2019 NFL power rankings, Week 12: Falcons rolling, Texans rolled

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SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 17: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers throws a pass pressured by linebacker Cassius Marsh Sr. #54 of the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of the NFL game at Levi’s Stadium on November 17, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)


San Francisco 49ers 9-1

Last week: W, 36-26 vs ARI
Last rank: 2nd

Recap: Kyle Shanahan’s squad was coming off its first setback of 2019 and off a short week would clash with the Arizona Cardinals for the second time in three games. On a Thursday night in the desert, the Niners came away with a 28-25 win and now were in position to sweep the season series for the first time since 2013. But things would not be easy as Shanahan’s club was limited to a season-low 34 yards on the ground and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo served up two more interceptions. But he also threw four touchdown passes against the Cards for the second time this season. All told, the 49ers rebounded from a 16-0 deficit and wound up winning by 10 points.

Next Week: Shanahan’s club will play at home for the third straight week as the NFC North-leading Green Bay Packers make their first appearance at San Francisco since 2015. The 49ers have dropped the last two meetings in this always-interesting, the latest setback a 33-30 loss last season (Week 6) on a Monday night at Lambeau Field.

Playoff hopes: The Niners maintained their one-game lead in the NFC West over the idle Seattle Seahawks. And the club ensured it would finish with its first winning season since their last playoff appearance in 2013. For the second time in three weeks, the team needed to Garoppolo to step up and he once again responded in a big way.


New England Patriots 9-1

Last week: W, 17-10 at PHI
Last rank: 1st

Recap: The reigning NFL champions were not only returning to the field after their off-week but looking to rebound from their first loss of the season. And it wouldn’t be easy as the Patriots would have to deal with the talented Eagles at Philadelphia. New England spotted the Birds a 10-0 second-quarter lead and then shut down the Eagles for the remainder of the game, scoring the final 17 points of the contest. Three Nick Folk field goals would be followed by a Julian Edelman touchdown pass to Phillip Dorsett and a two-point conversion run by James White. The Patriots’ stellar defense finished with five sacks of Carson Wentz, who lost one of his two fumbles.

Next Week: The Patriots looking to extend their recent winning ways against the Dallas Cowboys. New England has won the last five meetings between the clubs dating back to 1999 – three of those victories at home. Four years ago at AT&T Stadium, Belichick’s club rolled to a 30-6 win in the latest encounter between these fabled franchises.

Playoff hopes: With their ninth win of the season, the Patriots not only maintain their two-game lead in the AFC East but have clinched a 19th consecutive winning campaign. That’s one short of the NFL record owned by the Dallas Cowboys from 1966-85. More importantly, New England’s defense rebounded from that Ravens’ loss.

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