[Editor’s note: Now that Week 15 is fully and completely in the books, here are the final Week 16 power rankings.]
1. Packers (11-3, last week No. 1): Another No. 1 seed for the team and another MVP for Aaron Rodgers are within reach. Can they finish the job this year?
2. Chiefs (10-4, No. 5): Three straight Super Bowl appearances suddenly isn’t out of the question.
3. Rams (10-4, No. 4): After three straight losses, three straight wins. How many more will there be?
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. Eagles (7-7, No. 20): They’re good enough to get to the playoffs. Are they good enough to win if they get there?
20. Saints (7-7, No. 22): If only they could play the Bucs every week.
21. Broncos (7-7, No. 18): Will barely missing the playoffs save Vic Fangio?
22. Washington (6-8, No. 23): Time may have run out on what would have been an unlikely postseason berth.
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 (5-9, No. 25): The first non-winning record in a decade likely will spark some significant changes in Seattle. It remains to be seen what they will be, and how far they will reverberate.
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?