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NFL Power Rankings, Week 12: ESPN Has Raiders Creeping, 49ers Holding Steady

The NFL wrapped up week 11 Monday Night, which means it is time for the release of power rankings. ESPN released their Week 12 NFL Power Rankings and the top remained pretty much the same. Aside from Dallas climbing into the top ten, there was not a ton of movement at the top. The top four remains the same as last week and top 15 changes are no more than a spot or two. The Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins were the biggest gainers (four spots), while the Arizona Cardinals were biggest losers (four spots).

The Oakland Raiders continued their recent winning ways with a road win over the Minnesota Vikings that moved them up two spots from No. 16 to No. 14. They host the No. 7 Chicago Bears this week in a game that originally was a huge challenge. It is still a difficult task facing the Bears defense, but the Bears loss of Jay Cutler changes things entirely. It is no gimme game, but suddenly becomes a lot more winnable against Caleb Hanie. With the Denver Broncos heading south to face the San Diego Chargers, the Raiders have an opportunity to put some space between them.

The San Francisco 49ers retained their number two spot with their win over the Arizona Cardinals. The 49ers remain in lock step behind the Green Bay Packers in the rankings. What would be interesting is how voters would handle a Packers loss to the Lions on Thanksgiving, particularly if the 49ers upset the Ravens on the road. It is a road game in a tough holiday environment, but at the same time, the Packers have been so dominant that one loss at Detroit might not be enough to drop them out of number one.

Here are the top ten according to ESPN's Week 12 NFL Power Rankings:

1. Green Bay Packers
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. New Orleans Saints
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
5. Baltimore Ravens
6. New England Patriots
7. Chicago Bears
8. Houston Texans
9. Dallas Cowboys
10. Detroit Lions