2009 NFL Power Rankings: Week 12

Updated: November 24, 2009, 2:18 PM ET
ESPN.com
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We're months away from the proposed Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather slugfest.

Until then, the Week 12 meeting between the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" will suffice. That's quite the dessert after a Thanksgiving weekend football feast.

The Patriots, No. 4 according to the latest poll of our experts, visit the unbeaten No. 1 Saints. Two weeks ago, the Patriots came within a play of derailing the unbeaten Indianapolis Colts. In Week 12, the No. 2 Colts must visit the reeling Houston Texans. In Week 9, the host Colts edged the Texans 20-17.

The Saints and Colts were knotted atop our rankings. Voter, tabulator and NFC West blogger Mike Sando broke the deadlock using the fourth tiebreaker. He explains here.

The Minnesota Vikings are again No. 3. The Patriots took advantage of the Cincinnati Bengals' upset loss at the Oakland Raiders to take the No. 4 slot, up one peg from Week 11. The Arizona Cardinals round out the top 5, but they will have their newfound road prowess (5-0) tested by the revived No. 19 Tennessee Titans.

• More: Voting | Blogs | FB Today Listen | SN: Rank 'Em | Pick 'Em | Team Power Ranking charts since 2002

Editor's note: LW indicates each team's ranking in the Week 11 edition of the Power Rankings.

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