NFL Power Rankings: Week 17

Jordan Schwartz@jordanharrisonSenior Writer IDecember 29, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS - DECEMBER 27:  A Indianapolis Colts is pictured during the NFL game against the New York Jets at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 27, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Peyton Manning and many of the starters were pulled from the game in the second half and the Colts went on to lose their first game of the season 29-15.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

1. (1) Indianapolis Colts (14-1)

It was disappointing to see Jim Caldwell pull Peyton Manning in the third quarter to prevent him from getting hurt when the quarterback gets sacked less than any starter in the league. 

Now that they are no longer undefeated, I can't see any reason why any of the Colts' impact guys would play more than a half at Buffalo this week, which means Indy could enter its divisional playoff contest on Jan. 16 or 17 without having won a game in 30 or 31 days.

2. (2) San Diego Chargers (12-3)

Another impressive win and this one came on the road at a desperate team.  The Chargers have now scored in 30 of their last 31 quarters.


3. (5) Dallas Cowboys (10-5)

Tony Romo has thrown nine touchdowns and just one interception in the past five weeks.


4. (3) New Orleans Saints (13-2)

The Saints were so shocked that they actually led a game at the end of the first quarter that they gave up 20 straight points to lose at home to the woeful Bucs.

5. (6) Philadelphia Eagles (11-4)

Are the Eagles the team to beat in the NFC?

6. (4) Minnesota Vikings (11-4)

Brett Favre was good after halftime, but his poor play prior to the break helped drop the quarterback to 1-8 in his life away from home when the game begins under 35 degrees. You could almost hear Ron Jaworski tear up when the Bears won in overtime.

7. (7) Cincinnati Bengals (10-5)

The Bengals clinched a home playoff game by beating the Chiefs, which is good news because they've won five straight in Cincinnati.

8. (8) Green Bay Packers (10-5)

Aaron Rodgers hasn't thrown a pick in three games, and the Packers are now 10-0 when holding opponents to under 30 points.

9. (9) Arizona Cardinals (10-5)

After two underwhelming performances, Kurt Warner got back on track throwing for 313 yards and two touchdowns to beat the Rams.

10. (12) New England Patriots (10-5)

The Pats have won nine consecutive home games.

11. (14) Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7)

The Steelers take their 2-5 road record into Miami this weekend in a must-win affair.


12. (17) Atlanta Falcons (8-7)

If Matt Ryan and Michael Turner didn't miss a combined six games this season, the Falcons would be playing for a playoff spot this Sunday at Tampa Bay instead of just playing out the string.


13. (13) Baltimore Ravens (8-7)

Following a penalty-ridden loss on the road against a division rival, the Ravens still control their own destiny with a winnable game coming up at Oakland.


14. (10) Denver Broncos (8-7)

The Broncos live and die by their defense. They allow just 10.6 points per game in wins, but 27.9 in their losses.


15. (15) Tennessee Titans (7-8)

Chris Johnson (142 rush yards) held up his end of the bargain vs. San Diego on Friday night, but Vince Young (0 TD, 2 INT, 11.9 rating) did not.

16. (19) New York Jets (8-7)

The Jets were handed a gift when the Colts pulled their starters in the third quarter.  The Bengals won't have a ton to play for this Sunday either, so we could wind up with Mark Sanchez starting his first playoff game in Foxboro. Gamblers are salivating.

17. (18) Jacksonville Jaguars (7-8)

The Jags have the sixth-worst passing defense (244.4 yards per game) in the NFL.

18. (20) Houston Texans (8-7)

That's three straight 100-plus passer-rating games for Matt Schaub.

19. (16) Miami Dolphins (7-8)

The Dolphins are a running team and so a 27-0 deficit meant the end of their season.

20. (21) Carolina Panthers (7-8)

Jonathan Stewart is the first player to run for more than 200 yards against the Giants in 31 years.


21. (11) New York Giants (8-7)

In their final game at Giants Stadium and with their season on the line against a Carolina team without its best player, the G-Men were absolutely embarrassed, 41-9.

22. (23) San Francisco 49ers (7-8)

The Niners have a chance to finish at .500 for the first time in seven years.

23. (25) Chicago Bears (6-9)

Devin Aromashodu's 150 receiving yards more than doubled his career total of 102 yards entering Monday night. 

24. (24) Buffalo Bills (5-10)

The Falcons scored more points in the third quarter on Sunday than the Bills have put up in the past two weeks combined.

25. (26) Seattle Seahawks (5-10)

The Seahawks have surrendered at least 30 points six times in their last 12 games.

26. (27) Cleveland Browns (4-11)

Only the Chargers and Eagles are hotter than the Browns


27. (30) Tampa Bay Bucs (3-12)

The Bucs' second straight win was the Saints' second consecutive loss. What's going on here?


28. (22) Oakland Raiders (5-10)

The Raiders have alternated wins and losses the past seven weeks.

29. (28) Kansas City Chiefs (3-12)

Matt Cassel has been one of the most disappointing players in the league this year, throwing eight interceptions with just three touchdowns in his past four games.

30. (29) Washington Redskins (4-11)

Following five solid performances, Washington has been absolutely terrible the past two weeks.

31. (31) St. Louis Rams (1-14)

The Rams only have 24 more points this season than Nate Kaeding.

32. (32) Detroit Lions (2-13)

The last time the Lions won a road game, Brian Griese was quarterbacking the opposition.

Follow me on Twitter at JordanHarrison.

Jordan Schwartz is Bleacher Report's New York Yankees Community Leader. His book  "Memoirs of the Unaccomplished Man" is available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and authorhouse.com.

Jordan can be reached at jordanschwartz2003@yahoo.com


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