2010 NFL Power Rankings – Week 16

NFL Power Rankings 2010 Pre 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Playoffs

With two weeks go go, 4 teams (Atlanta, Chicago, New England and Pittsburgh) have clinched playoff berths, but only the Bears have clinched a division title, so there is still much to be decided. New England holds the top spot for the 6th consecutive week:

Rank Team Comment
1 New England Patriots To be honest, the Patriots were primed for a let-down after consecutive dominant performances against the Jets and Bears; luckily for New England, they managed to do enough to secure a 31-27 victory over Green Bay and sit one win away from #1 in the AFC for the playoffs. Next week sees a trip to Buffalo.
2 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta rattled off another win and thanks to a Saint loss now have a two game lead in the NFC South as well as a two game lead overall in the NFC. If they beat the Saints this week their last game won’t matter and they’ll have essentially an extra week to rest up for the playoffs.
3 Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia had one of the more spectacular comebacks in recent memory, scoring 28 unanswered points in under 8 minutes. Teams playing them will hope to replicate what the Giants did in the first half.
4 Baltimore Ravens The Ravens got a big win over the defending champs on Sunday. Ray Rice ran all over the Saints, and the defense got a big stop when they needed it. Unfortunately, they’ll need a loss by the Steelers to have a chance to win the division, even if they win their last 2 games.
5 Chicago Bears The Bears proved that they can play in the elements and one week after getting trounced by the Patriots they went into Minnesota and trounced the Vikings. The Bears have locked up the NFC North and can no try for a first round bye.
6 New York Jets After two bad divisional losses in a row, the Jets desperately needed a win in Pittsburgh; they got it (22-17) despite the Steelers nearly pulling off a comeback late in the fourth quarter. Another tough road game awaits in Chicago next weekend, however.
7 New Orleans Saints The Saints couldn’t stop Ray Rice and with a loss to the Ravens really hurt their division championship odds and possibly even their wild card chances. If they lose this week to the Falcons they will need a Packer loss as well to guarantee a wild card spot at least.
8 Pittsburgh Steelers The Steelers took the lead against the Jets, but then allowed 12 unanswered points. They had 378 total yards, but were unable to outscore a Jets offense that has struggled in recent weeks.
9 New York Giants The Giants completed a spectacular collapse by giving up a punt return TD to DeSean Jackson with no time left in the game. It might be hard for them to recover from this one. Tom Coughlin’s seat is getting hot.
10 Indianapolis Colts With their backs against the wall, the Colts put up a 34-24 win over the Jaguars to put themselves in the driver’s seat for the AFC South race; win their last two games and they’re in. They travel to Oakland next week.
11 Kansas City Chiefs It might not have been a pretty game with Matt Cassel coming back from surgery just over a week ago, but the Chiefs did what they had to with a 27-13 win over the Rams. They still hold a one-game lead in the AFC West over San Diego and host the Titans next week.
12 San Diego Chargers The Chargers 34-7 win over the 49ers on Thursday night not only sealed at least a .500 record, it also kept them in the race for the AFC West. Chances are only one team will make the playoffs from the division, so San Diego needs to continue to win with only two games left; next up is an easy road game against Cincinnati.
13 Green Bay Packers No one expected the Packers to be able to compete against the red hot Patriots without Aaron Rodgers, but Green Bay lost by just 4 points and had a chance at the end to win the game. Rodgers should be back this week for a big matchup against the Giants.
14 Tampa Bay Bucs While they aren’t statistically out of the playoff race yet, last week’s overtime loss to the Lions pretty much sealed the Bucs fate. I have to give them credit for their surprisingly good season, but they simply aren’t a playoff team yet.
15 Jacksonville Jaguars Poor Jacksonville fans; with an opportunity to lock up the AFC South and a season sweep over Indianapolis, they lost 34-24 and now have to win out and hope for the Colts to lose in order for a chance at the division title. The Jaguars host Washington next weekend.
16 Oakland Raiders The Raiders chances of a playoff berth are very slim, but they got another win over the Broncos (39-23) to leave them in need of only one more victory to reach .500 this year. Next week they host the Colts.
17 Miami Dolphins Miami’s playoff hopes were slim anyway, but they went away altogether with a 17-14 loss to the lowly Bills at home. The Dolphins have nothing left but pride to play for as the Lions visit next weekend.
18 Dallas Cowboys The Cowboys coughed up a lead, but outlasted the Redskins to grab a 33-30 win. They’ll hope to regroup next year with Tony Romo and Dez Bryant back on the field.
19 Tennessee Titans Despite looking overmatched against the Colts last week, the Titans had little trouble beating the Texans 31-17 to try and salvage some pride from a lost season. Next week they will have the chance to play spoiler against the Chiefs.
20 St. Louis Rams St. Louis’ offensive and defensive numbers put them in the middle of the pack for the most part, but their record doesn’t reflect that. They can smell the playoffs and have a chance this week to knock the 49ers out of the picture.
21 Cleveland Browns A loss to the Bengals hurts, and a matchup with the Ravens looms, but Colt McCoy had a good first game back from injury. The rest of the season should be spent assessing the talent around him and planning for the future.
22 Houston Texans Just over a week removed from a heartbreaking loss to the Ravens, Houston barely showed up in a 31-17 loss to the Titans. The Texans travel to Denver next week.
23 Seattle Seahawks Seattle, currently tied for first with the Rams in the NFC West, lost the the Falcons and can’t seem to pull away from the Rams but being 2-5 on the road doesn’t help.
24 Minnesota Vikings The Minnesota outdoor Monday night game started off nicely for the Vikings but got ugly just as quickly. As long as the press keeps giving him the attention, Favre will continue to toy with everyone.
25 San Francisco 49ers Even after getting blown out by the Chargers, the 49ers are one game out of the division lead and have two conference games remaining to make a run at the playoffs.
26 Detroit Lions Back to back wins give the Lions four wins on the season and with two winnable games remaining, finishing the season a potential 6-9 would be a huge step in the right direction for the perennial cellar dwellers.
27 Washington Redskins The Redskins benched starting QB Donovan McNabb late in the week. They went on to lose to the Cowboys, but reserve quarterback Rex Grossman performed fairly well. The soap opera continues.
28 Buffalo Bills The 2010 Buffalo Bills season has been disappointing–something Bills fans are getting used to in recent years–but they gutted out a 17-14 road win over division rival Miami. Next up the Bills host the Patriots in another AFC East match-up.
29 Arizona Cardinals Things aren’t looking too good in the desert. Larry Fitzgerald’s numbers are down, certainly not due to him but the QB situation, and the defense has given up 19 or more points in all but two games this year.
30 Denver Broncos Even an impressive performance from Tim Tebow in his first career NFL start couldn’t save the Broncos from another loss as they fell 39-23 to the Raiders. Denver hosts the Texans next week in a game between playoff outsiders.
31 Cincinnati Bengals The Bengals got a win over in-state rival Cleveland this weekend. It doesn’t mean much though, as they’re still well on their way to a top-5 pick.
32 Carolina Panthers I’m not sure either the Panthers or Cardinals wanted to really win their last game, but the Panthers came out on top to notch win number two. That should be it for the win column for the year with the Steelers and the Falcons remaining on their schedule.

Commentary breakdown: Alex (AFC North, NFC East), Brian (AFC East/South/West), Pat (NFC North/South/West).

Alex Chalupka - Originally from the Baltimore-Washington area, Alex is a huge Baltimore Ravens and Maryland Terrapins fan who currently resides in Little Rock, Arkansas. He’s also an Orioles fan and follows the NBA and other sports as objectively as possible. He enjoys writing about all sports and is the founder/editor of theSportsGeeks.com. - Follow him on Twitter here - Visit his personal website

Brian Parker - Born in Maine, a state with no professional sports team, Brian Parker is nonetheless a huge statistics nerd and fan of the NFL and NHL, with some passing interest in the MLB. Regional ties see him as a Patriots and Red Sox fan, though a childhood of watching Patrick Roy tend the net as a Montreal Canadien puts him on the opposite side of his fellow New Englanders for that NHL rivalry. Brian has both an M.A. and a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Maine. - Follow him on Twitter here - Visit his personal website

Pat Lussenhop - Pat was born and raised in rural Minnesota and is currently living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He graduated from St. John's University (MN) with a degree in psychology and went on to get his masters in school psychology at the University of Northern Iowa. He's a lifetime sports fan and follows basketball and football the most. His favorite teams include any team that has "Minnesota" in it's name and he enjoys sports statistics and any good sporting debates. - Follow him on Twitter here

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