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NFL Power Rankings Week 16: Detroit Lions Making Playoff Push

Every NFL season is unpredictable, which is part of the reason why it’s one of the best leagues in the entire world. With that in mind, nobody expected the Detroit Lions to control their own destiny, the Green Bay Packers having less than a 10% chance to make the playoffs, and the Los Angeles Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers to struggle mightily. With three weeks left before the playoffs, here are your Week 16 NFL Power Rankings.

NFL power rankings
Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier/USA TODAY Sports

NFL Power Rankings for Week 16

1) Philadelphia Eagles (13-1) (Last Week: 1)

The biggest news coming from the Philadelphia Eagles’ 25-20 win over the Chicago Bears will be the injury status of quarterback and likely MVP frontrunner Jalen Hurts. With news already coming out that Hurts will be out for next week’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, it’ll be interesting to see how the team can fare without him in a tough road environment. The Eagles are at risk of falling out of the top spot in next week’s NFL Power Rankings.

2) Buffalo Bills (11-3) (3)

In horrible weather conditions with frigid temperatures and plenty of snow, the Buffalo Bills got a statement win as they came from behind in the fourth quarter to beat the Miami Dolphins. When the Bills needed to make plays, they made them down the stretch while making life hell for Tua Tagovialoa. With a playoff spot clinched and the Chicago Bears on deck, Buffalo will look to keep pace atop the AFC.

3) Kansas City Chiefs (11-3) (2)

Although the game was in Houston, few expected the Kansas City Chiefs to struggle with the Houston Texans. Instead, the Chiefs needed overtime to get past Houston. Patrick Mahomes was nearly flawless, but the defense struggled to stop Davis Mills from capitalizing on two costly Chiefs fumbles. It’ll be interesting to see if the Chiefs can start to put games away again, as they have won just one of their last four wins by more than one possession.

4) Cincinnati Bengals (10-4) (4)

The Cincinnati Bengals got off to one of the worst starts of the season as they fell behind 17-0 to Tampa Bay. The Bengals would respond with 34 unanswered points, thanks to their defense forcing four turnovers in the third quarter alone. This game showed just how dangerous Cincinnati is when they are rolling, but consistency has continued to be this team’s weak spot outside of their Week 13 win over the Chiefs. For now, they stop in the top five of our NFL Power Rankings.

5) San Francisco 49ers (10-4) (5)

If there were any questions about whether Brock Purdy could really do enough for the San Francisco 49ers, those questions were answered on Thursday night. Purdy didn’t put up video game numbers by any means, but he did exactly what was asked of him and more, for a team that loves to pound the rock. When their defense plays this way, it’s safe to say there are very few teams in the NFL that can even compete with the 49ers.

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6) Miami Dolphins (8-6) (8)

The Miami Dolphins were tested on the road against Buffalo and, for the most part, passed the test. Tua wasn’t great, but he did lead his team to an eight-point lead late in the fourth quarter. Although Josh Allen eventually took over and got the win, there is no doubt that they are true contenders in the AFC. For as good as this team can be, they certainly will be looking to avoid having to play at Buffalo again come playoff time.

7) Minnesota Vikings (11-3) (6)

The story from this game will certainly revolve around the largest comeback in NFL history. Although it was historic, the focus really needs to be on the Vikings underwhelming again. The Colts were up 33 at the half, and if not for the Colts’ horrendous clock management and playcalling, the Vikings would have been blown out. When the playoffs come around and the Vikings can’t rely on the opposition falling apart late, it could get ugly for them.

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

Once again, the Baltimore Ravens struggled heavily on offense with the absence of Lamar Jackson. The good news that they can take in a putrid 13-3 loss to the Cleveland Browns is that running back J.K. Dobbins again posted some great numbers. While the Browns’ run defense is bad and Dobbins still doesn’t look right running the ball, the yards he’s racking up speak for itself. If Dobbins and Jackson can both get healthy come playoff time, this team could be very dangerous and rise up the NFL Power Rankings.

9) New York Giants (8-5-1) (11)

Thanks in part to two extremely controversial calls/non-calls late in the game, the New York Giants got the better of the Washington Commanders to get a massive win and boost their playoff odds. Daniel Jones struggled all game but Saquon Barkley was able to do enough to carry the Giants over the finish line. Kayvon Thibodeaux looks like the real deal for New York and if the Giants can get some better play from those around him, they will have one of the best defenses in the NFC.

10) Dallas Cowboys (10-4) (9)

To be fair to Dallas, this is not the same Jacksonville Jaguars team that has been the laughingstock of the NFL since Blake Bortles was at the helm. With that said, blowing a 27-10 second-half lead is inexcusable for a team that claims to have one of the best defenses in the league. The Cowboys continue to be the most frustrating and inconsistent team in the NFL and, unfortunately for Dallas fans, this trend will likely continue into the postseason.

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11) New York Jets (7-7) (10)
12) Los Angeles Chargers (8-6) (14)
13) Detroit Lions (7-7) (16)
14) Seattle Seahawks (7-7) (12)
15) New England Patriots (7-7) (13)
16) Tennessee Titans (7-7) (15)
17) Washington Commanders (7-6-1) (17)
18) Green Bay Packers (6-8) (19)
19) Atlanta Falcons (5-9) (18)
20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8) (20)
21) Jacksonville Jaguars (6-8) (26)
22) New Orleans Saints (5-9) (23)
23) Los Angeles Rams (4-10) (22)
24) Cleveland Browns (6-8) (25)
25) Arizona Cardinals (4-10) (21)
26) Carolina Panthers (5-9) (24)
27) Pittsburgh Steelers (6-8) (28)
28) Las Vegas Raiders (6-8) (27)
29) Chicago Bears (3-11) (29)
30) Indianapolis Colts (4-9-1) (30)
31) Denver Broncos (4-10) (31)
32) Houston Texans (1-12-1) (32)

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