NFL Power Rankings Week 17: New Orleans Saints Leap Falcons With Monday Night Win
1. (1) New England Patriots (13-2)
Tom Brady has wrapped up the MVP, and the Patriots have wrapped up the AFC's top seed meaning they won't play another significant game until January 15 or 16.
2. (3) Baltimore Ravens (11-4)
The Ravens should keep feeding Ray Rice in the playoffs. They are 8-1 this year when he gets at least 17 carries.
3. (4) New Orleans Saints (11-4)
The Saints gave the rest of the NFC reason to believe teams can win at the Georgia Dome in the playoffs.
4. (2) Atlanta Falcons (12-3)
I'm not sure how the officials didn't review that second down play that should have set up third-and-one instead of third-and-inches that led to the Saints icing the game in the fourth quarter.
5. (7) Chicago Bears (11-4)
The second and third quarters of the Bears' win over the Jets closely resembled an Arena Football League game.
Which is the second best team in the NFL?
6. (5) New York Jets (10-5)
The Jets allowed 17 points per game en route to a 9-2 start but are giving up 27.5 per game over the past four weeks, so they better get that defense in shape for the playoffs.
7. (6) Pittsburgh Steelers (11-4)
Having a second bye week (playing the Panthers) this close to the playoffs could greatly benefit the Steelers.
8. (11) Kansas City Chiefs (10-5)
The Chiefs don't have a single win over a team that has clinched a playoff spot, so forgive me if I'm still not a believer.
9. (12) Green Bay Packers (9-6)
Aaron Rodgers threw for a career high 404 yards and four touchdowns as the Packers took one step closer to the postseason.
10. (8) Philadelphia Eagles (10-5)
Three Michael Vick turnovers led to a shocking loss in an unusual Tuesday night game.
11. (13) Indianapolis Colts (9-6)
The Colts have scored at least 30 points in each of the past four weeks.
12. (9) New York Giants (9-6)
Giving up 500 yards for the first time in 30 years isn't the best way to get into the playoffs.
13. (15) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-6)
The Bucs haven't beaten a winning team all season, and they'll need to defeat the defending Super Bowl champions on the road to have a shot at making the playoffs. Good luck.
14. (10) San Diego Chargers (8-7)
Playing only two months of a four-month season has finally come back to haunt the Chargers.
15. (14) Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7)
Two weeks ago the Jags had the third-ranked rushing attack in the NFL, but with the playoffs on the line, they have averaged just 72.5 yards on the ground over the past two games.
16. (16) Oakland Raiders (7-8)
The Raiders finished the season 0-6 against non-divisional AFC foes.
17. (19) Minnesota Vikings (6-9)
The Vikings are 2-1 when Brett Favre throws fewer than two passes.
18. (25) St. Louis Rams (7-8)
The Rams vs. Seahawks game this Sunday night reminds me of an NCAA play-in game between Jackson State and Northwestern State.
19. (18) Tennessee Titans (6-9)
Chris Johnson only needs 1,175 yards in the Titans' final game to reach his goal for the season.
20. (20) Dallas Cowboys (5-10)
21. (21) Buffalo Bills (4-11)
It may be surprising, but that was the first time the Bills lost to the Pats by more than two touchdowns in three years.
22. (22) Detroit Lions (5-10)
How do you lose 26 straight road games and then win two in a row?
23. (24) Washington Redskins (6-9)
Rex Grossman's 19-for-39 performance has to make the Shanahans proud.
24. (17) Miami Dolphins (7-8)
At least the Dolphins broke that streak of alternating wins and losses for 11 games.
25. (23) Houston Texans (5-10)
It might be time to replace the entire defensive coaching staff.
26. (26) Cleveland Browns (5-10)
Colt McCoy has lost his last four games
27. (27) San Francisco 49ers (5-10)
How long until the Mike Singletary Coors Light commercial comes out?
28. (29) Cincinnati Bengals (4-11)
Carson Palmer's best game of the season came with Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco on the sidelines. Coincidence? No.
29. (28) Seattle Seahawks (6-9)
Just one more week of trying to come up with something to say about the NFC West.
30. (31) Arizona Cardinals (5-10)
John Skelton delivered the Cards' first passing touchdown since Nov. 21.
31. (32) Denver Broncos (4-11)
Tim Tebow can play quarterback in the NFL.
32. (30) Carolina Panthers (2-13)
The Panthers are on the clock.
Follow me on Twitter at @ JordanHarrison.
Jordan Schwartz is one of Bleacher Report's New York Yankees and College Basketball Featured Columnists. His book Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and authorhouse.com.
Jordan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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