were able to come from behind and beat the Panthers on Sunday. They host the Jaguars this week with a chance to finally win a game they’re supposed to win in a way they’re supposed to win it.

#7: NY Jets (#8, 8-5): Bad news: the Jets looked really good on Sunday. Good news: it was against the Chiefs. Hopefully the Eagles can knock them down a couple of pegs this week in Philadelphia.

#6: Houston (#7, 10-3): One of the three best stories in the NFL this year, the Texans are now division champs for the first time in franchise history and will play post-season football for the first time, as well. TJ Yates was nails in Cincinnati on Sunday and led his team back in the final moments. How have they been so good with such QB issues and injuries? Even without Mario Williams, they still have the #1 defense in the league.

#5: New England (#5, 10-3): The Pats’ terrible defense made things more interesting than they should have been at Washington this week and as mentioned, I’m concerned about their stoutness against Denver. It’ll be nothing if not interesting.

#4: Baltimore (#4, 10-3): Even after 13 games, I’m still not entirely sure how good I think the Ravens are. That said, they’ve got 10 wins in those games and sit atop their division.

#3: Pittsburgh (#3, 10-3): The Steelers got the ugly win over Cleveland on Thursday night but they’ll be without James Harrison on Monday night in San Francisco and could be missing their starting QB and center depending on the severity of the ankle injuries suffered by Ben Roethlisberger and Maurkice Pouncey.

#2: New Orleans (#2, 10-3): Earlier in the season, I had the same problem with the Saints that I now have with the Ravens: I just wasn’t sure how good they were. Well, a gutsy road win at Tennessee (with a limited Jimmy Graham) was yet another indicator that they’re not only the second-best team in the NFC, but probably the entire NFL. I imagine they’ll do ugly things to the Vikings on Sunday in the dome.

#1: Green Bay(#1, 13-0): What else can you say? They dismantled the Raiders and while Greg Jennings going down for the rest of the regular season might kill your (or my) fantasy team, it shouldn’t kill the Packers. Hard to imagine them not getting to 14-0 this week at Arrowhead.

OUT this week: Tennessee

IN this week: Denver

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