The NFL power rankings for Week 16 featured a changing of the top team, as the New England Patriots won a thriller against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In addition, the Philadelphia Eagles have won their first full game since losing quarterback Carson Wentz, thanks to backup Nick Foles. Adding to all of that, Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers are surging but have issues with their ownership at the moment. Here are the latest details on which teams have risen and fallen in the top 10 since this past week of NFL action.
With just a few games left on their schedules, teams within the top 10 are now turning their attention to playoff spots. All of the teams featured in this week’s rankings are contenders to reach the postseason. The New England Patriots were able to pick up a win late in the fourth quarter against Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. That helped New England’s cause to take the top seed in the AFC, but it will depend on how the final games play out. Due to the Pats’ win, the Philadelphia Eagles now hold the top overall record in the NFL. That has them in the No. 2 slot behind New England, while Pittsburgh has fallen to third in the power rankings, according to Sporting News.
Below are the latest top 10 rankings, which include the shift amongst the top three teams.
NFL Power Rankings (Week 16)
- New England Patriots (11-3)
- Philadelphia Eagles (12-2)
- Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3)
- Carolina Panthers (10-4)
- Minnesota Vikings (11-3)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (10-4)
- Los Angeles Rams (10-4)
- New Orleans Saints (10-4)
- Atlanta Falcons (9-5)
- Baltimore Ravens (8-6)
That brings up the fourth team in the updated rankings. The Carolina Panthers have won two in a row and are currently locked up with New Orleans at 10-4 in the NFC South. The team was recently hit with the misconduct scandal involving longtime owner Jerry Richardson, who is now selling his ownership. Cam Newton and Carolina have yet to clinch anything, though, because of how tight the race in the NFC is. However, if the playoffs were today, they would hold the No. 5 seed as a possible wild card.
Minnesota holds the No. 5 spot, and with an 11-3 record, they would love to have home field throughout the playoffs. That would include the Super Bowl, which is scheduled to take place in their home stadium. At No. 6, the Jacksonville Jaguars (10-4) have clinched a playoff berth behind quarterback Blake Bortles and rookie running back Leonard Fournette. A convincing 45-7 win over the Houston Texans achieved that. They’ll close their season out with two road games, including the team they’re trying to win the division from, the Tennessee Titans.
Looking at the final two games, some teams in the bottom of the top 10 will have a bit of work to do to get into the NFL playoffs or clinch their division. The Saints have to win outright, and that will include a Christmas Eve matchup with Atlanta, who also wants into the postseason again. Then there’s Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens trying to get a wild card spot. They will take on Indianapolis and Cincinnati to close out their season, which seems to bode well for their chances.