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Week 16 NFL power rankings: Ready for 49ers-Rams to decide some awfulness

We break down the top and bottom of the NFL in our Week 16 power rankings. There are some changes, but the top few and bottom few remain bunched together.

The NFL wrapped up Week 15 with the Carolina Panthers handing Washington a big defeat. Washington dropped to 7-6-1 and find themselves needing Green Bay and Tampa Bay to both lost. The Panthers have struggled at times but might be putting things together, albeit probably a little too late to make the playoffs. But with games at home against the Falcons and on the road against the Bucs, they could shake things up in the NFC South. And with that, I am back with my Week 15 NFL power rankings.

The bottom four of my power rankings remain the same. Cleveland, San Francisco, Jacksonville, and Los Angeles all lost and showed nothing to suggest they deserve to be higher. Chicago lost as well, but a close loss and near upset of Green Bay gives them a little bump in my book.

This week, we get a matchup between the 49ers and Rams in a battle near the bottom of the power rankings. A tie is always possible, but if one of them does win, I’m not entirely sure I actually will need to move them up in the power rankings. I suppose it depends on how much one of them wins by, and how the other teams around them do. But I don’t anticipate much in the way of a shake-up.

On the top of the power rankings, the Patriots and Cowboys remain No. 1 and No. 2. The Chiefs get dropped with their upset loss to the Titans. I bumped the Raiders up to No. 3 and the Giants up to No. 4. New York is a tough team to figure out, but that win over the Lions is a big one for them. I keep thinking, well, who have they beaten, but they swept the Cowboys and added the Lions to their win total. They’re quietly better than I expected.

Here are my full Week 16 NFL power rankings.

Rank Team LW
1 New England Patriots (12-2) 1
2 Dallas Cowboys (12-2) 2
3 Oakland Raiders (11-3) 4
4 New York Giants (10-4) 7
5 Kansas City Chiefs (10-4) 3
6 Seattle Seahawks (9-4-1) 6
7 Atlanta Falcons (9-5) 8
8 Detroit Lions (9-5) 5
9 Green Bay Packers (8-6) 9
10 Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5) 13
11 Miami Dolphins (9-5) 14
12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-6) 10
13 Baltimore Ravens (8-6) 15
14 Denver Broncos (8-6) 11
15 Tennessee Titans (8-6) 18
16 Houston Texans (8-6) 17
17 Washington (7-6-1) 12
18 Indianapolis Colts (7-7) 20
19 Carolina Panthers (6-8) 21
20 Buffalo Bills (7-7) 19
21 Minnesota Vikings (7-7) 16
22 New Orleans Saints (6-8) 25
23 Arizona Cardinals (5-8-1) 22
24 San Diego Chargers (5-9) 23
25 Cincinnati Bengals (5-8-1) 24
26 Philadelphia Eagles (5-9) 26
27 Chicago Bears (3-11) 28
28 New York Jets (4-10) 27
29 Los Angeles Rams (4-10) 29
30 Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12) 30
31 San Francisco 49ers (1-13) 31
32 Cleveland Browns (0-14) 32