2023 NFL power rankings, Week 16: Cowboys, Eagles loss is Ravens, Lions gain

Big losses for the Cowboys and Eagles have shaken up the top of our latest NFL Power Rankings, clearing the way for new contenders to emerge.

Buffalo Bills running back James Cook (4) breaks though the line of scrimmage.
Buffalo Bills running back James Cook (4) breaks though the line of scrimmage. / Jamie Germano/Rochester Democrat and
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. . . . 18. . 7-7 | Previous Rank: 18th| Week 15: Defeated Giants, 24-6. . 2023 NFL Power Rankings. 15

The Saints managed a convincing win over the visiting Panthers last week. but their run defense continues to be a big problem. They hosted Saquon Barkley and the revitalized Giants. Dennis Allen’s club shut down New York’s ground game to the tune of 60 yards on 16 attempts and sacked Giants’ quarterback Tommy DeVito seven times.

Versatile Alvin Kamara was the team’s leading rusher (16 attempts for 66 yards) and pass-catcher (5 receptions for 44 yards). Derek Carr threw for 218 yards and three scores as the Saints kept pace with the Bucs in the NFC South.

. 60. . . . . 17. 7-7 | Previous Rank: 15th | Week 15: Lost to Bengals, 27-24 (OT). . 2023 NFL Power Rankings

The Vikings were in Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon. Nick Mullens was the team’s fourth different starting quarterback this season. Kevin O’Connell’s club had a few problems moving the ball against a Cincinnati defense that entered the game ranked 31st in the league. Mullens threw two interceptions that killed first-half scoring drives.

O’Connell’s club owned a 17-3 lead in the fourth quarter but was outscored 24-7 the rest of the way. That included a field goal with 3:11 remaining in overtime that sealed the Vikings’ fate.  The Lions visit Minnesota this Sunday.

. 45. . 16. 2023 NFL Power Rankings. . 7-7 | Previous Rank: 14th | Week 15: Lost to Lions, 42-17. . .

The revitalized Broncos were on the road for the third consecutive week as they took on the Lions at Ford Field on Saturday night. After a scoreless first quarter, Denver was down 21-0 at halftime and outgained 279-75 in total yards. It’s worth noting that Sean Payton’s team had held its previous eight opponents to 22 points or less.

It was an evening in which the Broncos gave up 448 yards and six offensive touchdowns, five through the air. Denver is still very much in the playoff race with three games to go, but it’s a pretty big uphill climb at 7-7.