1. Atlanta Falcons 12-2 (Last week, 1): The Falcons rebounded in a huge way after a Week 14 loss to the Panthers to pound the Giants. This is the type of win that could give a team momentum heading into the playoffs.
2. Green Bay Packers 10-4 (Last week, 2): The Packers clinched the NFC North division title with a win over the Bears.
3. San Francisco 49ers 10-3-1 (Last week, 4): San Francisco almost blew a 28-point lead, but not only did they win, they also scored 41 points in Foxboro.
4. Seattle Seahawks 9-5 (Last week, 5): Back-to-back weeks of 50-plus points moves the Seahawks up the list. But struggles on the road may lead to this team’s eventual demise.
5. New York Giants 8-6 (Last week, 3): The Giants are right where they want to be: with their backs against the wall. However, traveling to Baltimore to take on a Ravens’ team that has lost three straight will be challenge.
6. Washington Redskins 8-6 (Last week, 7): The Redskins are actually leading the NFC East and Kirk Cousins stepped up in big way, but without Robert Griffin III, this team will fold.
7. Minnesota Vikings 8-6 (Last week, 9): Adrian Peterson is a one-man wrecking crew on the verge of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing mark. As of now, the Vikings are the No. 6 seed in the NFC.
8. Chicago Bears 8-6 (Last week, 6): The Bears needed a win over the Packers but came up just short. Their playoff hopes are still very much alive however, with upcoming games against the Cardinals and Lions.
9. Dallas Cowboys 8-6 (Last week, 8): When will this team’s luck run out? It might be this weekend against the Saints.
10. New Orleans Saints 6-8 (Last week, 12): Drew Brees and the Saints’ high-powered offense were back in action last Sunday, but the Cowboys’ defense will present more of a challenge than the Buccaneers.
11. St. Louis Rams 6-7-1 (Last week, 10): The Rams are mathematically still alive after Sunday’s loss, but it would take a miracle for them to get in.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6-8 (Last week, 11): No playoffs this year for the Buccaneers but definitely a much-improved season under Greg Schiano.
13. Carolina Panthers 5-9 (Last week, 14): Big win for Cam Newton and the Panthers over the Chargers last weekend.
14. Arizona Cardinals 5-9 (Last week, 16): The losing streak for the Cardinals ended at nine with a win over the Lions.
15. Detroit Lions 4-10 (Last week, 13): The Lions lost to the Cardinals. Enough said.
16. Philadelphia Eagles 4-10 (Last week, 15): A home loss to the Bengals put the Eagles right back where they belong on this list. But knowing Philadelphia, they’ll somehow rise to the occasion on the road at MetLife Stadium in Week 17.
Follow Jim Mancari on Twitter @JMMancari.