Draft Insiders’ – NFL Power Poll – Week 16
Wild NFL Weekend
Chiefs Clinch 7th AFC West Title
49ers Win NFC West
Bills Outlast Dolphins
Giants Win Huge Game in Washington
Jaguars Shock Cowboys in Overtime
Lions Edge Jets
Team of the Week
Bills beat Dolphins in key AFC East Matchup
Players of the Week
Offense – QB Kirk Cousins – Vikings
Defense – DE J.J. Watt – Cardinals
Offense – QB Trevor Lawrence – Jaguars
Defense – S Rayshawn Jenkins – Jaguars
Rookies of the Week
Offense – WR Jahan Dotson – Commanders
Defense – DE Kayvon Thibodeaux – Giants
Games of Week 16
Giants at Vikings – 1:00 pm – Fox
Bengals at Patriots – 1 pm – CBS
Eagles at Cowboys – 4:25 pm – Fox
Packers at Dolphins – 1:00 pm – CBS
NFL Team Power Poll
Draft Insiders’ Staff
Ranking /Record /Team
#1 – 13-1 Eagles
The Eagles edged the Bears probably looking ahead to the Cowboys this week. They can clinch divisional title with a victory and carry home field advantage through the playoffs in the process.
#2 – 11-3 Chiefs
Chiefs won their 7th straight AFC West title with their OT victory over the Texans. Playing for home field advantage vs the Bills and Bengals which could be a determining factor in January. Host the Seahawks this Saturday.
#3 – 11-3 Bills
Bills won crucial matchup vs the Dolphins to make playoffs. Still looking to clinch the East title this week at Chicago. They will compete for home field advantage over final games and it’s a huge bonus for the Bills especially in the postseason.
#4 – 10-4 49ers
The 49ers won their 7th consecutive game vs the Seahawks to claim the NFC West title. Their dominant defense continues to lead the league in the fewest points allowed. They host the Commanders needing to win to gain home field advantage in the postseason.
#5 – 11-3 Vikings
Vikings made the greatest comeback in NFL history vs the Colts. Their explosive offense continues to compensate of a vulnerable defense in major secondary issues. Host the Giants this week on Saturday in a key NFC matchup with postseason implications.
#6 – 10-4 – Cowboys
The Cowboys were drilled by the Jaguars in OT with their defense being shredded by QB Lawrence. Host the East leading Eagles where they look to clinch the division with a win on Christmas Eve.
#7 – 10-4 Bengals
The Bengals continue to peak with a victory over the Bucs. QB Joe Burrow lead the comeback with a number of clutch plays. Hit the road to face the desperate Patriots in a key AFC matchup with both clubs needing to win.
#8 – 9-5 Ravens
The Ravens fell to the Browns without QB Lamar Jackson. Their offense struggled in every phase of the game. Backup QB Tyler Huntley may start again with the Falcons coming to town. They need a win to keep in the mix for the North and wild card races.
#9 – 8-6 Dolphins
Dolphins have lost three in a row with a tough divisional loss to the Bills last week. Their defense has slipped noticeably Host the desperate Packers Sunday in a matchup that has impact on both conference playoff races.
#10 – 8-6 Chargers
The Chargers gutted it out vs the Titans for a critical victory. They travel to Indy to face the Colts who collapsed last week. Chargers have to step up here and separate themselves for the playoff pretenders.
#11 – 7-7 Titans
The Titans lost to the Chargers which reduced their South lead to only one game lover the Jaguars.
Hos the Texans in a must win situation. Their offense needs to step up and control the game behind
runner Derrick Henry.
#12 – 8-5-1 Giants
The Giants won a huge game in Washington that puts them in the drivers’ seat for a wild card berth.
Runner Saquon Barkley had gutty performance. Travel to Minnesota to face the potent Vikings which could be a preview of wildcard weekend.
#13 – 7-7 Seahawks
Seahawks lost to the 49ers mainly due to an inept offense which failed to score a TD until late in the 4th quarter. They must recover quickly and get back on a winning steak with a difficult trip to KC this week.
#14 – 7-7 Lions
The relentless Lions edged the Jets to continue their turnaround from a weak first half. They have won 6 of their last 7 games and have shown an explosive passing game and an improving defense in the process. Travel to Carolina with both clubs clinging to their playoff hopes in the balance.
#15 – 7-7 Patriots
The Pats lost an insane game vs the Raiders on a foolish final play which cost them a sure victory. They host the hot Bengals. Belichick will have to put together great game plan to neutralize the savvy QB Burrow with both clubs needing a victory for their postseason hopes.
#16 – 7-7 Jets
Jets fell short vs the Lions with QB Zach Wilson back as the starter for their 3rd straight loss. They host the hot Jaguars this Thursday night in a must win situation for both clubs. The Jets defense continues to keep them alive in every game, but they need more production from a subpar offense if they want to win in late money games.
#17 – 7-6-1 Commanders
The Commanders lost to the GMen in a key NFC East matchup which has them in a desperate situation playing the 49ers in San Fran this week. Their NFC playoff hopes are slim and must win here to stay in contention for a wild card spot vs the leagues’ best defense.
#18 – 6-8 Packers
The Packers beat a battered Rams club on Monday night. They travel Miami with both clubs desperate with fading slim playoff hopes. QB Aaron Rodgers is capable of carrying this club, but their marginal mathematical chances demand them running the table from here.
#19 – 5-9 Saints
The Saints beat the Falcons last week to keep their playoff hopes alive. They are only one game out of first place in the NFC South. They travel to Cleveland this week in a must win situation, where both sub .500 clubs are still alive, but the urgency for each to win will most likely eliminate the loser.
#20 – 6-8 Jaguars
Jaguars won their biggest game in years with an impressive OT victory over the Cowboys. QB Trevor Lawrence has taken charge and lead this club with 4 TD passes to continue their late run for a playoff spot. Face the Jets at MetLife this Thursday which will determine the fate of both clubs.
#21 – 6-8 Steelers
Steelers beat the Panthers behind Mitch Trubisky, but will go with healthy Kenny Pickett this week. Ironically, they host the Raiders this week in wake of former Steeler great Franco Harris. Steelers must win here and look for help to have any remote AFC playoff chances.
#22 – 6-8 – Bucs
Bucs fell to the Bengals with their defense failing to contain Joe Burrow in crunch time. They still hold a slim lead the NFC South with a soft remaining schedule. They travel to Arizona to face the struggling Cardinals in a matchup where they can establish a two game lead with two to play.
#23 – 6-8 Raiders
Raiders got a gift win last week with a crazy final reckless play they made to score a game winning TD. Hoping to run the table and sneak into playoffs like last season. Travel to Pittsburgh this week where the loser can start making plans for next year.
#24 – 6-8 Browns
Browns beat rival the Ravens which kept their slim postseason hopes alive. They have three winnable games in the Saints, Commanders and Steelers remaining with no excuse to claim a final spot. Vet QB Deshaun Watson stepped up last week and made a difference in big spots.
#25 – 5-9 Falcons
Falcons turned the page and started rookie QB Desmond Ridder vs the Saints. They lost a close game but still within one game of the NFC South lead. They travel to Baltimore on Saturday which becomes the acid test for any playoff chances.
#26 – 5-9 Panthers
Panthers struggled vs the Steelers, though still maintain playoff possibilities in the weak NFC South. Host the hot Lions this week followed by a trip to Tampa. Sam Darnold has done OK in his audition for the starting job next season.
#27 – 4-9-1 Colts
Colts blew the biggest lead in NFL history last week when they totally collapsed vs the Vikings. They host the Chargers on Monday night hoping to play the spoiler of their playoff hopes.
#28 – 4-10 Rams
Oh how the mighty have fallen this season. Rams continue to struggle without Stafford and Kupp on offense along with Donald on defense. Host the Broncos this week in probably the two most disappointing clubs in the league this season.
#29 – 4-10 – Broncos
Broncos beat the Cardinals in a game for draft position. Travel to LA to face the equally disappointing Rams with both clubs facing important offseason questions.
#30 – 4-10 Cardinals
They lost to the Broncos struggling without QB Kyler Murray to generate an offense. They host the Bucs this week playing out the string for next season.
#31 – 3-11 Bears
The Bears pressed the Eagles last week, though came up short once again. They are on a 7-game losing streak with only QB Justin Fields’s running skills of interest. They host the Bills this week and be fully tested to compete for one of the premier clubs in the league.
#32 – 1-12-1 Texans
Texans played hard again, but lost in OT to the Chiefs. Travel to Nashville to face the Titans in a tough matchup. They could clinch the #1 overall pick in the NFL Draft 2023 with a loss and Bears win.
Frank Coyle is a long-time scout with nationwide ties with NFL and college coaches, scouts and player agents. He is a member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards – Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe, Biletnikoff etc. for the past 30 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He was a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for CBS and ESPN on a year-round basis related to NFL and College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites