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NFL Power Rankings, Week 12: Baby Steps

New York Jets v Los Angeles Chargers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The New York Jets lost to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, a 10th consecutive loss to start the season. At 0-10 the Jets are the NFL’s sole winless team. However, Sunday marked the second consecutive game the Jets had a shot to win in the final minutes of the game, and the second consecutive game the offense scored 27 or more points. Don’t look now, but the Jets have actually looked like a competitive team the last two games. No wins yet, but progress from earlier in the season when the Jets were routinely getting blown out. Baby steps. How do the power rankings feel about the latest Jets loss? Let’s take a look.

Pro Football Network

31) New York Jets (0-10)

The New York Jets move up one spot in these Week 12 NFL Power Rankings after they hung around against the Chargers and made it rather interesting late in the game. They are still winless but say what you want about the Jets: this team is getting better, at least. Joe Flacco is showing he still has a little football left in him, and the Jets averaged 5.3 yards per play. That’s pretty good for them.

ESPN

32. New York Jets (0-10)

What they’re thankful for: Bert Bell

Who? The late Eagles co-owner was the driving force behind the creation of the NFL draft in 1936 — and the draft is the only thing Jets fans can embrace as they endure the worst season in franchise history. The 2021 draft is particularly appealing because it might include a generational quarterback prospect, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. So as their 0-10 team careens toward the No. 1 overall pick, Jets fans can find solace in knowing there’s hope in the future. So, a Thanksgiving toast to Bert Bell, who beats Le’Veon when it comes to impactful Bells for the franchise.

Sports Illustrated

32. New York Jets (0-10)

Last week: Loss at Los Angeles Rams 34–28

This week: vs. Miami

They’ve now been within reach of a win in back-to-back weeks, putting their Trevor Lawrence sweepstakes lead very much in jeopardy. But it is a reminder that, should they land the No. 1 pick, there’s no reason Lawrence shouldn’t be perfectly happy joining a franchise with a foundational piece at left tackle, an intriguing (possible stud) young receiver in Denzel Mims, and a ton of draft capital and cap space to spend this offseason.

New York Post

32. Jets, 0-10 (32)

An 0-16 season for Adam Gase’s team comes fully into focus now with five straight games against teams with winning records: the Dolphins, Raiders, Seahawks, Rams and Browns. Next: Sunday vs. Miami

Well, would you look at that. Pro Football Network thinks the Jets aren’t the worst team in the NFL. And Sports Illustrated actually kinda agrees with them, saying this about the Cincinnati Bengals:

If we’re being honest, a Ryan Finley–led Bengals team is objectively worse than the Jets, but it just felt gratuitous to put the Bengals at 32.

For the first time in a long time it isn’t obvious the Jets are the worst team in football. That this is what we are reduced to calling progress is a sad commentary on the state of the franchise, but hey, baby steps. The Jets stink, but maybe, just maybe, one or two teams stink even more.

What do you think? Are the Jets still the worst team in football? Where should the Jets rank in the NFL power rankings?