Week 16 NFL power rankings

What once was an ever-shuffling deck of cards has since been sorted into the aces, kings, and jokers of the league.

With playoff implications abound in almost every matchup of Week 15, the league's better teams generally kept themselves afloat, whether by squeaking out a victory against the lowly Jaguars or dismantling the pathetic Raiders. When push came to shove in battles between two playoff hopefuls, some clarity emerged for which team rose to the occasion and delivered.

As the regular season draws to a close, teams will continue to fall off the map as the time ticks down on each game's clock. Those left standing will round out the year competing in a makeshift tournament before ever reaching the postseason. With only two games left for each team, division and playoff races are sure to go down to the wire.

That's what makes football season 'the most wonderful time of the year.'

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Mario Mergola is a writer, avid sports fan, former ESPN Radio producer, husband, and father who specializes in finding the hidden gems of the less-explored option. Follow him on Twitter: @MarioMergola