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Week 16 NFL Power Rankings

NFL Furious Seven Week 16

For the first time all season, there is a new team in the top-2. That’s right, a team known for grit, tenacity and guts has climbed to the top as our season-favorite Titans and Giants hit massive stumbling blocks. The race for the Wildcard has never been more exciting, with sixteen teams grinding out for a shot at the Superbowl in Tampa Bay, Week 16 and 17 have all the relevance that you’ve been waiting for.   A slow start to the NFL betting season has resulted in a blistering finish. Can you handle the heat? These teams surely can…

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3)

If the Steelers wanted to prove how resilient they are, surviving two turnovers from a smash-mouth effort by Ed Reed and the Baltimore defense should do just the trick. The Steelers face another brutal matchup with the Tennessee Titans and have to keep up a ridiculously high level of intensity heading in to the playoffs. Can they do it? Or will they burn out? I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of doubting the Steelers, especially with a 4-1 ATS record in their back pocket.

Next Matchup: Pittsburgh -1.5 vs. Tennessee

2. Tennessee Titans (12-2)

The Titans have to fend off the Colts, Steelers, Ravens, Patriots, Dolphins and Jets in the AFC to maintain the bye week that they need to lick their wounds. That’s not exactly going to be easy with Albert Haynesworth and Albert Vanden Bosch on the shelf for the remainder of the regular season.

Next Matchup: Pittsburgh -1.5 vs. Tennessee

3. Dallas Cowboys (10-4)

Where in the hell did that come from? The defense was supposed to be this good four months ago! The Giants managed just 72 rushing yards, and Eli Manning through two horrifying picks as Dallas cruised to a victory over the mighty New York Giants. If any team is peaking at the right moment, it’s the Cowboys. And if any peaking team has the natural talent to carry that momentum into the playoffs…it’s the Cowboys.

Next Matchup: Baltimore vs. Dallas -5

4. Indianapolis Colts (10-4)

Speaking of old relationships, Dallas Clark and Peyton Manning rekindled their spark as Peyton and Clark ripped the Lions apart for 142 passing/receiving yards. On top of that, Reggie Wayne came alive with 104 yards on seven receptions. The Colts are still one of the more troubling bets amongst the elite NFL teams. Good thing for them they’re catching Jacksonville at the right time!

Next Matchup: Indianapolis -6 vs. Jacksonville

5. Carolina Panthers (11-3)

At some point, even a hater has to admit that three-losses is pretty damn good. Especially in a division that has four potential contenders (read: get your act together, New Orleans!), the Panthers continue to thrive. With two dangerous running back in Williams and Stewart, this Panthers offense is capable of exploding at any given moment. But if they keep allowing teams to roll for nearly 300 total yards per game, the Panthers will be run out of the playoffs really fast. Tampa and Atlanta still threaten their mantle, but it would be a historic triumph for the Panthers to go from an in-house suspension of Steve Smith at the beginning of the season to a first week bye in the playoffs.

Next Game: Carolina vs. NYG -3

6. New York Giants (11-3)

This is what happens when you get so arrogant that you say you won’t miss your four best players this season. Osi, Strahan, Plaxico and Jacobs are all out of action for the Giants due to retirement, injury or douchebaggery. If Eli Manning is truly the Superbowl betting Champion, then he can carry this team to the promised land once again. Who else is excited for pouty Eli Manning? I know I am!

Next Game: Carolina vs. NYG -3

7. Philadelphia Eagles (8-5-1)

I know a bunch of teams probably deserve to be in front of the Eagles, and it’s staggering for me to suddenly volley them ahead of Tampa, Baltimore, Atlanta and New England after pissing on their campfire all season. But does anyone want to face this team in December? My only concern, besides Andy Reid, is this team suddenly believing that DeSean Jackson is the second coming of Randall Cunningham. HE’S A RECEIVER! A WIDE RECEIVER! Stop rushing him, letting him pass and using him like he’s the greatest thing to happen to Philadelphia since…uh…Cole Hamel (?). Just throw him the damn ball!

Next Game: Philadelphia -4.5 vs. Washington

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