NFL Power Rankings: 2008 Week 12 Edition

Updated: November 18, 2008, 4:56 PM ET
ESPN.com
Week:

The New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals are riding high in the latest ESPN.com NFL Power Rankings, but huge tests loom for each team in Week 12.

The No. 6 Jets and the No. 7 Cardinals each have opportunities to shake the power structure and make historic leaps in our weekly poll of experts.

Since the NFL realigned its squads to the current eight-division format in 2002, our pollsters rarely have held either team in such high esteem.

The top-rated Tennessee Titans are hosts to the Jets this week. The Jets' current No. 6 ranking is their highest ranking since finishing No. 8 in 2006. In the 2004 season, the Jets once ranked as high No. 4. An upset of the unbeaten Titans could push the Jets -- who began life nearly 50 years ago as the American Football League's New York Titans -- into the stratosphere.

The Cardinals also enjoy newfound elite status. Since the league realignment, the Cardinals have never been ranked as high as they are this week. They have entered weeks ranked No. 8 twice this season.

With the No. 2-rated New York Giants visiting in Week 12, the Cardinals could take a huge step toward winning the NFC West title -- and vaulting into the Power Rankings' top five -- with a victory.

ESPN.com's Power Rankings
The rankings were determined by a poll of ESPN.com's NFL staff: writers John Clayton, Jeffri Chadiha, Tim Graham, Matt Mosley, James Walker, Kevin Seifert, Paul Kuharsky, Pat Yasinskas, Bill Williamson and Mike Sando, and Scouts Inc. Insiders Jeremy Green and Matt Williamson.


The Titans, Giants and Carolina Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers claim the Nos. 1 through 4 spots again this week, respectively. The Washington Redskins fall from their accustomed No. 5 spot, replaced by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Dallas Cowboys (up from No. 16 to No. 11) and Green Bay Packers (up from No. 21 to No. 16) were the big climbers this week.

The Atlanta Falcons suffered the biggest fall, tumbling six spots to No. 14 overall.

How we voted; NFL Nation blog; Football Today

Rank 'em; Pick 'em; Rate your coach; Week 11: Zoom Gallery

(Editor's note: LW indicates each team's ranking last week.)

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