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NFL Power Rankings – Regular season wrap-up

NFL Power Rankings

The regular season is in the books. Frank Schwab looks back on Week 17 and surveys the NFL landscape entering the playoffs.

32. Arizona Cardinals (3-13, Last Week: 32)

No matter whether you agree with the Cardinals firing Steve Wilks or not, it does seem a bit odd he’d get no patience while general manager Steve Keim doesn’t seem to be under much pressure at all. It’s not like the roster Keim has put together is very good. (Steve Keim)

31. Oakland Raiders (4-12, LW: 31)

It’s not that Mike Mayock definitely won’t work out as Raiders general manager. But there’s obvious risk in hiring a 60-year-old with zero front-office experience. (Mike Mayock)

30. San Francisco 49ers (4-12, LW: 29)

Year three for Kyle Shanahan will be a big one. He has gotten a lot of leeway for two terrible seasons. It’s hard to blame Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury for everything. (Kyle Shanahan)

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11, LW: 28)

Of course you’d want to retain the entire power structure of the most disappointing team in the NFL this season. But hey, rip a couple players for sitting on the bench, that’s the real problem. (Tom Coughlin)

28. Cincinnati Bengals (6-10, LW: 30)

Marvin Lewis is finally out and unfortunately he became a punch line for his playoff record. And yes, 0-7 in the playoffs is unfortunate. But in the big picture, Lewis took over a job that was beyond toxic and made the Bengals respectable. (Marvin Lewis)

27. Denver Broncos (6-10, LW: 27)

Vance Joseph didn’t do enough to keep his job so the move to fire him made sense. But here’s the problem: The Broncos job is a lot less attractive than the team or its fans will want to admit. (Case Keenum)

26. New York Jets (4-12, LW: 26)

Of all the coaches fired at the end of the season, the one to bet on succeeding elsewhere is Todd Bowles. His firing was justified, but he can succeed in a better situation. (Sam Darnold)

25. New York Giants (5-11, LW: 24)

Saquon Barkley’s 2,028 yards from scrimmage led the NFL. He was the only consistent part of a terrible offense. (Saquon Barkley)

24. Detroit Lions (6-10, LW: 25)

Good of the Lions to finally show up this season, even if it took until Week 17. Maybe that shows the players are still buying what Matt Patricia is selling. (Matt Patricia)

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11, LW: 23)

No surprise that Dirk Koetter got fired. But what has GM Jason Licht done to earn another season? It must be something that isn’t obvious, because there’s no clear answer. (Jason Licht, Dirk Koetter)

22. Miami Dolphins (7-9, LW: 19)

The Dolphins are another team that had to make a coaching move, but they don’t have much to sell a good candidate. (Adam Gase)

21. Buffalo Bills (6-10, LW: 20)

It’s not like Josh Allen had a great rookie season, but there seems to be something to build on. Everyone knew it would take time for him. Putting up three passing touchdowns and two running scores in the finale is a great way to enter the offseason. (Josh Allen)

20. Green Bay Packers (6-9-1, LW: 18)

Why would any team would entertain the Josh McDaniels thought after what went down with the Colts a year ago? The Packers reportedly are. (Aaron Rodgers)

19. Carolina Panthers (7-9, LW: 22)

It really never made sense why Ron Rivera’s job security was an issue. The Panthers weren’t going to hire a better coach, especially with this weak crop of candidates. Being patient and not just reacting to a bad season by firing a good coach is OK. (Christian McCaffrey)

18. Washington Redskins (7-9, LW: 17)

The fiasco with dumping all of the business office executives but keeping the football people that are responsible for the messes on the field underscores that the Redskins will never be good as long as Daniel Snyder is owner. (Daniel Snyder)

17. Atlanta Falcons (7-9, LW: 21)

The Falcons have to look at their roster and feel the talent is still very good, despite the 7-9 season. But most teams don’t mostly keep things the same after a losing year. (Julio Jones)

16. Minnesota Vikings (8-7-1, LW: 14)

The Vikings aren’t making a move at coach or GM, and that makes sense despite a very disappointing season. It’s hard to run it back and expect more favorable results, but what are their options? (Kirk Cousins)

15. Cleveland Browns (7-8-1, LW: 16)

Freddie Kitchens did a very good job at offensive coordinator after Todd Haley was fired, but is making Kitchens the head coach the right move? (Freddie Kitchens)

14. Tennessee Titans (9-7, LW: 12)

Marcus Mariota hasn’t stayed healthy yet. It’s hard to go into a season not knowing if you’ll get more than three-quarters of the season from your quarterback. (Marcus Mariota)

13. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6-1, LW: 11)

When you think about what the Steelers will do about Antonio Brown this offseason, they’ll also consider how lost they looked without him in Week 17. (Antonio Brown)

12. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7, LW: 15)

Doug Pederson did a great job down the stretch, after all seemed lost. On a day with so many firings, many pointed out that of the seven coaches hired in 2016, only Pederson remains. (Nigel Bradham)

11. Indianapolis Colts (10-6, LW: 13)

Frank Reich probably won’t get many coach of the year votes because the Matt Nagy train seemed to leave the station long ago, but what Reich pulled off, getting the Colts to the playoffs after a 1-5 start, was remarkable. (Frank Reich)

10. Seattle Seahawks (10-6, LW: 10)

I really don’t get why the Seahawks and Cowboys played their starters an entire game. A week of rest would have been great for either. Was a meaningless last-second Week 17 win over the Cardinals really that important? (Doug Baldwin)

9. Baltimore Ravens (10-6, LW: 9)

The one issue the Ravens might have in the wild-card round is they won’t have the element of surprise. The Chargers just saw this offense two weeks ago. (Gus Edwards)

8. Dallas Cowboys (10-6, LW: 8)

Something to keep in mind: The Cowboys are a different team at home. They were 7-1 at home and 3-5 on the road. That’s great for the opener against the Seahawks. After that … who knows? (Antwaun Woods)

7. Houston Texans (11-5, LW: 7)

It was a bit surprising to see Deshaun Watson have 13 rushing attempts in Week 17, his most of the season. He had 10 rushing attempts on Oct. 7, and hadn’t reached double digits in any other game. (Carlos Watkins)

6. Los Angeles Chargers (12-4, LW: 5)

Hunter Henry, considered lost for the season to an ACL injury, is expected to play in Sunday’s wild-card game. Expectations shouldn’t be too high, but even if Henry can be a factor for a few red-zone snaps, that’s a huge boost for the Chargers. (Hunter Henry)

5. New England Patriots (11-5, LW: 6)

Maybe the Patriots’ 38-3 win on Sunday was a product of the Jets checking out early. But that was as good as the Patriots have looked all season. (Trey Flowers)

4. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4, LW: 4)

Not that the Raiders’ offense is great, but the Chiefs defense looked very good in a 35-3 Week 17 win. If the Chiefs get anywhere near that level of performance by the defense in the playoffs, they’ll be just fine. (Chris Jones)

3. Chicago Bears (12-4, LW: 3)

Good teams can’t keep top assistants forever. Still, it would be a huge blow for the Bears to lose defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to a head-coaching job. (Sherrick McManis, Adrian Amos)

2. Los Angeles Rams (13-3, LW: 2)

Aaron Donald finished with 20.5 sacks. That’s the new record for a defensive tackle in a season and that record (which had stood for almost 30 years) might last a long time … unless Donald breaks it himself. (Aaron Donald)

1. New Orleans Saints (13-3, LW: 1)

While Week 17 was meaningless to the Saints, you’d have liked to see a little more effort, especially since New Orleans did play a lot of starters. We’ll chalk it up to Week 17 apathy, but it’s not the way you want to go into the playoffs. (Michael Thomas)

NFL Power Rankings

The regular season is in the books. Frank Schwab looks back on Week 17 and surveys the NFL landscape entering the playoffs.