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PFT’s Week 12 2021 power rankings

Mike Florio and Chris Simms break down why the Buccaneers’ offense is so effective when Tom Brady has all his weapons and weigh in on how realistic it is to expect a healthy team long term.

1. Cardinals (9-2, last week No. 4): They need to avoid having to play a playoff game in Green Bay at all costs.

2. Patriots (7-4, No. 8): The Pats could end up partying like it’s 2001.

3. Rams (7-3, No. 5): The Greatest Show-offs on Turf need to show something at Lambeau.

4. Packers (8-3, No. 2): They’ll go as far as Aaron Rodgers’s toe can take them.

5. Buccaneers (7-3, No. 6): Last year, they didn’t need home-field advantage in the playoffs. This year, they do.

6. Cowboys (7-3, No. 3): Don’t look now, but here come the Eagles.

7. Ravens (7-3, No. 9): Lamar Jackson’s illnesses are making Ravens fans a little queasy.

8. Chiefs (7-4, No. 10): The defense is getting back to its former form. Now we’ll see if the offense eventually can do the same.

9. Titans (8-3, No. 1): The Titans are the epitome of this upside-down season, winning seven games against 2020 playoff teams while also losing to the Jets and Texans.

10. Colts (6-5, No. 13): This dome team is built for the elements, which will serve them well if they get to the postseason.

11. Bills (6-4, No. 7): Brian Daboll needs to quit auditioning for his next job and start focusing on his current one.

12. Bengals (6-4, No. 14): They need to show more consistency to get to the playoffs.

13. Vikings (5-5, No. 15): They’ve led in every game by seven or more points, and they’ve lost half of them. Hello, 9-8.

14. Chargers (6-4, No. 17): The Chargers managed to win a huge road game at home.

15. Steelers (5-4-1, No. 12): Defeat was snatched from the jaws of a victory that was snatched from the jaws of defeat.

16. 49ers (5-5, No. 20): They can be very dangerous, if they can survive past Week 18.

17. Browns (6-5, No. 19): Fortunately for the Browns, the Lions is the Lions.

18. Saints (5-5, No. 11): They’ll be hard to beat next year, when they add Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers.

19. Panthers (5-6, No. 16): “The losses at home are more exciting now.”

20. Eagles (5-6, No. 23): They could be the team no one in the NFC will want to face in the playoffs.

21. Raiders (5-5, No. 18): The fumes of Jon Gruden have fully evaporated.

22. Washington (4-6, No. 26): Monday night’s game at Seattle suddenly becomes huge for Washington.

23. Broncos (5-5, No. 24): The postseason remains a possibility. Somehow.

24. Falcons (4-6, No. 21): How did they win four games?

25. Dolphins (4-7, No. 25): The Dolphins won’t leave Miami until the day after Christmas. When they do, they could be .500.

26. Seahawks (3-7, No. 22): A decade of brilliance makes the current situation even more conspicuous.

27. Giants (3-7, No. 27): They’ll eventually win just enough games to delay major changes for another year.

28. Bears (3-7, No. 28): They wouldn’t have traded up for Justin Fields if they weren’t willing to keep the current power structure in place. Lose to the winless Lions on Thanksgiving, and that could change.

29. Texans (2-8, No. 32): Yep, they’ll win just enough games to blow the top pick.

30. Jaguars (2-8, No. 29): A couple of wins put Urban Meyer’s hot seat on the back burner. That could be changing, if the punchless losses continues.

31. Jets (2-8, No. 31): Just Entertain The Sale. Offers.

32. Lions (0-9-1, No. 30): “Your momma is a Lions fan.”