NFL Power Rankings, Week 16: Ravens, Jets Move Up With Big Wins
1. (1) New England Patriots (12-2)
The Patriots are 7-0 at home, but they were 8-0 at home last year and lost to the Ravens in the first round of the playoffs at Gillette Stadium when they gave up 33 points, so New England is going to need to shore up its inconsistent defense before we can all pencil the Pats into the Super Bowl.
2. (2) Atlanta Falcons (12-2)
The Falcons are 12-0 against teams outside of Pennsylvania.
3. (5) Baltimore Ravens (10-4)
Everyone was quick to write off the Ravens after they lost to Pittsburgh and then nearly blew a big lead at Houston, but Baltimore proved it's still very much a contender by holding the red-hot Saints under 30 points for the first time since Halloween.
4. (3) New Orleans Saints (10-4)
The Saints are giving up 29 points per game over their last three road contests.
5. (6) New York Jets (10-4)
Which is the best 4-loss team in the NFL?
The Jets have won 11 of their last 13 road games.
6. (4) Pittsburgh Steelers (10-4)
Over the past two seasons, the Steelers are 5-7 when Troy Polamalu doesn't play.
7. (7) Chicago Bears (10-4)
Teams should just go for it on every fourth down rather than taking the chance of their punter accidentally kicking the ball to Devin Hester.
8. (8) Philadelphia Eagles (10-4)
Andy Reid gets an F for everything other than onside kick timing.
9. (9) New York Giants (9-5)
Before Matt Dodge's doomed punt, I teased a friend of mine who is a Giants fan by predicting Dodge would fumble the snap and then attempt an ill-advised, left-handed pass that would be batted in the air and returned for a game-winning touchdown. I was wrong.
10. (11) San Diego Chargers (8-6)
The Chargers have outscored their opponents 65-7 over the past two weeks.
11. (13) Kansas City Chiefs (9-5)
Matt Cassel has the fifth-best QB rating in the NFL.
12. (12) Green Bay Packers (8-6)
Matt Flynn threw for more yards and touchdowns than Tom Brady, but the Packers couldn't contain Dan Connolly.
13. (15) Indianapolis Colts (8-6)
Remember when Peyton Manning threw 11 interceptions in three games? Yeah, I don't either.
14. (14) Jacksonville Jaguars (8-6)
The Jags' third-ranked rushing attack managed only 67 yards against the Colts' 28th-ranked rush defense.
15. (10) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-6)
And that about does it for the Bucs' season.
16. (17) Oakland Raiders (7-7)
The Raiders have won six straight division games.
17. (16) Miami Dolphins (7-7)
The Dolphins have alternated wins and losses for the past 11 games.
18. (21) Tennessee Titans (6-8)
It took six weeks, but the Titans finally figured out that Kenny Britt, not Randy Moss, is the best receiver on their team.
19. (18) Minnesota Vikings (5-9)
There's a 100-percent chance Brett Favre plays next year, so can we please stop calling every play he gets knocked out of the game as "the last play of his career?"
20. (24) Dallas Cowboys (5-9)
The Cowboys have scored at least 27 points in six consecutive weeks.
21. (28) Buffalo Bills (4-10)
The Bills are a Stevie Johnson drop away from being 5-1 over the past six weeks.
22. (29) Detroit Lions (4-10)
The Lions had lost 26 straight road games and the Bucs were 8-0 against losing teams, so naturally, Detroit beat Tampa Bay on Sunday.
23. (19) Houston Texans (5-9)
Kerry Collins' 102.3 QB rating actually lowered Houston's league-worst opponent quarterback rating.
24. (20) Washington Redskins (5-9)
The Redskins are planning on using Donovan McNabb at kicker next week.
25. (22) St. Louis Rams (6-8)
There will be no winning teams in the NFC West this year, but one of them will go to the playoffs.
26. (23) Cleveland Browns (5-9)
The Browns peaked a month too early to be everyone's 2011 sleeper team.
27. (25) San Francisco 49ers (5-9)
The Niners have the fewest takeaways in the NFC.
28. (26) Seattle Seahawks (6-8)
There's still a shot at the NFC West finishing in a three-way tie at 6-9-1. I'm rooting for that.
29. (31) Cincinnati Bengals (3-11)
The Bengals are 2-0 when Cedric Benson gets at least 26 carries.
30. (32) Carolina Panthers (2-12)
The Panthers would have a real shot to win the NFC West.
31. (27) Arizona Cardinals (4-10)
The Cards' last passing touchdown came on Nov. 21.
32. (30) Denver Broncos (3-11)
A quarterback change won't do anything to improve a horrendous defense.
Follow me on Twitter at @JordanHarrison.
Jordan Schwartz is one of Bleacher Report's New York Yankees and College Basketball Featured Columnists. His book Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and authorhouse.com.
Jordan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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