NFL Power Rankings - Week 12: Green Bay rising


NFL Power Rankings - Week 12: Green Bay rising

Each week throughout the regular season, we'll be rankingall 32 NFL teams.

Take a look and offer up your thoughts inthe comment box below or to us on Twitter @BearsTalkCSN.

Previousrankings: Week1 Week2 Week3 Week4 Week5 Week6 Week7 Week8 Week9 Week10 Week11

SK JF Comments 1SK: Got caught looking past Jaguars,but Schaub saved the day.
JF: Almost suffered embarrassing home loss to Jags, but held them off. 2 SK:When it's all said and done, Packers may be the best team in the NFC.
JF: Ryan looked like a Cardinals QB last week (5 INT) in narrow win over Arizona.
3 SK: Still don't know how ATL is 9-1?Somehow just keep squeaking by BAD opponents.
JF: Anyone else get the feeling Rodgers is just getting started?
4 SK: Total beatdown of the Bears.Kaepernick should be the guy from here on out.
JF: Very impressive beat down of Bears on MNF.
5 SK:Losing McGahee hurts, but Broncos have a favorable schedule down thestretch.
JF: They don't win pretty, but they do keep on winning.
6 SK:Are they ever going to lose a game in the AFC North?
JF: This is just the way Elway and the Broncos had hoped the Manning project would go.
7 SK: Lose Gronk, but get A-Aron back.Not a bad position to be in.
JF: When you score 59 points you win most games. Losing Gronk will hurt.
8 SK:O-Line is in shambles after massacre by the bay. Cutler or not, theline can't block.
JF: Monday's loss was a nightmare for the Bears. Need Cutler back fast.
9 SK: Can't take fading Dolphinslightly.
JF: Coming off a BYE week the Seahawks are hungry and they're gonna eat.
10 SK: Freeman has saved his starting joband has Bucs squarely in the playoff picture.
JF: Statement game in Chicago this weekend for the Vikings.
11 SK:Not the opponent (Green Bay) you want to see coming off the bye week.
JF: It's time for Manning to snap back to reality and become Eli-te again.
12 SK:Showdown looming with the 49ers on Sunday.
JF: The Bucs can't be stopped of late, but that may change vs. Falcons.
13 SK:Charlie Batch, step right up. You're the contestant on the SteelersQB carousel.
JF: Home dominance will come to an end against the 49ers.
14 SK:Rough loss in New England. Still right there in the playoff mixthough.
JF: Should move above .500 vs. the Raiders this week.
15 SK:Could vault past the Bears in NFC North with a win at Soldier Field.
JF: Lost a little luster with blowout loss in New England.
16 SK:Don't look now. The Bengals seem to have found their mojo again.
JF: Still have a good team, but without Big Ben they are mediocre.
17 SK:Squeaked by the Browns, but a win is a win.
JF: Can make a statement with a home over Redskins on Turkey Day.
18 SK:Is RGIII even from this planet? He's doing un-human things right now.
JF: Must-win game at home vs. Rams.
19 SK:The Lions mess if a season continues after not being to put Green Bayaway.
JF: RG3 and the 'Skins will have yet another tough test in Dallas.
20 SK:Losers of five out of their last six and it doesn't get any easierwith Baltimore on tap.
JF: Really at a crossroads. Important week for the Lions.
21 SK: Losing skid has hit three foreverybody's early season surprise team.
JF: Things have really turned sour in St. Louis.
22 SK: Rejoice! TheBills have finally notched a November victory.
JF: Did you expect them to be higher? Not after last week.
23 SK: Need consistency down the stretch.Never know what you'll get each week from Titans.
JF: Narrow defeat to Dallas had to hurt.
24 SK:Ended losing streak, but Jets are nowhere near where Rex Ryanenvisioned them.
JF: Looking to pick up steam late. Spiller ready to carry the load.
25 SK:Blew a big lead in Atlanta. Time to see what Cardinals have in RyanLindley.
JF: This Dolphin tale won't have a happy ending.
26 SK: Sorry Eaglesfans, but it doesn't look like Andy Reid is quitting anytime soon.
JF: Must build off of road win in St. Louis and get on a roll.
27 SK:No positives to take from Sunday's loss to the Jets.
JF: No room for a letdown against Jacksonville.
SK:It's looking more and more like Ron Rivera may not be back inCarolina next season.
JF: So many talented players, so few wins.
29 SK:So close, but yet so far. I still believe they are better than theirrecord indicates.
JF: Had Tampa Bay beat, but they let them off the hook.
30 SK:Maybe they shouldn't have mortgaged the future on CarsonPalmer.
JF: Proved they're a different team when Henne is under center.
31 SK:Better team with Henne. Gabbert could be searching for a new job inthe offseason.
JF: Not good when you get passed up by Jacksonville in the Power Rankings.
32 SK:There isn't one good thing you can say about the current state of theChiefs right now.
JF: A pair field goals last week was enough to send K.C. to the cellar.

Cubs not surprised 'good dude' Mike Napoli is on another winning team

Cubs not surprised 'good dude' Mike Napoli is on another winning team

CLEVELAND — As the Cubs readied themselves to play in the franchise’s first World Series game since 1971, a number of players were able to look over at the Cleveland Indians and seen an opposing team transformed by good-dude-in-chief Mike Napoli.

Those players, specifically, were catcher David Ross and starters Jon Lester and John Lackey, all of whom teamed up with Napoli to win the 2013 World Series with the Boston Red Sox. 

“I know their players are going to be ready just based on one player alone and that’s Mike Napoli, I know what he brings to the table,” Lester said during the Cubs’ pennant-clinching celebration. “He helped transform our 2013 team.”

Napoli’s impact on the 2016 Indians stretches beyond his career high totals in home runs (34), RBIs (102) and runs (92). While he was only worth 1.0 WAR despite those gaudy totals, Napoli’s unquantifiable presence on the field and in the clubhouse helped keep Cleveland from breaking apart despite injuries to outfielder Michael Brantley and starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. 

“Having a guy that’s playing every day can unify the group is really tremendous,” Indians hitting coach Ty Van Burkleo said. “I think it’s undervalued sometimes.”

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

Napoli played a key part in the Red Sox’ worst-to-first turnaround in 2013, quickly becoming a leader in a clubhouse Lackey said was a “zoo.” It was one of the 34-year-old’s best seasons in the majors, too — he hit 23 home runs with an .842 OPS — and he became a guy his teammates knew they could trust to come through in key situations. 

“He’s a guy you want in your foxhole,” Lackey said. “He’s a winner. He steps up in big situations and wants to be in them. I’m not surprised to see him on another winning team for sure.”

Ross sees a lot of Napoli in the personality first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who’s emerged as one of the Cubs’ best leaders during their rapid ascendance to the top of the National League over the last two years. 

“When you do things with Rizzo off the field, you have a good time. Napoli’s one of those guys (too),” Ross said. “No matter what you’re doing, you’re going to enjoy yourself. He’s one of those guys you’re like, Yep, I gotta have Napoli go with me, I gotta have Rizz go with me, because we’re going to have fun.”

A few minutes after Ross, Lester and Lackey filed out of Progressive Field’s posh club lounge, Napoli walked in wearing a Party at Napoli’s T-shirt. Ross said he wanted to get his hands on one of those shirts in time for Monday’s World Series media day, but had to settle for wearing a Cubs hoodie. But the whole “Party at Napoli’s” thing encompasses why he’s been such a good fit in clubhouses in Cleveland, Boston, and everywhere else he’s been in the majors. 

“I’m just myself,” Napoli said. “I like to have a good time, I enjoy my teammates on and off the field.”

Said Lackey: “He’s a great teammate, a gamer and just a good dude.”

Cubs announce lineup for Game 1 of the World Series...and yes Kyle Schwarber is in it

Cubs announce lineup for Game 1 of the World Series...and yes Kyle Schwarber is in it

CLEVELAND - Kyle Schwarber is in the Cubs starting lineup for the first time since April 7.

It just so happens to also be the Cubs' first World Series starting lineup since 1945.

The Cubs released Joe Maddon's Game 1 lineup against Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians Tuesday afternoon ahead of a historic World Series matchup.

Schwarber is hitting fifth at DH:

1. Dexter Fowler - CF
2. Kris Bryant - 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo - 1B
4. Ben Zobrist - LF
5. Kyle Schwarber - DH
6. Javy Baez - 2B
7. Chris Coghlan - RF
8. Addison Russell - SS
9. David Ross - C

And Jon Lester is on the mound.

Schwarber is already the Cubs' all-time leader in postseason homers with five longballs in last season's playoff run.

[SHOP: Buy a "Try Not to Suck" shirt with proceeds benefiting Joe Maddon's Respect 90 Foundation & other Cubs Charities]

Coghlan in the lineup is also a surprise as defensive stalwart Jason Heyward gets the boot to the bench for the second straight game.

The Cubs put Albert Almora Jr. in right field at Wrigley Saturady night when they beat Clayton Kershaw and locked up the NLCs.

Heyward is hitting .071 with a .312 OPS in the postseason, collecting only two hits and a walk in 10 games.

Coghlan has appeared in five games - all as a pinch-hitter - and is 0-for-4 with a walk and a run. 

The Cubs have scored 23 runs in the last three games after being shut out in 21 straight innings prior to that.