NFL Power Rankings Week 16
See where all teams stand as we head into week 16 of the NFL season with our latest 2020 NFL Power Rankings.
By Mark Ross.
Well, the playoffs are two weeks away and the race gets more and more exciting the closer we get. A playoff powerhouse will not be there this year and a team that have been absent from the playoffs for over 15 years are knocking on the door. Divisions are being secured and the wildcard spots are taking shape, let’s take a look at how the dominoes fall in this week’s power rankings.
32. New York Jets (1-13)
The New York Jets can’t even tank right and for that very fact they deserve to still be bottom of this list. All they had to do was lose three more games and they would have the quarterback to lead their team for the next ten years. Instead, they decided to beat one of the best teams in the league and hand the number one pick to the Jaguars. Well at least they can celebrate a win.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-13)
Not much can be said about this Jacksonville team. After experimenting with quarterbacks, it was back to Gardner Minshew against the Baltimore Ravens. The Jaguars could get nothing going at all and the Ravens dominated this one from the start. It's time for a new quarterback in Jacksonville and luckily for them there are plenty coming out in the draft.
30. Houston Texans (4-10)
In heartbreaking fashion again, the Texans lost to the Indianapolis Colts. Deshaun Watson completed a pass to Keke Coutee for a first down inside the five and then Darius Leonard appeared and knocked the ball out to secure a Colts victory. Houston has a tough task of getting better for 2021 as they have given away their top picks. Deshaun Watson deserves better.
29. Detroit Lions (5-9)
Absolutely dismantled by the strength of the Tennessee Titans. The end of the season can’t come quick enough for the Lions. A season with yet another losing record and an offseason where they need to rebuild again. With plenty of options at the head coach position out there the Detroit Lions need to get it right this time around.
28. Cincinnati Bengals (3-10-1)
Ryan Finley welcomed the eleven-win Pittsburgh Steelers into Cincinnati and handed them a devastating defeat. The season was over a while ago for this Bengals team, but this is a huge morale win for them. With Joe Burrow back next year who knows what this team are capable of.
27. Denver Broncos (5-9)
Outplayed and outclassed by a team that could be playing in Tampa Bay for the Super Bowl. Denver could not keep up with Josh Allen as he ripped them apart. A bright spot for the Broncos was the performance of Melvin Gordon who rushed in two scores. The sooner this injury plagued season comes to an end the better.
26. Carolina Panthers (4-10)
In the second half of their matchup with the Packers at least Carolina managed to make a game of it. They held the Packers to just 46 yards and three points, unfortunately it wasn't enough as they had given up 21 points in the first half. Carolina has missed the presence of Christian McCaffrey and will be eager to get him ready for next season.
25. Atlanta Falcons (4-10)
It happened again; the Atlanta Falcons blew yet another lead. There is officially no other team in history that has blown as many big leads in one season as the 2020 Atlanta Falcons. Despite a big day from Matt Ryan and Calvin Ridley the lack of a run game prevented the Falcons from holding out for a win against their divisional rivals. Another team who can’t wait for the offseason to begin.
24. Los Angeles Chargers (5-9)
Justin Herbert could be the man to dethrone Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Since the team doctor punctured Tyrod Taylors lung Herbert has been on an absolute tear. Other than a big loss to the Patriots he has looked completely in his place in the NFL. Another two games for him to hone his skills in the NFL and get ready for the 2021 season.
23. Philadelphia Eagles (4-9-1)
Jalen Hurts is the new starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles and that should not be questioned. If Doug Pederson had made the switch earlier then the Eagles could have found themselves sitting at the top of the division and in a playoff spot. Instead, they rolled the dice with Carson Wentz and he left the Eagles in a hole that they cannot get out of. Two games to go against the Cowboys and Washington is what stands between the Eagles and the playoffs. Unfortunately, they also need the Giants and Washington to lose their remaining games. In 2020 stranger things have happened.
22. Dallas Cowboys (5-9)
Dallas played one of their best games on the defensive side of the ball as they forced four turnovers. They did still manage to concede 33 points to a beaten-up San Francisco team. Dallas are out of the wildcard hunt but can still win the division with a losing record. A feat that nobody really wants but Dallas would certainly take at this point.
21. Chicago Bears (7-7)
David Montgomery ran all over the Minnesota Vikings as he finished with 146 yards and two scores from 32 attempts. Chicago got back to .500 with their second consecutive victory and somehow are still alive in the playoff hunt. Up next is the tanking Jaguars and then the Green Bay Packers. Chicago have put up 30 points in three straight games and after their rocky patch in the middle of the season they are starting to find some form again. Is it too little too late?
20. San Francisco 49ers (5-9)
San Francisco has battled admirably despite everyone getting injured. It was just too much for the 49ers as they finally bowed out of the playoff hunt. Missing Jimmy Garoppolo, Rob Gronkowski and Deebo Samuel was always going to be an uphill task. In the end costly turnovers ended the 49ers season against a Dallas team that benefited greatly from Nick Mullens having a disastrous day. Big decisions to be made for the San Francisco front office in the offseason.
19. New England Patriots (6-8)
Well, the run is over. New England have failed to make the playoffs for the first time since football began. After all the COVID opt outs and the loss of Tom Brady was anything but this expected? Cam Newton has been terrible, and I don’t imagine he will play another season in New England. A busy offseason is needed if the empire wants to strike back in 2021.
18. New York Giants (5-9)
James Bradberry was missing from the defense in this one and as a result the Giants struggled to slow down the Browns passing attack. A second loss in a row has the Giants a game behind Washington in the race for the division. That being said, anything is possible in this division but with games against the Baltimore Ravens and the Dallas Cowboys it will not be easy for the Giants.
17. Minnesota Vikings (6-8)
Normally when Minnesota loses you can put the blame on Kirk Cousins, not this time. The offense was more than good enough but the defense allowed David Montgomery to run all over them. Despite pulling themselves right back into the playoff race they may have suffered a fatal blow in this one. Two games back with two to go is never a spot that you want to be in.
16. Las Vegas Raiders (7-7)
A devastating loss to the Chargers has just about knocked the Raiders out of the playoff hunt. Two games back with two games to go and an injured quarterback doesn’t bode well for the Raiders’ already slim chances. Jon Gruden could at least be pleased with Darren Waller and Josh Jacobs’ performances as they both piled up the yards. Three losses in the last four has ruined the Raiders chances and they need to look to next year as of now.
15. Washington Football Team (6-8)
Washington still leads the NFC East despite losing to the Seattle Seahawks. With Alex Smith out it was back to Dwayne Haskins to man the ship. Despite having some big mistakes, he finished with 295 passing yards as he got his team back in with a shot. The rookie QB took two sacks on vital downs at the end of the game to all but secure the defeat. If Alex Smith had been in, then who knows what might have happened. Still, Washington is in the lead to be crowned the divisional champions of the worst division in football.
14. Miami Dolphins (9-5)
Even though he was missing Devante Parker, Mike Gesicki and Jakeem Grant, Tua Tagovailoa led his team to beat the New England Patriots and knock them out of the playoffs. In fairness it was the rushing game of Miami that led the Dolphins to a big win. 250 total rushing yards as they ran all over New England. Miami has now won eight of their last ten and find themselves right in the mix for a wildcard spot.
13. Arizona Cardinals (8-6)
Finally, the losing streak of Arizona is over. A three-game skid came to an end as Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins hooked up to complete their domination of the NFC East. Larry Fitzgerald got his first touchdown catch in over a year and Hopkins finished with 169 receiving yards and an incredible catch. If they make it to the playoffs, they will be a very dangerous opponent.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-5)
Tom Brady loves coming from behind against Matt Ryan. After having a terrible offensive first half the Buccaneers came out firing in the second half. 320 passing yards and three touchdowns as Brady led his team to a big win. The Tampa defense hasn’t been as good as earlier in the season, but they still find themselves in a wildcard spot and still in contention for the division title. Tampa will need to continue the second half performance for the rest of the season if they want to win the division.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3)
How did this team get to eleven wins?? The wheels have well and truly fallen off this Pittsburgh team as the playoffs approach. Ben Roethlisberger looks past it; the once sturdy O-Line is leaking and the defense is giving up plays. One positive is the sack record is alive and kicking but other than that there is nothing good happening in Pittsburgh right now.
10. Tennessee Titans (10-4)
Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown are playing incredible football. Ryan Tannehill has put together an MVP season, A.J. Brown continues to make big plays and as for Derrick Henry what else can be said? He gets himself closer to his second rushing title in a row and will become the first player since Ladanian Tomlinson to do that. Tennessee are playing their best football heading into the playoffs.
9. Indianapolis Colts (10-4)
Despite playing the four-win Texans the Indianapolis Colts were held to a one score game. Another defensive stop at the end of the game secured the win in dramatic fashion. Three wins in a row, ten in the last thirteen and the Colts are getting hot at the right time. A much-needed win for the Colts as they keep pace with the Titans in the race for the division.
8. Cleveland Browns (10-4)
The Cleveland Browns not only have a winning season, but they are knocking on the door of a playoff spot. It's about time this franchise finally started getting the rewards for having a loaded roster. Baker Mayfield is playing incredible football and the Browns are hitting their stride at just the right time. This team could be dangerous come January.
7. Baltimore Ravens (9-5)
Baltimore kept their playoff hopes alive with a crushing victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Dominating from start to finish and the Ravens looked back to their best. If the Ravens can continue this form, they should be feared come January. Add into the mix the fact that they have Dez Bryant (who caught his first TD pass in over three years) and this team could still go all the way.
6. Seattle Seahawks (10-4)
A hard-fought game against a tough defense but the Seahawks did just enough to leave with a win and secure a playoff spot. Seattle managed to slow down the Washington pass rush and held them to zero sacks for the day. The running game went off for Seattle in this one as they racked up 181 rushing yards from 26 attempts. More importantly for Seattle the pass defense stepped up and held Washington to very little production. It’s about time their defense got better.
5. Los Angeles Rams (9-5)
After watching Seattle get their tenth win of the season and go top of the division the Rams must have thought that they would be joining them. It wasn’t to be as the New York Jets pulled off the biggest upset of the season. New York were ready to go 0-16 and somehow the Los Angeles Rams managed to lose to a team that wanted to lose. A big blow to their playoff hopes but not a fatal blow – more of an embarrassing blow.
4. Buffalo Bills (11-3)
Josh Allen lit up the Denver Broncos to the tune of 359 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns. The Bills look like a team who could beat anyone you put in front of them, yeah I’m including the Kansas City Chiefs. Stefon Diggs had another huge day as his connection with Allen continues to excel. First division title since 1995 and finally the curse of the New England Patriots is over. Could the Bills add a Super Bowl victory to their division one??
3. New Orleans Saints (10-4)
New Orleans finally get their starting quarterback back from injury just in time for the visit of the reigning Super Bowl champions. Unfortunately, Drew Brees didn’t seem to get the message. Brees started 0-6 for the first time in his career and looked scared of the Chiefs. Despite struggling on offense for the whole game the Saints only lost by three. If these teams do face each other again in February, then who knows what might happen.
2. Green Bay Packers (11-3)
Despite having a lacklustre second half the Green Bay Packers never looked like losing this one. After jumping out to a lead of 21-3 at the half the Packers could afford to ease off in the second half. The division is tied up and now they hunt the number one seed. More performances like the first half and they should have it tied up before too long.
1. Kansas City Chiefs - 13-1
Patrick Mahomes continues to play outstanding football. Another incredible pass to the back corner of the endzone where only Mecole Hardman could get on the end of it. Kansas City has shown that it doesn’t matter what defense they come up against they will find a way to break it down. The road to back-to-back Super Bowls is looking easier and easier as the weeks go by.