Yet another crazy week. The New Orleans Saints hold on to the top spot and now they are just a win away from securing home field throughout. Spots 2-9 are all pretty close and those positions can all flip-flop over the last two weeks. The Colts make the biggest move in this, the Week 16 NFL Power Rankings.
#1 New Orleans Saints (12-2)
Weekly Results: W, 12-9 @ #27 Carolina Panthers
Ranking Points: 167.62
Last Week: 1 Change: —
Note: One more win and the Saints have home-field throughout the playoffs.
#2 Indianapolis Colts (8-6)
Weekly Results: W, 23-0 vs. #2 Dallas Cowboys
Ranking Points: 124.10
Last Week: 13 Change: +11
Note: Two in a row now after shutting out the red-hot Cowboys. Sitting in the 7th spot, they finish with the Giants and the Titans.
#3 Kansas City Chiefs (11-3)
Weekly Results: L, 28-29 vs #8 Los Angeles Chargers
Ranking Points: 120.82
Last Week: 3 Change: —
Note: Even with the loss, the Chiefs still have the advantage in the AFC. The Seahawks and the Raiders are still on the docket and to keep that #1 seed, they’d better win both.
#4 Los Angeles Chargers (11-3)
Weekly Results: W, 29-28 @ #3 Kansas City Chiefs
Ranking Points: 116.7
Last Week: 8 Change: +4
Note: Now tied with the Chiefs in record, they sit in the 5th spot and are just behind the Chiefs due to a tiebreaker.
#5 Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5-1)
Weekly Results: W, 17-10 vs. #11 New England Patriots
Ranking Points: 111.45
Last Week: 9 Change: +4
Note: Big win for the Steelers. They have the 4th spot in the AFC and need to clinch the division next week.
#6 Chicago Bears (10-4)
Weekly Results: W, 24-17 vs. #20 Green Bay Packers
Ranking Points: 108.5
Last Week: 7 Change: +1
Note: They have clinched the NFC North and a home game in the playoffs. The 3rd spot looks good, but they are only a game behind the Rams for a round 1 bye.
#7 Tennessee Titans (8-6)
Weekly Results: W, 17-0 @ #17 New York Giants
Ranking Points: 105.18
Last Week: 12 Change:+5
Note: Nice shutout win and they sit in the 8th spot behind Indianapolis (7) and Baltimore (6). They finish the season against the Redskins and then they will face the Colts. That last game could be for the final spot.
#8 Baltimore Ravens (8-6)
Weekly Results: W, 20-12 vs. #19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Ranking Points: 103.44
Last Week: 10 Change: +2
Note: The Ravens have the 6th spot for now. It’s in their hands and they need to win the last 2, at the Chargers and home vs. the Browns.
#9 Philadelphia Eagles (7-7)
Weekly Results: W, 30-23 @ #4 Los Angeles Rams
Ranking Points: 101.15
Last Week: 15 Change: +6
Note: Well, it’s not done yet but the Texans and Redskins stand in the way.
#10 Los Angeles Rams (11-3)
Weekly Results: L, 23-30 vs. #15 Philadelphia Eagles
Ranking Points: 98.85
Last Week: 4 Change: -6
Note: Back-to-back losses have the Rams sitting just a game up on Chicago for the #2 seed.
#11 Minnesota Vikings (7-6-1)
Weekly Results: W, 41-17 vs. #22 Miami Dolphins
Ranking Points: 98.02
Last Week: 16 Change: +4
Note: Well, a huge blowout win and they are back in the 6th spot and the playoffs in their hands. The division is not going to be theirs, but all they have to do is beat the Lions and the Bears.
#12 Houston Texans (10-4)
Weekly Results: W, 29-22 @ #31 New York Jets
Ranking Points: 97.25
Last Week: 5 Change: -7
Note: Back in the win column and a loss by the Pats leaves Houston as the #2 seed. Their last 2 games are against teams that would love to spoil the season for the Texans (Philadelphia and Jacksonville).
#13 Dallas Cowboys (8-6)
Weekly Results: L, 0-23 @ #13 Indianapolis Colts
Ranking Points: 94.85
Last Week: 2 Change: -11
Note: I’m not sure who the people were wearing the Cowboys uniform on Sunday, but it wasn’t the same players from the last 6 weeks. They hold the 4th spot in the NFC now but must win at least one of their final two to clinch.
#14 Seattle Seahawks (8-6)
Weekly Results: L, 23-26 @ #25 San Francisco 49ers
Ranking Points: 85.4
Last Week: 6 Change: -8
Note: Still sitting in the 5th spot, but on life support after a bad loss to a bad 49ers squad. K.C. and Arizona stand in the way of QB Wilson and a playoff berth.
#15 New England Patriots (9-5)
Weekly Results: L, 10-17 @ #9 Pittsburgh Steelers
Ranking Points: 80.55
Last Week: 11 Change: -4
Note: Another bad loss, but this team still sits at #3 in the AFC and they have control of their division.
#16 Denver Broncos (6-8)
Weekly Results: L, 16-17 vs. #21 Cleveland Browns
Ranking Points: 72.35
Last Week: 14 Change: -2
Note: Still not mathematically eliminated, but this one hurts and they have to leap frog 5 teams to get in.
#17 Cleveland Browns (6-7-1)
Weekly Results: W, 17-16 @ #14 Denver Broncos
Ranking Points: 66.7
Last Week: 21 Change: +4
Note: Another big win and Cleveland could still find a way to creep in, but it’s almost impossible. The last week tilt at the Ravens could prove to be for the last AFC spot. They must beat the Bengals first.
#18 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-9)
Weekly Results: L, 12-20 @ #10 Baltimore Ravens
Ranking Points: 60
Last Week: 19 Change: +1
Note: This season is over and they still have two tough games against the Cowboys and Falcons.
#19 Green Bay Packers (5-8-1)
Weekly Results: L, 17-24 @ #7 Chicago Bears
Ranking Points: 59.6
Last Week: 20 Change: +1
Note: The Packers are eliminated, tough loss against the Bears and a tough season.
#20 New York Giants (5-9)
Weekly Results: L, 0-17 vs. #12 Tennessee Titans
Ranking Points: 52.4
Last Week: 17 Change: -3
Note: The Giants didn’t show up this week but they still have a chance to ruin at least the Colts season..
#21 Detroit Lions (5-9)
Weekly Results: L, 13-14 @ #30 Buffalo Bills
Ranking Points: 50.1
Last Week: 18 Change: -3
Note: Ok, now they have officially been eliminated and this season is an unmitigated disaster.
#22 (tie) San Francisco 49ers (4-10)
Weekly Results: W, 26-23 vs. #6 Seattle Seahawks
Ranking Points: 49.5
Last Week: 25 Change: +3
Note: The are here to hurt teams playoff chances. They have the Bears and Rams left, but they are both in the post-season.
#22 (tie) Atlanta Falcons (5-9)
Weekly Results: W, 40-14 vs. #32 Arizona Cardinals
Ranking Points: 49.5
Last Week: 24 Change: +2
Note: This game meant nothing, but not a bad win.
#24 Carolina Panthers (6-8)
Weekly Results: L, 9-12 vs. #1 New Orleans Saints
Ranking Points: 44.55
Last Week: 27 Change: +3
Note: The Panthers played well, just not well enough. They are just about done.
#25 Cincinnati Bengals (6-8)
Weekly Results: W, 30-16 vs. #28 Oakland Raiders
Ranking Points: 38.1
Last Week: 26 Change: +1
Note: I may have jumped the gun, the Bengals are still technically alive, but they are on life support. Must win the last two at Cleveland and at Pittsburgh.
#26 Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10)
Weekly Results: L, 13-16 vs. #29 Washington Redskins
Ranking Points: 24.7
Last Week: 23 Change: -3
Note: Only thing left to do, end the Dolphins hopes.
#27 Miami Dolphins (7-7)
Weekly Results: L, 17-41 @ #16 Minnesota Vikings
Ranking Points: 19
Last Week: 22 Change: -5
Note: Still not eliminated even after being obliterated by the Vikings. Games against the Jaguars and Bills make this a dangerous team, if they can get off the mat.
#28 Buffalo Bills (5-9)
Weekly Results: W, 14-13 vs. #18 Detroit Lions
Ranking Points: 12.45
Last Week: 31 Change: +3
Note: The season is over for all intents and purposes and that’s good because they are out of running backs. They can still play spoiler with divisional tilts against the Pats and Dolphins.
#29 Washington Redskins (7-7)
Weekly Results: W, 16-13 @ #23 Jacksonville Jaguars
Ranking Points: 11.95
Last Week: 29 Change: —
Note: Well, a last minute field goal and this team is mathematically still alive and sitting in the 8th spot.
#30 New York Jets (4-10)
Weekly Results: L, 22-29 vs. #5 Houston Texans
Ranking Points: 4.75
Last Week: 31 Change: +1
Note: They played tough against a stout Texans D, but they couldn’t hold on.
#31 Oakland Raiders (3-11)
Weekly Results: L, 16-30 @ #26 Cincinnati Bengals
Ranking Points: -8.65
Last Week: 28 Change: -3
Note: Well, the streak of well played games is over.
#32 Arizona Cardinals (3-11)
Weekly Results: L, 14-40 @ #24 Atlanta Falcons
Ranking Points: -37.6
Last Week: 32 Change: —
Note: Ugly loss to the Falcons.
Warning! These are not your usual Power Rankings. I’m not your everyday NFL analyst who throws his bias into how he ranks teams. I use a formula developed over many years and this is all about numbers. Please remember that Power Rankings are reactive and not predictive. This is where the teams stand following the previous weeks’ games. These rankings and the formulas and bonuses used to compile them are even for all teams.
Bottom Line: If you are a top 5 team playing a bottom 5 team and you win by a point or lose straight up, you will be penalized. If you win big, the rewards will boost you in the rankings.