Week 16 of the 2018 NFL regular season schedule is in the books. Now it’s time to see where all 32 teams rank heading into Week 17. For reference purposes, here is a link to last week’s NFL Power Rankings.
BLG’S WEEK 17 NFL POWER RANKINGS
1 - New Orleans Saints (Last Week: 1) - The Saints have looked mortal recently but they still have the most wins of any team in the league. They’ll be tough to beat in the 2019 NFL playoffs after locking up home field advantage in the NFC. Unless they choke like they did last year.
2 - Chicago Bears (LW: 4) - Three straight wins for Chicago after escaping San Fran with a win. The Bears’ defense has allowed just 32 points in their last three games combined. Tough unit to crack.
3 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 5) - Well, the Rams got back on track with a comfortable win over the league’s worst team. We’ll soon see if their struggles are truly over.
4 - New England Patriots (LW: 8) - The Pats likely won’t get home field advantage but they’ll still probably have a first-round bye.
5 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 9) - There was temptation to put the Ravens even higher than this. They’re playing real tough down the stretch. The Ravens are 5-1 in their last six with the loss coming in overtime at Kansas City. They could make some noise in the playoffs.
6 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 10) - Every time I watch Russell Wilson play, I never understand how the Seahawks ever lose games. He often looks like the league’s most unguardable player. Also, Pete Carroll is still one the league’s best coaches.
7 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 7) - After starting out 1-5, the Fighting Frank Reichs find themselves in a “win-and-in” Week 17 scenario. Coach of the Year.
8 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 2) - You can just never truly trust this team to not choke at some point.
9 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 3) - Andy Reid’s team is just 2-3 in their last five games. One of those wins was a narrow overtime victory over Baltimore. Another was just a seven-point difference over Oakland. Missing Kareem Hunt hurts. And the defense is a problem.
10 - Houston Texans (LW: 6) - Deshaun Watson is legit. The Texans have some great talent on defense, too. Can you say they have great coaching? I don’t think so. Bill O’Brien was a big reason the Texans lost in Philly.
11 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 11) - The NFL’s strangest team has won four in a row in order to give themselves a chance at making the playoffs if they can just beat Indy.
12 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 15) - The Eagles are benefiting from that Nick Foles magic for the second season in a row. Philly could be the team no one wants to face in the playoffs if they manage to get in. Back-to-back wins over Los Angeles and Houston is legit.
13 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 13) - Minny struggled early in Detroit but ultimately came alive and won. The pressure is on Kirk Cousins, who just hasn’t been a big game quarterback in the NFL, to not choke the Vikings’ playoff hopes away.
14 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 14) - The Cowboys are the league’s worst division winner. Dallas ranks 14th in point differential and 21st in weighted DVOA. They’re much closer to being mediocre than actually good. Could be primed to be one-and-done in the playoffs.
Here is the point differential for the NFL’s current division leaders and champions:— Ed Werder (@EdwerderRFA) December 24, 2018
New Orleans +170
15 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 12) - Going 1-4 in their last five games has caused them to lose their AFC North lead. The Stillers very well may miss the postseason entirely.
16 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 16) - Three wins in a row! The Browns can finish the season above .500 with a victory in Baltimore on Sunday. It’d be their first winning season since ... 2007.
17 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 20) - The Packers won on Sunday but they’re still set to finish with back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since 1991.
18 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 21) - The Falcons are 6-9 after winning two games. Nice.
19 - Denver Broncos (LW: 17) - Vance Joseph is probably done in Denver.
21 - Detroit Lions (LW: 19) - Hard to be impressed with Matt Patricia’s first season in Detroit.
22 - New York Giants (LW: 22) - Pat Shurmur tried hard to mess up the Giants’ draft positioning but came up short. There’s still time for him to come up big in Week 17.
23 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 24) - The 49ers beat Denver and Seattle in back-to-back weeks before almost knocking off Chicago. Kyle Shanahan has this team playing hard.
24 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 23) - Dirk Koetter has gotta go.
25 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 25) - There’s nothing interesting to say about the Bills.
26 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 26) - It’s only fair to give Marvin Lewis some more time to figure things out in Cincy.
27 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 30) - The Jags’ win was costly in terms of draft position. Given that they need a quarterback, they’re not going to want to be drafting behind NYG.
28 - Oakland Raiders (LW: 31) - The Raiders’ (potential) last ever game in Oakland was a win. Good way to go out.
29 - New York Jets (LW: 28) - Sam Darnold is playing well towards the end of his rookie season. There’s hope for the future.
30 - Washington Redskins (LW: 29) - Criticizing the defensive coordinator is unacceptable. Being accused of domestic violence is no big deal, though.
31 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 27) - The Panthers are potentially going to end their season on an eight-game losing streak. Yikes.