bradycolin

TGS WEEK 16 POWER RANKINGS: DID WE JUST WATCH A SUPER BOWL PREVIEW?

No, I'm not referring to that dandy of a game between the Jets and Titans Monday night. Rather, I'm going back 24 hours to what was likely the game of the year between the 49ers and the Patriots at Foxboro. Despite the fact that the next five teams on our list won in impressive fashion, we still walked away from that duel with the Niners and Pats leading the way in the power rankings. I'd love to see the rematch in seven weeks, with Tom Brady facing the team he grew up cheering for in his sixth Super Bowl, with a chance to match boyhood idol Joe Montana with championship No. 4.

1. San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1, 1st last week): If you beat the Patriots at Foxboro, you have earned the top spot. If you're already in the top spot and you beat the Patriots at Foxboro, you're solidifying things in a dangerous way. 

2. New England Patriots (10-4, 2nd last week): Based on the way they came back to nearly steal that game, I still think this is the most dangerous team in the AFC.

3. Denver Broncos (11-3, 3rd last week): The incredibly balanced and consistent Broncos have won a league-high nine straight games, but it feels like nobody's talking about them. 

4. Green Bay Packers (10-4, 4th last week): Throw out that miracle loss to the Colts and that bullcrap loss to the Seahawks and they'd have the best record in football…again.

5. Houston Texans (12-2, 5th last week): NFC South champs again but it won't be easy to stave off Denver with Minnesota and Indianapolis on the remaining schedule.

6. Atlanta Falcons (12-2, 6th last week): Finally put it all together in a season-defining victory, blowing out the defending champions, and you don't move up a single spot? Tough judges. 

7. Washington Redskins (8-6, 7th last week): The hottest team in the NFC is leading the East and could be in position to do damage in January.

8. Seattle Seahawks (9-5, 10th last week): And yet the Seahawks are the first team since 1950 to score 50-plus points in back-to-back games. The Pete Carroll experiment worked, eh?

9. Cincinnati Bengals (8-6, 12th last week): I'm now confident the Bengals are the best team in the AFC North. But is it too late?

10. Minnesota Vikings (8-6, 15th last week): Adrian Peterson's probably the MVP but you can't win the Super Bowl without a quarterback. 

11. Dallas Cowboys (8-6, 18th last week): Winner of three straight despite a slew of injuries, they're guaranteed a winning record in December for the first time in almost a decade.

12. Indianapolis Colts (9-5, 11th last week): Uh-oh, is Andrew Luck hitting a wall?

13. Baltimore Ravens (9-5, 9th last week): Baltimore just doesn't lose three straight games. Something's wrong with this team.

14. New York Giants (8-6, 8th last week): And the Giants don't get blown out by good teams in December. Something's wrong with this team, too.

15. St. Louis Rams (6-7-1, 13th last week): Loss to Minnesota kills their chances, but I'm excited for 2013.

16. Cleveland Browns (5-9, 14th last week): Never thought I'd say this, but the Cleveland Browns are out of magic. 

17. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7, 13th last week): Ben Roethlisberger never loses back-to-back games. The Steelers aren't special anymore. 

18. Carolina Panthers (5-9, 19th last week): Another late-season run from the Panthers. Will it save people jobs?

19. Chicago Bears (8-6, 17th last week): Another late-season implosion from the Bears. Will it cost people jobs?

20. New Orleans Saints (6-8, 23rd last week): A gambler's nightmare as they play out the string. 

21. Miami Dolphins (6-8, 24th last week): Florida bragging rights. Does that mean anything? Why are the Florida teams so bad in this league every year?

22. Detroit Lions (4-10, 21st last week): This is just getting depressing. If there weren't so many terrible teams in the league right now they'd be plummeting down this list.

23. Tennessee Titans (5-9, 28th last week): They won Monday night, but we all know that both teams actually lost.

24. New York Jets (6-8, 25th last week): Unintentional comedy at its best. 

25. Oakland Raiders (4-10, 30th last week): The Raiders beat the NFL's worst team Sunday, but the pigeons stole the show.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-8, 20th last week): Since 2009, they're 2-14 between Weeks 12 and 15. 

27. San Diego Chargers (5-9, 22nd last week): See: New Orleans Saints.

28. Arizona Cardinals (5-9, 31st last week): I just can't believe they actually won another game. That's how bad Detroit is right now. Ryan Lindley's YPA was under 5.0 in the victory.

29. Philadelphia Eagles (4-10, 29th last week): Back to not trying again against Cincinnati. And everything is right in the world.

30. Buffalo Bills (5-9, 26th last week): Yeah, that'll get the people of Toronto on board….

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-12, 27th last week): It's actually scary how close both Jacksonville and Kansas City are to 0-14.

32. Kansas City Chiefs (2-12, 32nd last week): Losing to the Raiders means they're very likely to be on the clock come Dec. 30.

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.

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