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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Power Rankings: Patriots back on top

By James Walker

It's December. That usually means the New England Patriots are winning big games and getting primed for the playoffs.

New England (10-3) made perhaps the biggest statement of this NFL season with a 42-14 thrashing of the Houston Texans (11-2) on "Monday Night Football." That earned the Patriots a near-unanimous No. 1 vote in ESPN.com's NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN senior writer John Clayton was the only voter not to rank New England No. 1. Clayton voted the Atlanta Falcons (11-2) in the top spot, despite a loss to the Carolina Panthers. You can debate that decision in the comments section if you wish.

Here is how the AFC East fared:
New York beat the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars but had one of the biggest jumps this week. The Dolphins and Bills both dropped one spot after losses to the San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams, respectively.