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Week 17 Power Rankings

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are back on top after a big Christmas W.

1 – Baltimore Ravens (2)

With their dominant win against the 49ers on Christmas Day, the Baltimore Ravens are back in the top spot of our weekly rankings heading into Week 17. Despite the injuries they’ve had this year, both sides of the ball continue to do their job for Baltimore and the team now has five wins in a row and the best record in the league. Brock Purdy had probably the worst game of his career against the Ravens defence on Monday while Lamar overtook him as the MVP favourite. Things are buzzing in Baltimore right now.  

2 – San Francisco 49ers (1)

Despite the loss to the aforementioned Ravens, San Francisco is still a very good bet to go the distance in the NFC. They’re still the conference’s top seed, but now, the Eagles and Lions both have the same record. If you’re a 49er fan, you have to hope that Monday’s game was just a bad day at the office for Brock Purdy. His four interceptions were ugly, but this team should be fine if he can bounce back. In Week 17, San Francisco is slated to play the Commanders in a game that should be a great opportunity to get right before closing out the season against Los Angeles. They’ll most likely have to win both to keep their position at the top of the conference. 

3 – Miami Dolphins (4)

It wasn’t a pretty win, but Miami finally beat a good team on Sunday. The offence scored only one touchdown, but the five field goals and 22 points were just enough to escape past the visiting Dallas Cowboys. Despite getting the job done, it’s still tough to know exactly how good this team is. Dallas is below .500 on the road, and with the offence struggling to finish drives, the questions surrounding Miami are still there. For now, though, you have to give this team some credit. If they can back this win up with another in Baltimore in Week 17, we’ll have no choice but to take them very seriously as they head into playoffs.  

4 – Detroit Lions (3)

In classic fashion, the Lions won a tight, high-scoring affair in Minnesota on Sunday. Jared Goff and the offence looked great as they scored 30 points, while the defence did not, allowing Minnesota to score 24 despite intercepting Nick Mullens four times. The picks look great on the stat sheet, but better quarterbacks will not be coughing the ball up that often and the fact that the game was still close is concerning. However, the Lions are division champions for the first time in thirty years, and a win is a win. They’ve also still got a shot at the conference’s top seed, and they’ve got an offence that can make any game interesting. For the first time in a very long time, Lions fans are excited about the postseason – and they should be. 

5 – Buffalo Bills (5)

At times, it looked like the Bills were trying to lose against the Chargers on Saturday, but they found a way to win once again. James Cook wasn’t great after his career game the week before, Stefon Diggs was left out of the game plan and Josh Allen completed just 15 passes, but somehow, Buffalo escaped the 5-10 Chargers with their third straight win. The Bills are still scary because as everyone knows, when they have their best stuff, they can play with any team in the league. The defence is injured and Josh Allen has had his struggles, but once you make the postseason, anything can happen. In Week 17, they’ve got a great chance to get some momentum back as they host the 4-11 New England Patriots. 

6 – Dallas Cowboys (6)

The Cowboys are simply a different team on the road and if they don’t take the top seed in their division, they’ll have a tough path in the postseason. Tony Pollard has proven this year that he may not be the running back everyone though he was when Ezekiel Elliot was also still with the team, and it’s hurting Dallas right now. Dak has shined this season, but with everything on the line and a running game that can’t be depended on, it’s going to be tough for him to lead this team to victory. With their loss to the Dolphins, Dallas is now 3-5 away from home this season. 

However, if they can catch Philly and get home field advantage for at least a game in the playoffs, they’ll be right back in all the conversations. Week 17 marks their last home tilt of the regular season, and it should be a great one against Detroit.  

7 – Philadelphia Eagles (8)

Philly got the job done on Christmas Day, but it wasn’t the dominant home win they were probably hoping for against a weak New York Giants team. It’s hard to write this team off with their experience and level of talent on the roster, but it’s clear that this year’s version of the Eagles isn’t the same as last season’s. Jalen Hurts has turned the ball over at least once in five of his last six games and thrown the ball for 200 yards or less in four of those contests. With an aging secondary hurting them in the pass game, the offence has to be better if the Eagles want a real shot at getting back to the big game. 

8 – Cleveland Browns (9)

Somehow, Joe Flacco is all the way back! Cleveland’s new quarterback has been incredible for them in these past few weeks and Sunday’s game was no exception. He threw for 368 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon, and at this point, it seems like Kevin Stefanski is totally fine with letting him throw the ball a LOT. Amari Cooper was once again his target of choice against the Texans, and the wideout had himself a career day, grabbing eleven balls for 265 yards and two scores. Now, the Browns are 10-5 and in possession of the first wild card spot in the AFC. If they get the job done in Week 17 against the Jets, they’ll have clinched a playoff berth. 

9 – Kansas City Chiefs (7)

Here’s another team that just can’t seem to figure things out right now. Patrick Mahomes had never lost an AFC West Divisional game before Monday’s tilt against the Raiders, but that streak is officially over. Aiden O’Connell didn’t even complete a pass after the first quarter, but the Las Vegas defence and ground game dominated all afternoon and did enough to win the game anyways. If Mahomes can’t get on the same page as his receivers, we could be seeing the earliest exit from the postseason of his career. Like the Eagles, it’s tough to bet against last year’s champs, but the way they’re playing right now, betting with them isn’t easy either.  

10 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (n/a)

Baker Mayfield and the Bucs have quietly been one of the bigger surprises of the season and now have sole possession of the NFC South heading into Week 17. Only a month ago, they were 4-7. In this four-game win streak, Baker has been fantastic, throwing nine touchdowns and just one interception. Rachaad White has also been a big piece for the offence, scoring in every game and getting no fewer than 23 touches. They clearly don’t have the roster to hang with the big dogs in the NFC, but give an NFL team a home playoff game against anyone and you should see a good battle. 

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