NFL Power Rankings Week 16: Focus on the Green Bay Packers

Rob BeloteSenior Analyst IDecember 22, 2010

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 19:  A fan of the Green Bay Packers cheers during the fourth quarter of the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots won the game 31-27.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Doing power rankings are tough, but because of the limited number of games on an NFL schedule, it's one of the only ways to get an idea for which teams are better than one another given factors other than just their records. 

At my site,, I do a weekly power ranking of all 32 NFL teams.  It's a hugely subjective process in which I account for a team's strength of schedule, margin of victory, good wins and bad losses.

Where do the Green Bay Packers currently rank?

After starting off the season strong with wins over Philadelphia and Buffalo, the Packers decided to show weakness in losses to Chicago, Washington, Miami and a narrow victory against Detroit.

They got on track again with a win over Brett Favre's Vikings, which helped them get on a roll.  They shut out the Jets in New York, then followed it up with two straight dominating victories—first against the Cowboys, then, again, against the Vikings in Minnesota.

In Week 12, the Packers went to Atlanta to face the other top-tier team in the NFC. I view it as a good thing that the Packers only lost by three points, as Vegas odds-makers typically start out each home team with a three-point advantage just based on location (prior to weighing other factors). 

Week 13 saw an encouraging sign, as the Packers offense exploded all over the San Francisco 49ers, who I consider to be a fairly decent team despite their record.  That game fits nicely on their resume along with similar lopsided wins against Minnesota (a game you Packers fans won't soon forget, and neither will Brett Favre or Brad Childress) and Dallas.  Pair that with the shutout of the Jets, and Green Bay's looking pretty good.

Then came the sight which was likely horrifying to Packer Fans: Aaron Rodgers on the bench, with Matt Flynn in the game, caused by an ever-improving Lions defense. 

Given the factors (playing a division opponent on the road, the injured starting QB and the nice work by the Packers defense), the loss to the Lions isn't a huge problem.  Detroit has played people tough all year, and their defense is only getting better. 

I thought Green Bay was going to have a tough time against the Patriots in Week 15.  With the game being contested in New England, it was going to be a tall order, but with Aaron Rodgers out, most people agreed that it wasn't going to be a very winable game. 

While they lost the game, it wasn't a horrible outcome, and the Packers were actually fighting to be in position to change the outcome there at the very end.  VERY commendable.  It's about as commendable and hope-instilling an outcome as a loss can be. 

The only problem is the fact that now Green Bay finds itself in a very tough battle to get to the playoffs, which I think is frustrating because if they get Aaron Rodgers back, they could very easily make it VERY deep into the playoffs.

These power rankings aren't determined by whether or not a team is mathematically in the playoffs, so the idea that Green Bay might be one of my top four teams in the NFC shouldn't be discounted as a possibility.  I do look at a team's potential to win, and losing one of the top QBs in the league would be devastating.

Is Green Bay in the top six?

For the complete rankings and analysis, check out the article on my website,!  Unlike Power Rankings you see elsewhere, your comments could help persuade me to rank your team better after Week 16!

You also will probably enjoy voicing your opinion through voting in nearly a dozen polls set up to help get people's feedback on the Power Rankings!

You also might like the dueling NFL Week 15 picks article on, a new(ish) feature where the games on a given week's NFL schedule are debated amongst myself and another author on my site (who just happens to be a LIFE LONG PHILADELPHIA EAGLES FAN, so you KNOW he's got a high opinion of his opinion!).

The Week 16 picks article is coming soon, but you could probably have some fun at the expense of some NFC East fans by making fun of how they fared last week, with hindsight being 20-20.  There's also plenty more to enjoy on, so give it a look!