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NFL Power Rankings Week 17

  1. Kansas City Chiefs 14-1

The Chiefs escaped Arrowhead stadium with a narrow win over Atlanta. Kansas City scored a season-low 17 points and needed a surprise missed FG from the Falcons to win. After solidifying a win, the Chiefs have now won 10 straight and 23 of their last 24 dating back to last season. The AFC will be going through Arrowhead Stadium.

Next: vs. LAC

  1. Green Bay Packers 12-3

The Packers produced a championship effort on the defensive side of the football. Their defense has been a huge question mark and the league’s top scoring offense along with the league’s top rusher were coming to the frozen tundra. The Packers answered the bell holding the Titans to an anemic 14 points on just 260 total yards. They generated two takeaways and helped Green Bay get one step closer to clinching the number one seed.

Next: @ CHI

  1. Buffalo Bills 12-3

For the first time since 1999, the Buffalo Bills swept the New England Patriots. And they did it in convincing fashion winning 38-9 on Monday Night. Josh Allen added on to his MVP case with 320 yards and four touchdowns, three of them going to Stefon Diggs. The Bills are in a position to bench their starters week 17 if coach Sean McDermott chooses to do so.

Next: vs. MIA

  1. New Orleans Saints 11-4

Alvin Kamara produced a historic performance against Minnesota on Christmas. The dual-threat back only had two career 100-yard rushing games going into this one – he finished with 155 yards and tied an NFL-record 6 rushing touchdowns. It’s the most rushing scores in an NFL game since Ernie Nevers accomplished the feat 91 years ago.

Next: @ CAR

  1. Seattle Seahawks 11-4

The Seahawks stifled the Rams to win their first NFC West title since 2016. Seattle currently holds the third seed and can attain either of the top two seeds going into the last week of the regular season. Seattle has seen a changing of the guard becoming more defensive-oriented and running the football more efficiently. Seattle has allowed 12.2 points per game in their last five:

Next: @ SF

  1. Baltimore Ravens 10-5 +2

The Ravens victory over the Giants was never in doubt. They won by two touchdowns and completely dominated from start to finish. They gashed a stout Giants front for 249 rushing yards and have the look of the potent 2019 Ravens offense. Thanks to losses by Cleveland and Indianapolis, Baltimore now holds the sixth seed in the AFC. With a win over Cincinnati next week, the Ravens will lock up a wildcard spot in the playoffs.

Next: @ CIN

  1. Tennessee Titans 10-5

Everything seemed to be aligning perfectly for Tennessee. Divisional foe Indianapolis blew a 24-7 lead against a cold Steelers team and Tennessee was in a perfect position to win their first AFC South title since 2008. It was snowing and about 20 degrees with the league’s number one rusher in Derrick Henry against one of the league’s worst rushing defenses. However, the Titans fell flat only producing 14 points as their defense was absolutely torched against MVP frontrunner Aaron Rodgers. The Titans still control their own destiny and can lock up the AFC South with a win over Houston in week 17.

Next: @ HOU

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-5 +3

One of the NFL’s longest playoff droughts came to an end on Saturday as the Bucs cruised past a decimated Lions squad. After beating down on Detroit, Tampa Bay locked up their first playoff berth in 13 years. Thanks to the Rams loss, the Bucs control their own destiny to lock up the fifth seed in the NFC and play the eventual NFC East champion in round one.

Next: vs. ATL

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-3 +5

The Steelers come-from-behind win over Indianapolis meant so much more than just any other win. They ended a horrid 3-game skid, and locked up their first AFC North title in three years. It was extremely rewarding because in the first 35 minutes, it looked like the same Steelers we’ve seen the past month. They continued to exhibit an inability to run the football and the offense lacked any creativity. However, something clicked in the second half. Big Ben delivered a myriad of intermediate and deep throws that have largely been nonexistent and the receivers came up with some big-time plays. The Steelers go into week 17 with the chance to get some much-needed rest for their starters.

Next: @ CLE

  1. Los Angeles Rams 9-6 -4

After handling the Patriots on Thursday Night Football, the Rams had the look of an eventual NFC West champion and a Super Bowl contender. Two brutal games later and the Rams may miss the playoffs – Jared Goff has been at the forefront of the criticism. It’s been about a year since Jared Goff signed an extension for a record-setting $110 million guaranteed and he has plateaued. If the Rams lose to Arizona while Chicago beats Green Bay, Los Angeles will miss the playoffs.

Next: vs. ARI

  1. Miami Dolphins 10-5 +1

The Dolphins playoff hopes were slipping right in front of their eyes – they turned their playoff dreams to journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick. In about 50 minutes of playing, first round rookie Tua Tagovailoa produced a meager 94 yards through the air. Head coach Brian Flores made the dicey call of turning to Fitzpatrick who generated 182 yards and 13 points in three drives of work. The Dolphins currently hold the AFC’s fifth seed and have a chance to lock up a wildcard berth at Buffalo in week 17.

Next: @ BUF

  1. Cleveland Browns 10-5 -3

The Browns nightmare came to fruition – down two offensive line starters and their top four receivers, the Browns offense was completely halted. The running game was nonexistent and Cleveland was forced to pass much more than they would’ve liked. The Browns are currently holding on for dear life for the AFC’s last playoff spot; win over Pittsburgh in week 17 and they’re in.

Next: vs. PITT

  1. Indianapolis Colts 10-5 -3

The Colts were executing their plan perfectly – they built up a 17-point lead early in the second half against a dead Steelers team. 21 unanswered points later and the Colts meltdown materialized. After a Ravens win, they are now on the outside looking in with 10 wins. Going into week 17, they’ll go up against the Jaguars who’ve locked up the #1 overall pick. Their only win? Against Indianapolis in week one.

Next: vs. JAX

  1. Chicago Bears 8-7 +3

This has been a tale of three seasons for Chicago. In the first season, they started 5-1 and looked like a contender in the NFC North. Then it was followed by six consecutive losses as it seemed inevitable that Matt Nagy was on his way to unemployment. Yet, Chicago has managed to win their last three and is holding onto the seventh spot in the NFC. The only thing in their way? A date with the Green Bay Packers – beat them and they’re back in the playoffs after a one year hiatus.

Next: vs. GB

  1. Arizona Cardinals 8-7 -2

The Cardinals seemed to be right back on track winning their last two and they had a golden opportunity to win over a decimated 49ers squad. The duo of head coach Kliff Kingsbury and QB Kyler Murray produced one of their worst games of the season. The Cards only converted 25% of their third downs scoring a season-low 12 points. They are now on the outside looking in heading into a do-or-die game against the Rams

Next: @ LAR

  1. Las Vegas Raiders 7-8 -1

The Raiders had a chance to keep their already slim playoff hopes alive while playing spoiler against Miami. They were 19 seconds away from building off last season’s 7-9 campaign and having a chance to finish over .500 in week 17. The Raiders have dealt with a ton of injuries and COVID cases but that’s no excuse in the NFL. With this heartbreaking loss, the Raiders now move to 4-12 in the months of November and December in Gruden’s three years.

Next: @ DEN

  1. Washington Football Team 6-9 -1

Thanks to the Ravens dominant performance over the Giants, the Football Team had a chance to lock up the division in week 16. What once seemed like an improbable feat, all Washington needed was a win over a hapless Carolina squad. Nevertheless, Washington was without signal caller Alex Smith for another week as Dwayne Haskins continued to struggle. After the game, Washington officially cut ties with Haskins altogether:

Washington will be in the same position next week against Philadelphia – win and you’re in.

Next: @ PHI

  1. New England Patriots 6-9

The Patriots offense continued to be a huge problem as they cemented their first losing season since 2000. Cam Newton had a nice touchdown run in the first half but it wasn’t enough to keep up with Josh Allen and Buffalo. He was benched for backup Jarrett Stidham in the second half. 

Next: vs. NYJ

  1. San Francisco 49ers 6-9 +3

Although the 49ers are stumbling to the finish line at 6-9, head coach Kyle Shanahan has been dealt a pretty tough hand. A year off a near Super Bowl victory, it’s easy to be disappointed as a 49ers fan about how the 2020 season has gone. But Sunday was a perfect reminder that this year has been one of Shanahan’s better coaching jobs. With C.J. Beathard under the helm, the 9ers scratched and clawed past the Cardinals in a stingy NFC West showdown. The 49ers need to figure out the signal caller position but they’ll be back to being contenders in 2021.

Next: vs. SEA

  1. New York Giants 5-10

In Joe Judge’s first season as head coach, the young coach is learning that the season is a marathon. He seemed to be righting the ship in the correct direction winning four straight in the middle of the year and taking control of the NFC East. However, the Giants have lost their last three and they haven’t been particularly close. The Giants have had a point differential of -47 in their last three and are only scoring 8.7 points per game in that span. Despite all of that, their playoff hopes are still very much alive. Win against Dallas and Philadelphia beats Washington and they’re in.

Next: vs. DAL

  1. Minnesota Vikings 6-9 -2

In Mike Zimmer’s seven years, their performance on Christmas may have just been their worst defensive effort in his tenure. The 583 yards allowed were the most in his head coaching stint while giving up an NFL record 6 rushing touchdowns to Alvin Kamara was more salt on the wound. With the loss, the Vikings are officially out of playoff contention where the Vikes have missed the postseason in two of the last three years and four of Zimmer’s seven seasons.

Next: @ DET

  1. Los Angeles Chargers 6-9 +3

This was a nice win to have for a disappointing Chargers season. Justin Herbert officially set the NFL record for the most touchdown passes in a rookie campaign with 28. Herbert has been a lone bright spot producing one of the greatest rookie seasons in recent memory. Not too long ago, the Chargers came off one of the franchise’s more embarrassing losses being shut out by the Patriots at home 45-0. Three weeks later, and they’ve won their last three all by one possession each. Will it be enough to save Anthony Lynn’s job?

Next: @ KC

  1. Dallas Cowboys 6-9 +4

I’m not sure there’s been a more dramatic turnaround that isn’t talked about than in Dallas. Many writers were quick to criticize the Mike McCarthy hiring in the early part of the season when they looked broken. Nevertheless, the Cowboys have won their last three with a +51 point differential. They have an opportunity to completely flip the script and win the NFC East next weekend with a win over New York and a Washington loss.

Next: @ NYG

  1. Philadelphia Eagles 4-10-1 -3

The Eagles became the only team in the division that was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention going into the final week of the regular season. Early on, everything seemed to be clicking for Jalen Hurts and the Eagles as they cruised out to a 14-3 lead. It seemed like head coach Doug Pederson was about to do it again: the Eagles were going to be a win away from another unlikely playoff berth. Instead, Andy Dalton and the Cowboys steamrolled over the defense as the offense completely stalled out in the second half.

Next: vs. WAS

  1. Denver Broncos 5-10 -2

In a year of frustrating twists and turns for Denver, Sunday may have to take the cake. They’ve lost several key cornerstone pieces of their defense throughout the year from Von Miller, Jurrell Casey, and most recently A.J. Bouye. The Broncos had one of their best offensive games in terms of total yardage (396) but they only finished with one touchdown. Jerry Jeudy’s rookie nightmare campaign continued as he only caught six of his 15 targets which included a staggering five drops. Draft season can’t come soon enough for Broncos fans.

Next: vs. LV

  1. Houston Texans 4-11 -2

This offseason will be a turning point in Houston’s short history as a franchise. They had some short-lived success winning four of the previous five AFC South titles but nothing materialized into legitimate playoff success. They’ve hit some home runs in the draft including guys like J.J. Watt and Deshaun Watson (oh…and DeAndre Hopkins) but in large, this core is old, overpaid and underperforming. The magnitude of the hirings of the next GM and head coach in Houston cannot be overstated.

Next: vs. TENN

  1. Carolina Panthers 5-10 +2

The Panthers played spoiler on Sunday ruining Ron Rivera’s chance to lock up the NFC East against his former employer. Carolina still currently holds a top ten pick heading into the final week of the regular season. It’ll be interesting to monitor if they’ll still be in the running for one of the top three quarterbacks in the 2021 NFL draft.

Next: vs. NO

  1. Atlanta Falcons 4-11

The 2020 Atlanta Falcons are truly a one-of-a-kind. They fell to the Chiefs 17-14 thanks to an unlikely pull from kicker Younghoe Koo to lose the game in its’ final seconds. The Falcons fell to 4-11 with a -1 point differential on the season. They are a flawed roster that needs some sort of revamp but they also have a lot to offer a new GM/HC. Going into week 17, Atlanta currently holds the 4th pick

Next: @ TB

  1. Cincinnati Bengals 4-10-1 +1

Thanks to Brandon Allen and Samaje Perine, the Bengals outlasted Houston 38-31. After their win, Cincinnati no longer possesses a top three pick at the moment. Zac Taylor is finally seeing signs of progress attaining his first winning streak in his two year stint in Cincinnati. I’m sure the Bengals would love to cap off their season with a three-game winning streak and eliminating their divisional foe, Baltimore for the playoff picture.

Next: vs. BAL

  1. Detroit Lions 5-10 -4

The Lions didn’t have much of a chance heading into Saturday’s matchup against the Buccaneers. The Lions were without several of their coaches including interim head coach Darrell Bevell. The Lions lost QB Matthew Stafford early on and the romp was on. Tom Brady didn’t need to log a snap in the second half because of how lopsided this one was. Detroit will end their long and tiring season next week against Minnesota.

Next: vs. MINN

  1. New York Jets 2-13

With another win, the Jets locked up the second overall pick in the 2021 draft regardless of what happens in week 17. Joe Douglas will have a huge decision on his hands. Does he elect to move forward with Sam Darnold drafting the consensus top non-QB in the draft in Penei Sewell? Does he go with Justin Fields or Zach Wilson? Or does he trade back? It’ll certainly be one of the more intriguing draft storylines to keep track of in the offseason.

Next: @ NE

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-14

Jaguars fans dreams officially came true – they locked in the first overall pick and will inevitably select generational QB Trevor Lawrence with that selection. In the event that head coach Doug Marrone loses his job, the head coaching vacancy in Jacksonville becomes one of the more attractive landing spots heading into 2021.Next: @ IND

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