Here are my power rankings for Week 16 of the NFL season.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (13-1 record, No. 1 ranking last week)
In honor of the holiday, we’re going to identify something naughty and something nice about every team this week. For example:
NAUGHTY: Not covering the last six weeks. I thought they were supposed to be good?
NICE: I’ve heard their quarterback is well thought of in some circles.
2. Green Bay Packers (11-3, No. 2)
NAUGHTY: Their second half against the Panthers left more to be desired than the “stimulus” checks.
NICE: They look like they’ll get to play their playoff games at home again and it feels like at some point that should probably matter.
3. Buffalo Bills (11-3, No. 3)
NAUGHTY: They are to running the football what I am to “turning down a third helping of stuffed shells on Christmas.”
NICE: They had the novel concept that if they wanted their quarterback to be better they should probably go out and get a top-of-the-line pass-catcher and wouldn’t you know it, that kooky idea actually worked!
4. Tennessee Titans (10-4, No. 5)
NAUGHTY: The defense is about as likely to get a stop as I am to get my sons to sleep past 5 a.m. on Friday.
NICE: Derrick Henry is more reliable in December than you realizing a few days before Christmas that you forgot to get something for someone in your family and just running to the mall and grabbing the first thing you see with the state flag on it.
5. New Orleans Saints (10-4, No. 4)
NAUGHTY: They’re putting an elderly man with a barely functional body under center and it is without question their best option.
NICE: If we’re being fair, their defense absolutely did about as much as anyone could ask for against the Chiefs.
6. Indianapolis Colts (10-4, No. 7)
NAUGHTY: People forget that SOMEHOW THEY WERE THE TEAM THAT LOST TO THE JAGUARS.
NICE: I’m still not sure why they didn’t let T.Y. Hilton play before Thanksgiving but better late than never, I guess.
7. Seattle Seahawks (10-4, No. 9)
NAUGHTY: I feel like at some point in my lifetime they had a competent offense.
NICE: They still have Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf, and that has to count for something.
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-5, No. 11)
NAUGHTY: Call me crazy, but it just doesn’t feel like really good teams should be falling behind by three scores to the Atlanta Falcons.
NICE: I mean, everyone on the planet still knew they could bet Tampa to win in that circumstance, though.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3, No. 6)
NAUGHTY: The good news for Ben Roethlisberger is that Tyler Huntley probably hasn’t QUITE surpassed him yet, so I still think he’s a top-five quarterback in the AFC North.
NICE: I have to imagine it’s not easy to fully remove a horseshoe from the ass. They’ll luck into something again before this is all over.
10. Miami Dolphins (9-5, No. 10)
NAUGHTY: I still have this gut feeling that they’d be better off with the bearded fella playing quarterback the rest of the way.
NICE: Which doesn’t mean Tua won’t be really good long term.
11. Baltimore Ravens (9-5, No. 12)
NAUGHTY: If they could have just beaten the friggin’ Patriots we wouldn’t be in this situation.
NICE: Having been able to pull those old No. 27 jerseys back out of the closet with slight alterations.
12. Cleveland Browns (10-4, No. 13)
NAUGHTY: Kevin Stefanski being forced to wear a mask. Do you even know how handsome he is? I legitimately thought he might be 20.
NICE: We can count on about 100 more Baker Mayfield commercials after how this season has gone and you guys, I just don’t hate them.
13. Arizona Cardinals (8-6, No. 15)
NAUGHTY: I know this is a super specific, but the Arizona Cardinals being so much less popular than the St. Louis Cardinals that if you’re a dude making power rankings on the internet and want to search Twitter to see if anything particularly interesting happened with the team lately, you have to scroll through like 1,000 baseball tweets to find something even in the middle of friggin’ December.
NICE: Kyler Murray though.
14. Los Angeles Rams (9-5, No. 8)
NAUGHTY: The absolute definition of the term “dafuq?”
NICE: How could there possibly be something nice when you’re the team that just lost to the friggin’ New York Jets? If the Ravens miss the playoffs at 11-5 while teams that lost to the Jets and Jaguars get in, we might need the Supreme Court to get involved after all.
15. Chicago Bears (7-7, No. 17)
NAUGHTY: Going .500 and missing the playoffs is about the closest thing an American sports fan can feel to purgatory.
NICE: That’s better than hell though?
16. Las Vegas Raiders (7-7, No. 14)
NAUGHTY: You were playing the Chargers. The team that invents new ways to lose. How in the hell did you idiots manage to lose that?
NICE: But we’re all huge Raiders fans now this week! Go you stupid idiots, go!
17. Washington Football Team (6-8, No. 16)
NAUGHTY: I hate to be the sports guy with all the hot takes but I’m just not sure that Dwayne Haskins is the answer, you guys.
NICE: If this were any other organization than the one owned by Dan Snyder it would be the feel good story of 2020. (Of course, the same could be said about anything even remotely pleasant.)
18. Los Angeles Chargers (5-9, No. 27)
NAUGHTY: This team has more “what should have been” vibes than the Hallmark Christmas movie about the handsome single father she didn’t pursue when she happened to bump into him at the skating rink. I know, I need to be more specific.
NICE: Justin Herbert is so good he should legally be referred to as a stimulus.
19. New England Patriots (6-8, No. 18)
NAUGHTY: Employing a receiving corps so nondescript it makes the Ravens blush.
NICE: They’ll probably make Carson Wentz a thing again next season and, you know, they literally had 11 straight division titles to fall back on.
20. Minnesota Vikings (6-8, No. 19)
NAUGHTY: Justin Jefferson’s word choice.
NICE: Justin Jefferson.
21. Dallas Cowboys (5-9, No. 26)
NAUGHTY: The idea that a 5-9 team could somehow still win their division.
NICE: If you’re gonna have no players make the Pro Bowl, the ideal time for that to happen is probably the year when there is no Pro Bowl.
22. Denver Broncos (5-9, No. 20)
NAUGHTY: Their general effort to stop the Bills.
NICE: They actually have enough that they’d probably seem fairly attractive to someone like Matthew Stafford.
23. San Francisco 49ers (5-9, No. 21)
NAUGHTY: It would be absolutely insane for a team so far out of it to even consider playing George Kittle this week.
NICE: But since I started Eric Ebron last week, I’m all for the even slight possibility.
24. Philadelphia Eagles (4-9-1, No. 22)
NAUGHTY: Being the most talented team in the worst division ever and finding yourself in this position. Oh and their punter getting hurt, forcing Zach Ertz to be the holder and then Ertz dropping a snap on an extra point that would have been the difference in them covering. Not that it mattered to me or anything.
NICE: Jalen Heals. (Emmirite?)
25. New York Giants (5-9, No. 23)
NAUGHTY: The 25th-ranked team in these power rankings is still involved in the playoff race. 25th!
NICE: They’ve actually been more embarrassing on plenty of occasions.
26. Houston Texans (4-10, No. 24)
NAUGHTY: Basically every decision they’ve made for 36 months.
NICE: Deshaun Watson still isn’t a bad foundation for someone to start a reconstruction project with.
27. Detroit Lions (5-9, No. 25)
NAUGHTY: Well, they’re the Detroit Lions?
NICE: Dis throw doe.
28. Cincinnati Bengals (3-10-1, No. 30)
NAUGHTY: Not employing an offensive line this season.
NICE: After I had the most pleasant Monday night of my life last week I didn’t think there was any way it could ever be matched and it only took seven days for me to be wrong.
29. Carolina Panthers (4-10, No. 28)
NAUGHTY: Being a Christian McCaffrey owner this season has been about as much fun as spending your Christmas with Uncle Frank from Home Alone.
NICE: Being a Mike Davis owner this season has been about as much fun as much as I imagine it would be to get drunk and ride in a U-Haul with the Kenosha Kickers.
30. Atlanta Falcons (4-10, No. 29)
NAUGHTY: Basically the entire existence of the franchise.
NICE: I would imagine their fans are probably numb to it at this point, though.
31. New York Jets (1-13, No. 32)
NAUGHTY: Screwing up screwing up.
NICE: Nothing. Seriously nothing. This is the single worst win in the history of the NFL, right?
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-13, No. 31)
NAUGHTY: Going “zero quarterback” in fantasy football can be rewarding. Doing it in REAL football is literally insane.
NICE: There are still plenty of last-minute gifts available on Amazon they can send to the Jets.
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox