The close of week twelve of the 2011 NFL season means it is once again time for NFL power rankings. There is no doubt that the Green Bay Packers will remain at the top, as they improved to 11-0 for the first time in franchise history. CBS Sports released their Week 13 NFL Power Rankings and acted accordingly. The real intrigue lies after Green Bay as their is a second tier of teams that includes the Ravens, Saints, Steelers, Patriots, 49ers and possibly the Houston Texans.
CBS Sports dropped the 49ers one spot from second to third in the wake of their 16-6 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Often a loss drops a team several spots, but this is a lot like a highly ranked college team losing to another highly ranked team in a close game on the road. They get some strength of schedule points that keep them from falling too far. The 49ers were playing a fellow quality opponent and were doing so on the road and on a short week. Although the Ravens defense battered the 49ers pass protection, it was still a fairly close game throughout.
The Oakland Raiders climbed three spots in the rankings, jumping from No. 13 to No. 10. The Raiders improved to 7-4 and retained their lead in the AFC West with a win over the Chicago Bears. It was not pretty at times, but the Raiders are getting the Ws and that is all that matters. Oakland has Denver breathing down their necks so every win is absolutely essential. They travel to Miami this weekend looking to maintain that lead.
Here are the top ten according to CBS Sports' Week 13 NFL Power Rankings: