After 12 weeks of NFL football, it is safe to say that this season has been nothing short of incredible. From high flying offenses to dominant defensive displays, there has been excellent play all season. Here are the top ten ranking NFL teams after week 12.
10. Baltimore Ravens (6-5): While the Ravens had a promising start, they later fell victim to the fatigue that inevitably accompanies the NFL season. This team is not out of the running for a playoff spot yet, as Lamar Jackson has played well, standing in for an injured Joe Flacco. But, moving forward, 27 rushes from under center is an unsustainable number even for the most dynamic of athletes.
9. Indianapolis Colts (6-5): Despite a slow start the Colts seem to be turning things around after an abysmal few years. Look for them not only in this postseason but in many to come. Who knew that protecting Hall of Fame talent Andrew Luck would work out well?
8. Houston Texans (7-3): The only team that might prevent the Colts’ relentless march to dominance is their division rivals, the Texans. After an 0-3 start, this team has won seven games straight, with Deshaun Watson further developing into an excellent quarterback. With help from their dynamic receiving core and surprisingly uninjured defense, this team looks like it has the legs to go far.
7. Los Angeles Chargers (8-3): Despite a heartbreaking loss this past Sunday, this team looks poised to go far, sporting what is probably the most underrated roster in the league. The ‘Diamond Dogs’ are very quietly having an excellent season, looking to make a run deep into the postseason this year and make up for a disappointing 2017 season.
6. The Pittsburgh Steelers (7-3-1): This team is good. That said, they should be a whole lot better than they are now. With the sheer amount of talent on their roster even without Le’veon Bell, this team should be cruising through their weak division. Due to their inexplicable habit of playing down to their competition, however, the Steelers struggle to defeat the likes of the Jaguars and the Browns, relying on some late-game heroics from Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown to bail them out.
5. Chicago Bears (8-3): It is safe to say that no one saw the Bears coming. This team has spent over a decade dwelling in the basement of the league. However, after acquiring Khalil Mack from the Raiders during the offseason, their strong defense has led the team to a winning record for the first time since 2014.
4. New England Patriots (8-3): And to think we thought this team was showing cracks after a 1-2 start. Like always, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have managed to scrounge out a great record despite lacking other noteworthy players. Seasons like this really do show why Brady is the GOAT (Greatest of All Time).
3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-2): Those aren’t your grandma’s Chiefs anymore, folks. Out with the checkdowns and conservative play calling, it’s time to make way for Patrick Mahomes, gunslinger extraordinaire. This team gave up on Alex Smith over the offseason and hasn’t looked back since. The Chiefs’ high powered offense is putting up ridiculous point totals, and despite a less than stellar defensive front, the team is in its best position in years to make a run at the superbowl.
2. Los Angeles Rams (10-1): Remember when Jared Goff looked like a bust? In the two years since Jeff Fischer was mercifully let go, Sean McVay has transformed this team into a powerhouse on both sides of the ball. MVP frontrunners Todd Gurley and Jared Goff combine for a lethal offensive attack, while Aaron Donald and Marcus Peters form a stout defensive front. This team is one to watch come this postseason.
1. New Orleans Saints (10-1): This team really should be undefeated. If it hadn’t been for ‘fitzmagic’ in week 1, this Drew Brees-led Saints team would have received the recognition they deserved a lot sooner. This seemingly unstoppable team has already taken down the Rams and dealt the Eagles the worst loss that a defending super bowl champion has experienced in NFL history. No one can stand in the way of Drew Brees getting his second ring and first ever MVP award.