Tuesday, December 29, 2009

NFL Power Rankings: Week 17 edition


Even though the Colts and Saints both lost, I couldn’t move them out of their respective number one and two positions. Indy coach Jim Caldwell took his starters out in the third quarter. The Saints did look bad in an overtime loss to the lowly Bucs, but we’ve got to go on a whole body of work. Even though I think the Chargers and Eagles might be the two best teams right now, it’s hard to argue with what the Saints and Colts have done throughout 2009.

TOP TIER
1. Colts (14-1) [1]
2. Saints (13-2) [2]
3. Chargers (12-3) [3]
4. Eagles (11-4) [4]
5. Cardinals (10-5) [6]
6. Vikings (11-4) [5]
7. Patriots (10-5) [7]
8. Packers (10-5) [8]
9. Cowboys (10-5) [9]
10. Bengals (10-5) [10]
11. Steelers (8-7) [17]
12. Ravens (8-7) [11]
13. Texans (8-7) [19]
14. Jets (8-7) [20]
15. Broncos (8-7) [13]

The Vikings drop after a tough overtime loss to the Bears in Chicago. I don’t think it’s another December swoon for Brett Favre, just mistakes plaguing Minnesota. The one knock on Adrian Peterson is his likelihood to fumble and that was what hurt the Vikings last night... The Patriots are reverting into their old form and no one was asking if Randy Moss was dogging it this week... The Packers are another dangerous team to watch for as we head into the playoffs. It’s a surprise considering how bad they looked earlier in the year. Could we see a Green Bay-Minnesot playoff matchup?… The Bengals snuck out another win against a bad team, making me wonder how far they will be able to go in the tournament... The Steelers are right back in the hunt after a very bad stretch... The Jets got handed a victory thanks to Caldwell’s decision to go for a Super Bowl win and not a perfect season. If they win this Sunday night against the Bengals, who will probably rest their starters for a portion of the game as well, the Airplanes will be in the playoffs, a few weeks after their own coach thought they were out of it... We round out the Top Tier this week with the Broncos, who have completely fallen apart and might miss the playoffs after starting 6-0... All the teams will playoff potential are included in this week’s Top Tier.

SECOND TIER
16. Falcons (8-7) [14]
17. Titans (7-8) [15]
18. Panthers (7-8) [21]
19. Giants (8-7) [12]
20. Dolphins (7-8) [16]
21. Jaguars (7-8) [18]
22. 49ers (7-8) [22]
23. Bears (6-9) [25]
24. Raiders (5-10) [23]
25. Bills (5-10) [24]

The Falcons and Panthers are two teams that have warmed up as of late... Carolina is coming off two impressive wins, although the victory against the Giants looked more like a scrimmage... The Titans will now turn their attention to helping Chris Johnson pass the 2,000 yard rushing mark on the season. They’ve won seven of their last nine, but it’s hard to overcome a 0-6 start in the NFL... The Giants put on one of the most pitiful performances since Tom Green in Freddie Got Fingered. Their only two good wins on the season came against the Cowboys, while they beat the Falcons and a bunch of bottom-feeders for the other six. The defense is garbage and Brandon Jacobs has suddenly become one of the worst running backs in the NFL. As you can probably tell by my disdain, I’m a Giants fan... Speaking of teams that put on pathetic displays with their playoff lives on the line, the Jags and Dolphins did just the same as the Giants last week.

BOTTOM TIER
26. Browns (4-11) [27]
27. Seahawks (5-10) [26]
28. Buccaneers (3-12) [30]
29. Redskins (4-11) [28]
30. Chiefs (3-12) [29]
31. Lions (2-13) [31]
32. Rams (1-14) [32]

The Browns have incredibly won three in a row with lots of shakeups looming in the offseason. The latest rumors have Matt Hasselbeck coming to Cleveland to rejoin Mike Holmgren... The only problem with that is Matt Hasselbeck isn’t very good anymore. He tossed four picks in Sunday’s loss... The Bucs pulled out an overtime victory against the mighty Saints for what will be the highlight of their 2009 season. They seem to have something in rookie quarterback Josh Freeman. The only question is if Raheem Morris will be around next year to continue in his developmental process... The Redskins played like the Redskins Sunday night against the Cowboys. Jim Zorn’s final game as head coach of Washington will almost undoubtedly be this week.

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