2019 NFL Power Rankings: Week 12

We had some significant movement this week in our Power Rankings. It was the Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons who found themselves taking the biggest leap forward in our rankings, while the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers were among the teams to fall the most in our Power Rankings.

Here are our Week 12 NFL Power Rankings:

Teams Ranked 32nd to 23rd

Rank Team nERD Rec Playoff Odds Off. NEP Rank Def. NEP Rank Change
32 Miami Dolphins -14.58 2-8 0.00% 30 32 0
31 Washington Redskins -11.72 1-9 0.00% 29 30 -2
30 Cincinnati Bengals -10.62 0-10 0.00% 27 29 0
29 New York Jets -9.52 3-7 0.10% 32 19 2
28 New York Giants -8.48 2-8 0.00% 28 24 0
27 Arizona Cardinals -5.1 3-7-1 0.00% 10 31 0
26 Jacksonville Jaguars -4.76 4-6 4.30% 24 20 -4
25 Carolina Panthers -4.43 5-5 2.00% 25 15 -9
24 Detroit Lions -4.18 3-6-1 0.00% 13 26 1
23 Buffalo Bills -3.21 7-3 58.60% 19 23 1

The Jacksonville Jaguars got their $88 million-dollar man, Nick Foles, back at the quarterback position last week, after he suffered a collarbone injury back in Week 1. Unfortunately for the Jags’, Foles wasn’t able to get much going against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 11. The Jaguars scored a total of 13 points against the Colts, losing by a score of 33-13. After their second straight loss, the Jags’ find themselves dropping four spots in our rankings.

Jacksonville is currently in fourth place in the AFC South Division but only sit two games back of the first-place Colts, who have a 6-4 record. Per TeamRankings, the Jags have the 21st-toughest remaining schedule across the league to close out the 2019 season. While playoffs are still in near sight of this Jags’ team, the road to get there isn’t going to be easy for them.

The team that dropped most significantly in our rankings this week was the Carolina Panthers. Carolina dropped nine spots after taking a beating by the Atlanta Falcons last week. The Panthers have now lost three of their last four games.

Panthers’ quarterback, Kyle Allen, has struggled over the course of those four games. During that stretch, he’s thrown nine interceptions, while only managing to throw three touchdown passes.

Christian McCaffrey continues to be the anchor for this Panthers’ offense, as he currently leads the NFL with 1,059 rushing yards. On top of that, McCaffrey is also seeing almost 22% of his teams’ targets. While the Panthers only have a 2% chance of making the playoffs this season, they’ll look to lean on McCaffrey to finish their season strong.

Teams Ranked 22nd to 13th

Rank Team nERD Rec Playoff Odds Off. NEP Rank Def. NEP Rank Change
22 Chicago Bears -2.57 4-6 0.20% 31 416 -1
21 Tampa Bay Buccaneers -2.23 3-7 0.00% 15 21 -3
20 Los Angeles Chargers -1.99 4-7 0.90% 14 25 0
19 Cleveland Browns -1.7 4-6 14.30% 20 17 7
18 Oakland Raiders -1.64 6-4 44.20% 8 27 1
17 Atlanta Falcons -0.89 3-7 0.10% 7 28 6
16 Denver Broncos 0.51 3-7 2.00% 22 7 -1
15 Indianapolis Colts 0.56 6-4 57.00% 17 14 2
14 Tennessee Titans 0.57 5-5 19.00% 23 5 0
13 Los Angeles Rams 1.32 6-5 14.60% 21 6 -1

After two straight wins, the Cleveland Browns find themselves climbing up seven spots in our Power Rankings this week – the most of any team. Through their first eight games of the season, the Browns looked like they were about to call it quits, but they have found some new life after winning each of their last two games.

Cleveland's win last Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t end on a friendly note. After a post-game fight, Browns’ fans received word that their star defensive end, Myles Garrett, will be suspended indefinitely. That’s a big blow to a defense that has already struggled on the defensive line. Per our numbers, Cleveland's rushing defense currently ranks 24th overall in terms of Net Expected Points (NEP). Losing Garrett for the rest of the season certainly won’t help with that, nor will it help with their pass rush.

With the league’s easiest schedule to close out the 2019 season, the Browns have momentum to carry them through the end of the season, though they may be hindered by the loss of Garrett.

Another team who has found themselves on a two-game win streak is the Atlanta Falcons – which moves them up six spots in our rankings this week. Both of those wins came against division opponents, making it all that much sweeter for Atlanta fans. Unfortunately for those fans, the Falcons only have a 10% chance of making the playoffs this year and will likely be playing for pride for the remainder of the season.

One player who has never lacked pride in this league is Falcons quarterback, Matt Ryan. Playoff implications or not, he’s a competitor who gives it his all week in and week out. He, however, hasn’t been the problem for this Atlanta team this season. The Falcons’ passing offense currently ranks 8th in the league, per our schedule-adjusted metrics, and Ryan is the engine that runs this offense.

Atlanta's defense has been another story this season. They currently rank 28th overall in total defense, per our schedule-adjusted metrics. However, their defense has looked much improved since coming off their Week 9 bye, something they’ll look to build on to close out the 2019 season.

Teams Ranked 12th to 1st

RankTeamnERDRecPlayoff OddsOff. NEP RankDef. NEP RankChange
12Pittsburgh Steelers1.845-544.00%263-3
11Philadelphia Eagles2.715-535.10%12102
10Houston Texans2.886-464.90%916-2
9Seattle Seahawks3.348-292.30%6182
8New Orleans Saints4.298-298.80%1192
7Green Bay Packers6.118-297.20%4130
6Kansas City Chiefs6.557-491.50%312-1
5Dallas Cowboys6.616-470.00%2221
4Minnesota Vikings6.998-392.90%580
3San Francisco 49ers12.059-196.90%162-2
2Baltimore Ravens12.368-299.30%1111
1New England Patriots13.329-199.90%1811

Like the Cleveland Browns, the Pittsburgh Steelers find themselves in a unique position going forward after their game last week. Steelers’ center, Maurkice Pouncey, received a three-game suspension after his involvement in the post-game fight against the Browns. Pittsburgh also lost their top two playmakers, James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster, to injuries in this game. With a 5-5 record, the Steelers still have plenty of hope to finish this season strong, but they’ll likely take a step back after the Pouncey suspension and injuries they suffered on offense.

Fortunately for the Steelers, they do have the seventh-easiest schedule to close out the remainder of this season. They’ll look to their strengths during that stretch of games, which has been their defensive play this season. Per our numbers, both Pittsburgh's passing and rushing defense currently rank in the top-three across the league. With the Pouncey suspension and injuries they're currently dealing with on offense, they’ll need to rely on their defense, even more, going forward.

With just six weeks remaining in the NFL regular season, things are starting to get tighter in the playoff race. Within the top-tier of our Power Rankings, there are currently eight teams who have at least a 90% chance of making the playoffs this season. Those teams are the Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, and New England Patriots.

The NFL playoff format only allows for 12 teams to make the playoffs, and two-thirds of those teams have all but put in their official bid for the 2019 postseason.