NFL Power Rankings: B/R's Expert Consensus Standings Heading into Week 17

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NFL Power Rankings: B/R's Expert Consensus Standings Heading into Week 17
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A major shakeup occurred in Bleacher Report's Power Rankings prior to the final week of the regular season. 

An undefeated campaign simply wasn't in the cards for the Carolina Panthers. The Arizona Cardinals, meanwhile, continued to make their case as the NFL's best team. 

Only three franchises held the top spot through the first 16 weeks. A fourth finally crashed the party.

The Cardinals' dominant 38-8 victory over the Green Bay Packers coupled with the Panthers' 20-13 loss to the Atlanta Falcons allowed Arizona to surpass the previously undefeated squad. Bruce Arians' team is now in the driver's seat. 

With the NFC playoff picture practically set, multiple AFC franchises—the New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts—have plenty to play for with two postseason slots still available. 

But which of these teams are better than the others?

To make sense of it all, eight Bleacher Report NFL writers—Gary Davenport, Mike Freeman, Brad Gagnon, Matt Miller, Ty Schalter, Mike Tanier, Sean Tomlinson and yours truly—ranked the teams.

To build a consensus for these power rankings, each squad's ranking from each writer was added to the others. The lowest totals indicated the best teams, while the highest totals marked the other end of the spectrum. If there was a tie, the club with the single-highest vote got the nod as the better squad.

With fates tied to several teams' overall fortunes, many coaches will be antsy this weekend. Black Monday looms, and multiple coaching staffs won't remain intact. 

Plus, the No. 1 overall pick for the 2016 NFL draft has yet to be determined. Draft positioning is always a big part of the season's final week. 

Click through the slideshow to find out where all the teams landed in Bleacher Report's Expert Consensus Standings.

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