NFL Week 17 Power Rankings

1. Denver Broncos (13-3)
1. Denver Broncos (13-3)
The record books say this is the best offense in NFL history. With Peyton Manning’s window of opportunity rapidly closing, anything less than a Super Bowl berth is a failure. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
2. Seattle Seahawks (13-3)
Russell Wilson is 15-1 at home – an amazing mark. But 17-1 would be preferable.
(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
3. Carolina Panthers (12-4)
3. Carolina Panthers (12-4)
At 1-3, the Panthers were left for dead; now they have a first-round bye. The offense isn’t sexy, but this team can play with anyone – and, more importantly, anywhere. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
4. New England Patriots (12-4)
4. New England Patriots (12-4)
Another 12-win season. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
5. San Francisco 49ers (12-4)
5. San Francisco 49ers (12-4)
Winners of six straight, the 49ers enter the playoffs as the hottest team in football. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
6. Cincinnati Bengals (11-5)
6. Cincinnati Bengals (11-5)
Andy Dalton has made the playoffs three times in three years. Now he just needs to win a postseason game – something the Bengals haven’t done since Dalton was 3. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
7. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
7. Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)
Sure, the NFC East was down this year, but a first-year coach winning 10 games with a “gimmick” offense qualifies as a success. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
8. New Orleans Saints (11-5)
8. New Orleans Saints (11-5)
A first-round bye and a home game would have meant the Saints were legitimate Super Bowl contenders. But the prospect of having to win three games on the road, where New Orleans was 3-5 this year, means an early playoff exit is likely. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
9. Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
9. Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
The Colts beat the Chiefs 23-7 in Kansas City in Week 16. Now they just need to do it again, this time in Indianapolis. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
10. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5)
10. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5)
The Chiefs stumbled down the stretch, losing five of their last seven: twice to Denver, twice to San Diego and once to Indianapolis – the team they’ll face this Sunday. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
11. San Diego Chargers (9-7)
11. San Diego Chargers (9-7)
The Chargers won five of their last six games, including a win at Denver and a sweep of the Chiefs. They earned it. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
12. Green Bay Packers (8-7-1)
12. Green Bay Packers (8-7-1)
Well, you can say this for Green Bay: No team in the NFC North wanted it more. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
13.  Arizona Cardinals (10-6)
13. Arizona Cardinals (10-6)
The only non-playoff team to win more than eight games, Arizona has nothing to be ashamed of. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)
Kudos to Pittsburgh for hanging around, but a 2-6 start was too much to overcome. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
15. Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
15. Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
Another 8-8 season. No matter how you slice it, this team is mediocre. Nothing more, nothing less. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
16. Baltimore Ravens (8-8)
16. Baltimore Ravens (8-8)
Last year, Joe Flacco showed that he can get hot; this year, he showed there’s no way he should be the AFC’s highest-paid player. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
17. Chicago Bears (8-8)
17. Chicago Bears (8-8)
Chicago needed to win one of its last two games and lost both. A healthy Jay Cutler for the entire season likely would have been the difference, but if you can’t win one of two games – especially one at home – you don’t deserve to be in the playoffs. It’s that simple. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
18. New York Jets (8-8)
18. New York Jets (8-8)
Few coaches were better this year than Rex Ryan, who won as many games as the defending Super Bowl champions. He deserves another shot. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
19. Miami Dolphins (8-8)
19. Miami Dolphins (8-8)
Definitely a step in the right direction for the Dolphins (aside from that whole Richie Incognito thing), but the goal next year has to be playoffs. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
20. St. Louis Rams (7-9)
20. St. Louis Rams (7-9)
When you play in the toughest division in football and lose your starting quarterback, 7-9 isn’t so bad. With wins over the Cardinals, Colts, Bears and Saints, there’s a lot to like here going forward. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
21. Detroit Lions (7-9)
21. Detroit Lions (7-9)
The Lions, who started 6-3, were easily one of the most underachieving teams in the league this year. They lost six of their last seven games, with the only win coming against the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers on Thanksgiving. Jim Schwartz had to go. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
22. New York Giants (7-9)
22. New York Giants (7-9)
The Giants went 7-3 in their final 10 games. Next year, they should probably think twice about starting 0-6. (Photo by Ron Antonelli/Getty Images)
23. Tennessee Titans (7-9)
23. Tennessee Titans (7-9)
The Titans have won between six and nine games in each of the last five seasons, so they know how to be mediocre; now they just need to get over the hump. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
24. Buffalo Bills (6-10)
24. Buffalo Bills (6-10)
The Bills were respectable at home (4-4), not so much on the road (2-6). The again, they beat Carolina and Baltimore and pushed New England and Cincinnati to the brink. Better pass offense (28th in football) and better rush defense (28th in football) would go a long way toward making the playoffs – something Buffalo hasn’t done this century. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
25. Minnesota Vikings (5-10-1)
25. Minnesota Vikings (5-10-1)
Minnesota was the only team in the league that failed to win a home game this year. Yes, the quarterback situation was a mess, but that’s inexcusable. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
26. Atlanta Falcons (4-12)
26. Atlanta Falcons (4-12)
It might be time for a new face under center. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12)
I’m no Greg Schiano fan, but if you’re not going to fire him after starting 0-8, why fire him after finishing 4-4? (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12)
28. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12)
If the Jaguars don’t draft a quarterback, there should probably be riots. Not really, but kind of. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
29. Cleveland Browns (4-12)
29. Cleveland Browns (4-12)
Once again, the Browns were competitive, and once again, they finished 4-12. Firing Rob Chudzinski, however, was a bad move. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
30. Oakland Raiders (4-12)
30. Oakland Raiders (4-12)
Five Raiders threw at least one pass this year, combining for 17 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
31. Washington Redskins (3-13)
31. Washington Redskins (3-13)
Mike Shanahan got his wish. So did RG3, who will enter 2014 completely healthy. Next year, no excuses. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
32. Houston Texans (2-14)
32. Houston Texans (2-14)
The wheels didn’t just fall off; the entire car fell apart. It’s time for a new quarterback. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
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