2008 Week 16 NFL Power Rankings
(Dated: December 16 - 21, 2008)
1. Tennessee Titans (12-2) – The Tennessee Titans, despite falling on Sunday remain at the # 1 spot. On Sunday, Houston upset the Titans 13-12, keeping them out of the end zone the entire game. In the loss, the Titans lost their top defensive player Albert Haynesworth to injury. The severity of his injury is still uncertain at this point. The loss for the Titans moved them to 12-2 on the season, and one full game up on the AFC home field advantage. Tennessee will take on Pittsburgh at home, and travel to Indianapolis to conclude the season. The winner of the Titans/Steelers game on Sunday will likely come away with the home field advantage. The game will be played in Nashville, a place the Titans are 6-1 at, on the season.
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3) – Coming up with their fifth straight win on Sunday, suddenly the Pittsburgh Steelers look like the possible team to beat in not just the AFC, but the entire NFL. On Sunday, the Steelers needed a 94-yard drive late in the game, for their first and only touchdown of the game to knock off Baltimore 13-9. The win for the Steelers wrapped up the AFC North title. The Steelers will look to take control of home field advantage in the AFC with a trip to Nashville on Sunday. The following Sunday, Pittsburgh will host the Cleveland Browns. Pittsburgh moves up one spot from # 3 to # 2.
3. Carolina Panthers (11-3) – Another team red hot right now – the Carolina Panthers look to be another emerging contender. The Panthers picked up their third straight win on Sunday over Denver. The win for the Panthers was their 8th in 8 home games; the win also kept Carolina locked in at the # 3 position in the power rankings. DeAngelo Williams once again led the Panthers offense, this time with just 88 rushing yards, but a 50+ yard run for a touchdown. Receiver Steve Smith picked up a season high 165 receiving yards in the win. Carolina is one full game ahead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons in the NFC South. Carolina will play their last two games on the road, at New York Giants and at New Orleans. The Panthers are 3-3 when playing on the road this season.
4. New York Giants (11-3) – For the first time all season, the defending Super Bowl Champions seem to have some question marks. The Giants lost 20-8 on Sunday Night to Dallas; their second straight loss. Since the Plexico Burress incident, the Giants offense has struggled scoring just 14 points against Philadelphia and 8 against Dallas. The Giants are two games up in the NFC East with two games to play. The loss for the Giants drops them two spots from # 2 to # 4. The Giants will play Sunday at home for the right to the # 1 seed throughout the NFC playoffs; against the Carolina Panthers. In the season finale, the Giants will take on the Minnesota Vikings, on the road.
5. Indianapolis Colts (10-4) – The Colts continued their red-hot play with a 31-21 win over the Detroit Lions. The win for Indianapolis moved them up from # 6 to # 5. In the win for Indianapolis, Dominic Rhodes ran for 86 yards and a touchdown. The win for the Colts send them to two games back of the Tennessee in the AFC South. The Colts need just one more win to wrap up a wildcard position in the playoffs. The Colts will play Thursday night in Jacksonville, and then finish the season on December 28th at home with the Tennessee Titans.
6. New York Jets (9-5) – The New York Jets won, and remained in the mix atop the AFC East. The Jets at 9-5 are tied with both Miami and New England. The Jets will take to the road this week when they head across country to Seattle, to take on the 3-11 Seahawks. The Jets win on Sunday moved them up from # 8 to # 6. On the year the Jets have scored 385 points and allowed 319. The Jets are 4-1 against AFC East foes and 7-4 against AFC foes. After the trip to Seattle, the Jets will come home and host the Miami Dolphins on December 28th.
7. Atlanta Falcons (9-5) – The Atlanta Falcons picked up a huge NFC South win on Sunday over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The win for Atlanta was their 9th on the year, and place them in a tie for the final NFC wildcard position. The Falcons trail Carolina by two full games in the division. On the year, Atlanta has scored 336 points and allowed 281. Quarterback Matt Ryan and his 14 touchdowns have led the Falcons offense, and running back Michael Turner, who has ran for 15 touchdowns on the season. The Falcons will travel to Minnesota on Sunday, and host the Rams on December 28th to finish the season.
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-5) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers fell to a divisional opponent for the second straight week to fall to 9-5 and in a tie for the final wildcard spot in the NFC. The loss also dropped Tampa Bay from # 5 to # 8. In the loss, without quarterback Jeff Garcia, the Tampa Bay offense only managed one touchdown; a 20 yard pass to Antonio Bryant. The Tampa Bay offense only picked up 99 rushing yards, along with 226 passing yards. The Buccaneers hope to pick up two wins to finish the season, both at home. Home is a place in which Tampa Bay has won all six of their games thus far in 2008. San Diego will come to town on Sunday, and Oakland on December 28th.
9. Baltimore Ravens (9-5) – The Baltimore Ravens lost the game, and a chance to win the AFC North title on Sunday, 13-9 to Pittsburgh. The loss was the fifth of the season for the Ravens, and places them in a tie for the final wildcard spot in the AFC. With the loss, the Steelers clinched the North title. The Ravens have scored 325 points and allowed just 213 on the year. Baltimore will take on the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday, and then host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday December 28th. With the loss on Sunday, Baltimore falls from # 7 to # 9.
10. Dallas Cowboys (9-5) – During the week, the Dallas Cowboys, and especially Tony Romo, Jason Whitten and Terrell Owens dealt with all sorts of drama. The drama was solved on the football field Sunday night, as the Cowboys knocked off the AFC East winning New York Giants. In the win, Romo threw for 244 yards and two touchdowns. The win for Dallas moved them back into the top 10, from the # 11 position last week. Dallas is now tied with Tampa Bay and Atlanta for the final NFC wildcard position. Dallas will host the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday, and then finish the season against divisional rival Philadelphia on December 28th.
11. New England Patriots (9-5) – The defending AFC Champions kept their playoff chances alive with a 49-26 blowout win over the Oakland Raiders. In the Patriots win, quarterback Matt Cassell threw for 218 yards and four touchdowns. The Patriots win moved them to 9-5 overall, and up one spot from # 12 to # 11. The Patriots remain in a three way atop the AFC East with Miami and New York Jets. On the season, the Patriots have outscored opponents 350 – 302. The Patriots will take on the NFC West division winning Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. To finish the season the Patriots will travel to Buffalo to take on the 6-8 Bills.
12. Minnesota Vikings (9-5) – The Minnesota Vikings moved on step closer to a NFC North divisional title on Sunday with their 35-14 win over Arizona. The win for the Vikings was their 9th overall and fourth in a row. The Vikings move up from # 13 to # 12. In the win, quarterback Tavaris Jackson threw for 163 yards and four touchdowns, while running back Adrian Peterson picked up 163 yards on 28 carries. The Vikings remain one game ahead of the Chicago Bears in the NFC North. Minnesota will host Atlanta and New York in the last two games of the season. Minnesota is 5-1 when playing at home this season.
13. Miami Dolphins (9-5) – The Miami Dolphins continue to make a run at an improbable AFC East title. The Dolphins picked up a 14-9 win over the San Francisco 49ers, behind two first half touchdowns. The Dolphins defense limited the 49ers to just three field goals in the game, on 318 total yards. Quarterback Chad Pennington was solid for the Dolphins completing 12 of 19 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns. Miami has outscored opponents 283 – 269 on the season. The Dolphins will travel to Kansas City on Sunday and finish the year at the New York Jets. With the win on Sunday, the Dolphins move up two spots from # 15 to # 13.
14. Arizona Cardinals (8-6) – A week after winning the NFC West title, the Arizona Cardinals were blown out Sunday at home. The Vikings scored 21 first quarter points en route to the 35-14 win. The loss sends Arizona down four positions from # 10 to # 14. On the year, Arizona has scored 386 points, while giving up 358. The Cardinals will travel to New England on Sunday, and then finish the season in Mike Holmgren’s last game in Seattle against the Seahawks.
15. Philadelphia Eagles (8-5-1) – The Eagles kept their playoff hopes alive on Monday night with a 30-10 win over the Cleveland Browns. The win for the Eagles aided their movement up in the power rankings from # 18 to # 15. In the win, Donovan McNabb threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns. Correll Buckhalter led the Philadelphia ground attack with 55 yards. The Eagles are now 8-5-1, and a half game behind Dallas for second place in the NFC East, and also for the final playoff spot. The Eagles tie came to Cincinnati, a game that could end up costing the Eagles. The Eagles will travel to Washington on Sunday, and then finish the season at home with the Dallas Cowboys; both NFC East rivals.
16. Chicago Bears (8-6) – The Chicago Bears kept their NFC North and playoff hopes alive with a Thursday night win over New Orleans. Robbie Gould kicked a field goal at the end of regulation, and also in overtime to secure the 27-24 win. The win for the Bears moved them to 8-6, still one game behind the Minnesota Vikings in the division. The win for the Bears moved them up three spots from # 19 to # 16. The Bears will look to get revenge on divisional rival Green Bay on Monday night at home, and then travel to Houston on December 28th to battle the Texans.
17. Houston Texans (7-7) – The Texans won their fourth straight game on Sunday with an upset win over the Tennessee Titans. The win for Houston moves them to # 17, from their spot last week at # 20. The Texans are now 7-7 overall, three games behind Indianapolis, and five behind the Titans. On the year, the Texans are being outscored 343 – 319. Steve Slaton, the rookie running back is leading Houston with eight rushing touchdowns. The Texans will look to finish the season above .500 with games at Oakland on Sunday, and then at home with the Chicago Bears.
17. New Orleans Saints (7-7) – The Saints playoff chances were shot on Thursday night as Chicago tied it at the end of regulation, and then won the game on a Robbie Gould field goal Thursday night. The loss for the Saints dropped them to 7-7 overall, and officially eliminated from playoff contention. Their record places them at the bottom of the NFC South division, trailing Carolina, Tampa Bay and Atlanta. The loss for the Saints sends them from # 14 to # 17. In the loss, Pierre Thomas picked up 87 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The Saints will look to keep the Detroit Lions winless on Sunday, on the road. During the season, New Orleans is 1-6 when playing on the road. The finale for New Orleans will be December 28th, when the Saints host the Carolina Panthers.
19. Denver Broncos (8-6) – The Denver Broncos had a chance to nail down the AFC West title, but fell; 30-10 to the Carolina Panthers. The loss for the Broncos sends them from # 16 to # 19. The Broncos are now 8-6 on the season, and two full games ahead of the San Diego Chargers. On the season, despite having a winning record, the Broncos have been out scored by 40 total points; 366 – 326. The Broncos will look to wrap up the division again on Sunday when they host the 6-8 Buffalo Bills. If Denver loses, and San Diego wins, the Broncos and Chargers will play on December 28th with the AFC West title on the line.
20. San Diego Chargers (6-8) – The San Diego Chargers barely kept their AFC West title chances alive. Despite being 6-8, the Chargers are still looking to come away with a playoff spot. San Diego is now two games behind the Broncos in the division. Denver must lose out, and San Diego must win both of their last two games to get into the postseason. The win on Sunday over Kansas City was aided by a 12-0 fourth quarter to give the Chargers a 22-21 win. The win for San Diego allows them to move up one spot from # 21 to # 20. San Diego will have a tough challenge, traveling to 9-5 Tampa Bay on Sunday.
21. Washington Redskins (7-7) – The Redskins are a team with a lot of issues right now. Falling 20-13 to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Redskins playoff chances were officially dashed. Clinton Portis, a week after his argument with head coach Jim Zorn picked up just 77 rushing yards. The loss for Washington sent them to .500 on the season, at 7-7. Washington also fell four spots in the power rankings from # 17 to # 21. The Redskins have scored 231 points and allowed 266 on the season. The Redskins will take on the Philadelphia Eagles at home on Sunday, and then finish the season at San Francisco on December 28th.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-9) – The Jaguars erased a four game losing streak with a 20-16 win over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. In the win, David Garrard threw for 238 yards and two touchdowns, including 127 and a touchdown to Wide Receiver Dennis Northcutt. The Jaguars win moved them to 5-9, last place in the AFC South. The win for Jacksonville allowed them to move up three spots from # 25 to # 22. Jacksonville will take on the Indianapolis Colts in a Thursday night affair, and then finish the season at Baltimore on December 28th.
23. Buffalo Bills (6-8) – There hasn’t been a bigger free falling team in 2008 in the NFL than the Buffalo Bills. After starting the season at 4-0, Buffalo has won just two of their next ten games. The loss on Sunday to the Jets was their third straight. Buffalo had a 27-24 lead until quarterback J.P. Losman fumbled with nearly 2:00 to go, in which New York returned for a touchdown and came away with the win. The loss kept Buffalo at # 23 in the power rankings. The Bills trail New York (Jets), New England, and Miami in the AFC East. The Bills will conclude the season at Denver on Sunday, and then at home against the defending AFC Champion New England Patriots.
24. San Francisco 49ers (5-9) – The San Francisco 49ers fell 14-9 on Sunday, snapping their modest two game winning streak. The loss for San Francisco moved them from # 22 to # 24. The 49ers got 223 passing yards from quarterback Shaun Hill in the loss. San Francisco is now 5-9 overall, in second place in the NFC West. The 49ers will take on the St. Louis Rams on the road on Sunday and then finish the season with the Washington Redskins in the bay on December 28th.
25. Green Bay Packers (5-9) – The Green Bay Packers fell for the fourth straight time on Sunday to fall to 5-9 on the season. The four straight dropped the Packers completely out of the playoff picture. Green Bay is three games back of the Bears for second place in the NFC North. In the 20-16 loss to Jacksonville on Sunday, quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for 278 yards and a touchdown, along with an interception. The Packers have outscored opponents 371 – 339 on the season. Green Bay will play on Monday Night football this week against the NFC North’s Chicago Bears. In the last game of the year, Green Bay will take on the Detroit Lions, at home.
26. Cleveland Browns (4-10) – The Browns offensive struggles continued on Monday Night, as they were held to just a field goal offensively. A late fourth quarter defensive touchdown made the final score 30-10, for the Browns 10th loss of the season. In the loss, receiver Braylon Edwards picked up 102 yards via the air. Cleveland has been outscored 232 – 305 on the season. The Browns are 1-6 at home and 3-4 when playing on the road. The Browns will finish the season with Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, at home on Sunday, and on the road on December 28th.
27. Seattle Seahawks (3-11) – The Seattle Seahawks picked up a win for their head coach Mike Holmgren who is leaving after the final two games of the season. Kicker Olindo Mare’s 27-yard goal as time expired aided the win, over St. Louis. The win for Seattle helped them move up three spots from # 30 to # 27. Seattle will close the Holmgren era in Seattle with a home game with the New York Jets on Sunday, and then travel to Arizona on December 28th.
28. Oakland Raiders (3-11) – The Raiders allowed 487 total yards and 49 points in a 23 point loss to the Patriots on Sunday. The loss keeps Oakland at # 28 in the power rankings. Oakland, with the loss drops to 3-11, one game ahead of last place Kansas City in the AFC West. JeMarcus Russell completed 17 of 31 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns in the defeat. Oakland has now given up 348 points, while scoring 205. The Raiders will host the Houston Texans on Sunday, and then travel to Tampa Bay on December 28th.
29. Cincinnati Bengals (2-11-1) – The Cincinnati Bengals picked up their second win of the season on Sunday. Upsetting the Washington Redskins 20-13, behind 209 passing yards from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Bengals also picked up 88 receiving yards from running back Cedric Benson in the win. The win for the Bengals was their second of the season, along with 11 losses and a tie; to Philadelphia. The win keeps the Bengals at the # 29 position. Cincinnati has been outscored on the season 174 – 358. The Bengals will travel to state and divisional rival Cleveland on Sunday, and then finish on December 28th at home with the Kansas City Chiefs.
30. Kansas City Chiefs (2-12) – Falling from # 30 to # 27, the Kansas City Chiefs lost on Sunday 22-21 to San Diego. Leading 21-10 after three quarters, the Chiefs allowed two late fourth quarter touchdowns to fall. In the loss, the Chiefs only got 55 yards via the ground for Larry Johnson. Quarterback Tyler Thigpen threw for 171 yards with a touchdown and an interception. On the year, Kansas City has been out scored 254 – 386. The Chiefs will host Miami and travel to Cincinnati to finish the season. Kansas City has won one of seven games at home, and also on the road.
31. St. Louis Rams (2-12) – The Rams had every chance to come away with their third win, and move out of the NFC West basement, but were outscored 16-3 in the second half for the loss to Seattle. The loss keeps St. Louis at # 31 in the power rankings. The Rams are now 2-12, and trail Seattle by a full game in the NFC West race for third place. Stephen Jackson ran for 91 yards and a touchdown in the loss. St. Louis will host San Francisco and then travel to Atlanta for the final game of the season.
32. Detroit Lions (0-14) – The Detroit Lions continued their misery on Sunday falling to the Indianapolis Colts, and moving two games from going the entire 2008 season without a win. The loss keeps the Lions cemented into the # 32 position in the power rankings. In the loss to Indianapolis, the Lions turned the ball over twice, and allowed 421 yards to the Colts offense. The game was tied at 21-21 with 12:52 to go, only to see the Colts score a touchdown and kick a field goal to win 31-21. The Lions will look to pick up a win in one of their last two games at home with New Orleans on Sunday, and then on December 28th at Green Bay.