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redeyechicago.com

Pompei's NFL rankings

Dan Pompei

On the NFL

5:28 PM CST, December 18, 2012

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1. 49ers (4): Not counting games against the Rams, they have won six in a row, including one of the most impressive victories of the year by any team Sunday.

2. Broncos (2): As if they didn't have enough going for them, now Knowshon Moreno finally is showing why he was a first-round draft pick.

3. Packers (3): The Bears can't beat them, but Mason Crosby might be able to.

4. Patriots (1): Even in defeat they earned respect because of their incredible ability to come back when trailing.

5. Texans (5): They clinched the AFC South on Sunday and J.J. Watt may have clinched defensive player of the year.

6. Falcons (6): They bounced back from a stinker against the Panthers with their most impressive victory of the year against the Giants. That's the sign of a good team.

7. Seahawks (10): Hot? You want hot? They have won their last two games by a combined score of 108-17. We will see what they really are made of Sunday night when the 49ers visit.

8. Redskins (11): Who needs RGIII when you have Kirk Cousins?

9. Colts (8): They can beat average teams, but can they beat the good ones? They will find out in two weeks with a rematch against the Texans.

10. Ravens (9): They are in the playoffs but have lost three in a row and could be limping to the finish line.

11. Giants (7): You want to believe in the Giants, but they are ridiculously inconsistent.

12. Bengals (12): They need to beat the Steelers to get where they want to go, but they have lost five straight to their rivals from Pittsburgh.

13. Vikings (15): Is it possible the Vikings will not make the playoffs but Adrian Peterson will?

14. Cowboys (14): All they need to do to win the NFC East is beat the Saints and Redskins.

15. Bears (13): They have lost five of six and have one of the most impotent offenses in the league.

16. Steelers (16): They might have to bring in an interpreter to be a go-between for Todd Haley and Ben Roethlisberger, because they are not speaking the same language.

17. Rams (17): They have little hope of being a playoff team, but don't be surprised if they are a tough out in their last two games.

18. Dolphins (23): If they could play the Jaguars every week, it might seem like 1972 all over again.

19. Saints (21): The only game that matters to the Saints now is the negotiating game being played with Sean Payton.

20. Jets (18): At least they no longer should be deluding themselves about Mark Sanchez.

21. Panthers (25): If the Panthers beat the Raiders and Saints, they will have won five of their last six and made a strong case for coach Ron Rivera to be retained.

22. Buccaneers (19): If only they would have gone after the Saints the way they were going after one another on the sidelines.

23. Browns (20): Brandon Weeden needs to finish with a flourish to be considered the Browns' QB of the future for a new regime.

24. Chargers (22): They are selling tickets on Groupon, but they might have to pay fans to come to sell out theirhome finale.

25. Bills (24): Buddy Nix is talking about trading up for a quarterback. The Chiefs and Jaguars are hoping he doesn't get fired.

26. Titans (28): They will discover this week there is a difference between Mark Sanchez and Aaron Rodgers.

27. Eagles (27): The only suspense left is to see if the Eagles hire their next coach before Andy Reid gets anotherjob.

28. Raiders (29): Bored with booing poor play, Raiders fans now have begun booing poor form in shooing pigeons.

29. Cardinals. (30): If scoring points wasn't part of football, they wouldn't be all that bad.

30. Lions (26): Six straight losses, and it looks like they have their bags packed and their cars running in the parking lot.

31. Jaguars (31): Maybe it's not too late to bring back David Garrard. Or Mark Brunell.

32. Chiefs (32): The only way they can make this season worse is by winning at the end and blowing the first pick in the draft.