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Week 17 Power Rankings

Posted Dec 27, 2016

Sky Sports' Neil Reynolds ranks the NFL teams from 1 to 32!

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1.       New England Patriots (Same)

Did you see the beat-down the Patriots put on the Jets on Christmas Eve? Total domination. And where the heck did Matt Lengel come from?

2.       Dallas Cowboys (Same)

The triplets were in top form on Monday Night Football and the Cowboys appear Super Bowl bound. Look out for Green Bay, though.

3.       Kansas City Chiefs (Up 3)

If the Chiefs can maintain the offensive explosion they displayed against the Broncos on Christmas Day, they can provide a stiff challenge to New England.

4.       Green Bay Packers (Up 5)

They still give up way too many big plays on defense and that could hurt them in the playoffs, but the Aaron Rodgers-led Packers are one of the NFL’s hottest te

5.       Oakland Raiders (Down 1)

There was a lot to like about Oakland’s win over Indianapolis but they plummet here because I cannot get the image of Matt McGloin leading this team out of my head.

6.       Atlanta Falcons (Up 1)

The Falcons continue to impress in terms of how Matt Ryan spreads the ball around. He was throwing TD passes that had me reaching for my depth chart in Week 16.

7.       Seattle Seahawks (Down 2)

The flaky Seahawks lost at home in Week 16 which is news, but the bigger headline should be that their safety play is really poor with Earl Thomas on the sidelines.

8.       Pittsburgh Steelers (Same)

Big Ben showed his true class and pedigree on Christmas Day with the game and season on the line. He delivered once again and the Steelers will be a tough playoff out.

9.       New York Giants (Down 6)

Elite play on defense keeps the Giants in my top 10 but I am seriously worried about the form of Eli Manning and the offense. It is holding this team back.

10.   Miami Dolphins (Up 1)

Need a 55-yard field goal in the wind to send a wild game into overtime? No problem. Then go on and win it in the extra period. That’s just what these Dolphins do under Adam Gase.

11.   Washington Redskins (Up 5)

There are plenty of worries on the defensive side of the ball but the offense can score points for fun and remains one of the top units in the NFL.

12.   Baltimore Ravens (Up 1)

The Ravens gave it all they had against Pittsburgh on Christmas Day and they will likely be a team to look out for in 2017. They enjoyed a surprisingly competitive season.

13.   Houston Texans (Up 4)

Houston’s offense is abject in its mediocrity and is kind of like watching paint dry, but you have to credit their defense and they are playoff-bound once again.

14.   Detroit Lions (Down 2)

Jim Caldwell’s men will play for the NFC North title on Sunday night. That’s the good news but the bad is that they face the Packers riding a two-game losing streak.

15.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Down 1)

With eight wins under their belt, this 2016 campaign will go down as a successful one for the improving Bucs, but Saturday showed they are not ready for the playoffs.

16.   Tennessee Titans (Down 6)

What a frustrating and devastating loss to Jacksonville, and I’m not just talking about Marcus Mariota’s broken leg. This talented team needs consistency in 2017.

17.   Denver Broncos (Down 2)

The Super Bowl champions are not making it to the playoffs this season and absolutely must fix their quarterback position and offensive line before next year.

18.   New Orleans Saints (Up 2)

Drew Brees showed his class on Christmas Eve and he can still enjoy his golden years in the NFL with young stars like Brandin Cooks and Michael Thomas at receiver.

19.   Indianapolis Colts(Down 1)

Andrew Luck makes some amazing throws considering the pressure he is under on almost every snap. The offensive line is a weekly nightmare.

20.   Arizona Cardinals (Up 3)

This has been a horrible season for the Cardinals but Bruce Arians is an outstanding coach and his players always play hard on gameday, as they did in Seattle.

21.   Carolina Panthers (Down 2)

That home loss to Atlanta summed up the 2016 campaign for the reigning NFC champs… too much inconsistency and not enough backbone and big plays on defense.

22.   Cincinnati Bengals (Down 1)

Randy Bullock missing a game winner from 43 yards against Houston just about summed up a lost and disappointing season for the Bengals.

23.   Philadelphia Eagles (Up 3)

Like any quarterback, Carson Wentz is better when he has help from those around him and on both sides of the ball, as he did against the Giants.

24.   Buffalo Bills (Down 2)

Failing to ice the kicker, not going for it on fourth and three and putting 10 men on the field for Jay Ajayi’s big run in OT are damning indictments of Rex Ryan. But his players play hard for him.

25.   Minnesota Vikings (Same)

News of an in-game player revolt involving Xavier Rhodes and Terrence Newman is worrying and further evidence that this is a frustrating season gone wrong for the Vikes.

26.   San Diego Chargers (Down 2(

The Chargers just lost to a team that had lost its previous 17 games. Enough said. Can you feel that seat warming, Mike McCoy?

27.   Jacksonville Jaguars (Up 3)

This might be the highest the Jags have been since Week 1 or 2 of the season. It was not perfect, but that was obviously a much better display against the Titans.

28.   Chicago Bears (Down 1)

Just when I started to wonder if Matt Barkley could be the long-term answer for the Bears, he tosses up five interceptions against Washington.

29.   Los Angeles Rams (Same)

The Rams need to conduct quite the PR campaign in Los Angeles ahead of next season because there could be the arrival of the Chargers to deal with in that market.

30.   San Francisco 49ers (Up 1)

Colin Kaepernick continues to flash potential for the Niners, diving into the end zone for the winning two-point conversion. There are also a lot of mistakes, mind you.

31.   Cleveland Browns (Up 1)

Christmas miracles really do happen, especially in the wide open NFL. Hue Jackson didn’t quite know how to celebrate after the final gun against San Diego.

32.   New York Jets (Down 4)

After three quarters in New England, the Jets had four pass completions and four turnovers. They are terrible and rightly take up bottom spot in these humble rankings.


Ask Neil Reynolds

Ask Neil

Submit your question now! Neil Reynolds answers your questions about American Football and the NFL, whether it’s about the strategies, schedules or the rules behind America’s most popular sports league. Neil has covered NFL since 1991 and is current co-host of Sky Sports’ American football coverage and the Inside the Huddle podcast.

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