Chargers Bolt Up to Number Two in Week 16 Power Rankings

Nicholas Cothrel

ESPN’s Week 16 Power Rankings

  1. New Orleans Saints (12-2)
  2. Los Angeles Chargers (11-3)
  3. Kansas City Chiefs (11-3)
  4. Los Angeles Rams (11-3)
  5. Chicago Bears (10-4)
  6. Houston Texans (10-4)
  7. New England Patriots (9-5)
  8. Pittsburg Steelers (8-5-1)
  9. Indianapolis Colts (8-6)
  10.  Baltimore Ravens (8-6)
  11.  Seattle Seahawks (8-6)
  12.  Dallas Cowboys (8-6)
  13.  Minnesota Vikings (7-6-1)
  14.  Tennessee Titans (8-6)
  15.  Philadelphia Eagles (7-7)
  16.  Carolina Panthers (6-8)
  17.  Cleveland Browns (6-7-1)
  18.  Miami Dolphins (7-7)
  19.  Green Bay Packers (5-8-1)
  20.  Denver Broncos (6-8)
  21.  Washington Redskins (7-7)
  22.  Atlanta Falcons (5-9)
  23.  New York Giants (5-9)
  24.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-9)
  25.  Cincinnati Bengals (6-8)
  26.  Detroit Lions (5-9)
  27.  Buffalo Bills (5-9)
  28.  Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10)
  29.  San Francisco 49ers (4-10)
  30.  New York Jets (4-10)
  31.  Oakland Raiders (3-11)
  32.  Arizona Cardinals (3-11)

Movement at the top:

The Los Angeles Chargers moved up to number two, after being at number four last week. Rivers and the Chargers are now tied with the Chiefs after taking them down in Arrowhead stadium. The Chargers are a top ten team on offense and defense, which is hard to come by in the NFL. The main reason why they have an 11-3 record is they have talent on both sides of the ball and a balanced attack. The Chargers solidified their offensive line this offseason bringing in Center, Mike Pouncey, improved their secondary drafting Safety, Derwin James out of Florida State, have seen some of the best football out of Phillip Rivers this season, Joey Bosa just came back, chasing down quarterbacks and the backfield attack lead by Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler.

Movement at the bottom:

The San Francisco 49ers pulled off a victory over the Seattle Seahawks in overtime. The 49ers were slotted to have the first pick in the 2019 NFL draft before the upset win over Seattle. 49ers now sit at a record of 4-10, but have seen some upside on their roster over the last month. Nick Mullens has took over in the starting role at quarterback with Jimmy Garoppolo out for the season. Mullens has emerged as a talented backup that most teams don’t have sitting behind their starting guy. Head coach, Kyle Shanahan is known as a prolific play caller and has drawn up plays for Mullens to succeed under his offense. Mullens came out of nowhere when he debuted against the Raiders in week nine, on Thursday night football when he won his first game 34-3. Second year tight end George Kittle has evolved as one of the top tight ends in the NFL this season. Kittle has his first 1,000 yard season of his career, while hauling in four touchdowns. Kittle also had 210 yards receiving, seven receptions in week 14 over the Denver Broncos.

New Orleans Saints in the top spot:

The Saints remain in the top spot for the week 16 power rankings. The Saints are known a team that showcases offensive strength, throwing the ball to Michael Thomas and having Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram lead the running game. The Saints defense gets looked over at times, giving up less than 20 points or less in their last six games. Drew Bress is being extremely efficient through the air, completing 74.9 percent of his passes. The Saints have already clinched their division title in the NFC South. Saints are currently the number one seed in the NFC, with the Rams only one game behind them.

Teams on the rise: 

The Indianapolis Colts started the season dropping five of their first six games. Since then, the Colts have turned the page, winning seven of their last eight games. Their playoff push has been lead by huge performance’s by quarterback Andrew Luck. Luck is second in the NFL in passing touchdowns with 34. Luck’s offensive line deserves a lot of credit, only allowing 16 sacks. The Colts are led by first time head coach Frank Reich, who appears he’s getting the best out of his star quarterback, Andrew Luck. Luck has developed a red zone connection with Eric Ebron, catching a career-high 12 touchdowns.

Biggest drop this week: 

The Dallas Cowboys fell from the eighth spot in the power rankings to their current spot, number 12. Dallas struggled dramatically against the Indianapolis Colts on offense and defense. The Cowboys were shutout 23-0, getting shutout for the first time in 15 years. The Cowboys offense was nonexistent, passing for only 206 yards. It seamed as if, Amari Cooper disappeared after his 200 yard receiving game last week against the Eagles by only catching four balls on 32 yards this week. The Cowboys defense couldn’t generate any push off the defensive line, allowing 178 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns.

(Photo: Mike Nowak/Chargers)

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