SportsTips’ NFL Power Rankings: Week 17

SportsTips’ NFL Power Rankings: Week 17
Tue 29th December 2020

We’re heading into the ultimate week of the 2020 NFL season, but the playoff picture is far away from finished. The AFC playoff race is a complete madness with just three teams clinching the berth so far, while four NFC teams are already in the postseason with the NFC East still up for the grabs. 

Week 17 brings plenty of exciting matchups that will determine the playoff picture, so you don’t want to miss it. Now, let’s take a closer look at our latest NFL Power Rankings that will help you make the best wagers this Sunday.   

1. Kansas City Chiefs (14-1) 

Super Bowl Odds: +187
Previous Rank: 1 

The Chiefs barely survived Week 16, outlasting the Atlanta Falcons 17-14 thanks to Younghoe Koo’s missed field goal with 1:46 left in the fourth quarter. They turned the ball over twice, while Patrick Mahomes completed just 24 of his 44 passing attempts, but the reigning champs somehow found a way to win this game.

Therefore, the Chiefs remain the best team in football, but they certainly have something to learn from their previous outing. Kansas City is riding a 10-game win streak and hosts the Chargers in Week 17.  

2. Green Bay Packers (12-3) 

Super Bowl Odds: +500
Previous Rank: 2 

Drafting A.J. Dillon in the second round last spring was a smart move for the Packers. We’ll forget about their first-round choice this time, as Dillon had 21 carries for 124 yards and a couple of touchdowns in a 40-14 thrashing off the Tennessee Titans in Week 16.

Aaron Rodgers tossed for 231 yards and four touchdowns, while Davante Adams had 11 catches for 142 yards and three scores. Furthermore, the Packers limited Tennessee to miserable 260 total yards to round up a perfect snowy night in Green Bay. Despite some ups and downs throughout the season, the Packers are the second-best team in the NFL at the moment, no doubt. They need a win at Chicago on Sunday to earn the first-round bye. 

3. Buffalo Bills (12-3) 

Super Bowl Odds: +900
Previous Rank: 3 

The Bills remain third on our list, but they continue to improve week in and week out. Last night, the Bills dismantled the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium, 38-9, sweeping their divisional foes from Foxboro for the first time since 1999.

Josh Allen put on a show and throw for 320 yards and four touchdowns, while Stefon Diggs had nine receptions for 145 yards and three touchdowns. Diggs caught four of Allen’s 12 touchdown passes over the last four weeks, while the Bills’ defensive unit is slowly building up its form. Buffalo has won eight of its last nine games and will look to clinch the No. 2 seed in the AFC against Miami at home. 

4. New Orleans Saints (11-4) 

Super Bowl Odds: +700
Previous Rank: 4

After two straight losses to Philadelphia and Kansas City, the Saints beat Minnesota 52-33 in Week 16 to remain the fourth-best team in football and stay alive in the race for the top seed in the NFC as well as the first-round bye. We saw a historic performance by Alvin Kamara, as the four-time Pro Bowl became the second player in NFL history and first in the Super Bowl era to score six rushing touchdowns in a game.

Although Drew Brees has struggled for most of the season, don’t sleep on the Saints who have the third-best total defense (310.3) and the eighth-best scoring defense (22.0) in the league. Michael Thomas should be ready for the playoffs, while the Saints visit Carolina in Week 17. 

5. Seattle Seahawks (11-4) 

Super Bowl Odds: +1100
Previous Rank: 6

The Seahawks clinched the NFC West in Week 16, outlasting the Los Angeles Rams 20-9 at home. It was their third straight victory, as the Seahawks got revenge for a tough loss in LA back in Week 10. Their defense finally showed up, limiting the Rams to 334 total yards and only three field goals.

On the other side, the Seahawks racked up just 292 total yards but scored a couple of touchdowns since halftime and fully deserved their win. Seattle has struggled offensively in the second half of the season, but the Seahawks’ horrible defense has improved which is a great sign ahead of the postseason. Week 17 brings a road clash against the 49ers, and Seattle still can finish atop of the NFC if Green Bay loses and New Orleans loses or ties. 

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-5) 

Super Bowl Odds: +1100
Previous Rank: 7

The Bucs have adjusted their playbook in the last few weeks after suffering some tough losses earlier in the season, and it pays off, as Tampa rides a three-game win streak. Also, Tom Brady has tossed for eight touchdowns and zero interceptions over the previous three weeks, proving that he’s still one of the best quarterbacks in the league.

The Buccaneers had a field day in Detroit last Saturday, smashing the Lions 47-7 to clinch the playoff spot. They host Atlanta on Sunday, taking on the Falcons for the second time in three weeks after beating them 31-27 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. 

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-3) 

Super Bowl Odds: +2000
Previous Rank: 9

Pittsburgh finally put an end to a three-game losing streak in Week 16. They beat the Indianapolis Colts 28-24, overcoming a 14-point deficit and shutting down their rivals in the second half. The Steelers scored 21 unanswered points, and Ben Roethlisberger led the way with 34 completed passes for 342 yards and three touchdowns.

Once again, the Steelers’ ground game was a non-factor with 14 carries for a paltry 20 yards, but Big Ben continues to tear the opponents’ defenses apart. We are not sure that will be enough in the playoffs, though Pittsburgh can lean on its stout defense despite all the injury woes. The Steelers head to Cleveland in Week 17 to take on the Browns who desperately need a win. 

8. Baltimore Ravens (10-5) 

Super Bowl Odds: +1100
Previous Rank: 11 

The Ravens are rolling on a four-game win streak following a 27-13 victory to the New York Giants. Now, they are one game away from securing the playoff spot in the AFC, as Baltimore needs to beat Cincinnati on the road in Week 17.

The Bengals have won two straight games including a huge upset over Pittsburgh, but the Ravens shouldn’t have any problems beating their divisional foes. Baltimore’s ground game is the best in the league, and the Ravens just ran for 249 yards against the Giants. They surrender 20.0 points per game (4th in the league), so the Ravens look ready to rumble in the postseason. 

9. Miami Dolphins (10-5) 

Super Bowl Odds: +5000
Previous Rank: 12

The Phins moved up three spots on our NFL Power Rankings following a thrilling clash in Las Vegas this past Saturday. They outlasted the Raiders 26-25 thanks to Ryan Fitzpatrick’s tremendous performance in the fourth quarter, while Jason Sanders hit the winning field goal with one second left on the clock.

The Dolphins are 4-1 throughout their last five games. They have the best scoring defense in the league, yielding just 18.8 points per game, but the Dolphins will have a mountain to climb in Week 17 when they visit the Buffalo Bills. Miami will clinch the playoffs with a win, and in case of a defeat, the Dolphins will need a loss from Baltimore, Cleveland, or Indianapolis. 

10. Tennessee Titans (10-5) 

Super Bowl Odds: +2500
Previous Rank: 8

It was a tough Sunday Night Football for the Titans who were humiliated in Green Bay, allowing 40-plus points for the second time in four weeks. Their secondary has been an issue all season long, and the Titans rank 28th in passing yards allowed (271.9). Tennessee’s offensive line struggled mightily against the Packers, so Ryan Tannehill went 11-from-24 for a touchdown and a pair of picks, while Derrick Henry had 23 totes for 98 yards.

The Titans need a win at Houston in Week 17 to clinch the AFC South. They’ll have to put on a much better defensive job in order to beat the 4-11 Texans, and we expect to see a dominant performance by Henry who ran for 212 yards and two touchdowns in a 42-36 overtime victory to Houston back in Week 6. 

11. Cleveland Browns (10-5) 

Super Bowl Odds: +5000
Previous Rank: 5 

The Cleveland Browns are the biggest losers of Week 16. They missed almost the entire receiving corps due to the COVID-19, but that’s just a cheap excuse for a 23-16 defeat at the hapless New York Jets.

Now, the Browns have to beat the Steelers at home to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2002. If they lose, the Browns will need the Colts to lose their game against Jacksonville, and that’s not going to happen. 

12. Indianapolis Colts (10-5) 

Super Bowl Odds: +3300
Previous Rank: 10 

Although they’ll have the easiest task of all teams in the ultimate week, hosting the 1-14 Jacksonville Jaguars, the Colts won’t hold their destiny in their hands. Indy is on the bubble which is pretty much deserved after blowing a 14-point lead against the Steelers in Week 16.

If Tennessee, Baltimore, Miami, and Cleveland all win this Sunday, the Colts will miss the playoffs, and that would be a shame for one of the best defensive units in the league. 

13. Los Angeles Rams (9-6) 

Super Bowl Odds: +2500
Previous Rank: 13

Just two weeks ago, the Rams looked like a certain playoff entrant, but they’ve suffered two straight losses to the New York Jets 23-20 and Seattle Seahawks 20-9. That defeat to the winless Jets was completely unacceptable, while the Rams put on another lousy performance against the Seahawks last weekend.

They will have to avoid a loss against Arizona at home in Week 17 to seal the playoffs, but the Rams will certainly make it to the postseason if Chicago loses to Green Bay. LA averaged only 22.2 points per game over the last five outings, while Jared Goff threw for four touchdowns and five interceptions in that span. Sometimes, the stout D is not enough, and the Rams’ defense has been brutal thus far. 

14. Arizona Cardinals (8-7) 

Super Bowl Odds: +8000
Previous Rank: 14

The Cardinals have dropped four of their last six games, coming off a disappointing 20-12 defeat to San Francisco. DeAndre Hopkins had eight catches for just 48 yards, while Kyler Murray went 31-from-50 for 247 yards and an interception, so the Cardinals didn’t deserve to get anything from their Week 16 clash.

Arizona allowed 227 rushing yards, but all three touchdowns came through the air. The Cardinals don’t look like a championship contender, but they will enter the playoffs if the Chicago Bears lose against Green Bay or they outlast the Rams in LA. 

15. Chicago Bears (8-7) 

Super Bowl Odds: +8000
Previous Rank: 15 

After snapping a six-game skid in Week 14, the Bears have won two more games to revive their playoff hopes. Chicago needs a win over the Packers to reach the postseason, but the Bears will make it even if they lose and the Rams beat the Cardinals.

Over their previous three showings, the Bears dropped 36 points on Houston, 33 on Minnesota, and 41 on Jacksonville. They finally get things going offensively with Mitch Trubisky under center, so the Bears stand a fair chance against Green Bay at home. 

16. Washington Football Team (6-9)

Super Bowl Odds: +9000
Previous Rank: 16

The former Redskins continue to lead the NFC East pack despite two straight losses to Seattle 20-15 and Carolina 20-13. Without Alex Smith, Washington’s offense looked powerless, but the three-time Pro-Bowl signal-caller should be ready for Week 17 and the road clash against the Eagles.

The Football Team will grab the NFC East title with a victory in Philadelphia, while the eventual loss would be the end of the road. Washington’s D is still among the best in the league, and Smith’s return could be a much needful spark for their poor offense. 

17. Los Angeles Chargers (6-9)

Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Previous Rank: 22

The Chargers have won four of their last six games including the previous three. They beat Denver 19-16 last time out, as Justin Herbert set the rookie record for most touchdown passes in a season.

Herbert has tossed for 4,034 yards, 28 touchdowns, and ten interceptions so far, but the Chargers will probably snap their win streak in Week 17 when they visit Kansas City. Anyway, Justin looks like a franchise QB, and the Chargers will try to build around him in the next NFL Draft. 

18. Dallas Cowboys (6-9) 

Super Bowl Odds: +9000
Previous Rank: 19

The Boys are not done yet, riding a three-game win streak following an excellent 37-17 victory to the Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday. Andy Dalton threw for 377 yards and three touchdowns, while Michael Gallup tallied six catches for 121 yards and a pair of scores to put their team in a solid position ahead of the final matchup with the Giants on the road. The Cowboys will win the NFC East if they beat New York and Washington loses to Philadelphia. 

19. San Francisco 49ers (6-9) 

Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Previous Rank: 23

The Niners are eliminated from the playoff race, but that didn’t stop them from hurting the Cardinals’ playoff chances in Week 16. Their third-string quarterback, C.J. Beathard, completed just 13 of his 22 passing attempts, but it was enough for 182 yards and three touchdowns.

Jeff Wilson added 22 carries for 183 yards, and the 49ers proved they are a solid team even when their best players are on the shelf. San Francisco hosts Seattle on January 3rd, 2021. 

20. Las Vegas Raiders (7-8) 

Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Previous Rank: 21

Here’s one of the biggest disappointments of the 2020 NFL season. Las Vegas is 1-5 in its last six outings, allowing a whopping 34.3 points per contest in that stretch. Everything started with a 35-31 loss to the Chiefs in Week 11.

Since then, the Raiders have only defeated the Jets, so missing the playoffs for the 17th time in the last 18 years is a proper reward. Once more, Jon Gruden will have to think about a few things in the offseason. The Raiders have been one of the worst defensive teams in the league all season, while their offense hasn’t been consistent enough. 

21. New York Giants (5-10) 

Super Bowl Odds: +15000
Previous Rank: 21 

If they want to win the NFC East, the Giants need two things. First, they have to defeat Dallas at home in Week 17. Second, the Eagles have to beat Washington. The Giants have dropped three straight games, scoring just 26 points in total. Daniel Jones avoided turnovers last Sunday, but the Giants still lost to Baltimore 27-13.

Their defense is doing a remarkable job, and the Giants will try their best in their final showdown of the regular season. Still, they opened as 2.5-point dogs even though they welcome the beaten-up Dallas Cowboys. 

22. Minnesota Vikings (6-9) 

Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Previous Rank: 17

Minnesota is officially out of the playoffs with a 52-33 defeat at the New Orleans Saints in Week 16. It was the Vikings’ third straight loss, as they surrendered 111 points in the process. Minnesota will miss the postseason thanks to a terrible defense.

The Vikings are 28th in the league in points allowed per game (29.3) and 27th in total yards surrendered per contest (391.7). Dalvin Cook has 1,918 yards from scrimmage this term, but the Vikings cannot expect a major success with Kirk Cousins under center. 

23. New England Patriots (6-9) 

Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Previous Rank: 20

New England will miss the postseason for the first time since 2008, and the Pats should be ready for a proper rebuilding in the next few years. They lack talent everywhere, and it’s fair to say that New England’s receiving corps is the worst in the NFL at the moment.

The Pats have lost three straight games and are coming off a humiliating 38-9 home defeat to the Buffalo Bills. They play the New York Jets at home in their regular-season finale. What a nice matchup to end this misery. 

24. Carolina Panthers (5-10) 

Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Previous Rank: 28 

The Panthers have been playing in a relaxed manner for a while. They snapped a three-game losing streak with a 20-13 win at Washington in Week 16, as Curtis Samuel went off for 158 yards from scrimmage on seven totes and five receptions.

The Panthers can look to the future and hope that Christian McCaffrey will be healthy next season. CMC played just three games this term after dominating the league through the previous two seasons. 

25. Cincinnati Bengals (4-10-1) 

Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Previous Rank: 27

Nobody expected the Bengals’ victory over Pittsburgh in Week 15, and their 37-31 win at the Houston Texans in Week 16 was an upset too. Brandon Allen returned under center against Houston and tossed for 371 yards and a couple of touchdowns, as the Bengals scored 30-plus points for the first time since Joe Burrows season-ending injury. Cincy has a bright future, but the matchup with the Ravens in Week 17 promises another defeat. 

26. Philadelphia Eagles (4-10-1) 

Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Previous Rank: 24

The Eagles’ season is ruined following a 37-17 defeat at the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday. Philadelphia has dropped six of its last seven games, so the final clash of the season against Washington won’t mean a thing. The Eagles will eliminate the Football Team from the playoffs with an eventual victory, but their fans will be angry anyway. Since 1998, Philadelphia has had just one season with less than five wins. 

27. Denver Broncos (5-10) 

Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Previous Rank: 26 

With the third-worst scoring offense and the eighth-worst scoring defense in the NFL, the Broncos couldn’t expect much more from this season. They are 1-4 in the last five games, scoring 19 or fewer points in each of those four defeats.

Last weekend, the Broncos suffered a 19-16 loss at the LA Chargers, so they are officially the worst team in the AFC West. Denver will try to avoid another loss in the divisional play this Sunday when the Las Vegas Raiders come to town. 

28. Detroit Lions (5-10) 

Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Previous Rank: 25

Everything fell apart in Detroit over the last two months, but that’s not the news, right? Anyway, the Lions went 1-5 through their last six games overall. They suffered a heavy 47-7 defeat to Tampa Bay in Week 16, allowing 40 or more points for the fifth time this season. Matthew Stafford left the game in the first half due to an ankle injury, and the 32-year-old signal-caller might decide to leave Detroit in the offseason. 

29. Atlanta Falcons (4-11)

Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Previous Rank: 30

The Falcons scared the reigning champs but still came short in Week 16, suffering a 17-14 loss at home. Atlanta opened the season with five straight losses. At the moment, the Falcons are on a four-game losing streak.

They need a fresh start, and the 2021 NFL Draft will offer a few interesting opportunities. Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are still here, but the Falcons should think about trading them away in the offseason. 

30. Houston Texans (4-11) 

Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Previous Rank: 29 

Week 16 brought another disappointment to the Texans’ fans. Their beloved team lost to Cincinnati 37-31, extending their losing streak to four games. Deshaun Watson had another solid display, tossing for 324 yards and three touchdowns.

However, the Texans’ defense was terrible once more, yielding 540 total yards to the beaten-up Bengals. Houston is allowing 28.2 points per game on 411.7 total yards, so the Texans deserved to drop one spot in our latest power rankings. 

31. New York Jets (2-13) 

Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Previous Rank: 31 

Who could expect the Jets to beat the Rams and Browns over the previous two weeks after they’ve dropped the first 13 games of the season? Obviously, the Jets didn’t care for the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft.

They suddenly decided to play their best football, committing zero turnovers in the last two tilts while yielding just 36 points in total. This season, the Jets are allowing 28.6 points per game (27th in the NFL), but they might have found a few players for the future. 

32. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-14) 

Super Bowl Odds: N/A
Previous Rank: 32

The Jags are winless since the opening week. They clinched the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft and will probably select QB Trevor Lawrence. There’s a lot of offensive talent on the Jaguars’ roster, so adding Lawrence seems like a no-brainer. However, Jacksonville is a complete disaster on the other side of the ball and will need way more than just one player to improve things in 2021. 

*Odds correct at time of publication.

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