Matzek's NFL Power Rankings: Week 16
BIGGEST JUMP: Dallas Cowboys (from 11 to 8)
BIGGEST DROP: Tennessee Titans (from 13 to 19)
1 (1). GREEN BAY PACKERS - Better to have an off-day in December than January. There isn't a team in the league without a questionable loss...the Packers were the last team to join the party.
2 (3). NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - Drew Brees needs just 305 yards passing in two games to eclipse Dan Marino's record of 5,084 yards. The Saints freak me out.
3 (5). NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - They exploit defenses who struggle to cover the middle of the field. Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski have proven to be two of the most difficult middle/seam covers in the league.
4 (7). SAN FRANCISCO 49ers - Finally got to watch them play a full game. Their defense is no joke: active, fast, tenacious, ball-hawking etc. But will it be enough to carry them deep into the playoffs?
5 (2). PITTSBURGH STEELERS - Ben's sprained ankle made him look like he was stuck in concrete. He was a sitting (or standing) duck in the pocket in their loss to the 49ers.
6 (4). BALTIMORE RAVENS - They were a complete mess against the Chargers. This team is tough to figure out. Can they hold on to their position atop the AFC South? Right now, the tiebreaker is the only thing keeping them ahead of the Steelers.
7 (8). ATLANTA FALCONS - Need just one win to lock up a wild card spot in the NFC. Can they do it against the Saints?
8 (11). DALLAS COWBOYS - They control their own destiny in the NFC East. Two wins, and they will be in.
9 (6). HOUSTON TEXANS - TJ Yates played more like...well...TJ Yates in their loss to the Carolina Panthers. I think the Texans will be one and done in the playoffs.
10 (12). DETROIT LIONS - A 98-yard, game-winning drive lead by Matthew Stafford is all you need to know about the Lions desire to be a playoff team.
11 (9). NY GIANTS - The Giants and Jets will play each other on Christmas eve...
12 (10). NY JETS - ...I predict the loser will not make the playoffs.
13 (16). SEATTLE SEAHAWKS - Seattle is one of the three hottest teams in the NFL right now. They trail in the wild card by two games with two to play.
14 (14). DENVER BRONCOS - There aren't many teams that can keep up with the Patriots offensive fire power. Even though they lost, the Broncos are still in first place in the AFC west.
15 (18). SAN DIEGO CHARGERS - Their collective head's have officially been removed from their collective asses.
16 (17). CINCINNATI BENGALS - Their playoff recipe is simple: beat the Cardinals and Ravens, and hope the Jets stumble at least once.
17 (20). ARIZONA CARDINALS - The Cardinals are piping hot, and I have no idea how.
18 (21). PHILADELPHIA EAGLES - Must be a "bird" thing. The Seahawks, Cardinals and Eagles are feeling it right now. Believe it or not, if the Eagles, Giants, and Cowboys wind up 8-8, Philadelphia will win the NFC east. Unbelievable.
19 (13). TENNESSEE TITANS - ???
20 (15). CHICAGO BEARS - The Josh McCown era starts Sunday against the Packers. That is, if McCown is good enough in practice to surpass Caleb Hanie (insert witty comment here).
21 (19). OAKLAND RAIDERS - Losers of three straight.
22 (22). MIAMI DOLPHINS - It's taken a while, but Reggie Bush will be a 1000 yard rusher this season. He posted a career-high 203 last weekend.
23 (26). KANSAS CITY CHIEFS - It was a perfect storm: home game...solid QB play...good defense...new coach...no turnovers. In all honesty, the Chiefs should have scored 30 against Green Bay.
24 (27). CAROLINA PANTHERS - After winning just one game last season, the Panthers were rewarded with the most difficult schedule in the NFL. They have taken that lemon and made root beer in posting five wins this season.
25 (23). BUFFALO BILLS - Yikes - even the Dolphins have surpassed the Bills in the AFC east.
26 (24). JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS - Played more like their actual selves in losing 41-14 to the Falcons.
27 (28). WASHINGTON REDSKINS - Good Rex, bad Rex. Good Rex, bad Rex.
28 (25). TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS - They have gone from playoff hopeful, to complete disaster in one calendar year.
29 (29). CLEVELAND BROWNS - The offense had better rhythm with Seneca Wallace at quarterback. Not a good sign for Colt McCoy.
30 (30). ST LOUIS RAMS - See Tampa Bay comment.
31 (31). MINNESOTA VIKINGS - So is Christian Ponder really gonna be the guy they build around?
32 (32). INDIANAPOLIS COLTS - Off the schnide! (what exactly is a "schnide"?).