10:29 am, December 17th, 2013
Our Week 16 NFL Power Rankings are here.
The Detroit Lions suffered an absolutely pathetic loss to the Baltimore Ravens last night, in a near-must-win game. The Denver Broncos lost this week. So did the New England Patriots. And the Cincinnati Bengals. All four teams were in the top-10 last week. So, they must have free-fallen, right?
(No, that’s not how these Power Rankings work. It is how many Power Rankings work, however.)
These rankings are based mainly on betting odds, approximating the power ratings made by oddsmakers. One game typically has a fairly small effect on the numbers, as numbers do not fall prey to recency bias. So, understand that these rankings are not my rankings, nor are they SportsGrid’s rankings. These rankings are very similar to the ones that make point spreads. As I will reiterate all year, I’m not an expert, because nobody is an expert.
1.2014 NFL POWER RANKINGS, SUPER BOWL ODDS, AND BOLD-ASS PREDICTIONS
2.32. Jacksonville Jaguars
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Seeing as they rushed to insert Blaine Gabbert as a their starter 2011, we'll go out on a limb and predict that Bortles doesn't get a start until the final four games (barring injury to Henne, of course).
3.31. Oakland Raiders
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: MJD rushes for 1,200 yards, wins comeback player of the year.
4.30. Minnesota Vikings
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: The Vikings DON'T finish last in the rather stacked NFC North. We'll assume the Lions shart the bed and Teddy Bridgewater solves Minny's QB problems right away in this bold-ass scenario.
5.29. Tennessee Titans
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Is it "bold" to predict this team will win fewer that three games this season? How about two? Ok, two wins all season because ya, there's nothing there...
6.28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Bucs finish first in the NFC South, Mike Evans immediately becomes top fantasy rookie.
7.27. Cleveland Browns
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Manziel has reasonably innocuous season, rarely makes headlines.
8.26. Buffalo Bills
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: The Bills get shredded by Michael Vick twice, giving Jets fans hope that "there's still something left in the tank" for their new QB. There is -- when he plays the Bills.
9.25. New York Jets
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Finish second in the division, make the playoffs at 8-8. MIND=BLOWN.
10.24. Miami Dolphins
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Things somehow manage to get worse.
11.23. Kansas City Chiefs
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: The Chiefs never fully recover from last year's playoff loss to Andrew Luck, fingers start getting pointed, internal strife and contract disputes result in near mutiny, KC barely miss the playoffs, you never forget this image of Andy Reid.
12.22. Houston Texans
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Clowney has more sacks than J.J. Watt.
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: RGIII regresses, trade talks ensue, and at least one player speaks out in opposition to the "Redskins" name.
14.20. Atlanta Falcons
BOLD-ASS PREDICTIONS: The enigmatic Falcons miraculously regain their mojo behind a fortified line, thanks to the immediate impact of Jake Mathews, Matt Ryan plays like elite QB, and their defense holds teams to mediocre rushing stats (unlike last year's 2nd-worst rush defense).
15.19. St. Louis Rams
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Michael Sam dominates entire pre-game broadcast of October 6th Monday Night game against the 49ers, only enters game as special teamer. (Not exactly bold, we know.)
16.18. Baltimore Ravens
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Ray Rice is fully replaced by Bernard Pierce at halfway point of the season, Ravens don't make playoffs.
17.17. San Diego Chargers
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: The Chargers make it out of the first round behind an emergent Keenan Allen, who makes the Pro Bowl with top five TD numbers.
18.16. Arizona Cardinals
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Get labeled "best defense in the league" after holding Houston, Minnesota, and Cincinnati to less than three total touchdowns in their first three games, never really regain that dominance.
19.15. Dallas Cowboys
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Hard to make bold-predictions here because of how reliably mediocre this team seems to be, but we'll venture a guess that this is Tony Romo's final season in Big D.
20.14. New York Giants
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Sneak into playoffs, get hot, defy expectations by reaching NFC Championship game, lose in NFC Championship game and thus defy new expectations that "they're going to win the whole thing again."
21.13. Carolina Panthers
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Panthers go to Super Bowl (bold), lose to Broncos (not-so-bold).
22.12. Detroit Lions
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Reggie Bush will finish with 2,000+ all-purpose yards.
23.11. Cincinnati Bengals
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Andy Dalton makes the Pro Bowl again, Bengals win the division with a 12-4 record.
24.10. Pittsburgh Steelers
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: The Steelers lose more than 10 games.
25.9. Philadelphia Eagles
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: En route to their best season in a decade, the Eagles embarrass DeSean Jackson, twice.
26.8. Chicago Bears
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Statistically speaking, 2014 will be a combination of their best offense ever and worst defense ever.
27.7. Indianapolis Colts
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Trent Richardson has a decent season, scores a whopping three touchdowns.
28.6. New Orleans Saints
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Drew Brees throws for 5,500 yards, Jimmy Graham breaks Gronks single season TD reception record.
29.5. Green Bay Packers
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: The Packers will finish with 14 wins.
30.4. New England Patriots
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Patriots have their best season since they went undefeated because Gronk plays all 16 games, breaking his previous TE single-season record of 17 TDs.
31.3. San Francisco 49ers
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Win division, wheels fall off the bus in playoffs, Jim Harbaugh gets canned.
32.2. Denver Broncos
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Win Super Bowl.
33.1. Seattle Seahawks
BOLD-ASS PREDICTION: Key loses in free agency (Browner, Clemons, Tate, Thurmond) prove to be costly as Seahawks don't win division OR make NFC Championship game.