NFL Power Rankings Week 17: The Final Countdown

Thomas Moreland@NFLMIKEESenior Writer IDecember 28, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 27: Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts looks on against the New York Jets at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Jets handed the Colts their first loss of the season, 29-15. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

No. 1 Indianapolis Colts, 14-1

The Colts are rolling into the playoffs but will not go far without Peyton Manning, as we saw them stumble in the final quarter against the Jets without their star quarterback at the helm.

The Colts should have gone for the undefeated season. Yesterday stunk for all Colts fans, as he game against the Jets was just silly. I am glad that the Jets were able to beat the second string of the Colts. Hooray.

No. 2 San Diego Chargers, 12-3

The Chargers have won 10 in a row and are the hottest team in football not from Indianapolis. These two teams will play for the AFC Championship.

No. 3 Minnesota Vikings, 11-3

The Vikings have had a couple of bad outings, but overall, things look good for Minnesota. If they reach the Super Bowl, they actually have the best chance in their history to win one.

No. 4 New Orleans Saints, 13-2

The Saints are reeling after back-to-back losses to Dallas and Tampa Bay. They sometimes look very confused on defense, especially in the second half. Playing poorly is not the way to enter the postseason.

No. 5 Philadelphia Eagles, 11-4

The Eagles are a very dangerous team. They are capable of beating any team in the NFC.

No. 6 Dallas Cowboys, 9-5

The Cowboys must keep winning to ensure a playoff berth. One loss could spell doom and gloom for Dallas. They can clinch a playoff berth with a win against Washington in Week 16. A loss would mean jobs lost in Dallas, starting with Wade Phillips.

No. 7 Arizona Cardinals, 11-4

The Cardinals have clinched the NFC West again and could be a problem for many teams with a hot Kurt Warner and his receiving crew. This defense has improved, and Beanie Wells is running the ball well.

No. 8 Green Bay Packers, 10-5

A great season only marred by two losses to Brett Favre and Minnesota. This could be a dangerous wild card team.

No. 9 Cincinnati Bengals, 10-5

There seems to be plenty of good teams this season in the NFL. The Bengals have 10 wins and should beat the Jets to get to 11. This team does not want to see the Steelers for a third time this season.

No. 10 New England Patriots, 10-5

Here's another good team at 10-5. The Patriots are looking to beat Houston in the last game of the regular season to dash the playoff hopes and the first winning season for the Texans.

No. 11 Pittsburgh Steelers, 8-7

The Steelers are hanging around and making the rest of the AFC really nervous. No one wants to play the Steelers in the first round of the playoffs.

No. 12 Denver Broncos, 8-7

The Denver Broncos have a serious chance to miss the postseason altogether. They must beat Kansas City next week or their season will be a total failure.

No. 13 Houston Texans, 8-7

The Texans have a chance to make the playoffs and finish with a winning record for the first time in their eight-year history. The only problem is that their last game is in New England.

No. 14 Baltimore Ravens, 8-7

The Ravens have fallen hard, losing 23-20 to the Steelers in Week 16. They finish with the Raiders at home and then they must wait and see. Even if they beat the Raiders, there is still a chance they may miss out on the postseason.

No. 15 New York Jets, 8-7

The Jets took advantage of an early exit by Peyton Manning to barely stay alive in the playoff race. They must beat Cincinnati in the final week if they want in.

No. 16 Atlanta Falcons, 8-7

The Falcons got it going a little late this season and will finish one game out of the mix at 9-7 if they beat Tampa Bay in the last game of the season.

No. 17 Carolina Panthers, 7-8

By beating the Giants and knocking them out of the playoffs, Carolina improved to 7-8 and a chance to get to .500 next week against a now-struggling New Orleans Saints team.

No. 18 Miami Dolphins, 7-8

The Dolphins will finish 7-9 with a loss to the Steelers next week and will have the offseason to ponder ways to make next season more of a success.

No. 19 New York Giants, 8-7

The Giants shot themselves in the foot against Carolina and will miss the playoffs this season. The Giants face Minnesota in their last game, and their hearts will not be in it. Minnesota now has a chance to tie New Orleans for the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs.

No. 20 Jacksonville Jaguars, 7-8

The Jags stayed in the playoff hunt until Week 16, which is something they couldn't do last season.

No. 21 San Francisco 49ers, 7-8

The Niners will need to add an impact defensive player, a wide receiver, and get some quarterback help.

No. 22 Tennessee Titans, 7-8

The horrendous start for the Titans this season will motivate them early next season. Watch out if your team is only the Titans schedule at the beginning of next season.

No. 23 Chicago Bears, 5-9

Not a good start for Jay Cutler and his new team. Maybe Cutler isn't that great, huh?

No. 24 Cleveland Browns, 4-11

The Browns were the worst team in football for most of this season, but two nice wins in a row have really helped the team's confidence as of late. Go Browns.

No. 25 Washington Redskins, 4-10

The Jim Zorn experiment is over.

No. 26 Seattle Seahawks, 5-10

This team is horrible. What happened to all that talk about competing for the division talk?

No. 27 Oakland Raiders, 5-10

Hopefully, the JaMarcus Russell experiment is over and this team can draft a decent quarterback.

No. 28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 3-12

This team moved up in the rankings a little with a big win against New Orleans in Week 16.

No. 29 Buffalo Bills, 5-10

The Bills have not had much to cheer about this season and I am shocked they managed to win five games.

No. 30 Kansas City Chiefs, 3-12

Matt Cassell is not as good as Kansas City thought.

No. 31 Detroit Lions, 2-13

Two wins better than last season will have to do.

No. 32 St. Louis Rams, 1-14

By far the worst team in football. Who did they beat, anyway?


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