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INSIDER WEEK 16 POWER RANKINGS

By Glenn Bernardi
Jets Insider.com Contributing Writer
December 26th, 2006
Marty Schottenheimer and the Chargers keep rolling and stay #1.
Marty Schottenheimer and the Chargers keep rolling and stay #1.
1. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS {13-2} - Last Week #1
When you win 9 in a row, as the Chargers now have, they can't all be easy. On Sunday the Seahawks desperately wanted to make a statement in their own building, "We Don't Stink", and for 59:29 they did, but with 31 seconds remaining Philip Rivers connected with Vincent Jackson for a 37 Yard TD and that was all she wrote. With Arizona at SD this week, the Chargers will likely ride a 10 Game winning streak and the AFC's #1 Seed into the playoffs.

2. BALTIMORE RAVENS {12-3} - Last Week #2
With help from Houston who knocked off the Colts, Baltimore did their part by obliterating the Steelers at Heinz Field and leaping Indy for the AFC's #2 Seed. If they beat a feisty Bills team this week {at Baltimore} that #2 Seed is locked up.

3. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS {10-5} - Last Week #6
Two weeks ago I attributed their stumble verses Washington to a letdown following their big win at Dallas, IT HAPPENS, and on Sunday they made me look good by destroying the Giants at the Meadowlands. Bush and Deuce both rushed for over 100.

4. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS {11-4} - Last Week #4
The tuck rule only works FOR the Patriots, not AGAINST. But I'm not complaining about it this time, fore that strip of David Garrard on the Jags final possession sent all of Jets fandom into euphoria. It placed their own fate in the Jets hands and we all know how that worked out on Monday night.

5. CHICAGO BEARS {13-2} - Last Week #5
They haven't faced a good team since losing at NE in Week 12, and the soft part of their schedule came along at just the right time because this current Bears defense, minus Mike Brown, Tommie Harris and Tank Johnson, looks like a shell of the defense that was dominating the league over the first 11 Games. Maybe that #1 Seed is enough to put them over the top in the NFC regardless?

6. PHILADELHIA EAGLES {9-6} - Last Week #8
These guys really had to earn their division title, and if they beat Atlanta this week {at Philly} it's a done deal. They had to beat the two teams ahead of them in the NFC East {Giants & Cowboys}, on back-to-back weeks, and both on the road.

7. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS {11-4} - Last Week #3
Ron Dayne lit them up for 150+ with 2 TD's. Their defense stinks, the whole lousy lot of them, and Peyton Manning all but admitted as much when he wasted no time insinuating {strongly} that their defense, well, stinks. He's a whiner and a front-runner, that's nothing new, last year he stabbed his O-Line in the back following their playoff loss to Pittsburgh, and while he SHOULD NOT be the one to say it, he's right about this defense, it smells like a dead rat.

8. DENVER BRONCOS {9-6} - Last Week #11
Jay Cutler looks like the Real McCoy as his Broncos upend Cincinnati. If they can duplicate that feat verses the 49ers this week, at Mile High, the Broncos are going to the dance.

9. NEW YORK JETS {9-6} - Last Week #12
The equation was simple come Monday night, win out and we're in, but Miami had other ideas as they were determined to deal their arch-rivals a bitter defeat. So a bare knuckle brawl broke out in the middle of a Christmas night typhoon, little offense to speak of as the defenses exchanged haymakers at center-ring, and it was all about who would crack first and who would crack last? Answer: THESE JETS DON'T CRACK!!

10. CINCINNATI BENGALS {8-7} - Last Week #9
That might have been the most painful {and costly} botched PAT in NFL history?

11. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS {8-7} - Last Week #10
The way they lost was a tough pill to swallow, with Garrard being stripped as the Jags were not far away from FG range in a three point game, and though it wasn't nearly as tragic as Cinci's botched PAT, the result was the same .. now they too are, in the immortal words of Little Anthony & The Imperials, on the outside looking in.

12. DALLAS COWBOYS {9-6} - Last Week #7
A few weeks ago they were being viewed as the class of the NFC in some circles, while the Eagles were being viewed as an after-thought. My how things have changed.

13. TENNESSEE TITANS {8-7} - Last Week #14
Confession; I was a Vince Young detractor prior to the draft. Yes, I was one of those clowns.

14. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS {8-7} - Last Week #16
I'm on the outside looking in - I don't wanna be, I don't wanna be, I don't wanna be on the outside, looking in. .. I love that old song!

15. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS {8-7} - Last Week #17
I'll lift them in the rankings off a loss because they finally showed up to play verses my #1 ranked team, and it's about time!

16. BUFFALO BILLS {7-8} - Last Week #13
They lost a one point game, 30-29 shootout, as Vince Young continues his impersonation of Superman in cleats.

17. PITTSBURGH STEELERS {7-8} - Last Week #15
Okay, now we can officially say goodbye to the defending champs. After getting hammered by the Ravens it's all over, but these guys fought hard and kept it interesting when they could have started mailing it in a long time ago.

18. MIAMI DOLPHINS {6-9} - Last Week #20
If you think the Dolphins defense giving the Jets fits was a big negative for the Jets, you didn't watch Miami's defense bludgeon Tom Brady and shut the Patriots out two weeks ago. As I stated in the Jets ranking, this was an old-fashioned bare-knuckle brawl in a driving rainstorm, with the little man, Leon Washington, delivering the knockout in Round 12.

19. ST LOUIS RAMS {7-8} - Last Week #24
One of these 7-8 Jokes will make the playoffs in the NFC, but I'm ranking them all exactly where they deserve to be ranked, behind every decent AFC team in existence, even the ones who are officially eliminated.

20. CAROLINA PANTHERS {7-8} - Last Week #25
Panthers beat Atlanta 10-3 in a battle of massive NFC under-achievers. Ho Hum.

21. GREEN BAY PACKERS {7-8} - Last Week #26
These Packers, these absolutely dreadful Green Bay Packers, might actually make the playoffs. Can you even imagine that?

22. ATLANTA FALCONS {7-8} - Last Week #19
These losers are still very much alive as well.

23. NEW YORK GIANTS {7-8} - Last Week #18
And in the mother of all disgraces, these complete, total and utter buffoons STILL control their own fate. They don't even need anyone to lose. They need no help whatsoever. At 7-8 and having lost six of their last seven, in mostly embarrassing fashion, like a weekly comedy act, these absolute clowns will actually make the playoffs if they can just beat the atrocious Redskins at DC. The NFC is a Joke, a complete Joke, second only to this Joke of a football team.

24. HOUSTON TEXANS {5-10} - Last Week #28
I probably should have ranked these guys ahead of the G-Clowns as well. I mean, do you think the G-Clowns or any of these 7-8 NFC frauds could beat the Colts on their best day and Indy's worst day? As bad as Indy's defense is, they would smoke these buffoons even if the Colts showed up at the game drunk.

25. ARIZONA CARDINALS {5-10} - Last Week #27
On the one hand I give them credit for officially eliminating the 49ers this week, but on the other hand you have to be pretty awful to be 5-10 in the NFC. You should be able to win six games by simply showing up on Sunday's.

26. SAN FRAN 49ERS {6-9} - Last Week #21
They showed up enough to win six games in NFC, yippie, but not on Sunday versus the Cardinals.

27. MINNESOTA VIKINGS {6-9} - Last Week #22
They showed up enough to win six games in the NFC, give them a medal, but not on Thursday verses Green Bay.

28. WASHINGTON REDSKINS {5-10} - Last Week #23
As someone pointed out on the Jets Insider.com message board this week {forgot who, but he's a smart man}, Giants Vs Skins is a win-win for Jet fans who can't stomach the Giants {raising my hand}. If the Skins win the Giants are done, and if the Giants win the Jets get a higher 2nd Round Pick from the Skins.

29. TAMPA BAY BUCS {4-11} - Last Week #30
In the battle to stay out of the 30's in this weeks power rankings, TB upended Cleveland 22-7 and nailed down the 29 Spot.

30. CLEVELAND BROWNS {4-11} - Last Week #29 Welcome back to the 30's, Brownies. You've been here before and I trusted you would be back.

31. OAKLAND RAIDERS {2-13} - Last Week #32
Know why I'm not ranking the Raiders dead last this week? I'm taking one for the team, making certain not to give Oakland any bulletin-board material. The Raiders are a much better team than anyone suspects, MUCH BETTER, so I have nothing but respect for the Black & Silver. PS. Dear Raiders, who I respect with every fiber of my being, it would really behoove you guys to lose this week and possibly secure that #1 Overall Pick. I'm just looking out for you guys because I have so much respect and admiration for the Oakland Raiders organization. AL DAVIS RULES!!

32. DETROIT LIONS {2-13} - Last Week #31
Does Detriot really deserve the #32 Spot? Are they really the worst team in football? NO COMMENT, we'll talk about that next week.

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