ARIZONA CARDINALS

Arizona Sports NFL Power Rankings Week 16: Top three unchanged

Dec 22, 2020, 8:22 AM
(Getty Images)...
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

In case you needed further proof that the NFL is a quarterback-driven league, look at the top three of this week’s Arizona Sports NFL Power Rankings.

It’s a relatively safe bet that the top three teams — the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers — boast the three top finishers for this year’s Most Valuable Player award.

Patrick Mahomes had an “average game” for him, completing 54 percent of his passes and throwing three touchdowns in a marquee win over the New Orleans Saints. Josh Allen of Buffalo continued his ridiculous third season with four total touchdowns in a Saturday pasting of the Denver Broncos. And Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers became the first quarterback in history with 40 or more touchdown passes in three separate seasons when he threw a scoring strike against the Carolina Panthers.

Outside the top three, there are questions.

• What was that turned in by the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday?

• Was Drew Brees healthy enough to face the Chiefs last week?

• Can the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were undefeated just 15 days ago, re-learn how to run the football before it’s too late?

• Does anyone really trust Mitchell Trubisky to lead the Bears’ charge into a playoff spot?

Arizona Sports NFL Power Rankings Week 16

1. Kansas City Chiefs (13-1) —
Some of the windows Patrick Mahomes throws into with success are mind-boggling.

2. Buffalo Bills (11-3) —
Josh Allen has cemented top-three status in the MVP conversation.

3. Green Bay Packers (11-3) —
Weirdly quiet game for Aaron Rodgers vs. Carolina, but he still has 40 TD passes and only four picks.

4. Tennessee Titans (10-4) ▲3
Derrick Henry needs only 321 yards over the last two games to crack the 2,000-yard club.

5. Indianapolis Colts (10-4) ▲4
Philip Rivers has a 121.0 QB rating over the Colts’ current three-game winning streak.

6. Seattle Seahawks (10-4) ▲2
The Seahawks’ once-maligned defense has allowed an average of 13.0 points and 269.5 yards over the last four weeks.

7. New Orleans Saints (10-4) ▼3
Brees is back, but is that the best move? Had his third-lowest completion percentage (44.1%) in Sunday’s loss to Kansas City.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3) ▼3
They’ve lost three in a row, but their running game has been woeful for longer than that. Averaging 58.3 yards on the ground over the last eight weeks.

9. Cleveland Browns (10-4) ▲1
Baker Mayfield had his fourth straight game with at least two touchdown passes.

10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-5) ▲1
Don’t know what that first half against Atlanta was about, but the Bucs looked good after halftime.

11. Baltimore Ravens (9-5) ▲1
Lamar Jackson with a 120.6 QB rating and four rushing TDs in three games since returning from the COVID list.

12. Miami Dolphins (9-5) ▲1
Win against New England wasn’t sexy, but they’ll take it.

13. Los Angeles Rams (9-5) ▼7
One of the most dumbfounding losses in the last quarter century.

14. Arizona Cardinals (8-6) —
Pulled off the rare win when being -3 in turnovers.

15. Chicago Bears (7-7) ▲4
Mitchell Trubisky has actually been more than decent since getting the starting job back in Week 12.

16. Las Vegas Raiders (7-7) ▼1
Raiders are 1-4 with losses to Atlanta and the Chargers over the last five weeks. Only win? A three-point squeaker over the Jets.

17. Washington Football Team (6-8) ▼1
Has anyone figured out why Dwayne Haskins threw the ball 55 times in the loss to Seattle? Anyone?

18. New England Patriots (6-8) ▼1
A playoff season without the Patriots? Say it ain’t so!

19. Minnesota Vikings (6-8) ▼1
Just when you thought they were getting their stuff together…

20. Dallas Cowboys (5-9) ▲5
Cowboys just the third team this year to score over 40 with under 300 yards after turning the trick on San Francisco.

21. Los Angeles Chargers (5-9) ▲3
Justin Herbert needs one touchdown pass over the last two weeks to break the NFL rookie record.

22. San Francisco 49ers (5-9) ▼2
Managed to go 1-3 against the horrible NFC East. Just a completely forgettable year for the defending NFC Champs.

23. New York Giants (5-9) ▼2
Scoring 13 points over two weeks won’t win you (m)any games.

24. Philadelphia Eagles (4-9-1) ▼2
There’s one bright spot. His name is Jalen Hurts.

25. Denver Broncos (5-9) ▼2
That defense didn’t have fun trying to stop Josh Allen and the Bills.

26. Carolina Panthers (4-10) —
Panthers are 1-8 over their last nine.

27. Detroit Lions (4-10) —
Just ran out of things to say about this team/franchise.

28. Atlanta Falcons (4-10) —
Hey look everyone, Matt Ryan threw for 4,000 yards again.

29. Houston Texans (4-10) —
It’s impossible not to feel horrible for Deshaun Watson.

30. Cincinnati Bengals (3-10-1) —
After Monday night, my only question about this team is: were Giovanni Bernard and Ken Anderson ever teammates? Man, he’s been there a long time.

31. New York Jets (1-13) ▲1
Nice win, Jets. Sorry you likely just lost the best quarterback prospect in the last decade in the draft.

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-13) ▼1
Trevor Lawrence landing in Jacksonville is not good for the league. Sorry.

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Arizona Sports NFL Power Rankings Week 16: Top three unchanged