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Power rankings: Jints, Iggles go up; Jets, Texans go down

2008, New Orleans Saints Stats: 413-for-635 (65 percent),

2008, New Orleans Saints
Stats: 413-for-635 (65 percent), 34 TDs, 17 INTs
QB Rating: 96.2
Record: 8-8
Note: Brees threw for more than 400 yards in a game twice and more than 300 yards 10 times.
Credit: Getty Images

1. Packers (14-1) (1): Packers rout Bears at home behind yet another transcendent performance from Aaron Rodgers. Pack also locks up top seed in NFC playoffs. The road to Indy goes through Green Bay.

2. Saints (12-3) (2): Drew Brees breaks Dan Marino’s record for most passing yards in a season, which had stood since 1984. Good enough for MVP? It’s between him and Rodgers.

3. 49ers (12-3) (3): Niners do just enough to hold off Seahawks in Seattle, and can lock up No. 2 seed and a playoff bye with win over the Rams or a Saints loss to Tampa.

4. Patriots (12-3) (4): It took an obscenity-laced halftime speech from Bill Belichick to snap the Pats out of their first-half lethargy against a stubborn Dolphins team at home. End result: 27-24 win to clinch a first-round bye.

5. Ravens (11-4) (5): Ravens smash Browns at home, but they still need a win over Cincy or a Steelers loss to clinch the divisional title.

6. Steelers (11-4) (6): Pittsburgh opts to rest Ben Roethlisberger, who is still gimpy with an ankle injury, but Charlie Batch, Rashard Mendenhall and a swarming defense get the job done in a 27-0 romp over the Rams. 

7. Lions (10-5) (7): Matthew Stafford passes for three TDs in the first half of a 38-10 win over San Diego, as Lions make it to the playoffs for the first time since 1999. Good for them.

8. Falcons (9-6) (8): Mike Smith not happy that the Falcons didn’t show up against the Saints with a divisional title on the line. Brees had his way all night in a record-setting effort, leaving the Falcons playing for wild card positioning.

9. Bengals (9-6) (12): Jerome Simpson scores one of the most acrobatic touchdowns ever – literally somersaulting over a defender into the endzone – in Cincy’s 23-16 win over the Cardinals. Bengals are still alive in the wild card race.

10. Giants (8-7) (16): Much improved defensive performance against the Jets helps the Giants win and set up Sunday’s division-deciding game at home against the Cowboys.

11. Eagles (7-8) (14): Too little, too late, but Eagles finally getting it together after falling too far behind in the divisional race to make up all that ground. They beat Dallas for their third straight win. The good news for Andy Reid: He likely returns next season.

12. Cowboys (8-7) (10): Tony Romo bangs his hand on a helmet against Philly and shuts it down in advance of Sunday’s all-or-nothing game against the Giants.

13. Texans (10-5) (9): Texans fall to 0-10 in games at Indy, and Peyton Manning wasn’t even in the lineup. They were beaten by journeyman Dan Orlovsky, a former Houston backup, and suffered second straight loss. Not the way you want to be going into the playoffs.

14. Raiders (8-7) (23): Raiders gut out an overtime road win in Kansas City to stay in position for AFC West title. They need a win over San Diego and a Denver loss to the Chiefs.

15. Broncos (8-7) (11): One thing that’s consistent about Tim Tebow: When his team falls behind by multiple scores, he’s not yet equipped to make up the difference with his arm. Four picks in a 40-14 loss in Buffalo, putting their divisional title hope in jeopardy.

16. Chargers (7-8) (13): Looks like a clean sweep for Chargers, who are expected to part ways with coach Norv Turner and GM A.J. Smith.

17. Jets (8-7) (15): Rex Ryan offers a vote of confidence to embattled QB Mark Sanchez and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer after Jets lose to Giants and see their playoff hopes fade fast.

18. Seahawks (7-8) (17): Seahawks come close at home against Niners, but see playoff hopes doused in two-point loss.

19. Titans (8-7) (20): Home win over Jags keeps Titans in the playoff race. Need a win over Houston and then some help.

20. Bears (7-8) (19): Jay Cutler almost ready to return from fractured thumb, but it’s too late. Bears get blown out by Packers and end their playoff hopes.

21. Cardinals (7-8) (18): Second-half comeback falls short a Early Doucet falls on a wide open fourth-down pass near the goal line.

22. Dolphins (5-10) (21): The record looks bad, but the Dolphins are a much-improved team. After narrow 27-24 loss in New England, they’re now 5-3 after 0-7 start.

23. Chiefs (6-9) (22): Kyle Orton gets a chance to get back at the Broncos. The former Denver QB, benched for Tim Tebow, can beat his old team on Sunday and ruin their playoff dreams.

24. Panthers (6-9) (24): Panthers blow out Buccaneers at home, as Cam Newton breaks Peyton Manning’s rookie record for passing yards in a season, throws for three TDs and runs for another.

25. Bills (6-9) (27): Buffalo finally wins a game, as the Bills break a seven-game losing streak with a dominating defensive performance in a 40-14 win over Denver.

26. Vikings (3-12) (30): Vikings beat Redskins to snap a six-game losing streak, but they wind up big losers as RB Adrian Peterson suffers a torn ACL that could keep him out until the beginning of next season.

27. Jaguars (4-11) (26): Only bright spot for Jacksonville this year: running back Maurice Jones-Drew, who has a career-high 1,437 yards after another 100-yard effort in a losing cause against Tennessee. 28. Redskins (4-11) (25): That’s six straight losses at home in Year 2 of the Mike Shanahan era.


28. Redskins (4-11) (25): That’s six straight losses at home in Year 2 of the Mike Shanahan era. 

29. Buccaneers (4-11) (28): Raheem Morris says he doesn’t think he should be fired. But it’s hard to argue if the Bucs’ ownership disagrees, because Tampa has now lost nine straight.

30. Colts (2-13) (32): Break up the Colts! Indy wins a second straight time, showing that the players clearly don’t care about draft positioning. They do clinch the No. 1 overall pick with a loss on Sunday at Jacksonville.

31. Browns (4-11) (29): Colt McCoy continues to sit out with a concussion from that nasty hit from Steelers LB James Harrison, and the Browns are blown out in Baltimore.

32. Rams (2-13) (31): Could Jon Gruden be on the way to St. Louis? Reports surfacing that the Rams are interested in luring him out of the Monday Night Football broadcast booth. 

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