Week 16 NFL Power Rankings: Historic Race to Playoffs Tightens

New Batch of NFL Power Rankings

Welcome to Week 16 of the NFL Power Rankings! Week 15 brought some big games when it comes to playoff implications, and some did not let us down. The BYE week has now come and gone. Meanwhile, the stretch run is one of the most intense parts of the NFL season, and in 2021, it is an absolute jumbled mess in both conferences and can still be taken by almost anyone.

It is the season of giving, and with this week being Christmas the giving is pretty tough right now around the league.

The massive spike in COVID cases around the league, makes the end of the season very interesting, to say the least.

Now, before we dive into Week 16 make sure you check out last week!!

With that now out of the way, let’s see this week’s NFL Power Rankings!!

32. Jacksonville Jaguars- 2-12 (Last Week- 32)

They looked much better offensively after finally firing Urban Meyer. James Robinson was finally freed from his cage and got back on the board with a touchdown.

They will play in the least appealing game of Week 16 when they play the New York Jets.

31. Chicago Bears 4-10 (Last Week- 28)

I am going to make this one short… Justin Fields seemed to take a step back this week, and Matt Nagy needs to be fired NOW.

They have officially been eliminated. They now head to Seattle to face the Seahawks on Sunday.

30. New York Jets 3-11 (Last Week- 29)

Jets are just looking for positives from their QB now, and they are getting just that as they held on for most of the game against the Miami Dolphins.

They have also been eliminated. They play the Jaguars on Sunday afternoon in a putrid matchup.

29. Detroit Lions 2-11-1 (Last Week- 31)

Holy Hell, the Lions beat the Cardinals.

Even though they have been eliminated the Lions are still fighting hard, and that is fantastic to see. Dan Campbell has this team on the right track, and because of it, they deserve the slight bump in the NFL Power Rankings.

They face the Falcons looking for another win on Sunday.

28. New York Giants 4-10 (Last Week- 27)

The Giants have been eliminated for yet another. QB, Daniel Jones is officially done for the season. Meanwhile, this writeup blurb is now over.

They will face the Eagles in Week 16.

27. Carolina Panthers 5-9 (Last Week – 26)

The Panthers do not have a clue where to go QB wise, and Cam Newton is not the answer, Although he could be if they build around om more. The loss to the Bills on Sunday proved just that.

They will now have a tough test on Sunday when they face the Buccaneers in week 16.

26. Seattle Seahawks 5-9 (Last Week – 25)

For the first time in the Russell Wilson era, the Seattle Seahawks have a losing season in the books.

They will host the Bears on Sunday afternoon.

25. Houston Texans 3-11 (Last Week- 30)

One of the biggest jumps in this weeks NFL Power Rankings is the Houston Texans. Now hear me out here.

The Texans may have found their QB for next season in Davis Mills. This lines the Texans up well for the draft, mostly because they most likely will not need to take a QB in the top 5 of the draft, they can focus on a different position now.

They will be tested on Sunday when they host the Chargers on Sunday.

24. Atlanta Falcons 6-8 (Last Week- 22)

A tough loss to the 49ers ended what was a good run, while of course they have not yet been eliminated, it is a tough go now to make a push.

They will look to try though, as they get set to host the Lions on Sunday afternoon.

23. Denver Broncos 7-7 (Last Week – 20)

We now start a run of 7-7 teams. So bare with me here.

Denver got the crap end of the 7-7 teams, as they lost to the Bengals on Sunday afternoon. The toughest loss was losing QB, Teddy Bridgewater to a concussion. So, now the team turns to Drew Lock.

They will head to Vegas next to face the Raiders on Sunday afternoon

22. Las Vegas Raiders 7-7 (Last Week – 23)

The Raiders were taken to the brink on Monday afternoon, but they were able to climb back with a minute left and kick a game winning field goal to join the 7-7 club.

The win keeps their playoff hopes alive for another week, while also staying afloat in the NFL Power Rankings.

They will look to keep momentum on Sunday when they host the Denver Broncos.

21. New Orleans Saints 7-7 (Last Week- 21)

New Orleans got a big win on Sunday Night as they took down the defending champs in Tampa Bay, once again proving that the regular season Saints are Tampa Bay’s kryptonite.

The win catapults them into playoff positioning and a chance at one of the three wild cards.

They will look to keep the momentum going on Monday Night against the Dolphins.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers 7-6-1 (Last Week – 24)

Another riser this week in the NFL Power Rankings, are the Pittsburgh Steelers. They upended the Tennessee Titans to keep their playoff hopes alive in what is now a wide open AFC North. The team has been on a role as of late, mostly thanks to their defense, but regardless, they are getting the job done.

They look to keep it rolling on Sunday, when they face the Kansas City Chiefs.

19. Washington Football Team 6-8 (Last Week -16)

I will cut Washington some slack here, they did not have Heinicke, but they were rolling with Garret Gilbert who held them in the game. Ultimately the defense is the one that fell apart in the second half as they would fall to Philly.

This puts a massive blow on their playoff chances.

They will look to bounce back Sunday Night against the Dallas Cowboys.

18. Minnesota Vikings 7-7 (Last Week- 18)

Minnestoa is on the up and coming as they are still in the playoff race after a Monday Night win against the Bears.

They host the Rams on Sunday afternoon in Week 16.

17. Cleveland Browns 7-7 (Last Week – 15)

Clevland saw their team get decimated by COVID, looking to third string QB, Nick Mullens to try to lead the Browns to a victory. It was a tough battle for the team, but in the end, the team falls to 7-7 on the season as they hang on for dear life to their playoff hopes.

They face a tough test on Christmas Day when they head to Lambeau to play the Packers.

16. Philadelphia Eagles 7-7 (Last Week- 19)

A team is on a rapid surge right now is the Philadelphia Eagles, they upended the Washington Football Team Tuesday afternoon. Jalen Hurts coming off an ankle injury started off a little slow but started to pick up steam towards the second half.

Nick Siriani has really turned this team around in the second half of the season, and because of it, they have made a strong push to a playoff spot in a wide open NFC.

They will host the Giants on Sunday afternoon in Week 16.

15. Miami Dolphins 7-7 (Last Week – 17)

The surprise team of 2021 is back to an even record. The Miami Dolphins started the first 8 weeks with a 1-7 record. Yup, 1-7, that involved SEVEN straight losses.

Somehow though, something clicked, and the team has now ripped off 6 straight wins to even their record. This is thanks to much-improved QB play and defense.

They are creeping up in the AFC East, and the AFC playoff picture. They will look to keep rolling on Monday Night when they play the New Orleans Saints.

14. Tennessee Titans 9-5 (Last Week – 13)

Ryan Tannehill needs Derrick Henry badly. The veteran QB has struggled mightily since losing his stud RB, and week 15 showed just that once again.

The team lost on coming up short on a 4th down conversion, that was not even close.

They need to pick it up as they are quickly losing ground on the AFC South. They look to bounce back when they host the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football.

13. Baltimore Ravens 8-6 (Last Week- 10)

Baltimore turned to backup QB, Tyler Huntley who threw 4 TD’s in a tough loss to Green Bay.

Now it is not the end of the world with this loss, but it is a tough one to swallow as John Harbaugh decided to go for a 2 point conversion for the second time in three weeks to try to win the game. (Both were unsuccessful)

So, because of that, they fall in the NFL Power Rankings this week. With the hope that Lamar Jackson returns in Week 16, they get set for a MASSIVE divisional bout with the Cincinnati Bengals.

12. Cincinnati Bengals 8-6 (Last Week – 14)

Bengals knocked off the Denver Broncos Sunday afternoon in what was seen as a must-win game for the young team, as the win put them in first in the AFC North.

This is where it gets fun, heading into Week 16, they get set to face the Baltimore Ravens, the team they lead by a game in the AFC North, a pivotal matchup is an understatement, this could be a doozy of a game to watch.

11. Indianapolis Colts 8-6 (Last Week- 12)

Indy is making a statement for the playoffs, and they started it with a convincing win over a red-hot New England Patriots team. All this while being carried by superstar RB, Jonathan Taylor.

In fact, the win keeps them in the race for the AFC South, which is currently led by the Tennessee Titans.

They have a tough matchup coming up as they head to the Desert on Christmas to face the Arizona Cardinals.

10. San Francisco 49ers 8-6 (Last Week – 11)

San Fran is getting hot at the right time, as the team rolls into Week 16 with an 8-6 record, all while cracking the top 10 of the NFL Power Rankings.

Jimmy G has been looking as good as ever, George Kittle has decided to go sicko mode and just absolutely go off. All of this is happening while we watch Deebo Samuel literally turn into a hybrid pass-catcher/rusher.

What this team is doing is something special, and they look to keep it going as they head into Music City to take on the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football.

9. Los Angeles Chargers 8-6 (Last Week – 8)

Los Angeles took the Chiefs down to the wire on Thursday Night Football but just could not get the job done. That being said, this team is still potent as hell offensively.

They will be fine and will look to bounce back in week 16 when they face the Houston Texans.

8. Buffalo Bills 8-6 (Last Week – 9)

Buffalo got back on track with a nice win against Carolina on Sunday. They still sit a game behind New England for the AFC East lead. Now the question is, can they keep it going?

It does not get any easier as they head to face New England on Sunday.

7. New England Patriots 9-5 (Last Week- 4)

New England took a humbling loss in Week 15

It was not the best performance of the season for the young Patriots, rookie QB Mac Jones and the offense could not get anything going until it was too late, and a comeback fell short.

So, a humbling loss for sure, a loss they must now put behind them as they get set for a MASSIVE division showdown with the Buffalo Bills in Foxboro next Sunday afternoon.

 6. Arizona Cardinals 10-4 (Last Week – 3)

Arizona took a rare loss on Sunday, that loss came at the hands of the win Lions. It is never a good thing when you are on the wrong end of the score against a team like the Lions, yet, here we are.

A team that was on pace to take out the NFC West and the NFC as a whole, is now in a downward spiral. As the race for the NFC West and NFC has now become WIDE OPEN, and if the Cardinals are not careful, they could see themselves on the outside looking in at the end of the season.

They will look to bounce back when they face the Colts for a Christmas day showdown.

5.  Dallas Cowboys 10-4 (Last Week – 5)

Dallas got back on track with a win against the Giants. Although their offense seems to still be sputtering, something to keep an eye on going forward heading into Week 16.

They head to Sunday Night Football for a matchup with the Washington Football Team.

4. Kansas City Chiefs 10-4 (Last Week – 7)

Kansas City is ROLLING… Getting their 7th straight win Thursday night against the Chargers, and they do not seem to too be slowing down anytime soon.

The team currently sits atop the AFC at 10-4 heading into a Week 16 matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-4 (Last Week – 2)

It was a rare bad loss for Tom Brady. The bigger blow came in injuries, as the team lost Chris Godwin for the year to a torn ACL, while also losing Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette for the foreseeable future.

The good news is, their last three games on their schedule are favorable, and all they need is one win to clinch the NFC South.

They get a chance to do that Sunday when they face the Carolina Panthers.

2. Los Angeles Rams 10-4 (Last Week – 6)

Vaulting up in the Week 16 NFL Power Rankings after a nifty win over their division rival, Seattle Seahawks.

After getting their game moved due to a massive COVID outbreak, so they instead played on Tuesday Night. They were able to get some big named defensive players back and dominate the Seattle Seahawks.

They are now tied for the NFC West lead. Next Up,  the Vikings in Week 16.

1. Green Bay Packers 11-3 (Last Week – 1)-

The Packers have started to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. A big win over the Ravens in Baltimore Sunday moved the Packers to 11-3 on the season, a full game ahead of the next best team. Rodgers has the offense humming and moving right along, while the defense keeps coming up big.

They are now NFC North Champs once again because of it…

They will look to keep it going on Christmas as they get set to host the Browns, Christmas Afternoon.

Wrapping up the Week 16 NFL Power Rankings

The NFL as a whole is still a wide-open race, and as we come down the home stretch, and wins are going to be more crucial than ever.

It will make for a fun stretch run for sure! So, with that being said, enjoy your time with your families this Christmas and enjoy some football!!

Merry Christmas Everybody!!

Photo Courtesy of NBC Sports

-Jeff Hoak (@jeffhoak1)

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