Panthers in the Power Rankings: Week 16

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Here's where the Panthers stand in various power rankings following their victory over the Packers.

NFL.com

Panthers rank: 8th (5th in NFC)
Previous rank: 8th

NFC South: Saints 6th, Panthers 8th, Falcons 9th, Buccaneers 26th
This week's opponent: Buccaneers 26th

Beyond the numbers: Elliot Harrison liked Carolina's opportunistic defense against the Packers. Harrison highlights the sack Julius Peppers made on Aaron Rodgers in the fourth quarter when Green Bay was threatening in Panthers' territory. The veteran is playing at a Pro Bowl level and after the game Rodgers praised him as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

ESPN.com

Panthers rank: 8th (5th in NFC)
Previous rank: 7th

NFC South: Saints 7th, Panthers 8th, Falcons 9th, Buccaneers 28th
This week's opponent: Buccaneers 28th

Beyond the numbers: ESPN notes that the Panthers probably didn't expect this output from Peppers, who has recorded 10 sacks at age 37.

CBS Sports

Panthers rank: 5th (3rd in NFC)
Previous rank: 5th

NFC South: Saints 4th, Panthers 5th, Falcons 9th, Buccaneers 28th
This week's opponent: Buccaneers 28th

Beyond the numbers: Pete Prisco thinks the Panthers are getting going at the right time.

Yahoo Sports

Panthers rank: 8th (5th in NFC)
Previous rank: 8th

NFC South: Saints 7th, Panthers 8th, Falcons 9th, Buccaneers 27th
This week's opponent: Buccaneers 27th

Beyond the numbers: Frank Schwab doesn't believe the issues with Jerry Richardson will be a problem for the Panthers on the field. He notes that players aren't as easily distracted as we tend to believe and it's unlikely that a 10-4 team plummets in the final weeks of the season.

Bleacher Report

Panthers rank: 6th (4th in NFC) 
Previous rank: 7th

NFC South: Saints 5th, Panthers 6th, Falcons 9th, Buccaneers 28th
This week's opponent: Buccaneers 28th

Beyond the numbers: Chris Simms credits Carolina's creativity and usage of Cam Newton in the running game for recent success. However, Simms isn't 100 percent sold on the Panthers' defense.

View the top photos from Panthers vs. Packers by team photographer Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez

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