p>NFL Power Poll

December 19, 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, ESPN.com.

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: The Broncos have completed the climb and now sit a mile high atop our poll.

Denver, after blasting the Baltimore Ravens, supplanted last week’s No. 1, the New England Patriots, who fell all the way to No. 4 after losing at home to the San Francisco 49ers. Denver (4), the No. 2 Houston Texans (4) and the No. 3 49ers (2) shared this week’s first-place votes.

The gap between first-place Denver and the No. 5 Atlanta Falcons is a mere 16 points.

The rankings are so tight this week that there’s even a tie for No. 28 (the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals share that dubious distinction).

THE STEELERS’ STATUS: The Steelers bounced down to No. 14, one point ahead of the No. 15 Minnesota Vikings, after a near-miss in Dallas. Next up for Pittsburgh is a must-win game against the No. 13 Cincinnati Bengals.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The poll will be taking Christmas Week off and then return with a final edition after the conclusion of the NFL’s regular season.


No. 1-Denver Broncos (4)-23

No. 2-Houston Texans (4)-27

No. 3-San Francisco 49ers (2)-33

No. 4-New England Patriots-38

No. 5-Atlanta Falcons-39

No. 6-Green Bay Packers-54

No. 7-Seattle Seahawks-73

No. 8-New York Football Giants-95

No. 9-Indianapolis Colts-106

No. 10-Baltimore Ravens-110

No. 11-Washington Redskins-115

No. 12-Dallas Cowboys-124

No. 13-Cincinnati Bengals-131


No. 15-Minnesota Vikings-138

No. 16-Chicago Bears-140

No. 17-New Orleans Saints-159

No. 18-Tampa Bay Buccaneers-185

No. 19-St. Louis Rams-186

No. 20-Miami Dolphins-205

No. 21-Cleveland Browns-216

No. 22-Carolina Panthers-221

No. 23-Tennessee Titans-239

No. 24-New York Jets-245

No. 25-Detroit Lions-246

No. 26-San Diego Chargers-248

No. 27-Buffalo Bills-271

No. 28-Philadelphia Eagles-278

-Arizona Cardinals-278

No. 30-Oakland Raiders-290

No. 31-Jacksonville Jaguars-312

No. 32-Kansas City Chiefs-318