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2017 NFL power rankings: Week 16 edition

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The 49ers get a W to start the final quarter of the 2017 season.

Tennessee Titans v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

Week 15 is officially a wrap in the NFL, and the penultimate week of the 2017 NFL season is upon us.

We’re back with Week 16 NFL power rankings as the San Francisco 49ers continue their sudden winning ways. The 49ers beat the Tennessee Titans 25-23 on a last-second Robbie Gould field goal to improve to 4-10 on the season. This was the team’s fourth win in five games, and their third straight win with Jimmy Garoppolo in the starting lineup. After getting wins against bad teams like the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans, Tennessee marked the start of a three-game step up in opposing talent.

I am not entirely sure where to place the 49ers at this point. I gave them a big bump, but I’m open to ideas. The 49ers are much better with Jimmy Garoppolo starting, but how exactly do you sort them out compared to the rest of the league?

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a chance to secure home field advantage through the AFC playoffs, but bizarro calls and a variety of shenanigans cost them a wild one against the New England Patriots. The Patriots now hold the head-to-head tiebreaker, putting them in the drivers’ seat for home field.

I have the New England Patriots ranked No. 1 in my power rankings, but most of that top eight is going to be intriguing come playoff time. The Patriots and Eagles top the AFC and NFC, but both have notable flaws. The Patriots defense is improving, but is still a bit inconsistent. The Eagles lost Carson Wentz for the season, and while Nick Foles looked good against the Giants, I don’t know expect him to hold it up consistently into the playoffs.

With two weeks remaining, if I could have any Super Bowl matchup, it might be the Los Angeles Rams against the New England Patriots. I’d be plenty fine not seeing the Patriots in the Super Bowl, but there would be a sort of old guard vs. new guard mentality to the matchup. And given the Patriots high octane offense vs. the Rams strong defense, and Tom Brady vs. Jared Goff, it could be a fun one.

Here’s what our Week 16 power rankings look like.

NFL power rankings, Week 16

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