Pickswise Week 17 NFL Power Rankings

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Ricky Dimon

NFL

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

It’s time for the final installment of our season-long power rankings as the NFL heads into its last week of action prior to the playoffs. Who’s at the top and who’s at the bottom after Week 16? More importantly, how about the teams in the middle who are still in postseason limbo? Let’s take a look at the official Week 17 NFL Power Rankings.

1. New Orleans Saints (13-2)– The road to the Super Bowl goes through New Orleans following the most dramatic game of Week 16 between the Saints and Steelers.

2. Kansas City Chiefs (11-4)– Barring an epic collapse (a home loss to Oakland, in fact), the road to Atlanta also goes through Kansas City despite the Chiefs’ setback at Seattle.

3. New England Patriots (11-4) – New England controls its own destiny for a first-round bye in the AFC thanks to its win over Buffalo and Houston’s wild loss to Philadelphia.

4. Los Angeles Chargers (11-4) – The Chargers went from hero to zero, following up their upset of K.C. with a home loss to Baltimore when they could have seized first place in the AFC West.

5. Los Angeles Rams (12-3) – Closing with the Cardinals and 49ers should be exactly what the doctor ordered for L.A. to secure the No. 2 seed in the NFC.

6. Chicago Bears (11-4) – The red-hot Bears have used their dominant defense to keep the heat on the Rams, who would get overtaken with a loss and a Chicago win at Minnesota.

7. Baltimore Ravens (9-6) – No team enjoyed Week 16 more than the Ravens, who prevailed at the Chargers and got a crucial loss by Pittsburgh at New Orleans.

8. Houston Texans (10-5)– Houston’s position at No. 2 in the AFC did not last long, as a setback at Philadelphia combined with New England’s win likely means no bye.

9. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6-1)– Last weekend was an unmitigated disaster for Pittsburgh, which dropped a heartbreaker to the Saints after watching Baltimore stun the Chargers.

10. Tennessee Titans (9-6) – It’s classic win-and-you’re-in, lose-and-you’re-out Week 17 matchup between AFC South rivals Tennessee and Indianapolis.

11. Seattle Seahawks (9-6) – It’s hard to tell who the Seahawks are going into the playoffs with a loss to San Francisco followed by an upset of the Chiefs. But yes, they’re going to the playoffs.

12. Indianapolis Colts (9-6) – The Colts are 8-1 in their last nine games and their reward is a winner-take-all (well, either the division or a wild card) showdown with the Titans.

13. Dallas Cowboys (9-6) – The Cowboys won the NFC East. Or would saying the Eagles, Redskins, and Giants handed them the NFC East be more accurate?

14.Philadelphia Eagles (8-7) – It looks like déjà vu all over again for the Eagles and Nick Foles, who has led them to back-to-back, season-saving defeats of the Rams and Texans.

15. Minnesota Vikings (8-6-1)– Minnesota is 2-0 since firing offensive coordinator John DeFilippo with 68 total points scored, but it likely needs another win over Chicago on Sunday.

16. Cleveland Browns (7-7-1)– Week 16 finally spelled the end of mathematical contention for the Browns, but they still picked up win number…wait for it…seven of the season.

17. Green Bay Packers (6-8-1) – Carolina shut down Cam Newton and its draft position has improved immensely. Green Bay didn’t shut down Aaron Rodgers, and its position has not.

18. Miami Dolphins (7-8) – Since stunning New England with the Miami miracle, the Dolphins have lost to Minnesota 41-17 and to Jacksonville 17-7.

19. Atlanta Falcons (6-9) – Not unlike the Packers, the Falcons have done a great job of killing their draft status with otherwise meaningless wins over Arizona and Carolina.

20. Cincinnati Bengals (6-9)– The Bengals knew they weren’t going to win a playoff game under Marvin Lewis, so they have solved that problem by not making the playoffs at all.

21. New York Giants (5-10) – A meaningless regular-season finale between the Giants and Cowboys is not what the NFL had in mind when the 2018 schedule came out.

22. Washington Redskins (7-8)– Washington has at least improved since trailing the Giants 40-0 through three quarters in Week 14. Of course, that isn’t saying a lot.

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-9) – It’s been downhill for the Bucs basically ever since their Week 1 win over New Orleans, and the slide is only getting steeper with three straight losses.

24. Carolina Panthers (6-9) – With Newton out, it’s the Taylor Heinicke show for the final two weeks in Carolina. Early returns: not good (three interceptions against Atlanta).

25. Detroit Lions (5-10) – Matthew Stafford is kind of like Philip Rivers—a very good veteran QB whose team has never done much. The Chargers are finally delivering. The Lions are not.

26. Buffalo Bills (5-10) – Not one, not two, not three, not four…not eight, not nine…. No, the Patriots have now won 10 straight AFC East titles after extending Buffalo’s woes.

27. New York Jets (4-11) – Sam Darnold went toe-to-toe with Rodgers before the Jets finally went down 44-38 in overtime. But it’s just as well they did for draft purposes.

28. Denver Broncos (6-9) – Who cares that Denver has won six games (a decent amount for a team this low in the rankings)? A 13-point loss to Oakland is as bad as it gets.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10)– At least his franchise can play defense—as it did in last week’s win over Miami. But nothing else good can be said of the Jags.

30. San Francisco 49ers (4-11)– The 49ers lost, but they actually scored a point (nine, in fact) against the Bears and also played some defense during their 14-9 setback.

31. Oakland Raiders (4-11) – In their last game in Oakland, the Raiders trounced rival Denver on Monday night. That’s where the good news—and an era—ends.

32. Arizona Cardinals (3-12) – This offense (which is dead last in the NFL by a ridiculous 50 yards per game) is unspeakably bad. Arizona’s reward will be the No. 1 pick in 2019.

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