2019 NFL Power Rankings: Week 16

With only two weeks remaining in the NFL regular season, where does each team stand within our power rankings?

This week, it was the Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons who found themselves taking the biggest leap forward in our rankings, while the Los Angeles Chargers and Los Angeles Rams were two teams who took a step back.

Here are our Week 16 NFL Power Rankings:

Teams Ranked 32nd to 23rd

Rank Team nERD Rec Playoff Odds Off. NEP Rank Def. NEP Rank Change
32 Miami Dolphins -13.5 3-11 0.00% 25 32 0
31 Cincinnati Bengals -10.18 1-13 0.00% 26 29 0
30 New York Jets -9.81 5-9 0.00% 32 17 0
29 Washington Redskins -9.41 3-11 0.00% 29 26 0
28 Jacksonville Jaguars -9.14 5-9 0.00% 28 27 0
27 New York Giants -8.1 3-11 0.00% 27 23 0
26 Oakland Raiders -6.69 6-8 0.40% 12 31 -2
25 Detroit Lions -6.38 3-10-1 0.00% 21 28 -2
24 Carolina Panthers -6.24 5-9 0.00% 24 21 1
23 Arizona Cardinals -5.59 4-9-1 0.00% 10 30 3

As we approach the final two weeks of the NFL regular season, it looks like the Cincinnati Bengals are going to finish the season with the worst record across the league. This would solidify the first overall pick for them in the 2020 NFL draft, where they would likely draft a quarterback.

The Bengals’ passing game has been sub-par at best this year. Per our scheduled-adjusted metrics, they currently rank 30th overall in terms of passing offense. This in return has led them to be the lowest-scoring offense across the league this season. Per TeamRankings, the Bengals are only scoring 15.1 points per game.

Unfortunately for the Bengals, their passing offense wasn’t their only weakness this season. Per our numbers, they also finished 29th overall in terms of passing defense and 27th overall in rushing defense.

In their first season with one another, Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray have shown major signs of improving this offense week in and week out. They now rank within the top-10 offensively in terms of Net Expected Points (NEP) when adjusted for schedule.

Murray currently leads all rookie quarterbacks in passing yards and completion percentage and has had himself a nice rookie campaign. While there is certainly room for improvement for Murray in this offense, he’s shown signs of being a long-term quarterback in the NFL.

One area the Cards will want to improve this off-season is their offensive line. Per Football Outsiders, the Cards’ offensive line currently ranks 27th overall in terms of pass protection, while ranking 21st overall in terms of run blocking. This in return has led to an adjusted sack rate of 8.9%, which ranks as the sixth-highest across the league this season.

Teams Ranked 22nd to 13th

Rank Team nERD Rec Playoff Odds Off. NEP Rank Def. NEP Rank Change
22 Cleveland Browns -3.44 6-8 0.60% 19 24 -2
21 Chicago Bears -2.05 7-7 0.00% 30 4 1
20 Denver Broncos -1.02 5-9 0.00% 23 11 -3
19 Indianapolis Colts -0.98 6-8 0.00% 16 16 -1
18 Los Angeles Chargers -0.64 5-9 0.00% 13 19 -4
17 Philadelphia Eagles -0.59 7-7 37.20% 14 18 2
16 Atlanta Falcons 0.09 5-9 0.00% 9 25 4
15 Houston Texans 0.87 9-5 98.30% 7 22 0
14 Pittsburgh Steelers 0.92 8-6 53.20% 31 3 -1
13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2.3 7-7 0.00% 20 7 3

While it's a little too late for them to lock down a playoff spot in 2019-2020, the Chicago Bears have played much better as of late, compared to how they started this season. Prior to their loss last week against the Green Bay Packers, the Bears had won three straight games to put their record above .500 and were making a case to be a wild card playoff team. After losing 21-13 last week, the Bears now have a 0% chance of making the playoffs this season, though.

The Bears’ offense has certainly been their downfall this season. Per our numbers, their passing offense currently ranks 24th overall across the league, while their rushing defense ranks 31st.

Bears’ quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had really struggled to start the season, but he started to find his game during the Bears’ recent three-game win streak. Per ESPN, Trubisky currently ranks 27 of 31 qualified quarterbacks in terms of total quarterback rating.

This Bears defense, however, has been stout once again this season. Per our schedule-adjusted metrics, the defense currently ranks fourth overall.

It’s been an odd season for the Pittsburgh Steelers this year. Starting with their quarterback situation, the Steelers lost their starting quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, to a season-ending injury in their opening game against the New England Patriots. Since then it’s been a quarterback experiment between Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges.

On top of the quarterback struggles for the Steelers, they’ve also had to deal with injuries from their two star playmakers, James Conner and JuJu Smith-Schuster.

That hasn’t stopped the Steelers from playing some good football this season. Heading into the final two weeks of the regular season, the Steelers currently sit at an 8-6 record with a 53% chance of making the playoffs. This has been largely due to their defensive play.

Per our schedule-adjusted metrics, the Steelers defense currently ranks third overall in passing defense while ranking first in rushing defense. Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt has played well enough to put him in the Defensive Player of the Year running. He’s had 13 sacks on the season -- fifth-most across the league -- while adding 9 passes defended and 2 interceptions to his stat sheet. This is just a small sample of what Watt has been able to do this season:

Teams Ranked 12th to 1st

RankTeamnERDRecPlayoff OddsOff. NEP RankDef. NEP RankChange
12Los Angeles Rams2.578-62.00%178-3
11Tennessee Titans2.78-647.60%1590
10Buffalo Bills2.7510-4100.00%1852
9Seattle Seahawks3.5111-3100.00%8131
8Green Bay Packers3.6511-3100.00%515-1
7New Orleans Saints5.4511-3100.00%4141
6Minnesota Vikings7.0310-498.00%660
5Dallas Cowboys7.877-762.80%2200
4Kansas City Chiefs8.0610-4100.00%3120
3New England Patriots11.3811-3100.00%2210
2San Francisco 49ers12.8311-3100.00%1120
1Baltimore Ravens15.8512-2100.00%1100

There was very little movement within the top tier of our rankings this week. There were four teams who moved slightly, but the top-six teams all remained in the same spot from our Week 15 rankings.

The Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots have been a staple at the top of our rankings all season. They are the only three teams with a double-digit nERD at this point in the season – a metric that measures how many points above or below average a team is.

The Los Angeles Rams found themselves moving the most in our top tier by dropping three spots after losing to the Dallas Cowboys last week by a score of 44-21. The former Super Bowl runner-up now only has a 2% chance of making the playoff this season.

Within the top-12 of our rankings, there are now eight teams who have a 100% chance of making the playoffs. The Minnesota Vikings and Houston Texans also have a 98% chance of making the playoffs, essentially solidifying 10 of the 12 playoffs team for 2019-2020.

There are five teams who are still in the hunt to make playoffs this season. Those five teams consist of the Tennessee Titans, Los Angeles Rams, Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders.