Brad Biggs' Week 12 NFL rankings

©Chicago Tribune

Chris Graythen/Getty Images North America/TNS

Losing Drew Brees didn’t keep the New Orleans Saints from moving up another spot to No. 3 in Brad Biggs’ NFL power rankings for Week 12 of the 2020 season. The Los Angeles Rams, meanwhile, have climbed into the top four.

Last week’s ranking in parentheses.


1. Chiefs 9-1 (1)

The Chiefs didn’t play very well on defense Sunday night in Las Vegas, but in the end, they had the game’s best player. As coach Andy Reid noted afterward: “I’ve got Pat Mahomes. You give me a minute and a half, and I’m pretty good right there. We can roll.”

2. Steelers 10-0 (2)

The Steelers just keep rolling as rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool scored his 10th touchdown in a demolition of the Jaguars.

3. Saints 8-2 (4)

No Drew Brees was no problem for the Saints as Taysom Hill, in his first start, was an efficient 18-of-23 passing for 233 yards and ran for two scores.

4. Rams 7-3 (5)

Jared Goff completed 39 of 51 passes for 376 yards and three touchdowns and overcame two interceptions as the Rams upset the Buccaneers on the road.

5. Seahawks 7-3 (7)

The beleaguered Seahawks defense showed improvement in a 28-21 win over the Cardinals on Thursday night as newly acquired pass rusher Carlos Dunlap sealed the victory by sacking Kyler Murray on fourth down.

6. Bills 7-3 (10)

Coming out of the bye week, the Bills can gear up for the stretch run of the division race. They haven’t won the AFC East since 1995. The Colts have won the division more recently (1999) — and they moved to the AFC South in 2002.

7. Buccaneers 7-4 (6)

Tom Brady was picked off twice and the Bucs could not muster any kind of running game against the Rams in a tough Monday night loss.

8. Colts 7-3 (12)

It doesn’t look real pretty on offense, but the Colts are finding ways to get it done. They finally got rookie running back Jonathan Taylor going with 90 rushing yards in an overtime win over the Packers.

9. Packers 7-3 (3)

The Packers lost hold of the top seed in the NFC just after Marquez Valdes-Scantling lost the handle on a short pass in overtime in Indianapolis following a rough second half for Aaron Rodgers and Co.

10. Titans 7-3 (14)

The Titans have played some of their best football of 2020 in Baltimore, first upsetting the Ravens in the playoffs back in January and then rallying to topple them in overtime Sunday.

11. Dolphins 6-4 (8)

Tua Tagovailoa was benched for veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick in a loss in Denver, but the Dolphins will turn back to the rookie in this week’s road game with the Jets.

12. Cardinals 6-4 (9)

Kyler Murray insisted his right shoulder was fine after a road loss to the Seahawks on Thursday night, but he looked off after getting crunched on the second series.

13. Raiders 6-4 (13)

The Raiders were poised to deal the Chiefs their second loss, but leaving Patrick Mahomes with 1 minute, 43 seconds and the ball on his 25-yard line was too much time.

14. Ravens 6-4 (11)

The Ravens can’t get anything going on the outside throwing the ball. In his last four games, Marquise Brown has six catches for 55 yards on 17 targets.

15. Browns 7-3 (15)

Nick Chubb rumbled for 114 yards on the ground and the Browns got three takeaways and sacked Carson Wentz in the end zone for a safety in a win over the Eagles.

16. 49ers 4-6 (19)

Running back Raheem Mostert could be ready to return from injured reserve in advance of Sunday’s road game against the Rams. Cornerback Richard Sherman and receiver Deebo Samuel could be back, too, coming off the bye.

17. Vikings 4-6 (16)

A young defense and inexperienced cornerbacks cost the Vikings as Andy Dalton and the Cowboys ended their three-game winning streak.

18. Bears 5-5 (20)

Any realistic hope of getting back into the NFC race starts with upsetting the Packers on Sunday night. The Packers have won 17 of the last 20 meetings.

19. Panthers 4-7 (23)

P.J. Walker threw two bad interceptions but also completed 24 of 34 passes for 258 yards and a touchdown in a blowout of the Lions. He could cement an NFL future as a No. 2 quarterback.

20. Broncos 4-6 (25)

The schedule is tough the rest of the way, but the Broncos proved again they are playing hard for Vic Fangio with an upset of the surging Dolphins.

21. Cowboys 3-7 (29)

For the first time in NFL history, an entire division has three wins or fewer entering Week 12. Welcome to the wild world of the NFC East, with the Cowboys smack in the middle of things after an upset win in Minnesota.

22. Giants 3-7 (22)

First-year coach Joe Judge shook things up during the bye week, firing offensive line coach Marc Colombo after the two reportedly had a disagreement.

23. Texans 3-7 (28)

Deshaun Watson looked like a star again with 344 passing yards and two touchdowns and a third score rushing against a Patriots defense with zero pass rush.

24. Patriots 4-6 (17)

Six days after a strong Monday night showing against the Ravens, the Patriots came out flat in Houston. The defense was atrocious.

25. Eagles 3-6-1 (24)

One pressing question in Philadelphia all season has been what it would hurt to look at Jalen Hurts at quarterback. Carson Wentz’s future will be heavily debated this offseason.

26. Chargers 3-7 (27)

Finally, the Chargers didn’t find a way to blow a game late, but Sunday’s victory over the Jets didn’t come without a fourth-quarter scare.

27. Falcons 3-7 (18)

The Falcons needed to stop the run and force Taysom Hill to beat their defense throwing the ball. Instead, the Saints rolled up 168 yards on the ground as Hill ran for two scores. The schedule is brutal the rest of the way.

28. Lions 4-6 (21)

The Ford family won’t blow out the front office and coaching staff during Thanksgiving week, although such a move would delight Lions fans. There’s just no way to explain a 20-0 road loss to the Panthers, who started XFL star P.J. Walker at quarterback.

29. Washington 3-7 (30)

Don’t look now, but Washington is in the thick of the NFC East race heading to Dallas on Thursday. Ron Rivera’s defense is a good unit that will improve, and it registered 12 QB hits in a win over the Bengals, knocking out Joe Burrow with a left knee injury.

30. Bengals 2-7-1 (26)

Joe Burrow was lost for the season and the Bengals will be hard-pressed to win again this season. They ought to draft the best linemen they can find to keep him healthy in the future.

31. Jaguars 1-9 (31)

A week after putting up a fight in Green Bay, the Jaguars got a field goal on the opening possession against the Steelers, tried an onside kick that failed and it was all downhill from there. That’s sort of like their season. The Jags won the opener and it has been all downhill since.

32. Jets 0-10 (32)

The Jets have finished with four wins or fewer 14 times since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 and are almost certain to do it for a 15th time. They’re going to challenge the lowly 1996 team that finished 1-15.


©2020 Chicago Tribune