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NFL Power Rankings Week 17: Latest Review and 2019-20 Super Bowl Odds

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistDecember 23, 2019

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) talks with head coach John Harbaugh, right, after an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Baltimore. The Ravens won 42-21. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
Nick Wass/Associated Press

Though 10 of the NFL's 12 playoff positions have been settled, there is a wide variety of scenarios that could take place before the end of the regular season.

For example, the Oakland Raiders sit at 7-8 and could still become a wild-card team. The San Francisco 49ers, meanwhile, sit at 12-3 and could still be forced into a wild-card position. San Francisco could then potentially be playing visitor to the 8-8 Dallas Cowboys.

Make no mistake, though: The 49ers are far and away a better team than either the Raiders or the Cowboys. Here, we'll examine where all 31 teams stand with just one week and one game remaining. We'll also take a look at the latest Super Bowl odds from Caesars.

     

NFL Power Rankings, Pre-Monday Night Football

1. Baltimore Ravens

2. San Francisco 49ers

3. New Orleans Saints

4. Kansas City Chiefs

5. New England Patriots

6. Seattle Seahawks

7. Buffalo Bills

8. Minnesota Vikings

9. Green Bay Packers

10. Houston Texans

11. Philadelphia Eagles

12. Tennessee Titans

13. Pittsburgh Steelers

14. Dallas Cowboys

15. Indianapolis Colts

16. Los Angeles Rams

17. Oakland Raiders

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

19. Atlanta Falcons

20. Chicago Bears

21. Denver Broncos

22. New York Jets

23. Arizona Cardinals

24. Cleveland Browns

25. Miami Dolphins

26. Carolina Panthers

27. Los Angeles Chargers

28. Jacksonville Jaguars

29. New York Giants

30. Washington Redskins

31. Detroit Lions

32. Cincinnati Bengals

    

1. Baltimore Ravens

Ron Schwane/Associated Press

The top team in the power rankings shouldn't be a surprise. The Baltimore Ravens have the best record in football, have already secured the AFC's No. 1 seed and haven't lost a game since Week 4. They have been blowing teams out and haven't seen a decline in Lamar Jackson's MVP-level performance either.

What puts Baltimore firmly at the top, though, is the pedigree of teams it has beaten. Of the nine other teams that already have playoff passes, the Ravens have beaten five of them. The Kansas City Chiefs are the only playoff-bound team to own a victory over the Ravens.

Baltimore will also benefit from having essentially two weeks off before playing another meaningful game. That could come in handy, especially with key players like running back Mark Ingram II banged up.

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Ravens’ RB Mark Ingram did, in fact, suffer a calf strain during today’s win over Cleveland, per source.

The Ravens will take on the rival Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17, but there's nothing to play for in that game—aside from the joy of keeping Pittsburgh out of the playoffs.

    

4. Kansas City Chiefs

Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

The Chiefs have beaten the Ravens once, but that isn't what makes Kansas City Baltimore's biggest challenge in the AFC—let's not forget that the Cleveland Browns also beat the Ravens. The Chiefs are dangerous because they're finally beginning to play like a balanced team.

The Chiefs defense was a liability a year ago. This is why many fans were upset that Patrick Mahomes didn't touch the ball in overtime of the AFC title game. However, that defense has become a strength over the second half of the season.

Over the past five games, the Chiefs have allowed just 9.6 points per game. Their pass defense now ranks eighth in the NFL. While Kansas City hasn't had an elite defense all season long, it has had one recently.

For teams like Baltimore, this is a problem. Mahomes now appears fully recovered from his dislocated knee, and while the offense hasn't been as unstoppable as it was a year ago, it's still a top-tier unit. The Chiefs are also riding as much momentum as any team in football right now.

"I'm just an added addition to an already-moving train," recently acquired pass-rusher Terrell Suggs said, per Pete Grathoff of the Kansas City Star.

That train could be on a collision course with the Ravens in the AFC title game.

     

5. New England Patriots

Elise Amendola/Associated Press

The New England Patriots don't have nearly as much momentum as the Chiefs or the Ravens. For one, they've already lost to both teams, along with the AFC South champion Houston Texans. They also have an offense that lacks weapons and has produced fewer than 25 points in six of its past seven games.

Yet, it's unlikely that New England possesses any sense of panic heading into Week 17. The Patriots possess an elite defense, an experienced coaching staff and perhaps the best playoff quarterback of all time in Tom Brady.

If the Patriots knock off the Miami Dolphins in Week 17, they'll also earn a first-round bye for the ninth year in a row. Anyone who thinks the Patriots won't exhibit laser focus heading into the regular-season finale is wrong.

"Look, this is very simple now. Miami is a playoff game," head coach Bill Belichick said, via the team's official website. "If we beat Miami, then we get a bye. If we don't, then we'll be playing the next week. So, it's a playoff game."

With two weeks to prepare and home-field advantage, the Patriots will be extremely tough to beat in the divisional round.

     

Latest Super Bowl Odds

Baltimore Ravens 2-1

San Francisco 49ers 7-2

New Orleans Saints 9-2

New England Patriots 6-1

Seattle Seahawks 6-1

Kansas City Chiefs 15-2

Minnesota Vikings 16-1

Green Bay Packers 16-1

Philadelphia Eagles 25-1

Houston Texans 30-1

Dallas Cowboys 30-1

Buffalo Bills 35-1

Tennessee Titans 75-1

Pittsburgh Steelers 75-1

Oakland Raiders 250-1