Week 12 NFL Power Rankings: Bears Win Fifth Straight, Lose Jay Cutler

Photo courtesy of bearsgab.com. Jay Cutler (pictured above) will likely be sidelined for the rest of the regular season. How will the Bears respond without their offensive leader?

By Wesley Kaminsky

Last week it was Matt Schaub who was lost for the season with a foot injury, just when the Texans looked like they were getting it all together. A week later, it’s Jay Cutler who will likely miss the remainder of the regular season with a broken thumb on his throwing hand that will require surgery. This couldn’t come at a worse time for a Bears team who have five straight games and look like a legitimate threat to the Packers. Now, that talk will have to wait, as the Bears turn to Caleb Hanie, and pray he can lead them back to the playoffs.

1. Green Bay Packers (1, won 35-26): 10-0. Next up, the Packers get their biggest test of the season yet: In Detroit, on Thanksgiving. (Next game: at Detroit)

2. San Francisco 49ers (2, won 23-7): 9-1. That’s now eight straight wins for the 49ers and counting. Can Jim Harbaugh take down his brother’s team in Baltimore on Thursday? (Next game: at Baltimore)

3. New England Patriots (3,): 7-3. As expected, the Patriots took care of business against the Chiefs. That defense is quietly getting better. (Next game: at Philadelphia)

4. New Orleans Saints (4, Bye): 7-3. The Saints come out of the bye week with the Giants coming to town on Monday Night Football. That should be fun. (Next game: vs. NYG on MNF)

5. Baltimore Ravens (5, won 31-24): 7-3. Which Ravens team will show up Thursday Night against the 49ers? You better believe John Harbaugh wants to take down his brother. (Next game: vs San Francisco)

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (6, Bye): 7-3. The Steelers come out of the bye week with one thing in mind: Win the AFC North. (Next game: at Kansas City on SNF)

7. Chicago Bears (8, won 31-20): 7-3. The Jay Cutler injury comes at a time where both the Bears and Cutler are playing their best football of the season. That hurts. (Next game: at Oakland)

8. Houston Texans (9, Bye): 7-3. The Matt Leinart era kicks off this week with the Texans having a two game lead in the AFC South. Can he hold on to it? (Next game: at Jacksonville)

9. Detroit Lions (10, won 49-35): 7-3. The Lions biggest test comes this week when the Packers visit on Thanksgiving. (Next game: vs. Green Bay)

10. New York Giants (7, lost 17-10): 6-4. With two straight losses for the Giants, Giants fans are having flashbacks of their back to back collapses in the last two seasons. (Next game: at New Orleans on MNF)

11. Dallas Cowboys (11, won 27-24): 6-4. With a favorable schedule the rest of the way, the Cowboys might just be the team to win the NFC East. (Next game: vs. Miami)

12. Atlanta Falcons (13, won 23-17): 6-4. Jay Cutler’s injury has opened the door for the Falcons to return to the playoffs. (Next game: vs. Minnesota)

13. Cincinnati Bengals (12, lost 31-24): 6-4. Even with back to back divisional losses, the Bengals still hold the final wild card spot. They get the Browns this week before a rematch with the Steelers. (Next game: vs. Cleveland)

14. Oakland Raiders (14, won 27-21): 6-4. No team made a better move than the Raiders did trading for Carson Palmer. This team is for real. (Next game: vs. Chicago)

15. Denver Broncos (20, won 17-13): 5-5. Nobody said it would be pretty for Tim Tebow, but he’s doing the only thing that matters: Winning. The Broncos are 4-1 since Tebow has taken over, and that’s no coincidence. (Next game: at San Diego)

16. New York Jets (14, lost 17-13): 5-5. It looks like the confidence of Mark Sanchez has been shaken, but with an easy schedule the next three games (vs. Buffalo, at Washington, vs. Kansas City), the Jets season could be right back on track. (Next game: vs. Buffalo)

17. Philadelphia Eagles (22, won 17-10): 4-6. Vince Young put together a masterpiece, 18 play, 80 yard game winning drive, keeping the Eagles season alive—barely. (Next game: vs. New England)

18. Tennessee Titans (17, lost 23-17): 5-5. Jake Locker looked awfully good filling in for the injured Matt Hasselbeck on Sunday. That’s why they picked him. (Next game: vs. Tampa Bay)

19. San Diego Chargers (18, lost 31-20): 4-6. With each loss, the pressure is going to mount on Norv Turner and Philip Rivers. This season has been a disaster. (Next game: vs. Denver)

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (19, lost 35-26): 4-6. The Bucs kept it close, but couldn’t pull it out in Lambeau Field. That’s no surprise. (Next game: at Tennessee)

21. Seattle Seahawks (23, won 24-7): 4-6. The Seahawks have a good chance at winning their third straight game with the Redskins coming to town on Sunday. (Next game: vs. Washington)

22. Buffalo Bills (16, lost 34-8): 5-5. The Bills hot start now seems like a lifetime ago. Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t won a game since signing his new contract. (Next game: at NYJ)

23. Miami Dolphins (24, won 34-8): 3-7. Don’t look now, but the Dolphins have won three straight games and are one of the hottest teams in football. What? (Next game: at Dallas)

24. Washington Redskins (26, lost 27-24): 3-7. The good Rex Grossman showed up on Sunday against the Cowboys, but it wasn’t enough to get the win. That’s now six straight losses for the Redskins. (Next game: at Seattle)

25. Arizona Cardinals (21, lost 23-7): 3-7. Any thoughts of John Skelton replacing Kevin Kolb as quarterback of the Cardinals were quickly put to rest on Sunday. (Next game: at St. Louis)

26. Kansas City Chiefs (25, lost 34-3): 4-6. There is no way the Chiefs can go the rest of the season with Tyler Palko as their starting quarterback. (Next game: vs. Kansas City on SNF)

27. Cleveland Browns (28, won 14-10): 4-6. It’s baffling to me how this Browns team has four wins this season. This is simply not a good football team. (Next game: at Cincinnati)

28. Minnesota Vikings (30, lost 27-21): 2-8. The Vikings primary concern after their loss against the Raiders is the health of Adrian Peterson, who suffered a high ankle sprain. (Next game: vs. Minnesota)

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (27, lost 14-10): 3-7. You watch rookies like Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Christian Ponder, and Jake Locker play—and then you watch Blaine Gabbert. (Next game: vs. Houston)

30. Carolina Panthers (31, lost 49-35): 2-8. Cam Newton was impressive again, but once again, it resulted in a loss. They should have more wins. (Next week: at Indianapolis)

31. St. Louis Rams (29, lost 24-7): 2-8. Sam Bradford has undoubtedly been one of the most disappointing players in 2011, something isn’t right. (Next game: vs. Arizona)

32. Indianapolis Colts (32, Bye): 0-10. At least the Colts didn’t lose a game this weekend. They also didn’t play one. (Next game: at Carolina)

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

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7 responses to “Week 12 NFL Power Rankings: Bears Win Fifth Straight, Lose Jay Cutler

  1. Gooch from The Bronx

    The thing about the NFL is that the rate of injuries are so huge that sometimes it comes down to the team who is the healthiest. By this time of the season, no team is healthy. The real question is which team has the least injuries to starting players?

  2. Gooch,
    It is a survival of the fittest. Injuries are going to happen in the NFL. It is all about who can weather the storm the best.

    -TheSportsKraze

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