NFL Power Rankings (Week 17)
1. New England Patriots
The Pats have not been tested in several weeks. They will be home for the playoffs and a heavy favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
2. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens have an outside chance at the division title, but will probably be locked in as the five seed in the AFC. That may mean a trip to Indy and a very winnable game for the Ravens.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers will nail down the division and the AFC’s number two seed with a win at Cleveland.
4. New Orleans Saints
The Saints got a huge road win in Atlanta on Monday snapping an eight-game winning streak for the Falcons. The champs will be a road team past the first round of the playoffs, and no team is looking forward to hosting them in January.
5. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons didn’t fire at all on Monday and may have given their playoff opponents a blueprint for beating them in January. The Panthers come to Atlanta for the season finale, and that should allow the Dirty Birds to get a bit of their mojo back as they head into the playoffs.
6. Chicago Bears
The Bears moved the ball at will against the Jets on Sunday. Mike Martz has found a way to reign in Cutler’s gambling tendencies and produce points with an average offensive line and receiver group.
7. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles played a lackluster game on Tuesday and badly hurt their chances for a first-round bye. They could have used the time off as Vick and several others are banged up.
8. New York Jets
It looks like the Jets will be in Kansas City for the first round of the playoffs. That’s probably the best news they could hope for as a six seed.
9. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are a surprise division champ and will host a playoff game. Todd Haley has to be part of the discussion for coach of the year.
10. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts have found a way to get back into the driver’s seat in the AFC South. The run defense has staged a turnaround of late and will need to be better than their statistics for the regular season if they are to advance past the first round of the playoffs.