On the NFL
November 14, 2012
1. Texans (3 last week): They proved they are for real by winning against a tough Bears team in bad conditions Sunday.
2. Falcons (1): Did anyone really think they were the '72 Dolphins? They are allowed one mulligan.
3. Bears (2): No disgrace in losing to the Texans when the Bears' starting QB was in the locker room.
4. Ravens (8): Confidence is sky high at the right time — two of the next three are against the Steelers.
5. 49ers (5): They have allowed an NFL-low 127 points, but if they had allowed one fewer they would be 7-2 instead of 6-2-1.
6. Packers (6): They need to survive a tough stretch of schedule before currently injured players come back as reinforcements.
7. Patriots (7): The offense is humming; will Aqib Talib save the defense?
8. Broncos (9): In all phases of the game, they are looking better and better by the week.
9. Steelers (10): They beat the Chiefs without Big Ben, but the Steelers need their quarterback healthy to win down the stretch.
10. Colts (11): They may have less hair on their heads, but they have been playing like they have more hair on their chests.
11. Giants (4): If anyone knows who is wearing No 10 for this team and what he did with Eli Manning, please alert the authorities.
12. Seahawks (12): They are 6-4 but winless in the NFC West and 4-4 in the NFC — which is not a good scenario for their postseason chances.
13. Vikings (14): If Christian Ponder plays like he did Sunday, the Vikings are going to surprise some people in the last seven weeks of the season.
14. Buccaneers (16): While everyone was talking about Doug Martin, Josh Freeman quietly has gotten on a hot streak.
15. Saints (18): They look like a different team since Joe Vitt came back from his suspension.
16. Bengals (21): After beating the Giants, they have a chance to go on a roll with games against the Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers, Cowboys and Eagles.
17. Cowboys (20): They get five of their next six at home and could get hot.
18. Lions (13): After a loss to the Vikings, the Lions are looking at playing their next four games against teams with a combined winning percentage of .740.
19. Dolphins (15): They scored three points against the Titans. Some opponents have put up more than that against Tennessee before the last note of the national anthem.
20. Chargers (17): They are 1-4 in their last five, and it won't get easier this week with a trip to Denver.
21. Rams (23): It is not true that Chris Givens and Janoris Jenkins were running up the stairs at Candlestick Park because they were really hungry and wanted to catch the hot dog vendor.
22. Cardinals (19): Will the return of Beanie Wells stop the Cardinals' skid?
23. Eagles (22): Now it's Nick Foles' turn. Does everybody think that's a good thing?
24. Jets (24): The Jets have lost three straight and if it isn't Tebow time now, maybe it never will be.
25. Redskins (27): They are not very reliable when it comes to defending the pass or predicting presidential elections.
26. Titans (30): Jake Locker is back in the lineup, and all is well.
27. Bills (25): They have lost five of six, but optimist Chan Gailey said there is "still a chance." Skeptics would say there still is a chance for the Bills to end up with the first pick of the draft.
28. Panthers (26): Jerry Richardson says he does not want the team to relocate to Los Angeles. Instead, the Panthers just keep going further south.
29. Raiders (28): Head coach Dennis Allen is a defensive expert, but the Raiders have allowed at least 40 points in two straight games.
30. Browns (29): It's too late to back out of the deal now, Jimmy Haslam.
31. Chiefs (31): If only they could bring back Marty Schottenheimer. Or Hank Stram.
32. Jaguars (32): Mike Mularkey has taken to throwing things. And some think his throws have been more impressive than Blaine Gabbert's.
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