We’ve made it to the 17th and final week of the NFL regular season. What a year it has been, both on the field and off! With teams set to play their final regular season games this Sunday, the FlurrySports Week 17 NFL Power Rankings mark the last edition of the season. With that said, I have assembled some final parting commentary for all 32 teams in this week’s column as we wrap up the year in style.
Of course, the NFL postseason promises plenty of fireworks as always, and likely, even more, this year with the expansion to 14 teams. Stay tuned in to FlurrySports for plenty more NFL content throughout the playoffs as the road to Super Bowl LV continues!
While our NFL power rankings may be ending for this year, college basketball is just getting started! CLICK HERE for this week’s rankings!
Week 17 NFL Power Rankings
1. Kansas City Chiefs
Week 16 Ranking: 1
The Chiefs made it far more interesting than they had to in Week 16, surviving a scare from the Atlanta Falcons as they locked up the AFC’s top seed for the postseason. Let’s be honest though: Andy Reid’s crew is just coasting for the time being. Securing the top seed will likely lead to a few K.C. players resting in the regular season finale. The real question heading into the NFL playoffs is who, if anyone, can topple the defending Super Bowl champs?
2. Green Bay Packers
Week 16 Ranking: 2
Week 16 saw Aaron Rodgers continue a historic season that just might culminate with an MVP award. The primetime domination of the Tennessee Titans was a major statement game for the Packers. Green Bay has all but announced to the world that they are the Chiefs’ biggest threat. The Packers will look to close out the regular season with a win in Week 17 and lock up the NFC’s top seed.
3. New Orleans Saints
Week 16 Ranking: 3
Merry Christmas Alvin Kamara! With one cleat red and the other green, the Saints running back went out and tied an NFL record by scoring six touchdowns in New Orleans’ Christmas Day romp over the Minnesota Vikings. Aside from maintaining their top-three spot in the Week 17 NFL power rankings, the win clinched the NFC South Division title and also officially knocked the Vikings out of playoff contention. Given the playoff history between the two teams, that had to feel pretty good for Sean Payton’s crew.
4. Buffalo Bills
Week 16 Ranking: 4
The Bills blew out the division rival New England Patriots on Monday Night Football this week. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs had one of their best QB/WR tandem games of the season in a victory that was pure and utter Buffalo domination. That’s saying something, given the numerous big games and highlights the two have provided throughout the season. Rodgers is the favorite to win MVP, but I wouldn’t count Allen out just yet.
5. Seattle Seahawks
Week 16 Ranking: 7
Nothing came easy for Russell Wilson and Seattle’s offense on Sunday, but they were able to successfully reverse the script and avenge a loss to the Los Angeles Rams. In the process, the Seahawks locked up the NFC West Division crown and stayed in the running for the top seed in the NFC.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 16 Ranking: 9
Tampa Bay officially clinched a playoff berth with a win over the Detroit Lions that was over before it started. The dominating effort combined with teams ahead of them losing bumps the Buccaneers up three spots in the Week 17 NFL power rankings. If they can hang onto the 5-seed, the Bucs will have the luxury of facing an NFC East champ with a losing record in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs as well.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 16 Ranking: 10
It was a tale of two halves at Heinz Field on Sunday. After Pittsburgh’s offense looked like the inept version of late in the first half, Ben Roethlisberger and Co. were able to snap out of it in the second half. The comeback win over the Indianapolis Colts enabled the Steelers to celebrate a delayed AFC North Division title.
8. Baltimore Ravens
Week 16 Ranking: 11
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens dominated a New York Giants team that still has plenty to play for. Coupled with other results around the league, the Ravens now head into Week 17 with complete control of their playoff destiny. Baltimore will be as tough a Wild Card as they come should they officially clinch their spot in the AFC postseason.
9. Indianapolis Colts
Week 16 Ranking: 5
This one will sting Colts backers for a while. Indianapolis appeared to be in full control on the road against the Steelers…until they weren’t. Now, the Colts are on the outside of the AFC playoff picture looking in despite still hanging onto a top-ten spot in the Week 17 NFL power rankings. There are multiple avenues in which Indy can still qualify, but they will require help to do so.
10. Tennessee Titans
Week 16 Ranking: 8
The Titans’ Achilles’ Heel all season has been the defense, and boy was that weakness exposed by the Packers on Sunday night. It was also an atypical quiet performance for Derrick Henry despite going up against one of the NFL’s worst run defenses. Even with the loss, Tennessee just needs to beat Houston in Week 17 to secure their spot in the playoffs.
11. Los Angeles Rams
Week 16 Ranking: 6
Two weeks ago, the Rams were in control of their own destiny to win the NFC West. Now, they must win in Week 17 just to make the playoffs as a Wild Card. What’s more, they may have to do it without quarterback Jared Goff. Could it actually be Blake Bortles hero time???
12. Miami Dolphins
Week 16 Ranking: 13
In what might have been his most jaw-dropping performance yet, Ryan Fitzpatrick came off the bench in the fourth quarter and led the Dolphins to a comeback win over the Las Vegas Raiders. Just like that, Miami controls its own destiny as far as a playoff spot. Fitzpatrick’s deep pass completion while getting his neck turned around by a facemask was one of the greatest football plays I’ve ever seen.
13. Cleveland Browns
Week 16 Ranking: 12
It’s hard to knock the Browns too much in the Week 17 NFL power rankings for losing to the New York Jets given that they were without any main roster receivers thanks to the China Virus. With that said, the Jets have been shorthanded all year themselves. Cleveland’s failure to beat a lowly opponent puts them in must-win mode for Week 17.
14. Chicago Bears
Week 16 Ranking: 17
Mitchell Trubisky continued his hot streak with another impressive performance against the lowly Jaguars. Somehow, someway, a Week 17 win will see the Bears sneak into the postseason. Who would’ve thought?
15. Arizona Cardinals
Week 16 Ranking: 14
The Cardinals’ failure to beat a San Francisco team that was down to their third-string QB leaves them needing help to secure a playoff spot. Kliff Kingsbury sure knows how to make things hard on himself.
16. Las Vegas Raiders
Week 16 Ranking: 16
Their failure to close out the Dolphins resulted in Jon Gruden and the Raiders being eliminated from playoff contention. I guarantee that if the Las Vegas faithful were allowed to attend games, this three-game home losing streak down the stretch would not have happened.
17. Washington Football Team
Week 16 Ranking: 15
Washington still controls their own destiny when it comes to winning the NFC East, despite their Week 16 loss to the Carolina Panthers. The team also made headlines after the game this week when they waived former first-round draft pick, Dwayne Haskins. Good riddance, indeed.
18. San Francisco 49ers
Week 16 Ranking: 20
The 49ers showed tons of heart, playing spoiler for the division-rival Cardinals this past week. You have to like San Fran’s chances to be right back in contention next season, assuming key contributors can stay healthy.
19. Minnesota Vikings
Week 16 Ranking: 18
Officially eliminated from the postseason following their loss to the Saints, it’s back to the drawing board for Mike Zimmer and the Vikings. Offensive priority number one has to be shoring up what was a brutal secondary this season.
20. Los Angeles Chargers
Week 16 Ranking: 24
Anthony Lynn may very well save his job yet! The Chargers dispatched the Denver Broncos for their third straight win over the weekend and have incredibly climbed back into the top-20 of the Week 17 NFL power rankings. Lynn = Laughs, so I’m all for his return to the L.A. sideline in 2021.
21. Dallas Cowboys
Week 16 Ranking: 27
How ‘bout dem Cowboys??!! Okay, they’re only 6-9. But Andy Dalton torched the Philadelphia Eagles’ secondary, and the Dallas defense shut down Jalen Hurts in the second half to win a vital game as it relates to the NFC East race. If the Cowboys can knock off the Giants and see those same Eagles dispatch Washington, they’ll be in the postseason.
22. Philadelphia Eagles
Week 16 Ranking: 19
You’d be hard-pressed to find any analyst before the season who would’ve accurately predicted that the Eagles would be the only NFC East team playing for pride in Week 17. Nonetheless, that’s exactly where we find ourselves. Time will tell if Philadelphia will embrace their Week 17 spoiler role against Washington in Game 256 on Sunday Night.
23. New England Patriots
Week 16 Ranking: 21
My, how times have changed in the AFC East and in the Week 17 NFL power rankings compared to previous years. If Monday night’s beatdown in Foxborough at the hands of the Bills wasn’t a sign that the torch has been passed, then I’m not sure what is. I’ll go out on a limb and say Cam Newton won’t be back in a Patriots uniform next season.
24. New York Giants
Week 16 Ranking: 23
Another brutal loss for the Giants and yet New York is STILL but a win and Washington loss away from winning the NFC East. It doesn’t seem to matter who plays QB for the Giants lately, as the offense has looked incompetent in each of the last three weeks. The defense will have to rise up against Dallas for them to have a real chance.
25. Carolina Panthers
Week 16 Ranking: 26
The Panthers took advantage of facing Dwayne Haskins and earned a road victory on Sunday. Despite the losing record, the first year of the Matt Rhule era has to be considered a success. Brighter days are ahead in Charlotte.
26. Denver Broncos
Week 16 Ranking: 25
The Broncos have officially announced that Vic Fangio will return as head coach for another season. Knowing this and that the defense will look a lot different with the returns of injured stars Von Miller, Jurrell Casey, and A.J. Bouye, it begs the question what exactly is Denver’s ceiling next year? The answer may lie in whether or not Drew Lock is once again under center.
27. Atlanta Falcons
Week 16 Ranking: 28
The Falcons gave the Chiefs all they could handle on Sunday, an impressive showing that was worthy of their sliding up one spot in the Week 17 NFL power rankings. In classic Falcons fashion, Younghoe Koo missed the game-tying field goal just days after being named to the Pro Bowl.
28. Houston Texans
Week 16 Ranking: 22
We knew the Texans’ defense was bad. Did we know it was bad enough to surrender 371 passing yards and 37 points to the Cincinnati Bengals? I’ll be perfectly honest and say I didn’t until I watched it happen in Week 16. How long until Houston can fix the mess left behind by Bill O’Brien?
29. Cincinnati Bengals
Week 16 Ranking: 30
Have a day Brandon Allen! The backup QB threw for nearly 400 yards and two touchdowns in another Bengals victory. This came just days after Ryan Finley threw for 89 yards in Cincinnati’s upset win over the Steelers. Which quarterback will get the nod as the Bengals try to spoil the Ravens’ postseason aspirations in Week 17?
30. Detroit Lions
Week 16 Ranking: 29
Matthew Stafford can’t catch a break when it comes to injuries. Otherwise, there’s not much else to say about the Lions other than this might be the worst defense the NFL has ever seen. When I’m seriously considering putting them below the red-hot Jets in the Week 17 NFL power rankings, that’s a major cause for concern.
31. New York Jets
Week 16 Ranking: 31
Back-to-back wins for Gang Green! Sam Darnold will have a chance to make it three in a row in Week 17 when the Jets travel to face a reeling Patriots team. With Trevor Lawrence officially out of his grasp, Adam Gase (I’m of the belief that he will return for another season), Joe Douglas, and the rest of the front office have a fascinating offseason ahead of them.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars
Week 16 Ranking: 32
Sunday’s brutal loss to the Bears coupled with the Jets’ second straight win locked up the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft for the Jaguars. Trevor Lawrence will be stepping into an offense that is full of capable playmakers. After that, addressing a terrible defense figures to be Jacksonville’s main priority this offseason.