NFL Power Rankings for Week 17 (Dec 25, 2014)

marshawn-lynch-vs-cardinals1. New England Patriots (12-3); beat NY Jets 17-16, retains same ranking – New England squeaked by the lowly Jets to grab homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

2. Seattle Seahawks (11-4); beat Arizona 35-6, moves up one spot – Seattle closes the gap quite a bit on New England in the power rankings, thanks to a dismantling of their division rivals.

3. Green Bay Packers (11-4); beat Tampa Bay 20-3, moves up one spot – Aaron Rodgers is back after a dismal performance against the Bills. He threw for 318 yards and a touchdown in this one.

4. Denver Broncos (11-4); lost to Cincinnati 37-28, drops two spots – This was definitely not Peyton Manning’s day as he tossed four interceptions and ended with a 24.1 QBR – his second lowest in Denver.

5. Detroit Lions (11-4); beat Chicago 20-14, moves up two spots – Even though Matthew Stafford threw two red-zone picks, the Lions were able to pull out this victory.

tony-romo-cowboys6. Dallas Cowboys (11-4); beat Indianapolis 42-7, moves up two spots – Dallas is finally going to the postseason under Jason Garrett. And they’ll be a dangerous team with the league’s leading rusher, and Tony Romo boasting the league’s best QBR.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5); beat Kansas City 20-12, moves up three spots – The Steelers are already in the playoffs, and they can still win the AFC North by beating the Bengals at home.

8. Cincinnati Bengals (10-4-1); beat Denver 37-28, moves up three spots – Jeremy Hill has really established himself as one of the AFC’s best rushers, piling up 147 yards in this game – including 103 yards after contact.

9. Indianapolis Colts (10-5); lost to Dallas 42-7, drops four spots – Andrew Luck had a nightmare game, finishing with just 109 yards and a career-worst 11.2 QBR.

10. Arizona Cardinals (11-4); lost to Seattle 35-6, drops four spots – Arizona will be going to the postseason, but it doesn’t look very promising with Ryan Lindley at quarterback.

11. Philadelphia Eagles (9-6); lost to Washington 27-24, drops two spots – The Eagles had their least-disciplined game in a pivotal contest, committing 13 penalties, missing two field goals and dropping four passes.

philip-rivers12. San Diego Chargers (9-6); beat San Francisco 38-35, moves up three spots – Despite throwing two picks in the first half, Philip Rivers finished with an outstanding game, compiling 356 passing yards and four TD’s.

13. Baltimore Ravens (9-6); lost to Houston 25-13, drops one spot – Baltimore’s playoff chances took a hit after allowing a Case Keenum-led Houston team to dominate them.

14. Kansas City Chiefs (8-7); lost to Pittsburgh, drops one spot – Despite 311 passing yards from Alex Smith, the Chiefs still had difficulty finding the end zone. It didn’t help that Jamaal Charles gained just 29 rushing yards.

15. Buffalo Bills (8-7); lost to Oakland 26-24, drops one spot – Kyle Orton had a strong game with 329 passing yards and 3 TD’s, however, the defense couldn’t contain Derek Carr.

16. Miami Dolphins (8-7); beat Minnesota 37-35, moves up one spot – Ryan Tannehill is starting to establish himself as one of the league’s elite passers, finishing with 396 yards and 4 TD’s in this contest.

17. Houston Texans (8-7); beat Indianapolis 17-10, moves up one spot – The chants for J.J. Watt for MVP grow as the defensive end recorded his 54th sack, setting Houston’s franchise record.

18. San Francisco 49ers (7-8); lost to San Diego 38-35, drops two spots – Despite racking up over 300 rushing yards and controlling the ground, San Francisco somehow lost again.

19. Carolina Panthers (6-8-1); beat Cleveland 17-13, NR – Few people could have seen this one coming three weeks ago. Suddenly, Carolina is in a position to win their division and go to the playoffs.

20. Atlanta Falcons (6-9); beat New Orleans 30-14, NR – It wasn’t easy going into the Superdome and winning a contest to keep their division-crown hopes alive. But somehow, Atlanta made it look easy.