NFL

Patriots recapture top spot in Review-Journal’s Week 16 NFL rankings

Updated December 19, 2017 - 3:13 pm

Las Vegas Review-Journal NFL reporter Gilbert Manzano’s weekly rankings, with last week’s ranking in parentheses.

1. Patriots 11-3 (2). Anyone know what a catch is in the NFL? The referees in the Patriots-Steelers game didn’t. But we do know Rob Gronkowski needs to be double-teamed, and the Steelers didn’t do it in a crucial AFC showdown.

2. Eagles 12-2 (3). Nick Foles refuses to let the Eagles lose the the No. 1 seed in the NFC. He had four touchdown passes in Week 15.

3. Steelers 11-3 (1). The Steelers took a hit with Antonio Brown’s injury, but they have Le’Veon Bell to lean on until the postseason arrives.

4. Vikings 11-3 (4). Just another day at the office for Case Keenum, who completed 20 of 23 passes against the Bengals.

5. Rams 10-4 (5). Todd Gurley and the Rams sent the Seahawks and the rest of NFC a statement. They’re here to stay.

6. Saints 10-4 (6). The Alvin Kamara-Mark Ingram freight train got back on track versus the Jets.

7. Panthers 10-4 (7). Cam Newton is starting to play like his 2015 MVP season.

8. Falcons 9-5 (8). Atlanta can clinch the NFC South with wins over the Saints and Panthers.

9. Jaguars 10-4 (9). Blake Bortles continues to play at a high level. Be careful, Pittsburgh and New England.

10. Chiefs 8-6 (12). The Chiefs are back to their 5-0 form after another solid outing from Kareem Hunt.

11. Ravens 8-6 (14). The Ravens’ offense is peaking at the right time. They face the lowly Colts and Bengals to end the regular season.

12. Cowboys 8-6 (17). The Cowboys remain in the playoff hunt and get Ezekiel Elliott back this week.

13. Seahawks 8-6 (10). Seattle got crushed by the Rams. Changing of the guard in the NFC West?

14. Bills 8-6 (18). Buffalo is currently the AFC sixth seed, but probably not for long with the Patriots next on the schedule.

15. Titans 8-6 (13). The Titans are in danger of missing the playoffs and still have to face the Rams and Jaguars.

16. Lions 8-6 (16). Detroit is still somehow in the playoff hunt.

17. Chargers 7-7 (11). The Chargers always disappoint at the worst time.

18. Packers 7-7 (15). Aaron Rodgers’ comeback ended quickly.

19. Raiders 6-8 (19). The Raiders lost to the Cowboys and a folded piece of paper.

20. Redskins 6-8 (22). The Redskins defeated the Cardinals in a game no one had interest in.

21. Cardinals 6-8 (20). The Adrian Peterson experiment in the desert is officially over.

22. Dolphins 6-8 (21). Two more games left with Jay Cutler. Enjoy it, America.

23. 49ers 4-10 (25). Jimmy Garoppolo has turned the 49ers into must-watch TV.

24. Broncos 5-9 (28). After losing eight straight games, the Broncos have won two in a row.

25. Jets 5-9 (23). Everyone misses Josh McCown.

26. Texans 4-10 (26). Bill O’Brien on the hot seat?

27. Bengals 5-9 (24). Can’t blame the Bengals for quitting against the Vikings. Their coach gave up a long time ago.

28. Buccaneers 4-10 (27). Jameis Winston and the Bucs came up short versus the Falcons.

29. Bears 4-10 (29). Is Mitchell Trubisky the real deal? He has two games left to give Bears fans optimism for 2018.

30. Colts 3-11 (30). Andrew Luck is considering another surgery. It keeps getting worse for the franchise QB.

31. Giants 2-12 (31). Eli Manning erupted for 434 yards versus the Eagles. Too bad his defense couldn’t stop Foles.

32. Browns 0-14 (32). Cleveland’s second-to-last chance to avoid an 0-16 season is Sunday against the Bears.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GManzano24 on Twitter.

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