Updated: November 24, 2015, 3:11 PM ET
2015 NFL Power Rankings: Week 12
Are the Buccaneers a playoff team? Don't laugh.
After winning three of four, Tampa Bay (5-5) is suddenly in the NFC wild-card mix. And yes, ESPN's Power Panel has taken notice. Mired in the No. 31 spot just six weeks ago, Jameis Winston & Co. now sit at No. 12 -- an 11-spot jump from last week. It's the team's first top-20 ranking since Week 1 of last season.
The Bucs aren't the only former afterthought gaining traction. The Texans, No. 29 as recently as Week 8, have also cracked the top 20 (No. 17). Despite being 3-7, the Cowboys made the third-biggest move of the week. Victorious in Tony Romo's return from injury, Dallas rose six spots to No. 21.
At the top, the Patriots and Panthers are 1-2 for the second straight week, followed by the Broncos, Cardinals and Bengals.
Note: The comments below are provided by ESPN Stats & Information.
• Vegas Rankings | Football Power Index Rankings | Eagles' offensive moves not paying off | Team Power Rankings charts since 2002
|How about this for symmetry? The Patriots just beat (in order) the Dolphins, Redskins, Eli Manning and the Bills. In 2007, the Pats beat the Dolphins, Redskins, Peyton Manning and the Bills entering Thanksgiving.|
|Cam Newton is getting better as the season progresses. In his past three games, he has nine TD passes and one INT. He had 11 TD passes and eight picks in the first seven games.|
|Brock Osweiler got the start in Week 11. The Broncos didn't commit a turnover for the first time all season and rushed for a season-high 170 yards.|
|The Cardinals have scored 336 points through 10 games. They scored 326 points, including playoffs, all of last season.|
|After an 8-0 start, the Bengals have lost two in a row in very different fashions. In Week 10, they allowed 10 points and lost. In Week 11, they lost despite scoring 31 points.|
|The Packers' pass rush helped Green Bay right the ship Sunday against the Vikings, recording six sacks. The Packers had no sacks during their three-game losing streak.|
|Stop Adrian Peterson and you can stop the Vikings. Peterson is averaging 52 rushing yards in losses this season (121 yards in wins).|
|In his fourth career start, Thomas Rawls rushed for the second-most yards in a single game (209) in Seahawks franchise history. He has three of Seattle's four 100-yard rushing games this season.|
|The Steelers go on the road for four of their final six games. Ben Roethlisberger has one touchdown and two interceptions on the road this season.|
|The Colts are now 3-0 this season when Matt Hasselbeck starts and 2-5 when Andrew Luck starts. Hasselbeck has a better completion percentage, TD-INT ratio and Total QBR than Luck.|
|The Falcons had a fourth-quarter comeback in four of their first five games. That magic has run out, though, as Atlanta is 1-4 in its past five games, including three straight losses.|
|The Buccaneers have won back-to-back games for the first time since 2013. They've also won five games in a season for the first time since 2012 (7-9).|
|The Chiefs have won four in a row by a combined margin of 91 points. They've also forced 12 turnovers while committing none during the win streak.|
|If the Bills don't run effectively, they have a hard time winning. The Bills are 0-5 when attempting 30 or more passes in a game, and a 5-0 when attempting fewer than 30.|
|At 5-5, the Giants still lead the NFC East. But because of blown fourth-quarter leads in four of five losses, their lead is a lot slimmer than what it could be.|
|Ryan Fitzpatrick has completed 46.6 percent of his passes his past two games (both losses) with four interceptions. Fitzpatrick had a 61.8 completion percentage prior to this stretch.|
|The Texans' defense has allowed 9.7 points per game during Houston's three-game winning streak. The defense allowed 28.4 points on average the first seven games of the season (2-5).|
|During the Raiders' three-game losing streak, opponents have averaged 189 rushing yards per game. That's more than 100 yards higher than what they allowed their first seven games (82.9).|
|Six of the Bears' past seven games have been decided by a field goal or less, the most such games this season. The Bears are 3-3 in those games.|
|The Redskins are one of three winless teams on the road this season, but are 4-1 at home. The Redskins have division home games the next two weeks.|
|Tony Romo has returned and all is right again at Jerry World. The Cowboys are 3-0 this season when Romo starts (0-7 with other starting quarterbacks).|
|The Rams haven't thrown for 200 yards in a game since Week 1, a streak of nine straight games. The next-longest active streak without 200 yards passing? Two games (three teams).|
|Since his four-touchdown game against the Texans, Ryan Tannehill has posted a 23.3 Total QBR. The Dolphins have lost three of four in that time.|
|Useless stat of the day: The Lions have scored 18 points in each of their past two games, both wins. They had two wins scoring exactly 18 points from 1940 to 2014.|
|The Eagles are one of two teams this season (Broncos) that has thrown more interceptions (14) than touchdown passes (13). Mark Sanchez has four interceptions in two appearances.|
|Rob Ryan was fired as defensive coordinator during the Saints' bye week. New Orleans ranks last in points per game allowed (31.5) and yards allowed per game (424.3).|
|The Jaguars have won two in a row and three of their past four. Their next two opponents (Chargers, Titans) are a combined 4-16 this season.|
|The longest active losing streak in the NFL belongs to the Chargers (six straight). One more loss and the Chargers will be guaranteed their second sub-.500 season in Philip Rivers' tenure.|
|The 49ers have committed only nine turnovers this season (fourth fewest) but they've possessed the ball for an average of 27:12 (second lowest).|
|Joe Flacco is out for the season with a torn ACL. His backup? Matt Schaub, who was intercepted twice on his 10 pass attempts with the Raiders last season.|
|The Titans have scored more than 13 points just once in their past seven games. Four teams haven't been held to 13 or fewer points once this season.|
|Johnny Manziel was named the starting QB the rest of the season during the Browns' bye week. Manziel will make his Monday night debut in Week 12 against the Ravens.|