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NFL Power Rankings: Week 16

Our voters for NFL Power Rankings:Week 16- Zac Stone, Joe DiTullio, Michael Packard, Savannah Dean, Manny Finale, Pranay Malempati

1. New Orleans Saints – 189 (High: 1. Low: 2. LW: 1)

The Division bout with the Carolina Panthers was not going to be easy, and Sean Payton knew it, but the Saints’ defense showed up and feasted. Though Drew Brees did not have a very Drew Brees game, the Saints delivered and got the win on the road. Was it an ugly game? Maybe. But the important part is, the Saints won. With this victory, the New Orleans Saints become the first team to record 12 wins in this regular season, and closer to clinching that number one spot.

– Manny Finale

NFL Power Rankings: Week 16
Philip Rivers (Photo by boltsfromtheblue.com)

2. Los Angeles Chargers – 186 (High: 1. Low: 4. LW: 4)

What a comeback by the Chargers! They scored 15 points in the final 5 minutes, including the game-winning, gutsy 2-point conversion to win the game. Overshadowed by Kansas City no more, LA tied the Chiefs for the division lead. While KC holds the tiebreaker, the Chargers could pull out the division and number one seed. In other news, tight end Hunter Henry practiced for the first time since tearing his ACL and has 21 days to be activated to the 53-man roster. He would be a nice offensive weapon to add for the playoffs.

– Pranay Malempati

3. Kansas City Chiefs – 182 (High: 2. Low: 3. LW: 2)

The Chiefs again were in a tight game with an AFC playoff contender. This time, they blew a 15-point lead at home to the Chargers and now the two teams are tied for the division. The Chiefs have a tough game coming up at Seattle and need to win to maintain the one seed. The loss of Kareem Hunt is starting to show and will be hard for them to overcome in the playoffs, but the return of Eric Berry helps the defense a lot. He only played the first half Thursday, in which they only allowed seven points.

– Pranay Malempati

T4. Los Angeles Rams – 171 (High: 3. Low: 6. LW: 3)

Should the Rams be worried they have dropped two in a row? No. They lost in Chicago to a tough Bears team then made an impressive comeback and nearly tied the Eagles. The offense needs to find a way to get Brandin Cooks more involved like early in the season when they dominated the league. They need to win out to make sure the Bears do not steal a bye from them.

– Zac Stone

T4. Chicago Bears – 171 (High: 4. Low: 5. LW: 5)

Your 2018 NFC North Champions? Da Bears. After a 24-17 win against their division rival Packers, they will be playing at Soldier Field in January, with the possibility of a bye following the Rams loss. The win had to be seen as a revenge win after letting the Packers slip by them in week 1. Trubisky is running a solid offense on the ground and in the air and Mack is leading one of the league’s top defenses. This team will be dangerous in the postseason.

– Zac Stone

6. Houston Texans – 162 (High: 5. Low: 7. LW: 6)

A game of two halves, the Houston Texans rallied in the fourth quarter to get a 29-22 win over the New York Jets. In the first half, the Texans were able to score on four of their first drives to go into halftime up 16-9. However, they struggled to move the ball in the second half, which allowed the Jets to take a 22-19 lead with five minutes to go in the game. Houston was able to prevail though, as they scored 10 points in the final minutes thanks to DeAndre Hopkins’s second touchdown of the game and a Ka’imi Fairbairn field goal. It also helped that the Jets went for it on fourth down twice and failed to convert. The win puts Houston in the driver’s seat for the AFC South race, and will clinch the division if they win next week when they take on the 7-7 Philadelphia Eagles

– Michael Packard

7. New England Patriots – 149 (High: 6. Low: 13. LW: 7)

A loss to the Steelers is never great, but this game really showed the Patriots’ limitations. Rob Gronkowski is a shell of himself. Other than quarterback and head coach, there aren’t many bright spots on the roster and even Brady isn’t playing at his usual level. They’ll make the playoffs and maybe win a game, but they have some issues that could prevent them from making the AFC Championship Game.

-Joe DiTullio

8. Indianapolis Colts – 147 (High: 7. Low: 11. LW: 10)

NFL Power Rankings: week 16
Andrew Luck (Photo by indystar.com)

The Indianapolis Colts kept their postseason hopes alive with a dominating 23-0 win over the Dallas Cowboys. Running Back Marlon Mack led the way for the Colts, rushing 27 times for 139 yards, both career highs, while scoring two touchdowns. The Colts defense set the tone early by blocking a field goal on Dallas’s first drive then forced an Ezekiel Elliott fumble on the next drive. The only other scoring in the game for the Colts were three Adam Vinatieri field goals. The win keeps Indianapolis in both the AFC South and wildcard races with two weeks to go, but needs to win out and get some help along the way. They take on the 5-9 New York Giants next week in their final home game.

– Michael Packard

9. Pittsburgh Steelers – 145 (High: 7. Low: 11. LW: 12)

After a huge loss to the Raiders last week, the Steelers needed to step it up at home- and they did. they held the Patriots to only 10 points and secured the win at home. This win keeps them in first place in the AFC North. Their game this week against the Saints will be a huge test.

– Savannah Dean

10. Baltimore Ravens – 138 (High: 8. Low: 12. LW: 11)

This was the first game that Joe Flacco was active but didn’t start. Lamar Jackson has been doing well keeping this team in their wild-card spot. Their schedule the next two weeks will show the type of team they really are and how much Jackson can handle.

– Savannah Dean

11. Seattle Seahawks – 133 (High: 8. Low: 15. LW: 9)

Despite an overtime loss to a weak San Francisco team, the Seahawks have still been playing quality football and are in a good spot to make the playoffs with two weeks remaining. The Seahawks have a tough matchup hosting the Chiefs, but even if they lose they will host the Cardinals the following week which should get them to the postseason.

– Zac Stone

12. Minnesota Vikings – 129 (High: 9. Low: 14. LW: 13)

The Vikings hosted the Dolphins, who were feeling pretty good about themselves after beating the Patriots, and absolutely obliterated them. New offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski put an emphasis on increasing the run game and it paid dividends. Dalvin Cook ran for 136 and two touchdowns on 19 carries. The Vikings air raid is no longer the same, which explains the disappearance of Adam Thielen. The Vikings need to win in Detroit next week to not rely on a game against the Bears to make the playoffs.

– Zac Stone

13. Dallas Cowboys – 123 (High: 11. Low: 14. LW: 8)

There isn’t much to say about this one. The Cowboys got stomped, manhandled, and, worst of all, shut out. For the first time since 2003, Dallas was scored 0 points. The defense didn’t do their job, either. This was an all-around embarrassment for a team that seemed destined to take control of the ever-confusing NFC East. Yet, now, they sit only one game ahead of Washington and Philadelphia. The good news is that they might be able to take out their frustrations out on a horrendous Bucs defense next week at Jerry World.

-Ben Hendricks

NFL Power Rankings: Week 16
Derrick Henry (photo by espn.com)

14. Tennessee Titans – 123 (High: 11. Low: 14. LW: 14)

For the second week in a row, the Tennessee Titans relied on their ground attack in their 17-0 win over the New York Giants. Running back Derrick Henry had his second straight big game, amassing 170 yards on 33 carries and scoring two touchdowns. Meanwhile, the Titans’ defense stifled Giants rookie sensation Saquon Barkley, holding him to 56 total yards and also forced two Eli Manning turnovers. The win keeps Tennessee in the AFC South and wildcard races, but will need to win their final two games and get some help from here on out. The Titans are home next week to take on the 7-7 Washington Redskins.

– Michael Packard

15. Philadelphia Eagles – 109 (High: 10. Low: 17. LW: 17)

The Eagles needed a confidence win. They got it this week in Los Angeles against the recently-humanized Rams. Despite the defense almost blowing it in a furious comeback attempt by Goff and the Rams offense, Philadelphia was let off the hook by poor clock management and general aggressiveness. Foles returned to form as the man who brought home the Lombardi, and the receivers looked dangerous. The win was important, but the Eagles are far from out of the woods just yet.

-Ben Hendricks

16. Miami Dolphins – 98 (High: 16. Low: 18. LW: 15)

Miami was the victim of the Vikings actually using Dalvin Cook to his fullest abilities. They are still in the playoff hunt and with a manageable schedule, could find themselves playing in January. This is miraculous given how much they are outperforming their talent level.

-Joe DiTullio

17. Cleveland Browns – 88 (High: 16. Low: 23. LW: 20)

The Browns used to be the armpit of the NFL, now they’re a difficult team to play. People want to watch the Browns play now.” -GMFB host Nate Burleson says it all after their win against the Broncos on Saturday. Their playoff hopes are slim but the fact that this is a conversation shows the potential of this team. The defense stepped it up and the offense did the job with minimal mistakes.

– Savannah Dean

18. Carolina Panthers – 86 (High: 16. Low: 21. LW: 16)

Their latest bout was as heart-breaking for Carolina as it was defensive. Once again, Christian McCaffery led the charge on offense, but the Saints’ defense sunk its teeth and held the Panthers to nine points in the whole game. With this loss, Carolina falls further back in the playoff hunt. The rough 12-9 defeat may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back for Carolina’s playoff chances.

– Manny Finale

19. Washington Redskins – 83 (High: 15. Low: 22. LW: 22)

The Redskins beat a hapless Jags team that has lost 9 of its last 10 now. What’s worse for them is they lost to a quarterback that had not started a game since 2011. Apparently a step above Mark Sanchez, Josh Johnson rallied the troops to secure a last-second win and move their record to 7-7, tied with the defending Super Bowl champions, and one game back of division-leading Dallas. Washington will have to get some ugly wins against Tennessee and Philadelphia to make the playoffs, but, hey, in the NFC East, anything can happen.

-Ben Hendricks

20. Denver Broncos – 81 (High: 17. Low: 21. LW: 18)

Denver’s loss Saturday night to the Browns knocked them out of the playoffs. This is the third year in a row since winning the Super Bowl that the Broncos will miss the playoffs and certainly not what they envisioned when they signed Case Keenum in the offseason. The defense played well but the offense came up small as they have seemingly all season long, scoring only 16 points. John Elway has some offseason decisions to make regarding the head coach and quarterback.

– Pranay Malempati

21. Green Bay Packers – 72 (High: 19. Low: 23. LW: 19)

And the record comes to an end. Aaron Rodgers had 402 straight passing attempts without an interception before Eddie Jackson picked him off. To add insult to injury, the Packers were officially eliminated from the playoffs, not like there was much hope anyways. The Packers need to give Rodgers better protection and more weapons on offense if they want to climb back to the top of the division in 2019.

– Zac Stone

22. Atlanta Falcons – 64 (High: 18. Low: 25. LW: 25)

Winning 40-14 should be a joyous moment for Falcons fans, even though it came against a dismal Arizona Cardinals squad. Matt Ryan, Tevin Coleman and Julio Jones had a blast with the Cards’ defense, but this is far from a pleasure for the Falcons squad. They still sit 5-9 and won’t be in the playoffs. Even with this victory, the scenery is not much brighter in Atlanta.

– Manny Finale

23. Detroit Lions – 59 (High: 19. Low: 27. LW: 23)

I think Kenny Golladay saw Michael Fabiano’s Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em this week. Fabiano had Golladay listed as the sit of the week. How does Golladay respond? Just with a casual 146 yards and seven reception on eight targets. Golladay continues to be one of the few bright spots on the last place Lions.

– Zac Stone

24. Cincinnati Bengals – 55 (High: 22. Low: 25. LW: 26)

The Bengals took the win at home this weekend against the Oakland Raiders. No longer in the playoff contention, this team is just seeing what they can do without AJ Green or Andy Dalton.

– Savannah Dean

NFL Power Rankings: Week 16
Josh Allen (Photo by newyorkupstate.com)

25. Buffalo Bills – 46 (High: 20. Low: 29. LW: 30)

When Josh Allen is under center, the Bills have the ability to win some games at home, which was proven against the Lions. Right now it is pretty sloppy football, but with some more time in their rebuild, they can be competitive down the road.

-Joe DiTullio

T26. New York Giants – 45 (High: 24. Low: 28. LW: 21)

Another 0 on the board for an NFC East team. This Giants crew looked more like the offensive mess we grew accustomed to in the first half of the season. At this point, there is no telling what New York might do next. At 5-9, they are out of the playoff race, but they could play spoiler to the Colts and Cowboys in their upcoming games. Even so, that won’t help their draft position.

-Ben Hendricks

T26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 45 (High: 22. Low: 28. LW: 24)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were in for a rough one on Sunday. Facing one of the NFL’s stingiest defenses, offensive production came few and far between. Lamar Jackson and the rest of the Baltimore Ravens did not score a substantial amount of points. But they did score enough to make the Bucs look bad. Only time will tell what Tampa Bay has to do to remain relevant.

– Manny Finale

28. San Francisco 49ers – 30 (High: 27. Low: 30. LW: 31)

After a Janikowski missed PAT, Richie James gave the 49ers a lead with a 97-yard kickoff return. Nick Mullens connected with Garrett Celek for a 41-yard touchdown. Other than that, it was a Robbie Gould kind of day as he knocked in four field goals. The win was nice for 49ers fans, but all it did was worsen their draft spot.

– Zac Stone

29. Jacksonville Jaguars – 26 (High: 27. Low: 30. LW: 27)

There isn’t much of anything to say that’ll be different in the Jacksonville Jaguars 16-13 loss to the Washington Redskins. As has been the theme since Week 5, the Jaguars’ offense was inept once again, only gaining 192 yards for the whole game (quarterback Cody Kessler only had 57 yards passing) and has only scored one touchdown in three games which is the worst three-game stretch in franchise history. On defense, the Jaguars allowed Josh Johnson, who had been out of the league for a few years, to operate a functional-enough offense to get the Redskins the road victory. The Jaguars’ season has been swirling down the drain for some time now, and it looks like there is no end in sight. Now there are questions as to whether head coach Doug Marrone will survive past this season. Jacksonville heads south to Miami to take on the 7-7 Dolphins Sunday.

– Michael Packard

30. New York Jets – 21 (High: 28. Low: 30. LW: 28)

This team has a few lone bright spots on an otherwise unimpressive roster. The crazy thing is they lost four games this season by one possession, so if more talent is added, they could be building something. There aren’t moral victories in the NFL, but the Jets played the Texans’ tough this week.

-Joe DiTullio

31. Oakland Raiders – 12 (High: 31. Low: 31. LW: 29)

Not much special about the Raiders this week. They played like they have all season, not very well, and got run over by Joe Mixon. The offseason can’t come soon enough for them, when they need to figure out if they’re staying in Oakland for another year or moving somewhere for a season before relocating to Las Vegas. If they do move, at least Oakland fans have their basketball team. I’ve heard it’s doing pretty well these days.

– Pranay Malempati

32. Arizona Cardinals – 6 (High: 32. Low: 32. LW: 32)

After a David Johnson opening drive touchdown, it went about as downhill as a game can go. Josh Rosen got benched after throwing two interceptions for Mike Glennon, who was able to get the Cardinals back on the board. Only problem is that it was already 40-7 before he could do that.

– Zac Stone

 

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