2020 Week 17 Power Rankings

Well we are going into the final week of the regular season and it has come around far too quickly. In a year where everything that could possibly go wrong seemed to, the NFL provided a moment of relief for every fan around the world on a Thursday and a Sunday Night. Week 16 said goodbye to the following teams:

Minnesota Vikings

Philadelphia Eagles

Las Vegas Raiders

Las Vegas lost a tight one to the Dolphins in a huge game with playoff implications, the Vikings got blown away by the Alvin Kamara led Saints and the Eagles lost a big divisional battle against the Cowboys to finally rule an NFC East team out of contention. After all that let’s dive into who still has a shot.

18. New York Giants - 5-10

The fate of the Giants is now out of their hands. After a crushing defeat to the Baltimore Ravens the Giants now need to hope that Washington loses in Week 17 and they can find a way to beat the Dallas Cowboys. A usually stout defense in big blue had no answers for the Baltimore run game as they watched numerous players rack up rushing yards. Week 17 will be a busy week for Joe Judge and his Giants as they try and work out a plan to get into the playoffs.

17. Dallas Cowboys - 6-9

Credit: Dallas News

Andy Dalton has the Dallas offense cooking as he threw the ball all over the field against the Philadelphia Eagles. 377 yards and three touchdowns in a big game for Dalton where he showed that he can still get the best out his receivers. Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup combined for 242 yards and two scores as they feasted on the Eagles secondary. Even Ezekiel Elliott got in on the action with 105 rushing yards. 

Dallas can still win the division but they need to win in Week 17 and hope Washington slips up against the Eagles. Regardless, whoever wins this division will struggle to do anything in the playoffs.

16. Washington Football Team - 6-8

This team looks different with Dwayne Haskins at the helm, and by different I mean rubbish. He is inconsistent and looks terrible when pressured. He turned the ball over two times in the first half and Carolina took full advantage. If Washington had won then they would be in the playoffs, instead they find themselves needing to win in Week 17 to make sure they get there. Turns out Ron Rivera and his braintrust agree – Haskins’ time in DC is up after he was released earlier this week.

A division where the team that wins will have a sub 500 record isn’t exactly a great feat but still it’s a division win and more importantly Washington still controls their fate.

15. Cleveland Browns - 10-5

In the worst possible outcome for the Browns they managed to lose to the New York Jets in a game where a win could have given them a shot at the AFC North crown. Not helped by the fact that COVID struck the Browns wide receiver corps and forced them to pull two players from the practice squad, the Browns still should have won this game. Baker Mayfield fumbled the ball three times and literally handed the Jets their second win of the season. 

Cleveland are still in a wildcard spot but need to win in Week 17 to make sure they make it to the playoffs after such a promising season.

14. Arizona Cardinals - 8-7

Arizona surrendered their own fate to the Chicago Bears after a loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Boxing Day. Arizona couldn’t stop Jeffrey Wilson as he ran all over their defense to the tune of 183 yards. Other than one big completion to Christian Kirk, Kyler Murray couldnt link up with his receivers and the Cardinals run game was outclassed by Wilson on the other side of the ball. Murray was held in check for the majority of the game as the Cardinals now need to hope that things fall their way in Week 17.

13. Chicago Bears - 8-7

Week 17 Power Rankings
Credit: Stacy Revere (Getty Images)

A season of ups and downs for the Chicago Bears now has the chance to continue into the postseason. After starting 5-1 the Bears looked destined for January football and then a six game losing streak seemed to end all hopes. Mitchell Trubiskys has revived this offense and now the Bears can control their own fate with a win in Week 17. The only obstacle however is the dominant Green Bay Packers. Not an easy task but who knows what could happen in the final week of the season.

12. Indianapolis Colts - 10-5

A game of two halves for the Colts in Pittsburgh. Going up against an underperforming Steelers team the Colts had a chance to take a huge step towards the playoffs. Finding themselves up 24-7 at the half the Colts were cruising towards a win. Unfortunately a rejuvenated Steelers team came out in the second half and stifled the Colts. The last seven offensive possessions for Indianapolis went punt, field goal, punt, punt, punt, interception and turnover on downs. The Colts now have to hope things go their way in Week 17.

11. Los Angeles Rams - 9-6

Jared Goff was pressured all day and he did not handle it well. Poor decisions and a horrific interception in the first half had the quarterback looking uncomfortable all day. A huge game in Week 17 against the Arizona Cardinals has the Rams playing for their playoff hopes. In Week 16 they still could have won the division and now in Week 17 they could find themselves done for the year. A huge game against the Cardinals awaits.

10. Miami Dolphins - 10-5

Once again we were treated to the delights of Ryan Fitzpatrick as he came into the game late on. Tua Tagovailoa couldn’t get the job done and the reigns were handed over again to Fitzmagic. He came in and with 19 seconds left to play he completed the best no look pass ever. Having his facemask pulled back and looking at his own end zone he somehow managed to find Mack Hollins for 34 yards. With the ensuing penalty the Dolphins were in field goal range and Jason Sanders ruined the Raiders chances of the playoffs. 

Miami are still alive with a big game against the Bills in Week 17.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers -10-5

A game against the Detroit Lions, who were missing the majority of their coaching staff, is not the best game to judge the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That being said they did look good. Tom Brady found his receivers at will as he rolled back the years in a fantastic performance. The Buccaneers are rolling at just the right point and should be feared come the playoffs.

8. Tennessee Titans - 10-5

Week 17 Power Rankings
Credit: Ben Margot (Associated Press)

Tennessee lost in an embarrassing manner to the Packers but they are still in control of their own destiny. A win in Week 17 against the Houston Texans will see the Titans make it to the playoffs where who knows what damage Derrick Henry can pose. After a under productive Week 16 game this Titans offense will be looking to bounce back in a big way and luckily for them they go up against one of the worst rush defenses in the league. Big Week 17 matchup incoming.

7. Baltimore Ravens - 10-5

Baltimore’s run game was on fine form against the Giants on Sunday as they had three players surpass the 75 yard mark. Lamar Jackson, JK Dobbins and Gus Edwards all ran riot as the Ravens finished with 249 rush yards. It is the 38th straight game that BAltimore has rushed for over 100 yards. Baltimore now just has to beat the surging Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17 and they will have punched their ticket to the postseason. 

6. Pittsburgh Steelers - 12-3

Are the Steelers back? Pittsburgh came out in the second half and looked like a completely new team. Still the lack of a running game is a big concern but with Ben Roethlisberger drawing up plays in the dirt and tossing the ball about this team still has a chance at the Super Bowl. A defense like Pittsburghs is rare and could lead them all the way. TJ Watt is the DPOY in waiting and furthered his cause with a further two sacks and pressure on Phillip Rivers all day. Back to being Kings of the North after securing the AFC North crown has the Steelers looking slightly more ready for the playoffs.

5. Seattle Seahawks - 11-4

Years of finishing in second place is finally over for the Seahawks as they clinched the NFC West division. The Seattle Seahawks rallied past the Rams and they did it on the back of their defense. After winning early in the season by outsourcing teams the Seahawks have finally found a defense and the ability to slow teams down. That mixed in with a dangerous offense that can turn it on at any point is a favourable recipe for the postseason.

4. New Orleans Saints - 11-4

Week 17 Power Rankings
Credit: Brett Duke (Associated Press)

Who cares if Drew Brees can throw the deep ball or if Taysom Hill should be the starting quarterback the New Orleans Saints have Alvin Kamara. Kamara ran a mock against the Vikings with six touchdowns and 155 rushing yards. New Orleans secured the NFC South title for the fourth straight year as their dominance keeps going. Drew Brees isn’t the same quarterback he used to be but he is still an excellent game manager and can lead this team all the way.

3. Buffalo Bills - 12-3

AFC East champions the Buffalo Bills completed the season sweep of their rivals the New England Patriots. A season to remember in Buffalo that could get so much better come January and February. This team is capable of beating the Chiefs and will be hoping for a shot at them. With Josh Allen slinging the ball around and a defense that is stepping up the Bills are getting ready for the playoffs at just the right time.

2. Green Bay Packers - 12-3

Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adamas are tearing up the league. Both had huge games as the Packers ruined the Titans Week 16. Rodgers finished with 231 yards, four touchdowns and only had four incompletions. Davante Adams had three touchdowns and racked up 142 yards. On top of that the Packers rushed in two more scores and held the Titans to a measly 14 points. 

Aaron Rodgers is primed for the MVP award, Adams is primed for the Offensive Player of the Year award and the Green Bay Packers are primed for the number one seed in the NFC.

1. Kansas City Chiefs - 14-1

Kansas City struggled against the Falcons but at the end of the day they find themselves with a first round bye going into the playoffs. Kansas City have struggled to put teams away this year but they have still put up 14 wins in yet another dominant season. Back to back Super Bowls is the plan for the Chiefs and despite the close games it doesn’t look like anyone can stop them.

MArk Ross

NFL Analyst