PFT’s Week 16 NFL 2021 power rankings (part one)

Green Bay Packers v Baltimore Ravens
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[Editor’s note: With two Week 15 games left on Tuesday night, we decided to post the Week 16 rankings now, with an update to come based on the outcomes of Washgton-Eagles and Seahawks-Rams. Please be appropriately titillated by the potential changes that will be made by Wednesday morning.]

1. Packers (11-3, last week No. 1): The cheese is rising to the top.

2. Chiefs (10-4, No. 5): Three straight Super Bowl appearances suddenly isn’t out of the question.

3. Rams (9-4, No. 4): The NFC West is back in play, and the No. 1 seed is, too.

4. Cowboys (10-4, No. 7): Ugly wins are still wins, especially when other high-end NFC contenders are losing.

5. Patriots (9-5, No. 2): The lack of energy in the first half was almost as uncharacteristic as Bill Belichick apologizing for treating reporters the same way he has treated them for 22 years.

6. Buccaneers (10-4, No. 3): A 17-game season is a war of attrition, and the Bucs lost a huge battle on Sunday night.

7. Colts (8-6, No. 10): They’ll go as far as Jonathan Taylor takes them.

8. Cardinals (10-4, No. 6): From one seed to possible wild card, in the course of six days.

9. Titans (9-5, No. 8): Thursday night’s game becomes critical to their desire to finally close the deal in the AFC South.

10. 49ers (8-6, No. 12): They’re the Colts of the NFC, the team no one will want to play in the postseason.

11. Bills (8-6, No. 13): It all comes down to Sunday at New England.

12. Bengals (8-6, No. 14): Up and down and up and down and up again.

13. Ravens (8-6, No. 9): Going for two has fueled the current three-game losing streak.

14. Chargers (8-6, No. 11): The future is bright. The present is murky.

15. Vikings (7-7, No. 16): At least it didn’t come down to the last play, again.

16. Dolphins (7-7, No. 17): The winning streak could get to seven. The last two games will determine whether they make it to the playoffs.

17. Browns (7-7, No. 15): It’s now or never for the Browns. With a trip to Lambeau Field on deck, the clock may be about to strike never.

18. Steelers (7-6-1, No. 19): That tie is going to either just get them in or just keep them out.

19. Saints (7-7, No. 22): If only they could play the Bucs every week.

20. Broncos (7-7, No. 18): Will barely missing the playoffs save Vic Fangio?

21. Eagles (6-7, No. 20): Tuesday night’s game will go a long way toward determining whether they make an unlikely appearance in the playoffs.

22. Washington (6-7, No. 23): Can Taylor Heinecke get cleared to play on Tuesday morning? If not, the road to a wild-card may end in Philly.

23. Falcons (6-8, No. 21): They’re laying a good foundation for 2022. The question is whether their cap situation will allow them to build on it.

24. Raiders (7-7, No. 24): They still don’t look like a playoff team.

25. Seahawks (5-8, No. 25): An unlikely December turnaround comes down to Tuesday night at L.A.

26. Panthers (5-9, No. 26): The clock is ticking on Matt Rhule.

27. Giants (4-10, No. 27): There’s still time to bring back Eli.

28. Bears (4-10, No. 28): Like every other opponent, the Vikings let them hang around. Unlike every other opponent, the Bears couldn’t make Minnesota pay for it.

29. Lions (2-11-1, No. 30): Sunday’s win is that one great golf shot that gets a duffer to come back for another round.

30. Texans (3-11, No. 31): They’re the team that couldn’t tank straight.

31. Jets (3-11, No. 29): The Giants gave their season-ticket holders a free medium soda. The Jets are giving their season-ticket holders another mental wedgie.

32. Jaguars (2-12, No. 32): The first pick is in the bag. Will they screw it up?

26 responses to “PFT’s Week 16 NFL 2021 power rankings (part one)

  1. Patriots and Bucs were exposed as the frauds they are as I said they would be. Still ranked too high, but no biggie as Ravens start their rise to the top of AFC.

  2. Mac Jones looked shook. It’s looking like 30 degrees and partly cloudy in NE on Sunday…. Expect that to continue.

  3. Lol. You have the Eagles, Falcons (with worse records), Broncos and even the Browns, whom we just beat ahead of the Raiders? SMH.

  4. “They’re a one year Dynasty”, “They’re in Cap Hell”, “Their defense sucks”, “Mahomes has been figured out”. Funny how 3-4 can make people jump to conclusions that aren’t true. Keep it coming, haters. The Chiefs are running the table and going back into their FOURTH straight AFC Championship game and going to their 3rd straight SB.

  5. Why are our wins ugly? 3 straight road wins are Tough for Any teams just ask the Bucs or the Cardinals. Our defense is finally healthy and showing Championship outings. Remember in the beginning of the year when the Chiefs offense was struggling a bit? This is normal and part of football. RELAX. Or hate on as you will, but we still have one of if not the best offense in football!

  6. See Number #26. Matt Rhule of the Carolina Panthers needs to be fired by the end of the season and the Panthers will not win another game this year. The “Worst Coaching Performance of the Year 2021” goes to Matt Rhule. Go back to college as you are not wanted nor needed in Carolina. Good riddance.

  7. When I do pay attention to the NFL these days, I guess you could say I’m a Packers fan. With that disclosure in mind…really #1? With that defense and league worst special teams? NFC Championship at best. Another ARod failure in that game is also likely. That is why I call him Aaron Almost.

  8. The Buccaneers one year dynasty was impressive.

    Proved you can buy a Title.

    Too bad more teams can’t pull it off.

  9. Chiefs are way too high.
    Yes they’re on a nice winning streak, but the game against the Chargers revealed that their supposed defensive resurgence was a mirage that was formed by playing some truly mediocre offensive teams. If not for some questionable decisions by their coach, they would have put up 30+ points against this supposedly improved bunch.
    Pair that with two more turnovers and some truly awful throws by Mahomes, and you still have the same team that looked vulnerable earlier in the season.
    The playoffs are wide open, as no team should be considered a heavy favourite to win it all.

  10. The Cardinals loss was bad, but not as bad as the Bills’ Jaguars loss that could potentially put the kibosh on even making the wild card. Losing to an Urban Meyer-coached team in the NFL is unforgivable. At least that Lions team has a well-respected, up-and-coming coach. I’d almost be honored to lose to them, the heart that team shows. But man is Josh Allen a beast when he balls out. The one in Jax. It’s a shame that that performance got lost in the mix of the season just because it’s the Jaguars.

  11. The Packers perennially have subpar special teams. But this year is something special. Packers fans cringe on every single special teams play. It could easily cost them a post season game.

  12. 3 straight road wins is impressive, regardless of the competition. Dallas hasn’t done that in over 50 years.

    While the offense is struggling, the defense is coming together. If Dak & the offense can pull their heads out, they should be good enough for a 2nd round exit in the playoffs….

  13. Just watch the Steeler bandwagon grow as they make their move up from their ridiculously low #18 ranking. There are several teams ranked above them that the Steelers have already given the “what for.”

  14. You always like to see the most successful franchise in NFL history in their rightful place at the very pinnacle of NFL success.

    Best fans.

    Best owners.

    Best QB.

    Best team.

  15. Smashmouth football, as the Saints showed on Sunday night, never gets old. The teams that will consistently deliver that AND be able to score will play in the Super Bowl. Right now that appears to be Green Bay/Rams, and Titans/Chiefs. My Saints just can’t score enough right now to win consistently at playoff time (though they could get hot – see the ’07 and ’11 Giants as models)

  16. malcomreynolds says:
    December 21, 2021 at 9:21 am
    Chiefs are way too high.
    Yes they’re on a nice winning streak, but the game against the Chargers revealed that their supposed defensive resurgence was a mirage that was formed by playing some truly mediocre offensive teams. If not for some questionable decisions by their coach, they would have put up 30+ points against this supposedly improved bunch.
    Pair that with two more turnovers and some truly awful throws by Mahomes, and you still have the same team that looked vulnerable earlier in the season.
    The playoffs are wide open, as no team should be considered a heavy favourite to win it all.
    ——–
    The Chiefs were missing arguably their MVP Chris Jones against the Chargers and their best corner in Snead against a Chargers team that was on a hot streak. The Chargers were playing at home and for a shot of being the #1 seed in the AFC west so they had every motivation to play their best game of the season and all the Chiefs did was come out of there with a win, like they had the last 6 games they played. So keep up your nonsense about how the Chiefs are overrated and we will see who’s playing in the AFC championship game AGAIN this year.

  17. I would say that it was a bit disappointing that the Vikings couldn’t demolish the Bears last night, but the Vikings were never in danger of losing that game. It was probably the most comfortable 14 point lead I’ve ever seen. If the Vikings are now #7 for nfc playoffs, I’d go ahead and put them at #14 in the rankings.

  18. YouEnjoyMyself says:

    The Packers perennially have subpar special teams. But this year is something special. Packers fans cringe on every single special teams play. It could easily cost them a post season game.
    _________________________

    It’s genuinely terrible. I’ve watched them my entire life and I can’t remember another year’s ST unit that has been this undisciplined and inconsistent. Even the year they botched the on-side kick in the NFC Championship they were a much better unit.

  19. I’m legitimately shocked that the Vikings aren’t listed as “The Minnesota Vikings and their paid referees.”

  20. “The Chiefs were missing arguably their MVP Chris Jones against the Chargers and their best corner in Snead against a Chargers team that was on a hot streak. The Chargers were playing at home and for a shot of being the #1 seed in the AFC west so they had every motivation to play their best game of the season and all the Chiefs did was come out of there with a win, like they had the last 6 games they played. So keep up your nonsense about how the Chiefs are overrated and we will see who’s playing in the AFC championship game AGAIN this year.”

    The quarterbacks the Chiefs defence has faced before Herbert during their win streak are Daniel Jones, Derek Carr twice, Jordan Love, Teddy Bridgewater, and struggling Dak Prescott.
    Yup a real murderer’s row of offences in that bunch…
    They still might make the AFC championship game, not because of their supposed dominance, but because no AFC team has separated themselves from the pack.

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