Power Poll: Houston Texans, Atlanta Falcons fall

  • By Gregg Rosenthal
  • Around The League editor
  • Published: Dec. 11, 2012 at 11:17 a.m.

The Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons have been at or near the top of our NFL.com Power Poll all year. With the regular season winding down, we have a fresh wave of doubt that these prospective No. 1 seeds are among the best in their conference.
The Falcons fell all the way to seventh in this week's Power Poll after losing to the Carolina Panthers. Atlanta only fell a few spots to No. 8 on my personal Power Poll entry, but that's because I've had them outside of the top five for much of the year. The Texans' fall was not as dramatic, but do Super Bowl-caliber teams give up 42 points twice on national television? It's wildly discouraging for the Texans that they were absolutely blown out by another top contender just weeks before the playoffs.

Going into the playoffs a bit under the radar isn't such a bad thing. We saw many variations of the same joke on Monday night: New England looked so good in its win over Houston, the Patriots must be on their way to losing the Super Bowl to the New York Giants.

Then again, at least the Patriots usually take advantage of seasons they have a playoff bye and make the big game. After Week 14, there is more doubt than ever that Atlanta and Houston can make it.

Check out all 13 analysts' rankings right here :

1. New England Patriots
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. Denver Broncos
4. Houston Texans
5. Green Bay Packers
6. Seattle Seahawks
7. New York Giants
8. Atlanta Falcons
9. Baltimore Ravens
10. Washington Redskins
11. Chicago Bears
12. Indianapolis Colts
13. Pittsburgh Steelers
14. Dallas Cowboys
15. Cincinnati Bengals
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
17. St. Louis Rams
18. Minnesota Vikings
19. New Orleans Saints
20. Carolina Panthers
21. Detroit Lions
22. Miami Dolphins
23. San Diego Chargers
24. Cleveland Browns
25. New York Jets
26. Buffalo Bills
27. Philadelphia Eagles
28. Tennessee Titans
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Arizona Cardinals
31. Oakland Raiders
32. Kansas City Chiefs