NFL Power Rankings Week 16

Jim Rogash

New Power Rankings for this last week of NFL action.

It's always a bit weird to place the 49ers when doing these posts. It can be really hard to rank them just because of the tension between being a homer and being objective. But, after this last game, I have to rank them as number one. No question.

On to the rankings!

1) San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1)

2) Denver Broncos (11-3)

3) New England Patriots (10-4)

4) Houston Texans (12-2)

5) Green Bay Packers (10-4)

The Packers clinched the NFC North again with a big win over the Bears. I was a bit ready, I'll be honest, to write off the Packers a few weeks ago when they ran into a string of pretty nasty injuries. But, they have withstood those injuries, and now that they have, they are swinging away. It's easy to win when Aaron Rodgers goes 23/36 for 291 yards and 3 TDs, but give some props to the Green Bay defense, which forced Cutler and company into some uncomfortable positions. I think these guys can be good this post-season.

6) Atlanta Falcons (12-2)

7) Seattle Seahawks (9-5)

8) Chicago Bears (8-6)

9) Washington Redskins (8-6)

10) New York Giants (8-6)

As tempted as I am to trash the Giants after their weak game against the Falcons, I want to talk about something else briefly. Victor Cruz visited Newton, Connecticut after learning that Jack Pinto, one of the 20 children who lost their lives, was a fan of his. He spent time with Jack's family, bringing - I hope - a message of solidarity to the family and the community. After Friday's tragedy, we all want to comfort the families of Newton as much as possible. I'm glad that somebody like Cruz was able to serve as an ambassador to the community for the rest of us sports fans. It is only fitting that Jack was buried in Giants jersey. He, and the other 27 who died on Friday, will be in my prayers.

11) Indianapolis Colts (9-5)

12) Baltimore Ravens (9-5)

13) Minnesota Vikings (8-6)

14) Dallas Cowboys (8-6)

15) Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7)

16) New Orleans Saints (6-8)

26/39 with 307 yards and 4 TDs. 14 carries for 90 yards (6.4 avg.) and 1 TD. Those are the lines for Drew Brees and Mark Ingram. What a day. This team can be pretty bad. And, now that they lack the draft picks most teams need to win, I think that they will continue to struggle. But, you have to wonder, how long until this team comes back? How long? With a player of Brees' caliber, they always have a shot. Always. This year, though, the coaching staff was in disarray. But next year? I'm not so sure they don't make a play for the wildcard.

17) Cincinnati Bengals (8-6)

18) St. Louis Rams (6-7-1)

19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8)

20) Miami Dolphins (6-8)

21) Carolina Panthers (5-9)

22) San Diego Chargers (5-9)

23) Detroit Lions (4-10)

24) New York Jets (6-8)

25) Tennessee Titans (5-9)

26) Buffalo Bills (5-9)

27) Oakland Raiders (4-10)

The Raiders are also another team that lacks the necessary draft picks for improvement. The obviously bad Carson Palmer trade is still being obviously bad. What's a bit odd, though, is the fact that this team actually has some good talent on it. But, without an offensive line that can, you know, block it won't get any better. The potential of this team is just too distant. And, without the aforementioned draft picks, I don't know how the Raiders take the next step.

28) Arizona Cardinals (5-9)

29) Philadelphia Eagles (4-10)

30) Cleveland Browns (5-9)

31) Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12)

32) Kansas City Chiefs (2-12)

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