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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Power Rankings: Patriots are new No. 1

By ESPNBoston.com

NFL Power Rankings

After Monday night's dismantling of the previously top-ranked Houston Texans, the New England Patriots jumped two spots to No. 1 in ESPN.com's latest NFL Power Rankings.

It's the second week in which the Patriots find themselves in the top spot. They were also ranked No. 1 in Week 2 before losing to the Arizona Cardinals. They dropped to as low as No. 8 before a steady climb up the charts with seven straight victories.

The Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos -- winners of eight in a row -- moved into the No. 2 spot. The Texans dropped to No. 3. The San Francisco 49ers, who visit Foxborough on Sunday night for a prime-time matchup against the Patriots, sit in the fourth spot.