Takeaways From Week Sixteen of the NFL Season

It's almost playoff time. That means the race is heating up to secure a spot. What went down in the sixteenth week of the season?

  • How 'Bout Dem Cowboys? It's time to start taking the Dallas Cowboys seriously (looking at you, Stephen A. Smith). With a defense/special teams unit that had a pick-six from Demarcus Lawrence and a blocked punt return for a touchdown by Chauncey Golston, the Cowboys curbstomped Washington, 56-14. The statement victory came after Dallas clinched the NFC East, where the Cowboys would usually slip up during the last week. However, that wasn't the case this season, as Dallas proved they're a legit Super Bowl contender.

  • No Charge: The Los Angeles Chargers had a golden opportunity to boost their standings in the playoff race. They controlled their own destiny, with games against the Houston Texans, Denver Broncos, and Las Vegas Raiders. However, they tripped up in Houston, falling by a score of 41-29. Rex Burkhead had a monster day for the Texans, rushing for 149 yards for two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Los Angeles turned the ball over three times, including a pick-six to seal the game. Now, the Chargers will have to rely on teams such as the Ravens and Colts losing, which will be a tall order in a tight AFC race.

  • Dead Heat: While the Arizona Cardinals are more fortunate than the Chargers by clinching a playoff spot, they've also run into some misfortune lately. On Saturday, they lost to the Indianapolis Colts, 22-16, losing control of the NFC West in the process. Behind 11 penalties for 85 yards, Arizona lacked discipline and poise, hurting themselves when they needed to stay strong. Now, the Cardinals will likely face a road playoff game due to their struggles; they face off against the Cowboys next week.

Top Five Power Rankings

  1. Green Bay Packers

  2. Kansas City Chiefs

  3. Dallas Cowboys

  4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  5. Los Angeles Rams