ESPN’s Week 16 Power Rankings


ESPN’s Week 16 Power Rankings
12.16.08

1 (3) Steelers 11-3-0 The five-star matchups continue. Next up for the Steelers is a date with the Titans for AFC supremacy. (JW)
2 (1) Titans 12-2-0 The Titans still control their fate but are without Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch for the last two games. (PK)
3 (4) Panthers 11-3-0 The Panthers are getting hot at the right time. Everything is working, and a win against the Giants would give them the inside track on the No. 1 seed in the NFC. (PY)
4 (2) Giants 11-3-0 A three-game losing streak would create tremendous doubt. Beat the Panthers, though, and you’re back to being the NFC favorite. (MM)
5 (5) Colts 10-4-0 If the Colts win their eighth in a row Thursday, they can enjoy some rest. (PK)
6 (8) Cowboys 9-5-0 Dallas scored a huge win over the Giants. Its defense has been superb and could be dangerous in the playoffs. (MM)
7 (7) Ravens 9-5-0 The Ravens missed out on a golden opportunity against Pittsburgh. Now they have to earn a postseason berth the hard way. (JW)
8 (11) Falcons 9-5-0 The victory over Tampa Bay assured the Falcons a winning season, but they want more than that. With games against Minnesota on the road and St. Louis at home, they might need the Bucs and Cowboys to stumble. (PY)
9 (10) Patriots 9-5-0 The Patriots refuse to go away and could jockey into a division title. (TG)
10 (6) Buccaneers 9-5-0 The Bucs remain very much in the playoff race with home games against the Chargers and Raiders. But those games can’t be taken for granted, with injuries piling up and the Bucs on a two-game losing streak. (PY)
11 (12) Dolphins 9-5-0 The Dolphins keep winning and still control their destiny. (TG)
12 (15) Vikings 9-5-0 This is the best the Vikings have been in the Brad Childress era. (KS)
13 (14) Eagles 8-5-1 You can’t bury this team because the Eagles always play well in December. They have a great opportunity, but they need a little help. (MM)
14 (13) Jets 9-5-0 Yes, they won. But they raised more questions about how legit they are. (MM)
15 (9) Cardinals 8-6-0 The Cardinals need to recapture urgency in a hurry. (MS)
16 (19) Bears 8-6-0 This is an odd stretch for the Bears. They can be knocked from realistic playoff contention before they get back on the field. (KS)
17 (16) Broncos 8-6-0 The Broncos need to bounce back from a poor outing in Carolina and close out the AFC West with a win over Buffalo. (BW)
18 (20) Texans 7-7-0 The Texans are playing as well as just about anyone right now. (PK)
19 (17) Saints 7-7-0 If two or three plays had gone differently, the Saints would be in the playoff hunt. Then again, that’s not something they deserve after so many disappointments. (PY)
20 (18) Redskins 7-7-0 They are virtually out of the playoff race, but a win against the Eagles would restore some faith in Jim Zorn. Right now, I fear Danny Snyder has little. (MM)
21 (21) Chargers 6-8-0 If the Chargers end up winning the AFC West, Sunday’s win at Kansas City will be a thing of legend. (BW)
22 (22) Bills 6-8-0 The Bills are on their way from landing a home playoff game to landing a top-10 draft pick. (TG)
23 (25) Jaguars 5-9-0 Finally Jack Del Rio finds a spark: A Saturday off did the trick. (PK)
24 (24) 49ers 5-9-0 Their finishing schedule should allow the 49ers to end on a high note. (MS)
25 (23) Packers 5-9-0 Books will be written about the Packers’ collapse in their first year After Favre. (KS)
26 (26) Browns 4-10-0 Monday’s loss cemented another double-digit losing season. (JW)
27 (28) Seahawks 3-11-0 Mike Holmgren might be emotional heading into his final home game in Seattle. (MS)
28 (27) Chiefs 2-12-0 The Chiefs might need a long time to recover from their second-half collapse in their loss to the Chargers.
29 (31) Bengals 2-11-1 With games against the Browns and Chiefs, the Bengals actually have a chance to finish strong. (JW)
30 (29) Raiders 3-11-0 Good news, Raiders fans: The season is over soon. (BW)
31 (30) Rams 2-12-0 The Rams are angling toward the second overall draft choice — again. (MS)
32 (32) Lions 0-14-0 No NFL team has ever gone 0-15. The drama continues Sunday against New Orleans. (KS)

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