Thanks to a season-ending shutout of the Dolphins, a win that clinched the Patriots a first-round playoff bye, New England shot up four spots in the final Wilson-Hart Power Index to close the year at No. 3 overall.
The final 2012 Wilson-Hart Power Index also has an interesting new No. 1 team to cap the regular season as Pete Carroll's red-hot, upstart Seahawks slipped past the slipping Falcons with a late season surge.
The Broncos and 49ers hit the postseason tied for No. 4 in the Index, followed by Houston and Green Bay.
The Bears are an interesting team as they missed the postseason, fell off the map after a 7-1 start and got their head coach fired, but finish the year ranked No. 8 overall in the Wilson-Hart Power Index as the highest rated non-playoff team.
On the other end of that postseason spectrum, the Vikings and Colts both earned spots in the playoffs despite lackluster rankings in our Index. Minnesota hits January ranked No. 21 overall thanks in large part to Adrian Peterson's super-human efforts, while 23rd-ranked Colts are playoff bound thanks mostly to Andre Luck and an emotional drive.
While this is the final Wilson-Hart Power Index of the season, it will be interesting to watch the playoffs in the coming weeks to see if the teams play to their rankings and regular season statistical analysis. If so, look for the Patriots going to the Super Bowl to take on the Seahawks!
|This WeeksRank||Last WeeksRank||Movement||Team||CurrentRecord||Wilson-HartPower Index|
|1||2||up 1||Seattle Seahawks||11-5-0||4.667|
|2||1||down 1||Atlanta Falcons||13-3-0||6.167|
|3||7||up 4||New England Patriots||12-4-0||7.333|
|4||5||up 1||Denver Broncos||13-3-0||8.167|
|4||6||up 2||San Francisco 49ers||11-4-1||8.167|
|6||4||down 2||Houston Texans||12-4-0||8.333|
|7||3||down 4||Green Bay Packers||11-5-0||9.833|
|10||11||up 1||Cincinnati Bengals||10-6-0||12.167|
|11||12||up 1||New York Giants||9-7-0||12.333|
|12||10||down 2||Baltimore Ravens||10-6-0||13.833|
|13||13||same||New Orleans Saints||7-9-0||14.500|
|14||17||up 3||St. Louis Rams||7-8-1||15.500|
|15||14||down 1||San Diego Chargers||7-9-0||15.833|
|16||14||down 2||Carolina Panthers||7-9-0||16.500|
|17||14||down 3||Pittsburgh Steelers||8-8-0||16.667|
|18||22||up 4||Arizona Cardinals||5-11-0||17.833|
|19||26||up 7||Buffalo Bills||6-10-0||18.167|
|19||23||up 4||Cleveland Browns||5-11-0||18.167|
|21||17||down 4||Minnesota Vikings||10-6-0||18.333|
|22||20||down 2||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||7-9-0||18.667|
|23||24||up 1||Indianapolis Colts||11-5-0||19.500|
|24||27||up 3||Detroit Lions||4-12-0||19.833|
|25||19||down 6||Miami Dolphins||7-9-0||21.333|
|25||25||same||New York Jets||6-10-0||21.333|
|27||21||down 6||Dallas Cowboys||8-8-0||21.667|
|28||29||up 1||Jacksonville Jaguars||2-14-0||22.500|
|29||28||down 1||Tennessee Titans||6-10-0||24.333|
|30||29||down 1||Oakland Raiders||4-12-0||24.667|
|32||32||same||Kansas City Chiefs||2-14-0||30.333|
clinched playoff spot
*Italics indicates out of the playoffs