2009 NFL Power Rankings: Week 16

Updated: December 22, 2009, 2:05 PM ET
ESPN.com
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In mid-October, the NFL's scheduled holiday showcase game seemed the equivalent of swine flu -- something you completely want to avoid.

Then, the prospect of watching the San Diego Chargers visit the Tennessee Titans on Christmas Day seemed dismal. The teams' combined record through Week 6 was 2-9.

But as we assess the Week 16 ESPN.com NFL Power Rankings, this matchup is a prime ticket. The No. 3-ranked Chargers are the league's hottest team outside of Indiana, winners of nine straight games. After an 0-6 start, the No. 14-ranked Titans have won seven of eight and have a playoff pulse.

The unbeaten Indianapolis Colts have the No. 1 ranking to themselves, thanks to the New Orleans Saints' first loss of the season to the visiting Dallas Cowboys in Week 15. The Colts needed a rally over the Jacksonville Jaguars to avoid their first loss and move up from No. 2.

The Chargers swapped spots with the Minnesota Vikings, who unraveled in a shocking loss to the Carolina Panthers. The Philadelphia Eagles remain No. 5.

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Editor's note: LW indicates each team's ranking in the Week 15 edition of the Power Rankings.

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