Week 16 NFL Power Rankings: Playoff Picture Becoming Clear

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Tom Brady's Bucs were one team that punched their ticket to the NFL Playoffs this week. Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Week 16 has concluded, and it has set up an exciting Week 17. All three AFC Wild Card spots are still up for grabs, in addition to the NFC East and two NFC Wild Card spots. But who is in the best position to take these spots? Here are the power rankings for Week 16 of the NFL season.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-14) (Eliminated) Prev: 31

The Jacksonville Jaguars are officially on the clock. The Jags’ 14 game losing streak has led them to the first overall pick in the NFL draft. As long as Trevor Lawrence declares for the draft, the Jags could have the biggest no-brainer selection in a long time.

Team MVP: Joe Schobert (8 tackles, sack, INT)

Next: at Colts

31. New York Jets (2-13) (Eliminated) Prev: 32

The Jets have found some momentum here at the end of the season. The Jets are now locked into the second overall pick, with which they will likely select Justin Fields unless they decide to keep Sam Darnold for another year.

Team MVP: Jamison Crowder (7 rec, 92 yds, 14 rush yds)

Next: at Patriots

30. Atlanta Falcons (4-11) (Eliminated) Prev: 29

Atlanta gave Kansas City much more of a game than they were likely expecting, but their Pro Bowl kicker could not make the game-tying field goal to send the game to overtime. Atlanta should be looking for more defensive help with their draft pick this year.

Team MVP: Matt Ryan (27/35, 300 yds, 2 TDs)

Next: at Buccaneers

29. Houston Texans (4-11) (Eliminated) Prev: 28

JJ Watt called his teammates out after another loss, giving an impassioned speech about the effort on and off the field. Watt may be on his way out of the only organization he has played for to this point in his career.

Team MVP: Deshaun Watson (24/33, 324 yds, 3 TDs)

Next: vs Titans

28. Cincinnati Bengals (4-10-1) (Eliminated) Prev: 30

The Bengals’ third-string quarterback lit up the Texans’ defense. The Bengals have gotten hot after a divisional win, but will still need to find offensive line help in the offseason, either in free agency or the draft.

Team MVP: Brandon Allen (29/37, 371 yds, 2 TDs)

Next: vs Ravens

27. Philadelphia Eagles (4-10-1) (Eliminated) Prev: 24

The Eagles were the first NFC East team to be eliminated from the playoffs this year. Jalen Hurts provided somewhat of a band-aid for all of Philly’s deficiencies on offense this year, but the Eagles will have a lot of work to do in the offseason.

Team MVP: Desean Jackson (1 rec, 81 yds, TD)

Next: vs Washington

26. Detroit Lions (5-10) (Eliminated) Prev: 26

Detroit was dominated by the Bucs on Saturday. The Lions only scored on a punt return for a touchdown, as the offense could not get anything going, especially after Matt Stafford left the game in the first quarter. The defense was lit up by both Tom Brady and Blaine Gabbert. It was an all-around bad effort from Detroit this week.

Team MVP: Jamal Agnew (Punt return TD)

Next: vs Vikings

25. Denver Broncos (5-10) (Eliminated) Prev: 23

Denver tried a Hail Mary at the end of the game against the Chargers, but it wound up getting intercepted. Drew Lock threw a pair of picks in this game, as his turnover struggles continued. Denver will be healthier next year, a year in which Drew Lock will have to prove he is an NFL caliber quarterback.

Team MVP: Malik Reed (5 tackles, sack)

Next: vs Raiders

24. Carolina Panthers (5-10) (Eliminated) Prev: 25

The Panthers got to play spoiler for Washington on Sunday, keeping them from clinching the NFC East. Carolina plays in a tough division, and they will have to keep getting better as this team gains more experience.

Team MVP: Curtis Samuel (5 rec, 106 yds, 52 rush yds)

Next: vs Saints

23. Los Angeles Chargers (6-9) (Eliminated) Prev: 27

Justin Herbert continued his pursuit of the offensive rookie of the year award, getting a win over Denver. The Chargers’ record does not look all that bad at this point, but it should not save Anthony Lynn’s job.

Team MVP: Casey Hayward Jr. (tackle, INT)

Next: at Chiefs

22. New England Patriots (6-9) (Eliminated) Prev: 20

The Pats found out what the Bills felt for twenty years on Monday Night. They were thoroughly dominated in every facet of the game, and could not score more than one touchdown. The offense needs a complete turnaround in the offseason.

Team MVP: Sony Michel (69 rush yds)

Next: vs Jets

21. San Francisco 49ers (6-9) (Eliminated) Prev: 22

San Francisco knocked off Arizona and took their playoff fate out of their hands. Games like this serve to remind us that San Francisco will be back next year, once they get healthy.

Team MVP: Jeff Wilson Jr. (183 rush yds, 21 rec yds, TD)

Next: vs Seahawks

20. New York Giants (5-10) Prev: 19

The G-Men took a loss to the Ravens on Sunday, but remain alive in the race for the NFC East. Daniel Jones is still banged up, but he is playing through his leg injuries. The Giants will need to win and get help next week to win the division.

Team MVP: Sterling Shepherd (9 rec, 77 yds, TD)

Next: vs Cowboys

19. Minnesota Vikings (6-9) (Eliminated) Prev: 18

Mike Zimmer said that this defense was the worst that he has ever had. While harsh, it is not entirely untrue. Minnesota has all the offensive talent in the world, but they could not score enough to win games this year.

Team MVP: Kirk Cousins (27/41, 291 yds, 3 TDs)

Next: at Lions

18. Las Vegas Raiders (7-8) (Eliminated) Prev: 15

The Raiders should have won on Saturday night, but with an insane pass by Ryan Fitzpatrick, along with a facemask penalty, Miami was able to kick the game-winning field goal to eliminate the Raiders. The late-season collapse is complete.

Team MVP: Nelson Agholor (5 rec, 155 yds, TD)

Next: at Broncos

17. Washington Football Team (6-9) Prev: 17

Washington was not able to clinch the NFC East, as they fell to the Broncos. All Washington has to do to clinch next week is beat the Eagles. But Jalen Hurts may make that difficult.

Team MVP: J.D. McKissic (15 rush yds, 8 rec, 77 yds, TD)

Next: at Eagles

16. Dallas Cowboys (6-9) Prev: 21

Dallas has caught fire in the last few weeks, and have the most momentum out of anybody in the race for the NFC East. Even without their starting quarterback, Dallas’ talent may be enough to carry them to an NFC East title.

Team MVP: Michael Gallup (6 rec, 121 yds, 2 TDs)

Next: at Giants

15. Arizona Cardinals (8-7) Prev: 13

Arizona took a bad loss to the 49ers, and now need help to make the playoffs. With Kyler Murray’s status in question, the Cardinals’ chances this season may be toast.

Team MVP: Haason Redick (3 tackles, 1.5 sacks)

Next: at Rams

14. Indianapolis Colts (10-5) Prev: 10

The Colts blew a large lead to the Steelers and now will need help to make the playoffs this year, despite having won ten games this year. If this team does miss the postseason, it would be a shame, as this team is very well rounded.

Team MVP: Jonathan Taylor (74 rush yds, 2 TDs)

Next: vs Jaguars

13. Chicago Bears (8-7) Prev: 16

Chicago now controls their own destiny. They get a tough matchup with their rival, the Packers, in Week 17, but it remains to be seen if Green Bay will play their starters, with the division already locked up.

Team MVP: David Montgomery (95 rush yds, 26 rec yds, TD)

Next: vs Packers

12. Baltimore Ravens (10-5) Prev: 14

Baltimore is another team that simply has to win to make the playoffs. They get Cinncinati, who, while their roster is not very intimidating, is red hot at the moment.

Team MVP: Lamar Jackson (17/26, 183 yds, 80 rush yds, 2 TDs)

Next: at Bengals

11. Miami Dolphins (10-5) Prev: 12

Miami found a way to win again, as the Raiders blew themselves up. The only problem for Miami is that they will play Buffalo, who will be playing for the second seed, in Week 17. They will need to bring it to make the postseason.

Team MVP: Myles Gaskin (87 rush yds, 5 rec, 82 yds, 2 TDs)

Next: at Bills

10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-5) Prev: 11

Tampa Bay is officially in the playoffs. Tompa Bay looks like they have gotten their act together and are excelling on every level. The Bucs will be a threat to everybody in the playoffs due to how talented their roster is.

Team MVP: Mike Evans (10 rec, 181 yds, 2 TDs)

Next: vs Falcons

9. Cleveland Browns (10-5) Prev: 7

The Browns could have clinched this week but came up short against the lowly Jets. The Browns were messed with by COVID and now will have to beat the Steelers in Week 17 to make the playoffs. Pittsburgh is expected to start Mason Rudolph, so there is hope.

Team MVP: Olivier Vernon (5 tackles, sack)

Next: vs Steelers

8. Tennessee Titans (10-5) Prev: 8

Tennessee was run through by the Packers on Sunday Night, and now have to win to get in the playoffs. The Titans get the Texans and Deshaun Watson next week who, despite their record, are always a threat.

Team MVP: Malcolm Butler (6 tackles, INT)

Next: at Texans

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3) Prev: 9

The Steelers have remembered how to play football, and have now clinched the AFC North. Pittsburgh will be resting Ben Roethlisberger in Week 17, and will likely let the Browns in the playoffs, locking down the third seed in the AFC.

Team MVP: JuJu Smith-Schuster (9 rec, 96 yds, TD)

Next: at Browns

6. Los Angeles Rams (9-6) Prev: 6

The Rams took a loss to Seattle, losing their chance to win the NFC West. Jared Goff will be unavailable for their game against the Cardinals, and the Rams have a chance to miss the playoffs altogether.

Team MVP: Leonard Floyd (7 tackles, 2 sacks)

Next: vs Cardinals

5. Seattle Seahawks (11-4) Prev: 5

Seattle officially clinched the NFC West with a win against the Rams. The Seahawks still have a chance to be the first seed in the NFC, but they will need losses from both the Packers and Saints, in addition to winning their own game.

Team MVP: Russell Wilson (20/32, 225 yds, 9 rush yds, 2 TDs)

Next: at 49ers

4. New Orleans Saints (11-4) Prev: 4

Alvin Kamara tied an NFL record with six rushing touchdowns against the Vikings. It was a great Christmas present to Saints fans, with the game being played on Christmas Day. The Saints will be fighting for seeding in Week 17.

Team MVP: Alvin Kamara (155 rush yds, 3 rec, 17 yds, 6 TDs)

Next: at Panthers

3. Buffalo Bills (12-3) Prev: 3

Bills Mafia got know the feeling that Pats fans have had for years, as they crushed New England in Foxboro to sweep the season series. The Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs tandem may be unstoppable for a long time.

Team MVP: Stefon Diggs (9 rec, 145 yds, 3 TDs)

Next: vs Dolphins

2. Green Bay Packers (12-3) Prev: 2

Aaron Rodgers may be on his way to another MVP award. He played phenomenally in the snow, where most quarterbacks would struggle. Rodgers turned a game that had the potential to be extremely run-heavy into an aerial assault on the Titans’ secondary.

Team MVP: Davante Adams (11 rec, 142 yds, 3 TDs)

Next: at Bears

1. Kansas City Chiefs (14-1) Prev: 1

The Chiefs got much more of a game than they were expecting from the Falcons but were still able to secure the AFC’s number one seed and a first-round bye. Now the Chiefs will likely rest Patrick Mahomes and a few more starters in Week 17, and let them come back with fresh legs in the Divisional round.

Team MVP: Travis Kelce (7 rec, 98 yds, TD)

Next: vs Chargers