Here are the Rankings for Week 16:
1.) Denver (12-3) [no change]
Ten in a row; that's one spicy meatball. Obviously, it's the longest current winning streak in the league, with only Washington (six) in shouting distance. With one more win, Peyton Manning will have completed his comeback and had what must be one of his better seasons. Now to cap it off, he needs some playoff success. AFC Championship, at least. The other teams in the AFC look vulnerable, which is good.
2.) Green Bay (11-4) [no change]
A sterling beatdown to add to Aaron Rodgers' career highlight reel. I won't disparage it, but I'm still not sold on Rodgers as an MVP candidate. The Packers have already clinched their division and head to Minnesota in Week 17. I guess they need to win, but at the same time, I wouldn't be surprised if they gave a B effort rather than A+.
3.) Atlanta (13-2) [+1]
Since the Falcons already have home-field advantage, what more do they want? Besides playoff wins, of course.
4.) New England (11-4) [+2]
It's possible for the Patriots to sneak into having home-field advantage. Pretty incredible, since they essentially gave it away with that loss to San Francisco a couple weeks ago. They've been shaky recently, so a strong win against the Dolphins would be nice.
5.) Seattle (10-5) [+2]
Speaking of sneaky, the Seahawks have a chance to get a first-round bye, which would be quite incredible. They might not have put up 50 on San Francisco, but the win was impressive. Hard to watch, though.
6.) Indianapolis (10-5) [+2]
With Coach Pagano coming back and the regular season finale at home against a team that's never beaten them there, it's looking good for the Colts. They might not be able to move up in the seeding, but they can sure help a couple other teams out by defeating the Texans.
7.) Houston (12-3) [-4]
I dropped the Texans four spots, specifically below Seattle and Indianapolis, because it felt like Houston quit on that game late. I never condone losing, but if a team puts in their best effort and just get beat, that's fine. To do what the Texans did, pulling Schaub when they still had a chance to win (no matter how small!) reeks. I can't say I'm surprised. I'm sure that most sources are either ignoring this or just missed it. In fact, some might even excuse it because the Texans are the 1-seed and control their own destiny. All that said, they're still better than the Steelers.
8.) San Francisco (10-4-1) [-3]
They didn't show up. Now people are questioning whether the Kaepernick move was worthwhile and/or necessary. Not me. Alex Smith hasn't changed; he's still a guy that throws screens and other short passes between 1 and 3 yards past the line of scrimmage. He's not a QB that will take the 49ers to a championship. Kaepernick might not be, either, but at least there's still a question as to whether or not he can do it. With Alex Smith, there's no question; he can't do it.
9.) Minnesota (9-6) [no change]
I really wanted to move the Vikings up, but they're only 9-6.
10.) Washington (9-6) [no change]
Similarly, I wanted to move Washington up, but they're only 9-6 and need some help if they somehow lose in Week 17.
That's all for this week. See you next week.
Three Games to Watch (Week 17):
Baltimore @ Cincinnati (Sunday, CBS)
Houston @ Indianapolis (Sunday, CBS)
Green Bay @ Minnesota (Sunday, FOX)