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Senior NFL Columnist

NFL Power Rankings: Parity reigns, but is that really a good thing?


As we head to the Thanksgiving holiday, there are 10 NFL teams with winning records and nobody has been eliminated from playoff contention.

Is that a good thing for the league?

As we normally move towards December, contenders are emerging and pretenders are long gone. But that's not the case this year.

There have been a lot of complaints about the quality of play in the NFL this year for a variety of reasons -- including quarterback injuries and poor offensive line play -- but there is parity.

Isn't that what former commissioner Pete Rozelle always wanted for the league? Maybe so, especially since there is hope in places like Tampa, Jacksonville and Houston now, which gives fans more reason to pay attention.

But we also lose something when teams with losing records win divisions and 2-8 teams are still alive at Thanksgiving.

When I put together my Power Rankings every week, I have a hard time slotting in the middle teams. Why? They are all alike. It's created a huge middle class in the NFL and few really good or really bad teams.

Aside from the top five teams in the league, is anybody else any good?

So as you get ready to dive into the bird this weekend, with a Thursday full of NFL games, just remember the 3-7 Cowboys are 1-point dogs to the undefeated Carolina Panthers.

Nothing says parity like that.

Jameis Winston, Tony Romo and Blake Bortles have their teams in the hunt. (CBSSports.com Original)
Jameis Winston, Tony Romo and Blake Bortles have their teams in the hunt. (CBSSports.com Original)


Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.

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