OCT 14





Ask Neil


Week 17 Power Rankings

Posted Jan 2, 2018

Who tops the Power Rankings after Week 17?

Post-Week 17 Power Rankings

1.       New England Patriots

The Patriots didn’t throw a pass to Rob Gronkowski and barely got out of second gear yet they beat the Jets by 20 and are cruising into the playoffs. For now, they are the NFL’s top dogs.

2.     Pittsburgh Steelers

If Pittsburgh can get Antonio Brown close to 100 per cent for the playoffs, they have every chance of usurping New England at the top of this list. But they will need every one of their weapons.

3.       Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are the front-runners in the NFC and while Case Keenum is still having a very good year, the strength of this team lies in the number one-ranked defense, which is beastly.

4.       Los Angeles Rams

The Rams’ Week 17 capitulation to the 49ers can largely be ignored given the number of star players who were rested, including Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald.

5.       Kansas City Chiefs

It appears the Chiefs have steadied the ship and Alex Smith is surrounded by 1,000-yarders in Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. KC will be a dangerous opponent in the AFC playoffs.

6.       New Orleans Saints

Despite a disappointing loss to Tampa Bay in Week 17, the Saints are champions of the NFC South and loaded on offense with Drew Brees, a pair of 1,500-yard backs and Michael Thomas at WR.

7.       Jacksonville Jaguars

Back to back losses are no way to limp into the playoffs but I expect the Jags to advance to the second round off the back of one of the best defenses in recent NFL history.

8.       Philadelphia Eagles

The number one seed in the NFC can feel fortunate to remain in my top 10. I have zero confidence in Nick Foles getting the job done at quarterback and I think that impacts their Super Bowl chances.

9.       Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons won six of their last eight to make it into the playoffs but I just don’t sense the same magical playoff run of a year ago is just around the corner. Something is missing this time around.

10.   Carolina Panthers

The Panthers can proudly point to an 11-win season. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore an inconsistent attack led by an inconsistent quarterback in Cam Newton.

11.   San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers have been totally rejuvenated by the arrival of Jimmy Garoppolo, who has guided them to five straight wins to end the year. Jimmy G looks the real deal and will make SF relevant in 2018.

12.   Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers are better than the Buffalo Bills and the Tennessee Titans, in my opinion. Yet those other two are heading to the playoffs. That said, the Chargers will be fun to watch next season.

13.   Seattle Seahawks

The winds of change are about to blow through Seattle. More specifically, the winds of change are about to blow through the Legion of Boom, making this truly Russell Wilson’s team in 2018.

14.   Buffalo Bills

The Bills are in the playoffs for the first time since the 1999 season and Sean McDermott’s gamble to clean out some malcontents at the start of the year has paid off.

15.   Baltimore Ravens

After taking the biggest of sucker punches to the gut in Week 17, the Ravens have to be left with a clear mandate for the off-season – find Joe Flacco some more offensive weapons for 2018.

16.   Tennessee Titans

The Titans are in the playoffs with nine wins but I’m not convinced that head coach Mike Mularkey is out of the woods just yet. An early playoff exit could seal his fate in Tennessee.

17.   Dallas Cowboys

I am a firm believer that Jason Garrett should stick around as head coach of the Cowboys, but they might need a bit more offensive imagination next year and Scott Linehan could be done.

18.   Detroit Lions

One of the NFL’s good guys got whacked on Black Monday as Jim Caldwell was sacked. That must have been hard for a coach with 36 wins and two playoff appearances in four years in Detroit.

19.   Arizona Cardinals

The coaching job Bruce Arians did over the final month of the 2017 season to drag his Cardinals to an 8-8 record should be commended. And is further evidence of how much he will be missed.

20.   Cincinnati Bengals

A wasted season in Cincinnati could not have ended more dramatically with a win over Baltimore. Now the future is uncertain. Marvin Lewis could be back. But will Andy Dalton have competition?

21.   Washington Redskins

An NFL-high 20 players on IR undid the Redskins in 2017 but they can get a good jump on 2018 by ending the Kirk Cousins speculation early in the new league year. That would help.

22.   Green Bay Packers

Changes are being made in Green Bay as I type these words with Dom Capers out at DC and Ted Thompson transitioning from GM to a new role. The hopes of this team still rest on number 12.

23.   Oakland Raiders

If Jon Gruden does indeed come in and take charge of the currently-coachless Raiders, his first and most important task will be to get Derek Carr back up to speed after a difficult 2017 campaign.

24.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Dirk Koetter was given a stay of execution in Tampa. I wonder if he was given that news after the Bucs discovered that the aforementioned Gruden was more interested in the Raiders job.

25.   New York Jets

Josh McCown certainly had his moments at quarterback in 2017 but he cannot be the answer next term. Not for the first time, the Jets need to address that position and find themselves a star.

26.   Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins have to hope things turn around when Ryan Tannehill returns next season. But will Jarvis Landry and Ndamukong Suh still be on the team for the bounce-back campaign?

27.   Houston Texans

Deshaun Watson has given his public support to head coach Bill O’Brien and that should be enough to keep the pairing together for 2018. Watson’s return will make Houston a competitive squad.

28.   Indianapolis Colts

The Colts can add all the new coaching staff they like but they will still have problems in 2018 if Andrew Luck doesn’t return fit and healthy next season. He remains their key player.

29.   New York Giants

I have every confidence that Dave Gettleman will start to move the Giants in the right direction but I couldn’t tell you if Eli Manning will be part of an Big Blue rebuild next term.

30.   Denver Broncos

Denver’s players lobbied to keep Vance Joseph in work and now that same group of players should constantly remind John Elway that an answer needs to be found at the quarterback position.

31.   Chicago Bears

I think the Bears job will be an attractive one. The young quarterback is in place, the stud running back is in place and the defense is pretty decent and has youth on its side.

32.   Cleveland Browns

The bottom feeders of the league can thank their lucky stars there is no promotion and relegation in the NFL. This team has won just one of its last 32 games. Shocking!







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.

* Required Field

Latest Videos