Week 16 NFL Power Rankings


  1. Carolina Panthers 14-0: The Carolina Panthers made it interesting after allowing the Giants to come back from a huge deficit, but in the end they did what they’ve done every week this season, they won.
  2. Arizona Cardinals 12-2: After all the concern over the injuries at their tailback position, the performance David Johnson put on against the Eagles Sunday has to make one wonder if Arizona is even more dangerous with the young back in the backfield.
  3. New England Patriots 12-2: As well as the Patriots have played through much of the season, something just tells you this isn’t going to be their year. New England just can’t shake the injury bug, and now the Pats are getting ready to sign ancient running back Stephen Jackson in a move that wreaks of desperation.
  4. Green Bay Packers 10-4: The Green Bay Packers are pretty good, and Mike McCarthy thinks you should know it. Annoyed by the direction of his post-game presser, McCarthy finally said, “I’m sick and tired of talking about the negatives. We’ve won 10 games. We lost three games on the final play of the game, and Denver beat us.”
  5. Seattle Seahawks 9-5: Oh look, the season is entering its final weeks, and the Seattle Seahawks are playing their best football. How many times will they have to do this before we stop having mid-season conversations about if their window has closed?
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers 9-5: We’ve written for much of the year that the Pittsburgh Steelers defense just isn’t good enough to make them a Super Bowl contender. Perhaps it doesn’t really matter what the Steelers defense does as long as Ben Roethlisberger has Antonio Brown to throw the rock to.
  7. Denver Broncos 10-4: Suddenly the Denver Broncos team that looked like it was running away with the AFC West has lost two in a row, and now have the Chiefs breathing down their neck. Broncos fans have to be concerned with the way Brock Osweiler and the offense have been shut out in the second half each of the last two weeks.
  8. Cincinnati Bengals 11-3: The Cincinnati Bengals had as good of a shot as anyone to get out of the AFC to represent the conference in Super Bowl 50, but an injury to Andy Dalton has put those dreams in jeopardy.
  9. Kansas City Chiefs 9-5: The Kansas City Chiefs lost five straight after winning their first game of the season, and haven’t looked back since. What Andy Reid has been able to do with this team despite losing Jamaal Charles is pretty unbelievable.
  10. Minnesota Vikings 9-5: The Minnesota Vikings are the playoff bound team it seems nobody is talking about, but if their defense can get healthy, Adrian Peterson makes them built for the winter months. Don’t be surprised if they surprise someone in January.
  11. New York Jets 9-5: If the playoffs started today, the New York Jets would be on the outside looking in despite being one of the most improved teams in football. The AFC Wild Card spots will come down to the Jets, and whoever ends up in second place in the AFC North and West.
  12. Washington Redskins 7-7: The Washington Redskins started this season towards the bottom of these power rankings, and now they’re a victory over the Philadelphia Eagles away from clinching the NFC East. Yes, the Redskins are benefiting from being in a bad division, but hey, someone had to.
  13. Houston Texans 7-7: Speaking of teams getting ready to potentially clinch their division despite being just 7-7, the Texans victory over Indianapolis and the Jaguars loss Sunday has Houston very much in the driver’s seat in the AFC South.
  14. Philadelphia Eagles 6-8: After a pair of winning seasons, Chip Kelly felt like he needed complete control of the roster and to start over from scratch. Now the Philadelphia Eagles have to be wondering if doing the same thing as an organization would be a good idea.
  15. New York Giants 6-8: The only thing more embarrassing than the way the New York Giants have given away so many victories this season is the way that Odell Beckham, Jr. played on Sunday. The Panthers played a role in Beckham’s actions, but nothing they did warranted his ridiculous response.
  16. Buffalo Bills 6-8: Buffalo Bills’ fans were feeling optimistic after a couple of big early season victories, and that’s had to make days like Sunday when the Bills failed to show up that much more frustrating.
  17. Indianapolis Colts 6-8: There were quite a few analysts who picked the Indianapolis Colts to go to or even win Super Bowl 50, and Sunday’s loss to the Texans made it very likely we won’t even see Indianapolis in the playoffs. There’s no chance Chuck Pagano survives this.
  18. St. Louis Rams 6-8: The Rams looked like the team we expected them to be against the Bucs Thursday night, but the season has still been a disappointment. Sooner or later they have to figure out the quarterback position.
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-8: The young Tampa Bay Buccaneers were very disappointed this week that their playoff hopes were dashed, but the fact that they were even in the conversation heading into Week 15 is a statement about how far the team has come a season after going 2-14.
  20. Atlanta Falcons 7-7: The Atlanta Falcons broke their six-game losing streak with a victory over Jaguars Sunday. Technically the Falcons haven’t been eliminated from playoff contention, as the team would snag the final playoff spot if they were to win out, and the Seahawks and Vikings were to lose out. So basically, they’re done.
  21. Oakland Raiders 6-8: The Oakland Raiders couldn’t pull off the upset against Green Bay Sunday, but the young Raiders hung around. Raiders’ safety Charles Woodson announced his retirement this week, so Sunday had to be a special afternoon for Woodson with the Pack in town.
  22. Detroit Lions 5-9: The Detroit Lions once again flashed some of their impressive talent in Monday night’s victory over New Orleans. Year three will be critical for Jim Caldwell after following a surprising 2014 season with a disappointing 2015 campaign.
  23. New Orleans Saints 5-9: The New Orleans Saints defense is terrible. The only reason we gave the Saints the nod over Chicago is Drew Brees.
  24. Chicago Bears 5-9: The Bears have made things interesting more often than we thought they would this season, but Sunday wasn’t one of those days. The difference in talent between Minnesota and Chicago was evident in the Vikings 38-17 victory.
  25. Dallas Cowboys 4-10: So, maybe that Tony Romo guy was pretty good. The Cowboys hung around against the Jets Saturday night, and that almost felt like a victory.
  26. Miami Dolphins 5-9: Boy is it getting worse in Miami. We wanted to push them further down the list, but the teams below them are pretty damn bad too.
  27. Jacksonville Jaguars 5-9: The Jacksonville Jaguars were a game out of first in the AFC South and had a reeling Falcons team coming into town, and they couldn’t capitalize. This team is headed in the right direction, but they’re just not ready yet.
  28. San Diego Chargers 4-10: It was nice to see the Chargers pick up the victory in what may have been the team’s final game in San Diego.
  29. Cleveland Browns 3-11: The Cleveland Browns got waxed in Seattle on Sunday. Did you expect anything else?
  30. Baltimore Ravens 4-10: I don’t know if the Baltimore Ravens thought they could distract us from how terrible they are with those hideous pants, but it worked. Okay, no it didn’t. They’re really bad right now.
  31. San Francisco 49ers 4-10: Should we be impressed that the Niners only lost by 10 to Cincinnati even though Andy Dalton is hurt? Probably.
  32. Tennessee Titans: Marcus Mariota’s multiple injuries have to be as concerning as the Tennessee’s 3-11 record.

About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.