NFL Rankings: Broncos take over top spot from 49ers

NFL Rankings: Broncos take over top spot from 49ers
December 26, 2012, 3:30 pm
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For the third straight week, there's a new No. 1 in our power rankings as the 49ers drop after their humbling experience in Seattle and the Raiders settle in among the bottom third of the league.
 

1 (2) Denver Broncos (12-3) Ten straight wins and a season-high in passing yards for Peyton Manning. Are the Broncos peaking too soon?
2 (3)  Atlanta Falcons (13-2) The previous two times they clinched the NFC's No. 1 overall seed, in 1980 and 2010, the Falcons lost their first playoff game.
3 (5) Seattle Seahawks (10-5) This is no misprint - the Seahawks have won their last three games by a combined score of 150-30.
4 (1) 49ers (10-4-1) Refit. Refocus. Reorganize. In any order. Got it? Good.
5 (6) Green Bay Packers (11-4) Dropping 55 points on Titans one thing, keeping it rolling in playoffs another challenge entirely.
6 (7) New England Patriots (11-4) Pat's hangover from Niners game nearly cost them against lowly Jags.
7 (4) Houston Texans (12-3) Anyone else getting that sinking feeling from the Texans as the postseason approaches?
8 (14) Baltimore Ravens (10-5) Shocking as it sounds, team revolves around Joe Flacco as Ravens are 12-1 when he throws for 300 yards.
9 (10) Minnesota Vikings (9-6) Bigger goal for Vikings - Adrian Peterson surpassing Eric Dickerson, or beating Packers?
10 (8) Indianapolis Colts (10-5) Interim coach Bruce Arians a legit NFL coach of the year candidate.
11 (9) Washington Redskins (9-6) Wait, didn’t Mike Shanahan throw in the towel back in October?
12 (12) Cincinnati Bengals (9-6) In last six wins, Bengals have given up an average of just 10.8 points per game.
13 (11) Dallas Cowboys (8-7) Dez Bryant, nine catches for 224 yards and two TDs, realizing his potential as top three WR.
14 (15) St. Louis Rams (7-7-1) Rookie CB Janoris Jenkins scores his fourth TD of the season, furthering his case for defensive ROY.
15 (16) Chicago Bears (9-6) Is pouncing the Cardinals a matter of too little, too late?
16 (13) New York Giants (8-7) About to join 2009 Steelers as last defending Super Bowl champ to miss playoffs.
17 (18) New Orleans Saints (7-8) Drew Brees first player in NFL history with three consecutive 4,500-yard passing seasons.
18 (20) Miami Dolphins (7-8) Real Hard Knocks - Fish have only been in playoffs once in past 11 seasons.
19 (21) Carolina Panthers (6-9) Kickin' and Bumpin' Icon and Entertainer Cam Newton flashes equal parts shiny smile and ugly true colors.
20 (17) Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8) Five of Steelers' losses by a mere three points.
21 (26) San Diego Chargers (6-9) Sunday just has to be Norv Turner's finale in San Diego, right? RIGHT?!?
22 (19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-9) That nice feel-good midseason story replaced by five-game losing streak.
23 (22) Tennessee Titans (5-10) Bud Adams is not happy. Not by a longshot.
24 (23) New York Jets (6-9) NFL player most in need of a fresh start? Paging Mark Sanchez.
25 (24) Cleveland Browns (5-10) Here's a far-fetched theory - Nick Saban leaves Alabama for Cleveland then trades for Rolando McClain. Hey, a lonely Raider Nation can dream, right?
26 (25) Buffalo Bills (5-10) Canisius hoops a hotter commodity than Bills football? Say it ain't so, Joe Ferguson.
27 (27) Arizona Cardinals (5-10) Brian Hoyer. 'Nuff said. 
28 (29) Philadelphia Eagles (4-11) So, about that whole Dream Team thing again…
29 (30) Detroit Lions (4-11) Ndamukong Suh just HAD to like "Scam" Newton's excuse for kicking Tommy Kelly in the grill.
30 (28) Oakland Raiders (4-11) TP Time? Even if he only has a handful of plays, Terrelle Pryor should get some run in San Diego. Unless staff has already decided on position switch or to cut him in offseason.
31 (31) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-13) Are the locals waiting in joyful hope for the return of Tim Tebow next year, or is Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst a more favored prodigal son?
32 (32) Kansas City Chiefs (2-13) Lose to the Broncos Sunday and the Chiefs "clinch" the No. 1 draft pick.