Week 16 NFL Power Rankings: A Week of Wild Endings

Week 15 of the NFL season brought with it some of the wildest endings in NFL history. Only four of the 16 games were decided by more than 8 points, and many of them came down to the very final play of the game. After such a wild weekend, here are the Week 16 NFL power rankings as we head into the final three weeks of the regular season.

1. Philadelphia Eagles, 13-1

  • Last Week: 25-20 win @ CHI
  • Trending: —
  • This Week: 12/24 @ DAL
Questions Answered: Jalen Hurts' Injury
Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. © Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Jalen Hurts showed a few chinks in his armor this weekend against the Chicago Bears, but in the end, Philly continues to find ways to win games. Now, they have a chance to clinch the NFC East and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs with a victory over the Cowboys this weekend.

2. Cincinnati Bengals, 10-4

  • Last Week: 34-23 win @ TB
  • Trending: —
  • This Week: 12/24 @ NE

Despite falling down to Tom Brady in his house, Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals managed to make a double-digit comeback and solidify themselves as the sole owner of the AFC North. Keep an eye on their matchup with the Bills in a couple weeks as well. It could go a long way towards deciding the AFC’s No. 1 seed.

3. Buffalo Bills, 11-3

  • Last Week: 32-29 win vs, MIA
  • Trending: +2
  • This Week: 12/24 @ CHI

This weekend, we got a great glimpse of why homefield advantage is going to be so important for the Buffalo Bills in the playoffs. It’s going to be tough for any team to go into that building and win in January, and the Dolphins found that out the hard way as the snow poured down.

4. Kansas City Chiefs, 11-3

  • Last Week: 30-24 win @ HOU
  • Trending: -1
  • This Week: 12/24 vs. SEA

Like so many other teams this week, Kansas City found themselves in danger of losing to a far lesser team in the Houston Texans. Patrick Mahomes did not play a terrific game, and the defense let Davis Mills have one of his better performances of the season. In the end, though, Kansas City relied on the speedy Jerick McKinnon to seal the deal in overtime.

5. San Francisco 49ers, 10-4

  • Last Week: 21-13 win @ SEA
  • Trending: -1
  • This Week: 12/24 @ WSH

Brock Purdy remains undefeated as the 49ers quarterback, but this game was much less dominant than the previous two. The loss of Deebo Samuel for this offense cannot be understated, and while they have enough weapons to get by teams like the Seahawks, San Francisco needs their star receiver for the playoffs.

6. Dallas Cowboys, 10-4

  • Last Week: 34-40 loss @ JAX
  • Trending: -1
  • This Week: 12/24 vs. PHI

Dallas losing to the Jaguars won’t inspire too much confidence right before a playoff run, but this seemed like a classic “look ahead” game for a team that now faces the Philadelphia Eagles on Christmas Eve. Things don’t get easier after that, either, as they may not play at home for the rest of their season, including the playoffs.

7. Minnesota Vikings, 11-3

  • Last Week: 33-30 win vs. IND
  • Trending: —
  • This Week: 12/24 vs. NYG
Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Yes, the Minnesota Vikings completed the greatest comeback in NFL history. It was as amazing as it was disturbing that the team fell down by 33 points to the Indianapolis Colts to begin with. Because of this constant mixed bag of results, the Vikings don’t move at all this week.

8. New York Giants, 8-5-1

  • Last Week: 20-12 win @ WSH
  • Trending: +6
  • This Week: 12/24 @ MIN

This was a defining win for the New York Giants on their mission towards their first playoff berth since 2016. Their defense halted a Washington offense that had been strong in recent weeks, and Saquon Barkley shined bright under the lights.

9. Detroit Lions, 7-7

  • Last Week: 20-17 win @ NYJ
  • Trending: +4
  • This Week: 12/24 @ CAR

Dan Campbell’s group is playing some incredible football right now, but they wouldn’t be in this position without some gutsy play calling. Once again, Campbell’s decision to roll the dice on 4th down proved to be a major difference maker in this game. If the Lions find a way to make it into the playoffs, teams will not want to run into them.

10. Washington Commanders, 7-6-1

  • Last Week: 12-20 loss vs. NYG
  • Trending: -2
  • This Week: 12/24 @ SF

If there’s any positive from this week for the Commanders, it’s that they no longer have to play against the New York Giants, who apparently are the kryptonite for this team. That being said, things don’t get any easier this week for Washington as they head on the road to take on the 49ers.

11. Miami Dolphins, 8-6

  • Last Week: 29-32 loss @ BUF
  • Trending: -1
  • This Week: 12/25 vs. GB

It was a terrific game all around on Saturday night, but on the defensive side of the ball, the Miami Dolphins simply were no match for the Bills offense in the snow. Making matters worse, this loss could have some huge playoff implications down the stretch of the season.

12. Los Angeles Chargers, 8-6

  • Last Week: 17-14 win vs. TEN
  • Trending: +4
  • This Week: 12/26 @ IND
Week 16 NFL Power Rankings
Dec 11, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) celebrates after the game against the Miami Dolphins at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This weekend couldn’t have gone much better for the Chargers. They got a much-needed win over the Titans to keep their winning record intact, and they got some help from the rest of the conference, boosting them all the way to the AFC’s No. 6 seed.

13. Baltimore Ravens, 9-5

  • Last Week: 3-13 loss @ CLE
  • Trending: -4
  • This Week: 12/24 vs. ATL

The Ravens are not the same team without Lamar Jackson at QB, and whenever they go against a strong pass rush like the Cleveland Browns, they need to be in tip-top shape in order to make things competitive.

14. New York Jets, 7-7

  • Last Week: 17-20 loss vs. DET
  • Trending: -3
  • This Week: 12/22 vs. JAX

The AFC East was filled with inexplicable mistakes this week, and somehow, Elijah Moore running five yards backwards after a 20-yard reception on the final drive of the game wasn’t the strangest thing to happen. A few years ago, Greg Zuerlein would have nailed the field goal to tie the game, but not in 2022.

15. Jacksonville Jaguars, 6-8

  • Last Week; 40-34 win vs. DAL
  • Trending: +5
  • This Week: 12/22 @ NYJ

Trevor Lawrence’s development has been extreme, and he’s shown potential stardom multiple times in recent weeks. Following this latest victory over a very good Dallas Cowboys team, Jacksonville finds themselves firmly in the playoff mix once again in the AFC South.

16. New England Patriots, 7-7

  • Last Week: 24-30 loss @ LV
  • Trending: -4
  • This Week: 12/24 vs. CIN

The only way to sum this game up is with the following tweet:

17. Pittsburgh Steelers, 6-8

  • Last Week: 24-16 win @ CAR
  • Trending: +2
  • This Week: 12/24 vs. LV

The Steelers defense was stifling all afternoon, and they didn’t allow the Panthers to get any sort of production in the running game. Then on the other side, Mitch Trubisky turned himself into a great game manager leading Pittsburgh to another win. Maybe another winning record isn’t off the table for Mike Tomlin’s group after all.

18. Cleveland Browns, 6-8

  • Last Week: 13-3 win vs. BAL
  • Trending: +1
  • This Week: 12/24 vs. NO

The Browns offense continues to be a lethargic group, but luckily for them, they did not have to play against a Lamar Jackson-led Baltimore Ravens squad.

19. Tennessee Titans, 7-7

  • Last Week: 14-17 loss @ LAC
  • Trending: -4
  • This Week: 12/24 vs. HOU

Derrick Henry got himself back over the 100-yard rushing mark this week, but it was the quarterback position that ultimately let Tennessee down. Ryan Tannehill left for a portion of the game with an injury, but even when he was in, it wasn’t a great game for the veteran QB. Rookie Malik Willis continues to struggle in his limited snaps as well.

20. Seattle Seahawks, 7-7

  • Last Week: 13-21 loss vs. SF
  • Trending: -3
  • This Week: 12/24 @ KC

Just a couple weeks ago, it was these very Seahawks that led the NFC West. Now, after four losses in five games, they’ve fully surrendered that lead and are officially out of the race for the division.

21. Las Vegas Raiders, 6-8

  • Last Week: 30-24 win vs. NE
  • Trending: +6
  • This Week: 12/24 @ PIT

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, and boy, the Raiders found themselves getting lucky on Sunday.

22. Green Bay Packers, 6-8

  • Last Week: 24-12 win vs. LAR
  • Trending: +2
  • This Week: 12/25 @ MIA

The snow was falling at Lambeau on Monday night, and that seemed to give Aaron Rodgers all the power he needed to lead the Green Bay Packers to another win. Now, they could find themselves with a pathway to the playoffs.

23. Denver Broncos, 4-10

  • Last Week: 24-15 win vs. ARI
  • Trending: +5
  • This Week: 12/25 @ LAR

Over the last two weeks, there have been signs that this Nathaniel Hackett deal may end up working out. Even without starting QB Russell Wilson, they found themselves victorious over the Arizona Cardinals. We’ll see if this is a sign of better things to come or just a lucky stretch of catching teams at the right time.

24. Carolina Panthers, 5-9

  • Last Week: 16-24 loss vs. PIT
  • Trending: -1
  • This Week: 12/24 vs. DET

Carolina mustered nearly nothing on the ground this weekend, and when your entire offensive production relies on Sam Darnold, you’re probably not going to find much success.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 6-8

  • Last Week: 23-34 loss vs. CIN
  • Trending: -3
  • This Week: 12/25 @ ARI

Believe it or not, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers still find themselves on the path towards hosting a playoff game. That being said, the entire NFC South should be quivering at the fact that one of them will have to host the Dallas Cowboys in a few weeks.

26. New Orleans Saints, 5-9

  • Last Week: 21-18 win vs. ATL
  • Trending: +4
  • This Week: 12/24 @ CLE

Dennis Allen didn’t quite blow a lead this time, but it got very, very close. Instead, Bradley Roby saved the day by recovering a fumble by Falcons rookie receiver Drake London.

27. Atlanta Falcons, 5-9

  • Last Week: 18-21 loss @ NO
  • Trending: -6
  • This Week: 12/24 @ BAL

Just when it seemed like the Atlanta Falcons were figuring a few things out and could make a run at this division, they’ve managed to stumble in the worst possible ways. Even still, they’re hanging on in this division by a thread.

28. Arizona Cardinals, 4-10

  • Last Week: 15-24 loss @ DEN
  • Trending: -3
  • This Week: 12/25 vs. TB

It was a very wild week for Arizona, so this loss probably should have been expected. And now, they might be able to land one of the premier defenders in the 2023 NFL Draft with a top-10 pick.

29. Los Angeles Rams, 4-10

  • Last Week: 12-24 loss @ GB
  • Trending: -3
  • This Week: 12/25 vs. DEN

It seems Baker Mayfield may be better off drawing plays on the football rather than having time to learn the intricacies of an offense. Additionally, apparently the Rams spent oodles of money on high-tech cold weather gear to bring with them from LA to Green Bay, and that just didn’t seem like a great look for them.

30. Houston Texans, 1-12-1

  • Last Week: 24-30 loss vs. KC
  • Trending: +1
  • This Week: 12/24 @ TEN

Remember last week when it seemed like the Texans played well enough to win, and then decided that the tank for Bryce Young was more important? Well, it seems like it happened again this week. It took overtime to get it done, but the Texans move ever closer to securing the No. 1 pick in the 2023 Draft.

31. Chicago Bears, 3-11

  • Last Week: 20-25 loss vs. PHI
  • Trending: +1
  • This Week: 12/24 vs. BUF

The Chicago Bears seem to have taken a few pointers from the Texans in terms of tanking this week, and it probably helped that a win would have helped their rival Minnesota Vikings by opening the door to the NFC’s top seed. Justin Fields made a few spectacular plays again, and even the defense got in on the action. All that said, Chicago stays on track to draft either Will Anderson or Jalen Carter.

32. Indianapolis Colts, 4-9-1

  • Last Week: 30-33 loss @ MIN
  • Trending: -3
  • This Week: 12/26 vs. LAC

Poor Matt Ryan.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. He also earned minors in History, Human Biology, and Journalism. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys marathon training, playing video games, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. For more of his opinions, check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.