There was a feeling of “not again” when the Atlanta Falcons reeled off 128 points in three games early in the season as part of a 4-1 start that was followed by back-to-back losses. In the weeks that followed, the Falcons seemed to dazzle one week but disappoint the next and failed to find consistency.
Wins against the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers aren’t the most impressive, but with 83 points in two weeks, Atlanta looks like the September version of itself that rips apart defenses.
It couldn’t come at a better time either with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers surging up the standings. But a 26-20 loss to the Dallas Cowboys for the Buccaneers means the Falcons have some breathing room.
And thanks to a loss by the Kansas City Chiefs, the Falcons are all the way at No. 3 in the Week 16 power rankings.
What’s wrong with the Denver Broncos?
When Trevor Siemian went down with an injury and first-round pick — but still raw — Paxton Lynch was forced into action, it made sense that the team struggled to score points. But Siemian is back and the Broncos have put up just 13 points in the last two weeks.
With playoff hopes dwindling and back-to-back games against the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders up next, it looks bleak for Denver. The team is struggling to run the ball, committing too many turnovers, and the defense just isn’t enough to win games alone.
It may be time to give the AFC South a little bit more credit. Once the laughingstock division of the NFL, it now has two 8-6 teams and the Indianapolis Colts just behind at 7-7. The whole division had a pretty good Week 15, with the exception of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who blew a big lead against the Texans and fired their head coach.
The Tennessee Titans managed to put together a last-second victory over one of the best teams in the AFC, the Indianapolis Colts freight trained the once-vaunted Minnesota Vikings defense, and the Houston Texans found out they had a capable quarterback all along — he was just sitting on the bench. Not a bad Sunday at all, and easily one of the most intriguing playoff races to finish the season.
Bottom of the trash heap
The bottom five teams are still the bottom five teams and none have shown any reason to think things are going to have any kind of happy ending, with the exception of draft position.
Both the Los Angeles Rams and Jaguars have already decided to start the hunt for a new head coach, but the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns can’t have had their hopes too high for first-year coaches walking into a disaster. There were high hopes for the New York Jets, though, and things are only getting worse for Todd Bowles.
With two weeks left to play, here’s the Week 16 rankings:
|Week 16||Team||Last week|
|1||New England Patriots||1|
|5||Kansas City Chiefs||3|
|7||New York Giants||7|
|11||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||11|
|14||Green Bay Packers||15|
|16||New Orleans Saints||18|
|24||San Diego Chargers||21|
|27||New York Jets||27|
|29||Los Angeles Rams||29|
|31||San Francisco 49ers||31|