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Week 16 power rankings

Will Smith

The first-ever non-Sunday Sunday Night Football game delayed by a day our power rankings.

We’re glad we waited.

Philly’s loss to the Vikings shook up the top of the heap, paving the way for a new No. 2 team to emerge.

And, no, it’s not the Vikings.

1.  New England Patriots (No. 1; 13-2):  It’s 2007 all over again, without the pressure of being undefeated and without a team from the NFC with a defense that can rattle Tom Brady.

2.  New Orleans Saints (No. 5; 11-4):  Last year, they got to the Super Bowl with two home playoff games.  This year, the Saints are just good enough to win three on the road to get back to the Super Bowl again.

3.  Baltimore Ravens (No. 4; 11-4):  The Patriots surely hope that the Ravens have to play the Colts in the first round of the playoffs.

4.  Atlanta Falcons (No. 2; 12-3):  The problem with winning so many close games is that, eventually, you’ll lose one of them.

5.  Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 7; 11-4):  Even though it would help the Ravens, the Browns would surely love to keep the Steelers from winning the AFC North.

6.  Chicago Bears (No. 8; 11-4):  OK, maybe the Bears have a defense that can rattle Tom Brady.

7.  Philadelphia Eagles (No. 3; 10-5):  Well, at least the MVP vote won’t have much drama.

8.  New York Jets (No. 6; 10-5):  If the Jets hope to win a Super Bowl, it would be a good idea to first win their division.

9.  Indianapolis Colts (No. 11; 9-6):  We learned on Sunday in Oakland that Peyton Manning runs like a free-standing brick chimney on the verge of collapsing.

10.  Kansas City Chiefs (No. 12; 10-5):  Some of those playoff teams that wanted to see the Chargers left out of the postseason may be wishing the Chiefs weren’t in.

11. Green Bay Packers (No. 16; 9-6):  All of a sudden, the Packers look like one of the best teams in the NFC.

12.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 13; 9-6):  Still barely alive for the playoffs, the Bucs could do some damage if they get there.

13.  St. Louis Rams (No. 18; 7-8):  Even if they lose to the Seahawks by 50 points, the Rams have exceeded every reasonable expectation this year — and most unreasonable ones.

14.  New York Giants (No. 9; 9-6):  Outscored 72-17 since leading the Eagles 31-10, how can Tom Coughlin not be on the hot seat?

15.  Detroit Lions (No. 20; 5-10):  Matt Millen will surely find a way to claim credit for the team’s three-game winning streak.

16.  San Diego Chargers (No. 10; 8-7):  Between John Elway joining the Broncos and Norv Turner staying in San Diego, the Chiefs and Raiders have to be thinking that they’ll be ruling the division for a long, long time.

17.  Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 14; 8-7):  Just when it looked like he was safe, two straight losses could doom Jack Del Rio.

18. Oakland Raiders (No. 15; 7-8):  That 2011 first-round pick the Raiders sent to the Patriots for Richard Seymour isn’t such a coup for Bill Belichick, after all.

19.  Miami Dolphins (No. 17; 7-8):  The guy who played Tony Soprano has a better chance of leading this team next year than its current head coach.

20. Minnesota Vikings (No. 24; 6-9):  If Brad Childress had still been the head coach of the Vikings over the last three weeks, his bald head would have exploded.

21.  Cincinnati Bengals (No. 28; 4-11):  If Marvin Lewis had dumped T. and Ocho a while ago, the Bengals actually may have been competitive this year.

22. Arizona Cardinals (No. 30; 5-10):  John Skelton’s performance against the Cowboys could save the team a lot of money that otherwise would have been spent on a veteran quarterback.

23. Dallas Cowboys (No. 19; 5-10):  If Jerry Jones is “mad as hell” now, just wait to see how he’ll feel when someone else is running around with the Lombardi Trophy on the floor of Cowboys Stadium.

24. Washington Redskins (No. 29; 6-9):  As the Redskins were lining up for the game-winning field goal in overtime, agent Fletcher Smith issued a statement that read, “Miss it.”

25.  Buffalo Bills (No. 21; 4-11):  The Bills are a lot closer to being contenders than most realize.

26. Cleveland Browns (No. 22; 5-10):  The Browns are a lot closer to being contenders than most realize.

27.  San Francisco 49ers (No. 23; 5-10):  The 49ers are a lot closer to being contenders than most realize

28.  Seattle Seahawks (No. 27; 6-9):  The Seahawks aren’t, but yet they still could win their division.

29.  Tennessee Titans (No. 25; 6-9):  Jeff Fisher could end his 16-year tenure in style by ending the Colts’ nine-year playoff run.

30.  Denver Broncos (No. 32; 4-11):  This franchise needs a lot more than a retired quarterback who thinks that throwing a football translates to running a team.

31. Houston Texans (No. 26; 5-10):  Nine years and no playoffs.  So much for parity.

32.  Carolina Panthers (No. 31; 2-13):  The Panthers had better get comfortable in the NFC South basement; with the Falcons, Saints, and Bucs in the division, Carolina will be there a while.

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88 Responses to “Week 16 power rankings”
  1. jimmysee says: Dec 29, 2010 1:20 AM

    Amazing resurgence for the Lions!

  2. jaggedmark says: Dec 29, 2010 1:21 AM

    Seriously, you’d make the Packers the 11th favorite to win Super Bowl right now? What kind of drugs do you guys have?

    Share already.

  3. akismet-c7ced78fa0ffb62cf23382e052305f29 says: Dec 29, 2010 1:24 AM

    How can the Saints jump the Ravens after the lost to the Ravens a week ago?

    Take them out of a dome and they are a very average team.

  4. sarahpalinhater says: Dec 29, 2010 1:31 AM

    How is the Ravens and Saints above Atlanta and Pittsburgh…BOTH of whom are in 1st place above them ? Sounds like a Moron made this list to me :-)

  5. halftermguv says: Dec 29, 2010 1:31 AM

    Why is everyone so sure the Ravens will beat the Bengals this Sunday? The Bengals beat the crap out of the Chargers and have won three in a row against the Ravens. It took Ed Reed making two spectactular interceptions off a rookie QB to stave off the Browns.

  6. Deb says: Dec 29, 2010 1:35 AM

    Ouch ouch ouch. You’re ornery when you have to spend a Tuesday evening in Philly–although I don’t really disagree that much with your rankings. You have the Saints too high, and the Dolphins and Rams could probably nudge down a bit, too. Completely agree about the Bills and Browns, so I’d move them up a bit.

    Considering where they finished last year, it’s shocking to see Houston at 31. And my my … harsh words for John Elway. Understand he’s a successful businessman, so would hope he’d bring more to the position than a QB’s sensibility.

    Would like to see Cowher wind up at the NY Giants, but given the number of potential openings, we’re running out of coaches.

  7. hooterdawg says: Dec 29, 2010 1:47 AM

    Dumb comments. Are they supposed to be clever?

  8. philtration says: Dec 29, 2010 1:55 AM

    Still having trouble admitting that the Bears are a better team than Philly?
    Not only did the Bears beat the Eagles, they also beat the Vikings twice. The same team that bitch slapped Philly tonight.

    Now the Packers look like one of the best teams in the NFC?
    Was that before or after they lost to the Lions?
    You do know that they lost that game against the Patriots too right?

  9. philtration says: Dec 29, 2010 1:58 AM

    Packers lose 3 of their last 5 with a win over a bad 49ers team and now they are the team to beat?

    I never saw anyone so impressed by a team that has won a whopping one game in a row.

  10. cornellsteelers says: Dec 29, 2010 2:13 AM

    Really? How are the Steelers two spots behind the Ravens? And how are the Saints ahead of the Ravens?

  11. forevercorr says: Dec 29, 2010 2:23 AM

    OK, I watched the horrifying follies of the San Fran/ St. Louis game last week. I know both teams have some quality players, but more often than not, they seem to be in the business of keeping blooper reel companies afloat.
    And stop claiming that Elway has no experience beyond throwing a football. He’s had his hands in several successful businesses, including a series of car dealerships, restaurants, and he owned the Colorado Crush – and they were strong competitors in the Arena League almost every year. If nothing else, he got a degree in economics from Stanford. At least give credit where it’s due…

  12. heyitsmejosh says: Dec 29, 2010 2:26 AM

    jets are ranked way too high they have lost 3 out of their last 4

  13. rwjk says: Dec 29, 2010 2:36 AM

    deez wankings are a wittle wetodded

  14. foobarfoofoo says: Dec 29, 2010 2:56 AM

    Saints are the best team right now (I am a Pats fan). Only obstacle for them would be playing outdoors (remember 2007) … I think they will return to the SB nevertheless.

    They got a great D. All other teams are too dependant on one part not going haywire (Vick, Cutler, Rodgers). GB seems a little like San Diego … lack of focus in less important games … bad coaching.

    Hate to say, but Seattle will win the West.

    Would love to see the Bucs. Best coaching job.

  15. jfibertkc says: Dec 29, 2010 3:05 AM

    How are the colts more dangerous than the chiefs? They still might not even make it to the playoffs.

  16. 504in860 says: Dec 29, 2010 3:13 AM

    akismet-c7ced78fa0ffb62cf23382e052305f29 says:
    Dec 29, 2010 1:24 AM
    How can the Saints jump the Ravens after the lost to the Ravens a week ago?

    Take them out of a dome and they are a very average team.
    —————————————–

    Saints are 13-3 on the road the past 2 seasons.

  17. bleedgreen4life says: Dec 29, 2010 4:49 AM

    21. Cincinnati Bengals (No. 28; 4-11): If Marvin Lewis had dumped T. and Ocho a while ago, the Bengals actually may have been competitive this year.

    ————————————————–

    T.O. : 72 rec 983 yds 9 tds

    Did you ever stop to think that maybe its carson palmer who should of been dumped?

  18. foobarfoofoo says: Dec 29, 2010 4:56 AM

    “We’re glad we waited.”

    What we really meant was “We prepared the Rankings on Monday expecting the Vikes getting clobbered and were in for a do-over last night. Thank you, Joe Webb, for forcing us to work over hours.”

  19. eddyjf says: Dec 29, 2010 6:57 AM

    @heyitsmejosh says:
    Dec 29, 2010 2:26 AM
    jets are ranked way too high they have lost 3 out of their last 4
    ———————-
    Haven’t you been listening to Rex? The Jets are better than the Pats and Bears and are going to the Super Bowl. Kindly ignore what happens on the field. It really doesn’t matter.

  20. cleverbob says: Dec 29, 2010 7:11 AM

    Oh that’s right, build your franchise around an aging prima donna wide receiver. That’s the formula for success.

  21. chapnastier says: Dec 29, 2010 7:13 AM

    Not sure why there is so much hatred for Elway. Just trying to stir up trouble again I am sure.

  22. turbodog1027 says: Dec 29, 2010 7:28 AM

    Saints will be a tough out in the playoffs. First game, prob in a dome. 2nd game outside and 3rd prob in a dome.
    Not bad at all.

  23. iamthefootballjerk says: Dec 29, 2010 7:40 AM

    I am going to piggy back others and wonder about the Steelers/Ravens/Saints rankings. I re-ordered them in the correct order due to the Steelers being the very likely division winner, the Ravens beating the Saints 10 days ago, and the Saints being very good but not beating the Ravens or Steelers on a cold day outside.

    I know that the Steelers lost at the Saints, however, that was further back in the season and the game may be different this weekend. Especially after the Steelers watched tape on how Baltimore beat New Orleans.

  24. jwil444 says: Dec 29, 2010 7:45 AM

    Guess you forgot about the Bear shillacking by the pats………………….oh yeah, they beat the Jets, who also were shillacked by the pats. They must be a top team. Sunday will be telling.

  25. salmen76 says: Dec 29, 2010 7:56 AM

    Way to go mike. #23 is the best ranking statement i’ve ever seen in my entire life. Tood funny. I hate me some cowgirls. That rocks mike.
    Geaux Saints! I mean, Geaux Champs! Ha Ha. We da Champs! Gonna be the re-dat Champs again. Ha Ha.

  26. harrisonhits2 says: Dec 29, 2010 8:01 AM

    “That 2011 first-round pick the Raiders sent to the Patriots for Richard Seymour isn’t such a coup for Bill Belichick, after all.”

    WTF are you talking about of course it is. The Pats were never going to pay Seymour the stupid money he wanted, he was becoming very disruptive to the locker room and instead of getting nothing the get a nice mid range first round pick.

    Belichick will happily take that any time. That young defense has come together incredibly, and now the Pats have 2 x 1st, 2 x 2nd and 2 x 3rd round picks for next year. At least one of those top 4 picks will go for monster pass rusher that will give the Pats D the one element they are missing at the moment.

    And all those young players will be torturing the rest of the league for years to come before their contracts run out. Hope the league is ready for another 4 or 5 years of Pats dominance.

  27. jpryan06 says: Dec 29, 2010 8:07 AM

    RE: Peyton running… My favorite quote is from Dominic Rhodes who he faked to…

    “When (Manning) made the fake, the whole defense converged on me,” Rhodes said. “It was a great call. But I still had time to stand there, look this way, look back, and Peyton still wasn’t past me.”

  28. ham1 says: Dec 29, 2010 8:14 AM

    LMAO that was a funny comment about Jerry Jones and what his face is going to look like watching some other team run around his stadium hoisting the Lombardi.

  29. gamustangdude says: Dec 29, 2010 8:14 AM

    Hey what happened to the eagles fans?
    Saints got handed a road win in ATlanta and they are number 2? Whatever, lightning won’t strike twice they’ll play Atlanta again.

  30. bristerfan says: Dec 29, 2010 8:35 AM

    Denver Broncos (No. 32; 4-11): This franchise needs a lot more than a retired quarterback who thinks that throwing a football translates to running a team.

    Elway must’ve snubbed you for an interview at one point in time. Sounds like you have some kind of vendetta here. One of the top 3 QBs of all time doesn’t need you to talk down about him.

    It seems like a great move on Bowlen’s part here. Bringing back the greatest athlete to ever grace the streets of Denver can’t be a bad thing. He’ll help to get things pointed in the right direction.

  31. jamiller30519 says: Dec 29, 2010 8:41 AM

    REALLY?!?!? You drop ATL to #4 after a close loss to NO. Get off your AFC high horse and realize that the NFC South is the only conference with 3 winning teams. NO is going to have a battle next week with Tampa Bay and may even lose. While the NFC South still has meaningful games who are your AFC teams competing against? I’ll save you some time…losing records. Take a look at more educated websites like FOX and ESPN that still have ATL at #2.

  32. Jack Burton says: Dec 29, 2010 8:43 AM

    bleedgreen4life says:
    T.O. : 72 rec 983 yds 9 tds

    Did you ever stop to think that maybe its carson palmer who should of been dumped?
    ————————
    I hate Palmer as much as the next guy but last I checked the Bengals have sucked all year with TO but didn’t have him last year and won the North. Coincidence?

  33. minnesconsin says: Dec 29, 2010 8:50 AM

    6. Chicago Bears (No. 8; 11-4): OK, maybe the Bears have a defense that can rattle Tom Brady.
    —–

    Did the bears D rattle Brady while he was carving them up for 396 yards and 2 passing TD’s en route to a 36-7 execution at soldier field?

    Hell, the Packers D came a lot closer than that to “rattling” Brady.

  34. j0esixpack says: Dec 29, 2010 8:51 AM

    How is getting a 1st round mid-round pick for Seymour’s one remaining contract year NOT a coup for Belichick?

    Last time I checked the Patriots had a pretty decent record AND with a mid-round pick they will likely get another starter at a lot less than it would have cost to sign Seymour to another extension.

    There was never really a question that New England couldn’t afford to keep all three among Warren, Wilfork and Seymour – they signed the other two and got a 1st round pick for Seymour.

    Not bad in my book… kindof like addition by subtraction (plus a 3rd round pick and sending Childress to the unemployment line) by trading Moss

  35. bikerhal says: Dec 29, 2010 9:05 AM

    Hey what happened to the eagles fans?
    Saints got handed a road win in ATlanta and they are number 2? Whatever, lightning won’t strike twice they’ll play Atlanta again.
    ____________________________

    Handed the game? Ha ha ha I do believe it was the Saints who handed game 1 to the Falcons. A chip-shot FG miss let you guys off the hook. When the chips are down, the champs came through. You are right, lightning won’t strike twice, Hartley drilled a 51 yarder in game 2 that turned out to be the winning points.

  36. bucforever says: Dec 29, 2010 9:17 AM

    Bucs ranked 12 out of 32. Not bad for a beat up bunch of young rookies. Well this Sunday should be interesting to watch. If the Bucs are able to get out of New Orleans with a win , they can root for the Packers and Giants to lose. The key is beating the Saints of course or its all over til next year,maybe. GO BUCS! Go Bears! Go Redskins! Ouch , that hurt.

  37. npiechocki says: Dec 29, 2010 9:24 AM

    As a Saints fan I agree the Saints will have a much harder road to repeat this year. The first round should be easy considering they will be playing one of the worst division winners ever in the modern history of the playoffs. But to say that the Falcons gave the game to the Saints is simply moronic. Gave away as in the two idiotic interceptions Brees threw which one went for a pick six? Or Turner coughing the ball up on the goal line? I guess that was just lucky too, or maybe a voodoo doll that was at work maybe? The simple fact is that this “Matty Ice” nickname is by far one of the most undeserved in the NFL. His defense gave him a lead and then let the Saints go right down the field on them 90+ yards. And even with Brees having one of his worst seasons interception-wise the Saints still were able to contain Atlanta’s offense when it counted at the end of the game. Maybe next time they should back up their coach’s faith in their D and make a stop when it counts (and ATL does have a hell of a coach). As far as beign ranked ahead of the Ravens and Steelers “Power Rankings” are a bit of a joke too. I don’t take much stock in them but to be fair the Saints did handle their buisness thsi year against the Steelers. If the Saints want to repeat they’re most likely going to have to solve the blitz-happy schemes coming their way before we get Brees killed but I wouldn’t underestimate a team that is playing sound defense and has the experience to win games on the road. Should be a good playoffs this year.

  38. mswravens says: Dec 29, 2010 9:37 AM

    Why does everyone – including some Pats fans – think the Pats don’t want to play the Ravens? Sure, we steamrolled them in the POs last year. BUT, lets get real. The Pats look like a well oiled machine. I know they have to play the games, but I’ll be shocked if Belicheck & Brady don’t lead the Pats to another title this year. No other team looks close…and the Pats look much improved since the Ravens almost beat them earlier this year. We match up well against them & I’d love to see it…but I seriously doubt that anyone associated with the Pats cares a lick about playing the Ravens v. any other team.

    Meanwhile, I take issue with you saying the Browns are closer to being contenders then people realize. Really? Colt McCoy is NOT the answer. The guy has a limp arm…everything he threw over 15 yds on Sunday was picked off…or would’ve been w/o the wise interference by the Browns receiver. I can’t even fathom how any football mind, much less a guy like Mike Holmgren, can even think this guy could be the answer. The WRs are average. The o-line regressed this year. Shaun Rogers career is just about tapped out. They may be moving in the right direction, but they’re a long way from catching the Steelers or Ravens -both of whom continue to add several players worth of talent in the draft every year.

  39. scra22 says: Dec 29, 2010 9:38 AM

    gamustangdude says:
    Dec 29, 2010 8:14 AM
    Saints got handed a road win in ATlanta and they are number 2? Whatever, lightning won’t strike twice they’ll play Atlanta again.
    ====
    Are you kidding me? Handed by who? The refs? Saints, 8 penalties for 92 yards. Atlanta, ONE PENALTY FOR TEN YARDS. Atlanta had ONE penalty called on them all game that wasn’t offset by a Saints penalty. An abundance of holding by the Falcons not called, and at least three of the penalties on the Saints were absolutely ridiculous. Handed the win, that’s laughable.

  40. akpackfan says: Dec 29, 2010 9:41 AM

    @philtration- “Now the Packers look like one of the best teams in the NFC?
    Was that before or after they lost to the Lions?
    You do know that they lost that game against the Patriots too right?”
    ______________

    You do know Rodgers was out most of the Lions game right? And was out for all of a close loss to the Patriots on the road. If the refs weren’t blind and Ed Hochuli didn’t have a crush on Jay Cutler the Lions would have swept the Bears. And the Patriots humiliated them in their own house. So whats your point? The Packers should be above the Bears?

  41. 504in860 says: Dec 29, 2010 9:55 AM

    I love how people treat NFL power rankings like the BCS rankings. People, relax…it’s no big deal. LOL

  42. gallopingghost says: Dec 29, 2010 9:57 AM

    without a team from the NFC with a defense that can rattle Tom Brady.

    Uhh… I think the Giants, Pack, and Bears could all rattle Tom Brady. Hell, even the Saints could. Maybe not every time, but the operative word is “can”.

    Don’t count out elite defenses.

  43. pftisahalftruth says: Dec 29, 2010 9:58 AM

    philtration says:
    Dec 29, 2010 1:58 AM
    Packers lose 3 of their last 5 with a win over a bad 49ers team and now they are the team to beat?

    ———————–

    It was the Giants dip$hit

  44. favreflavoredwaffles says: Dec 29, 2010 10:01 AM

    The Packers have something to prove and I believe they will. Having the stiniking Jets in the top 15 is what’s laughable. They are being exposed terribly at a bunch of areas, the biggest one being QB.

    And…”philtration” is going to look like a complete idiot in about 3 or 4 weeks….book it. The Packers will destory the Bears this weekend and will be cruising at just the right time down the stretch.

  45. PanchoHerreraFanClub says: Dec 29, 2010 10:13 AM

    ‘Dem ‘boys is ranked way to high.

  46. akismet-c7ced78fa0ffb62cf23382e052305f29 says: Dec 29, 2010 10:13 AM

    504in860 says:
    Dec 29, 2010 3:13 AM

    Saints are 13-3 on the road the past 2 seasons.

    Yeah, facing literally no elements whatsoever in most of those games

    2009:
    @Philly – 70 and sunny
    @Buffalo – 68 and sunny
    @Miami – 89 and sunny and need a massive comeback to win
    @ STL – Dome and still struggle with the worst team in the NFL
    @ TB – 78 and sunny
    @ WAS – 36 degrees and need a massive break in OT to win
    @ATL – Dome
    @ CAR -40 degrees and a L

    2010:
    @ SF – 65 and a night game – need a last second FG to beat a bad SF team
    @ AZ – Dome and a L
    @ TB – 80 and sunny
    @ CAR – 60 and sunny
    @ DAL – Dome
    @ CIN – 34 and cloudy – need a last minute drive to beat a bad Bengals team
    @ BAL – 34 and cloudy – L
    @ ATL – Dome

    So in the last two regular seasons the Saints have played 5 dome games, 7 games with temps at or above 60 degrees, and the 4 games they played where cold weather was a factor they lost two of them, needed OT in one and a late 4th quarter comeback to win the other.

    Better hope the Saints don’t have to play Chicago in January, because they will lose.

  47. bigjb123 says: Dec 29, 2010 10:15 AM

    JAGGEDMARK HOW ABOUT YOU MAKE THE PLAYOFFS FIRST YOU STRAP!

  48. bigjb123 says: Dec 29, 2010 10:19 AM

    EAGLE FAN HERE! BAD BAD LOSE LAST NITE STILL THINK WERE THE 3RD BEST TEAM IN NFC BEHIND NEW ORLEANS AND MAYBE ATL? IM NOT LIKE A DALLAS OR GIANT FAN AND GO INTO HIDEING!

  49. richm2256 says: Dec 29, 2010 10:29 AM

    I stopped reading after No. 1

    The coffee tastes better on Power Ranking mornings these days, in New England.

  50. tv426 says: Dec 29, 2010 10:32 AM

    To everyone wondering how the Saints could be ahead of the Ravens now – why were the Steelers ahead of the Saints in these rankings all year even though the Saints beat the crap out of them?

    Answer – it doesn’t matter. The playoffs will determine the best teams.

  51. spartyfi says: Dec 29, 2010 10:33 AM

    @akpacksfan: You do realize that the Lions were playing with their 3rd string QB don’t you? Bad teams make excuses which you just did.

    Every team has injuries this time of year so stop using that as a fall back. You lost to a team that played better than you that week.

  52. jamiller30519 says: Dec 29, 2010 10:34 AM

    scra22 & npiechocki

    I’m a Falcons fan and I give the Saints credit for the win. I’m not going to make excuses. Some people are passionate about their team and that’s why we’re called fans (fanatics). If you don’t think that the Falcons gave you the game then make sure that you don’t think that the Falcons got lucky in game 3. It goes both ways. Hopefully both teams will meet up again in the NFC Championship for the rubber match. I’m glad both teams are doing well and I’m glad to see Tampa Bay doing well also. I want the NFC South to do well in general so that when the teams do well then they are given their due credit & respect.

  53. 3rdstringqb says: Dec 29, 2010 10:42 AM

    @ akpackfan – “You do know Rodgers was out most of the Lions game right? And was out for all of a close loss to the Patriots on the road. If the refs weren’t blind and Ed Hochuli didn’t have a crush on Jay Cutler the Lions would have swept the Bears. And the Patriots humiliated them in their own house. So whats your point? The Packers should be above the Bears?”

    The call at the end of the first Bears/Lions game was, by rule, correct. If you want to cry about it, cry about it to the rules makers, not the refs. And the call on Suh in the second game had absolutely no bearing on the outcome of that game.

    How about this? Instead of crying about the Bears not losing to the Lions, how about the Packers simply beat the Lions? Maybe then your Packers wouldn’t be looking up at the NFC North division champions, eh?

  54. spartyfi says: Dec 29, 2010 10:44 AM

    @akpackfan: also, you do realize that Rogers played an entire half and was less productive than the backup that replaced him over the same amount of time? So, what’s your excuse for that?????

    Learn something about the game and what actually transpired before you go blowing smoke!

  55. necrondi says: Dec 29, 2010 10:50 AM

    akpackfan says:
    Dec 29, 2010 9:41 AM

    You do know Rodgers was out most of the Lions game right? And was out for all of a close loss to the Patriots on the road. If the refs weren’t blind and Ed Hochuli didn’t have a crush on Jay Cutler the Lions would have swept the Bears. And the Patriots humiliated them in their own house. So whats your point? The Packers should be above the Bears?
    ———————————————————-

    You do realize the Bears have already beat the Packers. Your point would make sense if you had humiliated them in their own house or maybe if you beat the Patriots, but you didn’t. In fact you lost both games. Rodgers played all but 1:06 of the first half and put up 46yards and a pick.

  56. spartyfi says: Dec 29, 2010 10:53 AM

    @3rdstringqb: as a Lions fan I hate to agree but you’re right. The call was correctbased on the rules regardless of the insanity of the rule. The Cutler hit was a bad call but did not “lose” the game for the Lions. Every game has bad calls throughout, it’s just that they become more magnified the closer you get to the final whistle.

    Now, we very easily could have and I think should have won at least one of those against the Bears. Should Stafford ever stay healthy, the NFC North will have it’s hands full with the Lions. While our backups have played admirably, they just are not Stafford. I think this is why the Lions are in the top half of the power rankings (I know, I can’t believe it either!!!!).

  57. spartyfi says: Dec 29, 2010 10:53 AM

    @3rdstringqb: as a Lions fan I hate to agree but you’re right. The call was correct based on the rules regardless of the insanity of the rule. The Cutler hit was a bad call but did not “lose” the game for the Lions. Every game has bad calls throughout, it’s just that they become more magnified the closer you get to the final whistle.

    Now, we very easily could have and I think should have won at least one of those against the Bears. Should Stafford ever stay healthy, the NFC North will have it’s hands full with the Lions. While our backups have played admirably, they just are not Stafford. I think this is why the Lions are in the top half of the power rankings (I know, I can’t believe it either!!!!).

  58. sterilizecromartie says: Dec 29, 2010 10:55 AM

    @jamiller

    Please tell me you aren’t serious with those ESPN and FOX rankings. They base their power rankings on one thing: Win-loss record.

    I would be willing to bet that ESPN has the Seahawks at 6-9 (who are arguably playing the worst football out of any team in the NFL) are ranked better than the Lions at 5-10 (winners of three straight).

  59. sterilizecromartie says: Dec 29, 2010 10:58 AM

    I love the Saints ranking. It is going to play out like this… Saints make it in as a #5 seed, kick the crap out of the Rams in the first round, go to ATL and beat the Falcons in their house just like they did on Monday night.

  60. somesome says: Dec 29, 2010 11:02 AM

    Saints are too high. They have no chance against a team playing in the Nort East outside.

  61. npiechocki says: Dec 29, 2010 11:09 AM

    I agree with jamiller’s post that both the Falcons and Saints are pretty evenly matched and although going on the road in the playoffs in the elements is a tough task, do you really trust Jay Cutler? Jay Cutler? Because if you’re banking on that guy to perform on a consistent “big-time” stage like the playoffs I simply wish you good luck. I’ll give him credit that he’s been playing well for the past couple weeks and the Bears D is a beast but I would rank Cutler near the bottom of the QB’s that will make the playoffs, right above Hassleback or Bradford. The dude is a train-wreck waiting to happen.

  62. elroyjetsson says: Dec 29, 2010 11:18 AM

    favreflavoredwaffles says:
    Dec 29, 2010 10:01 AM
    The Packers have something to prove and I believe they will. Having the stiniking Jets in the top 15 is what’s laughable. They are being exposed terribly at a bunch of areas, the biggest one being QB.

    You have probably never watched a Jet game or you have the mind of a flea. I’m thinking both

  63. gapackfan says: Dec 29, 2010 11:20 AM

    It really amazes me that so many people can feel so harshly against the Packers being ranked 11th. Someone please tell me who ranked behind the Packers is better? The Packers have lost 6 games by 4 points or less(including Atlanta). The Pack have placed 7,8,9 starters on IR? I believe the Packers have just as good of a chance to make it to the Super Bowl as anyone else. Yes we lost against the Lions, who have actually played almost everyone tough this year. Any given Sunday any team can pull the upset. Right now is the time to get hot and I believe the stomping of the Giants was the beginning.
    GO PACK GO!

  64. richm2256 says: Dec 29, 2010 11:23 AM

    gallopingghost says:

    Uhh… I think the Giants, Pack, and Bears could all rattle Tom Brady. Hell, even the Saints could. Maybe not every time, but the operative word is “can”.

    Don’t count out elite defenses.
    ————————————————-

    You obviously don’t realize that Brady already beat the Packers defense and kicked the crap out of that Bears defense, right? And the only person that the Giants defense scares is Tom Coughlin.

    Brady clearly respects the Ravens defense, but I don’t know that he loses sleep over KC’s, Pittsburgh’s, Indy’s, Philly’s, or N.O.’s, either.

  65. Stupid Raiders Fan says: Dec 29, 2010 11:33 AM

    San Diego should be #32.

    Just kidding but is it finally time for people to stop picking them as super bowl favorites EVERY DAMN YEAR?

    I doubt it.

  66. jamiller30519 says: Dec 29, 2010 11:44 AM

    @sterilizecromartie

    I am to some extent serious. They are all biased and I realize that. Power Rankings, I believe, should be based on record as well as strength of the last win/loss. You shouldn’t rise in the rankings when you barely beat a team with a losing record or drop when you barely fall to a good team.

    Saints are a good team but when you compare the teams that they beat to the Falcons and where the games were played there shouldn’t be 2 rankings different between the teams. This ranking has Baltimore ahead of Atlanta when Atlanta beat Baltimore and the Falcons have a better record. Baltimore’s last win (20-10) was against the Browns who are now 5-10. I guess I’m just wasting my time pointing out facts and trying to make sense of someone else’s opinion.

  67. gapackfan says: Dec 29, 2010 11:50 AM

    Yes because Brady just destroyed the Packers defense! Lmao, you people just amaze me.

  68. 3rdstringqb says: Dec 29, 2010 12:01 PM

    @gapackfan “The Packers have lost 6 games by 4 points or less”
    _________________________

    I think that is probably the biggest knock on the Packers. They seem to not be able to consistently pull out the close games. That and they seem to play down to their competition. I think they are a very talented team and won’t be an easy out for anyone, but they are going to have to start pulling out some of those close games if they hope to make it to the Super Bowl.

  69. paulienuts says: Dec 29, 2010 12:26 PM

    To Deb and others who think the Saints were ranked too high: I get it. Yep, moving up from #5 to #2??? Yeah, too much me thinks. But here’s the deal. These rankings mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. The only thing that matters is what happens on the field…like the win over Atlanta AT Atlanta…you know, in THEIR house, where they don’t lose. By the way, Matt Ryan has NEVER lost at home in his career…EXCEPT twice to the Saints. On Monday the Saints made the leading rusher in the league look like just another fat boy.

    Okay, okay, I get it. Too much. The Saints fans and coaching staff know what kind of team this is. We know that these guys absolutely LOVE the big games and don’t really care about home, road indoors or outdoors. Just shine a light on them and they bring it. The Baltimore game? Yeah, they deserved that loss. The Saints left their ‘A’ game at home. They haven’t had ALL their starters on the field at once all season, but the brilliant coaches have been doing an unbelievable job rotating players with guys off the street. They’ve been resting players who could have played – Chris Ivory – who will GASH Atlanta next time around. With a running game – where Ivory comes in – the Ravens game would not have ended as it did.

    So #2 now??? Nah. We know we’re really #1 in the NFC, but are happy to be at #5 where we belong…for now. Keep your eye on the Saints in the playoffs, you’ll see what we’re talking about.

  70. youboettcha says: Dec 29, 2010 12:49 PM

    New England Patriots (No. 1; 13-2): It’s 2007 all over again, without the pressure of being undefeated and without a team from the NFC with a defense that can rattle Tom Brady.

    Chicago Bears (No. 8; 11-4): OK, maybe the Bears have a defense that can rattle Tom Brady.

    I don’t know about that. Don’t you think the Bears got whupped by the Patriots? And didn’t the Bears just let Sanchez score 34? And didn’t the Packers rattle Brady the prevoius week? You should have said: …and without a team from the NFC with a defense that can rattle Tom Brady, except for the Packers.

  71. oldskool13 says: Dec 29, 2010 1:00 PM

    Beautifully put. Last year 13-3 Superbowl champs! This year, a possible 12-4 with the pressure and bullseye on your back for EVERY GAME of the season. Not bad at all, saints…

  72. pastabelly says: Dec 29, 2010 1:00 PM

    j0esixpack says:
    Dec 29, 2010 8:51 AM
    How is getting a 1st round mid-round pick for Seymour’s one remaining contract year NOT a coup for Belichick?

    There was never really a question that New England couldn’t afford to keep all three among Warren, Wilfork and Seymour – they signed the other two and got a 1st round pick for Seymour.

    ==============================
    The Patriots owned one year of Seymour. They traded that one year to Oakland for a first round pick. It was a good deal. Seymour was also often hurt and never played up to the value of his contract after he held out and the team caved. Among the three on the defensive line, nobody would argue that Wilfork was most deserving of the big contract. Warren is solid and earns his money.

  73. enkinan says: Dec 29, 2010 1:53 PM

    As a Falcons fan I would like to officially welcome Philly fans to life with Mike Vick as your quarterback. I hope you tear out as much hair as I did watching him.

  74. bjamesa says: Dec 29, 2010 2:29 PM

    No NFC team can rattle Tom Brady? The Packers defense already did it! They played as close to perfect as you can against the Pats offense by sacking Brady and causing him to make bad decisions by confusing the blitzes. If not for their gaff on special teams and a pick-6 from Matt Flynn, the Packers win that game pretty easily. Look at the tape, Brady was taken out of his game against the Packers. It shouldn’t be a surprise because he tends to struggle with 3-4 man to man defenses, particularly the ones he doesn’t usually face. Is there really any question that the Packers win the game if ARod plays?

  75. Deb says: Dec 29, 2010 3:43 PM

    @paulienuts …

    Didn’t mean they were ranked a lot too high, only a wee bit too high. I just wouldn’t have ranked them over the Ravens. But I’m one of those people who believes last year’s champions are still the champions until they’re knocked out, so no disrespect intended. They may struggle if they have to go against the elements as well as the Bears, but if the road goes through Atlanta, nothing would surprise me. Brees is one of the best, and I think Payton is a fabulous strategist.

    @mswravens …

    Interesting insights on McCoy and the Browns. Wish I’d seen your game. Had issues with McCoy following the National Championship. Wasn’t sure he’d have the nerve to stand up against NFL defenses or that he’d be able to handle it physically as he’s always seemed a bit fragile. He answered my concerns about backbone standing up to the Steelers pass rush in his first pro start. And anyone can suffer a high ankle sprain, so we’ll have to wait and see whether injuries become chronic. Thought he had excellent leadership skills in those first few games.

    But now you’re saying he doesn’t have the arm–which is one criticism I’ve never heard about him. Was basing my comment about their improvement on how they finished last year plus how they did once Colt took over. But if he can’t carry the franchise, they’ll never improve beyond where they are.

  76. phil135 says: Dec 29, 2010 3:55 PM

    Yes, the Jets have descended into a dream world. After losing yet again (this time to the Bears), does Coach Rex acknowledge that his team has work to do? No, his comments include, “Well, we have the 4th best defense.”
    The only statistic that matters is W-L. For a defense, the only statistic that matters is points allowed. On that measure, the Jets are #11, not #4! What self delusion world is Coach Rex leading his team into?

  77. sdw2001 says: Dec 29, 2010 4:59 PM

    philtration says:
    Dec 29, 2010 1:55 AM
    Still having trouble admitting that the Bears are a better team than Philly?
    Not only did the Bears beat the Eagles, they also beat the Vikings twice. The same team that bitch slapped Philly tonight.

    Now the Packers look like one of the best teams in the NFC?
    Was that before or after they lost to the Lions?
    You do know that they lost that game against the Patriots too right?

    ——

    I don’t think the Bears are better. The Eagles didn’t get “bitch slapped.” They played badly…even worse than they did with Chicago game. Who knows why? The delay definitely affected the game. Everything that could go wrong did…twice. Sh*t happens…what can I say?

    Now, I will give credit where credit is due. The Bears are better than I thought they would be. I still think the Packers are better…but yeah…much better than I thought. Yes, the Packers look like one of the best teams…no doubt.

  78. sdw2001 says: Dec 29, 2010 5:04 PM

    bikerhal says:
    Dec 29, 2010 9:05 AM
    Hey what happened to the eagles fans?

    I’m here, for one. Crappy game last night. Not much more to say. We just played badly (and Vick was hurt on the first play). I’m sure the delay made staying “up” for this game difficult. It looked and felt like a pre-season game. I think everyone kind of didn’t give a crap. Very painful to watch, but probably not that big of a deal.
    We still get a pseudo-bye week, because anyone who needs it won’t play this week.

  79. scra22 says: Dec 29, 2010 5:48 PM

    Hey Mike, Can we re-visit your preseason predictions of the 6 teams to return to the playoffs, 6 teams not to return to playoffs, and 6 teams to make playoffs who didn’t in ’09? I think that would be quite fun.

  80. steelers6pack says: Dec 29, 2010 5:59 PM

    The Aints and Ravens will be WILD CARD TEAMS, ranked ahead of the divisional winners? Thanks goodness these rankings do not count! Only ranking that matters is in Feb and who holds the trophy!

  81. scra22 says: Dec 29, 2010 6:01 PM

    jamiller30519 says:
    Dec 29, 2010 10:34 AM
    scra22 & npiechocki
    I’m a Falcons fan and I give the Saints credit for the win. I’m not going to make excuses. Some people are passionate about their team and that’s why we’re called fans (fanatics). If you don’t think that the Falcons gave you the game then make sure that you don’t think that the Falcons got lucky in game 3.
    ====

    How did the Falcons “give” them the game? By playing badly? The Saints tried to give you guys the game with the pick 6 and the penalties, and you didn’t take it. Matt Ryan had the chance to lead the Falcons down the field to at least tie the game and they ended up punting. It is not the same thing as a kicker missing a chip shot field goal (un-forced) in overtime on 1st down. It’s just not the same scenario.

  82. 1historian says: Dec 29, 2010 8:06 PM

    Notice how KC & Atlanta have come to the fore and then ask what do they have in common? The answer is that their new GMs both learned at the feet of Bill Belichik.

    And the Pats have 3 out of the 1st 33 in next year’s draft.

    The rich get richer because they are SMARTER.

    “The Bears have a defense that can rattle Tom Brady.”

    I’d like to extend a heartfelt welcome to our delegate from la-la land.

    Just the facts ma’am – Brady has not thrown a pick in his last 319 passes and the Pats have not had a turnover in the last 7 games.

    It’s called “coaching”.

  83. 1historian says: Dec 29, 2010 8:44 PM

    Flynn played lights out against the Pats and they were lucky to win but they DID win and that is all that counts.

    They usually follow a poorly played game win or lose with a kick ass game and that’s what they did against Buffalo. Granted Buffalo has the leagues worst run D but 217 yards when you know what is coming is 217 yards no matter how you cut it.

    If you need some laughs go find that video of
    Danny Woodhead trying to sell ‘Woodhead’ jerseys in a store. Funny.

  84. sdw2001 says: Dec 29, 2010 8:50 PM

    And the Pats have 3 out of the 1st 33 in next year’s draft.

    The rich get richer because they are SMARTER.

    “The Bears have a defense that can rattle Tom Brady.”

    I’d like to extend a heartfelt welcome to our delegate from la-la land.

    Just the facts ma’am – Brady has not thrown a pick in his last 319 passes and the Pats have not had a turnover in the last 7 games.

    It’s called “coaching”.
    ———–

    As an Eagles fan, I have to agree. Bellicheat is a classless bastard, but damn…the guy can coach. Pats are the best team in the league. Chicago has a great defense, but I think overall they can’t compete with the Pats. The Pats are the odds on fav to win it all.

  85. failcopter says: Dec 29, 2010 9:49 PM

    The Patriots owned one year of Seymour. They traded that one year to Oakland for a first round pick. It was a good deal. Seymour was also often hurt and never played up to the value of his contract after he held out and the team caved. Among the three on the defensive line, nobody would argue that Wilfork was most deserving of the big contract. Warren is solid and earns his money.

    ———————————————

    On the other hand, the Raiders got more out of it than anyone expected, as Seymour is now a leader on their defensive line, and New England won’t be getting a first 5 pick, but rather a mid-round pick.

  86. deweyaxewound says: Dec 30, 2010 2:57 AM

    The average knuckle-dragging NFL fan views the NFL world like this:

    Whatever happened last season–> likely to happen THIS season; with a few consensus exceptions, good teams = still good, bad teams = still bad.

    Whatever happens in pre-season–>highly predictive of what’s to happen in regular season

    Whatever happens earlier in the season/first match-up between divisional teams–>likely to happen in the second meeting

    Whatever happened in the regular season–>likely to happen to in the playoffs

    I have news for each and every one of you:

    Thanks to injuries, adjustments, motivations, developments, experience, growth, etc etc. the team you saw in week 1-8 may bear no resemblance whatsoever to the team you see in weeks 9-17.

    And in the Playoffs–records go out the window. History goes out the window.
    It’s about health, coaching, motivation, opportunity, match-ups, calls, bounces, etc.

    So, just using my Bears-centric worldview to reiterate the points above: Bears went 0-4 in pre-season, universally predicted to finish 3rd or even 4th in the division. Yet they now have the 2nd seed locked up and a bye and home field advantage.
    The team that lost to, say, Seattle at home, has no resemblance to the team that beat the Eagles. And the team that beat the Eagles had no resemblance whatsoever to the one that got shellacked by the Pats.
    Likewise, the Pats that shellacked the Jets and Bears had very little resemblance to the one that struggled with the Packers B-squad.
    Speaking of Pats–how bout that Browns game?
    And the Giants team that collapsed horribly in back-to-back weeks looks nothing like the one that spanked the Bears earlier in the season.
    All NFl teams have off weeks, any/all of them can get hot, get lucky, fall apart, implode, etc.

    It’s a cliche, but it’s TRUE–ANY team can beat ANY other on any given Sunday (or Monday or Tuesday or Thursday), right Green Bay and San Diego and Philly?

    That’s WHY we watch.

    So all of you take your “this team crushed this team, so this team will beat this one, and how can this team expect to blah blah this team?!?” logic and stick it.

    Rams may very well get hot and win the NFC and eke out a win over the Chiefs for the whole hog, while the Pats and Falcons may crumble against their very first opponents–you just don’t know.

    However, some general truths remain–teams that can stay healthy, can play great defense, generally win the turnover battle, make plays on special teams, and win on the road, tend to have a better shot at winning…at the least, they can hang around in any game and from there anything can happen.
    (I’m looking at you, Bears…)

    All that is to say: Screw everything that happened in weeks 1-17.

  87. jamiller30519 says: Dec 30, 2010 8:25 AM

    scra22

    I think you’re confirming a point of view that I had much earlier in the postings. How can you consider the pick six a gimme when you don’t think that the muffed snap by a 14 year vet center or Turner bouncing into the line 2 times in a row and coughing it up on the 1 yard line gimmes.

    It goes both ways brother. If you think it was all “home cookin” then look back at the end of the game at the gratuitous spot that the refs gave the Saints when replays clearly show a yard less on the play.

    All my posts on here give credit to the Saints for winning and I’ve gone so far as to say that they are a good team. I’m just calling out people that are too arrogant to see the truth. Hopefully you aren’t one of them.

  88. favreflavoredwaffles says: Dec 30, 2010 3:05 PM

    elroyjetsson says:
    Dec 29, 2010 11:18 AM

    You have probably never watched a Jet game or you have the mind of a flea. I’m thinking both.

    ___________________________________

    I’ve watched several this year…including the Jets loss to the Pack. They don’t impress me at all…defense is very tough, receiving corp is suspect every other week. Sanchez will implode when it matters… not too much unlike Tony Romo.

    As for the mind of a flea comment. Nice jab….for a seven year old. I earn a hell of a salary for myself (and my 3 employees) off of my education and all of our hard work. It’s very rewarding to be able to spend 10 minutes a day trading barbs with a complete stranger who is at the same moment probably delivering newspapers out East in “Joyzey”. No wonder the whole country hates you pricks….and I mean that in the nicest way.

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