NFL Power Rankings Week 16, 2016

ezekiel-elliott-salvation-army-potWith division and playoff races heating up, most of the favored teams came through in last week’s action. The Colts, Dolphins, Giants, Seahawks, Steelers, and Titans all got important wins to remain in thick of the playoff hunt. See where they rank in our Week 16 power rankings, and look back at Week 15 rankings here.

1. Dallas Cowboys (12-2); beat Tampa Bay 26-20, same spot – This was by no means an easy win over a surging Tampa Bay team. But Dallas made it feel easy, including when Ezekiel Elliott jumped into the Salvation Army pot after a touchdown.

2. New England Patriots (12-2); beat Denver 16-3, same spot – New England’s offense struggled against the tough Denver defense. Even still, they did enough to win in a hostile environment.

3. Oakland Raiders (11-3); beat San Diego 19-16, up 1 spot – Oakland has had a magical season after being a bad franchise for so long. This fact is highlighted by 7 Raiders being selected to the Pro Bowl – most in the NFL.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5); beat Cincinnati 24-20, up 1 spot – Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are fierce rivals, so it’s never easy for Pittsburgh to win in Bengal country. But they did so anyways, erasing a 20-6 Cincinnati lead.

odell-beckham-jr5. New York Giants (10-4); beat Detroit 17-6, up 1 spot – New York can clinch a playoff spot this weekend, but it feels like they already have a Wild Card slot wrapped up.

6. Kansas City Chiefs (10-4); lost to Tennessee 19-17, down 3 spots – A big problem for KC in this loss was that their elite pass rush only got one sack.

7. Atlanta Falcons (9-5); beat San Francisco 41-13, same spot – Nothing special about this win over San Francisco, but it does put Atlanta a game ahead of Tampa Bay in the AFC South.

8. Green Bay Packers (8-6); beat Chicago 30-27, up 2 spots – Tim Montgomery was the big star here, piling up 162 rushing yards and two scores. Jordy Nelson also chipped in 124 receiving yards.

9. Seattle Seahawks (9-4-1); beat L.A. 24-3, up 2 spots – Seattle got a confidence-booster, dominating a Rams team that had beaten them in three out of the last five meetings.

10. Denver Broncos (8-6); lost to New England 16-3, down 2 spots – Denver may not get a chance to defend their title in the playoffs with remaining games against KC and Oakland. It especially doesn’t look pretty after a locker room argument following last weekend’s loss.

11. Detroit Lions (9-5); lost to NY Giants 17-6, down 2 spots – The fact that Detroit has no run game finally caught up to them in this contest.

matt-moore-dolphins-vs-jets12. Miami Dolphins (9-5); beat NY Jets 34-13, up 1 spot – This was the perfect game for backup Matt Moore to step into, as he threw for 236 yards, 4 TDs, and just one interception.

13. Baltimore Ravens (8-6); beat Philadelphia 27-26, up 2 spots – Baltimore kept their playoff hopes alive with this win, and they’re still just a game behind Pittsburgh in the AFC North.

14. Tennessee Titans (8-6); beat KC 19-17, up 3 spots – Tennesee’s formula of running the ball and playing defense is paying big dividends right now.

15. Washington Redskins (7-6-1); lost to Carolina 26-15, down 3 spots – Losers of three of their last four games, Washington no longer controls their own playoff destiny.

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-6); lost to Dallas 26-20, down 2 spots – The difference in this game was that Tampa Bay gave up 189 yards on the ground to Dallas. Of course, they’re far from the first team to get burned by Dallas’ run game.

tom-savage-texans17. Houston Texans (8-6); beat Jacksonville 21-20, up 1 spot – After seeing Brock Osweiler start with two picks, Houston made a QB change. Tom Savage, who threw for 260 yards in relief of Osweiler, will start this week against the Bengals.

18. Buffalo Bills (7-7); beat Cleveland 33-13, up 1 spot – Even with Buffalo being mathematically alive for a playoff spot, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that Rex Ryan will be fired.

19. Indianapolis Colts (7-7); beat Minnesota 34-6, up 1 spot – With their division/playoff chances on the line and three offensive lineman injured, Indianapolis delivered a huge performance on the road.

20. Minnesota Vikings (7-7); lost to Indianapolis 34-6, down 4 spots – That time when Minnesota was 5-0 and second in our power rankings seems like forever ago.

21. Carolina Panthers (6-8); beat Washington 26-15, up 3 spots – This season didn’t go how Carolina hoped. But they’ve still shown some pride lately, beating a tough Washington team on the road.

22. New Orleans Saints (6-8); beat Arizona 48-41, up 4 spots – Just another outstanding game in Drew Brees’ career, as he threw for 389 yards and four touchdowns.

vontaze-burfict-vs-steelers23. Cincinnati Bengals (5-8-1); lost to Pittsburgh 24-20, down 2 spots – In a lost season where head coach Marvin Lewis will likely be fired, the attention has shifted to linebacker Vontaze Burfict’s continued antics.

24. Philadelphia Eagles (5-9); lost to Baltimore 27-26, down 2 spots – Ryan Matthews had his best game of the season with 128 rushing yards and a touchdown. But it wasn’t enough as the Eagles lost again.

25. Arizona Cardinals (5-8-1); lost to New Orleans 48-41, down 2 spots – With almost 2,000 yards from scrimmage and 17 touchdowns, David Johnson would be a serious MVP candidate if Arizona were actually good.

26. San Diego Chargers (5-9); lost to Oakland 19-16, down 1 spot – With Melvin Gordon out, San Diego had very little chance to win against an elite Oakland squad.

27. Chicago Bears (3-11); lost to Green Bay 30-27, down 1 spot – The Bears have played respectable with Matt Barkley under center. Will this be enough to give Barkely serious consideration for the starting Bears job in 2017?

Jets Cowboys Football28. New York Jets (4-10); lost to Miami 34-13, same spot – For the second straight game, Bilal Powell had a huge night. But Bryce Petty under center combined with a bad defense isn’t a winning combination.

29. LA Rams (4-10); lost to Seattle 24-3, same spot – Without Jeff Fisher, this team is just as bad – if not worse – as their anemic offensive effort showed.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12); lost to Houston 21-20, same spot – With Gus Bradley fired, speculation has begun about who’ll be the next head coach. Right now, Tom Coughlin is a favorite.

31. San Francisco (1-13); lost to Atlanta 41-13, same spot – It’s a shame that we won’t get to see the Niners and Browns play to see who’s officially worse.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-14); lost to Buffalo 33-13, same spot – This was another ugly game for the Browns, which is no surprise. But at least Robert Griffin III showed some spring in his legs, rushing for 48 yards and a TD on eight carries.