2011 NFL Power Rankings – Week 16

NFL Power Rankings 2011 Pre 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Playoffs

Our rankings for the second to last week of the regular season:

Rank Team Comment
1 Green Bay Packers The Packers lost for the first time all year to a below average Kansas City team. Some think it’s a sign of trouble in Green Bay, others consider it a blessing now that the undefeated pressure is gone. Either way, Green Bay still is the best team as of now.
2 New Orleans Saints The Saints manhandled the Vikings are are currently the hottest team in football, which history says is a good thing going into the post-season. They need the 49ers to slip up if they want to get a first round bye.
3 New England Patriots After a week full of Tebow hype, the Patriots ended the Tebowing phenomenon with a solid 41-23 road victory. New England faces Miami next week and can clinch a 1st round bye in the playoffs with a win and a Texans loss.
4 San Francisco 49ers The 49ers picked up a big statement game win against the Steelers and the biggest concern of the night had nothing to do with the team but rather the lights (or lack thereof). The 49ers can’t afford to look past the Seahawks as they can lock up a first round bye with two more wins.
5 Baltimore Ravens The Ravens road woes continued at the hands of the Chargers. It was a complete no-show by Baltimore, but a Steelers loss kept them at the top of the division and in line for at least a #2 seed.
6 Pittsburgh Steelers The Steelers lost the 49ers and in the process failed to take control of the AFC North, but their main priority right now should be getting Big Ben healthy in time for the playoffs. He did not look good on Monday Night.
7 Atlanta Falcons Atlanta faces the Saints this weekend and still has an outside chance of tying New Orleans, but right now a wild card is much more likely. This means a road game in the first round, and unfortunately for the Falcons Matt Ryan is a different player on the road.
8 Houston Texans Houston had the inside track to the #1 seed in the AFC until they got out-worked by Cam Newton and the Panthers in a 28-13 loss. The Texans play at Indianapolis on a short week in a game they need to keep any hope of a first-round bye alive.
9 Detroit Lions The Lions grabbed a big win thanks to a last minute drive and a monster day from Calvin Johnson. They have a two game lead over both Seattle and Chicago for the wild card, but face San Diego then Green Bay so they will need to finish strong to keep their wild card slot.
10 Dallas Cowboys Dallas’ blowout win over the Bucs on Saturday night was enough to put them in the driver’s seat for an NFC East title. A Giants loss helped them too.
11 Cincinnati Bengals The Bengals are keeping themselves in the Wild Card. If the Jets slip up, they could sneak in as the 6th seed.
12 San Diego Chargers Needing a win to stay alive in the playoff hunt, San Diego came to play and scored a 34-14 victory over the Ravens. Though the Chargers still have work to do–and a tough opponent on the road in Detroit next week–the hope is still there.
13 New York Jets The Jets were thoroughly routed by the “Dream Team” Eagles, falling 45-19 in a game that was hardly competitive. New York is clinging to the final playoff spot, though it is a crowded field fighting for the #6 seed.
14 New York Giants The Giants choked away their advantage in the division by falling to the lowly Giants. If they can win this week against the Jets, a Week 17 matchup against the Cowboys will be huge.
15 Denver Broncos The miracle of Tebow came to a crashing halt as the Patriots came to town, and even the former Florida quarterback couldn’t overcome a 41-23 deficit. The Broncos still have the inside track to the AFC West title, and play on the road against the Bills next weekend.
16 Seattle Seahawks Seattle, another NFC West team that will probably be in the too little, too late boat with the Cardinals, have won 5 of their last 6 behind solid defense and outstanding running from Marshawn Lynch. They need to win out and get help from some other teams to have a chance at the playoffs.
17 Chicago Bears Chicago picked up a much needed win against Tampa Bay but remains two games behind Detroit and Atlanta with just two games to go. There isn’t room for error and, unfortunately for them, they play the Packers this week.
18 Oakland Raiders Despite holding a late lead, Oakland let the game get away from them in a rough 28-27 loss to the Detroit Lions. Though the Raiders still sit in second place in the AFC West, next week’s game at Kansas City holds great importance for the playoff picture.
19 Philadelphia Eagles THE DREAM TEAM IS BACK!!! Seriously though, the Giants and Cowboys should have to sit next year out if they let this team sneak into the playoffs.
20 Arizona Cardinals It’s probably going to be too little, too late, but the Cardinals late season run puts them two games out of the wild card spot. They’ve played a brutal schedule and perhaps are a better team than many gave them credit for.
21 Tennessee Titans Tennessee was in prime position to improve their playoff chances until they laid an egg in a 27-13 loss to the previously winless Colts. Now Tennessee will have to rebound against Jacksonville and may need to win out for any chance at a playoff berth.
22 Miami Dolphins A monster game from Reggie Bush–203 yards on the ground–helped lead the Dolphins to a 30-23 win on the road in Buffalo. The win helped get Miami out of the AFC East basement as they prepare to face New England on the road next weekend.
23 Carolina Panthers The Panthers took a play out of the book of the movie “The Little Giants” and beat a good Texans team. With some off-season moves and a solid draft, the Panthers could easily be relevant next year.
24 Kansas City Chiefs In a largely-forgettable season for Kansas City, Sunday’s win over the previously-undefeated Green Bay Packers not only gave Chiefs fans something to cheer about; it also set up an improbable set of circumstances whereby the team could win the AFC West. The next step is to win against the Raiders next weekend.
25 Washington Redskins The Redskins blew out the Giants on Sunday, but they’d be better off losing to get a higher draft pick.
26 Buffalo Bills After leading the AFC East in the early weeks of the season, Buffalo has regressed back to the cellar of the division after a 30-23 loss to the Dolphins at home. The Bills host Tim Tebow and the Broncos next week with only pride left to play for.
27 Jacksonville Jaguars The latest in a series of disappointments for Jacksonville this season was a 41-14 drubbing at the hands of the Falcons. Even with a new owner, the losing trend continues; next up is a road game at Tennessee.
28 Tampa Bay Bucs The Bucs woes continued with a loss at Dallas, their eight straight. You want to see teams compete, but it’s probably in the best interest of the Bucs to lose the last two games and lock up a high draft pick that they can use to add some much needed help.
29 Cleveland Browns The Browns fell to 4-10 this weekend, and with their last 2 games against Baltimore and Pittsburgh, it’s looking like a disappointing 4-12 season for them.
30 Minnesota Vikings The Vikings struggled once again as Christian Ponder continues to experience some growing pains. If he struggles to close out the season on a positive note, could the Vikings be headed for a some QB controversy? Considering they are in line for a top 3 pick, there just may be.
31 St. Louis Rams The Rams dropped another game and face two of the leagues best teams the next two weeks, so it looks like their win total will be stuck at two for the season. Pretty disappointing considering where they were at last year.
32 Indianapolis Colts The Colts won! After weeks of embarrassment for the once-proud franchise, the team finally put together a complete game and hurt the playoff chances of division rival Tennessee in a 27-13 victory. With a Thursday night game against the Texans coming up, the Colts can attempt to play spoiler once more.

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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