NFL Power Rankings, Week 16: NFC Controls Top Three Spots

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 19: Vernon Davis #85 of the San Francisco 49ers is pushed out of bounds at the one yard line by Lawrence Timmons #94 of the Pittsburgh Steelers at Candlestick Park on December 19, 2011 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won the game 20-3. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The Packers remain No. 1 in SB Nation's Week 16 NFL power rankings despite losing to the Chiefs last weekend while the 49ers move on up after an impressive performance against Pittsburgh. The Colts? They're still holding up the bottom.

SB Nation's NFL power rankings for Week 16 keep the Green Bay Packers in the top spot despite their first loss of the season to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday. The Packers have clearly demonstrated over 15 weeks they're the best team in the NFL and one game won't change that.

The Packers are followed by a new team at the second spot -- the San Francisco 49ers. They dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football and strengthened their grip on ending the season as the league's top ranked defense.

The bottom of our power rankings remain unchanged as the Indianapolis Colts are still ranked No. 32. Like the Packers, one game doesn't change who they are. Indy has shown us they're the worst team in the NFL so they'll stay put.

Here's how the rest of the league shakes out in our Week 16 NFL power rankings:

1. Green Bay Packers (13-1, LW: 1): Despite the loss, Green Bay stays No. 1 in our power rankings. Over 15 weeks they've clearly demonstrated they're the NFL's best team. The loss to the Chiefs is the exception, not the rule, as of now.

2. San Francisco 49ers (11-3, LW: 6): An amazingly impressive game by San Francisco on Monday night. They controlled Pittsburgh, a legit Super Bowl contender, throughout the night and they have the No. 1 defense in the NFL.This team isn't a fluke.

3. New Orleans Saints (11-3, LW: 2): I badly want to see a Saints-Packers rematch in the playoffs and I wouldn't be surprised if that's what we saw in the conference championship. Drew Brees, by the way, could break Dan Marino's season passing yards record by next week.

4. New England Patriots (11-3, LW: 5): The Pats have now won six straight and they finish off the season against the Dolphins and Bills, which means they should enter the postseason on an eight-game winning streak. As usual, they're getting hot at the right time.

5. Baltimore Ravens (10-4, LW: 3): The Ravens were beat up on Sunday night by the Chargers, which is unusual. This team doesn't get hit like that very often. I'll consider that an off game because the Ravens are my pick to come out of the AFC but I'm watching them closely.

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-4, LW: 4): As they do nearly every year (it seems), the Steelers will win 11 or 12 games and make some noise in the playoffs. I'm not too concerned about them despite the Monday night loss.

7. Houston Texans (10-4, LW: 7): I really don't know what to make of the Texans, especially if Wade Phillips' absence is going to affect their defense that much. That defense has been their strength and they were pushed around last Sunday. That said, they've still won seven of their last eight.

8. Atlanta Falcons (9-5, LW: 10): Atlanta has won four of their last five and they're an overtime loss away from winning seven of their last eight. They're on the right track with a huge test coming up on Monday night against New Orleans.

9. Detroit Lions (9-5, LW: 11): Tough way to end the season -- San Diego and at Green Bay. They need to go 1-1, at least.

10. Denver Broncos (8-6, LW: 8): The Broncos lost their second game in the Tim Tebow era this season. They control their own destiny to the playoffs so they just need to win one, possibly two games.

11. San Diego Chargers (7-7, LW: 18): Here come the Chargers. After apparently taking half the season off, they're playing like they usually do in December. The question is whether it's come too late.

12. New York Jets (8-6, LW: 9): The Jets usually step it up late in the season (or at least they have the last two seasons), which is why I was surprised to see Philly blow them out. If they can get in, they'll be a dangerous team.

13. Dallas Cowboys (8-6, LW: 14): Dallas leads the division by one game which means they control their destiny. Big Week 17 game against the Giants still looms.

14. Cincinnati Bengals (8-6, LW: 17): The Bengals are still in the thick of things in the AFC playoff picture. They need to beat the Cardinals this weekend and then likely Baltimore after that.

15. New York Giants (7-7, LW: 12): The Giants have lost five of their last six so I think I might be overvaluing them here. Still, they can get in by finishing the season strong.

16. Tennessee Titans (7-7, LW: 13): You can't lose to the winless Colts if you're serious about the playoffs. You just can't.

17. Oakland Raiders (7-7, LW: 16): The Raiders controlled the AFC West just three weeks ago. Now? They need help from Denver to get in. That's what three straight losses late in the season does for you.

18. Arizona Cardinals (7-7, LW: 19): Does anyone realize the Cards have won six of their last seven, including three overtime victories? Geez, seems like they came out of nowhere.

19. Seattle Seahawks (7-7, LW: 20): Just like Arizona, this team is getting hot. Unfortunately, it's probably too late.

20. Kansas City Chiefs (6-8, LW: 24): The Chiefs came out victorious against the Packers last weekend at Arrowhead. As everyone expected, right? Believe it or not, KC still has an outside shot at the playoffs.

21. Philadelphia Eagles (6-8, LW: 23): OK now, Philly. If they can get to an 8-8 tie with Dallas and New York, they'd win the NFC East. Possible? Yes. Likely? Nah.

22. Miami Dolphins (5-9, LW: 22): Tony Sparano was fired and interim head coach Todd Bowles got his first W last weekend. They finish the season against the Patriots and Jets so they can play spoiler.

23. Chicago Bears (7-7, LW: 15): Too bad for Chicago. They have a really good team -- except the quarterback position. It looks like Jay Cutler's injury will likely cost them the playoffs.


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24. Carolina Panthers (5-9, LW: 26): I love what Carolina is doing. They're going to be a difficult team to beat in the coming years with Cam Newton under center.

25. Washington Redskins (5-9, LW: 27): The Redskins have lost eight of their last 10. Their season has been over for a while.

26. Cleveland Browns (4-10, LW: 28): As the losses pile up, the draft position gets better. The question for Cleveland is whether they look to a quarterback in the draft.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10, LW: 29): Like Cleveland, Jacksonville could have an interesting draft question at quarterback, despite drafting Blaine Gabbert just last year. (For the record, I don't think they draft a quarterback, but that will be a question mark entering the draft.)

28. Buffalo Bills (5-9, LW: 21): You gotta feel for Bills fans. After the struggles Buffalo has been through over the last decade, and then to see the start they had this year only to lose seven consecutive games...it's not easy to be a Bills fan.

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-10, LW: 25): Eight straight losses and they finish with two straight on the road. Tampa Bay could lose a whopping 10 games in a row. Wow.

30. Minnesota Vikings (2-12, LW: 30): By the time the quarterback position develops, and they put some more talent on the team over the next few years, Adrian Peterson may be on his last legs, which is unfortunate.

31. St. Louis Rams (2-12, LW: 31): Sounds like they'll be cleaning house in St. Louis after this season and I can't blame them. The Rams were supposed to take the next step this year.

32. Indianapolis Colts (1-13, LW: 32): Yay, Indy won a game! If they keep Jim Caldwell in place then that win may really be a loss.

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