Power Rankings – Week 16
Published on Monday, 12/17/12, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.
By Brian Edwards
My temptation this week was to go with five teams as my co-No. 1’s. You could even make an argument for the Texans as a sixth. In other words, there doesn’t seem to be much separation between the league’s top teams.
Atlanta answered its critics with authority Sunday, dealing out cream-cheese treatment to the defending Super Bowl champions in the form of a 34-0 clubbing that was every bit as dominant as the final score suggests. And here’s a factoid that works in favor of the Falcons: If they win one of their last two regular-season games (at Detroit and vs. Tampa Bay), they don’t have play outside again this year. (One win clinches homefield throughout and the Super Bowl is at the Superdome.)
Denver won a ninth straight game by spanking the slumping Ravens by a 34-17 count, but I actually dropped the Broncos in this week’s rankings. That’s because they lost to Atlanta and New England in games that weren’t nearly as close as the final scores indicated.
San Francisco jumps up several spots with its win at New England. Although the 49ers can’t beat the Rams, they now owns road victories in Green Bay, New Orleans and Foxboro, not to mention home wins over the Bears and Seahawks.
But it says here that Green Bay has the best quarterback, the best pass rusher now that Clay Matthews is back and it is about to get back Jordy Nelson and Charles Woodson. Even though it got cheated out of a win at Seattle, it has clinched its division with two weeks to play.
Therefore, the Packers take my top spot…