Week 16 power rankings

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1. New England Patriots (last week No. 1; 12-3):  The Patriots apparently will get a chance to go back to the scene of the biggest upset in Super Bowl history.

2. Seattle Seahawks (No. 2; 11-4):  They may not be the best defense of all time (yet), but the Seahawks are as balanced as any team we’ve seen since the ’94 49ers.

3. Dallas Cowboys (No. 6; 11-4):  Welcome to Gloryhole.

4. Green Bay Packers (No. 5; 11-4):  A win on Sunday could result in the first postseason visit from Dallas since the Ice Bowl.

5. Detroit Lions (No. 8; 11-4):  The only way Dominic Raiola’s stomp was inadvertent is if he was aiming for Ego Ferguson’s crotch.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (No. 11; 10-4-1):  There’s hope for Painfully Awkward Rob Lowe.

7. Denver Broncos (No. 3; 11-4):  Is anyone else starting to get the feeling that Peyton Manning will never get that second Super Bowl win?

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 9; 10-5):  Todd Haley has figuratively put a fork in the Chiefs.  He probably would have preferred to do it literally.

9. San Diego Chargers (No. 15; 9-6):  Philip Rivers seems to play better when he’s hurt.

10. Arizona Cardinals (No. 4; 11-4):  Kurt Warner should have unretired, after all.

11. Indianapolis Colts (No. 7; 10-5):  Do they give out a trophy for being the best team on the NFL’s second tier?

12. Houston Texans (No. 17; 8-7):  For the fourth straight year, the Texans remain a quarterback away from being a legitimate contender.

13. Baltimore Ravens (No. 12; 9-6):  The only AFC team that could beat the Patriots in their own building may not get a chance to.

14. Philadelphia Eagles (No. 10; 9-6):  The only thing worse than a one-and-done postseason appearance is no postseason appearance at all.

15. Kansas City Chiefs (No. 13; 8-7):  Actually, blowing a huge lead in the playoffs is still worse than no postseason appearance.  Which could make 2014 an upgrade for the Chiefs.

16. Carolina Panthers (No. 19; 6-8-1):  Cam Newton’s new motto is “carpe diem.”  If he can win a couple more games, the Panthers won’t have a case of “caveat emptor” when the time comes to sign him to a new deal.

17. Miami Dolphins (No. 20; 8-7):  The devil you know always beats the devil you don’t know.  But, you know, Rex Ryan would have been an intriguing devil the Dolphins know a little bit.

18. Atlanta Falcons (No. 25; 6-9):  The worst team to ever make the playoffs still has a better chance to win the Super Bowl than the best team to ever miss them.

19. Buffalo Bills (No. 14; 8-7):  The win over the Packers may have saved Doug Marrone’s job.  The loss to the Raiders may have squandered it.

20. New York Giants (No. 24; 6-9):  The build-’em-up-tear-’em-down cycle for Odell Beckham seems to be moving along faster than usual.

21. New Orleans Saints (No. 16; 6-9):  Few great teams have fallen apart faster than the Saints.

22. San Francisco 49ers (No. 21; 7-8):  If they win on Sunday, do they do the “who’s got it better than us?” thing one last time?

23. Minnesota Vikings (No. 22; 6-9):  There’s reason for optimism, for the first time since Brett Favre’s first year with the team.

24. St. Louis Rams (No. 18; 6-9):  The Rams get a chance to run Missouri’s record to 3-0 against the Seahawks this year.

25. Cleveland Browns (No. 23; 7-8):  When Rex Grossman tells you “no thanks,” maybe it’s time to just fold the franchise.

26. Washington (No. 31; 4-11):  It’s suddenly getting harder for the media to twist Jay Gruden’s words about Robert Griffin III.

27. Oakland Raiders (No. 28; 3-12):  When Raiders players say they want Tony Sparano, are they actually saying they don’t want Jim Harbaugh?

28. Chicago Bears (No. 26; 5-10):  Jay Cutler gets a chance to remind everyone why the Bears benched him.

29. New York Jets (No. 27; 3-12):  Geno Smith thinks everyone would benefit from a coaching change.  Everyone else thinks the Jets would benefit from a quarterback change, too.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 30; 3-12):  Given the quality of the team, the Jaguars fans are by far the most loyal in the league.

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 29; 2-13):  Give this team a quarterback and an offensive coordinator, and the Bucs will be in position to win the NSFW South next year.

32. Tennessee Titans (No. 32; 2-13):  That Week One win at Kansas City could be the thing that ultimately keeps them from having the top pick in the draft.

48 responses to “Week 16 power rankings

  1. The only thing worse than a one-and-done postseason appearance is no postseason appearance at all.

    ===============================
    I disagree. No playoff appearance gives you a better draft position.

  2. Really? The Bengals above the Steelers just because they got lucky and played Peyton when he had an off night? 42-21 IN THE BENGALS HOUSE ring a bell for anyone? Anyone at all? No? Okay.

  3. Not that I’m looking to make excuses for Raiola’s step maneuver, but there technically is one more possible way that it could have been inadvertent.

    Sometimes when people take a step over a clutter of traffic they try to make a sudden correction at the last moment resulting in an awkward step in effort to hit free ground while accidentally missing. It looked like that could have been what happened, in addition to an intentional stomp looking like a possible fit. I’m not 100% certain what happened.

    Good speed to all teams; seize the Sunday!

  4. Warner unretiring?According to AZ cardinals homepage it wasn’t due to the fact you can’t unretire in the last 30 days of the season.

  5. Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 30; 3-12):  Given the quality of the team, the Jaguars fans are
    by far the most loyal in the league.

    Its about time someone has recognized this far too long incorrect perception. e.

  6. “The Patriots are apparently……”

    On to Buffalo.

    There’s not one person in New England using the SB term. The Patriots are a good, not great team. There are no stiffs in the playoffs and elimination can come very quickly.
    .

  7. Steeler fans are crazy if they think the Bengals got lucky last night. How about domination in the trenches? Out coached too. Bengals will beat the Steelers in Pitt like they did 2 years ago. Only this time, we won’t knock them out of contention unfortunately

  8. 5. Detroit Lions (No. 8; 11-4): The only way Dominic Raiola’s stomp was inadvertent is if he was aiming for Ego Ferguson’s crotch.
    —————————————

    That actually did make me chuckle, out loud.

  9. Someone OBVIOUSLY hasn’t watched the Falcons play the last 5 weeks, even in those losses you could see vast improvements and yet you have the Panthers ranked 2 spots higher. Yes the NFCS is sad sad sad this season but Ryan is getting great protection lately and it shows on the scoreboard not to mention the defense is showing signs of life; all of this in the last 5 wks so it wont even dent them being statistically bad for the season.

  10. Yes @t8ertot, they were lucky. How many times does a QB get picked off 4 times and still has a chance to actually win the game….not many. That means this, the Bengals offense did virtually NOTHING with those turnovers or when they even had the ball. That means this, if Manning plays better, your team loses. Go ahead and tell yourself you’ll win in Pittsburgh if it helps you sleep at night, I won’t ruin your little delusions.

  11. jmac1013 says:
    Dec 23, 2014 11:04 AM
    The only thing worse than a one-and-done postseason appearance is no postseason appearance at all.

    ===============================
    I disagree. No playoff appearance gives you a better draft position.

    The Vikings are best to comment on that…..

  12. Got news for all the Panthers/Falcons fans, either team is one and done in the playoffs. Especially the Falcons, who only beat ONE team out of division the entire year.

    Now if the playoffs were all division games, maybe they could get somewhere. But unfortunately, all of the playoff games are OUT OF THE DIVISION, so the Falcons are screwed.

    And as for the Panthers, not all that and a bag of chips, they won’t make it either.

    And for the record, as a Saints fan, the Saints would have probably been one and done in the playoffs also.

    Bad year for NFC South, but not the norm, division will bounce back next year!

  13. The Saints were not a great team this year. Drew is donezo.

    —————————————————-
    This coming from a Romo fan where until THIS YEAR, they are the perennial 8-8 team. You guys have an extremely short memory.

    The Saints had issues this year, no wonder, getting rid of 5 defensive veterans, injuries, etc. But, we’ll be back next year.

    And as for Brees, apparently you know nothing about him. He is on pace to match his NFL record 5,000 yards during a season record, and is on pace to match his same record during their SB run. And, Brees made NFL history and broke his own record and set another record this season, even with all the Saints woes.

    The issue IS NOT BREES, and his stats/record prove it.

    GEAUX SAINTS!!!!

  14. Seattle goes to Arizona and hangs 35 points on what everyone considered a very good defense, and for the fifth week in a row their D barely allowed a score.

    NE barely squeaked by the New York Jets.

    Something is suspect about this list…

  15. The ’14 Seahawks are the most balanced team since the ’94 49ers? Even though the ’94 Cowboys were more balanced that very same year? And the ’95 49ers were more balanced…and the ’96 Packers…probably the ’01 Rams…possibly the ’04 Patriots…and definitely the ’07 Patriots.

  16. bleedingfacemask says: Dec 23, 2014 12:23 PM

    “Seattle goes to Arizona and hangs 35 points on what everyone considered a very good defense, and for the fifth week in a row their D barely allowed a score.

    NE barely squeaked by the New York Jets.

    Something is suspect about this list…”

    ———————————————-

    Might have something to do with Seattle only leading 14-6 as of the start of the 4th quarter against a Lindley QB’d team before Arizona fell apart. Might also have something to do with Power Rankings counting the entire season, and that during the “impressive” Seattle five game winning streak the team has played the bad-QB Cardinals twice and the falling apart 49ers twice.

    There’s nothing wrong with being the #2 team, but don’t forget that ever since Gronkowski returned to full reps and Browner was added the Patriots have been dominant (and only lost once, in GB, which might be the hardest place to get a win this season).

  17. I’m not sold on the Cowboys. That 33-10 loss AT HOME to a Mark Sanchez led Eagles team sticks out to me. I think this is once again a case of overrating the East Coast teams.

  18. I love my Patriots, but I have a hard time putting them ahead of Seattle. Honestly, Id say Seattle beats them by 10 points or more.

    They are tailor made to beat the Pats. Strong pass rush, physical corners and safeties to match up with Gronk and overpower the smaller WR’s. A mobile QB, which always kills the Patriots. Can run it…

    I hope someone takes them out in the NFC

  19. 20. New York Giants (No. 24; 6-9)
    21. New Orleans Saints (No. 16; 6-9)
    22. San Francisco 49ers (No. 21; 7-8)

    Ok before I say anything, all 3 teams suck.

    BUT, the 49ers have a better record and beat both other teams head to head.

    I get it, you hate SF. But why? I just want to hear why!

  20. I am happy you put Seattle at #2. That’s where we were last year as well in the power rankings behind Denver and we all know how that worked out. I like it. Good karma. 🙂

  21. After a rough 2-2 start, everyone – including many Pats fans and local sportswriters and sports talk hosts, were saying that Brady was finally washed up, and the game had passed Belichick by.

    Not ALL of us did.

    Now they’ve gone on a 10-1 roll, and are the #1 ranked team in the NFL, and the true believers are loving how the “Cheatriot haters” are having to swallow this success.

    Suck it, haters. The Patriots are STILL #1

    Bwaaaaaaa HAAAAAAAA HAAAAAAAA!!!!!!

  22. holtzclawbrian says:
    Dec 23, 2014 12:10 PM
    Yes @t8ertot, they were lucky. How many times does a QB get picked off 4 times and still has a chance to actually win the game….not many. That means this, the Bengals offense did virtually NOTHING with those turnovers or when they even had the ball. That means this, if Manning plays better, your team loses. Go ahead and tell yourself you’ll win in Pittsburgh if it helps you sleep at night, I won’t ruin your little delusions.
    =========================

    Definitely not a Bengals fan, but the 4 INT argument is a little bit misleading considering 2 of them came in a 30 second span in the final 2:00. For the first 58:00 it was 2 picks

  23. I agree with the assessment of Tampa Bay. It was very impressive how hard their defense was playing in a game that was meaningless for them. They need a lot of pieces on the offensive side, but they could be contenders in a couple of years if they draft well.

  24. I guess the reason why the Panthers is ranked higher than the Falcons is because even though the Falcons beat them before head-to-head, they must have improved and the Falcons didn’t.

    Which was just what they said about the Saints. The Falcons beat them head-to-head before this season too.

  25. jrmbadger says:
    Dec 23, 2014 12:35 PM

    I’m not sold on the Cowboys. That 33-10 loss AT HOME to a Mark Sanchez led Eagles team sticks out to me. I think this is once again a case of overrating the East Coast teams.
    ===============================

    That loss to the eagles came on a short week where Romo still wasn’t himself, and the entire team just got outplayed. It happens. The Cowboys have no home field advantage in “Jerryland”, but they made up for that loss by pounding the eagles in philly. In fact, Dallas is 7-0 on the road.

    So what west coast team should be ranked above the Cowboys? Denver? Maybe, but they just lost yesterday and Peyton was a turnover machine. Arizona? Cmon, let’s be serious. San Diego? Fewer wins than Dallas.

    The Cowboys are ranked right around where they should be at the moment, although I wouldn’t argue if Green Bay was at 3 and Dallas at 4.

  26. I can’t believe no one got the joke. The 94 49ers were balanced because of the layout and symmetry of 9449, not because of the actual team. It was a joke! Come on people.

  27. After squeaking by the Jets not sure the Patriots should be at the top of the list, in the last 5 they are 4-1 and on a three game winning streak. They have also given up 83 points. Look at Seattle they have dominated the last 5 games going 5-0, and they have out scored their opponents 114-33, given up an average of 200 yards per game in total offense. Seattle also has a much harder schedule than the patriots and they play in the most competitive division.

  28. jrmbadger says:
    Dec 23, 2014 12:35 PM
    I’m not sold on the Cowboys. That 33-10 loss AT HOME to a Mark Sanchez led Eagles team sticks out to me. I think this is once again a case of overrating the East Coast teams.

    ———–

    Ummm.. Dallas is in the NFC east.. They are not on the east coast. Also remember before that Thursday afternoon game they played Sunday night football. Plane arrived in Dallas at 6:00am on Monday morning. Practiced Monday and Tuesday and walk through and film Wednesday. Romo never had a chance to let his back recover and the rest of the team was spent. Your looking at a more explainable loss than say the one against the Redskins where they straight up didn’t show up.

  29. According to Nate Silver over at fivethirtyeight the Seattle Seahawks have an outhttp://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/week-17-nfl-elo-ratings-and-playoff-odds-special-seahawks-edition/side chance of being the greatest NFL team in history with a repeat Super Bowl.

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