2012 NFL Power Rankings Week 14: Cardinals Fall After Big Loss

USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals plummeted again in this week's power rankings. How far? Read below to find out.

1. San Francisco 49ers (9-3-1) - Following new quarterback Colin Kaepernick's first loss as a starter, the 49ers bounced back with a solid overall showing at home against the Dolphins. When Kaepernick is making plays with his feet and holding on to the ball, SF might be unbeatable. Previous Ranking: 4

2. New England Patriots (10-3) - What a smackdown on Monday Night Football the Pats put on the Houston Texans. Even without Gronk and Edelman, Tom Brady looks as dangerous as ever. Previous Ranking: 3

3. Denver Broncos (10-3) - Could Peyton Manning run away with the MVP and Comeback Player of the Year awards? Only Adrian Peterson may stand in his path. The Broncos could win out, but will they have gotten too hot, too soon? Previous Ranking: 5

4. Houston Texans (11-2) - Hard to get embarrassed on national television like that, but the Texans likely realize the regular season probably isn't the deciding game between the two teams. Their pass defense, however, continues to get lit up by top passers and could be a real issue. Previous Ranking: 1

5. Atlanta Falcons (11-2) - Though not everyone thought they would just roll past the Panthers, not many expected the Falcons to lose by 10. Has there ever been a weaker 11-2 squad? Previous Ranking: 2

6. Green Bay Packers (9-4) - The Packers can't seem to decide if they're the dominant 2011 regular season version of themselves or the version that got upset by the Giants at home. Aaron Rodgers continues to have to carry his team and eventually his back will get tired. Previous Ranking: 7

7. Baltimore Ravens (9-4) - Though Baltimore is coming off two tough losses (could be three if not for Ray Rice's 4th down miracle), they're still a dangerous veteran team whose window may be closing. After making the playoffs, their first goal should be to get healthy. Previous Ranking: 6

8. Seattle Seahawks (8-5) - Hard to get a real indicator of this team as if they can get home-field advantage for the playoffs they're a real threat but if they don't, they might be one-and-done. Russell Wilson's great performance is unfortunately overshadowed by what Luck and RG3 are doing. Previous Ranking: 12

9. New York Giants (8-5) - The Giants seem to have figured out how to get hot at the right times, which may be necessary given their end schedule and the Cowboys/Redskins breathing down their necks. Impressive wins over NO though. Previous Ranking: 10

10. Indianapolis Colts (9-4) - How do you go against the story of the Colts this season? Though on paper they probably have no business winning 9 games this year, Luck and his crew clearly have something else on their side. Previous Ranking: 9

11. Chicago Bears (8-5) - Back-to-back losses at home hurts the Bears in the eyes of this committee. Were they ever great or was it just a factor of their schedule? Next week's game against the Packers looms large. Previous Ranking: 8

12. Washington Redskins (7-6) - Redskins fans, and NFL fans in general, were nervous seeing Robert Griffin III go down with that knee injury, but fortunately it doesn't look too significant. Washington finds itself in the thicks of an NFC East race. Previous Ranking: 14

13. Minnesota Vikings (7-6) - So that Adrian Peterson kid isn't half bad is he? To avoid any cliches that have already been made countless times, Peterson is simply leading his team to places it should not go with Christian Ponder at quarterback. Previous Ranking: 16

14. Dallas Cowboys (7-6) - Well the Cowboys finally won a close game. They sure seem to find a way to bring their fans back in just when they were all ready to give up. Previous Ranking: 17

15. Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) - The team that just lost to the Cowboys in the last minute! With the Steelers looking questionable (they're up next), Cincinnati still has a great shot at getting that last AFC Wild Card spot. Previous Ranking: 13

16. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) - With Ben Roethlisberger coming back, you'd figure the Steelers would improve to 15-0 against SD all-time at home. Instead, they have to be disappointed at a missed chance to get a leg up over the Bengals. Previous Ranking: 11

17. St. Louis Rams (6-6-1) - The Rams edged Buffalo by three points for their third straight victory. All of a sudden, St. Louis finds themselves in the thick of the playoff hunt after winning two games last season. Previous Ranking: 20

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) - All seven of Tampa Bay's losses are by few than 10 points and three are by fewer than two. Tampa lost to the Eagles on the last play last week, and their playoff hopes took a major hit. Previous Ranking: 15

19. New Orleans Saints (5-8) - Yes, I thought the Saints would beat the Giants, and yes, their defense gave up 52 points. Saints have lost three games in a row and will get closure with the bounty decision coming down from the NFL today. Previous Ranking: 19

20. New York Jets (6-7) - For how maligned the Jests have been this season, they are only a game back of the playoffs in the AFC. Really? Really? Honestly though, the defense has been dominant the past two weeks, albeit against Arizona and Jacksonville. Previous Ranking: 22

21. Miami Dolphins (5-8) - Miami showed well in their 27-13 loss to the 49ers in San Francisco, as the Dolphins were down just seven points heading into the fourth. However, Miami has lost five of six and are 25th in the league in passing defense. Previous Ranking: 18

22. San Diego Chargers (5-8) - Hail Norv! The Chargers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 34-24 victory in Pittsburgh. It was San Diego's first win in Pittsburgh in 15 chances, knowing past history, this win probably saves Norv Turner's job. Previous Ranking: 24

23. Cleveland Browns (5-8) - Cleveland has won three games in a row and is playing very good football. The Browns have been competitive all season, and have the young pieces in place to be completive for years to come. Previous Ranking: 25

24. Detroit Lions (4-9) - Things continue to go bad for the Lions, who lost 27-20 to the Packers. Detroit has lost five games in a row, good news for the Lions is they visit the desert next week for a matchup with the Cardinals. Previous Ranking: 23

25. Buffalo Bills (5-8) - The Bills have not beaten a team with a winning record all season. But hey, they get to represent the NFL in Canada next week, when they entertain the Seahawks. Previous Ranking: 25

26. Philadelphia Eagles (4-9) - Philly snapped an eight-game losing streak with a victory in Tampa. Nick Foles got his first win as a starter, throwing for 381 yards and two touchdowns. Previous Ranking: 28

27. Carolina Panthers (4-9) - The Panthers beat the team with the best record in the NFC by 10 points on Sunday. Cam Newton threw for 287 and ran for 116 in the victory, even Superman himself was impressed with that performance. Previous Ranking: 29

28. Tennessee Titans (4-9) - The Titans hung in there with the Colts, losing 27-23 in Indy. In the end, it was too much good karma for the Colts and not enough Chris Johnson. Previous Ranking: 27

29. Oakland Raiders (3-10) - Six losses in a row and counting for the Raiders, I guess Carson Palmer was not the answer. Previous Ranking: 30

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-11) - Jacksonville played the Jets tough, but it was too much Mark Sanchez at the end, yes I really did just type that. Previous Ranking: 32

31. Kansas City Chiefs (2-11) - Kansas City lost by 23 to the Browns, Jamal Charles did make fantasy owners proud this week though. Previous Ranking: 31

32. Arizona Cardinals (4-9) - Arizona suffered its worst loss in franchise history at the hands of Seattle 58-0. There is no team playing worse than the Cardinals right now, and many believe Arizona has mailed it in. Previous Ranking: 26

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