NFL Power Rankings for Week 16 (Dec 18, 2014)

tom-brady1. New England Patriots (11-3); beat Miami 41-13, moves up one spot – The Patriots avenged their Week 1 loss to the Dolphins in convincing fashion and appear headed for a first-round playoff bye.

2. Denver Broncos (11-3); beat San Diego 22-10, moves up one spot – Peyton Manning battled the flu and a thigh injury to throw for 223 yards and a touchdown while leading the Broncos to a tough road win.

3. Seattle Seahawks (10-4); beat San Francisco 17-7, moves up one spot – After struggling out of the gate, the Seahawks look to be back to their dominant 2013 form.

4. Green Bay Packers (10-4); lost to Buffalo 21-13, drops three spots – Aaron Rodgers had an uncharacteristically bad game with 185 yards passing. But he can’t help the fact that his receivers dropped seven passes in Buffalo.

andrew-luck-playoffs5. Indianapolis Colts (10-4); beat Houston 17-10, retains same ranking – For the second straight week, Andrew Luck threw a pick-6. And for the second straight week, it sparked a turnaround in his play.

6. Arizona Cardinals (11-3); beat St. Louis 12-6, moves up one spot – Despite injuries at key positions (QB, RB), the Cardinals pulled off a difficult road win and clinched a playoff spot.

7. Detroit Lions (10-4); beat Minnesota 16-14, moves up one spot – Imagine how good the Lions’ record would be if they made field goals. This was the first time all season that they had a better kicking percentage than their opponent.

8. Dallas Cowboys (10-4); beat Philadelphia 38-27, moves up one spot – Dez Bryant really shined in this one, racking up 114 receiving yards and three TD’s.

9. Philadelphia Eagles (9-5); lost to Dallas 38-27, drops three spots – Two weeks ago, the Eagles looked destined to win the NFC East and host a home playoff game. Now they have to beat the Giants and Redskins, and – even at 11 wins – hope for some help.

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5); beat Atlanta 27-20, retains same ranking – Hey Big Ben: just keep throwing to Antonio Brown! Roethlisberger was 10-of-10 with 123 yards on throws to Brown.

aj-green-football11. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4-1); beat Cleveland 30-0, retains same ranking – This is Cincinnati’s first shutout since they beat Cleveland by a score of 14-0 in 2008.

12. Baltimore Ravens (9-5); beat Jacksonville 20-12, retains same ranking – As long as Baltimore can beat Houston and Cleveland, they’re guaranteed a playoff spot.

13. Kansas City Chiefs (8-6); beat Oakland 31-13, moves up four spots – KC keeps their slim postseason hopes alive by beating up on the AFC West doormat.

14. Buffalo Bills (8-6); beat Green Bay 21-13, moves up four spots – Buffalo took advantage of a punt-return touchdown and two interceptions of Aaron Rodgers to pull off the upset.

15. San Diego Chargers (8-6); lost to Denver 22-10, drops two spots – For the first time since 2006, Philip Rivers failed to complete a first-quarter pass (0-for-3).

16. San Francisco 49ers (7-7); lost to Seattle 17-7, drops two spots – San Francisco is already having a disappointing season. And it could get even uglier with the playoff-hungry Chargers (8-6) and Cardinals (11-3) still left.

ryan-tannehill17. Miami Dolphins (7-7); lost to New England 41-13, drops two spots – Ryan Tannehill tallied 346 passing yards, but the Patriots played a perfect bend-but-don’t-break defense.

18. Houston Texans (7-7); beat Indianapolis 17-10, drops one spot – Houston has a talented team, but injuries and unrest at the quarterback position kept them from a real postseason shot.

19. New Orleans Saints (6-8); beat Chicago 31-15, NR – The Saints are reversing their former selves, winning on the road now and carrying a four-game Superdome losing streak.

20. Cleveland Browns (7-7); lost to Cincinnati 30-0, drops two spots – The Johnny Manziel era started with a huge thud (1.0 QBR), but at least it can’t get any worse.