NFL POWER RANKINGS – WEEK 16
1. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (13-1)
This game was a little closer than expected. That appeared to be a theme with the NFL’s elite teams this week.
2. BUFFALO BILLS (11-3)
Great teams find ways to win games – and that’s exactly what Buffalo did in a snowy 4th quarter in which they found themselves down by 8 with less than 10 minutes to play.
3. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (11-3)
The Chiefs avoided an embarrassing loss, but they further proved that you can’t sleepwalk through games in the NFL – it doesn’t matter the caliber of opponent.
4. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (10-4)
Brock Purdy is undefeated and has looked promising in his first two NFL starts. Now I know it’s wayyyyy too early to start talking about what kind of career he will go on to have. For all we know he could bomb these remaining games and never again be an NFL starter. But part of the fun of watching sports is the speculation and opinions that we form and discuss with others. That is quite literally why you are reading these words right now. So, as for Purdy’s good performances go – do we think that he is actually a talented NFL QB or do we think he is a beneficiary of Kyle Shanahan’s “QB friendly” offense?
5. DALLAS COWBOYS (10-4)
Was this a classic Cowboys choke job or did Dallas get a little too comfortable with their lead and start looking ahead to the huge matchup they have with Philly next week? Well, I guess it’s not as huge now.
6. CINCINNATI BENGALS (10-4)
Joe Burrow went into the locker room at halftime down 14. He must have smoked one of his cigars and focused up in there because he came out and tossed 4 TD’s for a comeback victory.
7. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (11-3)
What. A. Game. The Vikings entered this game with people (including myself) beginning to believe they were frauds. So what do we take away from this? Can a “fraud” team erase a 33-point 2nd half deficit? Or do good teams not find themselves down by 33 points at home to begin with?
8. BALTIMORE RAVENS (9-5)
When the final whistle sounded in the Baltimore vs Cleveland game on Saturday, there were actually 2 winners. The first winner was the Cleveland Browns, who defeated their rival 13-3. The other winner was Lamar Jackson’s bank account, as I’m sure the Ravens came away from this game appreciating their MVP quarterback even more after watching Tyler Huntley and the offense only muster up a measly 3 points against a team that has not been great at stopping the run.
9. DETROIT LIONS (7-7)
Who would have thought that in mid-December the Detroit Lions would be out here finding ways to get it done? I know I didn’t. Are we going to see some playoff football in the Motor City?
10. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (8-6)
I’ve been waiting all year for this team to start stringing together wins. It’s a good time of the year to get hot, and their 3 remaining opponents each have only 4 wins. Now with this team getting healthy (also at the right time), I wouldn’t want to play these guys in the playoffs.
11. MIAMI DOLPHINS (8-6)
They didn’t win the game, but it sort of felt like the Dolphins bounced back. A couple questionable decisions & costly plays landed them in the loss column.
12. NEW YORK GIANTS (8-5-1)
Just a clutch, primetime win for Big Blue. It’s beginning to look like there will be playoff football for the Big Apple.
13. WASHINGTON COMMANDERS (7-6-1)
It looks like the heater is over. But these guys still sit in a playoff spot. However, they will have to earn that spot over these final weeks as two of their opponents are Dallas & San Francisco. Those teams aren’t exactly pushovers.
14. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (7-7)
This loss was just devastating – and I’m not just talking about what happened on the field. The Pats playoff hopes took a dent on Sunday.
15. CLEVELAND BROWNS (6-8)
It was ugly, but the Browns got it done. They are keeping their playoff hopes on life support.
16. TENNESSEE TITANS (7-7)
The woes continue in Tennessee. A 4-game losing streak – along with a couple of shockers in Jacksonville this month – have the Titans clinging to that division lead, as well as a playoff spot.
17. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (7-7)
The division title hopes were fun while they lasted. Now the Seahawks need to focus on grinding out some wins. They will need some help, but a playoff appearance is still a possibility.
18. GREEN BAY PACKERS (6-8)
The Pack did their part to stay alive on Monday Night Football. A playoff appearance after the season they’ve had would be wild.
19. NEW YORK JETS (7-7)
How do Jets fans feel about Zach Wilson after that game? You could frame his performance in both good and bad lights.
20. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (6-8)
Tomlin’s steak of going without a losing record is alive by a hair. The Steelers need to win out to keep that streak alive and it’s somewhat feasible if you look at their remaining schedule.
21. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (6-8)
A few weeks ago this looked like it was becoming a typical Jags season. Well, not so fast. I’m recent weeks Jacksonville has won a couple of thrillers, one against Baltimore and the other against Dallas, and those teams are no slouches.
22. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (6-8)
What a way to win a football game. It’s a shame that this season hasn’t gone as expected, otherwise it would have just compounded the craziness.
23. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (6-8)
Tampa received some MAJOR help on Sunday from Pittsburgh & New Orleans. If both of those teams don’t win, the Bucs don’t find themselves in sole possession of the NFC South.
24. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (5-9)
The playoffs are possible but extremely unlikely for the Saints, which speaks more to the caliber of football the NFC South has played this year more than it does for the strength of this Saints team. But in any case, New Orleans went out and caused some havoc on Sunday, which is always fun against a division rival.
25. ATLANTA FALCONS (5-9)
The Falcons were sluggish out of the gate on Sunday and couldn’t overcome that slow start. This was a crushing loss considering their division standing prior to Sunday.
26. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (4-9-1)
I mean what can you say about what happened to the Colts on Sunday? I think Jeff Saturday will have that “interim” title removed after this season… but I think that “head coach” title will go away with it.
27. ARIZONA CARDINALS (4-10)
I’d imagine the Cardinals can’t wait for this injury-riddled, nightmare of a season to be over.
28. LOS ANGELES RAMS (4-10)
That Monday night game had to be miserable for LA right? Not much to play for, in the freezing cold, and the loss doesn’t even really help their draft situation much because they don’t have a 1st round pick.
29. CAROLINA PANTHERS (5-9)
I’ve mentioned the chaos in the NFC South numerous times. Believe it or not, the Panthers were part of that chaos, so Sunday’s home loss was a big one.
30. DENVER BRONCOS (4-10)
It took until mid-December, and an injury to the opposing QB, but the Broncos finally won a game by more than 1 score, which was something Broncos Country was expecting to see a lot this year.
31. CHICAGO BEARS (3-11)
Justin Fields continues to be a human highlight reel on the ground. You’d have to imagine acquiring some weapons for him is priority #1 in this years draft, right?
32. HOUSTON TEXANS (1-12-1)
They almost pulled off the massive upset, but the cream always rises to the top I suppose.