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NFL Power Rankings Roundup: Week 16 Edition

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The anticipated release you have all been waiting so patiently for

The release you have all been waiting for
Jason Michaels

Alright, ladies and gentlemen. When we last tuned in to the Power Ranking roundup happy hour, the LA Chargers were actually LOSING ground instead of gaining it, on account of their slight win over the bungling Bengals. While most fans didn’t agree with that trajectory, the media outlets of the nation had spoken: the Chargers were a top 10 team that got lucky against Pittsburgh.

Well, it’s a new week and there’s every reason to believe that the Chargers will move on up. Why? Well, the Patriots lost. The Rams lost. The Chiefs lost. The Saints squeaked by with an oddball win, and the Chargers, well, they’re the ones that beat those Chiefs.

NFL.com

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Los Angeles Chargers

Previous rank: No. 5

The Chargers are the Michael Myers of the NFL right now -- which is better, I think, than being the Michael Bolton (getting no respect). That is to say, the Bolts are a scary group. The Anthony Lynn-guided outfit beat the Chiefs on Thursday night -- in Arrowhead, mind you -- while still being far from full strength. Not only were they without RB1 Melvin Gordon, they were without RB2 Austin Ekeler, too. In fact, the Bolts have been down a man (or two) all year. Right when their game wrecker on defense returned to form, their fantasy-points Pez Dispenser got hurt. When Joey Bosa, Gordon and Ekeler are all in action at the same time again -- whether that happens in Week 16 or 17 -- look out. Then there’s second-year receiver Mike Williams, who enjoyed his finest game all season, with three touchdowns and the outcome-deciding two-point conversion. And, of course, the Chargers wouldn’t have gotten where they did without Hunter Henry. (PSA for the uninitiated: The tight end returned to practice Monday after missing all of this season thus far with an ACL tear.)

3. Kansas City Chiefs

4. Chicago Bears

5. Los Angeles Rams

6. New England Patriots

7. Houston Texans

8. Indianapolis Colts

9. Pittsburgh Steelers

10. Baltimore Ravens

CBS Sports

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Los Angeles Chargers

They have a chance to be the top seed in the AFC. That road victory over the Chiefs last week was impressive.

3. Los Angeles Rams

4. Kansas City Chiefs

5. Chicago Bears

6. New England Patriots

7. Houston Texans

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

9. Indianapolis Colts

10. Dallas Cowboys

SB Nation

1. Los Angeles Chargers

Imagine being an NFL executive contemplating the playoffs with the very real possibility that the Chargers, a team that can’t fill a tiny soccer stadium for its “home” games, could be playing deep into January. That’s got to be at least a little unnerving for the ratings watchers on Park Ave. The NFL’s best team and nobody loves them. It’s like Kirk Van Houten turned “Can I Borrow a Feeling?” into a No. 1 single, but was still, you know, Kirk Van Houten.

Further proving the complete lack of cosmic justice and absence of reason in the NFL this season, the Chargers are currently the FIFTH seed in the AFC. They beat the Chiefs and are tied for the best record in the conference, but the tiebreaker currently goes to Kansas City. That could change. MVP-candidate Philip Rivers and Co. face the Ravens this week and wrap up the season against the Broncos. The Chiefs, meanwhile, are in Seattle before a December preseason game against the Raiders at home.

2. New Orleans Saints

3. Kansas City Chiefs

4. Chicago Bears

5. Los Angeles Rams

6. Houston Texans

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

8. New England Patriots

9. Baltimore Ravens

10. Indianapolis Colts

ESPN

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Los Angeles Chargers

Biggest breakthrough: WR Mike Williams. After a disappointing rookie season limited by injuries, the Clemson product is having a bounce-back year, leading the Chargers in receiving touchdowns with nine. Williams has totaled 37 receptions for 592 yards and helped lift the Bolts over the Kansas City Chiefs last week with a three-touchdown performance. -- Eric D. Williams

3. Kansas City Chiefs

4. Los Angeles Rams

5. Chicago Bears

6. Houston Texans

7. New England Patriots

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

9. Indianapolis Colts

10. Baltimore Ravens

Bleacher Report

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Kansas City Chiefs

3. Los Angeles Chargers

There is no question that the Chargers have one of the best rosters in all of football. Like New Orleans, Los Angeles is loaded with talent on both sides of the football. Its offense ranks fourth in points per game (28.2), and the ranks ninth in scoring (21.3).

Outside of the Saints, there is arguably no hotter team in football than the Chargers, who have won four in a row and 10 of their last 11. That momentum has Bleacher Report’s Master Tesfatsion sold on L.A.: “The best team in the AFC is holding a wild card spot.”

But when it comes to Kansas City vs. Los Angeles, there is one glaring stat that weighs heavily in favor of the Chiefs. The Chargers have led the Chiefs for a total of four seconds (out of 120 minutes) in their two matchups this season.

4. Los Angeles Rams

5. Houston Texans

6. Chicago Bears

7. New England Patriots

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

9. Baltimore Ravens

10. Indianapolis Colts

USA Today

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Los Angeles Chargers

Quality of this team evidenced by its depth, which has enabled Bolts to weather key injuries. Could be AFC’s No. 1 seed a week from now.

3. Chicago Bears

4. Los Angeles Rams

5. Kansas City Chiefs

6. Indianapolis Colts

7. Houston Texans

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

9. New England Patriots

10. Baltimore Ravens

Yahoo! Sports

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Los Angeles Chargers

There’s a new new sheriff in town.

3. Kansas City Chiefs

4. Chicago Bears

5. Los Angeles Rams

6. New England Patriots

7. Houston Texans

8. Indianapolis Colts

9. Pittsburgh Steelers

10. Baltimore Ravens

And there you have it, the Chargers appear to finally have the attention of the national media! With no indescribable 9th place finishes, and at least one bona fide first place finish, the Chargers are no longer underdogs. This is just one of those wacky years where the best team in football is still in the wildcard slot.

Ladies and gentlemen, these are officially the ‘good years’ again. Enjoy them!

Week 16 Stats:

  • Average Rating: 2.0
  • Most Common Rating: 2.0
  • Last week’s Average: 4.0
  • Shopping Days ‘Till Christmas: 7, including today
  • Team Given to Homer Simpson by Hank Scorpio: The Denver Broncos (sigh)

-Jason “Everything’s Coming Up Milhouse” Michaels