NFL Game Rankings: Week 12

11/20/13 in NFL   |   BlakeLovell   |   86 respect

Oct 7, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) shakes hands with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) following the game at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Broncos 31-21. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY SportsAfter a Week 11 that was filled with fun and controversy, Week 12 in the NFL should offer up plenty of intrigue as we continue the march to Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford.

Let's take a look at the five best games on the Week 12 slate:

5. Carolina Panthers (7-3) at Miami Dolphins (5-5) - 1 PM ET, FOX

You can talk all you want about the controversial ending of the Monday Night Football game between the Panthers and Patriots. But the fact of the matter is, the Panthers won the game and now sit at 7-3 and only a game behind New Orleans in the NFC South. Cam Newton continues to be spectacular and has completely taken over the leader role on this team. Monday's win involved a lot of emotion and energy since it was Tom Brady and the Patriots on the other side, so this is a potential letdown spot for Carolina.

4. San Diego Chargers (4-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) - 1 PM ET, CBS

How will the Chiefs respond to their first loss of the season? That's what makes this game so intriguing. Sure, the Chargers have a losing record and have suffered three straight defeats. But the those three games were all close, and with a play here or there, things could look dramatically different for Philip Rivers and company right now. Kansas City is the better team, but again, we have no idea how this team will react following a loss since that was their first of the season. Don't be shocked if the Chargers catch KC off guard and sneak out with a victory.

3. Dallas Cowboys (5-5) at New York Giants (4-6) - 4:25 PM ET, FOX

The Cowboys had a week to regroup after the shellacking they took in New Orleans. Meanwhile, after a horrendous 0-6 start, the Giants have rallied to win four in a row and have all the momentum in the world heading into this game. I'm not saying that Dallas will get steamrolled like it did against the Saints, but it wouldn't be all that surprising if the G Men came out and convincingly took care of business. I think Eli Manning has a huge game and that leads to Tom Coughlin's team moving closer and closer to the top of the NFC East.

2. Indianapolis Colts (7-3) at Arizona Cardinals (6-4) - 4:05 PM ET, CBS

Bruce Arians takes on his former team here, and to be honest, his current team may be flying under the radar a little bit. The Cardinals have the same record as the 49ers, and while neither team will catch Seattle at the top, Arizona has a chance to put together a decent enough run that could land them in the playoffs. The Colts have had their struggles in recent weeks, so the Cards are catching them at the right time. Arizona's run defense has been extremely solid this season, which means the outcome of this game will depend on the efficiency of Andrew Luck and the Indy passing attack.

1. Denver Broncos (9-1) at New England Patriots (7-3) - 8:30 PM ET, NBC

Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning simply never gets old. Any time that you have the chance to watch two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history go at it, you better take advantage of it. As is always the case when these two quarterbacks are on opposite sides, the deciding factor will be which defense can wreak the most havoc in terms of controlling the line of scrimmage and getting pressure in the backfield.   Normally I'd worry about the Pats after losing a game on such a controversial ending, but Peyton Manning is leading the opposing team. So, they'll be just fine. I think the Denver defense outplays the New England defense, allowing Manning to top Brady this time around.

Which game are you most looking forward to this week in the NFL? Let us know by commenting below! For more NFL talk, follow @FanIQ or myself on Twitter!
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