The NFL never fails to produce incredible storylines every week and Week 15 was no exception. The Green Bay Packers (13-0) and Indianapolis Colts (0-13) were both on the fast track to historic seasons, although for opposite reasons. Last week, that all changed.
The Packers were favored by two touchdowns over the Chiefs, but thanks to constant pressure on QB Aaron Rodgers the Packers only managed to score 14 points, resulting in a 19-14 loss in Kansas City. Meanwhile, the Colts were outplaying the Titans in Indianapolis on their way to a 27-13 victory. The ultimate destinies of both teams may not be that different than what they were going to be, but thanks to the events of Week 15, neither will have their names in the record books.
Week 16 has plenty of great games on the schedule, many of which have playoff implications. Here are the NFL Game Power Rankings for Week 16:
1. Green Bay Packers vs. Chicago Bears
Average Ticket Price: $231.99
Although the Packers' undefeated season is no more, the defending Super Bowl champions are still in the driver's seat for the number one seed in the NFC. If they can win either this weekend's game against the Bears or next week's against the Lions, the Packers will have home field advantage throughout the postseason.
2. New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons
Average Ticket Price: $212.58
The Saints have a chance to clinch the NFC South with a win on Monday Night Football in a game against division rivals the Atlanta Falcons. Just a few weeks ago, when these two teams faced each other in Atlanta, the Saints were able to beat the Falcons 26-23 in overtime.
3. New York Jets vs. New York Giants
Average Ticket Price: $185.54
Rex Ryan continues to find new ways to irritate his opponent and, quite honestly, NFL fans across the country. This week, Ryan decided to let everyone in the media know that his Jets are the best team in New York and that they are clearly better than the Giants. I think I speak for all non-Jets fans when I say I really hope the Jets lose on Saturday.
4. New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins
Average Ticket Price: $168.12
With the Ravens, Steelers and Texans all losing last week, the Patriots now have sole possession of the best record in the AFC. If they are able to win their final two games of the season, both of which are at home, they will get the top seed in the AFC and won't have to play another road game the rest of season unless they make it to the Super Bowl.
5. Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Average Ticket Price: $141.67
The last time the Cowboys and Eagles met was Week 8 in Philadelphia, and it quickly turned into a rout. The Eagles led the game 34-0 at one point and ended up winning 34-7; not exactly a game to remember for the Cowboys. But Dallas will have to come out with a new game plan this week; they control their postseason destiny, because if they win their last two games, they're in.
6. Pittsburgh Steelers vs. St. Louis Rams
Average Ticket Price: $132.17
Normally, this game would not be much of a competition (and it still might not be), but with the news that Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger may miss the rest of the regular season, this match-up got a little tighter. Pittsburgh will most likely turn to veteran QB Charlie Batch, who is in his 14th year in the NFL, to lead them this week.
7. Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns
Average Ticket Price: $128.15
The Ravens blew their chance to take control of the AFC North last week, but luckily for them they get to play the Browns in Week 16. The Browns rank near the bottom of the NFL in all offensive categories including only scoring 13.9 points per game. The Ravens, on the other hand, allow the third fewest points per game in the league, so don't expect Cleveland to find the end zone much.
8. Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49ers
Average Ticket Price: $85.77
Seattle is trying to fight their way back into playoff contention, winning five of their last six games, and they are now 7-7. Their improved play can be traced to the resurgence of running back Marshawn Lynch, who has been the best running back in the NFL over the last few weeks. He will have a tough test this weekend against the 49ers, who have yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season.
9. Carolina Panthers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Average Ticket Price: $78.50
Thanks to QB Cam Newton, the Panthers have become one of the more exciting teams to watch in the NFL. They have been hot of late, winning three of their last four games, including a 38-19 drubbing in Week 13 of the same Buccaneers team they will face this week.
10. Detroit Lions vs. San Diego Chargers
Average Ticket Price: $68.20
Only three years after finishing an abysmal 0-16 in 2008, the Detroit Lions have a chance to clinch a playoff berth with a win against the Chargers. It won't be easy though; the Chargers are making their annual late-season run and are currently playing their best football.
11. Indianapolis Colts vs. Houston Texans
Average Ticket Price: $59.45
The Colts are riding high thanks to their win last week, but they will have a tough time repeating that feat against the Texans this week. The Texans still have a chance to get a first-round bye and will have to rely on their running game featuring All-Pro RB Arian Foster to carry them on Saturday.
12. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Arizona Cardinals
Average Ticket Price: $57.77
The Bengals have been the surprise team of the season, and at 8-6, they are still in the hunt for a playoff spot. All Cincinnati can do now is win their remaining games and hope the Jets, who currently hold the tiebreaker over the Bengals, lose in the final two weeks.
13. Washington Redskins vs. Minnesota Vikings
Average Ticket Price: $55.44
It appears as if the Vikings have all but checked out on the season; they are now 2-12 after losing 42-20 to the Saints last week. Minnesota tight end Visanthe Shiancoe basically confirmed that by saying he could tell, "Some guys hung it up." This is good news for the Redskins as they try to finish the season on a positive note.
14. Buffalo Bills vs. Denver Broncos
Average Ticket Price: $48.99
Apparently the excitement over Tim Tebow hasn't reached Buffalo yet, or maybe this game's low ranking could be due to the fact that the Bills are maybe the worst team in the NFL since Week 9. The Bills have now lost seven straight games after starting the season 5-2.
15. Tennessee Titans vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Average Ticket Price: $45.33
The Titans did not have a great week last week, losing to the then-winless Colts. They did not look like a team that has a chance for the playoffs, but this is the NFL and anything seems possible. At 7-7, they are still holding on to some hope, but they will need help from other teams to make it to the postseason.
16. Kansas City Chiefs vs. Oakland Raiders
Average Ticket Price: $35.70
Chiefs' fans seem to still be in hibernation after watching their team take down the Packers last week, because Chiefs-Raiders used to be one of the great rivalries in the NFL. I guess that changes when your team is no longer a contender to make the playoffs.
If you are looking for tickets to any of these games or any game the rest of the season, check out our NFL Ticket Page. Come back next Thursday for the Week 17 rankings!
Rankings are based on the average price of tickets sold on the TicketNetwork Exchange as of 12/21/2011 at 4 p.m. EST.