NFL power rankings, Week 12: Commanders rise, Giants fall

Nov 20, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Washington Commanders defensive end Montez Sweat (90) reacts after a play during the third quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Washington Commanders defensive end Montez Sweat (90) reacts after a play during the third quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

In our Week 12 NFL power rankings, the Washington Commanders continue to ascend while the New York Giants take an ugly step backwards.

. 1-8-1. Previous: . Houston Texans. 32. team. 10

It’s possible, if not probable, the Texans don’t win another game this season.

team. 45. . 3-6. Previous: . Denver Broncos. 31

If there has ever been a true season from hell, this is it.

57. . 3-8. Previous: . Chicago Bears. 30. team

Justin Fields has been fun to watch, but the defense can’t get a stop.

Carolina Panthers. 29. team. 87. . 3-8. Previous:

The Panthers played the Ravens much closer than most expected, but couldn’t generate enough offense.

28. . 3-7. Previous: . Las Vegas Raiders. 28. team

The Raiders finally, mercifully, won a one-score game this season.

. 3-6. Previous: . Pittsburgh Steelers. 27. team. 55

Pittsburgh isn’t going to win games when the Steelers are giving up more than 30 points.

team. 51. . 3-7. Previous: . Los Angeles Rams. 26

This is the worst Super Bowl defense in NFL history. Literally.

25. team. 52. . 3-7. Previous: . Jacksonville Jaguars

Coming off the bye week, Jacksonville needs to see Trevor Lawrence continue to improve. That’s the main thing at this juncture.

53. . 3-7. Previous: . Cleveland Browns. 24. team

Cleveland could have beaten Buffalo on Sunday, but did everything imaginable to beat itself.

team. 15. . 4-7. Previous: . New Orleans Saints. 23

The Saints were able to handle the Rams at home, but it feels too late to make a real playoff push.

. 4-6-1. Previous: . Indianapolis Colts. 22. team. 46

Indianapolis has been much better with Jeff Saturday, but the Colts couldn’t hold the late lead against Philadelphia.

32. . 4-7. Previous: . Arizona Cardinals. 21. team

And with that disaster, good night.

4-7. Previous: . Green Bay Packers. 20. team. 49.

It’s over for the Packers. Time to start thinking about what the future looks like.

Previous: . Detroit Lions. 19. team. 50. . 4-6

The Lions had never won a road game under Dan Campbell before this month. Now, they’ve won two straight.

5-6. Previous: . Atlanta Falcons. 18. team. 44.

Atlanta is keeping itself in the NFC playoff picture. The Falcons aren’t impressive, but they are well-coached and can pound the rock.

. 6-4. Previous: . New York Jets. 17. team. 30

Zach Wilson needs a hug. Actually, he needs a scolding. The defense needs a hug.

. 6-4. Previous: . New England Patriots. 16. team. 47

The Patriots aren’t moving up in the power rankings for that tire fire of an offensive showing.

. 5-5. Previous: . Los Angeles Chargers. 15. team. 13

Once again, the Chargers put the Chiefs on the ropes … and got knocked out.

48. . 5-5. Previous: . Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 14. team

Coming out of the bye, this feels like an inflection point. Either the Bucs get rolling, or they’re a bad division winner who exits the postseason quickly.

. 6-5. Previous: . Washington Commanders. 13. team. 58

Washington is playing really well with Taylor Heinicke at the helm. The Commanders have a real shot at getting into the dance.

Previous: . Seattle Seahawks. 12. team. 36. . 6-4

Seattle needs to keep the momentum it had before losing in Germany. The Seahawks have been one of the feel-good stories of the year.

7-3. Previous: . Tennessee Titans. 11. team. 35.

Tennessee has been much-maligned for its offensive limitations, but no team knows who it is more than the Titans.

Cincinnati Bengals. 10. team. 56. . 6-4. Previous:

The Bengals have an absurd upcoming schedule, so beating the Steelers was a must.

9. team. 31. . 7-3. Previous: . New York Giants

Brutal loss. Yes, the Giants have maybe earned the right to have a clunker, but getting blown out by the Lions is rough.

8-2. Previous: . Minnesota Vikings. 8. team. 60.

Burn the tape. Immediately.

42. . 6-4. Previous: . San Francisco 49ers. 7. team

The 49ers are starting to put things together as the group has gotten healthier. Tied for first place in the NFC West.

Previous: . Dallas Cowboys. 6. team. 123. . 7-3

Phenomenal effort after losing to the Packers. Complete dominance from start to finish over the Vikings.

team. 26. . 7-3. Previous: . Baltimore Ravens. 5

Nothing pretty about beating the Panthers, but a win is all that matters.

Buffalo Bills. 4. team. 16. . 7-3. Previous:

Buffalo still has issues to clean up, but the Bills snapped their two-game losing skid.

7-3. Previous: . Miami Dolphins. 3. team. 59.

Coming out of the bye, Miami gets another with a game against the Texans at home.

Previous: . Philadelphia Eagles. 2. team. 54. . 9-1

Ugly, ugly offensive performance most of the afternoon, but the Eagles found a way to sneak past the Colts.

1. team. 124. . 8-2. Previous: . Kansas City Chiefs

Right now, the Chiefs have the best team in football. Patrick Mahomes is the MVP by a wide margin, Chris Jones is in the running for Defensive Player of the Year, and Travis Kelce is having an all-time season. Again.