2011 NFL Power Rankings – Week 17

NFL Power Rankings 2011 Pre 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Playoffs

Our rankings going into last week of the regular season:

Rank Team Comment
1 Green Bay Packers The Packers retain their #1 spot after dispatching the Culter-less Bears. They’re still the clear favorite in the NFC, especially with home field advantage.
2 New Orleans Saints Drew Brees and the Saints offense are fire. I would not want to come across them in the playoffs.
3 New England Patriots After falling behind 17-0 at halftime, the Patriots rallied for 27 points and a 27-24 victory over the Dolphins to clinch one of the AFC’s playoff byes. New England ends the season at home against the Bills with little left to play for unless they desire home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
4 San Francisco 49ers
5 Baltimore Ravens The Ravens took care of Cleveland on Christmas Eve, and if they can take care of the other Ohio team on Sunday, they’ll be at least the #2 seed in the AFC playoffs.
6 Pittsburgh Steelers The Steelers will need losses from the Patriots and Ravens, but the Steelers could potentially start the playoffs as high as the #1 seed. They could certainly use a week off.
7 Detroit Lions
8 Cincinnati Bengals If the Bengals can beat the Ravens on Sunday they’ll slide into the playoffs. If they lose, we’ll need a supercomputer to calculate the scenarios.
9 Atlanta Falcons
10 Houston Texans The Texans could have kept their hopes for a playoff bye alive with a win against the Colts, but Dan Orlovsky led Indianapolis back for a 19-16 victory. Houston ends the season hosting the Titans with a playoff berth clinched.
11 New York Giants The Giants have lost 5 of their last 7 games, but still find themselves in position to make the playoffs with a win against the Cowboys on Sunday Night Football.
12 Dallas Cowboys The Cowboys lost to the Eagles in a meaningless game on Sunday. Their main concern is the health of QB Tony Romo. The Sunday Night matchup against the Giants is essentially a playoff game.
13 Denver Broncos Tim Tebow threw four interceptions and the Broncos fell in Buffalo by a final score of 40-14 to hurt Denver’s chances at holding on to the AFC West. The Broncos host Kansas City next week hoping for a win–or a Raiders loss–to make the playoffs as AFC West Champions.
14 Philadelphia Eagles The Eagles have been officially eliminated from the playoffs, but it’s safe to say Andy Reid has not eliminated cookies from his diet.
15 New York Jets In the Battle of New York, the Jets came up small in a 29-14 loss. The Jets will need to win next week at Miami in order to put themselves in position for one of the last AFC playoff spots; even then, at least three teams will have to lose for New York to sneak in.
16 Tennessee Titans The Titans’ playoff hopes stay alive with a 23-17 victory over the Jaguars, spurred on by a 350-yard performance by Matt Hasselbeck. Tennessee ends the season at Houston needing a win and help to make the postseason.
16 Oakland Raiders An overtime field goal from Sebastien Janikowski ended in a 16-13 victory for the Raiders to keep Oakland’s hopes for the playoffs alive. If the Raiders can defeat the Chargers next week, the pieces may fall in place for an AFC West title or a Wild Card berth.
16 San Diego Chargers The Chargers needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive but were unable to compete on the road in Detroit, falling 38-10 to a playoff-bound Lions team. San Diego wraps up their season in Oakland hoping to spoil the Raiders’ playoff chances.
16 Seattle Seahawks
20 Chicago Bears
21 Arizona Cardinals
22 Carolina Panthers
23 Miami Dolphins Miami surged ahead to a 17-0 halftime lead in New England, but they fell apart in the second half on their way to a 27-24 loss to the Patriots. The Dolphins have a chance to spoil the Jets’ playoff hopes when they host New York in Week 17.
24 Buffalo Bills Though recent weeks have dimmed the warm feelings of earlier this season in Buffalo, the Bills held Tim Tebow in check in front of their home fans for a 40-14 win. Buffalo will try to earn a season sweep of the Patriots in New England next weekend.
25 Kansas City Chiefs Less than a week removed from spoiling the perfect run of the Packers, Kansas City’s playoff chances disappeared with a 16-13 overtime loss to Oakland. All the Chiefs will have is pride to play for when they take on the Broncos in Week 17.
26 Washington Redskins Despite injuries to star running back Adrian Peterson and starting quarterback Christian Ponder, the Redskins still managed to lose to the Vikings. A win against the Eagles this weekend might keep Redskins fans from putting “For Sale” signs in Mike Shanahan’s yard.
27 Minnesota Vikings
28 Jacksonville Jaguars Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for over 100 yards in a losing effort as the Jaguars fell to Tennessee, 23-17. Another rough season in Jacksonville will come to a close when the Jaguars host the Colts next Sunday.
29 Tampa Bay Bucs
30 Cleveland Browns Unless the Browns upset the Steelers this weekend, they’ll cap off yet another disappointing season with a 6-game losing streak.
31 Indianapolis Colts Dan Orlovsky led the Colts to a come-from-behind victory against the Texans to earn Indianapolis’ second win of the year and potentially complicate the #1 Draft Position in the 2012 NFL Draft. Indianapolis closes a disappointing season at Jacksonville in Week 17.
32 St. Louis Rams The Rams have been the worst team in the league the last few weeks. Even the Colts have managed to win a couple games.

Commentary breakdown: Alex (AFC North, NFC East), Brian (AFC East/South/West), Pat (NFC North/South/West).

Alex Chalupka - Originally from the Baltimore-Washington area, Alex is a huge Baltimore Ravens and Maryland Terrapins fan who currently resides in Little Rock, Arkansas. He’s also an Orioles fan and follows the NBA and other sports as objectively as possible. He enjoys writing about all sports and is the founder/editor of theSportsGeeks.com. - Follow him on Twitter here - Visit his personal website

Brian Parker - Born in Maine, a state with no professional sports team, Brian Parker is nonetheless a huge statistics nerd and fan of the NFL and NHL, with some passing interest in the MLB. Regional ties see him as a Patriots and Red Sox fan, though a childhood of watching Patrick Roy tend the net as a Montreal Canadien puts him on the opposite side of his fellow New Englanders for that NHL rivalry. Brian has both an M.A. and a B.A. in English with a concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Maine. - Follow him on Twitter here - Visit his personal website

Pat Lussenhop - Pat was born and raised in rural Minnesota and is currently living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He graduated from St. John's University (MN) with a degree in psychology and went on to get his masters in school psychology at the University of Northern Iowa. He's a lifetime sports fan and follows basketball and football the most. His favorite teams include any team that has "Minnesota" in it's name and he enjoys sports statistics and any good sporting debates. - Follow him on Twitter here

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