NFL Power Rankings: Week 16: Pittsburgh Steelers Move to No. 1

Jordan Schwartz@jordanharrisonSenior Writer IDecember 16, 2008

1. (3) Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3)

Yet another instance of no one knowing the rules.

2. (1) Tennessee Titans (12-2)

Jeff Fisher may have cost his team home-field advantage in the AFC Championship game with that dumb decision to throw a bomb on 4th-and-3 instead of having his red-hot kicker, Rob Bironas, attempt a game-winning 49-yard field goal.

3. (4) Carolina Panthers (11-3)

The Panthers finished off a perfect 8-0 season at home Sunday and now have a chance to play all their playoff games in Carolina if they can beat the Giants on the road this week.

4. (2) New York Giants (11-3)

The key to the Giants’ success is not Plaxico Burress, nor is it their standout defense or offensive line. The key to the Giants’ success is Brandon Jacobs.

5. (6) Indianapolis Colts (10-4)

That’s seven in a row for the hottest team in the league.

6. (8) Dallas Cowboys (9-5)

Forget the T.O. and Tony Romo soap opera, the Cowboys’ defense is the reason this team has won four of its last five games.

7. (7) Baltimore Ravens (9-5)

The Ravens travel to Dallas this Saturday night in a game that will have a big impact on both the AFC and NFC Wild Card pictures. Too bad not very many people will see it.

8. (9) Atlanta Falcons (9-5)

The NFC South improved to 20-2 at home with Atlanta’s win over the Bucs.

9. (5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-5)

The NFC South fell to 10-18 on the road with Tampa Bay’s loss at Atlanta. Not good news for the Bucs and Falcons who will be on the road if they make the playoffs.

10. (10) New York Jets (9-5)

The Titan-beating Jets played the first and fourth quarters against the Bills Sunday, while the losing-to-the-Niners Sea Planes played the second and third periods.

11. (12) Philadelphia Eagles (8-5-1)

Now all Philly has to do is beat Washington and Dallas and they’re in the playoffs.  Maybe.

12. (17) Minnesota Vikings (9-5)

Tarvaris Jackson’s QB rating has been above 135 in each of the past two games and the Vikes have now won four in a row. 

13. (14) New England Patriots (9-5)

Impressive performance by Matt Cassel following the death of his father.

14. (13) Arizona Cardinals (8-6)

How many points will the Falcons, Cowboys or Bucs put up on the Cardinals in their Wild Card playoff game? 30? 40? 50??

15. (15) Miami Dolphins (9-5)

I’m picking the Dolphins to win the AFC East.

16. (16) Denver Broncos (8-6)

How pissed do you think the Broncos were watching that Charger comeback right before they got on the field to be crushed by Carolina?

17. (19) Chicago Bears (8-6)

The Bears got a huge OT win over the Saints on Thursday and now have 10 whole days of practice to prepare for the Packers this Monday night.

18. (23) Houston Texans (7-7)

My sleeper pick for Super Bowl XLIV.

19. (11) Washington Redskins (7-7)

Losing to the Steelers, Cowboys, Giants and Ravens is one thing, but when you get beat up by the Bengals, you’re season is officially over.

20. (18) New Orleans Saints (7-7)

Going 1-6 on the road will get you eliminated from the playoffs on Dec. 11.

21. (20) San Francisco 49ers (5-9)

The 'Niners were held without a touchdown for the first time all season in their loss at Miami.

22. (21) Buffalo Bills (6-8)

That’s seven losses in their past eight games.

23. (22) San Diego Chargers (6-8)

The Bolts saved their season for at least one more week with an 18-point comeback in KC, but they travel to Tampa Bay this week, so that comeback will probably be for naught.

24. (25) Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9)

The Jags hit 20 points for the first time since Nov. 9, which was also the last time they won a game.

25. (24) Green Bay Packers (5-9)

The Pack held their opponent to under 24 points for the first time in their past four games, but they still lost.

26. (26) Cleveland Browns (4-10)

At least they scored a touchdown this week.

27. (29) Seattle Seahawks (3-11)

The Seahawks should ask the league if they can schedule the Rams every week next season.

28. (28) Oakland Raiders (3-11)

You usually don’t win when you give up 35 points in the first half. Just ask the Rams.

29. (31) Cincinnati Bengals (2-11-1)

Since Nov. 30, the Bengals are 1-0 in games in which they score a touchdown.

30. (27) Kansas City Chiefs (2-12)

You play to lead at halftime!

31. (30) St. Louis Rams (2-12)

The college bowl season got underway Sunday with the Rams falling to the Seahawks.

32. (32) Detroit Lions (0-14)

The Lions should play the winner of BCS title game on the Sunday between the conference championships and the Super Bowl.

Jordan Schwartz is Bleacher Report's New York Yankees Community Leader. His book "Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man" is available at,, and

Jordan can be reached at


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