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NFL Power Rankings 2016 Week 16: Dolphins climbing back toward top ten

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The Dolphins picked up a win over the New York Jets in Week 15. How does that reflect on their power rankings?

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NFL: Miami Dolphins at New York Jets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have seen their NFL power rankings hovering around the middle of the league over the last couple of weeks, falling from a top ten team to 15 two weeks ago after their loss to the Baltimore Ravens, then plateauing as the rankings tried to figure out what to do with Miami after a win over the Arizona Cardinals but an injury to quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

This week, with the four-touchdown pass performance from Matt Moore and the Dolphins’ 34-13 win in Week 15 keeping the team in the Playoff hunt and clinching the franchise’s first winning season since 2008, the power rankings are beginning to move Miami back up.

Each week, we take a look at some of the various NFL Power Rankings from around the web, seeing where the Dolphins are ranked and what other sites are saying about the team. Here is the Week 15 version of the Power Rankings review:

SB Nation

Week 16: 12

Last Week: 14

Comments: No team specific comments.


Fox Sports

Week 16: 10

Last Week: 14

Comments: The Dolphins still have an uphill climb toward the playoffs with Ryan Tannehill injured, but they didn’t miss a beat against the faltering Jets on Saturday night. Matt Moore played well and the defense stood tall against Bryce Petty. Miami has a solid roster, but losing Tannehill might be too much to overcome.


USA Today

Week 16: 15

Last Week: 18

Comments: Matt Moore was a heckuva point guard in Week 15, becoming the first Miami QB since Dan Marino to light up the Jets for four TD passes.


Yahoo!

Week 16: 11

Last Week: 15

Comments: The Dolphins’ schedule isn’t easy the rest of the way. They play at the Bills this week, and while that game looks winnable, remember how much joy the Bills took in ruining the Jets’ playoff hopes in Week 17 last season. Then it’s onto Week 17 against the Patriots, and New England might need to win that game to get a No. 1 seed. So the Dolphins aren’t out of the woods yet.

Side note: The entire intro to the power rankings is all about the Dolphins.


CBS Sports

Week 16: 12

Last Week: 13

Comments: If the playoffs started today, they would be in the party. That's impressive.


NFL.com

Week 16: 14

Last Week: 15

Comments: Thought Matt Moore would acquit himself well, but good grief -- the top-notch backup delivered a top-shelf performance, completing 12 of his 18 passes for 236 yards and four touchdowns. Read those numbers again. That's 13.1 yards per attempt, and a touchdown pass every 4.5 attempts. That's called being efficient. With Miami at 9-5, the sixth seed is the Dolphins' spot to lose.


ESPN

Week 16: 14

Last Week: 18

Comments: Maybe QB Matt Moore should be a starter? In his past 10 starts (dating back to 2011), Moore is 7-3 and has thrown 19 touchdowns to six interceptions. He looks to keep the Dolphins in the playoff hunt at Buffalo on Saturday.


PFF

Week 16: 14

Last Week: 15

Comments: No Comments.


Bleacher Report

Week 16: 16

Last Week: 17

Comments: Matt Moore is the heated car seat of backups.

Few shell out top dollar for it. But having that option feels so good, especially this time of year.

Moore wasn’t asked to play at an All-Pro level. He just took what the Jets defense gave him—especially when the Jets defense gave him man coverage on deep routes at midfield. Moore hit his throws like the veteran he is.

The rest was left up to Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake. Both Dolphins D-linemen staged a little South Beach party in New York’s backfield. Bryce Petty wasn’t invited.

Looking forward: Jay Ajayi needs a pick-me-up after a rough few weeks. Right on cue: the Bills defense he gashed for 214 yards in Week 7.


Niners Nation

Week 16: 11

Last Week: 14

Comments: No comments.


Detroit Free Press

Week 16: 9

Last Week: 13

Comments: Yes, it was only the Jets, but Matt Moore’s performance in place of Ryan Tannehill cannot be understated in Miami with this team on track for a wild card.


Washington Post

Week 16: 10

Last Week: 12

Comments: Matt Moore stepped in for Ryan Tannehill at QB and the Dolphins just kept on keeping on. It was only against the Jets, of course. But it was a positive sign for the Dolphins that they might be able to withstand Tannehill’s knee injury.


Fansided

Week 16: 13

Last Week: 16

Comments: The Dolphins ensured themselves of their first winning season since 2008 thanks to a 21-point spurt in the third quarter at MetLife Stadium against the struggling Jets. Starting in place of Ryan Tannehill, veteran quarterback Matt Moore overcame one interception by throwing for 236 yards and four touchdowns. Adam Gase’s club, winners of eight of their last nine contests following a 1-4 start, came up with four more takeaways – including three picks of New York quarterbacks Bryce Petty (2) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (1). Defensive end Cameron Wake had one of Miami’s three sacks, as well as one interception and a forced fumble.

Next Week: After completing a sweep of the Jets for the first time since 2009, the Dolphins make their way to north to chilly Orchard Park. Led by running back Jay Ajayi and his 214 yards rushing in 28 carries (1 touchdown), Miami came away with a 28-25 victory back in Week 7. Miami can sweep the series for the first time since 2011.

Playoff hopes: We haven’t seen the Dolphins in the postseason since ’08. That’s when head coach Tony Sparano, quarterback Chad Pennington and company won the AFC East with an 11-5 record. And if they’re going to earn a postseason invitation it will have to be of the wild card variety after New England wrapped up the division on Sunday at Denver.


Averages

  • Week 16 Average: 12
  • Week 15 Average: 15
  • Change: None
  • Highest Week 16 Ranking: 9 (Detroit Free Press)
  • Lowest Week 15 Ranking: 16 (Bleacher Report)
  • Highest Single Site Weekly Ranking: 6 (Sports Illustrated - Week 12; SB Nation - Week 13)
  • Lowest Single Site Weekly Ranking: 31 (NFL/USA Today - Week 5)
  • Highest Average Weekly Ranking: 10 - Week 13
  • Lowest Average Weekly Ranking: 28 - Week 5