Hock's Take: NFL Power Rankings Week 17

Matthew HockingCorrespondent IDecember 29, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 25:  Fifth overall draft pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves,  Ricky Rubio makes his way to the stage during the 2009 NBA Draft at the Wamu Theatre at Madison Square Garden June 25, 2009 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

1. Indianapolis Colts
Last Week: 1
Oh no! They lost a meaningless game! How ever will Peyton Manning recover from that humiliation in time for the Playoffs?!

2. New Orleans Saints
Last Week: 2
They’re in this position only because they’ve got home field advantage wrapped up throughout the Playoffs. Unlike the Colts, they’re backing in on their own accord.

3. San Diego Chargers
Last Week: 3
Now that the Colts lost, the Chargers are officially the hottest team in the NFL. Until Norv Turner gets into the Playoffs.

4. Philadelphia Eagles
Last Week: 4
There isn’t a team in the NFC playing better ball right now, and they control their destiny going into a tough game against Dallas.

5. New England Patriots
Last Week: 7
This isn’t the Patriots of two years ago, with a complete team that everybody fears, but nobody’s more dangerous in the Playoffs.

6. Arizona Cardinals
Last Week: 10
Shockingly, the Cardinals are actually in pretty decent position to end up with a bye, if only they can avoid the dreaded MADDEN CURSE! That can still hit now right?

7. Minnesota Vikings
Last Week: 5
Exciting end to the game, but it still leaves you wondering what happened. Oh wait, Adrian Peterson fumbled again. Now I remember.

8. Dallas Cowboys
Last Week: 7
Don’t think the Cowboys aren’t playing for anything this weekend. They still remember what happened last year, and would love nothing more than to keep Philly from that bye.

9. Green Bay Packers
Last Week: 8
Their offense looks pretty much unstoppable, but I wonder how preparing for yet *another* game against the Vikings might affect their run up to the Playoffs.

10. Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 9
Improbably, the Bengals are in the Playoffs again, I don’t know a single person who would’ve predicted this going into the season, except maybe (maaaaybe) Ochocinco.

11. New York Jets
Last Week: 16
They got the benefit of a gift win, and hold the enviable position of holding their own cards this weekend. How will a rookie coach and quarterback react?

12. Baltimore Ravens
Last Week: 13
They’ve got a good shot a the Wild Card, but I don’t know of any teams that are running particularly scared of the Ravens right now.

13. Denver Broncos
Last Week: 13
Leave it to the Broncos to falter so spectacularly in the second half of the season. Again. See? It doesn’t matter what personnel or coaches you have!

14. Pittsburgh Steelers
Last Week: 14
I don’t think they’ve got a shot in hell of actually doing it, but I’ve got to give props to Ben Roethlisberger’s Rally Porn Stache.

15. Houston Texans
Last Week: 21
Somehow still in the Playoff hunt. Unfortunately, my psychic prediction from a couple weeks back has them losing this week. Better luck next year!

16. New York Giants
Last Week: 11
Well…yeah. The best way to back your way out of the Playoffs is to do it in the most spectacularly horrible way possible.

17. Miami Dolphins
Last Week: 15
Note to Self:  Losing your number one weapon and starting quarterback is not the way to make a Playoff run.

18. Tennessee Titans
Last Week: 17
It’s small comfort, I know, but it’s pretty amazing how far this team has come since Week 6, especially considering that Vince Young was actually an upgrade over Kerry Collins.

19. Atlanta Falcons
Last Week: 19
Tony Gonzalez was supposed to fix everything, but nothing could break Matt Ryan’s sophomore slump. See also: the entry on Dolphins, Miami.

20. San Francisco 49ers
Last Week: 18
They looked like world beaters the way they came out swinging in Week One, but they’ve ultimately settled back into being just mediocre.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars
Last Week: 20
Man this team is going to be so good when they move to L.A. They’re going to make everybody in Jacksonville so pissed off that they never realized they even had a team.

22. Carolina Panthers
Last Week: 22
See now this is how you lose star players to injury. After you’ve already lost a ton of games with them in the line-up and can comfortably put up 40+ points with your backups.

23. Chicago Bears
Last Week: 23
I was thinking about how much good Mike Shannahan could do with Cutler if he went to Chicago, but then I realized that he didn’t play receiver.

24. Oakland Raiders
Last Week: 26
Consider this: The Raiders are (technically) only three games out of Playoff contention right now. Is this commentary on how much better Oakland’s been playing or how bad the bottom rungs of the AFC are this year?

25. Seattle Seahawks
Last Week: 24
Not much fight left in the Seahawks, who seem to have given up even conceptualizing defense. Matt Hasselbeck’s hair has a more formidable line.

26. Buffalo Bills
Last Week: 25
It’s hard to believe T.O.’s time with the Bills is almost at an end. In fact…it’s a little hard to remember him playing for them at all this year.

27. Cleveland Browns
Last Week: 27
It’s nice to see them putting up some semblance of a fight now that guys are trying to save their jobs before they get whisked away by Mike Holmgren’s mustache.

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Last Week: 28
Speaking of which, a good job all around by the Bucs this week. They’re still one of the worst teams in the NFL, but really they’re only four wins away from being a Playoff also-ran.

29. Detroit Lions
Last Week: 29
It was nice that they gave Drew Stanton one last chance to be pulled out of a game, I’m sure he’ll treasure the moment forever. Joey Harrington is available. I’m just saying.

30. Washington Redskins
Last Week: 30
Ugh…will this season just end already for Washington? I mean I guess you just have to think positively. If they were in the AFC, they’d practically be a Wild Card team.

31. Kansas City Chiefs
Last Week: 31
Meanwhile, Larry Johnson is sitting on the bench in Cincinnati thinking about how he really showed the Chiefs. Who says slurs and fights with your coach don’t get you anywhere?

32. Saint Louis Rams
Last Week: 32
The great debate is already brewing about who the Rams should take in this year’s draft. Eric Berry? Ndamukong Suh? Any of the Quarterbacks? Things are so bad in St. Louis, I half expect them to trade for the rights to Ricky Rubio.


    Jets Reportedly Cancel All Non-QB Draft Meetings

    NFL logo

    Jets Reportedly Cancel All Non-QB Draft Meetings

    Tyler Conway
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Baker 'Definitely' in Play for No. 1 Pick

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    Report: Baker 'Definitely' in Play for No. 1 Pick

    Mike Chiari
    via Bleacher Report

    Surprising Guesses for Draft's 1st Round

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    Surprising Guesses for Draft's 1st Round

    Mike Tanier
    via Bleacher Report

    Rosen Not Concerned by Sliding Draft Stock

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    Rosen Not Concerned by Sliding Draft Stock

    Adam Wells
    via Bleacher Report