[Note by JasonB, 12/21/10 7:32 AM EST ] Our full week 16 NFL power rankings can be found here.
Our full week 16 power rankings will come out tomorrow, but today we’re doing a preview of the top 10 teams in the NFL. The outcome of the Bears vs Vikings game could certainly change this, but I’m going to assume that the Bears can take care of the Joe Webb lead Vikings tonight in what should be a frigid affair in Minnesota.
There was actually quite a bit of movement amongst the top 10 this week.
(1) New England Patriots – Struggled to beat the Packers in Foxboro without Aaron Rodgers, which was a surprise. The Pats were 15.5 point favorites in that game and only won by four… Still a win is a win and the Pats still hold the AFC’s best record. (LW: 1)
(2) Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons won their 8th straight on Sunday and clinched a playoff spot. They’ve got one more big test this season and it’s next week when the Saints come to the Georgia Dome. Unfortunately, had the Saints not lost Sunday that game could have helped decided the NFC South. (LW: 2)
(3) Philadelphia Eagles – Pulled off one of the great comebacks in NFL history to beat the Giants and take a stranglehold on the NFC East. With home games against the Vikings and Cowboys left, the Eagles have a decent shot at a #2 seed. (LW: 5)
(4) Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens did what the Steelers could not this weekend, get a win at home against a quality opponent. They’ve now pulled even with Pittsburgh in the AFC North. (LW: 6)
(5) Chicago Bears – Lost in embarrassing fashion last week to the Patriots, but can get some redemption with a win over the Vikings tonight. With the Packers dropping two straight, their position in the NFC North is still safe. They need to beat the Jets and Packers in the last weeks to ensure themselves a #2 seed in the NFC. (LW: 7)
(6) New York Jets– The criticism we’ve had with the Jets all year is that they’ve beaten bad teams and lost when they faced quality opponents… Not this past weekend. They went into Pittsburgh and got a huge win. (LW: 10)
(7) Pittsburgh Steelers – The Jets are a quality team, but that’s really no excuse for the Steelers to drop a home game at this point in the season. They were supposed to be the second best team in the AFC, they didn’t look like it. (LW: 3)
(8) New Orleans Saints – I can’t say as though there’s a lot of shame in losing to the Ravens on the road. That’s a tough, out of conference road game. It’s surprising how often teams lose in that spot. Unfortunately it probably cost them a shot at the NFC South. (LW: 4)
(10) Indianapolis Colts – Tough decision as to who was #10 this week, but the Colts really had a great win to beat the Jags and wrest control of the AFC South back. If they win out, they’re the division champs again. (LW: 15)