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NFL's top 12 power rankings, week 9: Broncos take number one spot

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The Dallas Cowboys ended week 14 with a dud on Monday Night Football. With the division lead on the line, the Cowboys fell flat in the second quarter at Chicago. The 45-28 loss to Chicago knocked them out of the current top 12 NFL rankings. Sportsline.com released their rankings, and you can notice the difference.

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The top two teams in last week’s power poll lost The Seattle Seahawks embraced a tough road game at Candlestick Park, but fell to a last second field goal in a low scoring affair. The Seahawks are still tied for first with the most wins in the NFL.

The Carolina Panthers took one on the chin at New Orleans. The blowout loss will cause the Panthers to drop, but Carolina won eight games in a row prior to the defeat.

In the AFC, Peyton Manning played with a chip on his shoulder against Tennessee. The Broncos put up 51 points in frigid temperatures, and turned an 11 point deficit into a 23 point victory.

The New England Patriots won another game by using a second half comeback in the final minutes. However, they lost their most dynamic offensive weapon when Rob Gronkowski went down with an ACL injury.

Here are the updated NFL power rankings. You can also see the Sportsline.com NFL rankings.

1. Denver Broncos: The Denver Broncos lead the AFC with 11 wins. They might have to win their next three games to earn home field throughout the AFC playoffs. Next game vs San Diego.

2. Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks almost shut the door on the NFC West, but a last second field goal slowed down Seattle's momentum. Still, Seattle has a two game lead on the NFC East field. Next game vs New York Giants.

3. New England Patriots: New England escaped with a home victory over Cleveland. The Patriots own the tie breaker with Denver, but find themselves one game down for home field. Next game vs Miami

4. New Orleans Saints: The defense came through in a big way against the Panthers. They have the lead in the NFC South and need to win their remaining games for a chance to have home field advantage.

5. San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers are looking like a strong contender for the playoffs, but they can't afford to slip up in the final three weeks. Next game vs Tampa Bay

6. Carolina Panthers: Carolina had an eight game winning streak ended. Next game vs New York Jets.

7. Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles lead the NFC East by one game. After five straight wins, Philadelphia can win the division outright. Next game vs Minnesota.

8. Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals have won three straight games after losing two overtime games. They must end strong in the AFC North. Next game vs Pittsburgh.

9. Kansas City Chiefs: The Kansas City Chiefs dismantled Washington in grand fashion. They have scored 28 or more in three straight games. Kansas City will need some help to win the AFC West. Next game vs Oakland.

10. Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals lost Tyrann Matthieu to a torn ACL, but they may be able to ride their momentum into a playoff spot. It's going to be tough to win all three games. If they do, Arizona would be a Super Bowl dark horse. Next game vs Tennessee.

11. Baltimore Ravens: The Baltimore Ravens may have been in one of the most bizarre endings to a football game ever. The Ravens survived the elements and they are in line for a playoff spot. Next game vs Detroit.

12. Indianapolis Colts: The Colts have been inconsistent over the last month. They alternated wins and losses in the last five games. Each loss has been a blowout, and the wins have come despite big deficits. Next game vs Houston.

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