NFL power rankings, Week 11: Falcons are no longer No. 1

David Banks

Houston comes in the top spot after Atlanta dropped their first game of the season.

SB Nation's NFL power rankings for Week 11 are in and we have a new No. 1: Houston Texans. This shake-up comes courtesy of the Atlanta Falcons' first loss of the season. The Falcons' chase for perfection is over but their season is not. The Falcons, along with the Bears, are one of the three best teams in the league right now.


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1. Houston Texans (LW: 2, 8-1): New No. 1. Beating the Bears sealed the deal for me with the Texans as a Super Bowl contender. Once Chicago shut one part of the Texans' game down, Houston turned to another. They're so versatile -- fifth-ranked offense, third-ranked defense. They can do it all.

2. Atlanta Falcons (LW: 1, 8-1): That's not to say Atlanta is all of a sudden a bad team. They're not. They're still one of the two best teams in the NFL. The Falcons' shortcomings came back to bite them when they needed to pick up critical yards late in that game and Michael Turner was incapable of doing so. The running game will be an issue in January.

3. Chicago Bears (LW: 3, 7-2): I had the Bears sixth. Then I had them fourth. Then fifth. I couldn't make up my mind. So, they stay where they were at then after losing by just one touchdown to our top-ranked team. If Jay Cutler's concussion doesn't cost him much time, the Bears will survive.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 5, 6-3): Down goes Ben Roethlisberger with the one injury that could change the entire AFC playoff picture. It's his throwing shoulder, which is concerning for the Steelers. Missing him for any extended amount of time would lead to Byron Leftwich playing meaningful minutes in an NFL playoff race.

5. Baltimore Ravens (LW: 10, 7-2): After taking a swipe at their "average" defense last week, the Ravens come back and put up 55 points on the Raiders. And running a fake field goal while leading big? John Harbaugh and the Ravens are getting a bit of an attitude.

6. Denver Broncos (LW: 8, 6-3): Too high? I think it's just right. At least the way the Broncos have been playing the last few weeks. Manning hasn't hasn't completed less than 70 percent of his passes in a game since Sept. 23. He's playing some of his best football.

7. Green Bay Packers (LW: 7, 6-3): Big road games coming up for the Pack at Detroit and then at New York. They could easily lose both games. A key moment in the season is coming up.

8. San Francisco 49ers (LW: 4, 6-2-1): At least a couple of NFL players didn't know the game could end in a tie, which probably confused them when the 49ers and Rams left the field with the same score.

9. New England Patriots (LW: 9, 6-3): Winners of three in a row, but that came against the Jets, Rams and Bills. Games against the Colts, Jets and Dolphins are all winnable before they face Houston in Week 14.

10. Indianapolis Colts (LW: 11, 6-3): He's not Brady. Or Manning. Andrew Luck is playing better than both of those quarterbacks did as rookies.


Previous Power Rankings: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6|Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10


11. New York Giants (LW: 6, 6-4): Will someone just win the damn NFC East already?

12. New Orleans Saints (LW: 23, 4-5): I'm expecting some pushback for this ranking. A 4-5 team in the top 12. Go back and watch the Saints beat the Chargers, Bucs, Eagles and Falcons in four of their last five and say they don't belong here.

13. Seattle Seahawks (LW: 12, 6-4): This team might be headed to the playoffs. Very winnable games remaining: at Miami, Arizona, at Buffalo, and St. Louis.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 17, 5-4): I'm not sure anyone realizes the Bucs are actually really good. All four losses have come by one score. They've now won three in a row and four of their last five. They'll have to steal one from Atlanta or New Orleans if they're thinking playoffs, though.

15. Minnesota Vikings (LW: 13, 6-4): Everyone's saying it but I can't help say the same: Adrian Peterson is from another planet. 5.8 yards per attempt coming off ACL surgery. The guy just isn't real.

16. San Diego Chargers (LW: 15, 4-5): Vincent Jackson gets the best of his former team. San Diego continues to wither away.

17. Detroit Lions (LW: 16, 4-5): I feel bad for Lions fans. The only thing worse than having a crappy team is when you thought that crappy team would actually be good. A little thing called expectations, something that hasn't hit Detroit very often.

18. Dallas Cowboys (LW: 22, 4-5): They're only a game and a half behind the Giants in the NFC East, but does anyone think they're catching New York?

19. Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 18, 3-6): Shield your eyes.

20. Washington Redskins (LW: 19, 3-6): Three of their last four losses are to the Falcons, Giants and Steelers. We'll spare them. The second half of the season will get better.


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21. Miami Dolphins (LW: 14, 4-5): Remember when we thought the Dolphins could compete for a Wild Card spot? And then the Titans beat them by 34?

22. Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 21, 4-5): I really feel bad for Bengals fans. At 4-5, they seem miles away from the Steelers and Ravens.

23. Arizona Cardinals (LW: 20, 4-5): Still waiting for someone to explain how they started 4-0....

24. Tennessee Titans (LW: 24, 4-6): As bad as the Titans have been at times, I can see 3-4 wins on the table.

25. Buffalo Bills (LW: 25, 3-6): That defense is really, really bad.

26. St. Louis Rams (LW: 29, 3-5-1): I know you're not supposed to like ties but if you're the Rams you're not that upset at a tie with the 49ers, right?

27. New York Jets (LW: 26, 3-6): The "Tebow should start" articles haven't gone anywhere.

28. Oakland Raiders (LW: 28, 3-6): It's never a good time for one of the league's worst defenses to face the Saints. Oakland can thank Kansas City for avoiding the cellar.

29. Carolina Panthers (LW: 27, 2-7): How could so many people be wrong about the Panthers? They're a lost team.

30. Cleveland Browns (LW: 30, 2-7): They should be able to tack on a few wins with games the Raiders and Chiefs coming up in the second half of the season.

31. Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 32, 1-8): The Chiefs took their first regulation lead of the season in Monday's game against Pittsburgh. For that, they avoid last place.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 31, 1-8): Just keep a game competitive. That's all we ask.

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