Week 17 NFL Power Rankings: Playoff Implicatio​ns on the Line

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Drew Brees (pictured above) made history on Monday Night. Can he lead New Orleans to another Super Bowl?

By Wesley Kaminsky

Just as it is every year, Week 17 will be defined by playoff implications and high stake games. The NFC East is on the line Sunday Night in the Big Apple when the Cowboys and Giants go to war.

In the AFC, Kyle Orton returns to Denver with a chance to knock Tim Tebow out of the playoffs. Do you think Orton wants to win this game? After being run out of Denver, Orton now has a chance to prove himself to Broncos ownership and exact revenge on the franchise that showed him the door.

Get your popcorn ready, it’s going to be a hell of a week.

1. Green Bay Packers (1, won 35-21): 14-1. The NFC playoffs will go through Green Bay and that doesn’t bode well for the rest of the NFC. (Next game: vs. Detroit)

2. New Orleans Saints (2, won 45-16): 12-3. Drew Brees’ amazing season got even better on Monday Night when he broke Dan Marino’s single season passing yard mark. (Next game: vs. Carolina)

3. New England Patriots (3, won 27-24): 12-3. Tom Brady hasn’t won a playoff game since their Super Bowl loss against the Giants back in the 2007 season. Will that streak end this year? (Next game: vs. Buffalo)

4. San Francisco 49ers (4, won 19-17): 12-3. Another sign that this team is for real: They beat a red-hot Seahawks team on the road in a potential trap game. (Next game: at St. Louis)

5. Baltimore Ravens (5, won 20-14): 11-4. The Ravens can clinch the AFC North with a win in Cincinnati on Sunday. A loss and they are likely headed towards a wild card spot. (Next game: at Cincinnati)

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (6, won 27-0): 11-4. As long as Ben Roethlisberger is healthy for the playoffs, the Steelers will have a great chance to get back to the Super Bowl. (Next game: at Cleveland)

7. Detroit Lions (9, won 38-10): 10-5. With that win, the Lions are headed to the playoffs for the first time in over a decade (1999). They will be dangerous in the playoffs. (Next game: at Green Bay)

8. Houston Texans (7, lost 19-16): 10-5. The Texans are struggling down the stretch and look like they will be one and done playoff team. (Next game: vs. Tennessee)

9. Atlanta Falcons (8, lost 45-16): 9-6. That was the Falcons chance to prove they can be a dangerous team come playoff time and they failed miserably. (Next game: vs. Tampa Bay)

10. Cincinnati Bengals (12, won 23-16): 9-6. For the Bengals it’s simple: A win and they are in the playoffs. (Next game: vs. Baltimore)

11. Dallas Cowboys (10, lost 20-7): 8-7. Sunday night in New York might just define Tony Romo’s career. No pressure. (Next game: at NYG on SNF)

12. New York Giants (13, won 29-14): 8-7. They kept their season alive against the Jets and next they go for the knockout punch against the Cowboys. (Next game: vs. Dallas on SNF)

13. Denver Broncos (11, lost 40-14): 8-7. Even after back to back blow-out losses, Tim Tebow and the Broncos control their own fate with a chance to win the division against Kyle Orton and the Chiefs on Sunday. (Next game: vs. Kansas City)

14. Oakland Raiders (19, won 16-13): 8-7. They saved their season with a comeback win over the Chiefs and now need to beat the Chargers and have the Broncos lose to get into the playoffs. (Next game: vs. San Diego)

15. Philadelphia Eagles (18, won 20-7): 7-8. The Eagles are peaking at the wrong time. It’s too little, too late. (Next game: vs. Washington)

16. New York Jets (14, lost 29-14): 8-7. Jets fans are growing more and more tired of Mark Sanchez and now they need help to get into the playoffs. (Next game: at Miami)

17. Tennessee Titans (20, won 23-17): 8-7. Believe it or not, the Titans are still alive in the playoff race. Go figure. (Next game: at Houston)

18. Seattle Seahawks (16, lost 19-17): 7-8. The Seahawks were in prime position to upset the 49ers until Tarvaris Jackson’s costly fumble. (Next game: at Arizona)

19. Arizona Cardinals (17, lost 23-16): 7-8. Had Early Doucet not slipped on that fourth down play, the Cardinals could have shocked the Bengals in Cincinnati. (Next game: vs. Seattle)

20. San Diego Chargers (15, lost 38-10): 7-8. Sunday’s blowout loss in Detroit may have sealed Norv Turner’s long overdue firing. This team has underachieved far too long. (Next game: at Oakland)

21. Carolina Panthers (22, won 48-16): 6-9. Cam Newton may have won himself the Rookie of the Year Award with his outstanding performance against the Buccaneers. (Next game: at New Orleans)

22. Miami Dolphins (23, lost 27-24): 5-10. The Dolphins would love nothing more than to end the Jets season on Sunday. (Next game: vs. NYJ)

23. Chicago Bears (21, lost 35-21): 7-8. You can only imagine what could have been if this Bears team had not been bitten by the injury bug. (Next game: at Minnesota)

24. Buffalo Bills (26, won 40-14): 6-9. The Bills snapped their seven game losing streak in a big way, causing four Tim Tebow interceptions in the process. (Next game: at New England)

25. Kansas City Chiefs (24, lost 16-13): 6-9. Kyle Orton has a chance to knock Tim Tebow out of the playoffs on Sunday. That’s drama. (Next game: at Denver)

26. Washington Redskins (25, lost 33-26): 5-10. Redskins fans, how does Peyton Manning to Washington sound? (Next game: at Philadelphia)

27. Cleveland Browns (27, lost 20-14): 4-11. The Browns offense needs some weapons in 2012. It’s that simple. (Next game: vs. Pittsburgh)

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (28, lost 23-17): 4-11. The Blaine Gabbert experiment didn’t work out this season and the Jaguars would be foolish not to take a quarterback with their first pick. (Next game: vs. Indianapolis)

29. Minnesota Vikings (30, won 33-26): 3-12. Will the Vikings head into 2012 with Christian Ponder as their starting quarterback? He gets my vote. (Next game: vs. Chicago)

30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (29, lost 48-16): 4-11. The Buccaneers have quit on their coach and are on pace to lose 10 straight games after starting 4-2. Way to go. (Next game: at Atlanta)

31. St. Louis Rams (31, lost 27-0): 2-13. The Rams need to make some sort of splash this off-season. It will start with the likely firing of Steve Spagnuolo. (Next game: vs. San Francisco)

32. Indianapolis Colts (32, won 19-16): 2-13. Dan Orlovsky channeled his inner Tim Tebow during that final drive against the Texans, leading the Colts to their second straight victory. (Next game: at Jacksonville)

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.


6 responses to “Week 17 NFL Power Rankings: Playoff Implicatio​ns on the Line

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