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NFL Power Poll: Texans, Patriots headed for showdown

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For more on the NFL, follow Reggie Hayes via Twitter at www.twitter.com/reggiehayes1

Seahawks, Redskins climbing up this week's chart

Saturday, December 8, 2012 - 2:41 am

1. Texans. You can't be a great team without winning in New England, can you? Texans get their chance Monday night.

2. Falcons. Where's the love, people? Where's the love for Hot 'Lanta?

3. Patriots. Anyone else figure the Texans' defense is in for the challenge of the season Monday night?

4. Broncos. Sources say Peyton Manning is doing a pretty good impression of the Peyton Manning of five years ago.

5. 49ers. As long as the 49ers don't have any more games with the Rams, they should be OK.

6. Ravens. Do you think the Ravens' defense will be hyped to take on RG3 in Washington? And will it make any difference?

7. Packers. Now is the time to start taking firm control of the NFC North. Watch out for Ndamukong Suh's concussion dance.

8. Seahawks. Went to the Windy City and handled the Bears. The Seahawks are for real, people.

9. Giants. They've lost three out of four and maybe some of that championship mojo.

10. Colts. Who isn't pulling for Coby Fleener to score again so we can see the sequel to “The Jackhammer”?

11. Da Bears. With three of their last four on the road, Chicago needs to take it up a notch. Or five notches.

12. Steelers. Big Ben should be back this week, and there's still time for Steelers to become a big-time factor.

13. Redskins. RG3 fumbles the ball and Jon Gruden calls it “Magic!” Crazy thing is, Gruden may be right.

14. Bengals. Cincinnati has won four straight and looked better every week. Not good for the visiting Cowboys.

15. Buccaneers. Losing back-to-back to Falcons and Peyton is no shame, but Eagles game is a must win.

16. Rams. If they played the 49ers every week, they could finish 8-0-8.

17. Cowboys. Dallas is in the middle of the NFC playoff race. I'm not making this up.

18. Saints. Drew Brees threw how many interceptions last week? You're kidding, right?

19. Jets. The Jets have won two of their last three and they're mathematically alive in the playoff chase. So all's rosy.

20. Vikings. A finish of Bears, Rams, Texans and Packers probably means it's “get ready for next season” time.

21. Lions. Jim Schwartz declines to use Calvin Johnson on last possession vs. Colts. Brilliant.

22. Browns. Back to back wins heading into a winnable home game against the Chiefs.

23. Bills. Buffalo vs. St. Louis might not sound too appealing on paper. OK, it isn't.

24. Raiders. Hey, Peyton only set like a couple career personal bests against them. Success!

25. Dolphins. Ryan Tannehill picked a bad year to play like an actual rookie quarterback.

26. Chargers. I have to believe Norv is about ready to turn this thing around.

27. Eagles. Will this someday be seen as the start of the Nick Foles era? Short answer: No.

28. Panthers. They're playing out the string, but could play spoiler against Falcons this week.

29. Cardinals. If the season had ended Week 4, the Cardinals would have been in the playoffs. Ah, memories.

30. Jaguars. They host the Jets this week in a game the rest of the country doesn't seem to be buzzing over.

31. Titans. Jacksonville scored 24 and won. Houston scored 24 and won. Colts, your turn.

32. Chiefs. Good for the Chiefs to get a win under the worst kind of circumstances.