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Power rankings revisited: Week 12

Two of the 10 highest-ranked teams in ESPN's NFL Power Rankings lost in Week 12.

Both played without starting quarterbacks who were suffering from concussions.

The Cardinals nearly won on the road without Kurt Warner, suffering a 20-17 defeat only after Vince Young led a 99-yard drive in the final minutes. The Steelers nearly won on the road without Ben Roethlisberger, suffering a 20-17 defeat only after backup Dennis Dixon tossed an interception in overtime.

The performances from Arizona and Pittsburgh did not hurt either team's standing under the circumstances, at least in my view. We'll find out how the other ESPN.com panelists see things when the power rankings for Week 13 appear Tuesday.

The chart shows how each panelist voted last week, with my votes listed in the first column, followed by votes from John Clayton, Paul Kuharsky and Jeff Chadiha. Red lettering identifies teams that lost in Week 12.

And now, on to the power rankings revisited ...

The reckoning: Six games featured lower-ranked teams defeating higher-ranked teams:

  • (19) Tennessee 20, (5) Arizona 17: Surely the Titans will move within striking distance of the top 10, no?

  • (27) Buffalo 31, (17) Miami 14: Quarterback play trumps the running game, Dolphins. It's not a good sign when Ryan Fitzpatrick outduels your starter.

  • (15) Baltimore 20, (9) Pittsburgh 17: Steelers should be fine thanks to their upcoming schedule (Raiders, Browns next on menu)

  • (20) San Francisco 20, (14) Jacksonville 3: The 49ers and Seahawks have outscored the Jaguars 61-3 in two West Coast games.

  • (13) Denver 26, (11) New York Giants 6: Giants have allowed nearly as many points through 11 games (261) as they did all last season (294).

  • (22) New York Jets 17, (21) Carolina 6: Jake Delhomme now has eight touchdowns and 18 interceptions, but Panthers have no legitimate fallback option.

Still to play: (4) New England at (1) New Orleans on "Monday Night Football."

Fraud alert: Let's not be so eager to buy into the Giants the next time they win a game.

Rising in defeat: The Bucs and Redskins gave superior teams all they could handle. Looks like Washington is still playing hard for coach Dan Snyder.

Northbound in a hurry: The Chargers and Titans have won a combined 11 games in a row after poor starts. They're looking dangerous.

Look out below: The Texans and Bears both had playoff hopes this season. They've combined to lose seven in a row.

My early favorite for the No. 1 spot: Indianapolis, again, although the Vikings continue to impress. Let's see how the Saints fare against the Patriots.