Brad Biggs' Week 17 NFL rankings

Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune

The Seattle Seahawks, Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers all make moves in Brad Biggs’ latest NFL power rankings heading into the final week of the regular season.

Last week’s ranking in parentheses.


1. Chiefs 14-1 (1)

The Chiefs were off their game Sunday against the Falcons, but the talent difference between the two rosters is so immense, it didn’t matter.

2. Bills 12-3 (2)

Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs put an exclamation point on the Bills’ hostile takeover of the AFC East as they blew out the Patriots on Monday night.

3. Packers 12-3 (3)

It’s a shame for the Bears that the Packers need to win Sunday to clinch the top NFC seed and a first-round playoff bye.

4. Saints 11-4 (4)

The Saints tied a bow on their fourth consecutive NFC South crown by destroying the Vikings, 52-33, as Alvin Kamara became the first player to rush for six touchdowns since Ernie Nevers of the Chicago Cardinals did it against the Bears on Nov. 28, 1929.

5. Seahawks 11-4 (7)

The Seahawks have slowly gotten healthier on defense and were stout in fending off the Rams to clinch the NFC West.

6. Ravens 10-5 (8)

The Ravens are surging at the right time, and John Harbaugh seems to have a knack for getting his team to peak in December.

7. Buccaneers 10-5 (11)

The Buccaneers nailed down their first playoff spot since 2007 by pummeling the Lions, 47-7. Tom Brady threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns — all in the first half — as the Bucs rolled up 588 yards of offense.

8. Titans 10-5 (5)

The Titans aren’t built to play from behind and really aren’t equipped to do it in the snow, as we learned Sunday night in Green Bay, Wis.

9. Steelers 12-3 (12)

The Steelers ended their three-game losing streak by rallying to defeat the Colts. They still look like a wobbly playoff contender.

10. Colts 10-5 (6)

The Colts need a win over the Jaguars, which shouldn’t be a problem, and then need help to reach the playoffs after a loss to the Steelers.

11. Dolphins 10-5 (13)

“Fitzmagic” is the latest show taking Las Vegas by storm. Rookie Tua Tagovailoa was pulled for the second time this season, and Ryan Fitzpatrick sparked the Dolphins to a last-second victory over the Raiders. Why is Brian Flores returning to Tagovailoa this week? Who knows.

12. Browns 10-5 (9)

A wildly successful season by Cleveland standards could end this weekend. Yes, the Browns could be left out of the playoffs. That’s what happens when you lose to the Jets.

13. Rams 9-6 (10)

The Rams are hard to figure out, and their playoff chances could rest on the right arm of backup QB John Wolford, who will replace Jared Goff for Sunday’s clash with the Cardinals.

14. Bears 8-7 (15)

The Bears have been a juggernaut on offense lately against some of the league’s worst defenses. They likely will need to score plenty Sunday to have a shot at toppling the Packers.

15. Cardinals 8-7 (14)

The Cardinals came out flat and stayed that way in a stunning 20-12 loss to the 49ers on Saturday as QB Kyler Murray struggled and the Niners defense locked down wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

16. Chargers 6-9 (20)

All of a sudden the Chargers, who had lost so many close games, have won three straight, all decided by one score.

17. Cowboys 6-9 (23)

The Cowboys seem to have steadied some of their horrible defensive issues, and QB Andy Dalton has gotten hot. Don’t look now, but the Cowboys have won three straight.

18. 49ers 6-9 (21)

The Niners had lost six of seven and have been severely limited by injuries, but coach Kyle Shanahan got his guys to deliver Saturday at Arizona and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh showed why he’s a top candidate to become a head coach.

19. Washington 6-9 (16)

Dwayne Haskins authored a how-to manual when it comes to torpedoing a career in less than two seasons. The 2019 first-round pick was waived Monday.

20. Vikings 6-9 (17)

After allowing Alvin Kamara to run for six touchdowns in a 52-33 loss in New Orleans, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer declared, “This is a bad defense. Worst one I’ve ever had.” No argument here.

21. Raiders 7-8 (18)

Jon Gruden already fired his defensive coordinator, and he will need to fire defensive backs this offseason after Saturday’s stunning loss to the Dolphins eliminated the Raiders from the playoff chase. His late-game strategy wasn’t bad. His defense was atrocious.

22. Patriots 6-9 (19)

Cam Newton isn’t the answer at quarterback in 2021. The Patriots passing offense is the worst in the league.

23. Panthers 5-10 (29)

Matt Rhule would like to see his team finish strong after a win at Washington, saying he was in Philadelphia at Temple when the 76ers’ mantra was “trust the process.” Said Rhule: “They haven’t hung one in the rafters yet.”

24. Giants 5-10 (22)

The Giants have lost three in a row and QB Daniel Jones has struggled. That will make it interesting to see what GM Dave Gettleman, who drafted Jones, and coach Joe Judge, who wasn’t around then, will do.

25. Broncos 5-10 (24)

Vic Fangio reportedly is safe to return for a third season, which makes sense as the Broncos would have to blow up the entire operation if they’re bouncing another coach.

26. Bengals 4-10-1 (26)

Brandon Allen threw for 371 yards and two touchdowns as the Bengals upset the woebegone Texans.

27. Eagles 4-10-1 (25)

The Eagles are the only team out of the mix in the NFC East, and Jalen Hurts gets the start Sunday night against Washington with Doug Pederson saying he wants another chance to evaluate the rookie QB.

28. Texans 4-11 (28)

J.J. Watt made an impassioned speech about putting forth maximum effort at the end of a miserable season for the fans invested in the team’s fortunes. He’s an athlete who gets it.

29. Falcons 4-11 (30)

The Falcons have found new and creative ways to self-destruct all season. Younghoe Koo, who had missed only one field goal all year, failing to deliver on a 39-yard kick with 14 seconds to play against the Chiefs was a first.

30. Lions 5-10 (27)

A 47-7 loss to the Buccaneers was a forgettable debut for Robert Prince, the interim head coach as Darrell Bevell was quarantined because of COVID-19.

31. Jets 2-13 (31)

The question isn’t whether Adam Gase stays or goes but if the Jets lean on a new coach to fix QB Sam Darnold or select BYU’s Zach Wilson or Ohio State’s Justin Fields.

32. Jaguars 1-14 (32)

Even Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry was in a partying mood Sunday when the Jaguars lost their 14th consecutive game to sew up the No. 1 pick in the draft.