Power Poll: Patriots overtake Texans in AFC


The Around the League entry for the NFL.com Power Poll doesn't look a ton different than a week ago, with most of the top teams winning in Week 12. We do have a different No. 2 team overall and top AFC squad: The New England Patriots.

Power Poll: Texans on top
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Bill Belichick constantly tells his team that the season really starts at Thanksgiving. You want to be playing your best down the stretch.

The Patriots' endless lineup tinkering is slowing down, the offense remains the most explosive in the NFL, and the defense has made strides. The Houston Texans' overtime victories the last two weeks over the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions have masked the fact that their defense is struggling. Injuries have taken a toll. While the Patriots and Denver Broncos are peaking, the Texans are struggling with defensive injuries.

Brian Cushing isn't coming back, and the team needs to find a more consistent pass rush outside of J.J. Watt. The Patriots look like the ever-so-slight favorite among the four-pack of AFC teams towards the top of our Power Poll.

ATL's Power Poll entry is below. You can check out the entire NFL.com Power Poll here, or see how all 13 analysts voted.

1. San Francisco 49ers

2. New England Patriots
3. Houston Texans
4. Denver Broncos
5. Atlanta Falcons
6. Green Bay Packers
7. Baltimore Ravens
8. New York Giants
9. Chicago Bears
10. Seattle Seahawks
11. New Orleans Saints
12. Pittsburgh Steelers
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
14. Indianapolis Colts
15. Washington Redskins
16. Dallas Cowboys
17. Cincinnati Bengals
18. Minnesota Vikings
19. Detroit Lions
20. Miami Dolphins
21. Buffalo Bills
22. New York Jets
23. St. Louis Rams
24. Carolina Panthers
25. San Diego Chargers
26. Cleveland Browns
27. Arizona Cardinals
28. Tennessee Titans
29. Philadelphia Eagles
30. Jacksonville Jaguars
31. Oakland Raiders
32. Kansas City Chiefs

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.