Now that we know who the four finalists for the right to go to Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5 are, let’s look at the NFL Power Rankings for this week. These are ‘playoff edition’ rankings, using only the 12 teams who qualified for the playoffs.
Related: SB Nation Ranks The Remaining Teams
1. New England Patriots, 14-3 (AFC No. 1 seed): The absolute beatdown the Patriots gave the overmatched Denver Broncos was scary. Six Tom Brady touchdown passes and a solid defensive effort, albeit against Tom Tebow.
2. New York Giants, 11-7 (NFC No. 4 seed): Yes, they have the most losses of any of the four teams remaining. No team left in the tournament has played better than the Giants the last four weeks. SI’s Peter King says the Giants are “Big, Big Trouble For Anyone Right Now,” and he might be right.
3. San Francisco 49ers, 14-3 (NFC No. 2 seed): No disrespect meant to the 49ers by putting them behind the Giants. I could easily have put them as a tie for No. 2 as San Francisco is also coming off a dramatic victory over the New Orleans Saints. Alex Smith has proven he is a real NFL quarterack, but Eli Manning still gives the Giants an edge.
4. Baltimore Ravens, 13-4 (AFC No. 2 seed): Quarterback Joe Flacco whined last week that he didn’t get enough credit. Well, he can keep whining. Right now the Ravens are a clear No. 4 among the teams remaining. No way Baltimore should have struggled so mightily to defeat a Houston team quarterbacked by T.J. Yates.
Related: Peter King's Fine Fifteen
Now for the rest of the rankings:
No. 5: Green Bay Packers
No. 6: New Orleans Saints
No. 7: Houston Texans
No. 8: Denver Broncos
No. 9: Detroit Lions
No. 10: Pittsburgh Steelers
No. 11: Atlanta Falcons
No. 12: Cincinnati Bengals