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Week 16 NFL Power Rankings: Massive Leaps for the Lions and Jaguars

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The futures market isn’t hitting the panic button on the Philadelphia Eagles despite the concerning injury news for Jalen Hurts. Philadelphia still has one of the best odds of any NFC team to win the Super Bowl, in accordance with FanDuel (+430) and stays the favourite to win the NFC (+155) as of Monday afternoon. Hurts’s probabilities of winning league MVP, nonetheless, have fallen off a cliff. Patrick Mahomes is now the overwhelming favorite (-350) to win the award. Nonetheless, Hurts, Mahomes and Josh Allen still quarterback the three best teams in football—and that’s reflected here in The Ringer’s power rankings heading into Week 16. The remainder of the NFL is merely playing catch-up.

Better of the Best

1. Philadelphia Eagles (13-1 | last week’s rating: 1)

The Eagles won their thirteenth game of the season Sunday, nevertheless it could have come at a price. Jalen Hurts’s upcoming availability is doubtful after he reportedly suffered a sprained right shoulder against the Bears. Initial reporting described this as a short-term injury, but as of this writing, it’s unclear whether he’ll have the ability to play against Dallas this week. The house Cowboys opened as a 1.5-point favorite however the line shifted on Monday to -6 after news of Hurts’s injury. The Eagles are still the favorites to win the NFC (+160) and wish only yet another win in the subsequent three weeks to secure the highest seed within the conference and a first-round bye. So long as Hurts is healthy enough to start out when the postseason comes, the Eagles will remain atop this list.

2. Buffalo Bills (11-3 | last week: 3)

While the Bills defense has struggled at times recently after injuries to edge rusher Von Miller and safety Micah Hyde, Josh Allen has remained a superstar through an injury of his own to maintain the Bills atop the AFC – and that was obvious as he led a game-tying drive in a snowstorm Saturday night against Miami. His Superman dive over the pile to the goal line for the two-point conversion showed the lengths he’ll go to will the Bills to victory. Allen is the second-ranked quarterback in EPA per dropback behind just Patrick Mahomes, and he’s the explanation the Bills have the best odds to win the Super Bowl.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (11-3 | last week: 2)

Kansas City got caught twiddling with their food a bit in Houston, but don’t let that idiot you into considering the Chiefs aren’t still one in all the league’s juggernauts. Patrick Mahomes remains to be making alien-like throws weekly and ought to be the overwhelming favorite to win league MVP—even without an injury to Hurts. He’s the top-ranked signal-caller in expected points added per dropback, and the Chiefs offense remains to be nearly two times as efficient as every other offense within the NFL.

Deep Postseason Contenders

4. Cincinnati Bengals (10-4 | last week: 5)

Sunday was one in all the Bengals’ most impressive wins all season. The Bucs punched them within the mouth and got out to a 17-3 first-half lead, but Joe Burrow’s composure and second-half adjustments by defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo proved an excessive amount of for Tampa Bay to handle. Only the Eagles are playing higher complementary football than the brand new AFC North–leading Bengals at this point within the season.

5. San Francisco 49ers (10-4, last week: 6)

Excluding his pass to the chest of Seattle defensive back Quandre Diggs’s chest, 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy put together a powerful performance in his team’s Week 15 win over the Seahawks. The seventh-round rookie is now the Eleventh-ranked quarterback in EPA per dropback since Week 13 and is 2-0 as a starter. The positives are that he’s a confident passer, is mostly very accurate, and is more mobile than Jimmy Garoppolo. Nonetheless, experience remains to be an obvious issue, as is just how little Kyle Shanahan is trusting Purdy to push the ball downfield. His average depth of goal up to now three weeks is just 5.50, the second-lowest mark of any quarterback with 45-plus dropbacks since Week 13. He’s also thrown just three passes greater than 20 yards within the air, which is an NFL low in that three-week span.

6. Dallas Cowboys (10-4 | last week: 4)

You’ll be able to’t blame Sunday’s additional time loss to the Jags solely on Dak Prescott. While he did throw a ghastly interception late within the third quarter that led to points, his game-ending pick-six to Rayshawn Jenkins was a well-thrown ball that bounced right off wide receiver Noah Brown’s hands. Prescott still finished the sport 23-of-30 for 256 passing yards and three touchdowns. The Cowboys’ more concerning issues are within the second and third levels of the defense. Starting defensive backs Jourdan Lewis and Anthony Brown are each already out for the season with injuries, they usually benched cornerback Kelvin Joseph against Jacksonville after he gave up multiple long receptions. Safety Jayron Kearse has been banged up up to now few weeks, and linebacker Leighton Vander Esch left the sport with an injury on Sunday.

7. Minnesota Vikings (11-3 | last week: 9)

This Vikings’ season is hilarious. After pulling off the biggest comeback in league history on Saturday, the Vikings clinched the NFC North and improved their record to 10-0 in one-score games. They’ve top-of-the-line overall records in football and yet haven’t beaten a team by greater than eight points since Week 1. Their plus-2 point differential is the bottom of any NFL team with 11 or more wins in the primary 15 weeks of the season since 2000. But let’s save the regression talk for the offseason; the seemingly destined Vikings are within the playoffs. It’d take an improbable run to make the Super Bowl, but no team has proved higher in improbable situations.

8. Baltimore Ravens (9-5 | last week: 7)

The past few weeks are clear evidence of just how much the Ravens need Lamar Jackson back. Within the three games that Tyler Huntley has played instead of the injured Jackson, Baltimore ranks twenty seventh in EPA per drive and is tied for last in offensive points per game. They’re one in all the worst offenses in football without Jackson; with him, they must be considered a deep postseason contender. The drop-off couldn’t be more significant.

Top Wild-Card Contenders

9. Miami Dolphins (8-6 | last week: 8)

Saturday’s loss to Buffalo was easily probably the most encouraging game the Dolphins have had in weeks. Led by running back Raheem Mostert, Miami averaged greater than 7 yards per carry against a Bills defense that dared them to run the football. And while it wasn’t near one of the best we’ve seen Tua Tagovailoa play this season, he was removed from the disaster we saw against the 49ers and Chargers within the weeks prior. Three straight losses is a troublesome result and largely removes the Dolphins from the AFC East race, but when Mike McDaniel and Co. can take some lessons from this recent skid, Miami might be primed for a postseason run.

10. Los Angeles Chargers (8-6 | last week: 12)

While Sunday wasn’t an ideal game for Justin Herbert against the Titans, his throw in the ultimate minute to Mike Williams to establish the game-winning field goal was just one other example as to why he’s one in all the league’s best quarterbacks. Herbert also made NFL history on the ultimate drive of the sport, as he’s now the one quarterback ever to pass for over 4,000 yards in each of his first three seasons. The defense remains to be a large number, as is among the offense surrounding Herbert, however the Chargers have a probability in any game they play so long as he’s on the helm.

Lions RB D’Andre Swift

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

11. Detroit Lions (7-7 | last week: 17)

The Lions are 6-1 of their last seven games, and the playoffs are beginning to feel like an actual possibility with remaining games against the Panthers, Bears, and Packers. How did this occur? Fitted with a top-flight offensive line and an improving forged of weapons due to the return of receiver DJ Chark and the debut of rookie wide receiver Jameson Williams, the Lions rank no. 3 in offensive EPA per drive since Week 9. Defensively, Detroit has gone from thirty second in offensive points allowed per game (29.1) to ninth (19.8) within the last seven weeks. You’d be hard-pressed to search out a team pulling off a greater turnaround in football than the Lions straight away.

12. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-8 | last week: 18)

Trevor Lawrence has arrived. He’s the league’s third-ranked quarterback in EPA per dropback since Week 9 and has almost single-handedly given the Jags a legitimate shot at winning the AFC South. Lawrence is developing into one in all the league’s most prolific passers and is clearly elevating the skill position players around him. The Jaguars seem like a more dangerous playoff team than others within the hunt with higher records due to how Lawrence is playing straight away.

Fraudulent Wild-Card Hopefuls

13. Seattle Seahawks (7-7 | last week: 11)

Geno Smith had his first multi-interception game of the season against Carolina in Week 14 and averaged a season-low 5.4 yards per attempt within the loss to San Francisco on Thursday. He’s dropped from the fourth-ranked passer in EPA per dropback in weeks 1-5 to 18th in the identical statistic in weeks 6-15. It could’t be a coincidence, then, that the Seahawks at the moment are just 1-4 of their last five games. Anyone watching Smith closely all season knows the film hasn’t taken nearly the identical drop-off because the numbers suggest, but his numbers still must get loads higher, and shortly, for the Seahawks to climb back into playoff contention.

14. Latest York Giants (8-5-1 | last week: 19)

The Giants have been an underdog in all but 4 games this season, with a mean spread of +2.75, good for the seventh-highest mark within the league. In addition they have the 18th-ranked scoring offense and are nineteenth in scoring defense, they usually’ve yet to win a game by greater than eight points. And yet, Latest York has an 87 percent probability to make the playoffs after securing a win over Washington on Sunday Night Football. They’re not a very talented team and can likely be underdogs all throughout the playoffs in the event that they get there, but they’ve proved resilient enough—through a myriad of injuries on either side of the ball—to earn a shot within the postseason.

15. Tennessee Titans (7-7 | last week: 10)

The Titans’ playoff hopes are fading. They’re 2-5 of their last seven games, and their only wins in that stretch got here against the lowly Broncos and struggling Packers. Actually, the one team with a winning record that the Titans have beaten this season is the Commanders, and Tennessee’s minus-38 point differential is the worst of any team currently .500 or higher.

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8 | last week: 16)

Does any team must win the NFC South? Asking for a friend who really doesn’t want to look at any of this version of Tom Brady’s Bucs play on wild-card weekend. The Buccaneers are 6-8 and unfit for the postseason, yet they’ve a 73 percent probability to host a playoff game because they play within the worst division in football. It’s hard to count out Brady in January, but we will probably just fast-forward to Tampa’s early postseason exit.

Bad Long-Shot Playoff Candidates

17. Washington Commanders (7-6-1 | last week: 14)

Commanders fans must stop complaining concerning the officiating at the tip of the sport against the Giants. Washington essentially had three weeks to arrange for the Giants—if you happen to include their Week 13 matchup and their Week 14 bye—and yet they still managed to return out flat. Rating 12 points at home in a must-win game with the sting in rest and preparation, and also you need to miss the playoffs no matter what number of calls the officials miss.

18. Latest England Patriots (7-7 | last week: 15)

Even when the Patriots took a knee at the tip of regulation and Jakobi Meyers didn’t literally throw the sport away on an ill-advised lateral that was intercepted by Chandler Jones, the Patriots are still a team unfit of playoff contention. The offense is conservative, predictable, and remarkably inefficient. And Bill Belichick’s defense is nowhere near ok to beat the shortcomings of the Mac Jones–Matt Patricia–Joe Judge contingent on offense.

Jets QB Zach Wilson

Photo by Wealthy Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

19. Latest York Jets (7-7 | last week: 13)

Zach Wilson made some crazy out-of-structure throws to present the Jets a probability against the Lions, however the in-structure, in-rhythm components of his game remain extremely concerning. He often runs into pressure, misses throws, and flat-out misreads coverages. The fourth-and-18 completion to Elijah Moore juxtaposed with the first-and-10 lollipop to Lions cornerback Jerry Jacobs is a roller coaster the Jets can’t afford to ride in the event that they’re going to make the postseason, but they don’t have any alternative until Mike White is cleared to play. The Jets are a 1.5-point underdog at home against Jacksonville with Wilson expected to start out again on Thursday night.

20. Carolina Panthers (5-9 | last week: 20)

It’s impressive what interim head coach Steve Wilks has done to maintain the Panthers motivated and competitive and alive within the NFC South since taking on for Matt Rhule 10 weeks ago, however the team remains to be lacking top-end talent, especially on offense. Panthers quarterbacks have been under pressure on 45.5 percent of dropbacks this season, which is sort of 4 percent higher than every other team within the league, and their rushing attack ranks thirty first in yards before first contact per attempt.

Competitive But Out of the Hunt

21. Cleveland Browns (6-8 | last week: 23)

After back-to-back ugly starts from Deshaun Watson, the Browns put the training wheels back on the offense. Watson only threw 4 passes of greater than 10 yards downfield within the Browns’ Week 15 win over Baltimore on Saturday; only the Giants’ Daniel Jones threw fewer in the course of the week. The adjustments resulted in what was easily Watson’s best game as a Brown. Easing Watson back into the NFL and avoiding overly aggressive game plans ought to be the formula for Kevin Stefanski and company as they finish out the regular season.

22. Green Bay Packers (6-8 | last week: 21)

Even with the win over the Rams on Monday Night Football, the Packers still only have an 8 percent probability of creating the postseason, in accordance with FiveThirtyEight’s projections. They should beat the Dolphins, Vikings, and Lions in the subsequent three weeks and can need teams ahead of them within the NFC wild-card race to drop a handful of games. Aaron Rodgers and the offense must be loads more consistent to shut out the season, and while the defense now has back-to-back games with 20 or fewer points allowed, the duty only gets harder with three potent offenses remaining on the schedule.

Raiders DE Chandler Jones

Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

23. Las Vegas Raiders (6-8 | last week: 26)

Entering Week 15, the Raiders were 0-4 in games once they led by double digits on the half, and will’ve dropped to 0-5 if not for a ridiculous end-of-game disaster by the Patriots. It was a miracle for Las Vegas, but not one sufficiently big to save lots of a season by which opposing teams have more often celebrated miracles on the Raiders’ behalf.

24. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-8 | last week: 22)

The Steelers’ front seven manhandled the Panthers on Sunday, and Mitchell Trubisky was extremely efficient in a fill-in start for the injured Kenny Pickett. It’s too little, too late for a Pittsburgh team with lower than a 1 percent probability to make the playoffs, per FiveThirtyEight, but after a trying season, it’s nice to see signs of progress.

25. Latest Orleans Saints (5-9 | last week: 27)

Playing against Atlanta’s pass defense resulted in a get-right game for Andy Dalton and Taysom Hill. Dalton accomplished 11-of-17 passes for 151 yards and two scores en path to an Week 15-best 0.44 EPA per dropback average, while Hill threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Rashid Shaheed. Neither quarterback ought to be the Saints’ starter in 2023, but for at the least one week, they were ok to maintain Latest Orleans within the NFC South hunt.

26. Atlanta Falcons (5-9 | last week: 24)

Desmond Ridder very much looked like a rookie making his first profession start in a run-heavy offense against a talented and well-coached defense. He didn’t eclipse 100 passing yards against the Saints and had two throws that ought to have been picked by cornerback Alontae Taylor. A positive to takeaway from Sunday’s loss is that Ridder’s fellow rookie teammate, running back Tyler Allgeier, was absolutely phenomenal as he rushed for 139 yards and a rating on 17 carries.

Eyeing a Top-Five Pick (If They Even Have One)

27. Denver Broncos (4-10 | last week: 31)

The Broncos finally won a game … they usually did it without Russell Wilson, who was ruled out to present him more time to recuperate from the concussion he suffered last week. Still, it’s hard to rejoice much in Denver at this point within the season, especially with that prime first-round draft pick they’re earning set to go to Seattle. The faster the season ends, the higher for Broncos fans.

28. Arizona Cardinals (4-10 | last week: 28)

The Cardinals are in a dark place with no clear path out of irrelevance. Kyler Murray goes to undergo ACL and meniscus surgery that might prevent him from returning healthy in time for the beginning of next season, and there’s real doubt, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, that general manager Steve Keim returns after his leave of absence. It’s going to worsen before it gets higher in Arizona.

Colts head coach Jeff Saturday

Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

29. Indianapolis Colts (4-9-1 | last week: 25)

Jeff Saturday’s Colts have now tied the NFL record for worst fourth-quarter scoring differential and blown the biggest lead in league history in back-to-back games. Calling it embarrassing could be an understatement.

30. Los Angeles Rams (4-10 | last week: 29)

The Rams were eliminated from playoff contention with their loss on Monday night to Green Bay. But that was merely a formality—this season has long been over for the reigning Super Bowl champs. Losing Andrew Whitworth and Von Miller within the offseason proved costly in the beginning of the season, after which key injuries to Cooper Kupp, Matthew Stafford, and others only made things worse. Returning to postseason contention starts with keeping the gang (e.g. Kupp, Stafford, Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and Sean McVay) together in 2023.

31. Chicago Bears (3-11 | last week: 30)

Justin Fields had one other “highlight-reel” performance in a Bears’ loss, this time to the Eagles, and he at one point left the sport for one snap after coming up limping. He missed practice in the course of the week leading as much as the sport on account of an illness, and previously missed time this season with a shoulder injury. It’d make sense to place Fields on ice for the rest of the season as Bears hone in on the no. 2 pick within the 2023 draft.

Picking No. 1

32. Houston Texans (1-12-1 | last week: 32)

Though the Texans managed to take the Chiefs to additional time in Week 15, nothing about their performance this week (or any week this season) suggests they’re even near playoff contention. The 2-quarterback approach with Davis Mills and Jeff Driskel is cute, but there’s no reason to take them seriously until they’re starting one good quarterback fairly than two bad ones.

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