Power Rankings are a very subjective thing, and although I spent the majority of the 2010-2011 NFL season trying to add some sense to it, I still had people disagree with my logic.  That was expected.  No one is going to be able to put together a list, even after the Super Bowl is played, to determine who the top teams in the NFL are.  This is just GuysNation’s version of the list.

And now it’s playoff time, and I’ve taken the step to do yet another set of rankings.

Two days after the Super Bowl is played, I’ll do another one of these lists.  You can also expect one on the Tuesday or Wednesday for each week between now and then (aside from the one “off week” prior to the Super Bowl).  Most of the rankings won’t change, but the upper half might shift around.

Here’s where we’re at right now:

32 – Carolina Panthers (2-14)
1-7 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 0-8;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 31, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 32

I still think Bill Cowher wants this job, even though he didn’t mention it amongst his top options.  Salary negotiating tactic by omission.

31 – Denver Broncos (4-12)
2-5 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 2-4;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 17, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 31

At least they brought Elway back, yes?

30 – Cincinnati Bengals (4-12)
2-6 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 1-8;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 16, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 31

Marvin Lewis leads the team to a poor season where they had tons of talent at Wide Receiver and none of the top names were injured…?  Confusing.  Also, the fact that they didn’t bring Larry Johnson back after he was cut by the Redskins confuses me.

29 – Arizona Cardinals (5-11)
2-6 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 1-4;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 14, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 31

28 – Buffalo Bills (4-12)
4-4 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 0-9;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 18, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 32

Rough schedule.  Look at their record involving non-Playoff teams, and look at how they did the last half of the season, and you’ll understand why I’m fairly optimistic for them.

27 – Tennessee Titans (6-10)
1-6 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 1-4;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 3, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 28

Talk about “implosion”.

26 – Detroit Lions (6-10)
3-5 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 1-6;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 19, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 30

A four game win streak to end the season, with half of those wins coming on the road?  I see improvement.

25 – San Francisco 49ers (6-10)
3-4 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 1-6;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 20, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 29

Jim Harbaugh, anyone?

24 – Houston Texans (6-10)
1-7 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 2-4;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 10, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 27

Second half collapse much?

23 – Dallas Cowboys (6-10)
4-4 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 2-4;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 21, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 31

Hopes of a Super Bowl played at home got flushed early.

22 – Cleveland Browns (5-11)
3-5 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 2-7;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 15, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 30

Nine games against playoff teams?  A victory over the Patriots AND the Saints?  And then Mangini gets FIRED?!  Wow.

21 – Minnesota Vikings (6-10)
4-4 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 2-6;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 20, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 29

Another would-be playoff team implodes.

20 – Washington Redskins (6-10)
2-5 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 3-2;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 9, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 26

Played well against playoff teams… not so much against everyone else.  Stayed close in the majority of their games.

19 – Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8)
4-3 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 1-3;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 15, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 24

The great pretenders.

18 – St. Louis Rams (7-9)
3-4 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 1-4;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 17, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 26

Surely the Saints were hoping the Rams would make the playoffs so they wouldn’t have to travel to the Pacific Northwest.

17 – Miami Dolphins (7-9)
3-5 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 2-6;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 13, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 21

A few misteps along the way really tripped them up from being a quality team.

16 – Oakland Raiders (8-8)
3-4 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 3-2;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 11, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 28

Swept their division and pulled to a record of 500, and still Tom Cable is out?  I don’t understand Al Davis.

15 – San Diego Chargers (9-7)
5-2 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 2-3;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 11, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 25

A rough start and a huge missed opportunity in December really cost them this year.

14 – New York Giants (10-6)
4-4 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 2-4;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 2, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 15

Had they not laid an egg against the Packers late in the season, they’d be in the playoffs.

13 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-6)
4-4 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 2-5;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 8, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 18

A decent, rising young team, but still pretenders.

The Playoff Teams

Since none of the other teams in the league have a chance of winning the Super Bowl this year, these are the teams I’m going with for the Top 12 in the list.

12 – Seattle Seahawks (7-9)
2-6 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 1-3;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 12, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 28

Easily the weakest of the playoff teams.  They’ve been horrible this half of the season and they’ve had bad showings against playoff teams.  Fortunately for them they don’t have to travel Wild Card Weekend to meet the reigning Super Bowl champs.

11 – New York Jets (11-5)
5-3 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 2-4;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 1, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 11

They looked shaky a few weeks ago, but their ability to score has certainly been proven as of late, which they might need against the Colts.

10 – Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
6-2 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 2-2;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 6, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 17

If Vick is on his game and DeSean Jackson is playing, they could be really tough to beat.

9 – Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)
5-3 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 1-1;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 5, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 16

Their coaching staff knows what it’s like to play in the post season… aside from their actual head coach.  Their running game could make them a threat even if they have to travel north to cold weather.  Any home games could help restore the reputation of Arrowhead Stadium being a tough venue in which to play.

8 – Green Bay Packers (10-6)
4-3 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 3-3;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 3, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 14

A strong contender to make it to the Super Bowl, they nearly fell short of making the tournament.

7 – New Orleans Saints (11-5)
6-1 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 3-2;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 4, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 15

They’re a different team the second half of the season.  With their weapons healthy, they could repeat… if they can make it out of Seattle with a win.  Road trips up there often suck the life out of teams.

6 – Baltimore Ravens (12-4)
6-2 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 3-3;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 1, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 6

A top half team all season, the Ravens look improved on offense and still high caliber on defense.  That’s a great combination.

5 – Indianapolis Colts (10-6)
4-4 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 1-2;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 5, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 19

Who’s talking about going streaking?  The Colts are.  After a losing streak, they’ve won four in a row and now their running backs are healthy, which means Indy won’t be one dimensional and Peyton Manning can do his best at picking apart opposing defenses.

4 – Chicago Bears (11-5)
7-1 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 3-3;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 4, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 19

With everyone healthy, the Bears have really come into their own and shown they can be just as dangerous as anyone.  It wasn’t looking good there for a while, but they really stepped it up the second half.

3 – Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4)
6-2 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 2-4;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 1, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 6

They’ve got all of the necessary weapons to make a deep run.  They’ll just have to be watching closely as they sit at home during their first-round bye.

2 – Atlanta Falcons (13-3)
7-1 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 4-3;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 2, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 9

A very deceptively dangerous team on offense and on defense.  Not enough folks are giving the Falcons credit.  In the last 8 weeks, their only loss was the recent fall to divisional opponent New Orleans by 3 points.

1 – New England Patriots (14-2)
7-1 Since Week 9, Overall against Playoff Teams: 5-1;
Best Ranking since Week 5: 1, Worst Ranking since Week 5: 6

This team is hugely reminiscent of the Patriots teams of old who had plenty of weapons at Wide Receiver and could also make big plays on defense and special teams.  Maybe dropping Randy Moss helped them recover their identity.