NFL Week 16 Power Rankings: Saints claim top spot from Chiefs, Chargers make big move

We are at the point in the season where any little misstep by a team leads to major overreactions.

A week ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers were toast.

This week, the New England Patriots don't have the same look as years past.

The Los Angeles Rams have been figured out on offense.

The Kansas City Chiefs aren't good enough on defense. The New Orleans Saints suddenly don't score enough now.

The Los Angeles Chargers are the NFL's best team, while the Chicago Bears are now right with them.

On and on it goes. But the reality is all the top teams have major flaws that have been exposed in recent weeks.

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That's why picking the Super Bowl winner isn't easy to figure out.  It's almost certainly going to be the team that gets hot at the right time – and any of them can win it. 

There are no slam-dunk teams to pencil in this year, even if the New Orleans Saints have that look right now. They remain in the top spot of my Power Rankings and appear to be an odds-on favorite to get to the Super Bowl if they lock up home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs.

Then again, they've had some issues lately as well.

But try not to overreact like the football sheep do every week. The football flaws are there for all to see. It's the teams that cure them and get hot at the right time that will be the teams we will see in the Super Bowl.

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Biggest Movers
6 Chargers
5 Cowboys
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Saints The defense won the Panthers game for them, but the offense has to get untracked. They will this week against the Steelers. 113-3-0
2 Chargers They have a chance to be the top seed in the AFC. That road victory over the Chiefs last week was impressive. 612-4-0
3 Rams The offense needs to get back on track. But don't buy this idea that it's been figured out. The line has been the issue the past two weeks. --13-3-0
4 Chiefs They still own the top spot in the division, but now they face a tough road game at Seattle. They can't afford a loss. 312-4-0
5 Bears They are the NFC North champs, and have done so with a dominant defense. They will be a tough out in the playoffs 112-4-0
6 Patriots They are still going to win the AFC East, but they just don't look like the same team as in past years. They need to pick it up. 211-5-0
7 Texans At 10-4, they are the second seed in the AFC right now. But how good have they really looked the past two weeks? 211-5-0
8 Steelers That was an impressive showing by the defense against the Patriots. Now that unit faces another big test against Drew Brees and the Saints on the road. 39-6-1
9 Colts If the Colts win out and the Ravens lose one, they will be in the playoffs. They will be a scary team if they make it. 110-6-0
10 Cowboys That was a bad look against the Colts. What happened to the offense? 510-6-0
11 Seahawks Losing to the 49ers on the road isn't a good way to come off a big victory against the Vikings. Now comes a real challenge - Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs at home. 410-6-0
12 Ravens The Ravens are in the sixth spot in the AFC right now, but have a tough road game against the Chargers this week. They can still win the division with help. --10-6-0
13 Vikings The change in offensive coordinators paid off against Miami as they scored 41 points. They control their destiny to a playoff spot and should get there. 18-7-1
14 Titans With two games to go, they could win out and be a playoff team. Derrick Henry is the guy carrying them there. 19-7-0
15 Eagles Nick Foles to the rescue again. They still can make the playoffs and maybe Foles can make another magical run. 29-7-0
16 Browns They are a young team growing up before our eyes. Whoever coaches this group in 2019 is a lucky man. 27-8-1
17 Dolphins At 7-7, they just can't win games on the road. The defense was awful against the Vikings. 47-9-0
18 Broncos The playoffs are now a pipe dream, which begs the question as to whether a coaching change is coming. 26-10-0
19 Giants Their late-season push took a bad turn against the Titans. The offense was dreadful. --5-11-0
20 Panthers The season is over. There will be changes coming to this franchise after this collapse. --7-9-0
21 Bengals It's too bad they can't play the Raiders every week. They were a perfect tonic to cure a losing streak. 16-10-0
22 Packers The season is officially over in terms of the playoffs. It has to be classified as a big-time failure. 16-9-1
23 Redskins They are still alive at 7-7, but now face a tough road game at Tennessee. Can Josh Johnson win another? 17-9-0
24 Bills Josh Allen is getting better every week. Sean McDermott has done a wonderful coaching job as well. 16-10-0
25 Lions They are still fighting, which is a good sign for coach Matt Patricia. They need some big-time help this offseason. 26-10-0
26 Falcons The early injuries on defense proved to be too much to overcome. But they will be fine next season. 27-9-0
27 49ers Kyle Shanahan has done an amazing job with this team. Watch out in 2019 when they get healthy. 34-12-0
28 Buccaneers Two more weeks to go before the changes come. Has Jameis Winston done enough to stay around? 25-11-0
29 Raiders They reverted back to their bad ways against the Bengals. They just lack talent to win consistently. 24-12-0
30 Jaguars They are the league's biggest flop. Big changes are coming across the board. 15-11-0
31 Jets They didn't beat the Texans, but they competed. They have to be thrilled with the future with Sam Darnold. --4-12-0
32 Cardinals Will coach Steve Wilks be back for a second season? One has to wonder if he will be. --3-13-0
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an... Full Bio

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