Wednesday, December 26, 2012
2012 NFL Power Rankings: Week 17
2- Atlanta Falcons - 13-2 (+4) - The Falcons have been an iffy team all year, but they've turned it on at just the right time. The NFC playoffs will be extremely competitive this year and the Falcons should feel fortunate that they have to go through Atlanta.
3- Green Bay Packers - 11-4 (+3) - It's true that the Titans aren't much competition, but still a 50+ point game is a message to the league to not overlook the Packers in the playoffs, which is something many have been doing recently. A win gives them a first round bye, but they will have to go through a record-seeking Adrian Peterson to do so.
4- Seattle Seahawks - 10-5 (+3) - If you weren't convinced about the Seahawks contending yet, then that blowout of the Niners should've been enough. Now the disadvantage they will have is that despite being the best team in the NFC West, they won't get to take the 12th man into the playoffs with them. All the Niners need to do is beat the lowly Cardinals to win the division. While undefeated at home, the Seahawks are only 3-5 on the road.
5- New England Patriots - 11-4 (-1) - It's not a good time of the year for the Patriots to be slipping as they followed up a Niners loss by nearly losing to the now 2-13 Jaguars. If they get a little help from either the Colts or Chiefs they have a chance at a first round bye. They own tiebreakers over both the Broncos and Texans.
6- San Francisco 49ers - 10-4-1 (-4) - I finally gave the Niners some love last week for the first time in several weeks and what do they do? Get themselves pummeled by the Seahawks. Lucky for them they just have to beat the Cardinals in order for them to win the division. Unlucky for them is that I still think them going with Kaepernick at quarterback is going to cost them their season early on in the playoffs.
7- Houston Texans - 12-3 (-4) - Winning the Super Bowl in the NFL is all about having positive momentum going into the playoffs and the Texans are going the complete wrong way. They need to win this week at the Colts and they will barely sneak away with the homefield advantage. Then they have a week off to get back on track.
8- Washington Redskins - 9-6 (+0) - They almost let that game against the Eagles get away from them on Sunday. Now its time to see how magical they really are on Sunday as the Cowboys come to town for a winner takes all in the NFC East while the loser will be watching the playoffs on their coaches.
9- Baltimore Ravens - 10-5 (+2) - That statement win against the Giants was timed quite nicely for the Ravens. I'd say this final game against the Bengals is useless because the Ravens are pretty much locked into the 4 seed, but they need it to keep their momentum going. They can't afford going into the playoffs having lost 4 of 5.
10- Indianapolis Colts - 10-5 (+0) - The Colts have officially pulled off an outstanding feat. Who would've thought these Colts, fresh off the top pick in the draft, would be in the playoffs with double digit wins? They may be a quick exit in the playoffs, but they have a lot of hope with Andrew Luck as their quarterback.
11- Minnesota Vikings - 9-6 (+3) - I keep counting the Vikings out, but now they completely control their own destiny. With them owning the tiebreaker over the Bears, the goal is simple on Sunday. Beat the Packers and they are in. And you know you have a great running back when 85 yards is considered a bad week. AP certainly has my vote for MVP if the Vikings pull this off.
12- Cincinnati Bengals - 9-6 (+1) - The Bengals did. They held of the Steelers and claimed a spot in the playoffs. They are now locked in at the 6 seed, so it will be interesting to see what they do when the Ravens come to town on Sunday.
13- Dallas Cowboys - 8-7 (-4) - Maybe dropping the Cowboys four spots was a little harsh after a useless loss against the Saints. I say useless because how things shaped out, this week whoever wins the Cowboys vs Redskins game will take the division. Can Tony Romo lead this team to the playoffs or is he going to be Tony Choko again?
14- Chicago Bears - 9-6 (-1) - Despite how much Bears nation like Brandon Marshall hate the Packers, Bears fans need to be Packers fans this weekend because if the Vikings win, its all over. But a Packers win followed by a Bears win in Detroit sneaks them into the playoffs, which would be a miracle considering how these last two months have gone. Remember that these Bears were once 7-1?
15- New York Giants - 8-7 (-3) - The Giants have been in this situation before, they all say. They'll make it through again. Yes, I believed that too. I kept waiting for that end of the season switch to turn on, but it never did. Now in order for them to get the mere 6th seed, they need the Packers to beat the Vikings, the Lions to beat the Bears, the Redskins to beat the Cowboys, and they need to beat the Eagles. Chances of all that happening? Pretty slim.
16- St. Louis Rams - 7-7-1 (-1) - It's been a good year for the Rams. To end the season, they would like nothing more than to beat the Seahawks in Seattle, ending their perfect home record. Before you count the Rams out, remember that they are still undefeated in the NFC West this season.
17- New Orleans Saints - 7-8 (+1) - These last two weeks have been impressive for the Saints. If they beat the Panthers, they wind up at .500, which is pretty good considering all they have been through.
18- Pittsburgh Steelers - 7-8 (-2) - Big Ben can blame Todd Haley or anyone else on the Pittsburgh team all he wants, but when push comes to shove, its his own fault that he'll be watching the playoffs from his couch this season. Two bad passes led to two interceptions which led to two losses in the last two weeks that led to the Steelers being eliminated.
19- Miami Dolphins - 7-8 (+0) - This Dolphins team has a lot of work to do in order to become playoff contenders, but if Tannehill improves on his rookie season and the Dolphins add more pieces around him, they could compete in the future.
20- Carolina Panthers - 6-9 (+1) - It's been impressive how the Panthers have clawed their way out of the basement of the league to looking semi respectable. Now they just need to build on this and win games at the start of the season next year and maybe they can make a playoff push.
21- San Diego Chargers - 6-9 (+1) - Rumors are already flying around about the next Chargers head coach. I hope they get a good one because its sad to see so much talent go to waste. The Chargers really have the potential to be a great team.
22- Cleveland Browns - 5-10 (-2) - No one really expected them to beat the Broncos this week, but doing so has earned them their 9th double-digit loss season in 10 years. I feel bad for this franchise.
23- Buffalo Bills - 5-10 (+0) - The Bills don't have as many double digit loss seasons as the previously mentioned Browns, but I do feel bad for them as well. They haven't made it into the playoffs once this millennium. 1999 was their last appearance.
24- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 6-9 (+0) - Remember when the Bucs were 6-4 and had a legit shot at the playoffs from how they were playing? Yeah, neither do I.
25- Tennessee Titans - 5-10 (+0) - Now that's a way to add insult to injury. I wonder how many Titans players were even trying during that barn-burner against the Packers.
26- New York Jets - 6-9 (+0) - You know the TV show Extreme Home Makeover? That is exactly what needs to happen in New York this offseason. Fire the head coach. Fire the GM. Dump Sanchez and Tebow. Then start over. New head coach. New GM. New quarterback. New crew of running backs and receivers. It'll take some time to clean up this mess, but it needs to happen.
27- Arizona Cardinals - 5-10 (+0) - After another disappointing season in Arizona, is it time to move on from Ken Wisenhunt? It seems that Kurt Warner was the only person that could remove the Arizona curse and now they need to find a way overcome it again.
28- Philadelphia Eagles - 4-11 (+0) - Only one more week and the Andy Reid era will officially be over. Michael Vick will be back for the Giants finale and claims this isn't an audition, which is probably a good mindset to have, but the reality is that it probably is. Unlike quarterbacks like Sanchez and Tebow, there will probably a good number of teams interested in his services, so he'd be best to perform well.
29- Detroit Lions - 4-11 (+0) - In light of a dismal season for the Lions at least they had one bright spot last week with Calvin Johnson breaking the single season receiving yards record. And now he has a shot at hitting the 2,000 receiving yards mark, which is totally insane. Too bad he's been the only Lion to show up this year.
30- Oakland Raiders - 4-11 (+0) - Hey there was a Matt Leinart sighting this past week! If you had no idea where he ended up, you now know that he is currently an Oakland Raider. It's difficult to pinpoint exactly what needs to happen to make this a good team. They're just another cursed franchise.
31- Jacksonville Jaguars - 2-13 (+0) - A near victory against the Patriots is a good way to end the season for the Jags. Now they get to take a trip to Tennessee to finish off this awful season. They should come out with a victory and end this season on a positive note.
32- Kansas City Chiefs - 2-13 (+0) - That fourth down play against the Colts really does show you why this team is going to wind up with the top pick in next year's draft. Jamaal Charles is having a heyday and you don't give him the ball at the most critical time of the game? Wow.