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NFL Power Rankings: MVP candidate Keenum leads Vikings to No. 3


The latest edition of the power rankings features an unlikely MVP candidate, a team crashing the Top 10 out of nowhere and shaky division leader with a lot left to prove.


Week 12 Power Rankings


1. Eagles (10-1); Last week: 1


Philly hasn’t lost since Week 2, but a pivotal back-to-back road stretch in Seattle and L.A. awaits. The Wentz Wagon will remain on the West Coast after Monday night’s showdown against the Seahawks to prepare for the Rams. They’ll be in great position to grab the NFC’s No. 1 seed if they sweep.


2. Patriots (9-2); Last Week: 2


Four the Evil Empire’s remaining five games are against the AFC East, so chalk at least a 12-win season. Tom Brady should rip through the Bills and Dolphins in the next two weeks before traveling to Pittsburgh with the conference’s top seed on the line.


3. Vikings (9-2); Last Week 4


Like it or not, Case Keenum should be in the MVP conversation. A pair of tough road tests in Atlanta and Carolina are up next for the journeyman quarterback.

Case Keenum has entered the MVP discussion.

(Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)


4. Steelers (9-2); Last Week: 3


Pittsburgh drops one spot after squeaking by a bad Packers team at home. There’s no reason to panic, but Mike Tomlin’s defense made Brett Hundley look like Aaron Rodgers on Sunday night.


5. Rams (8-3); Last Week: 6


Sean McVay’s boys climb back into the Top 5 after toppling the Saints. A trap game in Arizona awaits with the Eagles on the docket in a couple weeks. Somehow, I don’t think Jared Goff will take the cheese.


6. Saints (8-3); Last Week: 5


New Orleans’ eight-game winning streak was snapped in La-La Land. There’s no guarantee that Drew Brees & Co. win the league’s most competitive division.


7. Panthers (8-3); Last Week: 8


Don’t look now, but Cam & Co. have won four straight after an ugly on against the Jets. They’ll travel to New Orleans with sole possession of first place in the NFC South on the line.

Cam Newton and the Panthers are riding a four-game win streak.

Cam Newton and the Panthers are riding a four-game win streak.

(Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)


8. Falcons (7-4); Last Week: 7


Imagine being in third place in your division with seven wins. Could three NFC South teams actually make the playoffs?


9. Seahawks (7-4); Last Week: 9


Can the 12th Man slow down the Philly juggernaut rolling into town on Monday night?


10. Chargers (5-6); Last Week: Unranked


Philip Rivers & Co. crash the Top 10 party after a Thanksgiving rout over the hapless Cowboys on Thanksgiving. First-year coach Anthony Lynn has a dangerous team. Imagine where they’d be if they actually had a decent kicker.


11. Jaguars (7-4); Last Week: 10


You deserve to drop out of the Top 10 if you lose to Blaine Gabbert.

The Jaguars drop a spot after falling to the Blaine Gabbert-led Cardinals.

The Jaguars drop a spot after falling to the Blaine Gabbert-led Cardinals.

(Rick Scuteri/AP)


12.Chiefs (6-5); Last week: 11


Andy Reid is sticking with Alex Smith (rather than turn to rookie Patrick Mahomes) despite losing five of their last six. It seems like only a matter of time before the Chargers overtake them in the NFC West.


13.Titans (7-4); Last Week: 15


Tennessee might be the shakiest division leader out there. Three winnable games against the Texans, Cardinals and 49ers are next.


14.Ravens (6-5); Last Week: 14


The Baltimore defense forced three turnovers in a Monday night win over the Texans to remain in the wildcard hunt.


15.Lions (6-5); Last week: 14


Detroit is 2-4 at home and 4-1 on the road. So here’s the good news: They travel to Baltimore and Tampa in the next two weeks.


NOTES: The Cowboys dropped out of the Top 15.

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Manish Mehta

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