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NFL power rankings, Week 16: Giants shoot back up to 12

After a recent slide, the Giants are back up in the power rankings

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The wild ride of the 2022 season continues for the New York Giants. With the Giants sliding down to 16 last week and important matchup against the Washington Commanders, the Giants had a potentially season defining moment Sunday night. The stars shined bright under the lights and Saquon Barkley and Kayvon Thibodeaux helped lead the way to a Giants victory and a rise up in the weekly power rankings.

This week, we have aggregated nine power rankings across the Internet. (13)

The Giants won their most important game of the year because their best player balled out, and their most promising rookie announced his arrival. A rejuvenated Saquon Barkley barreled over the Commanders’ defense in a dominating display during New York’s final scoring drive, and Kayvon Thibodeaux dominated the Commanders’ offensive line and lived in the backfield in a 12-tackle effort that included a sack/fumble/recovery for a massive touchdown. New York’s goal-line stand in the final minute was, ahem, helped along by outside forces, but the Giants got it done and put themselves in excellent position to end a long postseason drought. Kudos.

USA Today (12)

This could be the last ride for QB Daniel Jones and RB Saquon Barkley ... but the figurative arrival — on Sunday night — of rookie OLB Kayvon Thibodeaux ensures this team will have a star in 2023.

Sporting News (11)

The Giants got a much-needed get-right game for their running game and defense. That’s exactly what happened on the road against the Commanders on Sunday night to renew confidence in their wild-card hopes.

ESPN (11)

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Slayton was seventh on the depth chart this summer. He was struggling to catch the ball and his confidence was shot. The fact that he’s their clear-cut No. 1 receiver now with 631 yards receiving (more than 200 yards clear of his teammates) is a testament to his perseverance. Slayton’s success has been monumental in helping this offense stay afloat. — Jordan Raanan

The Athletic (14)

What a huge win for Brian Daboll and company on Sunday night. Sitting in the No. 6 spot in the NFC at the moment with a one-game lead on Washington and a 1.5-game lead on Seattle and Detroit, the Giants now have a 77.6 percent chance of making the playoffs, according to Mock. They’re helped even more by the possibility of the Eagles having nothing to play for in Week 18, while this weekend’s trip to Minnesota could be a playoff preview. Just as encouraging for the Giants as making the playoffs in Daboll’s first year is the inspired play of rookie first-round pick Kayvon Thibodeaux, who hit the sack-forced-fumble-recovery-touchdown superfecta. Among rookies with at least 200 pass-rush snaps this season, only Atlanta’s Arnold Ebiketie has been more productive at sacking or hitting the quarterback.

CBS Sports (11)

That victory over the Commanders on the road gives them a big leg up in the playoff race. Brian Daboll has done a great job with this team.

YAHOO! Sports (13)

Kayvon Thibodeaux had a breakout game on Sunday night. It was easy to see why he was the fifth overall pick of the draft, and maybe shouldn’t have fallen that far. His strip-sack that he recovered for a touchdown was the biggest play of the Giants’ biggest win of the season.

NBC Sports Chicago (12)

Kayvon Thibodeaux arrived Sunday night against Washington. One-man wrecking crew.

Pro Football Talk (12)

A win is a win, even if it comes with an asterisk.