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NFL Power Rankings: Jets, Chargers on the rise

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. Photo Credit: Joe Rogate

1. Falcons (9-2) (1): Falcons win another close one at home, taking advantage of some untimely errors by the Packers. Falcons still not making believers of everyone though. Might not happen til playoffs.

2. Patriots (9-2) (2): After lackluster first half on Thanksgiving, Patriots wake up to destroy Lions in advance of next Monday’s colossal matchup against the Jets in Foxboro.

3. Jets (9-2) (5): Jets finally win one going away against Bengals. On to Foxboro, where they attempt a rare season sweep over Patriots.

4. Saints (8-3) (7): Saints are back in their Super Bowl groove, winning four straight, including Thanksgiving Day thriller against Cowboys in Big D.

5. Ravens (8-3) (8): Ravens’ defense does a number on Bucs in a 17-10 win in Baltimore.

6. Steelers (8-3) (4): Much, much, MUCH harder than the Stillers could have imagined. They’re lucky to get out of Buffalo with overtime win after Bills WR Steve Johnson dropped a sure TD pass.

7. Chargers (6-5) (10): Chargers one of the NFL’s hottest teams, and Philip Rivers one of the hottest quarterbacks. Bolts win fourth straight and stay within a game of the lead in the AFC West.

8. Bears (8-3) (13): Massive win for the Bears over the Iggles, as Chicago now takes sole possession of first place in the NFC North.

9. Packers (7-4) (6): Aaron Rodgers’ late fumble near the goal proves costly in 20-17 loss in Atlanta. Might these teams meet again in the playoffs? Could be.

10. Eagles (7-4) (3): After home win over Giants, Iggles fall flat in Chicago. Are defenses catchng up to Michael Vick?

11. Buccaneers (7-4) (9): Bucs take step back in road loss to Baltimore, but are still in the thick of the wild card chase. Now two games behind Falcons with five to play.

12. Giants (7-4) (12): Giants recover from 17-6 halftime deficit to pull out 24-20 win over Jags. Tied up again with Iggles for NFC East lead.

13. Chiefs (7-4) (14): Terrific running attack, solid quarterback play and excellent defense the combination once more in resounding road win over Seattle.

14. Colts (6-5) (11): What’s wrong with Peyton Manning? Four more picks against the Chargers, two of which were returned for TDs.

15. Dolphins (6-5) (18): Chad Henne back in the starting lineup and lights up Raiders in the Black Hole to keep Dolphins alive for another week.

16. Rams (5-6) (20): If you are a Rams fan, you have to be delighted that Sam Bradford is your quarterback. Absolutely terrific.

17. Jaguars (6-5) (15): Jags limited to a field goal in the second half after having their way with the Giants in the first.

18. Texans (5-6) (21): Andre Johnson beats up on Cortland Finnegan, and the Texans do the same with the Titans. Houston now a game out of first after mid-season swoon that saw them lose four straight before Tennessee win.

19. Raiders (5-6) (16): More quarterback uncertainty, and now plenty of defensive ineptitude as Raiders take big step back in blowout home loss to Miami.

20. Vikings (4-7) (25): Brett Favre was interception-free in helping interim head coach Leslie Frazier win his debut over Washington.

21. Cowboys (3-8) (23): Cowboys rallied gamely in the second half, but it wasn’t enough against defending Super Bowl champion Saints.

22. Redskins (5-6) (17): Redskins’ offense falls flat once again in 17-13 home loss to Vikings.

23. Seahawks (5-6) (22): Pete Carroll enlists help of 12th man, but nothing doing. Seahawks waxed at home by resurgent Chiefs.

24. Titans (5-6) (19): No Vince Young. No Kerry Collins. No points. No chance.

25. Browns (4-7) (24): Browns barely hold on over awful Panthers to pull out 24-23 home win.

26. Bills (2-9) (26): Give the Bills credit: Their record stinks, but they still play hard for first-year head coach Chan Gailey. They push the Stillers to OT before losing it on a field goal.

27. 49ers (4-7) (28): Niners roll over Cardinals in battle of NFC West lightweights.

28. Boncos (3-8) (27): Broncos and Josh McDaniels fined a combined $100,000 for Spygate 2. News is bad on the field, too, as Broncos lose at home to Rams.

29. Bengals (2-9) (29): Jets shut down and shut up Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens.

30. Lions (2-9) (31): Lions look terrific in first half against Patriots and then look like … well, the Lions … in the second half. More misery in Motown.

31. Cardinals (3-7) (30): Derek Anderson melts down on the field, and then again in post-game press conference when asked why he was laughing on the bench last in a blowout loss to Niners.

32. Panthers (1-10) (32): Panthers stage late comeback in Cleveland, but it’s not enough.

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