Can you believe we’re heading into Week 16 already? Time is running out for some teams and some have already started to look ahead to 2020 and beyond. With just two weeks left in the 2019 regular season, here are the Week 16 NFL Power Rankings.
1. Baltimore Ravens (12-2, Last Week: 1)
Week 15 Result: Defeated New York Jets, 42-21
I think it’s safe to say Lamar Jackson has sewn up the MVP award. A thrashing of the Jets on Thursday has Baltimore one win away from locking up home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs. They can wrap it up Sunday against the Browns.
2. Seattle Seahawks (11-3, Last Week: 3)
Week 15 Result: Defeated Carolina, 30-24
Russell Wilson just keeps doing Russell Wilson things and Seattle is back in the lead for the top seed in the NFC playoffs. That was also an incredible catch by Josh Gordon. Unfortunately, that may be the last catch he ever makes in the NFL after yet another suspension.
3. San Francisco 49ers (11-3, Last Week: 2)
Week 15 Result: Lost to Atlanta, 29-22
The 49ers suffered a letdown in Week 15 against the Falcons, though Julio Jones made some incredible plays to help Atlanta. Along with losing the game, the 49ers fell back into the fifth spot in the NFC playoffs. However, they are still in a fortunate position where two wins give them home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs. That starts Saturday night against the Rams.
4. New Orleans Saints (10-3, Last Week: 4)
Week 15 Result: Defeated Indianapolis, 34-7
Drew Brees became the all-time leader in passing touchdowns, Michael Thomas is closing in on the single-season receptions record and the Saints left nothing to chance against the Colts, cruising to victory on Monday night and making it four teams in the NFC at 11-3.
5. Green Bay Packers (11-3, Last Week: 5)
Week 15 Result: Defeated Chicago, 21-13
The Packers just keep finding ways to win, even when it seems the offense isn’t fully clicking. Green Bay is on the precipice of reclaiming the NFC North title along with a first-round bye. A win against Minnesota on Monday Night Football would go a long way to accomplishing those goals while meaning the Vikings could finish no better than the sixth seed.
6. Kansas City Chiefs (10-4, Last Week: 6)
Week 15 Result: Defeated Denver, 23-3
It doesn’t matter what type of weather it is, Patrick Mahomes will shine. With the division already in hand, the Chiefs easily took care of the Broncos as they are keeping their hopes alive for a first-round bye, but they stil need New England to trip up over the final two weeks.
7. New England Patriots (11-3, Last Week: 7)
Week 15 Result: Defeated Cincinnati, 34-13
New England started slow again, as the offense continued some of their issues. As they have tended to do often this season, they turned on the jets in the second half and ended any hopes of an upset. They now look ahead to a very important game in Week 16 against the Bills on Saturday.
8. Minnesota Vikings (10-4, Last Week: 8)
Week 15 Result: Defeated L.A. Chargers, 39-10
Kirk Cousins didn’t need to shoulder much of the load as Minnesota swarmed Los Angeles and moved closer to getting back to the playoffs after a disappointing 8-7-1 finish in 2018. They may not win the NFC North, but they will still be a tough out in the playoffs.
9. Houston Texans (9-5, Last Week: 10)
Week 15 Result: Defeated Tennessee, 24-21
Houston quickly erased the memory of the slip-up against Denver by going into Nashville and knocking off the Titans to put a stranglehold on the AFC South. They just need one win in their final two games to secure the division. However, Week 16 won’t be easy, as they travel to Tampa Bay, who is on a four-game winning streak.
10. Buffalo Bills (10-4, Last Week: 11)
Week 15 Result: Defeated Pittsburgh, 17-10
Tre’Davious White is a man amongst boys when he is on the field. He came up with a huge interception to kill Pittsburgh’s chances of winning and sent Buffalo to their second postseason in three years under Sean McDermott. It is also the Bills’ first 10-win season since 1999. It’s been quite the run for the Bills and they could be dangerous in the playoffs. Get ready for a likely showdown of Josh Allen versus Deshaun Watson on Wild Card Weekend, which you can pencil in for the Saturday afternoon slot.
11. Tennessee Titans (8-6, Last Week: 9)
Week 15 Result: Lost to Houston, 24-21
Ryan Tannehill didn’t play terribly, but he threw a momentum-swinging, but also slightly unlucky, interception in the second quarter. Tennessee did have the game tied at 14 in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hold Houston on defense. The Titans are now in a tough position. The division is just about out of reach and their schedule is much tougher over the final two weeks than Pittsburgh’s, as the Titans finish with New Orleans and Houston again. It’s looking like another close-but-no-cigar season for Mike Vrabel.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6, Last Week: 12)
Week 15 Result: Lost to Buffalo, 17-10
The Steelers still control their own destiny for the final spot in the AFC playoffs. Unfortunately, they are right back to where they were a few weeks ago. Who will start at quarterback? Devlin Hodges had a forgettable game and threw a couple of killer interceptions at the end of the game. Fortunately, their last two games are against the Jets and the Ravens, who will likely have the top seed locked up, and will rest Lamar Jackson in Week 17.
13. Dallas Cowboys (7-7, Last Week: 16)
Week 15 Result: Defeated L.A. Rams, 44-21
Just when we were ready to count the Cowboys out and start lining up successors to Jason Garrett, Week 15 happens and they trounce the Rams. They are now in a position to win the NFC East with a win in Philadelphia next week.
14. Los Angeles Rams (8-6, Last Week: 13)
Week 15 Result: Lost to Dallas, 44-21
It’s looking like another team will suffer a Super Bowl hangover. Sunday’s crushing loss to Dallas all but ended the Rams’ playoff hopes. Their only way in is to win out and hope Minnesota loses their last two.
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-7, Last Week: 19)
Week 15 Result: Defeated Detroit, 38-17
Who would’ve thought the Buccaneers would work their way back to this point? They have, though. They’ve won four straight to get to 7-7, and Jameis Winston has been slinging the football in recent weeks. Tampa now has a very interesting decision to make this offseason with Winston. It’s going to be quite the spring down south.
16. Chicago Bears (7-7, Last Week: 14)
Week 15 Result: Lost to Green Bay, 21-13
Matt Nagy’s second year with the Bears will end in disappointment. After winning the NFC North at 12-4 in 2018, the Bears sit at 7-7 and are officially eliminated from the playoffs. They also do not have a first-round pick in 2020, which is a concern with a cloudy future at quarterback. Certainly not fun times in Chicago.
17. Philadelphia Eagles (7-7, Last Week: 21)
Week 15 Result: Defeated Washington, 37-27
Yet again, the Eagles make their fans endure a near-nervous breakdown. But Carson Wentz again came through when the Eagles needed him the most, keeping their hopes alive. Philadelphia must defeat Dallas in Week 16 to stay in the hunt.
18. Indianapolis Colts (6-8, Last Week: 15)
Week 15 Result: Lost to New Orleans, 34-7
Jacoby Brissett and the Colts’ offense have taken a nosedive. Monday night was almost a fitting way for the team to be eliminated from the playoffs. Things were looking promising for a while this season, but the Colts never gained any sort of consistency.
19. Atlanta Falcons (5-9, Last Week: 22)
Week 15 Result: Defeated San Francisco, 29-22
Another week, another stunning result in the NFL, and again, courtesy of the Falcons, who scored a touchdown in the final two seconds to upset the 49ers. We’ll soon find out if this recent run is enough to save Dan Quinn’s job.
20. Oakland Raiders (6-8, Last Week: 17)
Week 15 Result: Lost to Jacksonville, 20-16
The Raiders were on the wrong end of the clock error and had to walk off the field in Oakland as losers in their final game ever in the Coliseum. Their defense failed them in the end and their fans left their final mark by throwing trash on the field after the game. Quite the ending of an era. Get ready, Las Vegas.
21. Cleveland Browns (6-8, Last Week: 18)
Week 15 Result: Lost to Arizona, 38-24
Technically, the Browns are still alive in the playoffs, but realistically, this was the final nail in the coffin. Another classic underachieving season for Cleveland.
22. Los Angeles Chargers (5-9, Last Week: 20)
Week 15 Result: Lost to Minnesota, 39-10
Are we watching the end of Philip Rivers? Three more interceptions, to combine with four fumbles from the team, saw the Chargers getting thumped by the Vikings, and securing a losing season a year after going 12-4 on their way to winning a playoff game.
23. Denver Broncos (5-9, Last Week: 24)
Week 15 Result: Lost to Kansas City, 23-3
It was the first poor performance for Drew Lock, but he was meant to come back to earth a bit after a strong first two games. Even still, Lock looks pretty good for the future. It’s just going to take some time.
24. Carolina Panthers (5-9, Last Week: 23)
Week 15 Result: Lost to Seattle, 30-24
We may have seen the last of Kyle Allen after another dismal performance. The Panthers look ready to give rookie Will Grier his first start in Week 16. He can’t be much worse than Kyle Allen has been. Can he?
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9, Last Week: 26)
Week 15 Result: Defeated Oakland, 20-16
The Jaguars were the beneficiaries of a clock blunder by the referees, and they took full advantage with a game-winning drive by Gardner Minshew. The Jaguars can now say they won the last game ever in Oakland.
26. Arizona Cardinals (4-9-1, Last Week: 27)
Week 15 Result: Defeated Cleveland, 38-24
The Cardinals snapped their six-game losing streak as Kenyan Drake had a day to remember, rushing for 137 yards and four touchdowns. Guess all he needed to do was get out of Miami.
27. New York Jets (5-9, Last Week: 25)
Week 15 Result: Lost to Baltimore, 42-21
Not surprisingly, the Jets were obliterated on Thursday night by the Ravens and recent reports were swirling that the team might look again into trading Le’Veon Bell and Jamal Adams. This team seems to have no sense of direction.
28. New York Giants (3-11, Last Week: 31)
Week 15 Result: Defeated Miami, 36-20
The Giants allowed Eli Manning to go out a winner in what may be his final start, as Daniel Jones will likely be back next week. This means Manning does, indeed, finish with an even record, 117-117.
29. Washington Redskins (3-11, Last Week: 29)
Week 15 Result: Lost to Philadelphia, 37-27
Just like Week 1, the Redskins hung tough with the Eagles, but ultimately fell short, just like they did in the season opener.
30. Miami Dolphins (3-11, Last Week: 28)
Week 15 Result: Lost to New York Giants, 36-20
Is the tank back on? Miami loses their second straight at the Meadowlands and are now in good position for a top-three pick in the draft. They do, however, have a winnable game next week against the 1-13 Bengals.
31. Detroit Lions (3-10-1, Last Week: 30)
Week 15 Result: Lost to Tampa Bay, 38-17
Anything that can go wrong for the Lions has been going wrong. They don’t have a stable quarterback anymore, their defense is absolutely embarrassing and they’ve now lost seven straight and ten of their last 11. It will be extremely surprising if Matt Patricia is back in 2020.
32. Cincinnati Bengals (1-13, Last Week: 32)
Week 15 Result: Lost to New England, 34-13
The Bengals actually had the lead in the second quarter against the Patriots. But like many others, they couldn’t hold the lead and New England took control in the second half. This loss, coupled with the victory by the Giants, means Cincinnati has all but wrapped up the top pick in the draft.
Bill Riccette is an NFL writer for Pro Football Network. You can find him on twitter @Bill_Riccette