The New York Jets will avoid 0-16 infamy and are no longer the worst team in the NFL, but their shocking win may have long-term consequences.
Here’s a look at power rankings off the Week 15 results.
NFL Week 16 Power Rankings
1. Kansas City (13-1): Patrick Mahomes & Co. almost surely will be able to stay home for the playoffs again as the Chiefs simply need a win over visiting Atlanta on Sunday to clinch the AFC’s top seed. Good luck beating Mahomes in K.C.
2. Green Bay (11-3): Are you aware that Aaron Rodgers has played in four NFC title games but never at home? The Packers will earn the conference’s top seed with a win Sunday over Tennessee and a Seattle loss earlier in the day vs. the Rams.
3. Buffalo (11-3): The Bills have benefitted from the Steelers’ slide as Buffalo is now in the driver’s seat for the AFC’s No. 2 seed, although that no longer comes with a first-round bye.
4. New Orleans (10-4): The Saints’ two-game losing streak has all but ended their shot at the NFC’s top seed, but they can clinch the NFC South for a fourth year in a row with a home Christmas win over Minnesota.
5. Baltimore (9-5): My preseason pick to win Super Bowl 55 is starting to look Super-worthy on an offensively dominant three-game winning streak, yet the Ravens still could miss the AFC playoffs entirely even by winning out.
6. Indianapolis (10-4): The Colts’ offseason trade for 49ers defensive lineman DeForest Buckner was a stroke of genius for Indianapolis GM Chris Ballard.
7. Tampa Bay (9-5): If the Bucs can learn to play in the first half of games like they do in the second half, they would be unstoppable.
8. Pittsburgh (11-3): QB Ben Roethlisberger looks done, the Steelers can’t run and they keep losing linebackers to injury. It’s time to worry.
9. Seattle (10-4): The Seahawks clinch the NFC West and at least one home playoff game with a win over the visiting Rams on Sunday, and Seattle will be rooting hard for Tennessee on Sunday night in Green Bay.
10. Tennessee (10-4): The Titans would clinch a playoff berth with an upset win in Green Bay on Sunday night and the AFC South with a win and Colts loss earlier Sunday in Pittsburgh.
11. Cleveland (10-4): This might be a bit low for the Browns, who now have a shot to win the AFC North thanks to Pittsburgh’s losing streak. Cleveland clinches a rare playoff berth with a win Sunday at the Jets and some help elsewhere.
12. LA Rams (9-5): For those of you who don’t believe in trap/lookahead games, I give you what the Rams did in Week 15 as 17-point favorites vs. the Jets. Truly unforgivable.
13. Miami (9-5): The Fins can’t yet clinch their first playoff spot since 2008 with a win Saturday at Las Vegas, and a loss could be devastating.
14. Arizona (8-6): Kyler Murray & Co. clinch a playoff spot Saturday with what should be a win over San Francisco but then the Cards need a Bears loss in Jacksonville, which isn’t likely.
15. Chicago (7-7): Has Matt Nagy saved his job with a suddenly resurgent offence? Could QB Mitchell Trubisky actually return in 2021? Forget all that, though, if the Bears go lose at the Jaguars on Sunday.
16. LA Chargers (5-9): Look out for this team next season – the talent is there, the Bolts just need better coaching. They are starting to learn how to win close games, which should scare the rest of the AFC a year from now.
17. Washington (6-8): Will Washington have starting QB Alex Smith back from injury this week vs. Carolina? Remains to be seen. Washington would win the NFC East with a victory and Giants loss.
18. Las Vegas (7-7): While QB Derek Carr hopes to play Saturday vs. Miami, he suffered a serious groin injury in Week 15 and more likely his season – and maybe Raiders career – is over.
19. Minnesota (6-8): The Vikings nearly climbed out of a 1-5 start but this past Sunday’s loss to Chicago all but ended their playoff hopes. Expect major changes on the defensive side of the ball in the offseason.
20. New England (6-8): In the 2000 NFL Draft, the Patriots selected a Michigan quarterback named Tom Brady in the sixth round. That 2000 season, in which Brady didn’t play, was the last time until 2020 that the Pats finished with a non-winning record.
21. Dallas (5-9): Could the Cowboys actually trade star tailback Ezekiel Elliott this offseason? He has largely been a high-paid bust in 2020 and backup Tony Pollard has been better.
22. Philadelphia (4-9-1): It will be a fascinating offseason in Philly as the team decides whether to trade Carson Wentz or have him battle Jalen Hurts in next summer’s training camp for the 2021 starting job.
23. Denver (5-9): The general consensus is that the Broncos will bring back inconsistent Drew Lock as their starting QB in 2021 but that it’s a true make-or-break season.
24. San Francisco (5-9): This is an excellent roster that simply was decimated by injury/COVID. Adding a Top 15 draft pick in the first round next April only strengthens what will be a 2021 title contender.
25. NY Giants (5-9): New York hasn’t scored 20 points in a game in over a month yet still has a shot to win the NFC East.
26. Houston (4-10): The Texans have started interview head coaching candidates, with former Lions and Colts coach Jim Caldwell having recently met with ownership.
27. Atlanta (4-10): Matt Ryan simply can’t hold big leads against Tom Brady-led teams! First the Super Bowl vs. the Patriots a few years ago, and then this past Sunday vs. Brady’s Bucs.
28. Detroit (5-9): It’s a short week for Detroit when it hosts Tampa Bay on Saturday, and on Tuesday the Lions had to shut their facility down after two members of the organization (not clear if players) tested positive for COVID.
29. Carolina (4-10): The Panthers aren’t that far from being a decent team as they have now lost eight games this season by one possession.
30. Cincinnati (3-10-1): Monday night’s upset in Pittsburgh ended the Bengals’ 11-game losing streak to the Steelers, including playoffs, but Cincinnati needs to not win again to assure no worse than the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
31. NY Jets (1-13): It was quite fun reading all the Jets fans on Twitter/Facebook on Sunday night after New York’s shocking upset win at the Rams took the Jets out of the pole position for the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
32. Jacksonville (1-13): They say there’s no tanking in football, but you are going to see flat-out tanking by the Jaguars the final two weeks with Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence as the prize.
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