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NFL power rankings after Week 16: Baltimore Ravens return to top five

USA TODAY SPORTS logo USA TODAY SPORTS 12/29/2020 Nate Davis, USA TODAY

NFL power rankings, 2020 post-Week 16 edition (previous rank in parentheses):

1. Chiefs (1): They've won franchise record 14 regular-season games and could up total to 15 ... though it sounds like key starters will get next two weeks off.

2. Packers (2): (Slightly) lost among the Aaron Rodgers hype train is fact WR Davante Adams is having an epic campaign himself, just the third player in league history to post at least 100 catches and 17 touchdowns grabs in a season.

background pattern: It appears Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (8) will be joining Tom Brady and the Bucs in the playoffs. © Evan Russell, USA TODAY Sports It appears Ravens QB Lamar Jackson (8) will be joining Tom Brady and the Bucs in the playoffs.

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3. Bills (3): AFC field shaping up so Josh Allen might face Patrick Mahomes in conference title game. How much fun would that gunslinger showdown be?

4. Saints (4): Still not sure why Sean Payton had to "Scrooge" Alvin Kamara out of the opportunity to score a league record seven rushing TDs on Christmas.

5. Ravens (6): How hot are they? Baltimore can become first team in a quarter century to lead league in point differential in consecutive seasons.

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6. Buccaneers (7): WR Mike Evans has a franchise record 13 TD catches and needs 40 receiving yards to become first man in league history to start his career with seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

7. Seahawks (8): You wonder what S Jamal Adams, a half-sack from becoming the first DB ever to hit double digits, could have done over full 16 games.

8. Steelers (9): With a league-leading and career-high 15 sacks, will OLB T.J. Watt add a fourth defensive player of the year award to Watt trophy case?

9. Dolphins (12): Really have to admire how Brian Flores is managing his quarterbacks ... and how Tua Tagovailoa and Ryan Fitzpatrick are navigating their starter-reliever situation.

10. Browns (10): Pretty mystifying why a team built to run the ball – and without its top receivers – would throw it 53 times ... against the Jets.

11. Titans (5): Tantalizing as this team is, gotta be concerned about a defense that's permitted at least 30 points seven times.

12. Colts (11): They're in legitimate danger of becoming third team to finish with 11 regular-season wins and fail to qualify for postseason.

13. Bears (16): So if they get into the playoffs, are they going to earmark an extension or franchise tag for unsigned QB Mitch Trubisky?

14. Rams (13): So when your Super Bowl hopes are going up in flames, what do you do? Call in John Wolford, the greatest Hotshot in football history.

15. Cardinals (14): Kyler Murray can become first QB drafted by Arizona to lead Cards to playoffs since ... Jake Plummer in 1998.

16. Falcons (18): WR Calvin Ridley has been their best player all season, producing (82 catches for 1,322 yards and 9 TDs) at a Julio Jones-type level.

17. Vikings (19): Kinda classic Kirk Cousins, who's thrown a career-best 32 TDs ... which will basically amount to nothing. Defense needs to show up in 2021.

18. Panthers (21): RB Mike Davis, who just wrapped up his first 1,000-yard (from scrimmage) season, is one of league's feel-good stories.

19. Patriots (17): Bill Belichick had never been swept by Buffalo. How times change ... and it might be time to throw a grenade into the New England roster.

20. Chargers (22): Flawed as they are, does it make sense to dismantle a coaching staff that has done such a nice job launching QB Justin Herbert's career?

21. Raiders (20): Since that 6-3 start, they've surrendered 34.3 points per week. What happens defensively in Vegas shouldn't stay in Vegas.

22. Washington (15): They're the only team in the league that hasn't scored on a game-opening drive ... which is (was) only 40% Dwayne Haskins' fault.

23. Cowboys (26): With defense finally making plays and QB Andy Dalton in groove, you'd have to say they're NFC East's most dangerous team at this juncture.

24. 49ers (27): QB C.J. Beathard would rather have his brother back, but Saturday's performance was quite a tribute to his sibling a year after his murder.

25. Bengals (28): It's probably no more than a statistical oddity, but interesting to note that QB Brandon Allen has been more accurate and efficient this season than injured No. 1 pick Joe Burrow.

26. Eagles (23): Committing three turnovers and 12 penalties for 115 yards is a pretty good way to eliminate yourself in an elimination game.

27. Giants (24): Outmanned all season, the G-Men were almost unfailingly competitive through November. But they've lost their last three games by 47 points.

28. Broncos (25): A league-high 32 turnovers is dreadful. But a -20 turnover differential that's twice as bad as any other team really sums up Denver's 2020.

29. Texans (29): DE J.J. Watt is insulted by their effort ... so to add insult to insult, it appears Houston is going to earn a top-three draft pick for Miami as aftermath of Bill O'Brien's Laremy Tunsil deal continues to unfold.

30. Jets (31): Congrats, NYJ fans, you've clinched the No. 2 pick of the 2021 draft. Here's hoping you do the right thing and bookend OT Penei Sewell opposite Mekhi Becton.

31. Lions (30): After Saturday's debacle, they've now allowed a league-worst 482 points. Gonna be a very extensive rebuild for the next regime.

32. Jaguars (32): They've got a checkered (at best) history, but have never finished a year without at least two wins ... but a 15-game losing streak looms.

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Follow USA TODAY Sports' Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL power rankings after Week 16: Baltimore Ravens return to top five

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