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My 2015 NFL Power Rankings Week 16

Updated on December 29, 2015

NFL Power Ranks

With one week left in the regular season there is still some playoff jockeying to be done. The NFC has their six teams though the North division will be decided in a winner-take-all showdown Sunday between the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers. The AFC South hasn't crowned a champion yet either with both the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans still alive. There is also the second wild card in the AFC which looks like it will belong to the New York Jets, however, the Pittsburgh Steelers aren't out just yet. If you thought there wasn't anything left to play for in Week 17 you were wrong.

1. Arizona Cardinals (13-2) ~ After a dominating beatdown victory over the Packers the Arizona Cardinals have claimed the top spot in the rankings for the first time this season. This team looks to me like the best in the league from top to bottom and they still have a shot at the overall number one seed in the NFC. (Last Week's Ranking 2)

2. Carolina Panthers (14-1) ~ And there it is. The 72' Dolphins popped their champagne bottles just a few days before New Year's Eve. They will remain the only team to complete an undefeated season (including playoffs) after Carolina fell to division rival Atlanta on Sunday. (LWR 1)

3. New England Patriots (12-3) ~ First, New England took a knee to send the game to overtime rather than take a shot late to win it. Then they won the toss and elected to kick rather than receive. Last, they let the Jets march down the field for a game-winning touchdown. Maybe next time you receive the ball in overtime and give someone named Tom Brady a chance to win you the game. Just sayin'. (LWR 3)

4. Cincinnati Bengals (11-4) ~ At the beginning of the season Andy Dalton vs Peyton Manning in late December looked like one hell of a matchup. Instead the country was treated to AJ McCarron vs Brock Osweiler with the latter coming up with the victory in what was still a fine game to watch. (LWR 4)

5. Denver Broncos (11-4) ~ Brandon McManus entered Monday night's game 19-for-19 on field goals under 45 yards at home. Naturally he missed one at the end of regulation that would have won the game but he did come through in overtime to clinch a playoff berth for Denver and keep them in the driver's seat for the division title. (LWR 8)

6. Kansas City Chiefs (10-5) ~ After starting the season 1-5 the Chiefs have defied all odds by not losing another game and clinching a playoff berth. They are just the second team in league history to make it to the postseason after a 1-5 start. (LWR 9)

7. Seattle Seahawks (9-6) ~ Russell Wilson's hot streak came to a halt at the hands of a familiar foe. He finished with two touchdowns and one interception after throwing for 19 and zero over his last four games. (LWR 5)

8. New York Jets (10-5) ~ It was the Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker show as the dynamic receiving tandem combined for all three touchdowns in the Jets victory over New England that pushed them to the brink of a playoff berth. If they win, they are in. Simple as that. (LWR 10)

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6) ~ That one hurts. A hiccup in Baltimore may have cost the Steelers a shot at the playoffs as their high-flying offense was held under 30 points for the first time since November 1st. Now they need a win and some help to get in. (LWR 6)

10. Minnesota Vikings (10-5) ~ Their drubbing of the visiting New York Giants paired with Green Bay's blowout loss sets up the winner-take-all on Sunday at Lambeau Field. Get your popcorn ready. Should be a hell of a game. (LWR 11)

11. Green Bay Packers (10-5) ~ The offensive line couldn't protect Aaron Rodgers and he couldn't hold onto the ball as he was repeatedly flung to the ground in Arizona. After starting the season 6-0 the Packers are just 4-5 and need a win to have a home playoff game. (LWR 7)

12. Washington Redskins (8-7) ~ Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins are your 2015 NFC East Champions. You like that? Just let it sink in for a minute. (LWR 12)

13. Houston Texans (8-7) ~ A win clinches the AFC South for the Texans but their quarterback carousel continues to spin. Dallas castoff Brandon Weeden will get the start on Sunday with a chance to lead his team to the playoffs. That's something I never thought I'd write in my lifetime. (LWR 13)

14. Oakland Raiders (7-8) ~ It seems like so long ago that the Raiders played a game (it was on Christmas Eve) but with a win on Sunday they will finish the season at .500 for the first time since 2011. (LWR 15)

15. Indianapolis Colts (7-8) ~ Odds are the Colts season will come to an end on Sunday. Will it also signal the end of head coach Chuck Pagano who is only a year removed from having his team in the AFC Championship Game? (LWR 18)

16. Atlanta Falcons (8-7) ~ While the season didn't turn out how they had hoped after their hot start I can guarantee they will take pleasure in the fact that they were the ones who ended Carolina's run at perfection. (LWR 19)

17. Buffalo Bills (7-8) ~ I truly believe there is one happy running back in Buffalo today who is just laughing and laughing about the news out of Philadelphia. Here's looking at you Shady. (LWR 20)

18. Philadelphia Eagles (6-9) ~ The Chip Kelly era in Philly is over. The head coach was fired today after nearly three years on the job. If only it were that easy to get back some of the marquee players he let go during his tenure...(LWR 14)

19. Detroit Lions (6-9) ~ Head coach Jim Caldwell has been on the hot seat all season after reaching the midway point at 1-7. Since then, though, Detroit is 5-2 and has resembled the team that went to the playoffs last year. I'm betting he sticks around. (LWR 21)

20. New York Giants (6-9) ~ Odell Beckham Jr. couldn't suit up for this one but I'm not sure it would have mattered. Minnesota was a missed extra point away from putting up a 50-spot on New York. Ryan Nassib through his first career touchdown in mop up duty of Eli Manning. (LWR 16)

21. Chicago Bears (6-9) ~ A Chicago running back found the end zone twice in Sunday's win making fantasy owners very happy. Wait. What's that? It was Ka'Deem Carey that scored those? Oh. That's right. John Fox doesn't care about your fantasy team. (LWR 22)

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-9) ~ In a game in which many people thought Doug Martin would be able to pad his chances at the rushing title the muscle hamster didn't crack 50 yards on the ground and coughed it up twice. (LWR 17)

23. New Orleans Saints (6-9) ~ Last week I brought up Drew Brees' plantar fascia and wondered if it would relegate the star quarterback to the bench for the rest of the season. His 412 yards passing and three touchdowns Sunday made me eat those words. Sorry Drew. (LWR 25)

24. St. Louis Rams (7-8) ~ They still don't have a quarterback but they had Todd Gurley and just enough defense to get a win in Seattle for the first time in a decade. That completes the season sweep of the two-time defending NFC Champions. (LWR 26)

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10) ~ Allen Robinson leads the NFL with 14 touchdown catches. No Jacksonville Jaguar has ever led the NFL in touchdowns. Another one this week will help the former Penn State Nittany Lion in his quest to do just that. (LWR 24)

26. Miami Dolphins (5-10) ~ For the second time this season I played Ryan Tannehill in Draft Kings. For the second time this season I was overwhelmingly disappointed. Word on the street is I'm not alone in thinking that as a teammates significant other said the quarterback "stinks." Eesh. (LWR 23)

27. Baltimore Ravens (5-10) ~ Last week I called for the upset and on Sunday the Ravens delivered. While this season has not come close to what they were hoping for, sweeping the Steelers and potentially keeping them out of the playoffs is a small consolation prize. (LWR 29)

28. San Diego Chargers (4-11) ~ San Diego's four wins have come against the Lions, Jaguars, Browns and Dolphins. Not exactly murderer's row. (LWR 27)

29. Dallas Cowboys (4-11) ~ In a year in which the NFC East was such a disaster, one has to wonder what Dallas could have done if Tony Romo had stayed healthy. The Boys went 1-10 without their star. (LWR 28)

30. Cleveland Browns (3-12) ~ Johnny Manziel had nearly as many yards rushing (108) as he did through the air (136). That may have worked in College Station but it doesn't usually translate well to the NFL. (LWR 30)

31. San Francisco 49ers (4-11) ~ Blaine Gabbert is just 2-5 since taking over for Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers have scored more than 20 points just once in that stretch. (LWR 31)

32. Tennessee Titans (3-12) ~ A year after taking Marcus Mariota with the number two overall pick the Titans are right back where they were a year ago. They can still get the top pick so there's something to shoot for. (LWR 32)

Questions? Comments? Please feel free to leave them below in the comments. Good or bad. Either way is fine by me. Want to bug me on Twitter? Give me a follow @therichwhiteguy.


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