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Week 12 power rankings

Andre Johnson, Matt Schaub, J.J. Watt

Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson (80), Matt Schaub (8) and defensive end J.J. Watt (99) receive All-Iron trophies from CBS announcer Phil Simms after an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012. Houston won 34-31 in overtime. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)


1. Texans: Those hard-fought wins against bad teams will serve the Texans well in the playoffs. As long as they face bad teams in the playoffs.

2. Patriots: The Pats are peaking, but can they carry it to February this time?

3. Falcons: Michael Turner is still the starting tailback, but Jacquizz Rodgers has become the man.

4. 49ers: Alex Smith is still the starting quarterback, but Colin Kaepernick has become the man.

5. Ravens: If the Ravens win the Super Bowl, 4th-and-29 should be engraved on the ring.

6. Broncos: Knowshon finally says, “Get to know me.”

7. Giants: Eli’s arm wasn’t tired, but the rest sure helped it. Even though it wasn’t tired.

8. Bears: The biggest difference between the 2012 Bears and the 1985 Bears is that, if six starters got hurt against the Super Bowl XX champions, they played for the other team.

9. Packers: The Giants officially are in Green Bay’s head, Werder.

10. Bengals: If the Bengals win the Super Bowl, Carson Palmer should get a ring.

11. Seahawks: If the suspensions of Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner stand, the Seahawks may have to sign Terrell Owens. To play cornerback.

12. Colts: Indy at Denver in the wild-card round would possibly generate the highest rating for a playoff game in NFL history.

13. Steelers: If no running back on the depth chart can hold onto the football, it won’t matter who plays quarterback.

14. Buccaneers: Even Lane Kiffin thinks Greg Schiano had poor clock management late in the game against the Falcons.

15. Redskins: Mike Shanahan should have started his “evaluation” process a few weeks sooner.

16. Saints: With a tough slate of games coming up, Sean Payton is about to get more leverage for his contract talks.

17. Vikings: This week, Adrian Peterson definitely will be on the team bus. He possibly would prefer the Packers team bus.

18. Dolphins: The possibility of the sprinklers coming on spontaneously could sell a few more tickets.

19. Rams: Whoever makes it to the NFC playoffs should be very glad if the Rams don’t.

20. Cowboys: Does giving up only 38 points on Thanksgiving give Rob Ryan bragging rights over Rex?

21. Panthers: If you’d told the Panthers before the season they’d beat the Saints and Eagles, plenty of folks in Charlotte would have been booking their New Orleans hotel rooms for early February.

22. Bills: Ralph Wilson likely will be pressing the “reset” button one more time.

23. Titans: It would have made sense to fire Chris Palmer early enough for the move to make a difference.

24. Lions: The next time Jim Schwartz throws the red flag when he shouldn’t, Ndamukong Suh will kick him in the crotch.

25. Browns: If the Browns keep playing like they did on Sunday, it’ll be hard for Jimmy Haslam to fire Pat Shurmur.

26. Jaguars: The better Chad Henne plays down the stretch, the less likely it is that clocks in Jacksonville will be set to Tebow time.

27. Cardinals: Seven straight losses could keep Ken Whisenhunt from getting a seventh season.

28. Chargers: If the Chargers were as willing to dump Norv Turner as they were to drop various key players over the past decade, they’d possibly be better off right now.

29. Jets: Before we bury the 2012 Jets, look at their remaining schedule.

30. Eagles: Good luck persuading a new coach to take over an aging roster with cap issues and no franchise quarterback in a division that faces Eli Manning, RG3, and the Cowboys twice per year.

31. Raiders: The new regime is making Al Davis look pretty good in hindsight.

32. Chiefs: The new coach is making Todd Haley look pretty good in hindsight.