Week 16 in the NFL season saw the New Orleans Saints stun the Pittsburgh Steelers and clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC in the process. The loss also sent the Steelers spiraling out of the playoff picture for now.
Elsewhere, the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams each recorded a win over an inferior foe to snap their respective two-game slides.
With 16 weeks of action now in the books, here’s how we’re ranking every NFL team from No. 1 to No. 32. (For our Week 14 power rankings, click here.)
1. New Orleans Saints (13-2; Last week’s rank: 1): Drew Brees hit Michael Thomas for a game-winning touchdown with under a minute to play, giving the Saints a 31-28 win over the Steelers and the No. 1 seed in the NFC. We probably won’t see Brees on the field again until the NFC Divisional Round in three weeks.
2. Los Angeles Chargers (11-4; 2): A week after beating the Kansas City Chiefs for the first time since 2013, the Chargers were physically handled by the Baltimore Ravens in a 22-10 defeat. The loss all but assures L.A. of the No. 5 seed in the AFC, unless the Chiefs lose to the Oakland Raiders in Week 17, and bumped Philip Rivers from the MVP discussion.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (11-4; 3): We can’t fault the Chiefs too much for losing in Seattle against the Seahawks, but man that secondary is bad.
4. Los Angeles Rams (12-3; 6): L.A. got back in the groove with a 31-9 pounding of the Arizona Cardinals. The Rams must focus on getting Todd Gurley healthy for the playoffs, as the electric back missed Week 16 with a knee injury.
5. Chicago Bears (11-4; 4): Matt Nagy’s club didn’t look like it wanted to be in San Francisco on Sunday, but the Bears slogged their way to a 14-9 win anyway. A Week 17 win coupled with a loss by the Rams will give Chicago a first-round bye in the playoffs.
6. New England Patriots (10-5; 8): Tom Brady was bad (and might be hurt), but the Pats snapped their two-game slide by beating the Buffalo Bills and won their 10th straight AFC East title in the process. A win over the 4-11 New York Jets in Week 17 will give New England the wild-card round off for the ninth straight season.
7. Houston Texans (10-5; 5): Houston was in the driver’s seat for the No. 2 seed in the AFC, but the Texans were unable to stop Nick Foles one last time Sunday, as Jake Elliott’s game-winning field goal gave the Philadelphia Eagles a 32-30 win. The Texans must beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 17 to claim the AFC South or else the winner of the Tennessee Titans-Indianapolis Colts game will take the division and the No. 3 seed in the AFC, while sending the Texans to the wild-card round.
8. Seattle Seahawks (9-6; 11): Russell Wilson and Co. made a statement with a win over the Chiefs and now are a win over the Cardinals away from securing a date with the Dallas Cowboys in the first round.
9. Baltimore Ravens (9-6; 10): The Ravens manhandled the Chargers in Week 16 and took over first place in the AFC North by virtue of the Steelers’ loss to the Saints. Lamar Jackson now is 5-1 since taking over as the starter and only is getting better.
10. Indianapolis Colts (9-6; 9): The Colts were dead for much of their Week 16 game against the New York Giants, but Andrew Luck led the Colts to touchdowns on three of their four second-half possessions. With the Steelers’ loss, the Colts now are in possession of the No. 6 seed in the AFC and will make the playoffs with a win over the Titans.
11. Dallas Cowboys (9-6; 12): Dallas beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday to clinch the NFC East and the No. 4 seed in the conference. Prepare for Jason Garrett’s contract extension, Cowboys fans.
12. Tennessee Titans (9-6; 13): Things looked bleak when Marcus Mariota left Saturday’s game with an injury, but Tennessee somehow found a way to beat the Washington Redskins and keep its playoff hopes alive. The Titans will need Mariota back for their win-and-in game against the Colts in Week 17.
13. Philadelphia Eagles (8-7; 16): Foles can’t be killed. The Super Bowl LII MVP led the Eagles to a semi-miraculous come-from-behind win over the Texans to keep the repeat dream alive. Philly must beat Washington in Week 17 and hope for a loss from the Minnesota Vikings to make the playoffs.
14. Minnesota Vikings (8-6-1; 14): The Vikings looked impressive yet again under Kevin Stefanski, using a lethal combination of the running game and tight end Kyle Rudolph to roll over the Detroit Lions. Minnesota now has to beat the Bears to clinch the No. 6 seed.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6-1; 7): The Steelers were beating the Saints for the majority of Sunday’s game, but they coughed it up at the end and now likely will miss the playoffs. Pittsburgh will need to beat the Cincinnati Bengals and hope the Cleveland Browns knock off the Ravens in order to win the AFC North. Otherwise, Mike Tomlin’s club needs the Colts and Titans to tie. It’s not looking good in Steel City.
16. Cleveland Browns (7-7-1; 15): Baker Mayfield is a star and the Browns might be in the playoffs if they would have fired Hue Jackson a few weeks earlier.
17. Atlanta Falcons (6-9; 22): Look at Matt Ryan and the Falcons winning a game that meant nothing. Good for them.
18. Green Bay Packers (6-8-1; 21): It took overtime for Aaron Rodgers to beat Sam Darnold and Jets, so it doesn’t look like Joe Philbin will be keeping the head-coaching position.
19. Carolina Panthers (6-9; 17): Next.
20. Denver Broncos (6-9; 19): Does anyone else really want Mike Shanahan back on the sidelines in Denver?
21. Miami Dolphins (7-8; 20): Thank God we don’t have to watch this football in the playoffs.
22. New York Giants (5-10; 23): Who isn’t excited for another year of Eli Manning in 2019?
23. Washington Redskins (7-8; 18): Season over.
24. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10; 30): Blake Bortles is back!
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-10; 24): Will Week 17 be Jameis Winston’s final game in Tampa?
26. Buffalo Bills (5-10; 26): Josh Allen might not be good.
27. Detroit Lions (5-10; 27): The Lions stink.
28. Cincinnati Bengals (6-9; 25): The Bengals are 1-6 since bringing Hue Jackson onto their coaching staff. Coincidence?
29. New York Jets (4-11; 28): New York better get Sam Darnold some weapons in Year 2.
30. San Francisco 49ers (4-11; 29): Your misery almost is over, 49ers fans.
31. Oakland Raiders (4-11; 31): If only the Raiders had young stars like Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper to build around.
32. Arizona Cardinals (3-12; 32): We honestly feel bad for Josh Rosen.