2017 NFL Week 16 Power Rankings

New England beat Pittsburgh. That’s what’s sent the Patriots to number one over the Steelers in my NFL Week 16 Power Rankings. The Steelers are now ranked second on the rankings. The Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, and L.A. Rams make up the rest of the Top 5. Check it out!

2017 NFL Week 16 Power Rankings

1. New England Patriots (11-3)

In Week 15, the Patriots held on to a 27 to 24 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Pats didn’t play better than the Steelers. The football just bounced their way more than it bounced the Steelers’ way.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3)

Pitt may have lost the best wide receiver in the NFL, Antonio Brown, in the loss to the Patriots for the rest of this season as well as the playoffs. Brown tore a calf muscle. Now, it’s even more important that disgruntled WR Martavis Bryant steps it up for Steel Town.

3. Philadelphia Eagles (12-2)

Nick Foles threw 4 TD passes against the Giants’ terrible defense. I’m not sure Foles can repeat those heroics in the playoffs. Philly’s defense was horrific, FYI. It allowed Eli Manning to throw for over 400 yards and 3 TD passes.

4. Minnesota Vikings (11-3)

The Vikings got somewhat of a breather in Week 15. All Minnesota had to do was put a beat down on the Cincinnati Bengals, a team whose coach is leaving after this season to pursue “other opportunities”. Still, the way Case Keenum is playing signals that Minny could be a force to reckon with in the playoffs.

5. Los Angeles Rams (10-4)

At first glance, the Rams look like world beaters. How else to explain the 42 to 7 win over the Seattle Seahawks? However, it’s apparent that the Rams leaned on RB Todd Gurley II in the win. QB Jared Goff is going to have to step it up at least once during the playoffs. We won’t know if he can until he does it.

6. New Orleans Saints (10-4)

New Orleans appeared to lackadaisically battle the New York Jets in their 31 to 19 win. There’s a reason why. The Saints take on the hated Atlanta Falcons in the Superdome this Sunday. We know New Orleans’ attention was already on the Falcons.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars (10-4)

Sure, Jacksonville was supposed to dominate Houston. One thing to notice about the win, though, is that QB Blake Bortles is suddenly on fire. That should make Jags fans giddy with excitement.

8. Carolina Panthers (10-4)

The Panthers offense was great versus Green Bay. Carolina’s defense? Not so much. They intercepted Aaron Rodgers 3 times. Still, Carolina gave up 24 points. That was the fourth game in a row where Carolina’s D allowed 20 points or more.

9. Baltimore Ravens (8-6)

Baltimore appeared to be out of sorts versus Cleveland until the Browns took a 10 to 3 lead. That’s when the Ravens remembered they were battling the Cleveland Browns, a team they routinely bury. Baltimore could be a tough wildcard opponent in the AFC Playoffs.

10. Dallas Cowboys (8-6)

Dallas needed a ton of luck to escape Oakland with the win. The Cowboys playoff hopes are sort of in their own hands. They can beat Seattle in Week 16. There’s also a possibility Atlanta loses its final 2 games.

11. Seattle Seahawks (8-6)

I, like Pete Carroll, have no real explanation for how the Seahawks allowed the Rams to rush for over 250 yards. Seattle’s issues were supposed to be in it’s secondary, not in it’s front seven. The loss to the Rams seriously dampened Seattle’s hopes of making it to the postseason.

12. Atlanta Falcons (9-5)

Atlanta’s 24 to 21 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Monday night didn’t impress me that much. Like the Saints, though, Atlanta could have been pondering how to handle their main rival in the NFC South in Week 16. The Falcons have a tough road ahead. After the Saints, they battle Carolina in Week 17.

13. Kansas City Chiefs (8-6)

The Chiefs have stepped it up big time in their last 2 games. The focus makes sense. KC battled the Raiders in Week 14. In Week 15, they took on the Chargers. If Kansas City can maintain that type of focus, should they make the playoffs, they’ll have a shot to get to the Super Bowl.

14. Detroit Lions (8-6)

Detroit keeps hanging around. The Lions have the easiest path to an NFC Wildcard berth. They should beat Cincinnati in Week 16. In Week 17, they face Green Bay at home. There’s a question if Aaron Rodgers even plays in that game.

15. Buffalo Bills (8-6)

The way Buffalo actually handled the Miami Dolphins impressed me. The Bills beat the Dolphins 24 to 16. Buffalo picked off Jay Cutler 3 times while Tyrod Taylor didn’t throw a pick. The watershed moment is this Sunday. Can the Bills upset the mighty New England Patriots? We shall see.

16. Los Angeles Chargers (7-7)

What a disappointment.  The L.A. Chargers took a 13 to 10 lead over Kansas City early in the third quarter only to lose 13 to 30. The Chargers have the pieces to be one of the better teams in the NFL. I’m not sure what’s keeping them back.

17. Green Bay Packers (7-7)

Aaron Rodgers almost rallied the Packers to at least a tie against the Carolina Panthers in Week 15. Green Bay fell just short.  That pretty much ended Green Bay’s hopes at playing in the postseason.

18. Tennessee Titans (8-6)

For the second week in a row, the Titans lost to what many NFL fans considered an inferior team. Tennessee dropped a game to the San Francisco 49’ers in Week 15. There’s a good chance Tennessee finishes at 8 and 8. That’s vastly different than 8 and 4, which they were only 3 weeks ago.

19. Miami Dolphins (6-8)

If not for Cutler’s 3 interceptions, the Miami Dolphins might have upset the Buffalo Bills. Miami has a starting running back, though. Kenyan Drake is for real.

20. Oakland Raiders (6-8)

That was pitiful. Oakland isn’t close to resembling the team that made it to the playoffs last season. I think I know what’s wrong. Everyone talks about Marshawn Lynch’s passion. Hey, I get it. But, maybe, this isn’t the right team for Marshawn’s type of passion. I mean, there’s no reason to get into the face of the refs after they make the right call.

21. Cincinnati Bengals (5-9)

Cincinnati’s thinking two, maybe, three years down the road. The Bengals packed it in before stepping onto the field in Minnesota. This team needs a lot of work. Now that coach Marv Lewis is leaving, that work might finally begin.

22. New York Jets (5-9)

It’s obvious to me that QB Bryce Petty is the Jets’ best answer at the position. Petty made a lot of mistakes versus the Saints, don’t get me wrong. But, he also made some nice throws. Also, the Jets’ defense has gotten much better.

23. Washington Redskins (6-8)

Washington beat Arizona 20 to 15 in a meaningless game. What, exactly, is Washington doing? What has this season been all about? Why start Kirk Cousins at QB and waste an entire season because he’s taking off at the end of it? I don’t get this franchise.

24. Arizona Cardinals (6-8)

I have more respect for Arizona. The Cardinals will find a starting quarterback this off season. Once that happens, and once they get David Johnson back at running back, AZ should be competitive again.

25. Chicago Bears (4-10)

A week after pummeling Cincinnati 33 to 7, the Bears laid an egg at home against Detroit. I’m  not sure if Chicago is going to fire John Fox. At this point, I wouldn’t. It’s obvious that the Bears have decided rookie QB Mitch Trubisky must get on the job training. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

26. Denver Broncos (5-9)

Denver QB Brock Osweiler went into the game after Trevor Siemian got hurt. Osweiler opened it up for the Broncos after leading Denver to 15 points in the third quarter. All that means is that Denver’s QB situation is even more complicated.

27. San Francisco 49’ers (4-10)

The 49’ers won their third straight. Think about that. San Francisco now has the same record as the Houston Texans and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. SF is on the right path, that’s for sure.

28. Houston Texans (4-10)

Jacksonville’s defense absolutely dominated the Houston Texans. For the past few years, the Texans have been able to rely on their defense to keep them in games. Not anymore. In the 7 to 45 loss to the Jaguars, Houston’s D made Blake Bortles look like Peyton Manning.

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9)

Tampa’s front office must really question some of the decisions the organization has made in the past few seasons. Coach Dirk Koetter doesn’t know how to get the best out of Tampa’s seemingly talented roster. Jameis Winston took a huge step back in 2017. Wow.

30. Indianapolis Colts (3-11)

The Colts are the AFC’s version of the Washington Redskins. Seriously? You make a trade for Jacoby Brissett because what? You really think you have a shot this season? What do you do now? Andrew Luck is coming back. Do you just unload Brissett?

31. New York Giants (2-12)

The Giants have become one of the most humorous teams in the NFL. No, seriously. They’re straight up comedy. I mean, a day where Eli dominates the Eagles defense, and what happens? The Giants defense lies down to a back-up QB in Nick Foles. Like I already wrote. Straight up comedy.

32. Cleveland Browns (0-14)

The Browns final shot to win a game this season happens in NFL Week 16. Can Cleveland beat Chicago? If they can’t, they definitely won’t beat Pittsburgh in Week 17.

What do you think?

Written by D.S. Williamson