NFL Power Rankings (Week 17)

The Packers narrowly escaped on Christmas Day with a victory that was less convincing than they would’ve liked. But a win is a win, and that keeps them atop my rankings at least for another week. The Chiefs continue to roll and are certainly knocking on the door of that top spot. The Buccaneers take over my top “challenger in the NFC” spot following a disappointing performance, albeit in a win, by Matthew Stafford and the Rams. The Cowboys may have something to say about that though as they continue to steamroll through their division. I still have my doubts about their super aggressive defensive style against the likes of Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady though. The Bills rejoin the ranks of true contenders following their second consecutive double digit victory, this one putting them back in control of the AFC East.

The Colts and the Titans, assuming the latter gets Derrick Henry back for the playoffs, are two teams that no one would want to face in January. Indy’s style of play could certainly give the powers in the AFC problems. The Bengals up and down season hit a high this week with Joe Burrow continuing to impress. A matchup against the Chiefs this week will be very telling of how seriously this team needs to be taken. The Patriots are back to proving me correct that they’re not ready yet and that Mac Jones is still a rookie QB, capable of not losing you games, but who will struggle to win you games. I was close to dropping them a tier, but have too much respect for Belichick in what is a completely wide open AFC. It’s not out of the question that he gameplans a couple wins for this group to put them in contention, but that will likely have to come from a Wild Card spot.

As much as I believe the talent of the Chargers belongs in a higher tier, it’s impossible to justify putting them there with how inconsistent this team plays. They can’t stop the run, their coach refuses to punt the ball, and they may be a team that is simply still a year away from challenging. They may be on the outside of the postseason altogether due to that loss. The Ravens may be getting Lamar back, and that certainly gives their team some credibility if they were to make the playoffs. Neither the Dolphins nor the Raiders would really scare anyone, but kudos to both of these teams for playing meaningful football this late in the season.

What a quick fall from grace for the Cardinals. They were my 2nd ranked team as recently as Week 14. They were my 4th ranked team in Week 15. And now they’ve fallen out of the top two tiers entirely. This team peaked at the wrong time this year, but to be fair, they’ve still overachieved from preseason projections. The 49ers will likely need Trey Lance to at least win one of these next two games to get into the playoffs, and if they do, they certainly won’t be a pushover. The Eagles continue to impress on the ground and could easily find themselves in the postseason, but likely won’t scare anyone. Both the Vikings and the Saints likely would need to win out if either of them want to keep their season going past next week.

The Browns and Steelers play on Monday Night, and I suppose the winner would have hopes for maybe another week. But these teams both stink. So do the Falcons who nearly lost to Tim Boyle. The Football Team got embarrassed on national television, ending what was supposed to be a solid season for them. The Broncos hung around all season long, but losing to the Raiders this week ended any hopes they had.

The Seahawks lost at home in the final minute to the Bears, which sums up how their season went this year. Congrats to Nick Foles who once again showed that in a pinch, this guy will win you a game. The Texans crushed the Chargers, which was the shocker of the week. 4 wins for them this season is likely more than most had them pegged for. The Panthers began the season 3–0, which is comical to think about with how bad they look now. The Lions are simply awesome to watch and root for. This team has no talent, is riddle with injuries/Covid at every key position, and every week their games are competitive and come down to the final possession. That coach is doing something there. The Jets are no longer the worst team in New York (in my opinion), as the Giants are simply an embarrassment of late. Oh, and the Jaguars are also an NFL team.

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I like sports. I’m very opinionated. I like sharing my opinions and arguing senselessly with anyone who wants to argue.

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Craig Ebinger

Craig Ebinger

I like sports. I’m very opinionated. I like sharing my opinions and arguing senselessly with anyone who wants to argue.

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