March 5, 2021

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NFL Power Rankings for Week 17: A lot can change

4 min read
NFL Power Rankings for Week 17: A lot can change


Seven spots remain available in the NFL’s expanded 14-team postseason field entering the final Sunday of the season, including one division title in each conference.

The top six teams are unchanged in The Post’s weekly NFL Power Rankings, but there still could be some jockeying entering Week 17 with so many playoff positions and seeds to be determined.

1. Kansas City Chiefs, 14-1 (Last week: 1)

The road to the Super Bowl in the AFC goes through K.C., as the defending champions have locked up the top seed and its corresponding first-round bye. Patrick Mahomes and the No. 1-ranked offense in the league (425.7 yards per game) posted a season-low 17 points in Sunday’s win vs. Atlanta. Next: Sunday vs. L.A. Chargers

2. Green Bay Packers, 12-3 (2)

The Packers’ blowout win Sunday night over Tennessee didn’t sew up the NFC bye; they still need a Week 17 win or a loss by Seattle to seal home-field advantage in the playoffs. Has Aaron Rodgers done enough (44 TDs, five INTs) to win his third career league MVP award? Next: Sunday at Chicago

3. Buffalo Bills, 12-3 (3)

Josh Allen and the Bills put an exclamation point on their already-clinched first AFC East title since 1995 by pasting their longtime divisional tormentors — Bill Belichick and New England — on Monday night. Buffalo holds the tiebreaker over Pittsburgh, so it can earn the coveted No. 2 seed (thus, avoiding the Chiefs until the AFC Championship game) with a Week 17 win or a Steelers loss. Next: Sunday vs. Miami

4. Seattle Seahawks, 11-4 (4)

The Seahawks are NFC West champs for the first time since 2016 — and for the fifth time in Pete Carroll’s 11 years as their head coach. They still need a win this week and losses by the Packers and the Saints to grab the No. 1 seed in the NFC. Next: Sunday at San Francisco

Russell Wilson
Russell Wilson
AP

5. Pittsburgh Steelers, 12-3 (5)

Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers halted their three-game skid with a stirring second-half comeback over Indianapolis to don their first AFC North crown since 2017. They likely will be the No. 3 seed in the AFC, but would move up a notch with a win and a Buffalo loss. Next: Sunday at Cleveland

6. New Orleans Saints, 11-4 (6)

Drew Brees and the NFC South winners (four straight seasons) still have a shot to jump the Packers for the NFC’s top seed, needing a win over the Panthers, plus a Seahawks win and a Green Bay loss to take a three-way tiebreaker. Next: Sunday at Carolina

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 10-5 (10)

Bruce Arians doesn’t plan to rest Tom Brady or other starters this week despite a clinched wild-card berth. One more win would seal the No. 5 seed in the NFC, meaning the Bucs would play the winner of the NFC East — hence, a team with a losing record — in the first round of the playoffs. Next: Sunday vs. Atlanta

8. Baltimore Ravens, 10-5 (11)

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are peaking at the right time, securing their fourth straight win Sunday over the Giants to put themselves in a win-and-in situation in Week 17. They also would make the playoffs for the third straight year if either the Browns or the Colts lose this week. Next: Sunday at Cincinnati

9. Tennessee Titans, 10-5 (8)

The Titans looked like they wanted no part of snowy Lambeau Field on Sunday night, but they still can clinch their first AFC South title since 2008 with a win or a Colts loss — or a wild card with a loss by the Ravens or Dolphins. Next: Sunday at Houston

Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson
Getty Images

10. Cleveland Browns, 10-5 (7)

A COVID-depleted loss to a one-win Jets team was fitting for the Browns, jeopardizing their potential first playoff berth since 2002. Cleveland still can clinch a spot with a win over the Steelers or an unlikely Colts loss to dead-last Jacksonville. Another clinching scenario for the Browns is a Titans loss with wins by the Ravens, Colts and Dolphins. Next: Sunday vs. Pittsburgh

11. Miami Dolphins, 10-5 (13)

12. Indianapolis Colts, 10-5 (9)

13. Los Angeles Rams, 9-6 (12)

14. Chicago Bears, 8-7 (16)

15. Arizona Cardinals, 8-7 (14)

16. Las Vegas Raiders, 7-8 (15)

17. Washington Football Team, 6-9 (17)

18. Minnesota Vikings, 6-9 (18)

19. Dallas Cowboys, 6-9 (21)

20. Los Angeles Chargers, 6-9 (25)

21. New England Patriots, 6-9 (19)

22. Giants, 5-10 (20)

As poorly as they’ve played the past three weeks, the Giants miraculously have a chance to host a home playoff game as NFC East champions with a win over the Cowboys and a loss by Washington. Stranger things have happened, but not many. Next: Sunday vs. Dallas

23. San Francisco 49ers, 5-10 (22)

24. Detroit Lions, 5-10 (23)

25. Denver Broncs, 5-10 (24)

26. Carolina Panthers, 5-10 (29)

27. Philadelphia Eagles, 4-10-1 (26)

28. Cincinnati Bengals, 4-10-1 (30)

29. Atlanta Falcons, 4-11 (27)

30. Houston Texans, 4-11 (28)

31. Jets, 2-13 (31)

Win or lose this week, the Jets are locked in as the No. 2-overall pick in the 2021 draft. They may as well try to add to the misery of Belichick’s first losing season since his initial year with the Patriots (5-11 in 2000). Next: Sunday at New England

32. Jacksonville Jaguars, 1-14 (32)

https://nypost.com/2020/12/29/nfl-power-rankings-for-week-17-a-lot-can-change/