NFL power rankings entering Week 12 of 2022 season (previous rank in parentheses):
1. Eagles (1): Yes, the offense has struggled the past two weeks. But a defense that now ranks second in the league got a nice boost from the recent additions of DTs Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh. The veterans combined to share a sack Sunday in their Philly debuts while helping to hold Indianapolis’ reputable ground game in check.
2. Bills (3): Has a team ever played a home and away game … in the same building … in a city it’s not based in … in a five-day span? We doubt it but expect Buffalo might soon consider Detroit’s Ford Field its vacation home.
3. Chiefs (4): The NFL’s top-ranked offense continues its fascinating evolution. Travis Kelce’s 33rd career game with at least 100 receiving yards is a new league record for tight ends, breaking Rob Gronkowski’s mark. Meanwhile, rookie RB Isiah Pacheco also hit the century mark on the ground for the first time Sunday, churning out yards with his signature hard-running style.
4. Cowboys (6): They’ve got the NFL’s best pass rusher (LB Micah Parsons), top RB duo (Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard) and might soon add WR Odell Beckham Jr. What was already a really good team could be one of the few elevating its potential with postseason drawing closer – as evidenced by Dallas’ most dominant road win in franchise history Sunday in Minnesota against a team that had sported the league’s best record.
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5. Dolphins (5): First-place Miami comes out of its bye week … to start another bye week with the Texans coming to town. Then things get real on a season-long three-game roadie to visit the 49ers, Chargers and Bills.
6. 49ers (8): QB Jimmy Garoppolo is one heckuva game manager for a squad back in first place. His four TD passes Monday night tied a personal best while setting the standard for games played in Mexico. TE George Kittle (2 TDs) set the standard for postgame interviews in Mexico.
7. Ravens (7): They’ve had at least a double-digit lead in every game this season, a streak that seems likely to continue Sunday at Jacksonville.
8. Vikings (2): Are they the worst 8-2 team in history? Maybe that’s going too far, but Minnesota is the first to start that well while being outscored overall. The Vikes’ league-high streak of 92 games with a TD also ended while they were pillaged 40-3 by Dallas. And QB Kirk Cousins came up small in another big game.
9. Bengals (9): Coming off a three-TD performance, is it time to grant RB Samaje Perine a larger role? His 5.9 yards per touch are best among Cincinnati’s RBs.
10. Titans (15): Maybe this offense can be more than RB Derrick Henry left, middle and right. Tennessee’s 320 net pass yards Thursday – including Henry’s 3-yard TD throw – matched its best total over the past two seasons.
11. Patriots (10): If you’ve been having New England withdrawal, surging Pats will be featured in prime time each of the next four weeks.
12. Buccaneers (13): Emerging from the bye week, they catch another break as the last team to face Cleveland before suspended QB Deshaun Watson’s scheduled return.
13. Seahawks (14): Back from Germany and refreshed by a week off, they hit stretch drive playing five of their final seven home at Lumen Field.
14. Jets (12): They generated less offense in the second half Sunday (72 inches), than Mother Nature generated snow in Buffalo last week (77 inches). No wonder coach Robert Saleh is belatedly considering a quarterback change from the unapologetically ineffective Zach Wilson.
15. Giants (11): Sunday’s loss to Detroit was a reality check. But the real test will come over the next month as receiver-starved G-Men play four in a row against stiff NFC East competition.
16. Commanders (18): DE Chase Young was activated Monday, although it remains to be seen when he and his surgically repaired knee can contribute to Washington’s post-Wentz playoff push.
17. Chargers (16): Injuries aren’t their only problem. The Bolts are allowing a league-worst 5.5 yards per rush, on track to be the most in the league since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.
18. Falcons (20): An offense that has four players with more than 300 rushing yards will likely become even more reliant on its ground game with TE Kyle Pitts’ regular season likely over due to a knee injury.
19. Lions (22): First-round WR Jameson Williams returned to practice Monday, and he may soon give a team gaining momentum another shot in the arm with his game-breaking talent.
20. Packers (17): QB Aaron Rodgers still doesn’t have a 300-yard passing day this season. Maybe the answer is more targets for WR Christian Watson, who’s averaging nearly 20 yards per catch the past two weeks while becoming the first Green Bay rookie with multiple receiving TDs in successive games since the legendary – off the field – Max McGee in 1954.
21. Colts (26): Nice to see WR Parris Campbell finally getting going. The former second-rounder’s 44 catches and 440 yards exceeded his three-year career totals entering the 2022 season.
22. Jaguars (24): Hopefully a week off helps them tighten down against big plays. Jacksonville has allowed 10 passes of at least 25 yards in the past five games.
23. Bears (23): As much progress as QB Justin Fields has made, the league-high 40 sacks he’s been exposed to were going to eventually take their toll – perhaps forcing Chicago to shut him down early.
24. Cardinals (21): Hopefully the “Hard Knocks” crews got some decent B-roll in Mexico … because the Cardinals didn’t offer many highlights on the field from Estadio Azteca.
25. Saints (29): Bummer for DE Cam Jordan, whose orbital bone fracture forced him to miss the first game of his 12-year career due to an injury Sunday.
26. Rams (19): Two more losses, and they’ll become the first defending Super Bowl champions to finish with a losing record since the 2003 Bucs went 7-9.
27. Browns (25): QB2 Jacoby Brissett’s 324-yard, three-TD showing Sunday was his biggest passing day of the season. Too bad those stats were mostly empty calories for a team pretty much running on empty.
28. Steelers (27): They can only afford one more loss if they are to fend off head coach Mike Tomlin’s first losing campaign. RB Najee Harris is doing what he can of late, loading up with 20 carries and at least 90 rushing yards the past two weeks.
29. Raiders (30): After making 41 consecutive field goals over the past year, three shy of matching the NFL record, K Daniel Carlson finally misfired Sunday. On the plus side, Carlson, at his wife’s urging, can now get a haircut since his lucky coiffure has run out of magic.
30. Panthers (28): Now 0-5 on the road, they haven’t won outside of Charlotte in more than a year. The next opportunity comes Dec. 11 in Seattle.
31. Broncos (31): Different play caller, different uniforms, same results as the league’s lowest-scoring team closes in on a sixth consecutive losing season.
32. Texans (32): While HC Lovie Smith is defending QB Davis Mills as the team’s starter, Houston has built a two-game “lead” on the league for the No. 1 pick of the 2023 draft and the opportunity to choose from what is expected to be a bumper crop of passers.
Follow USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL power rankings Week 12 2022: Dallas Cowboys back in top five