November 28, 2012

THE POINT: To rank each of the NFL’s 32 teams based on performance, perception and potential rather than merely by record.

THE PANEL: Our 10-man committee consists of:

Joe Bendel, 970 ESPN, Steelers Radio Network; Tim Benz, 105.9 The X, Steelers Radio Network; Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 970 ESPN, Steelers Radio Network; Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News; Jeff Legwold, Denver Post; Cole Pepper, Studio Host Jaguars Radio Network; Mike Prisuta, WDVE, 970 ESPN, Steelers Radio Network; Jon Saraceno, USA Today; David Todd, 970 ESPN, Steelers Nation Radio; Matt Williamson,

THE PROCESS: Each panelist ranks the teams from No. 1 to No. 32. Teams receive one point for their spot in the rankings (the No. 15 team gets 15 points, etc.). An aggregate score is compiled from the 10 ballots and the teams are stacked in reverse order, with the lowest score achieving the No. 1 ranking and the highest score checking in at No. 32.

THIS WEEK’S POLL: Houston continues to lead the parade, although the top four teams (Houston, San Francisco, Atlanta and New England) are separated by just 14 points.

The Texans (6), 49ers (3) and Patriots (1) split this week’s first-place votes, with the Patriots being so designated for the first time in the process.

The only tie this week is No. 13 (Seattle and Tampa Bay).

And congrats are in order for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have escaped last place at the expense of the Kansas City Chiefs.

THE STEELERS’ STATUS: Pittsburgh dropped out of the Top 10 (down to No. 11) after losing in Cleveland, an unanticipated development that jumped the Browns up to No. 26.

The Steelers will be taking on our No. 6 team this Sunday in Baltimore.


No. 1-Houston Texans (6)-20

No. 2-San Francisco 49ers (3)-25

No. 3-Atlanta Falcons-32

No. 4-New England Patriots (1)-34

No. 5-Denver Broncos-51

No. 6-Baltimore Ravens-64

No. 7-New York Football Giants-70

No. 8-Chicago Bears-74

No. 9-Green Bay Packers-80

No. 10-Indianapolis Colts-124


No. 12-Cincinnati Bengals-130

No. 13-Seattle Seahawks-133

-Tampa Bay Buccaneers-133

No. 15-New Orleans Saints-145

No. 16-Minnesota Vikings-148

No. 17-Washington Redskins-165

No. 18-Miami Dolphins-180

No. 19-Detroit Lions-184

No. 20-Dallas Cowboys-185

No. 21-St. Louis Rams-218

No. 22-San Diego Chargers-225

No. 23-New York Jets-246

No. 24-Buffalo Bills-248

No. 25-Carolina Panthers-258

No. 26-Cleveland Browns-260

No. 27-Tennessee Titans-262

No. 28-Arizona Cardinals-264

No. 29-Philadelphia Eagles-279

No. 30-Oakland Raiders-294

No. 31-Jacksonville Jaguars-302

No. 32-Kansas City Chiefs-319