Here are my power rankings for Week 12 of the NFL season.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (9-1 record, No. 1 ranking last week)
I don’t know if this is a “tradition,” but I know I’ve done it before. This week we will be simply offering an idea about what each team should be thankful for this holiday week. (The bye teams will still get their usual oddities as well.)
For example, the Chiefs should be thankful that the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, New York Jets, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina Panthers and Cincinnati Bengals all didn’t think they needed a quarterback in 2017. And that the Chicago Bears were (and still are) the Chicago Bears.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-0, No. 2)
They should be thankful they haven’t had to play the Chiefs yet.
3. New Orleans Saints (8-2, No. 3)
The Saints should be thankful that their defense is good enough that they don’t have to worry about whether they made the right decision at quarterback. And that they live in the same city as Drago’s oysters.
4. Tennessee Titans (7-3, No. 12)
The Titans should be thankful that they determine football games by final score instead of “lame pregame logo stunts.” Oh, and that everybody else lost or was on a bye so there isn’t currently a fourth-best team in the NFL.
5. Green Bay Packers (7-3, No. 4)
They should be thankful that if for some reason their current outstanding quarterback can’t fulfill his duties, they drafted another that almost certainly wouldn’t be able to, either.
6. Buffalo Bills (7-3, No. 6)
They should be thankful that a professional football franchise thought to itself, “I bet we’d be just as good with some other guy as we are with Stefon Diggs.”
7. Indianapolis Colts (7-3, No. 11)
And they should be thankful that a professional football franchise thought the same about DeForest Buckner.
8. Seattle Seahawks (7-3, No. 14)
The Seahawks should be thankful that Buck Showalter was still a few years away or else it’s pretty obvious Russell Wilson would have chosen to be an Oriole and would have won four World Series titles here like I’m still totally certain Pat Connaughton will. I just know it.
9. Los Angeles Rams (7-3, No. 13)
They should be thankful that Bruce Arians is the only person on the planet that thinks “having a 43-year-old man chuck the ball deep” is somehow a reasonable offensive strategy.
10. Arizona Cardinals (6-4, No. 9)
Arizona should be thankful that Bill O’Brien existed and honestly should consider putting him in its Ring of Honor.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-4, No. 7)
The Buccaneers should be thankful that when this experiment inevitably falls short, it’s not like they’ll be in any worse a spot than they were before.
12. Las Vegas Raiders (6-4, No. 8)
They should be thankful that Patrick Mahomes will probably be retired by like, I guess, 2050?
13. Miami Dolphins (6-4, No. 5)
Miami should be thankful that it’ll have another chance to get the correct Tagovailoa in a couple of years.
14. Baltimore Ravens (6-4, No. 10)
The Ravens should be thankful that the governor kept anyone from having to watch A.J. Brown devour their souls in person.
15. Cleveland Browns (7-3, No. 15)
They should be thankful that no one seems to notice that the Colts are the only good team they’ve managed to beat this season and, damn it, they’re basically the Ravens.
16. Denver Broncos (4-6, No. 24)
They should be thankful that Mahomes is so good that it has to be tough to even be angry about how mediocre they are.
17. Chicago Bears (5-5, No. 17)
If you spent your bye week in Chicago you could visit the Harry Caray statue, which probably sounds very nice. Until you realize that the thing is for some reason total nightmare fuel and there are for some godforsaken reason FACES in the statue’s pants? Or you could see a group of 9-foot tall rusty torsos which, according to someone, is art. Perhaps this city deserved Mitchell Trubisky.
And they should be thankful that at least they won’t have to deal with the guilt that has probably come with wasting Allen Robinson for that much longer.
18. Minnesota Vikings (4-6, No. 16)
Minnesota should be thankful that it only has to play the really dominant teams — like Andy Dalton and the previous two-win Cowboys — once a season.
19. San Francisco 49ers (4-6, No. 19)
If you spent bye week in San Francisco, you could visit the “crookedest street in the world!” Or you could visit the ACTUAL “crookedest street in the world!” And you can only imagine the many gang wars this controversy has likely created. Also are we really going with “crookedest” instead of “most crooked?” Maybe one could be the crookedest and the other the most crooked? I should negotiate our planet’s peace treaties.
And they should be thankful that they were able to give a boy his “lifelong dream” of … being on the roster for like seven minutes?
20. New England Patriots (4-6, No. 18)
The Patriots should be thankful that … Brady’s probably not going to win it, either.
21. Carolina Panthers (4-7, No. 26)
Carolina should be thankful that the XFL disbanded. But, like, actually.
22. New York Giants (3-7, No. 22)
If you got to spend a second consecutive bye week in New York, more options would include this giant Buddha inside an old porno theater or seeing this lovely elephant statue at the United Nations. Well, actually you can’t see ALL of the statue. Because, uhh, it apparently has something in common with Nick Foles?
And they should be thankful that they’re in the worst division since my fourth-grade teacher asked me what “six divided by four” was and I said “probably someone having to make a run for more beer.”
23. Houston Texans (3-7, No. 28)
They should be thankful that for as bad as people have tried to make their situation, they totally have FIVE picks in Rounds 4-6 to try to solve things, you guys.
24. Los Angeles Chargers (3-7, No. 25)
The Chargers should be thankful that draft analysts knew about as much about Justin Herbert as your uncle does when he tells you he has some opinions about COVID this week.
25. Atlanta Falcons (3-7, No. 20)
Atlanta should be thankful that, well, the whole Gucci Mane/Jeezy thing didn’t go as poorly as it could have.
26. Washington Football Team (3-7, No. 29)
Washington should be thankful that it can send Thanksgiving tweets this year with just a TOUCH less tone-deaf irony than in the past.
27. Dallas Cowboys (3-7, No. 30)
They should be thankful that there are still very few adults in the room.
28. Detroit Lions (4-6, No. 21)
The Lions should be thankful that the NFL hasn’t taken away their only moment of remote relevance, this despite it being a dumber tradition than grandma forcing all of the kids to put on some sort of Thanksgiving “play” when clearly literally none of them want to be a part of it.
29. Philadelphia Eagles (3-6-1, No. 23)
Philadelphia should be thankful that while on paper it looks like the winner of the Washington-Dallas game will move into first place, we all know it’s totally possible that game ends in a scoreless tie and the fourth-worst team in football holds on to its playoff spot for a few more days.
30. Cincinnati Bengals (2-7-1, No. 27)
They should be thankful that they made it this long before it happened.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-9, No. 31)
They can at least be thankful that they get to share a state with our greatest American.
32. New York Jets (0-10, No. 32)
They should not be thankful.
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