Patriots annihilate Lions. Cowboys score game-winner with 1:01 left. Two of the best teams in the NFL exemplify poise, resilience. Besides the Thursday night upset (Raiders over Chiefs), Week 12's results panned out the way they should have. Teams projected to win won, and I was spot on with my predictions. finishing 12-3. (Arizona and Tampa Bay slipped.)
Seven weekends from now we'll start watching games on Saturday, with the Wild Card round scheduled for two days after New Year's.
My ultimate goal is to rank the top 12 teams, ones who will partake in the postseason festivities, in order of how they're seeded.
Again, there's a pool full of rankings and we dive in it:
1 – PATRIOTS (9-2) EVEN
The Patriot Way. … too good. Head Coach Bill Belichick’s wisdom is unmatchable.
2 – PACKERS (8-3) +1
The Packers lead the league in scoring touchdowns (44) and are 5-0 at home.
3 – CARDINALS (9-2) -1
If Arizona can win out the rest of their schedule, they will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.
4 – BRONCOS (8-3) EVEN
Once the elite quarterbacks retire, the NFL will be known as a wide receiver-driven league.
5 – COWBOYS (8-3) EVEN
I knew what Cowboys fans were thinking. I knew, too. A dear friend of mine truly believes that Dallas and Super Bowl belong in the same sentence.
6 – EAGLES (8-3) +1
Their offense, even with Mark Sanchez, is still ranked fourth in the league. Their defense (26th) isn’t exactly a selling point come time for the playoffs.
7 – CHIEFS (7-4) -1
Did the Raiders win their first game of the season? Now everyone knows how to disassemble Kansas City’s offense. #PrayersUp for Eric Berry.
8 – SEAHAWKS (7-4) +1
A decisive 19-3 slam dunk victory over the then 9-1 Arizona Cardinals and a backup quarterback shouldn’t hold too many bragging rights, but some nonetheless.
9 – LIONS (7-4) -1
Once injecting fear into the hearts of many. … then came along a lion tamer by the name of Bill Belichick. No Reggie Bush (ankle) and the offense looks like somebody that I used to know.
10 – COLTS (7-4) EVEN
Beating an inferior opponent, when weighing strengths and weaknesses, could really stunt a team’s growth. Indy gets another easy one next week when the Redskins come to town.
11 – BENGALS (7-3-1) EVEN
Andy Dalton does a terrible job following up -- he, who a week before registered his highest single-game quarterback rating, threw an interception and although he didn’t lose it, fumbled against the Texans. This isn’t the best game to gauge how good Cincinnati is, especially after Houston’s QB1 Ryan Mallett wasn’t 100 percent.
12 – STEELERS (7-4) EVEN
13 – RAVENS (7-4) +2
After digesting last night’s win, I’m still dissatisfied with the secondary. As many times as I had to listen to Matt Elam repeat the word "confident" in his press conference back in June. …
14 – DOLPHINS (6-5) +1
Denver is a tough team to beat, but the Dolphins offense must start thinking outside of the box if the team wants a chance.
15 – 49ers (7-4) -2
Anquan Boldin is the answer to a lot of problems, just not all. The 49ers control their own destiny and in that case all they need to do is win, win, win no matter what.
16 – BILLS (6-5) +2
Kyle Orton took the team to another level in a must-win game on Monday night over the Jets.
17 – BROWNS (7-4) +2
Thanks to Atlanta’s coaching staff, the Lions and the Browns were facing would-be losses before seeing calls from the Twilight Zone, or heaven, depending on who you cheer for. Cleveland is ready to sprint their last lap of games with less drama in their backfield. Oh, right, Josh Gordon is back.
18 – CHARGERS (7-4) -1
Shaun Hill, please learn how to call an audible or work on your pump fakes. San Diego in Baltimore Sunday – who wins?
19 – RAMS (4-7) +1
It’s beginning to feel like the Rams aren’t pulling off upsets. They’re a solid quarterback and safety away from becoming a great team.
20 – TEXANS (5-6) -4
Last week I gave Ryan Mallett the benefit of the doubt. I’m sorry, did you say torn pectoral?
21 – GIANTS (3-8) +4
Their defense continues to dig deeper into one of the team’s gravest problems.
22 – SAINTS (4-7) EVEN
No doubt Drew Brees will still lead the team to the Promised Land.
23 - VIKINGS (4-7) EVEN
They’re not eliminated from playoff contention only because of their losing record. #NextYear
24 – BEARS (5-6) EVEN
The Bears remind me of a group who possesses all the artillery one needs to win battles but don’t have a leader competent enough to pull the trigger. What’s the point?
25 – PANTHERS (3-7-1) +1
26 – BUCCANEERS (2-9) +1
They must’ve done something terrible in their past lives.
27 – FALCONS (4-7) -5
The 4-7 Rams could be playoff-eligible if they played in their sensible division.
28 – JETS (2-9) EVEN
I’m the type that will snatch your mic for no reason. I’ll leave you Mic-less like the Jets this season. #Punchlines
29 – TITANS (2-9) EVEN
Looking forward to a new-and-improved Zach Mettenberger in 2015. …
30 – REDSKINS (3-8) EVEN
Losing to a 49ers team who decided to limit Frank Gore’s carries to preserve his body for a better opponent is demoralizing.
31 – RAIDERS (!-10) +1
I’m not #DyingToKnow anymore. Oakland needs to build a better habit of treating every game as though it’s their last.
32 – JAGUARS (1-10) -1
Pull off more upsets and I’ll place you at #26 next week.