Week 16 NFL Power Rankings

How about those Dallas Cowboys? Those of you who have been clinging to the idea that quarterback Tony Romo is bound to fall apart in December may have to find a new favorite hot take, as Romo is currently the best QB in the NFC East with two games left to play in the National Football League regular season. Romo and the Cowboys erased that disappointing Thanksgiving Day performance from memories by going to Philadelphia and defeating the Eagles in front of a Sunday Night Football audience. Dallas is for real, a Super Bowl contender for the first time in at least seven years.

Elsewhere around the league was a debut that left much to be desired. Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel did not provide a much-needed spark to an offense that had been failing as of late, and he was, at times, downright awful against the Cincinnati Bengals. Those looking to either panic or to bury the young man known as Johnny Football would do well to go back and watch the game film, though, as Manziel was hung out to dry by a terrible game plan and teammates that failed to show up for what was essentially a home playoff contest.

Two of the worst teams in the NFL came together to produce what was an ugly game that came down to the final play, one that would have provided nothing short of a gut-punch to a fan base that has watched hours upon hours of bad football over the past several years. The question does have to be asked to fans of the New York Jets: Was there a part of you secretly hoping that the Tennessee Titans would somehow complete an unimaginable journey into the end zone with zero seconds left on the clock just to ensure that the Jets would still be in the running for the top overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft?

32 Tennessee Titans (2-12)

Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

31 Washington Redskins (3-11)

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-12)

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

29 Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12)

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

28 Oakland Raiders (2-12)

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

27 New York Jets (3-11)

Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

26 Chicago Bears (5-9)

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

25 Atlanta Falcons (5-9)

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

24 New York Giants (5-9)

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

23 Cleveland Browns (7-7)

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

22 San Francisco 49ers (7-7)

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

21 Carolina Panthers (5-8-1)

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

20 Houston Texans (7-7)

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

19 St. Louis Rams (6-8)

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

18 Minnesota Vikings (6-8)

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

17 Miami Dolphins (7-7)

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

16 New Orleans Saints (6-8)

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

15 San Diego Chargers (8-6)

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

14 Philadelphia Eagles (9-5)

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

13 Kansas City Chiefs (8-6)

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports


12 Buffalo Bills (8-6)

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

11 Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5)

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

10 Cincinnati Bengals (9-4-1)

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

9 Baltimore Ravens (9-5)

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

8 Arizona Cardinals (11-3)

Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

7 Green Bay Packers (10-4)

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

6 Detroit Lions (10-4)

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

5 Dallas Cowboys (10-4)

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

4 Indianapolis Colts (10-4)

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

3 Seattle Seahawks (10-4)

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

2 Denver Broncos (11-3)

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

1 New England Patriots (11-3)

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

It is the Christmas season, and Tom Brady and the Patriots are kings of NFL power rankings. What is old is once again new. The AFC road to the Super Bowl will go through Gillette Stadium and the Patriots so long as New England wins out. Done and done, right? Not so fast. The Patriots will host the Buffalo Bills in Week 17, a game that could determine the playoff fate of the Bills depending on all that occurs this coming Sunday. It's hard to imagine New England failing to win at Gillette with home-field advantage on the line, but that Buffalo defense cannot be taken lightly.

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Week 16 NFL Power Rankings