NFL Power Rankings Week 16: 7-7 Teams Muddling AFC Picture

Taylor SmithAnalyst IDecember 23, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - DECEMBER 06:  Vince Young #10 of  the Tennessee Titans is pictured during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

With 14 games in the books and essentially one spot remaining for the playoffs, the NFC playoff picture is almost complete.

The AFC on the other hand, continues to look wild.

Six teams in the AFC sit at 7-7 and right on the outside of the playoff picture with two weeks remaining.

Here's how they stand going into Week 16.

1. Indianapolis Colts (14-0)

Indianapolis now stands alone as the last remaining unbeaten team.

Standing in its way of perfection? 

The desperate Jets and the discombobulated Bills.

2. New Orleans Saints (13-1)

While its quest for a perfect season has come to an end, the top seed in the NFC is still well within its grasp.

A win at home this Sunday against the lowly Bucs would seal home field advantage throughout the playoffs for the Saints.

3. San Diego Chargers (11-3)

The Chargers have now won nine in a row, and face yet another test Christmas night when they'll face the streaking Titans.

Could this finally be their year?

4. Philadelphia Eagles (10-4)

The Eagles are on fire, and appear to be on their way to an NFC East title.

They've won five straight and have emerged as a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

5. Minnesota Vikings (11-3)

Minnesota has looked quite pedestrian in losing two of its past three games, raising questions about Brad Childress' opinion of Brett Favre in the process.

With the way the Eagles have been playing, don't pencil the Vikings in for an NFC Championship Game matchup with New Orleans quite yet.

6. Green Bay Packers (9-5)

The Packers lost a heartbreaking game at the gun to the Steelers Sunday on Mike Wallace's reception in the corner of the end zone.

Aaron Rodgers' stellar performance was overshadowed by Ben Roethlisberger's 500-yard effort.

Rodgers was 26-48 for 383 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

7. Dallas Cowboys (9-5)

The Cowboys shocked the world in taking down the Saints in New Orleans Saturday night, in a game they absolutely had to win.

Quite simply, if the Cowboys are able to win their final two against Washington and Philadelphia, they're in.

8. Cincinnati Bengals (9-5)

Cincinnati has had to battle an inordinate amount of adversity this season, but it'll have to continue to fight.

The Bengals are now just one game ahead of the Ravens for the lead in the AFC North with two to play.

9. New England Patriots (9-5)

While they haven't necessarily been pretty wins, the Patriots have won two in a row to regain control of their division.

Randy Moss rebounded from his one-catch effort to record five receptions for 70 yards with a score.

10. Arizona Cardinals (9-5)

The Cardinals were able to clinch the division with a win over the Lions, but they certainly didn't make anything look easy.

If they want to be able to make any sort of run in the loaded NFC playoffs, they're going to have to regain their focus.

11. Baltimore Ravens (8-6)

Baltimore has put themselves in playoff position with back-to-back dominating victories over the Lions and Bears.

They can all-but lock up a playoff spot by taking down Pittsburgh this weekend, which will knock the Steelers out.

12. New York Giants (8-6)

The G-Men finally looked like the team we saw at the beginning of the season in their Monday night thrashing of the Redskins.

However, they're still going to need to win their final two, as well as have either Dallas or Green Bay lose one, in order to reach the postseason.

13. Denver Broncos (8-6)

Denver became the latest victim to fall to the late-game heroics of the Raiders.

While the Broncos would be in the playoffs if they started today, they've lost six of their last eight games and are officially reeling.

14. Tennessee Titans (7-7)

They've come all the way back from an 0-6 start to put themselves in position to fight for a postseason berth.

They'll certainly be tested when the Chargers come to town on Christmas night.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7)

Pittsburgh earned a miracle victory over the Packers Sunday to keep hope alive.

The Ravens come to town Sunday in what appears to be the biggest game of the weekend.

16. Miami Dolphins (7-7)

The Dolphins' comeback attempt fell just short in Sunday's OT loss to the Titans.

They'll face the Texans this Sunday in a battle of 7-7 teams fighting for their lives.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-7)

Jacksonville was thisclose to ending the Colts' bid for perfection last Thursday in a 35-31 loss.

In his first year as the full-time starter, Maurice Jones-Drew has rushed for 1,246 yards on 278 carries with 15 touchdowns.

18. Atlanta Falcons (7-7)

The lone 7-7 team in the NFC, the Falcons are essentially just playing the season out.

Injuries to several key players have derailed Atlanta's hopes of making back-to-back playoff appearances.

19. New York Jets (7-7)

The Jets' up-and-down season has, of course, left them amongst the 7-7 teams.

Mark Sanchez had another poor game in the loss to the Falcons, throwing three crucial interceptions and leading New York on just one scoring drive.

20. Houston Texans (7-7)

The Texans have won two in a row in order to keep their incredibly slim playoff chances alive.

They'll go against two AFC East teams (Miami, New England) in the final two games.

21. Carolina Panthers (6-8)

Carolina trounced the Vikings Sunday night, making it look easy in the process.

The Panthers have one of the most potent rushing attacks in the league, as DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart have combined to rush for nearly 2,000 yards with 15 touchdowns combined.

22. San Francisco 49ers (6-8)

Remaining games with Detroit and St. Louis mean the Niners are likely headed for a solid 8-8 season.

Has Alex Smith put himself in position to remain San Francisco's long-term QB?

23. Oakland Raiders (5-9)

After whispers of perhaps being the worst team in the league earlier in the season, the Raiders have put together some impressive wins.

Oakland's five victims this year are Kansas City, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Denver.

24. Chicago Bears (5-9)

Except for perhaps the Steelers, the Bears have been the NFL's biggest disappointment this season.

After giving up quite a bit to acquire him, are the Bears sure Jay Cutler is going to be their quarterback in 2010?

25. Seattle Seahawks (5-9)

Speaking of quarterbacks, how much longer do the Seahawks stick with Matt Hasselbeck?

He's getting up there in age, and has been battling injuries on a fairly consistent basis.

26. Buffalo Bills (5-9)

Buffalo will finish up a forgettable season with a game at Atlanta and one at home against the Colts.

27. Washington Redskins (4-10)

The Redskins were overwhelmed in their blowout defeat at the hands of the Giants Monday night.

Their final two?

At home against Dallas and at San Diego.

Will they be Jim Zorn's final two as head coach?

28. Cleveland Browns (3-11)

The Browns won their second straight in spectacular fashion Sunday over the Chiefs.

Jerome Harrison set a team record rushing for 286 yards and Joshua Cribbs returned two kickoffs for touchdowns.

29. Kansas City Chiefs (3-11)

Another fine effort from Jamaal Charles was overshadowed by the antics of Harrison and Cribbs.

Charles rushed for 154 yards on 25 carries with a score in the 41-34 loss.

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-12)

Tampa became the second straight team to obliterate the Seahawks with its 24-7 win Sunday.

Josh Freeman played very well and the defense forced Seattle into five turnovers.

31. Detroit Lions (2-12)

The Lions showed heart in coming back from 17 points down against Arizona, highlighted by long touchdowns from Louis Delmas and Maurice Morris.

They have a few solid young parts and may be headed in the right direction.

32. St. Louis Rams (1-13)

With the Bucs' victory, the Rams now sit alone at the bottom of the NFL, in line to receive the first overall pick in the draft.


Defensive tackle?

Considering how many holes the Rams have, it will be very interesting to see where they place their priorities.

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