NFL power rankings, Week 16: Lions rise, Cowboys fall

In the Week 16 NFL power rankings, the Detroit Lions continue surging while the Dallas Cowboys suffered a brutal loss in Jacksonville.


Houston Texans 1-12-1

Last ranks: 32nd

Houston almost pulled off a mammoth upset of the Chiefs, but couldn’t hang on.


Chicago Bears 3-11

Last ranks: 30th

Justin Fields is awesome. The rest of the Bears are not.


Arizona Cardinals 4-10

Last ranks: 28th

Remember when the Cardinals were talked about as a Super Bowl contender last year? That feels like a century ago.


Denver Broncos 4-10

Last ranks: 31st

Denver beat the Cardinals. Not sure we have to add to that.


Los Angeles Rams 4-10

Last ranks: 29th

It’s been a long, hard, ugly year for the Rams. Thankfully, it ends in three weeks.


Indianapolis Colts 4-9-1

Last ranks: 26th

What in God’s name was that?


Atlanta Falcons 5-9

Last ranks: 25th

The Falcons wanted to see what they have in Desmond Ridder, and the early returns were not ideal.


New Orleans Saints 5-9

Last ranks: 27th

Somehow, the Saints are one game out of the NFC South lead. If they hadn’t blown an absurd game to the Bucs a few weeks ago, they’d be poised for the playoffs.


Carolina Panthers 5-9

Last ranks: 22nd

Carolina still controls its own destiny, which is a wild thing to say about a 5-9 team.


Pittsburgh Steelers 6-8

Last ranks: 24th

Pittsburgh doesn’t have much talent, but the Steelers are putting together a respectable campaign under head coach Mike Tomlin.


Las Vegas Raiders 6-8

Last ranks: 23rd

Somehow, finally, the Raiders came out on the right side of an insane NFL moment.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-8

Last ranks: 18th

A failed fake punt and four turnovers. Thats one way to start the second half.


Cleveland Browns 6-8

Last ranks: 21st

Nice win for the Browns, who were able to deal the Ravens a tough loss, dropping them out of first place in the AFC North.


Green Bay Packers 6-8

Last ranks: 19th

The Packers will try to make Christmas interesting when they visit South Beach for some warm weather.


New England Patriots 7-7

Last ranks: 16th



New York Jets 7-7

Last ranks: 15th

The Jets had every opportunity to beat the Lions and stay in the playoff mix. Now, they likely need to win out for any hope.


Jacksonville Jaguars 6-8

Last ranks: 20th

The Jaguars control their own fate. Win out against the Jets, Texans and Titans, and they’ll host a playoff game.


Seattle Seahawks 7-7

Last ranks: 14th

It feels like the Seahawks have been a great story all year, but the ending is going to be disappointing.


Tennessee Titans 7-7

Last ranks: 13th

Tennessee has fallen apart over the last month, losing four straight. The Titans need to find a way against Houston, or it could be all over.


Detroit Lions 7-7

Last ranks: 17th

The Lions are now a good bet to make the playoffs. Two wins might do it. Three wins almost certainly will.


Washington Commanders 7-6-1

Last ranks: 11th

Tough loss at home for the Commanders, who lost the game by playing terribly in both red zones.


New York Giants 8-5-1

Last ranks: 12th

The Giants hadn’t won a game in four weeks, but they found themselves at the right time and likely punched their playoff ticket.


Miami Dolphins 8-6

Last ranks: 8th

Miami had a chance to beat Buffalo, but had to be better situationally.


Baltimore Ravens 9-5

Last ranks: 7th

The Ravens need Lamar Jackson back ASAP, and then must figure out how to score some points.


Los Angeles Chargers 8-6

Last ranks: 10th

Los Angeles is rolling. It’s not perfect, and the Chargers aren’t the Bills, Chiefs and Bengals, but they’re dangerous.


Minnesota Vikings 11-3

Last ranks: 9th

The greatest comeback in NFL history. Not bad.


Dallas Cowboys 10-4

Last ranks: 4th

Dallas led 27-10, 34-31, and then had the ball first in overtime. Somehow, the Cowboys lost.


San Francisco 49ers 10-4

Last ranks: 6th

Brock Purdy, Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance. Who cares? NFC West champs.


Cincinnati Bengals 10-4

Last ranks: 5th

The Bengals are the AFC’s most consistent team. All they do is win.


Buffalo Bills 11-3

Last ranks: 3rd

Buffalo should be concerned about its front without Von Miller, but Josh Allen looks great.


Kansas City Chiefs 11-3

Last ranks: 2nd

Kansas City has been living on the edge against Denver and Houston over the past two weeks. Need to clean things up.


Philly Eagles 13-1

Last ranks: 1st

The Eagles have essentially wrapped everything up. Now it’s about Jalen Hurts’ injury.

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