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NFL Power Rankings Week 17: Packers and Chiefs On Top, Chargers and Ravens Drop

For Week 17 of the NFL season, we take a look at the NFL power rankings heading into Sunday's action.
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NFL Power Rankings Week 17: Packers and Chiefs On Top, Chargers, and Ravens Drop

Whose stock is on the up and whose stock is down going into Week 17 of the NFL season? Find out as we rank all 32 teams on the heels of a fascinating Week 16 in the NFL that was both revealing and defining in the race to the playoffs.

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The Contenders

1. Green Bay Packers 12-3

2. Kansas City Chiefs 11-4

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 11-4

4. Tennessee Titans 10-5

5. Los Angeles Rams 11-4

6. Dallas Cowboys 11-4

7. Indianapolis Colts 9-6

8. Buffalo Bills 9-6

9. Cincinnati Bengals 9-6

10. Arizona Cardinals 10-5

The Green Bay Packers lead the league with a 12-3-0 record. They clinched a third-straight NFC North title after edging the Browns in a 24-22 win in Week 16. The Packers are a win away from potentially clinching the No.1 seed in the NFC for a second straight season – a feat that would underscore their favorable odds to win Super Bowl 56.

Multiple sports betting markets favor the Packers, along with the Kansas City Chiefs, as the top two bets in Super Bowl 56 futures. The Chiefs are in the same position as the Packers, with the No.1 seed in their sights.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the third-best bet to win Super Bowl 56, bounced back from a horrendous Week 15 loss to the New Orleans Saints with a 32-6 rout of the Carolina Panthers. Tampa Bay clinched the NFC South title in the process, winning the division for the first time since 2007.

The Los Angeles Rams moved to the top of the NFC West standings and clinched a spot in the playoffs behind a 30-23 win over the Minnesota Vikings. The Arizona Cardinals dropped into second place in the NFC West after suffering a third-straight loss in Week 16. The Cardinals lost 22-16 to the Colts. However, they too clinched a spot in the playoffs. Crucially, the Cardinals have the tiebreaker over the Rams and could still win the division crown if they win out.

The Tennessee Titans edged the Niners to stay ahead of the fast-advancing Indianapolis Colts in the race for the AFC South crown. The Dallas Cowboys decimated the Washington Football Team to clinch the NFC East crown. The Buffalo Bills moved ahead of the New England Patriots in the NFC East with a 33-21 win over Bill Belichick’s side at the Foxborough. Finally, the Cincinnati Bengals climbed to the top of a wide-open AFC North division with a 41-21 win over a banged=-up Baltimore Ravens.

The Playoff Hopefuls

11. New England Patriots 9-6-0

12. Los Angeles Chargers 8-7-0

13. San Francisco 49ers 8-7-0

14. Miami Dolphins 8-7-0

15. Philadelphia Eagles 8-7-0

The Patriots dropped to the sixth seed following their loss to the Bills, which marked their second straight loss in as many weeks. The NFC East crown is still in play, but the Patriots would need to win out and hope the Bills stumble in the last couple of rounds. The Miami Dolphins are current holders of the seventh seed in the AFC race, thanks to a seven-game winning streak that turned their season around in the second half. The Los Angeles Chargers were once inside the playoff frame, but a shocking 41-29 loss to the eliminated Houston Texans pushed them out of the frame and into ninth place in the AFC.

The San Francisco 49ers are currently sixth in the NFC standings, level on an 8-7-0 record with the seventh-placed Philadelphia Eagles. The pair face stiff competition from the Minnesota Vikings, Atlanta Falcons, and New Orleans Saints (all three tied on a 7-8-0 record) for the last two remaining spots in the NFC playoff frame.

The Pretenders

16. Minnesota Vikings 7-8-0

17. Las Vegas Raiders 8-7-0

18. Baltimore Ravens 8-7-0

19. Pittsburgh Steelers 7-7-1

20. Cleveland Browns 7-8-0

21. Atlanta Falcons 7-8-0

22. New Orleans Saints 7-8-0

23. Denver Broncos 7-8-0

24. Washington Football Team 6-9-0

Two spots are up for grabs in the NFC, and those that still have a mathematical shot of clinching are the Vikings, Falcons, Saints, and Washington Football Team. If one of these four is to make the cut, it would require the Niners and Eagles to stumble along the way. That’s not entirely improbable given Jimmy Garoppolo’s latest injury woes and the fact that Jalen Hurts and the Eagles are in unchartered territory.

The AFC playoff picture is entirely wide open. Only the Chiefs have assured a playoff spot, going into Week 17 after clinching the AFC West title. The remaining three divisions are wide-open. The AFC North has all four teams still in the race for the division crown, while the AFC East and the AFC South feature two-horse races for the division title.

The Eliminated

25. Chicago Bears 5-10-0

26. Houston Texans 4-11-0

27. Detroit Lions 2-12-1

28. New York Jets 4-11-0

29. Seattle Seahawks 5-10-0

30. Carolina Panthers 5-10-0

31. New York Giants 4-11-0

32. Jacksonville Jaguars 2-13-0

The Chicago Bears are coming off an impressive come-from-behind win over the Seattle Seahawks on the road in Week 16 while the Texans stunned the Chargers at home. The Jets are also coming off a 26-21 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, improving to a 4-11-0 record on the season. Finally, the Detroit Lions lost a narrow game to the Falcons 20-16 to slip to their 12th loss of the season. The Lions were one of the first teams to be eliminated, but Dan Campbell has his lot playing competitive and inspired football no matter the conditions or the odds.

That characteristic ranks the Lions above those other teams that have simply tapped out, and probably higher than most would have expected. Those that have tapped out (or seemingly so) are the Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, New York Giants, and Jacksonville Jaguars – all of which seem to have mentally checked out of the 2021 season.

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Nikki Adams is a freelance sports writer that’s honed in on the world of sports betting. She joined OddsChecker in 2021 after having covered a number of major American sports, including NFL and NCAAF, for several other publications in the industry. When she’s not looking for the best betting angles and writing engaging and insightful articles, she’s likely on a tennis court or binging on reality TV.

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