Week Sixteen Team Rankings

Tony Romo

Are the Dallas Cowboys for real? Was their win against the Saints something that they can gain momentum from? Scout.com's NFL insider is ranking and breaking down each team from a performance and personnel standpoint for the rest of the way.

1) Indianapolis Colts: While they clearly aren't a dominant team, the Colts are finding a way to win the close games. Despite some key injuries on defense, they are probably better this year on that side of the ball than in recent seasons.

Record: 14-0

Last Ranking: 2

Needs Still to be Filled: QB (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), SLB (veteran depth), MLB (veteran depth)


2) New Orleans Saints: LT Jermon Bushrod is struggling and the coaches have to find a way to help him. The lack of a consistent pass rush of late is apparent.

Record: 13-1

Last Ranking: 1

Needs Still to be Filled: RT (veteran depth), DT (depth), SLB (veteran depth)


3) San Diego Chargers: Again, this team has been as consistent over the last two months as any team in the NFL. While they don't run the ball well at all, it doesn't seem to matter. They might have the league's best passing game. They'll be challenged this week by a much improved Tennessee Titan offense.

Record: 11-3

Last Ranking: 4

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), G (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth)


4) Philadelphia Eagles: While the critics say they haven't beat a good team during their five-game winning streak, it's not hard to see that the Eagles have improved on both sides of the ball, and on special teams. The last two games will be a bigger challenge for them. FB Leonard Weaver might be one of best stories for this team that isn't being talked about nationally.

Record: 10-4

Last Ranking: 5

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), SLB (veteran depth)


5) Minnesota Vikings: Many personnel observers in the NFL have believed for a long time that the Vikings have a below average offensive line. That's been quite evident during their two losses of late. Head coach Brad Childress and QB Brett Favre have to get on the same page if this team is to go far in the playoffs. The defense needs to get its pass rush back.

Record: 11-3

Last Ranking: 3

Needs Still to be Filled: C (veteran depth), G (veteran depth), MLB (veteran depth), WLB (veteran depth), SLB (veteran depth), SS (veteran depth), FS (veteran depth)


6) Dallas Cowboys: Dallas probably had one of the most impressive wins for any team last week on the road at the Saints. While Tony Romo isn't playing at a high level, the passing game can still stay on schedule if he can find consistent accuracy. Getting FS Ken Hamlin back last week certainly helped the secondary.

Record: 9-5

Last Ranking: 10

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), OLB (pass rushing depth), CB (veteran depth), S (veteran depth)


7) Arizona Cardinals: They barely got by with a win last week at Detroit, but that's a game they might have lost in year's past. Veteran QB Kurt Warner still hasn't looked that comfortable in the last few games for some reason. Rookie Chris Wells may already be one of the NFL's most talented running backs.

Record: 9-5

Last Ranking: 8

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth upgrade), RT (veteran depth), C (veteran depth), CB (depth), S (veteran depth)


8) Cincinnati Bengals: For the first time in a while, the Bengals tried to throw the ball down field last week against the Chargers. You can clearly see their receivers just don't have enough speed to beat anyone consistently.

Record: 9-5

Last Ranking: 6

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (speed), LT (veteran depth), G (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth/nickel)


9) New England Patriots: Tom Brady really is struggling at looks like a beat up quarterback. They should continue to run the ball more to keep the offense on schedule.

Record: 9-5

Last Ranking: 9

Needs Still to be Filled: QB (veteran depth), WR (veteran depth), G (veteran depth), ILB (depth)


10) Green Bay Packers: The absence of veteran CB Al Harris was really apparent during last week's loss at the Steelers. The Packers simply only have one good cover cornerback. Their passing game is fun to watch and second-year TE Jermichael Finley is an emerging star.

Record: 9-5

Last Ranking: 7

Needs Still to be Filled: QB (veteran depth), G (veteran depth), DE (veteran depth), OLB (pass rushing depth), CB (veteran depth)


11) New York Giants: Dominant win at the Redskins last week, but this team needs to be more consistent on both sides of the ball each game. The injuries in the secondary have really been devastating to the defense all season.

Record: 8-6

Last Ranking: 13

Needs Still to be Filled: RT (veteran depth), G (depth), S (veteran depth upgrade)


12) Baltimore Ravens: QB Joe Flacco is starting to find his rhythm of late--even without starting WR Mark Clayton. The defense, despite suffering some key injuries, is starting to play better.

Record: 8-6

Last Ranking: 16

Needs Still to be Filled: G (veteran depth), ILB (veteran depth), OLB (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth), S (depth)


13) Denver Broncos: Kind of an alarming loss at home to the Raiders last week. The defense just can't be counted on from week to week. Not good when you're facing a high-powered Eagles' offense on Sunday.

Record: 8-6

Last Ranking: 11

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth upgrade), G (veteran depth)


14) Tennessee Titans: There probably hasn't been a quarterback that's shown as much improvement this season as Vince Young has. He's finally becoming a pocket passer and you're seeing the results in the down field passing game.

Record: 7-7

Last Ranking: 18

Needs Still to be Filled: G (veteran depth), LT (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), WLB (veteran depth), MLB (veteran depth)


15) Houston Texans: Some how, some way, the coaching staff has to find a way to run the ball. Once this team finds secondary help, they might be a solid playoff contender.

Record: 7-7

Last Ranking: 19

Needs Still to be Filled: G (depth), DE (veteran pass rushing depth)


16) Miami Dolphins: Finding a consistent pass rush next year has to be a priority. Chad Henne, despite a few bad mistakes last week, is still playing well. They clearly have found their quarterback for the next 8-10 years.

Record: 7-7

Last Ranking: 12

Needs Still to be Filled: G (veteran depth), LT (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), NT (depth)


17) Pittsburgh Steelers: The offense continues to play at a relatively high level, but the defense, especially in the secondary, continues to be a major issue.

Record: 7-7

Last Ranking: 20

Needs Still to be Filled: G (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), LT (veteran depth), OLB (depth)


18) New York Jets: A pathetic loss last week against the Falcons. What happened to the running game?

Record: 7-7

Last Ranking: 14

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (slot), G (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), DE (depth), OLB (veteran depth)


19) Jacksonville Jaguars: The front office will have to either select a few defensive ends high in next year's draft or they'll have to sign a few solid free agents. Until the Jaguars find a pass rush, they will have a very suspect defense.

Record: 7-7

Last Ranking: 15

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (veteran depth), C (depth), DE (depth), OLB (veteran depth), ILB (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth)


20) Atlanta Falcons: It wasn't a pretty win last week, but the defense played with a bit more discipline. FB/RB Jason Snelling has shown that he's a very capable fill-in for RB Michael Turner.

Record: 7-7

Last Ranking: 21

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (depth/speed), RT (veteran depth), SLB (depth), WLB (depth), S (veteran depth upgrade)


21) Carolina Panthers: QB Matt Moore really showed tremendous poise during last week's win over the Vikings. It's rare that a team has as good of a backup running back like Jonathan Stewart coming off the bench. It looks like veteran DE Julius Peppers is finally over his hand injury.

Record: 6-8

Last Ranking: 22

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), G (veteran depth), SLB (veteran depth), WLB (veteran depth), CB (nickel/depth)


22) San Francisco 49ers: As expected, QB Alex Smith couldn't handle Philadelphia's blitz packages last week. The defense showed once against that it's very average.

Record: 6-8

Last Ranking: 17

Needs Still to be Filled: G (depth), RT (veteran depth), OLB (pass rushing depth)


23) Oakland Raiders: Say what you want, but head coach Tom Cable is getting the most out of his players. He deserves a chance to return next season. The improved play out of DE/OLB Trevor Scott has really been fun to watch.

Record: 5-9

Last Ranking: 26

Needs Still to be Filled: G (depth), MLB (depth), SLB (depth), CB (depth)


24) Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler is completely lost. It's sad to see such a talented quarterback regress as much as he has of late. It doesn't help that his offensive line is one of the worst in the NFL. The lack of a consistent running game is another issue that needs to be resolved.

Record: 5-9

Last Ranking: 23

Needs Still to be Filled: QB (veteran depth), G (depth), OT (depth), MLB (depth)


25) Buffalo Bills: They compete hard each week, but injuries have devastated this team on both sides of the ball. The quarterback situation must be solved going into next season or the Bills will be a bad team again.

Record: 5-9

Last Ranking: 25

Needs Still to be Filled: TE (veteran depth), G (depth), RT (depth), LT (depth), WLB (upgrade/veteran depth), SLB (depth), MLB (depth)


26) Seattle Seahawks: Another bad loss last week for a team that continues to underachieve, especially on defense.

Record: 5-9

Last Ranking: 24

Needs Still to be Filled: RT (depth), G (veteran depth)


27) Cleveland Browns: Head coach Eric Mangini is getting his guys to play hard. That's not the problem. If they could only bottle last week's performance from the offensive line, this team could be much better. The bottom line is this is yet another team that has several areas of need going forward.

Record: 3-11

Last Ranking: 28

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (speed), LT (depth), RT (depth), NT (depth), ILB (veteran depth), OLB (pass rusher), CB (veteran depth), S (veteran depth)


28) Washington Redskins: For the first time all season, both sides of the ball didn't perform well in the same game. It was just an embarrassing performance against the Giants. There needs to be upgrades made in several areas if this team wants to make the playoffs next season.

Record: 4-10

Last Ranking: 27

Needs Still to be Filled: G (veteran depth), LT (veteran depth), RT (veteran depth), WLB (depth), S (veteran depth)


29) Kansas City Chiefs: This is probably the least talented team in the NFL, but the coaches have done a nice job of getting the players to perform each game. However, last week's debacle on defense is hard to understand.

Record: 3-11

Last Ranking: 29

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (depth), G (depth), DE (depth), OLB (pass rushing depth), CB (veteran depth), S (depth)


30) Detroit Lions: This team has suffered numerous key injuries on both sides of the ball that have been tough to overcome. The lack of talent on the defensive side of the ball is alarming. However, the offense has potential.

Record: 2-12

Last Ranking: 30

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (depth), DE (veteran depth), SLB (veteran depth), S (depth)


31) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: An impressive road win for this football team last week. The key for them to stay in any game is to get their running game going. The defense, however, needs to be overhauled.

Record: 2-12

Last Ranking: 32

Needs Still to be Filled: WR (veteran depth), G (depth), C (depth), LT (depth), RT (depth), DT (veteran depth), DE (veteran depth), CB (depth/nickel), S (depth)


32) St. Louis Rams: As bad as their record is, the players still are playing hard for head coach Steve Spagnuolo. The offense, once all the injured players return next year, has a chance to be solid. Of course they need an major upgrade at quarterback. The defense needs upgrades in several areas.

Record: 1-13

Last Ranking: 31

Needs Still to be Filled: LT (veteran depth), G (depth), DT (veteran depth), SLB (veteran depth), WLB (veteran depth), MLB (veteran depth), CB (veteran depth)

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