NFL Power Rankings: Sorry Teams Who'll Plummet After Pathetic Week 17 Showings

Kyle Vassalo@VassaloBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2011

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 24: Running back Adrian Peterson #28 of the Minnesota Vikings is helped off the field after being injured in the third quarter against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on December 24, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Week 17 gives even the most dejected teams a chance to end their miserable 2011 campaigns on a high note.

Unfortunately, the last week of the season will be a harsh reminder of the mediocre seasons these teams have put forth.

A losing effort will force teams shooting down the Power Rankings even further. The draft can't come soon enough for some reeling franchises and though Andrew Luck to the Colts seemed inevitable, they could easily end up playing their way out of the No. 1 spot.

Here are sorry teams who'll plummet after pathetic Week 17 showings.

St. Louis Rams (2-13) vs. San Francisco 49ers

The Rams have to take on a 12-3 49ers team that is fighting for a first-round bye in the playoffs. With Sam Bradford banged up and the offensive line decimated, the Rams have to be excited that this season is coming to a close.

The 49ers are still the No. 1 run defense in the NFL and Steven Jackson can't bail out the Rams. The Rams are going to finish up this season with two wins and could find themselves choosing between keeping Bradford or bringing in Andrew Luck.

Minnesota Vikings (3-12) vs. Chicago Bears

The Vikings' worst nightmare became a reality last week, with Adrian Peterson suffering an ACL and MCL tear. The Vikings have had trouble winning with the best back in the league at their disposal. They are going to have a miserable time without AP in the backfield.

Even at home against the skidding Bears, the Vikings can't hope to come away with a victory. They suffered a huge blow and though both teams will have trouble putting up points, the Vikings have nothing to hope for this season but a high draft pick.

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-11) vs. Indianapolis Colts

As bizarre as it is, the Colts are officially "hot". They aren't packing it in and buying into the "Suck for Luck" nonsense. Players are fighting for their jobs, as are coaches. With two wins in a row, the Colts have made it clear that they aren't accepting their fate as the worst team in the league.

Maurice Jones-Drew is going to show up, but the rest of the Jaguars team has already given up. They beat the Colts in Indy, but this is a new Colts team with a little newly-gained confidence.