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NFL Divisional Power Rankings, Week 11: AFC West sinks deeper

In another week of our NFL Divisional Power Rankings, we analyze each division in the NFL for which set of teams is the strongest top to bottom. Here's our Week 11 list.


The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Somehow what happens in the world around us is even reflected in our recreation in America as the elite teams seem to stay elite and the powerful divisions continue to climb. Meanwhile, the dregs of NFL's society sink lower week by week. Here's our Week 11 NFL Divisional Power Rankings.


1. NFC North - The Bears lost to the Texans and there's some cause for concern if Jay Cutler is not commanding the offense. But this defense can beat anyone week to week, and the rest of the division looks solid with six wins for both the Packers and Vikings already. Nice win for Minnesota over Detroit and it helps to keep them in playoff contention. The Lions are suddenly without any wiggle room the rest of 2012.

2. AFC North - The Steelers found a way to win in overtime and maintain their momentum, winning their fourth game in a row. The Ravens are 7-2 and perhaps the best team in the AFC. While the Browns will languish the rest of 2012, the Bengals showed a nice spark all-around on Sunday against the Giants. It could be the turning point of the season for a young team that could surprise.

3. NFC West - The unexpected tie was the story of the division this week between the 49ers and the Rams, but it was important for St. Louis to show some life after a depressing last few weeks. The Seahawks also went to 6-4 and could sneak into the playoffs. The worrisome part here is just how solid Sam Bradford and the Rams' passing game looked against the Niners. That could spell long-term trouble.

4. NFC South - The Falcons might have revealed their vulnerability but they are still the NFC team to beat. Meanwhile, the Saints and Bucs are coming alive at the right time and it might become interesting to watch this division in the second half. Drew Brees should never be counted out, but it's clear that something Greg Schiano is teaching is starting to work. Tampa Bay has the tools and could surprise.

5. AFC South - How about that AFC South? The Colts took out the Jags on Thursday night primetime and showed the nation what the Andrew Luck hype is all about -- as if they didn't already know. The Titans dominated the once surprising Dolphins. And the Texans -- wow, they took out the mighty Bears. A fantastic week for a division that's better than most realize.

6. NFC East - The Giants are sinking faster than you can say "Eli". The Eagles and Redskins are looking for a lifeboat of any kind on this disappointing season, and Andy Reid is likely out of Philly. The Cowboys had a nice spark against the Eagles on Sunday and it will be interesting to see how that carries over to next week.

7. AFC East - Three teams lose out of four and New England won because they faced their own rival, the Bills. Whether or not the Patriots would have won against another team, this was another horrible week from a division that's not impressive to anyone anymore.

8. AFC West - Just as the Denver Broncos take out the Carolina Panthers in textbook fashion, winning their fourth game in a row, the rest of the division finds a way to sink further. The Chargers lost against the Bucs and it's likely the nail in the coffin for Norv Turner. The Raiders were steamrolled by the Ravens and allowed 55 points in the process. The Chiefs showed heart on the road, but can't even win against Pittsburgh's back-up quarterback. Not sure how the worst can sink any lower, but here you go.