The 2010 NFL season is coming to an end, and the playoff picture is pretty clear.
The New England Patriots, Atlanta Falcons and Pittsburgh Steelers have all clinched playoff berths while the Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants are fighting until the very last week of the season to lock up a seed.
Tom Brady and the Patriots have had an great season and will have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Matt Ryan and the Falcons were sitting pretty but their Monday night loss to the New Orleans Saints made things interesting in the NFC.
Here are the NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 17.
The 2010 season has been dreadful for the Carolina Panthers, as things can only get better from here.
The Panthers are 2-13 and in dead last in the NFC South Division.
The Panthers got crushed by the Steelers in Week 16 and Week 17 poses another difficult task.
Rookie Jimmy Clausen and his Panthers must travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons in a game that the Falcons need to clinch the NFC South.
John Fox's Panthers are ranked last in the NFL.
It has been a disappointing year for the Denver Broncos, but they do have something to look forward to next season, and that is Tim Tebow.
Tebow has played well in his first two starts as a pro and he won his first game in Week 16 against the Houston Texans in comeback fashion.
Tebow proved that he was worthy of being a first-round pick and that the Broncos have plenty to look forward to in years to come.
The Broncos are ranked second to last.
The Cincinnati Bengals were one of the most disappointing teams in the league this year, but they have won two straight games.
One may wonder, is Carson Palmer better off without Chad OchoCinco and Terrell Owens?
Well, Palmer and the Bengals ended the Chargers' playoff hopes in Week 16 during a 34-20 decisive victory.
The Bengals stand at No. 30 in the Power Rankings.
The Buffalo Bills have had exciting games this season and have had solid play at the quarterback position in Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Despite the few positives, the Bills got handled by the Patriots last Sunday in a 34-3 loss.
The Arizona Cardinals have missed Kurt Warner greatly in 2010.
The Cardinals have had instability at the quarterback position all year and has caused them to be a disappointing 5-10.
From Derek Anderson to John Skelton, the Cardinals have not found answers.
Despite the struggles, the Cardinals did walk away with an exciting 27-26 victory over the Cowboys on Christmas Day.
The 49ers were 5-9 heading into Week 16 and somehow still alive in the NFC West.
The Niners' hopes were gone after losing to the Rams and coach Mike Singletary has been fired before the season can conclude.
It is time for the Niners to look in another direction for quarterback, because Alex Smith and Troy Smith are not the answers.
The 49ers come in at No. 27.
The Cleveland Browns have lost three straight games and are now thinking about next season.
The Browns were 5-7 and had some life, but three straight losses brought them back to Earth.
There is plenty of talent in Cleveland with rookie Colt McCoy and bruising running back Peyton Hillis.
A few more pieces and the Browns may be one of the surprising teams in the 2011 season.
The Seattle Seahawks are 6-9 and will be at home in the season finale against the St. Louis Rams.
This battle in the NFC West will determine the division champions.
The NFC West is an extremely weak division and if the Seahawks get in, they will do so with a 7-9 record.
A 7-9 mark will not matter come playoff time as the regular season is erased.
The Detroit Lions are winners of their last three and their last two on the road.
The Lions have ended their dreadful streak of losses on the road by beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Miami Dolphins back-to-back weeks.
The Lions have plenty of talent on offense and defense and they have shown that during these last three victories.
Calvin Johnson, Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh will lead a core of young players into the 2011 season hoping to ride the momentum of their recent success.
Everyone has high hopes for the Houston Texans year in and year out and they continue to disappoint.
Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and the Texans have disappointed yet again this season and currently stand at a 5-10 record.
The talent is there but the Texans are just not winning football games.
The most recent loss came to the Denver Broncos in which the Texans blew a lead late in the game losing 24-23.
After their dreadful 1-7 start, interim head coach Jason Garrett has the Cowboys winners in four of their last seven games.
Two of those three losses were heartbreakers. One came against the New Orleans Saints and the most recent in Week 16 against the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cowboys were poised to set the game into overtime before a missed extra point.
That has been the story for the Cowboys this year.
Redskins' coach Mike Shanahan was expecting different results prior to the season.
Instead, the Redskins are 6-9 and will miss out on the playoffs.
The signing of Donovan McNabb was supposed to make the Redskins playoff contenders but instead they have resorted to Rex Grossman.
Despite the roller coaster season, the Redskins did defeat the Jaguars in Jacksonville in Week 16 to put a damper on their playoff hopes.
What happened to the team that was 5-2 and thinking playoffs?
The Titans have lost seven of their last eight games, and even Chris Johnson has not been able to save the Titans, as he has struggled himself.
The Titans were hopeful to win the AFC South but have fallen to 6-9 and second-to-last place in their division.
Kerry Collins is not the long-term answer and issues with Vince Young will force the Titans to look elsewhere for a quarterback.
After losing in the NFC Championship last year, the Minnesota Vikings had high hopes at making another run at the Super Bowl.
Unfortunately for them, they are 6-9 and will miss out on the playoffs.
Brett Favre's injuries, the Randy Moss drama and the firing of Brad Childress have contributed to the Vikings' struggles this season.
Despite the disappointing season, the Vikings have continued to fight for interim head coach Leslie Frazier including an impressive 24-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Tuesday night.
The Miami Dolphins are 7-8 with one game left to play.
If the Dolphins would have played better at home, they would have been in playoff contention.
The Dolphins are a shocking 1-7 at home, and their home woes continued this past Sunday in a loss to the Detroit Lions.
The Dolphins would have had the same success at home than they did on the road, this could have been a much different season for the Fins.
If i would have told you before the season that the Oakland Raiders would be in playoff contention up until Week 16, would you have believed me?
Raider fans might have, but others would not.
The fact remains that the Oakland Raiders have vastly improved this season after losing double-digit games for seven straight seasons.
The Raiders will not finish with double-digit losses this year for the first time since 2002.
Darren McFadden, Zach Miller and Jacoby Ford will lead the core of young talent in Oakland for years to come.
Raiders fans have a lot to look forward to next season.
Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford and the St. Louis Rams have an opportunity to win the NFC West for the first time since 2003.
The Rams will visit the Seahawks in Week 17 to determine the NFC West Champion.
The Rams have greatly improved this season and making the playoffs would boost their confidence tremendously.
Even if the Rams make the playoffs and do not advance, it is a huge stepping stone for Sam Bradford and the Rams organization.
The Jacksonville Jaguars suffered a costly overtime loss in Week 16 to the Washing Redskins.
The 20-17 loss to the Redskins put a damper on the Jaguars' playoff hopes because now the Jaguars need a win and a Colts loss in order to clinch a playoff berth.
David Garrard and the Jaguars have dug themselves into a hole and will need some help to get out of it.
They currently stand at No. 15 in the Power Rankings.
Has there been any other team in the NFL this season more disappointing than the San Diego Chargers?
Sure, Philip Rivers has had an MVP caliber season, but the Chargers have not won football games when they needed to.
A Week 16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals knocked the Chargers out of playoff contention.
The Chargers must figure out a way to avoid a slow start in 2011.
Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have surprised the league this year currently with a 9-6 record.
The Buccaneers are the youngest team in the NFL and have a chance to clinch a playoff berth in Week 17.
The Buccaneers need some help but it can be done.
The Bucs will need to carry their momentum from Week 16 in to New Orleans this Sunday.
The Bucs need to beat the Saints and need losses from the Giants and Packers.
No other team is kicking themselves more than the New York Giants.
The Giants were 9-4 and in a comfortable position in the NFC.
After two straight losses, the Giants' playoff hopes have slowly faded away.
The game that will decide the Giants' season is their Week 15 collapse against the Philadelphia Eagles. Tom Coughlin's Giants gave up 28 points in the fourth quarter, which shattered any chances of winning the NFC East.
In order for the Giants to clinch a playoff berth, they must beat the Redskins, and the Packers must lose to the Bears.
Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts have had a strange season, but all they have to do is win, and they will clinch a playoff berth.
The Colts have dealt with many injuries all season long, which has contributed to them just being 9-6 at this time.
A win against the Titans, and the Colts will put the regular season behind them as they will look to reach the Super Bowl for the second year in a row.
The Kansas City Chiefs are 10-5 and are AFC West champions for the first time since 2003.
Matt Cassel has had an MVP-type season and the running of Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones have carried the Chiefs all year long.
A loss to the Raiders in Week 17 can cost the Chiefs the third seed in the playoffs, so they must stay sharp.
The Chiefs rank No. 10 in the Power Rankings.
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers demolished the Giants 45-17 in Week 16.
All the Packers have to do is win in Week 17, and they are in.
The Packers will be home against the Bears in Week 17, which is a must-win for the Packers in order for them to make their second straight playoff appearance.
After Aaron Rodgers' monster game in Week 16, his confidence is sky high for this Sunday.
It seems like long ago when the Jets were 9-2 and tied with the Patriots in the AFC East.
The Jets have lost three of their last four games including their Week 16 loss to the Chicago Bears, 38-34.
Fortunately for the Jets, they have clinched a wild-card seed.
The Jets will be on the road for the first round of the playoffs, where they were 6-2 during the regular season.
Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles are currently the third seed in the NFC and will have a home game in the playoffs.
After a tough loss to the Vikings on Tuesday night, the Eagles hope to put that behind them and have a short memory heading into the postseason.
MVP candidate Michael Vick is banged up, so it will be smart for Andy Reid to give him some rest in Week 17.
The Eagles currently rank seventh in the NFL Power Rankings.
The Chicago Bears are coming off a 38-34 victory over the New York Jets in Week 16.
The Bears are NFC North Champions and will get ready for their first playoff appearance since 2006 when they reached the Super Bowl and lost to the Indianapolis Colts.
Jay Cutler and the Bears will look to return to the Super Bowl.
The Bears currently rank at No. 6 in the Power Rankings.
The Saints won a huge game against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night, and now the Saints have a chance to win the NFC South.
How great is the chance? Well, the Saints need the Panthers to defeat the Falcons in Week 17.
The Saints are currently the fifth seed and if all remains the same after Week 17, the Saints will travel to St. Louis to take on the Rams in the first round.
The Ravens have had a great season but unfortunately for them, if they win this Sunday, they might not win the AFC North title.
If the Steelers win, they will be division champions due to their record within the division.
The Ravens can make a jump from the fifth seed to the second seed, only if the Browns beat the Steelers.
Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers own the tiebreaker over the Baltimore Ravens so if the Steelers win, they will clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs.
However, if the Steelers lose and the Ravens and Jets win, the Steelers can drop all the way to the sixth seed due to their loss to the Jets in Week 15.
Week 17 is very important for the Steelers, as they will be on the road against the Cleveland Browns.
Despite a loss to the Saints on Monday night, the Falcons are still No. 2 in the NFL Power Rankings.
The Falcons are 12-3 and all they need is a win over the Panthers and they will clinch the NFC South and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Matt Ryan and the Falcons have been the team to beat in the NFC all season, and they would love to end the regular season on a high note.
The New England Patriots have nothing to play for in Week 17 because they have already won the AFC East and clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Tom Brady has had an incredible year, throwing 34 touchdowns with just four interceptions.
The Patriots will need Brady to continue to play at a high level in order them to reach their fifth Super Bowl since 2001.
The Patriots are No. 1 in the Power Rankings.