By Teddy Covers - Covers Expert

Teddy Covers continues with Week 17 of his NFL Power Rankings. Kansas City remains the clear choice for the #1 spot, while the rest of the top 5 teams remain with some slight reshuffling. The Rams, who are off back-to-back losses and will be without Jared Goff for Week 17, tumble down seven spots to #15.

NFL Power Rankings

Rank Last Week Change Team W-L-T (ATS) Power Rating Team Comments
1 1 same Kansas City 14-1-0
(7-8-0)
-7.5 Kansas City
After locking up the #1 seed in the AFC with yet another win/no cover against Atlanta, from all indications, Andy Reid will be resting starters against the Chargers on Sunday.
2 3 up 1 Green Bay 12-3-0
(9-6-0)
-5 Green Bay
The Packers running game looked devastating against the Titans, with rookie RB AJ Dillon and veteran Aaron Jones combining for 218 rushing yards in the blowout win.
3 2 down 1 Buffalo 12-3-0
(10-5-0)
-5 Buffalo
QB Josh Allen is making a legit late season charge towards MVP consideration; ranked among the top six quarterbacks in virtually every meaningful statistical category.
4 4 same New Orleans 11-4-0
(8-7-0)
-4.5 New Orleans
The Saints have some injury concerns on defense. Key midseason pickup LB Kwan Alexander just tore his Achilles, and both S Marcus Williams and DE Trey Hendrickson missed last week.
5 5 same Tampa Bay 10-5-0
(8-7-0)
-4 Tampa Bay
Head coach Bruce Arians after Tampa ended their 13 year playoff drought: “It’s just the beginning….even with the holidays, they handled their business well.”
6 7 up 1 Baltimore 10-5-0
(9-6-0)
-3.5 Baltimore
The Ravens need a win at Cinci to clinch their playoff berth. In the Lamar Jackson era, Baltimore is 9-0 straight up against teams that are at least three games below .500, winning by 17 ppg.
7 6 down 1 Seattle 11-4-0
(8-7-0)
-3.5 Seattle
The Seahawks revitalized defense was the most dominant unit on the field against the Rams last Sunday, holding their fifth consecutive opponent to 17 points or less.
8 9 up 1 Tennessee 10-5-0
(7-8-0)
-3 Tennessee
The Titans red zone defense continues to struggle. Tennessee went into Green Bay allowing TD’s more than 70% of the time, then allowed four TD’s in five red zone tries vs the Packers.
9 14 up 5 Pittsburgh 12-3-0
(9-6-0)
-2.5 Pittsburgh
After their come-from-behind win against the Colts, Pittsburgh has clinched their playoff spot. Expect QB Mason Rudolph and a cast of backups on the field at Cleveland in Week 17.
10 10 same Indianapolis 10-5-0
(8-7-0)
-2.5 Indianapolis
Without starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo and starting right tackle Braden Smith, Colts QB Philip Rivers took a season high five sacks as the Colts blew a big lead against the Steelers.
11 11 same Cleveland 10-5-0
(6-9-0)
-2.5 Cleveland
The Browns wide receivers were out due to COVID protocols, but their offensive line didn’t show up either. Baker Mayfield took four sacks and the Chubb/Hunt RB combo gained only 39 yards.
12 12 same Miami 10-5-0
(11-4-0)
-2 Miami
Head coach Brian Flores doesn’t want to hear about any QB controversy: “Two person, three person QB, five person QB, whatever we need to do to win, that’s what we’re going to do.”
13 13 same Arizona 8-7-0
(7-8-0)
-1 Arizona
Kyler Murray’s status is very much in doubt for Sunday’s game against the Rams. LA might need to trade points this week – their defense was gashed for 7.6 yards per carry vs San Fran.
14 15 up 1 Chicago 8-7-0
(8-7-0)
-1 Chicago
Mitch Trubisky has now led the Bears to four straight games scoring 30 or more points; although it’s all come against defenses that rank #27 or lower. Chicago hadn’t done that since 1965!
15 8 down 7 Los Angeles 9-6-0
(8-7-0)
-0.5 Los Angeles
The Rams have lost back-to-back games for the first time all season, and lost QB Jared Goff to a thumb injury. AAF vet Johnny Wolford will make his NFL debut in LA’s biggest game of the year.
16 16 same Los Angeles 6-9-0
(8-7-0)
0 Los Angeles
QB Justin Herbert just set the NFL rookie record for touchdown passes in a season, while leading the Chargers on their third consecutive game winning drive, all by exactly three points.
17 17 same Washington 6-9-0
(9-6-0)
1 Washington
Even after a bad loss to Carolina, Washington’s confidence remains high. Safety Kamren Curl: “I believe in this team. We just got to get ready for the Eagles and got get a spot in the playoffs.”
18 18 same Carolina 5-10-0
(9-6-0)
1 Carolina
First year head coach Matt Rhule isn’t worried about drat picks or draft order for next year – there’s no tanking in Carolina: “My mind doesn’t work that way. We’re here to win.”
19 28 up 9 Dallas 6-9-0
(5-10-0)
2 Dallas
The much maligned Cowboys defense has looked solid twice in the last three weeks. Defensive end Randy Gregory had a huge game vs. the Eagles with 1.5 sacks and three forced fumbles.
20 20 same Las Vegas 7-8-0
(8-7-0)
2.5 Las Vegas
A last minute defensive meltdown vs Miami ended Jon Gruden’s playoff hopes, but the bigger issue was the Raiders 0-10 third down conversion rate or their one TD in four red zone tries.
21 24 up 3 Atlanta 4-11-0
(7-8-0)
3 Atlanta
Let’s give the Falcons defense some credit! Atlanta held the Chiefs to just seven points through three quarters; KC’s fewest points at that stage of the game in the Patrick Mahomes era.
22 21 down 1 N.Y. Giants 5-10-0
(8-7-0)
3 N.Y. Giants
The Giants offense has collapsed down the stretch. New York hasn’t scored 20 points in any of their last five contests. Only the Jets have scored fewer points this season.
23 27 up 4 San Francisco 6-9-0
(6-9-0)
3 San Francisco
Pro Bowl tight end George Kittle returned to the lineup against Arizona and had an immediate impact: 92 receiving yards while opening up the running game for Jeff Wilson Jr.
24 23 down 1 New England 6-9-0
(6-9-0)
3.5 New England
Despite suffering through their first losing season since Tom Brady’s rookie year, there’s one commonality with recent years. Once again, the Patriots have a positive turnover differential.
25 19 down 6 Minnesota 6-9-0
(6-9-0)
3.5 Minnesota
Mike Zimmer after the Vikings didn’t force a punt last week: “We’re missing four defensive linemen, we’re missing a safety… three corners…and six linebackers from where we started.”
26 22 down 4 Philadelphia 4-10-1
(5-10-0)
3.5 Philadelphia
The Eagles were eliminated from playoff contention after getting blown out in Dallas, allowing three different Cowboys receivers to have 50+ yard catches downfield against them.
27 25 down 2 Houston 4-11-0
(5-10-0)
4 Houston
How bad was the Texans defense before JJ Watt’s passionate postgame rant? Well, the offense gained 9.6 yards per play – nearly a first down on every snap -- and they still couldn’t win.
28 26 down 2 Denver 5-10-0
(8-7-0)
4 Denver
After throwing two interceptions against the Chargers, Drew Lock has now committed a turnover in eleven consecutive starts. Denver’s -20 turnover margin ranks dead last in the NFL.
29 30 up 1 Cincinnati 4-10-1
(9-6-0)
5 Cincinnati
Zac Taylor following Cinci’s first road win since 2018: “I couldn’t be prouder….We’re out of the playoff hunt. It’s easy for guys to check out right now (but) we haven’t had a single player do it.”
30 31 up 1 N.Y. Jets 2-13-0
(6-9-0)
5.5 N.Y. Jets
QB Sam Darnold is playing for his NFL future down the stretch, and he’s played turnover free football in each of the last two weeks while guiding the Jets to back-to-back victories.
31 29 down 2 Detroit 5-10-0
(6-9-0)
6 Detroit
The Lions gained just 186 total yards and were 1-10 on third down with QB coach Sean Ryan calling plays for the first time at any level. QB Chase Daniel: “We didn’t help him out at all.”
32 32 same Jacksonville 1-14-0
(6-9-0)
8 Jacksonville
After a dismal second half against Bears, Jacksonville has now lost 14 consecutive games. Their last three losses have come by 21 points or more, with the defense allowing more than 37 ppg.

Power Ratings compute offensive and defensive statistics into one number for each team, while accounting for factors like recent performances and strength of schedule. Power Ratings can be used as a baseline for relative spread index to compare current or future match-ups between two teams. The relative spread does not account for non-statistical factors like home-field advantage, recent injuries, game time decisions, rivalries, publicity, and weather.

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