Power Rankings

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Tabeek's Wildly Important NFL Power Rankings: Falcons make a jump as regular season ends 

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The 2017 NFL regular season is over and it’s time for the final set of Wildly Important NFL Power Rankings.

This season had its fair share of surprises. Who saw the Jaguars winning 10 games behind a historically great defense? Or how about the Rams unlikely turnaround with a second-year quarterback and a rookie head coach?

NFL POWER RANKINGS

  • Previous weeks: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 And, like every year, there were plenty of teams that didn’t live up to the preseason hype or regressed from a year ago. The Cowboys went from 13 wins and the NFC’s top seed to missing the postseason altogether. The Raiders were another team heading in the wrong direction for most of the year – going from 12 wins to six and costing Jack Del Rio his job.

The Falcons, who closed out the regular season with an important win over the Panthers to clinch the No. 6 seed, are the only team in the NFC to return to the playoffs this season.

So, without further ado, here is how things shake out in my final power rankings:

Rank Team Comment Last Week
1

Patriots(13-3) The defending champs end the regular season right where they began, at the top of the rankings. 1
2

Steelers(13-3) They sat their stars in the season finale and still beat the Browns. They’re a catch away from the top spot. 3
3

Vikings(13-3) Despite all of the adversity they’ve faced, the Vikings have won 12 of their last 14 and will be a tough out playing at home as the No. 2 seed. 2
4

Rams(11-5) The Rams began the season ranked 25th here and wrap it up in the top five. They’re young, talented and hosting a playoff game. Impressive. 4
5

Saints(11-5) They stumbled against the Buccaneers in the finale but still clinched the NFC South crown. 5
6

Falcons(10-6) The Falcons went 6-2 in the second half of the season and are the only NFC team returning to the postseason. That experience will help. 9
7

Jaguars(10-6) One of the surprise teams this season, led by the league’s top defensive unit. If Blake Bortles plays well, they can do some damage. 6
8

Panthers(11-5) The Panthers bounced back this season and were in position to win the NFC South in Week 17. Next up is rival New Orleans. 8
9

Eagles(13-3) They’re the top seed in the NFC but they’re not playing like the top team right now. They miss Carson Wentz. The bye should help. 7
10

Chiefs(10-6) After an impressive start, they went 4-4 in the second half of the season. The good news? They won their final four games. 12
11

Chargers(9-7) They went 6-2 during the second half of the season, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a rough first half. The AFC field dodged a bullet. 13
12

Seahawks(9-7) They’re going to miss the playoffs for the first time in the Russell Wilson era. In the end, the injuries were just too much to overcome. 10
13

Cowboys(9-7) Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension hurt this team, but they have other issues, too. Jerry Jones reportedly said changes are coming. Stay tuned. 15
14

Lions(9-7) They narrowly missed the postseason and now they’re looking for a new coach. 16
15

Titans(9-7) They swept the Jaguars but a three-game skid in December cost them big time in the end. 17
16

Bills(9-7) They started the season ranked 30th here and somehow squeaked into the postseason, thanks to the Bengals win over the Ravens. 14
17

Ravens(9-7) They went 5-3 down the stretch, but needed to beat the Bengals in the finale. They didn’t and now they’re sitting home. 11
18

Cardinals(8-8) The Cardinals entered the season with high expectations but were done in by injuries. In the end they missed the postseason and Bruce Arians is retiring. 20
19

49ers(6-10) Has there ever been a more excited 6-10 team? Jimmy Garoppolo starts and wins the final five games. Now they just have to lock him up. 22
20

Bengals(7-9) Another team with high expectations entering the season that fell short. Will Marvin Lewis return? It doesn’t appear likely. 21
21

Buccaneers(5-11) They didn’t quit down the final stretch and ended a disappointing season on somewhat of a high note – and decided to keep Dirk Koetter, too. 26
22

Packers(7-9) They were never the same after Aaron Rodgers went down and will miss the postseason. 18
23

Redskins(7-9) They capped the season with an ugly loss to their division rivals and enter the offseason with questions marks. The biggest is what to do with Kirk Cousins. 19
24

Jets(5-11) They began the season dead last in many power rankings, including this one. In turn, they fought and scratched their way to some respectability. 25
25

Raiders(6-10) They went from 12 wins to firing coach Jack Del Rio. Is Jon Gruden the answer? He went 45-51 during his final six years with Bucs, including 0-2 in postseason. 23
26

Dolphins(6-10) They never really resembled a playoff team and Jay Cutler didn’t prove to be the answer. Quarterback once again a big question mark. 24
27

*Bears *(5-11) They have some parts to build around – once they decide who the next head coach is going to be. 27
28

Broncos(5-11) It looks like Vance Joseph is coming back for a second year, but John Elway better find him a QB for better results in 2018. 28
29

Colts(4-12) With no Andrew Luck all season long it’s no surprise they struggled. When he returns (whenever that is), he’ll have a new head coach. 30
30

Texans(4-12) Injuries to key players on both sides of the ball did this team in. If they can stay healthy, they can contend in the AFC South in 2018. 29
31

Giants(3-13) New GM Dave Gettleman is continuing with the house cleaning. Will he bring back Eli Manning? The G-men will look very different in 2018. 31
32

Browns(0-16) It looked as though they might finally get that first win in Week 17 ... instead they finish as the second 0-16 team in NFL history. 32

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