The 2017 NFL Regular Season is in the books. Did the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers stay at the top of my final NFL Regular Season Power Rankings? Where did the Philadelphia Eagles land? Check out my final NFL Power Rankings for the 2017 NFL Season!
NFL Regular Season 2017 Final Power Rankings
1. New England Patriots (13-3)
The Patriots head to the AFC Playoffs as not only the 1-seed, but also as a stunningly low-priced favorite to repeat as Super Bowl Champions. New England is at +210 to win Super Bowl 52. Those odds are downright low. Can the Pats do it? The last team to repeat as Super Bowl Champions were the Patriots in 2004 and 2005. They’ve got a decent shot although I’m not touching them at the odds.
2. Minnesota Vikings (13-3)
Minnesota is a +375 favorite to win Super Bowl 52. There are a few things about the Minnesota Vikings that bother me. Although I admit that they’ve got the best chance from the NFC, I’m not sold on either their pass defense, or their rushing attack. We’ll see what happens.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (13-3)
The problem I have with Pittsburgh is that they lost focus during games. When Pitt’s mind is on playing, there isn’t a better team in the NFL. When the Steelers lose focus, worse teams can beat them straight up.
4. New Orleans Saints (11-5)
New Orleans got a reprieve after the Carolina Panthers lost straight up to the Atlanta Falcons in Week 17. The Saints won the NFC South Division even though they dropped a game to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 17. New Orleans should give Minnesota a run for their money in the NFC. That makes the Saints fourth on my final power rankings.
5. Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)
No team enters the NFL Playoffs as hot as the Kansas City Chiefs. KC won 4 in a row both straight up and against the spread to end the regular season. They only allowed 1 team, the Denver Broncos in a meaningless Week 17 match up, to score 15 points or more against them in December.
6. Atlanta Falcons (10-6)
Atlanta’s defense has come together. I’ve got them ranked over the L.A. Rams in my final power rankings because I just don’t feel the Rams have what it takes to beat a veteran team like the Falcons straight up in the playoffs. Not yet, anyhow. Atlanta can stop the Rams’ rushing attack. If that happens, L.A.’s chances of winning this Saturday’s wildcard game will come down to Jared Goff’s arm.
7. Los Angeles Rams (11-5)
I don’t feel the Rams are ready to win in the playoffs. LAR had a somewhat easy schedule this season. Not only that, but their signature wins over New Orleans and Seattle come with asterisks. The Saints were without starting cornerback Marshon Lattimore and rookie sensation RB Alvin Kamara. The Seahawks were without safety Kam Chancellor and cornerback Richard Sherman.
8. Philadelphia Eagles (13-3)
There are two things to worry about the Philadelphia Eagles heading into the playoffs. First, Philadelphia QB Nick Foles was terrible versus the Oakland Raiders in Week 16. Second, Philadelphia’s defense didn’t play nearly as well in December as it did in September, October, and November.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars (11-5)
The Jags definitely aren’t ready for the postseason. There’s a chance the Jaguars implode on both offense and defense against the Buffalo Bills this Sunday. The Jaguars’ defense isn’t very good against the rush. That’s going to be a problem versus the Bills Top 10 ranked rushing offense.
10. Carolina Panthers (11-5)
If Carolina played any team other than the NFC South rival New Orleans Saints in the Wildcard Round, they might have a shot. Carolina is 0-6 against the spread in the last 6 meetings between the 2 rivals. The Saints know how to beat the Panthers.
11. Buffalo Bills (9-7)
Buffalo’s the much better AFC Wildcard team heading into the playoffs than the Tennessee Titans are. Buffalo might have the player it needs in RB LeSean McCoy to pull off the money line upset in their wildcard battle against Jacksonville on Sunday.
12. Tennessee Titans (9-7)
The Titans got lucky to make the playoffs. It’s difficult to see Tennessee scoring more than 10 points against a Kansas City defense that’s finally found it’s stride. The Titans should have a terrible time trying to keep Chiefs QB Alex Smith from throwing the football to both WR Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce.
13. Baltimore Ravens (9-7)
All the Ravens had to do in Week 17 was beat the Cincinnati Bengals. The Ravens battled the Bengals at home. Yeah, they couldn’t do that. That’s why Baltimore is sitting at home while the Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans made it to the postseason.
14. Dallas Cowboys (9-7)
Oh, well, the Boys tried, right? Dallas just couldn’t get past the Seattle Seahawks in Week 16. Even if they had, it was a long shot for the Cowboys to make it to the postseason. Dallas only must make a couple of minor changes to get right back to the playoffs in 2018. That’s the good news.
15. Seattle Seahawks (9-7)
The Seattle Seahawks had no shot of making the playoffs, anyhow. Not after the Atlanta Falcons beat the Carolina Panthers. Seattle’s in no shape to do any damage in the playoffs. The team must reevaluate it’s entire defense after imploding in December. Also, until Seattle puts together a viable offensive line, they’ll never do much in the postseason.
16. Detroit Lions (9-7)
Detroit decided to part ways with coach Jim Caldwell after their final game in Week 17. They had a shot all season long to secure a playoff spot. They couldn’t close the door on a postseason berth. The Lions must find a rushing attack. The defense must get better as well.
17. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7)
The Bolts really have no excuses. Losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 16 is why they missed the playoffs. The Chargers had a 10 to 6 lead over KC at one point in the game. The Chiefs dominated after that.
18. Green Bay Packers (7-9)
Even if Green Bay had played Aaron Rodgers and had managed to get into the playoffs, things wouldn’t have gone their way. The Packers have too many issues on both offense and defense to be a playoff team. If Green Bay doesn’t fix their defensive and offensive lines, they could turn Rodgers into the NFC version of Andrew Luck.
19. Cincinnati Bengals (7-9)
I’m not a Bengals fan. Never was. Never will be. One thing positive I will write is that the Bengals did win their final two games of the regular season. That puts them in the Top 20 ahead of some awfully bad football teams.
20. Washington Redskins (7-9)
Washington gave up way before they lost their ninth game. FYI, Washington’s ninth loss was to the horrible New York Giants.
21. Arizona Cardinals (8-8)
Bruce Arians has retired from the NFL. Arians is likely to retire all together from coaching. I think he did a marvelous job this season. 8 and 8 isn’t a great record. It’s certainly much better than many expected after star RB David Johnson went down in Week 2.
22. San Francisco 49’ers (6-10)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo is 5 and 0 as the 49’ers starting quarterback. That’s pretty much all we need to know. If the defense can get better, the Niners could challenge for a playoff spot in 2018.
23. Miami Dolphins (6-10)
The Dolphins season ended before it started. I’m not sure QB Ryan Tannehill is the answer in Miami. It might be time for the Fins to go a different direction. There are a lot of talented quarterbacks in this year’s NFL Draft. Miami should grab one of them.
24. Oakland Raiders (6-10)
The Raiders have already fired coach Jack Del Rio. I don’t disagree with that move. I especially don’t disagree with the move if the rumors are true and John Gruden is headed back to the Bay Area.
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11)
Tampa Bay decided to retain the services of head coach Dirk Koetter. In my view, that might turn out to be a bad move. The Bucs should have improved this season. They didn’t.
26. New York Jets (5-11)
One coach who shouldn’t be fired is Jets’ HC Todd Bowles. Many NFL fans believed that the Jets might not win a single game. Not only did the Jets win 5 games, but they also went a winning 9-6-1 against the spread. The Jets’ defense played well. The offense wasn’t bad in spots. Bowles put together a competitive team.
27. Chicago Bears (5-11)
Chicago handed veteran coach John Fox his walking papers after a sub par season. Maybe, it was time for Fox to go. The defense has some working parts. Rookie QB Mitch Trubisky played well in spots. RB Jordan Howard is the real deal. Whomever takes over for Chicago doesn’t have many excuses for squeezing out at least 2 more wins.
28. Denver Broncos (5-11)
Surprisingly, Denver has decided to stick with coach Vance Joseph. I haven’t a clue why. Joseph appeared out of sorts all season long. I believe he lost the players’ respect. Some coaches aren’t built to be head coaches. Maybe, that’s Vance Joseph.
29. Indianapolis Colts (4-12)
Colts coach Chuck Pagano also got his walking papers. The Colts must do a lot more than fire Pagano to get back onto the winning track. What they must do is trade Andrew Luck for 2 Round 1 draft picks and a bunch of players.
30. Houston Texans (4-12)
The poor Texans looked like world beaters when rookie QB DeShaun Watson was under center. Once Watson got hurt, the season was over. DeShaun will be back in 2018. So will future hall of fame DE J.J. Watt. I think the Texans could make a run next season.
31. New York Giants (3-13)
Supposedly, Eli’s gone. Okay….who plays QB for the Giants? I guess when you’ve got the second pick in the NFL Draft, you can choose a QB, right? That doesn’t always work out as planned.
32. Cleveland Browns (0-16)
The horrendous Cleveland Browns became only the second team in NFL history to go 0 and 16. The Browns are flat out horrible. The organization is a mess. Moneyball doesn’t work in the NFL. You need a QB like Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, heck, Mark Rypien, to win a Super Bowl.
If Cleveland keeps going this way, they might go 0 and 16 next season. They could become the first NFL organization to go 0 and 32. No, seriously, it could happen.