NFL power rankings, Week 16: Lions rise, Cowboys fall

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 18: Josh Woods #51 of the Detroit Lions celebrates during the second half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - DECEMBER 18: Josh Woods #51 of the Detroit Lions celebrates during the second half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on December 18, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

In the Week 16 NFL power rankings, the Detroit Lions continue surging while the Dallas Cowboys suffered a brutal loss in Jacksonville.

32. team. 10. . 1-12-1. Previous: . Houston Texans

Houston almost pulled off a mammoth upset of the Chiefs, but couldn’t hang on.

. 3-11. Previous: . Chicago Bears. 31. team. 57

Justin Fields is awesome. The rest of the Bears are not.

team. 32. . 4-10. Previous: . Arizona Cardinals. 30

Remember when the Cardinals were talked about as a Super Bowl contender last year? That feels like a century ago.

Denver Broncos. 29. team. 45. . 4-10. Previous:

Denver beat the Cardinals. Not sure we have to add to that.

. 4-10. Previous: . Los Angeles Rams. 28. team. 51

It’s been a long, hard, ugly year for the Rams. Thankfully, it ends in three weeks.

Previous: . Indianapolis Colts. 27. team. 46. . 4-9-1

What in God’s name was that?

5-9. Previous: . Atlanta Falcons. 26. team. 44.

The Falcons wanted to see what they have in Desmond Ridder, and the early returns were not ideal.

Previous: . New Orleans Saints. 25. team. 15. . 5-9

Somehow, the Saints are one game out of the NFC South lead. If they hadn’t blown an absurd game to the Bucs a few weeks ago, they’d be poised for the playoffs.

team. 87. . 5-9. Previous: . Carolina Panthers. 24

Carolina still controls its own destiny, which is a wild thing to say about a 5-9 team.

Previous: . Pittsburgh Steelers. 23. team. 55. . 6-8

Pittsburgh doesn’t have much talent, but the Steelers are putting together a respectable campaign under head coach Mike Tomlin.

. 6-8. Previous: . Las Vegas Raiders. 22. team. 28

Somehow, finally, the Raiders came out on the right side of an insane NFL moment.

team. 48. . 6-8. Previous: . Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 21

A failed fake punt and four turnovers. That’s one way to start the second half.

. 6-8. Previous: . Cleveland Browns. 20. team. 53

Nice win for the Browns, who were able to deal the Ravens a tough loss, dropping them out of first place in the AFC North.

Previous: . Green Bay Packers. 19. team. 49. . 6-8

The Packers will try to make Christmas interesting when they visit South Beach for some warm weather.

New England Patriots. 18. team. 47. . 7-7. Previous:


17. team. 30. . 7-7. Previous: . New York Jets

The Jets had every opportunity to beat the Lions and stay in the playoff mix. Now, they likely need to win out for any hope.

Jacksonville Jaguars. 16. team. 52. . 6-8. Previous:

The Jaguars control their own fate. Win out against the Jets, Texans and Titans, and they’ll host a playoff game.

. 7-7. Previous: . Seattle Seahawks. 15. team. 36

It feels like the Seahawks have been a great story all year, but the ending is going to be disappointing.

. 7-7. Previous: . Tennessee Titans. 14. team. 35

Tennessee has fallen apart over the last month, losing four straight. The Titans need to find a way against Houston, or it could be all over.

13. team. 50. . 7-7. Previous: . Detroit Lions

The Lions are now a good bet to make the playoffs. Two wins might do it. Three wins almost certainly will.

7-6-1. Previous: . Washington Commanders. 12. team. 58.

Tough loss at home for the Commanders, who lost the game by playing terribly in both red zones.

31. . 8-5-1. Previous: . New York Giants. 11. team

The Giants hadn’t won a game in four weeks, but they found themselves at the right time and likely punched their playoff ticket.

8-6. Previous: . Miami Dolphins. 10. team. 59.

Miami had a chance to beat Buffalo, but had to be better situationally.

9-5. Previous: . Baltimore Ravens. 9. team. 26.

The Ravens need Lamar Jackson back ASAP, and then must figure out how to score some points.

Los Angeles Chargers. 8. team. 13. . 8-6. Previous:

Los Angeles is rolling. It’s not perfect, and the Chargers aren’t the Bills, Chiefs and Bengals, but they’re dangerous.

team. 60. . 11-3. Previous: . Minnesota Vikings. 7

The greatest comeback in NFL history. Not bad.

10-4. Previous: . Dallas Cowboys. 6. team. 123.

Dallas led 27-10, 34-31, and then had the ball first in overtime. Somehow, the Cowboys lost.

10-4. Previous: . San Francisco 49ers. 5. team. 42.

Brock Purdy, Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance. Who cares? NFC West champs.

team. 56. . 10-4. Previous: . Cincinnati Bengals. 4

The Bengals are the AFC’s most consistent team. All they do is win.

team. 16. . 11-3. Previous: . Buffalo Bills. 3

Buffalo should be concerned about its front without Von Miller, but Josh Allen looks great.

Kansas City Chiefs. 2. team. 124. . 11-3. Previous:

Kansas City has been living on the edge against Denver and Houston over the past two weeks. Need to clean things up.

54. . 13-1. Previous: . Philadelphia Eagles. 1. team

The Eagles have essentially wrapped everything up. Now it’s about Jalen Hurts’ injury.