NFL Power Rankings Week 16: Top Teams Backing In

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SLR’s Week 16 NFL Power Rankings: 32-25 Dec 15, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) is tackled by Houston Texans linebacker Joe Mays (53) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Houston 25-3. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

32. Houston Texans (2-12) NC

That’s 12 straight losses. Wade Phillips is not exactly making his case to stay on as the full-time head coach, but realistically, was that ever even an option?

31. Washington Redskins (3-11) ▼1

I didn’t think it was possible that there would be a team more dysfunctional than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season, but here we are. Incidentally, their record is now worse as well. At least the Kirk Cousins trade bait audition has started well. Mike Shanahan’s successor will be happy about that.

30. Atlanta Falcons (4-10) ▲1

Hooray, a win! This drop in draft position is brought to you by Mike Shanahan going for two so he can spend as little time as possible with his football team. The Falcons are just glad the season is a game closer to being over.

29. Oakland Raiders  (4-10) ▼2

Dennis Allen should buy Fatheads of Jamaal Charles for his entire defense, so they can all see him running over them as they go to sleep. Just out of spite. Alternatively, they could, I don’t know, practice defending the screen pass this week?

28. Cleveland Browns (4-10) ▼2

They had things basically wrapped up against Chicago, until they didn’t. The defense evaporated, the offense sputtered, and Josh Gordon was shut down until what amounted to garbage time. This team has a few bright spots, but they need more than just a quarterback.

27. Minnesota Vikings (4-9-1) ▲2

They may just be playing spoiler at this point, but boy, are they ever good at it. In their last four, they are 2-1-1, with wins against Chicago and Philadelphia, a tie against Green Bay, and a crazy, to-the-wire loss against Baltimore. All four of those teams are jockeying for playoff position, but the Vikings refuse to be an easy out. Matt Cassel is earning himself another look next season.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10) ▼2

And with that, the Jaguars are eliminated from playoff contention. I’m serious. It wasn’t official until just this week. But with so many four-win teams bunched together now, draft order is starting to get unironically interesting. With a decent draft this year, the Jaguars could be a surprise team next year. Remember, they’re 4-2 in the second half.

25. Buffalo Bills (5-9) ▲3

That was the kind of performance they might have considered digging deep for about two weeks ago, yeah? This is a team that needs to invest in weapons for their young quarterback. E.J. Manuel is obviously having growing pains right now, but furnishing him with some new toys in the offseason would go a long ways towards helping him take that next step.