NFL Power Rankings Week 16: Where Every Team Stands Before Final Week

Pete Schauer@@Pete_SchauerCorrespondent IDecember 24, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 23:  (L-R) Marshawn Lynch #24 and Doug Baldwin #89 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrate after Lynch scored a 9-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Qwest Field on December 23, 2012 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

A portion of the NFL playoff picture was formed in Week 16 of the 2012 NFL season.

The power rankings will be flying after a wild week of action that saw a handful of squads assure themselves of playoff opportunities come January.

So where does your favorite team rank after this weekend?

Here are your Week 16 power rankings.


1. Denver Broncos (12-3)

Make it 10 straight for Peyton Manning and the Broncos, as they rolled the Cleveland Browns in Week 16 and continue their assault on the AFC playoff seeding.

Denver currently owns the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the postseason and has a great opportunity to end the season on a 12-game win streak, playing the Chiefs in Week 17.


2. New England Patriots (11-4)

Jacksonville kept it close with the Patriots in Week 16, but as Tom Brady usually does, he found a way to get the win for New England.

The Patriots have won eight out of their last nine and actually have a rushing game to complement Brady.

Still hungry for a first-round bye, New England will come out firing against the Dolphins in Week 17.

3. Seattle Seahawks (10-5)

Sunday night was extremely convincing, as the Seahawks put a smackdown on the San Francisco 49ers at home.

After a 42-13 drubbing of San Francisco, Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and the rest of the Seahawks' offense are surging right now.

We all know getting to the Super Bowl is about getting hot at the right time and Seattle is certainly on fire right now.

A win combined with a 49ers loss would see the Seahawks win the NFC West.

4. San Francisco 49ers (10-4-1)

Even though San Francisco was dismantled by Seattle on Sunday Night Football, you can't take away what the 49ers have done this season.

The Niners were without defensive stud Justin Smith, which undoubtedly had an impact on San Francisco's defensive line.

As long as the 49ers win in Week 17 against the Arizona Cardinals, they'll clinch the division and should still be regarded as an enormous threat in the NFC.

5. Atlanta Falcons (13-2)

Matt Ryan & Co. had a huge night against the Detroit Lions on Saturday night.

But that was against the Detroit Lions.

Nonetheless, Atlanta is the only team in the NFL that has clinched a first-round bye and home-field advantage through the playoffs.

A win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 17 would send the Falcons rolling into the postseason.

6. Houston Texans (12-3)

Houston wasn't at its best on Sunday, losing to the Vikings 23-6, and in the process, failed to clinch home-field advantage and a first-round bye.

The Texans' offense looked anemic against Minnesota's stout defense, but a win in Week 17 against the Colts will assure Houston of a bye and home field through the postseason.

7. Green Bay Packers (11-4)

After a slow start to the season, the NFC North champion Packers have won nine out of 10 and are seeing Aaron Rodgers return to MVP form.

Green Bay's 55-7 dismantling of the Titans in Week 16 has the Pack primed for another Super Bowl run.

A win in Week 17 over the Vikings will clinch a first-round bye for Rodgers and Green Bay.

8. Baltimore Ravens (10-5)

I'm not sure if it was the Ravens' dominance or the Giants' lack of urgency, but nonetheless, Baltimore clinched the AFC North and looked darn good doing it against the Giants.

Joe Flacco and Baltimore's rushing game were incredible against what's normally a decent Big Blue defense.

The Ravens kept New York under 200 total yards of offense and that's without Ray Lewis.


9. Cincinnati Bengals (9-6)

For the first time in his career, Andy Dalton led his Bengals to a win over the Steelers, clinching an AFC wild-card spot in the process.

Dalton didn't play particularly well, but then again, neither did any member of Cincinnati's offense.

The Bengals' offensive line has to worry some, as Dalton is the third-most sacked QB in the league.

Cincinnati's defense is playing extremely well right now, and if it can carry that effort into the playoffs it could make some noise.

10. Indianapolis Colts (10-5)

The Colts were tested on Sunday against the Chiefs, but like they've done all season, Indianapolis prevailed.

Indy believes in Andrew Luck and what the organization is doing, as the Colts have clinched an AFC wild-card spot.


11. Washington Redskins (9-6)

The Redskins continue to roll toward an NFC East title and you've got to like their chances.

Robert Griffin III is one of the most difficult QBs to contain and Alfred Morris is running the football just as good as anyone (except Adrian Peterson) in the NFL.

A win against the Cowboys in Week 17 clinches the division and propels Washington into the playoffs.

12. Chicago Bears (9-6)

Chicago isn't in the playoffs just yet, but a win over the Cardinals in Week 16 certainly helped its chances.

If Minnesota loses to the Packers next weekend and Chicago takes care of business against the Lions, the Bears can sneak into the playoffs.

Jay Cutler still has a lot to prove and he'll have that opportunity in Week 17. 

13. Minnesota Vikings (9-6)

Even without Adrian Peterson rushing for an ungodly number of yards and scoring touchdowns at will, the Vikings were able to keep the Houston Texans from clinching a first-round bye and kept their playoff hopes alive.

Minnesota held the Texans' offense to just 187 yards and saw Christian Ponder play a clean game to keep the Vikings in the playoff seeding.

14. Dallas Cowboys (8-7)

The Cowboys' overtime loss to New Orleans in Week 16 proves that not much has changed in Dallas.

Before each season, the hopes are high for the 'Boys, but they always find a way to screw it up.

The Cowboys need a win and a few losses by fellow NFC teams to make it to the playoffs and it's not looking too pretty for Dallas.

15. New York Giants (8-7)

New York has been absent the past two weeks and now needs help in order to clinch a playoff spot in the NFC.

It's baffling to think a team with as much firepower on offense and talent on defense can lay down two weeks in a row.

It's an extremely disappointing season for the G-Men.

16. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8)

Having lost five out of their last six games, the Steelers are certainly reeling.

They couldn't muster more than 10 points against the Bengals and have been ousted from playoff contention.

Injuries killed this franchise this season, but you can fully expect Pittsburgh to return to old form next season.

17. New Orleans Saints (7-8)

New Orleans finally played like the team fans are accustomed to seeing.

Drew Brees threw for 446 yards and three scores while Darren Sproles was his usual elusive self and Marques Colston led the Saints in receiving.

Of course, New Orleans' defense is atrocious, but its offense looked like the old norm in Week 16.

18. Miami Dolphins (7-8)

Miami had no problem beating the Bills in Week 16, as Reggie Bush scored three touchdowns and the Dolphins' defense forced four turnovers.

The Dolphins should be looking toward the draft to add depth at wide receiver and in their secondary.

19. St. Louis Rams (7-7-1)

The Rams squared off against the worst pass defense in the NFL, but Sam Bradford and the St. Louis offense looked pretty good.

Steven Jackson has a solid day against the NFL's No. 1 rushing defense and the Rams' defense forced five Tampa turnovers.

With a healthy Danny Amendola for an entire season, the Rams could make some noise in the future.

20. San Diego Chargers (6-9)

San Diego notched a win in Week 16, but it was against the Jets.

McKayla Maroney and myself are not impressed.

It's time for the Chargers to axe Norv Turner and begin rebuilding for the future.

21. Carolina Panthers (6-9)

Carolina earned itself another win on Sunday but its a little too late for Cam & Co.

If the Panthers can add another weapon in the passing game for Newton and bolster their defense, they can contend in the NFC South next season.

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-9)

If Tampa had a defense, it could be a legit contender.

Josh Freeman has been on the decline for quite some weeks now, but with weapons like Doug Martin and Vincent Jackson, the Buccaneers could be a solid squad in the future.

Just not this season.

23. New York Jets (6-9)

Another week, another loss for the Jets.

It doesn't matter who's under center for Gang Green, you can't win without defense and a set QB in the NFL.

24. Cleveland Browns (5-10)

The Browns have managed to play most of their opponents tough this season, but that wasn't the case against Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Week 16.

Colt McCoy was pressed into action after Brandon Weeden left with injury and there's also reports that Trent Richardson sustained an injury as well (h/t ESPN).

Cleveland will have a shot at a sixth win next weekend against the Steelers.

25. Arizona Cardinals (5-10)

It's been a rough season for the Cardinals, who after winning their first four games, have won just one since and were dominated by the Bears on Sunday.

Until Arizona can get its quarterback situation under control, times will be tough for the Cards.

26. Buffalo Bills (5-10)

Buffalo lost to division foe Miami in Week 16, allowing three Reggie Bush touchdowns while committing four turnovers.

Ryan Fitzpatrick's inability to take care of the football has really doomed the Bills this season.

27. Tennessee Titans (5-10)

Tennessee lost to the Packers by 38 points in Week 16.

Need I say more?

Jake Locker was terrible. Chris Johnson was terrible. And the Titans' defense was god awful.

28. Detroit Lions (4-11)

Detroit's offense was single-handedly picked apart by Matt Ryan and the Falcons on Saturday night, as Ryan threw for four TDs and sported a 96.7 QBR.

The Lions gained almost 200 more yards than Atlanta but their defense was just atrocious, as it has been for much of the season.

Detroit needs to start thinking about drafting a defender in order to contend next season.

29. Philadelphia Eagles (4-11)

It's another lost season for the Eagles, who were downed by the Redskins despite gaining practically 100 more offensive yards than Washington.

Philadelphia did an excellent job of containing Robert Griffin III on the ground, but it allowed two RGIII passing TDs and a solid day to Alfred Morris.

At this point, Week 17 for the Eagles is a tryout for next season.

30. Oakland Raiders (4-11)

The Raiders were held under 200 yards of total offense on Sunday against the Panthers.

This could have been a different game had Carson Palmer not left early, but nonetheless, it's another loss for Oakland, whose defense has failed it all season.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-13)

Jacksonville gave the Patriots a run for their money today, but turnovers killed the Jags.

Oh, and so did Tom Brady.

Despite out-gaining New England by nearly 100 yards, the Jaguars still weren't able to get a win at home, which has been a problem for the team all season long.

32. Kansas City Chiefs (2-13)

It's the bottom of the barrel for the Chiefs, who lost again on Sunday despite Jamaal Charles rushing for 226 yards and a touchdown.

Let's hope Kansas City is looking quarterback for the upcoming draft.


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