Originally posted on Patriots Extra  |  Last updated 12/12/12
I love weeks like the one coming up.  Ten of our Top 12 teams are pitted against each other in battles that will send teams flying up and down the board or cementing their spot as we head towards the post-season.  #1 - New England Patriots I've had the Patriots up here for several weeks now.  Finally the rest of the world is catching up to me.  I'll knock this team down when it deserves to be knocked down, but since Week 12, this team has been playing lights-out football.  The scary part is that they've been doing it largerly without Rob Gronkowski. Last Week: 1      Change: 0     Record: 10-3       Next Game: vs. 49ers #2 - San Francisco 49ers A lot of teams could have taken this spot.  But I decided to make things interesting by setting up a #1 vs. #2 battle on Sunday Night.  A bit fabricated?  Maybe.  But tell me which other team deserves to be sitting here instead of the Niners? Last Week: 6   Change: +4      Record: 9-3-1     Next Game: @ Patriots #3 - Denver Broncos Denver has yet to beat a truly legit team, which is why I just can't put them at #2.  They have yet to beat a team currently in the Top 12.  I have a feeling that will change this week in Baltimore. Last Week: 3    Change: 0       Record: 10-3       Next Game: @ Ravens #4 - Green Bay Packers The Packers took care of the Lions, but not as handily as they should have.  Now they can take care of the NFC North by snuffing out Chicago this week. Last Week: 5      Change: +1     Record: 9-4     Next Game: @ Bears #5 - Atlanta Falcons Some of those shaky wins look even shakier when you're dropping games to the Carolina Panthers. Last Week: 2     Change: -3   Record: 11-2      Next Game: vs. Giants #6 - New York Giants Who knows what to make of this team?  I actually don't think they're better than the Texans, but I had to give them a rise after their drubbing of the Saints.  I think it's fair, considering the Giants won by 25 and the Texans lost by 28. Last Week: 7      Change: +1       Record: 8-5       Next Game: @ Falcons #7 - Houston Texans Monday Night was a demoralizing loss for a team that hasn't looked so hot the past few weeks.  They need to right the ship against Indy or they may end up losing, not just the #1 seed, but the division as well. Last Week: 4     Change: -3       Record: 11-2      Next Game: vs. Colts #8 - Seattle Seahawks I can't believe they aren't going to rise after a 58-0 win.  But I can't drop the Texans to #8 in good conscience, and it was against the Arizona Cardinals. Last Week: 8     Change: 0      Record: 8-5    Next Game: @ Bills #9 - Indianapolis Colts Sunday is one of the rare instances where you will find me rooting vehemently for the Colts. Last Week: 9     Change: 0   Record: 9-4   Next Game: @ Texans #10 - Baltimore Ravens I've been tough on the Ravens the past few weeks, so it feels strange to raise them after a loss.  However, I think they'd take both the #11 and #12 teams on a neutral field.  Still, it's been an ugly four weeks for Baltimore. Last Week: 11   Change: +1      Record: 9-4       Next Game: vs. Broncos #11 - Chicago Bears Chicago is reeling.  They desperately need to win on Sunday to have any shot at winning the NFC North.  More importantly, they need to win on Sunday to keep ahead in the chase for the wild card playoff spots. Last Week: 1      Change: -1       Record: 8-5     Next Game: vs. Packers #12 - Washington Redskins I hesitated to put Washington here given the uncertainty of RGIII's knee situation.  Still, no other team is giving me a good reason to put them here over the Skins and so I'll give them the nod for knocking off Baltimore and clearing the way for New England to get a bye week. Last Week: N/A      Change: N/A      Record: 7-6       Next Game: @ Browns  
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