NFL Power Rankings – Week 17

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Week 17 NFL Power Rankings

Who’s up, who’s down? Frank Schwab surveys the NFL landscape heading into the final week of the regular season.

<p>Who’s up, who’s down? Frank Schwab surveys the NFL landscape heading into the final week of the regular season. </p>
Week 17 NFL Power Rankings

Who’s up, who’s down? Frank Schwab surveys the NFL landscape heading into the final week of the regular season.

<p>Since winning at Lambeau Field, the Cardinals have gone 0-3 and were outscored 88-26. The game before the Packers win, they got blown out 45-10 by the Chargers. There’s good reason for the speculation that Mike McCarthy will be the next coach of the Cardinals. (Larry Fitzgerald) </p>
32. Arizona Cardinals (3-12, Last Week: 32)

Since winning at Lambeau Field, the Cardinals have gone 0-3 and were outscored 88-26. The game before the Packers win, they got blown out 45-10 by the Chargers. There’s good reason for the speculation that Mike McCarthy will be the next coach of the Cardinals. (Larry Fitzgerald)

<p>If that was it for the Raiders in Oakland, the fans there deserved that final home win. (Derek Carr) </p>
31. Oakland Raiders (4-11, LW: 31)

If that was it for the Raiders in Oakland, the fans there deserved that final home win. (Derek Carr)

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<p>Jeff Driskel hasn’t been terrible. He threw two touchdowns and no interceptions on Sunday. Not that the Bengals should believe they found a quarterback of the future, but he should be a solid backup going forward. (Jeff Driskell) </p>
30. Cincinnati Bengals (6-9, LW: 28)

Jeff Driskel hasn’t been terrible. He threw two touchdowns and no interceptions on Sunday. Not that the Bengals should believe they found a quarterback of the future, but he should be a solid backup going forward. (Jeff Driskell)

<p>No other coach with Kyle Shanahan’s record has ever gotten so little criticism. Shanahan is 10-21. Nobody has wondered if he’s on the hot seat but 10-21 is a little scary, right? (George Kittle) </p>
29. San Francisco 49ers (4-11, LW: 29)

No other coach with Kyle Shanahan’s record has ever gotten so little criticism. Shanahan is 10-21. Nobody has wondered if he’s on the hot seat but 10-21 is a little scary, right? (George Kittle)

<p>Leonard Fournette’s last three games: 43 carries, 125 yards, 2.9-yard average. He has a 3.3-yard average for the season. His last 100-yard rushing game in the regular season was Dec. 10, 2017. Jacksonville has to regret drafting him so high. (Leonard Fournette) </p>
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10, LW: 30)

Leonard Fournette’s last three games: 43 carries, 125 yards, 2.9-yard average. He has a 3.3-yard average for the season. His last 100-yard rushing game in the regular season was Dec. 10, 2017. Jacksonville has to regret drafting him so high. (Leonard Fournette)

<p>Assuming the Broncos fire Vance Joseph, the team might end up shocked at how unattractive its opening is. What do you sell to a good head-coaching candidate if you’re the Broncos right now? (River Cracraft) </p>
27. Denver Broncos (6-9, LW: 21)

Assuming the Broncos fire Vance Joseph, the team might end up shocked at how unattractive its opening is. What do you sell to a good head-coaching candidate if you’re the Broncos right now? (River Cracraft)

<p>Yes, the Jets’ fourth-quarter collapse wasn’t fun, and a win over the Packers would have felt pretty good. But this is all that Jets fans should worry about from Sunday’s game: Sam Darnold was 24-of-35 for 341 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. (Sam Darnold) </p>
26. New York Jets (4-11, LW: 27)

Yes, the Jets’ fourth-quarter collapse wasn’t fun, and a win over the Packers would have felt pretty good. But this is all that Jets fans should worry about from Sunday’s game: Sam Darnold was 24-of-35 for 341 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. (Sam Darnold)

<p>Matthew Stafford had 116 yards on 32 attempts against the Vikings. The Lions need to take a hard, honest look at what has happened to the offense. Stafford wasn’t great before this season, but he was never this ineffective. (Matthew Stafford) </p>
25. Detroit Lions (5-10, LW: 25)

Matthew Stafford had 116 yards on 32 attempts against the Vikings. The Lions need to take a hard, honest look at what has happened to the offense. Stafford wasn’t great before this season, but he was never this ineffective. (Matthew Stafford)

<p>Is Saquon Barkley wearing down a bit? His past two games he has 74 yards on 35 carries, and he hasn’t had a big impact catching the ball either. It looked for a long time like he was a lock to win offensive rookie of the year, but Baker Mayfield might take it now. (Saquon Barkley) </p>
24. New York Giants (5-10, LW: 26)

Is Saquon Barkley wearing down a bit? His past two games he has 74 yards on 35 carries, and he hasn’t had a big impact catching the ball either. It looked for a long time like he was a lock to win offensive rookie of the year, but Baker Mayfield might take it now. (Saquon Barkley)

<p>DeSean Jackson took a cleat to the Achilles and was limping badly after the game, according to the Tampa Bay Times. If he misses Week 17 his Buccaneers career might be over, considering his $10 million salary next year isn’t guaranteed. (DeSean Jackson) </p>
23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-10, LW: 23)

DeSean Jackson took a cleat to the Achilles and was limping badly after the game, according to the Tampa Bay Times. If he misses Week 17 his Buccaneers career might be over, considering his $10 million salary next year isn’t guaranteed. (DeSean Jackson)

<p>The Panthers’ once-promising season is officially done. (Devin Funchess) </p>
22. Carolina Panthers (6-9, LW: 18)

The Panthers’ once-promising season is officially done. (Devin Funchess)

<p>The top five in passer rating, in order: Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers. Forget the Falcons’ record for a moment; Ryan is having a heck of a season. (Matt Ryan) </p>
21. Atlanta Falcons (6-9, LW: 24)

The top five in passer rating, in order: Drew Brees, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers. Forget the Falcons’ record for a moment; Ryan is having a heck of a season. (Matt Ryan)

<p>The Bills get the Dolphins at home in Week 17, and it’s hard to imagine Miami will be motivated to go finish their season in the cold. Not that 6-10 was the goal, but another win before the offseason would be a positive. Then the real work begins: building an offense in the offseason. (Josh Allen) </p>
20. Buffalo Bills (5-10, LW: 19)

The Bills get the Dolphins at home in Week 17, and it’s hard to imagine Miami will be motivated to go finish their season in the cold. Not that 6-10 was the goal, but another win before the offseason would be a positive. Then the real work begins: building an offense in the offseason. (Josh Allen)

<p>Losing 17-7 to a Jaguars team that had checked out long ago is disheartening. You don’t want to overreact to one game, but you have to wonder how you can go into the offseason with any confidence in Adam Gase or Ryan Tannehill after that. (Ryan Tannehill) </p>
19. Miami Dolphins (7-8, LW: 17)

Losing 17-7 to a Jaguars team that had checked out long ago is disheartening. You don’t want to overreact to one game, but you have to wonder how you can go into the offseason with any confidence in Adam Gase or Ryan Tannehill after that. (Ryan Tannehill)

<p>Jamaal Williams had 156 total yards replacing Aaron Jones, who is a very good runner. Rookie receivers Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling combined for 10 catches and 169 yards, to complement the fantastic Davante Adams. Aaron Rodgers had a vintage performance. Whoever the Packers’ next coach is, he’ll have plenty of offensive talent to work with. (Jamaal Williams) </p>
18. Green Bay Packers (6-8-1, LW: 22)

Jamaal Williams had 156 total yards replacing Aaron Jones, who is a very good runner. Rookie receivers Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling combined for 10 catches and 169 yards, to complement the fantastic Davante Adams. Aaron Rodgers had a vintage performance. Whoever the Packers’ next coach is, he’ll have plenty of offensive talent to work with. (Jamaal Williams)

<p>For most of Saturday’s game it looked like the Redskins would go on the road with their fourth quarterback of the season, and injuries everywhere else in the lineup, and knock off the Titans. Tennessee won it late, but it’s still impressive what Jay Gruden and his staff have done late in the season. (Michael Floyd) </p>
17. Washington Redskins (7-8, LW: 20)

For most of Saturday’s game it looked like the Redskins would go on the road with their fourth quarterback of the season, and injuries everywhere else in the lineup, and knock off the Titans. Tennessee won it late, but it’s still impressive what Jay Gruden and his staff have done late in the season. (Michael Floyd)

<p>We’re going to get a good game between the Browns and Ravens. The Browns aren’t alive for the playoffs, but securing a winning season and ruining the Ravens’ AFC North championship hopes would be a perfect way to end a pretty good year. (Chris Smith) </p>
16. Cleveland Browns (7-7-1, LW: 15)

We’re going to get a good game between the Browns and Ravens. The Browns aren’t alive for the playoffs, but securing a winning season and ruining the Ravens’ AFC North championship hopes would be a perfect way to end a pretty good year. (Chris Smith)

<p>What an amazing story Nick Foles is authoring … again. Has anyone had a stranger NFL career than Foles? (Nick Foles) </p>
15. Philadelphia Eagles (8-7, LW: 16)

What an amazing story Nick Foles is authoring … again. Has anyone had a stranger NFL career than Foles? (Nick Foles)

<p>The Vikings probably could have used a 49ers win on Sunday. That would have ended the Bears’ hopes of getting a first-round bye, and presumably Chicago would have rested starters. Now Minnesota plays a Bears team that will be taking this game seriously, and handled the Vikings on a Sunday night earlier this season. (Kyle Rudolph, David Morgan) </p>
14. Minnesota Vikings (8-6-1, LW: 14)

The Vikings probably could have used a 49ers win on Sunday. That would have ended the Bears’ hopes of getting a first-round bye, and presumably Chicago would have rested starters. Now Minnesota plays a Bears team that will be taking this game seriously, and handled the Vikings on a Sunday night earlier this season. (Kyle Rudolph, David Morgan)

<p>When the Colts were 1-5, did anyone think they’d be entering Week 17 with a playoff spot on the line against the Titans? Even if the Colts lose on Sunday night, what a remarkable season for Frank Reich and his team. (Andrew Luck) </p>
13. Indianapolis Colts (9-6, LW: 13)

When the Colts were 1-5, did anyone think they’d be entering Week 17 with a playoff spot on the line against the Titans? Even if the Colts lose on Sunday night, what a remarkable season for Frank Reich and his team. (Andrew Luck)

<p>We can’t really trust Marcus Mariota to get through Sunday night’s game healthy, can we? Even after suffering a stinger last week? The Titans are in a tough spot, figuring out what to do with a quarterback who hasn’t been great yet and can’t stay healthy. (Marcus Mariota) </p>
12. Tennessee Titans (9-6, LW: 12)

We can’t really trust Marcus Mariota to get through Sunday night’s game healthy, can we? Even after suffering a stinger last week? The Titans are in a tough spot, figuring out what to do with a quarterback who hasn’t been great yet and can’t stay healthy. (Marcus Mariota)

<p>One thing about the Steelers’ fake punt: Almost every time a play like that is run, it’s based on some weakness the coaching staff saw on film during the week. It likely was not a random call. it still didn’t make a ton of sense in that exact situation, and fakes are always going to look bad when they don’t work. (Ben Roethlisberger) </p>
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6-1, LW: 8)

One thing about the Steelers’ fake punt: Almost every time a play like that is run, it’s based on some weakness the coaching staff saw on film during the week. It likely was not a random call. it still didn’t make a ton of sense in that exact situation, and fakes are always going to look bad when they don’t work. (Ben Roethlisberger)

<p>Pete Carroll is going to make $11 million per season through 2021? Given what he’s done this season, it doesn’t seem like too bad of a deal. (Pete Carroll) </p>
10. Seattle Seahawks (9-6, LW: 11)

Pete Carroll is going to make $11 million per season through 2021? Given what he’s done this season, it doesn’t seem like too bad of a deal. (Pete Carroll)

<p>We all know about Lamar Jackson’s running ability, but he’s capable as a passer. He has at least 125 yards and 12 completions in each start. No, that’s not Patrick Mahomes-level production. But with how well the Ravens run the ball, it’s fine. (Lamar Jackson) </p>
9. Baltimore Ravens (9-6, LW: 10)

We all know about Lamar Jackson’s running ability, but he’s capable as a passer. He has at least 125 yards and 12 completions in each start. No, that’s not Patrick Mahomes-level production. But with how well the Ravens run the ball, it’s fine. (Lamar Jackson)

<p>Why are the Cowboys, or any other team that can’t change its playoff seed and doesn’t have a bye, playing starters in Week 17? But Jerry Jones is acting like Dallas will play as normal in Week 17, and that would be nonsensical. (Ezekiel Elliott) </p>
8. Dallas Cowboys (9-6, LW: 9)

Why are the Cowboys, or any other team that can’t change its playoff seed and doesn’t have a bye, playing starters in Week 17? But Jerry Jones is acting like Dallas will play as normal in Week 17, and that would be nonsensical. (Ezekiel Elliott)

<p>If the Texans hadn’t given up a last-minute drive to the Eagles, we’d all be talking about Deshaun Watson’s great comeback that included a beautiful touchdown pass to take the lead. It’s still worth noting that Watson has gotten right back on a superstar track after a torn ACL. (Deshaun Watson) </p>
7. Houston Texans (10-5, LW: 6)

If the Texans hadn’t given up a last-minute drive to the Eagles, we’d all be talking about Deshaun Watson’s great comeback that included a beautiful touchdown pass to take the lead. It’s still worth noting that Watson has gotten right back on a superstar track after a torn ACL. (Deshaun Watson)

<p>Maybe Tom Brady’s knee is hurting more than he’ll say. After posting a 48.3 passer rating on Sunday, a week off in January might be a great thing for the Patriots and Brady. (Tom Brady) </p>
6. New England Patriots (10-5, LW: 7)

Maybe Tom Brady’s knee is hurting more than he’ll say. After posting a 48.3 passer rating on Sunday, a week off in January might be a great thing for the Patriots and Brady. (Tom Brady)

<p>Losing to the Ravens, even at home, is nothing to be ashamed about. But the Chargers really blew an opportunity at the AFC’s No. 1 seed. (Philip Rivers) </p>
5. Los Angeles Chargers (11-4, LW: 3)

Losing to the Ravens, even at home, is nothing to be ashamed about. But the Chargers really blew an opportunity at the AFC’s No. 1 seed. (Philip Rivers)

<p>Losing Kareem Hunt isn’t the biggest reason for the Chiefs’ recent struggles (hello, defense), but the fact is, since cutting Hunt the Chiefs have played four games and haven’t looked great in any of them. (Patrick Mahomes) </p>
4. Kansas City Chiefs (11-4, LW: 2)

Losing Kareem Hunt isn’t the biggest reason for the Chiefs’ recent struggles (hello, defense), but the fact is, since cutting Hunt the Chiefs have played four games and haven’t looked great in any of them. (Patrick Mahomes)

<p>In a weird way, a loss at the 49ers might not have been the worst thing. The Bears won, and a first-round bye is still on the table, though Chicago needs an unlikely Rams loss to the 49ers. The Bears almost have to play it straight, just in case. (Danny Trevathan) </p>
3. Chicago Bears (11-4, LW: 5)

In a weird way, a loss at the 49ers might not have been the worst thing. The Bears won, and a first-round bye is still on the table, though Chicago needs an unlikely Rams loss to the 49ers. The Bears almost have to play it straight, just in case. (Danny Trevathan)

<p>Aaron Donald’s three-sack day set a record for sacks in a season by a defensive tackle. It’s almost unfathomable to think a defensive tackle could get 20 sacks, much less make a run at Michael Strahan’s single-season record of 22.5, but Donald has a shot. (Aaron Donald) </p>
2. Los Angeles Rams (12-3, LW: 4)

Aaron Donald’s three-sack day set a record for sacks in a season by a defensive tackle. It’s almost unfathomable to think a defensive tackle could get 20 sacks, much less make a run at Michael Strahan’s single-season record of 22.5, but Donald has a shot. (Aaron Donald)

<p>The Saints’ locker room dance party (Teddy!) might be the best thing about this NFL season. </p>
1. New Orleans Saints (13-2, LW: 1)

The Saints’ locker room dance party (Teddy!) might be the best thing about this NFL season.

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