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2018 NFL power rankings, Week 12: Los Angeles Rams ride into bye with historic Monday night performance

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Now at 10-1, the Rams remain one of the league’s best.

2018 NFL Power Rankings Summary - Week 12

Metric Ranking
Metric Ranking
Average ranking (# of rankings) 2.00
Average change from last week +0.57
Highest ranking (source) 2nd (multiple sources)
Lowest ranking (source) 2nd (multiple sources)
Biggest positive change (source) +1 (multiple sources)
Biggest negative change (source) 0 (multiple sources)

SB Nation: 2nd (previously 3rd)

We expected the Chiefs and Rams to put on a show, and they did just that while offering a look at what could be coming (dare we say it) in February. Monday Night Football included three defensive touchdowns, 10 passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown, and 1,001 yards of total offense.

Can there be a three-way tie in the power rankings? Because after the Saints beat the Rams, and the Rams squeaked out just a three-point win over the Chiefs in Los Angeles, it’s clear all three of these teams are great. Better than great. But as incredible as the Chiefs and Rams were on Monday — and have been all season — the Saints deserve their spot atop the rankings after winning nine straight games, including a 10-point victory over the Rams.

It’s clear all three of these teams have high-scoring offenses (Monday was the first time a team scored 50-plus points in a loss), and in Week 12 all three teams saw their defenses take a step forward, too. Maybe defense isn’t dying in the NFL after all!

ESPN: 2nd (3rd)

Thankful for: Owner Stan Kroenke. Not only did Kroenke commit to building the team’s new stadium in Inglewood, set to open in 2020, but he committed to big paydays for several players, including defending NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, with a six-year, $135 million extension, and defending NFL Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley, with a four-year extension worth up to $60 million. Kroenke’s willingness to cut checks ensures that the Rams will have the opportunity to be a dominant team for seasons to come

NFL: 2nd (3rd)

I like football. That was the overwhelming thought pervading the Power Rankings brain following what was definitely the game of the year. The Rams survived the Chiefs, if such a verb is applicable for a team that put 54 freaking points on the board. A few notes from my K.C.-L.A. viewing:

A) Jared Goff is fearless throwing the ball outside the numbers.
B) As prolific as Sean McVay’s offense was, Todd Gurley should have been more involved late.
C) Robert Woods is the heartbeat of this football team.
D) Oh, honey, can the Rams’ secondary be had.
E) Aaron Donald was the premier player on the field, even in a 105-point affair. And on that note...
F)...Wade Phillips’ defense has fared below its talent level, but don’t discount the unit’s upside as we hit the back stretch of this season. You wanna bet against @SonOfBum?

CBS: 2nd (2nd)

They can score on anybody. But that defense has issues. They have to fix it.

Yahoo!: 2nd (3rd)

I know, the offenses were great. And I know defensive players are practically ineligible to win MVP. But Aaron Donald should be considered a legitimate candidate for the award. Without his two enormous strip-sacks on Monday night,the Rams don’t win that game. He’s still got a shot at 20 sacks from the defensive tackle position, which would be every bit as impressive as any number Drew Brees or Patrick Mahomes will post.

Pro Football Talk: 2nd (2nd)

Any team that allows 51 points in a win will have a hard time getting to the Super Bowl.

USA Today: 2nd (2nd)

Of course, sometimes a 40-burger doesn’t quite get the job done. Good thing L.A. can crank out half a hundred on a night when Todd Gurley is shut out.