NFL rankings: A new No. 1 in town

December 18, 2012, 11:45 am
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After the 49ers' showing in New England, we have a new No. 1 atop the NFL power rankings. In fact, there was a lot of shuffling in the Top 5 this week while the Raiders ended their six-game losing streak and moved out of the bottom 3…

1 (3) 49ers (10-3-1) Colin Kapernick threw 4 TDs against Patriots. Alex Smith has never thrown 4 TDs in a game.
2 (2)  Denver Broncos (11-3) Since opening season 2-3, Broncos have outscored opponents by 12.3 points per game.
3 (5) Atlanta Falcons (12-2) Think Matt Ryan wants home-dome advantage in playoffs? He is 33-4 at home in career.
4 (4) Houston Texans (12-2) Arian Foster has rushed for 100 yards in 46.9 percent of his games, third-best percentage in NFL history, beind Barry Sanders and Jim Brown.
5 (9) Seattle Seahawks (9-5) First since 1950 Giants to drop at least 50 points on consecutive opponents in same season.
6 (6) Green Bay Packers (10-4) Bad omen for postseason? Mason Crsoby has missed field goal in eight straight games.
7 (1) New England Patriots (10-4) Wait, wasn't Bill Belichick a defensive mastermind? Pats' D ranked 27th overall.
8 (7) Indianapolis Colts (9-5) Andrew Luck or RG III? RG III or Andrew Luck?
9 (12) Washington Redskins (8-6) RG III or Andrew Luck? Andrew Luck or RG III?
10 (13) Minnesota Vikings (8-6) Is Adrian Peterson NFL MVP, or "merely" Offensive Player of the Year?
11 (14) Dallas Cowboys (8-6) December struggles? What December struggles? Tony Romo suddenly 3-0 in season's final month.
12 (15) Cincinnati Bengals (8-6) Trying for consecutive playoff appearances for first time since Ken Anderson's mustache was under center in 1981 and 1982.
13 (8) New York Giants (8-6) The 34-0 shellacking ties 1981 Raiders for worst margin of defeat by defending Super Bowl champ.
14 (10) Baltimore Ravens (9-5) Only in NFL would three-game losing streak culminate with clinching of playoff spot.
15 (11) St. Louis Rams (6-7-1) Lambs 0-4 vs. NFC North; Rams 6-3-1 against everyone else.
16 (16) Chicago Bears (8-6) Jat Cutler just 1-7 against the Packers, including playoffs, with the Bears.
17 (17) Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7) Big Ben has thrown for 300 yards three times this season. Steelers are 0-3 in those games.
18 (19) New Orleans Saints (6-8) So either there WAS or there was NOT a bounty run by the Saints, right?
19 (18) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8) Doug Martin's 1,647 yards from scrimmage second-most in franchise history.
20 (23) Miami Dolphins (6-8) By air -- a 123.2 passer rating -- and by ground -- 52 yards rushing -- Ryan Tannehill sets career highs.
21 (25) Carolina Panthers (5-9) Cam Newton attempting to join Bobby Douglass, Randall Cunningham (four times) and Donovan McNabb as QBs to lead team in rushing.
22 (27) Tennessee Titans (5-9) Blame the schedule-makers for putting this product on national television.
23 (20) New York Jets (6-8) Would be funny were it not so sad…or somesuch.
24 (21) Cleveland Browns (5-9) Trent Richardson's 28 rushing yards only his third-lowest total of season.
25 (23) Buffalo Bills (5-9) Setting pro football back in Canada more than 1994 Las Vegas Posse.
26 (24) San Diego Chargers (5-9) Ryan Mathews breaks left clavicle, to join right clavicle he broke in preseason.
27 (29) Arizona Cardinals (5-9) The Cardinals have now won a game more recently than the Diamondbacks. 
28 (30) Raiders (4-10) And the Raiders have now won a game more recently than the San Francisco Giants.
29 (26) Philadelphia Eagles (4-10) Iggles' pratfall on national TV a clarion call for change in Philly.
30 (28) Detroit Lions (4-10) At least Calvin Johnson continues to play -- his seventh straight 100-yard receiving game ties NFL mark co-held by Michael Irvin and Charlie Hennigan.
31 (32) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12) Cecil Shorts 75 yards shy of becoming first Jag with 1,000 yards receiving since Jimmy Smith in 2005.
32 (31) Kansas City Chiefs (2-12) As someone tweeted after watching Brady Quinn on Sunday, they would STILL draft JaMarcus Russell over Quinn. Ouch.