Raiders, Falcons on rise in PFF's Week 16 NFL Power Rankings
Week 15 of the NFL season has come and gone, and with it, a new week’s worth of grades are in the Pro Football Focus database.
PFF’s Power Rankings are based off of Senior Analyst Sam Monson’s ordering of all 32 NFL teams, offenses, and defenses. He uses PFF’s overall cumulative grades as a starting point, and makes necessary subjective adjustments to account for things that aren’t captured in the grading system, such as injuries.
The PFF Power Rankings will be updated every Tuesday morning during the NFL season—view the latest edition entering Week 16 here.
With just two weeks of the 2016 regular season remaining, the top of PFF’s NFL Power Rankings are starting to take root. Following their Week 15 victory over the Broncos, the Patriots remain in the No. 1 spot, ahead of the Dallas Cowboys at No. 2.
Behind those two teams, however, we did see a shakeup among the top five.
After a 19-16 road win over the Chargers, the Oakland Raiders move into the No. 3 spot in our rankings, just ahead of the division rival Chiefs. For the season, the Raiders own a top-five-graded pass-rush, led by defensive end Khalil Mack. Entering Week 16, Mack remains PFF’s top-ranked edge defender, earning a 93.4 overall grade. Mack’s 64 QB pressures this season (10 sacks, six hits, 48 hurries) are tied for fifth-most among NFL edge defenders, with nine coming against the Chargers in Week 15.
On offense, third-year quarterback Derek Carr has earned the league’s fifth-highest passing grade (87.5)—just ahead of Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (87.2). Unfortunately for the Oakland QB, Raiders receivers have dropped a league-high 36 passes this season—10 coming in the last three weeks.
The Atlanta Falcons follow the Raiders up the board, settling into the No. 4 spot. Quarterback Matt Ryan has produced his second-highest-graded season to date, and leads the league in yards per pass attempt this season, at 9.3. It was running back Devonta Freeman who stole the show against the 49ers on Sunday, however, as he earned his highest game grade of the season on the back of 139 rushing yards, three touchdowns, and six missed tackles forced.
Dropping to the No. 10 spot this week (previously No. 8) are the Detroit Lions, who lost on Sunday for the first time since Week 8. While quarterback Matthew Stafford continues to enjoy his best season to date, the Lions’ defense continued to provide little help against the Giants in Week 15; for the season, Detroit’s defense is ranked 26th in PFF’s Power Rankings.
As we enter the final stretch of the NFL regular season, be sure to check back weekly for PFF’s updated NFL Power Rankings.