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redeyechicago.com

Pompei's NFL power rankings

Dan Pompei

On the NFL

6:58 PM CST, December 4, 2012

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1. Texans (1 last week): We will find out all we need to know about this team Monday night when they visit the Patriots.

2. Broncos (4): As if having Peyton Manning doesn't give them enough of an offensive advantage, now they have Mitch Unrein too.

3. Patriots (5): They have won six straight and already have clinched the AFC East. Can they stay on this tear through February?

4. Falcons (6): They may be the least respected 11-1 team in history. Can anybody figure out why that is?

5. Ravens (2): After a tough loss, it doesn't get easier from here: at the Redskins, Broncos and Giants at home and at the Bengals.

6. 49ers (3): Alex Smith is advised to keep his arm loose.

7. Packers (9): Greg Jennings back; Jordy Nelson out. Been that kind of year in Green Bay.

8. Colts (11): Andrew Luck is so good he can win even when he throws three interceptions.

9. Bengals (10): They have won three in a row by an average of 21 points per game.

10. Seahawks (14): Russell Wilson might be putting himself in the rookie of the year discussion.

11. Bears (8): They have lost three of four and are looking worn out, but still should win 10 or 11 games.

12. Redskins (16): Perhaps they will start a new trend, and almost every team will be running the triple option fumble.

13. Giants (7): Someone better tell them this is not 2011 and they can't wait until the last two weeks of the season to turn it on.

14. Steelers (15): If they can beat the Ravens on the road with Charlie Batch, who can't they beat with Ben Roethlisberger?

15. Buccaneers (13): They probably would love to have someone dive at their knees during a couple of late-game kneel downs.

16. Cowboys (18): Don't forget about the Cowboys. Tony Romo has thrown 10 touchdowns and two interceptions over the last five games.

17. Vikings (17): They may be wasting one of the all-time great seasons by a running back.

18. Rams (19): If they could play the 49ers every week, the Rams would be one of the best teams in the NFL.

19. Saints (12): They came up awfully small in two of their biggest games of the season the last two weeks.

20. Dolphins (20): They have lost 4 of 5 and Ryan Tannehill has cooled off.

21. Jets (22): Greg McElroy wouldn't have been the best quarterback in any NFL stadium except the one he was in Sunday.

22. Bills (23): They rediscovered the running game after the horse ran out of the barn.

23. Lions (21): With Titus Young, Ryan Broyles and Nate Burleson out of action, any guesses on who Matt Stafford will throw to at Lambeau Field Sunday?

24. Browns (25): The Browns have won two in a row and could make it three straight against the Chiefs. Maybe the Mayans were right about the world ending this month.

25. Chargers (24): Anyone who weighs 300 pounds or more, please contact A.J. Smith for an offensive line tryout.

26. Cardinals (26): Did you ever think they would be longing for Kevin Kolb?

27. Titans (27): OK, so maybe it wasn't all Chris Palmer's fault.

28. Raiders (28): Have they begun packing up the U-hauls yet?

29. Panthers: (29): The Panthers are going to go really young the rest of the season. They should save on razors this way.

30. Eagles (30): Jim Washburn probably never dreamed getting fired would feel so good.

31. Jaguars (31): Their fans are more excited about seeing the Jets' backup quarterback Sunday than anyone on their own team.

32. Chiefs (32): Emotion can carry this team only so far. They will have to earn their next victory.