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NFL Power Rankings, Week 16: Two Weeks To Go, NFC West Deadlocked

With just two games left in the 2010 NFL season, we're inching our way to the final NFL power rankings of the year. For the NFC West, our long national nightmare is almost over. For nearly all of the season, NFC West teams have lingered in the bottom 10 of the power rankings, a fitting place for a division that's been the NFL's worst. Week 16's rankings were no different.

We begin, as always, at SB Nation, where the Seattle Seahawks and St. Louis Rams are walking in lock-step to futility, followed closely by the San Francisco 49ers. This week, the Rams are at No. 22, with the Seahawks at No. 23. The 49ers check-in three spots lower, at No. 26. The rationale for the Rams over the Seahawks? It's simple, really.

The Rams lost by 14 and the Seahawks lost by 16 so St. Louis moves ahead of them. I'm not sure how else to separate these two. They'll meet in Week 17 for the division title.

Looking ahead to the Seahawks week 16 opponent, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in the middle of the pack, at No. 15 this week. They did, however, suffer an embarrassing loss in week 15.

If you're trying to make the playoffs you don't lose to the Lions in Week 15.

Moving on to ESPN, the Rams hold a more comfortable cushion over the Seahawks with their No. 20 ranking this week. A slip-up on Sunday, against the Niners, would likely mean the end of the Rams playoff chances, though. The Seahawks are three spots back, and actually moved up a place this week, at No. 23. Mike Sando reads the tea leaves about Pete Carroll's unwillingness to start Charlie Whitehurst.

Sticking with Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback shows what Seattle thinks of Charlie Whitehurst. (Sando)

Tampa Bay is at No. 15 in ESPN's power rankings, as well. While the Seahawks task is tough, judging by the power rankings it's not impossible. Should be a fun weekend with plenty of playoff implications to go around.