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NFL Power Rankings, Week 11: Rise Of The NFC

With a convincing win over the Steelers, the Patriots are back on top. But it's the NFC that made a big move this week.

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 11:  Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass against the Baltimore Ravens at Georgia Dome on November 11 2010 in Atlanta Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 11: Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons looks to pass against the Baltimore Ravens at Georgia Dome on November 11 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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After a one week blip on the radar, the New England Patriots are back on top of SB Nation Arizona's NFL Power Rankings. As if there was ever any doubt. The real surprise of this week is that for the first time since I started doing these power rankings so, so many weeks ago, the NFC has a team in the top five. But not just one team, my friends -- they have two. It's the rise of the NFC. Look out!

If you're a Cardinals fan like me, you probably won't like where the team ranks. But maybe looking at the Panthers will make you feel better; they're basically perma-last.

On to the rankings.

(1) New England Patriots (7-2) - Did that Cleveland game even happen? Tom Brady and his band of memory stealers did everything they could in a dominant win over Pittsburgh to wipe any recollection of the loss from the public conscience. (LW: 2)

(2) New York Jets (7-2) - It's taken them nearly full overtimes in both Detroit and Cleveland, but they got wins. A win doesn't need to be pretty as long as it begins with W. (LW: 5)

(3) Atlanta Falcons (7-2) - A win over Baltimore proves that this team is legit. A Giants loss and the fact that their only remaining game with New Orleans is in Atlanta gives them a leg up in the race for home field in the NFC. (LW: 7)

(4) Baltimore Ravens (6-3) - Should have pulled off the win in Atlanta, but there is no shame in the loss. Playing Carolina this week will make them feel better almost immediately. (LW: 1)

(5) New Orleans Saints (6-3) - Back in the top five almost by default. Coming off a bye, if they can keep their heads on straight, they should beat Seattle in the Superdome. (LW: 6)

(6) Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) - 6-3 isn't a perfect record, but the losses are against Baltimore, New Orleans and New England. They'll be a playoff contender. Obviously. (LW: 3)

(7) Philadelphia Eagles (6-3) - One of the unfortunate realities of attending all the Suns games is that I missed Mike Vick's electric performance against Washington. I caught the highlights and all I can say is wow. Get a new job, Kevin Kolb. (LW: 10)

(8) Green Bay Packers (6-3) - In a head-to-head matchup, I'd take the Packers over the Giants right now. My logic is that simple. (LW: 8)

(9) Indianapolis Colts (6-3) - Someone should tell the Colts that you have to actually make the playoffs if you spend the season coasting. I'd advise waking up for games with the Titans. (LW: 9)

(10) New York Giants (6-3) - What an absolute embarrassment. If you're really a beast of the NFC then you don't lose to Jon Kitna at home by two touchdowns. (LW: 4)

(11) Miami Dolphins (5-4) - I might be one of the only people not in the Thigpen family to be ecstatic for Tyler's start against the Bears. I've been singing his praises since he started for an undermanned Chiefs team in 2008 and I think Dolphins fans won't be disappointed this week. (LW: 14)

(12) Chicago Bears (6-3) - I don't think this team is very good, but they do have six wins. They have the good fortune of getting Tyler Thigpen starting at QB for the Dolphins this Thursday night. (LW: 16)

(13) Oakland Raiders (5-4) - Won't move them for the bye, but we'll see what these guys are actually worth when they play Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh. I'll buy in if they pull it off. (LW: 13)

(14) Tennessee Titans (5-4) - Tennessee is 5-4 and they've still got to play the Colts twice. In fact, five of their last seven games are division contests. If they don't make the playoffs, it'll be all on them. (LW: 11)

(15) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3) - Its getting to the point where Tampa is the windmill to my Don Quixote. I'd like to see them win on the road in San Francisco, but they won't. Trust me. (LW: 15)

(16) Kansas City Chiefs (5-4) - Just got hammered against Denver and watched Todd Haley have a breakdown at midfield. Are the 2010 Chiefs the 2009 Broncos? Find out in two weeks after their mirage victory over the Cardinals. (LW: 12)

(17) Jacksonville Jaguars (5-4) - Mike Thomas' game-winning hail mary catch was one of the coolest endings to an NFL game I've ever seen. Pure unadulterated awesomeness made me briefly forget how boring they are. (LW: 19)

(18) San Diego Chargers (4-5) - Once they get by the Broncos at home they'll be at .500. With the Chiefs slipping, the AFC West is probably theirs again. (LW: 18)

(19) Seattle Seahawks (5-4) - Beating the Cardinals is supposed to gain them some respect? They are the current leader in the clubhouse in the West and apparently that's a thing. (LW: 23)

(20) Houston Texans (4-5) - How can anybody possibly believe in this team? There are two kinds of teams in the NFL: those that make the playoffs and those that are the Houston Texans. (LW: 17)

(21) St. Louis Rams (4-5) - If the Rams were going to grab that road win then it should have been in San Francisco against Troy Smith. Going up against Atlanta will be a good test of their home metal. (LW: 20)

(22) Washington Redskins (4-5) - Donovan McNabb signed a $78 million extension in the morning and then got destroyed and outplayed by his Philly replacement Michael Vick at night. Dan Snyder's got to be wondering if that ink is dry. (LW: 21)

(23) Cleveland Browns (3-6) - Heartbreaking to see them lose to the Jets, but it seemed kind of right after watching them play for the tie deep in their own territory. One thing's for sure: Colt McCoy is a player. (LW: 24)

(24) Minnesota Vikings (3-6) - After the Cardinals let Brett Favre have what could have been his last dose of bullshit magic, the Vikings returned to their regularly scheduled losing and sucking. Green Bay gets the fitting chance to land the knockout blow to Favre's final season. (LW: 22)

(25) San Francisco 49ers (3-6) - Funny how different 3-6 looks on the Niners than it does on the Cardinals. One situation means hope while the other means certain death. Good times. (LW: 28)

(26) Denver Broncos (3-6) - A home blowout of the Chiefs was almost as surprising as the loss to the Raiders a few weeks ago. A resurgent San Diego team is about to throttle these guys. (LW: 29)

(27) Detroit Lions (2-7) - Not sure what was more disappointing: that the Lions lost to the Bills or that, facing a two-point conversion attempt with a chance to tie late, Shaun Hill threw the ball out of the back of the end zone. (LW: 25)

(28) Arizona Cardinals (3-6) - It is exactly this bad. As I've told all my buddies from Kansas who are Chiefs fans, we're going to help you guys get healthy in a hurry. (LW: 26)

(29) Cincinnati Bengals (2-7) - Poor Bengals have had the ball and a chance to take the lead in their last two games against top flight competition. They lost them both and now the season is lost. It's about to get ugly in the Queen City. (LW: 27)

(30) Buffalo Bills (1-8) - They will NOT be joining the 2008 Lions as the second member of the 0-16 club. Anyone who thought they would obviously didn't watch a second of this solidly scrappy squad. (LW: 32).

(31) Dallas Cowboys (2-7) - Personally, I think they just enjoyed that one week boost you get from a new coach. Maybe they'll beat the Lions at home this week, but they won't go much further than that. (LW: 32)

(32) Carolina Panthers (1-8) - First, Matt Moore is lost for the season and now Jimmy Clausen is probably out with a concussion. The Panthers QB depth chart this week is going to be sixth-round pick Tony Pike, converted receiver (and former Appalachian State hero) Armanti Edwards, and Cardinals castoff Brian St. Pierre. Yikes. (LW: 31)