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2008 Week 17 NFL Power Ratings

An Archive of the Bankroll Sports Handicapping Columnists' Week Seventeen NFL Power Ratings After Week 16's play in the 2008 Season.

2008 Week 17 NFL Power Rankings
(Dated: December 23 - 28, 2008)

1. Tennessee Titans (13-2) – The Tennessee Titans clinched home field advantage through the AFC Playoffs on Sunday with a 31-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The win for the Titans was their 13th on the season, a NFL high. The Titans remain at # 1 in the power rankings with the win. Tennessee picked up 104 yards and a touchdown from wide receiver Justin Gage. The Titans have outscored opponents 375 – 211 on the season. The Titans will take on the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday; both teams will be in the playoffs when they start the first week of January.

2. New York Giants (12-3) – The New York Giants clinched NFC home field advantage with their 12th win of the season Sunday Night; in 34-28 overtime win over the Carolina Panthers. The win moved the Giants up two spots from # 4 to # 2 in the power rankings. The Giants picked up 301 rushing yards in the game, including 215 from Derrick Wade, and three rushing touchdowns from Brandon Jacobs, including a one-yard run in overtime. The win snapped a two game losing streak for New York. The Giants will take on the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis on Sunday; in a game the Vikings must win to win the NFC North.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers (11-4) – The Steelers were 31-14 victims to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday 31-14. The loss sends Pittsburgh to the # 2 position once the AFC playoffs begin. The Steelers fall one position from # 2 to # 3, with the Giants bypassing them. The Steelers are out scoring opponents 316 – 223 on the season, led by Ben Roethlisberger’s 15 passing touchdowns. Pittsburgh will host the struggling Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Cleveland will come into the game with an overall record of 4-11 on the season.

4. Carolina Panthers (11-4) – The Carolina Panthers got four rushing touchdowns from DeAngelo Williams, but fell 34-28 to the New York Giants in overtime Sunday night. The loss for the Panthers dropped them to 11-4 overall, and just one game ahead of Atlanta in the NFC South. A win for the Panthers on Sunday over the New Orleans Saints would wrap up the division title and the # 2 seed in the playoffs, while a loss and Atlanta win would drop the Panthers all the way to the # 5 spot in the NFC playoffs. The Panthers fall one spot from # 3 to # 4 in the rankings.

5. Indianapolis Colts (11-4) – The Colts remain the hottest team in the NFL, winning their 8th straight game Thursday night over Jacksonville. In the win, Peyton Manning threw for 364 yards and three touchdowns. On the season, Manning has thrown for 3907 yards and 26 touchdowns. The Colts clinched a playoff berth with the win, following the Titans in the division. With the win the Colts remain # 5 in the power rankings. The Colts will look to finish the regular season with nine wins when the host the division winning Tennessee Titans on Sunday.

6. Atlanta Falcons (10-5) – The Falcons are playoff bound. With a 24-17 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Atlanta clinched a playoff berth. The win moved the Falcons up one spot from # 7 to # 6 as well. Matt Ryan the rookie quarterback for Atlanta continued his solid play with a touchdown pass and 146 yards. Atlanta now trails Carolina by one full game in the NFC South. If the Falcons can beat the St. Louis Rams at home on Sunday, and Carolina falls to New Orleans, the Falcons would be the NFC South champion and garner the # 2 seed in the NFC playoffs.

7. Baltimore Ravens (10-5) – The Ravens moved one step closer to the AFC playoffs with a 33-24 road win on Saturday in Dallas. The win for the Ravens move them up two positions from # 9 to # 7. Baltimore trails Pittsburgh by a full game in the AFC North, but Pittsburgh has the division wrapped up with the tiebreaker (two wins over the Ravens). Baltimore will look to clinch an AFC playoff position on Sunday when they host the Jacksonville Jaguars.

8. New England Patriots (10-5) – The New England Patriots won their third straight game on Sunday; a 47-7 blowout win over the Arizona Cardinals. The win kept the Patriots in a tie atop the AFC East with Miami. The win also moved the Patriots back into the top 10, with a jump from # 11 to # 8. The Patriots have now scored 48 points per game in their last two games; both wins. Quarterback Matt Cassell threw for 345 and three touchdowns in the win. The Patriots will look to wrap up a playoff berth and possibly the AFC East title on Sunday at Buffalo. New England will hope for a Miami loss to the Jets, for the division title.

9. Miami Dolphins (10-5) – The Miami Dolphins hold their own destiny in their quest to win the AFC East title. With their 38-31 win over Kansas City, and aided by the New York Jets loss, all the Dolphins must do is win on Sunday over the Jets to win the division. Miami is tied with New England, but the Dolphins hold the tiebreaker with 7 AFC wins against New England’s six. The win for the Dolphins move them from # 13 to # 9 in the power rankings. On the season, the Dolphins have scored 321 points, and allowed 300.

10. Dallas Cowboys (9-6) – The Dallas Cowboys took a serious playoff hit, and then were helped by several other results on Sunday. Dallas still sit in the sixth and final playoff spot, and can secure a bid with a win on Sunday over Philadelphia. On Saturday, the Ravens were able to intercept two Tony Romo passes en route to a 33-24 win. The loss kept the Cowboys at # 10. On the year, Dallas has scored 356 points, and allowed 321.

11. Minnesota Vikings (9-6) – The Minnesota Vikings failed to clinch the NFC North title with a 24-17 defeat to Atlanta. The win for the Falcons clinched a playoff berth, and moved them to within a game of the Panthers in the NFC South. For Minnesota, the Vikings are now tied with the Chicago Bears atop the NFC North. If Minnesota can knock off the New York Giants on Sunday, they will take the division title, but a loss, and a Bears win would mean a Chicago division title. Minnesota is 5-2 at home this year, and the game with the Giants will be played in the Metro dome. Despite the loss, the Vikings remain # 11.

12. New York Jets (9-6) – The Jets were never able to get going offensively on Sunday, and fell 13-3 to the Seattle Seahawks. The loss for the Jets dropped them one game behind the Dolphins and the Patriots in the AFC East. The loss also sent the Jets down from # 6 to # 12. In the loss, Brett Favre threw for 187 yards, but was picked off twice. The Jets now need to beat the Dolphins on Sunday and hope for a New England loss to Buffalo, for a tie in the division.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-6) – Late in the year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have hit a skid. The Buccaneers have lost three straight games, after starting the season 9-3. Tampa Bay fell 41-24 to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, and have put themselves in a tough situation within the NFC playoff picture. The Buccaneers with the loss drop five spots from # 8 to # 13. Tampa Bay will host the Oakland Raiders on Sunday in the regular season finale.

14. Chicago Bears (9-6) – The Bears move up two spots from # 16 to # 14 with their come from behind 20-17 overtime win over the Green Bay Packers. For the second straight week Robbie Gould kicked a game winning field goal in overtime to win the game. Chicago is now tied in the NFC North with the Minnesota Vikings. A Bears win over Houston, at Houston on Sunday and a Minnesota loss to the Giants would give the Bears the division title. If the Vikings win, they would take the division due to tiebreaker. The Bears have outscored teams 351 – 319 on the season.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (8-6-1) – The Philadelphia Eagles playoff chances took a serious hit on Sunday as they fell 10-3 to Washington. In the loss quarterback Donovan McNabb was only able to gain 230 passing yards, while running back Brian Westbrook ran for 71 yards. The Eagles have outscored opponents 372 – 283. The Eagles are 5-2 at home and 3-4 when playing on the road this season. The Eagles will be at home on Sunday when they take on the Dallas Cowboys. For Dallas, it is a must win game; if they win they will pick up the wildcard position in the NFC.

16. Arizona Cardinals (8-7) – The Arizona Cardinals have hit a rough stretch in their 2008 season. For Arizona they have one week to get back on track before their playoff season begins. The Cardinals lost for the second straight week; 47-7 to the New England Patriots. The loss for the Cardinals dropped them from # 14 to # 16 in the power rankings. The Cardinals despite their 8-7 record have been outscored 405 – 393 on the season. The Cardinals will host NFC West divisional foe Seattle Seahawks in head coach Mike Holmgren’s last game as the Seahawks coach.

17. Houston Texans (7-8) – The Houston Texans snapped their four game winning streak on Sunday, in a 27-16 loss at Oakland. The loss keeps the Texans at # 17 within the power rankings. Houston got 255 passing yards from quarterback Matt Schaub, with 111 of them going to tight end Owen Daniels. The Texans will host the Chicago Bears on Sunday, in an attempt to get to .500 on the season. Houston is 5-2 this season when at home.

18. New Orleans Saints (8-7) – The New Orleans Saints picked up a blowout win over Detroit on Sunday, and guaranteed at least a .500 record on the season. The Saints won 42-7, led by Drew Brees 351 passing yards and two touchdowns. New Orleans has scored 432 points on the season, allowing 360. The Saints will host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The Saints are 6-1 when playing at home this season.

19. Denver Broncos (8-7) – The Broncos fell on Sunday to the Buffalo Bills and are now in jeopardy of missing the postseason. Denver is now 8-7 overall, one game ahead of San Diego in the AFC West. The Broncos and Chargers will play on Sunday night in San Diego, with the winner winning the division and moving into the postseason. In the loss on Sunday, quarterback Jay Cutler threw for 359 yards, but was held out of the end zone, and throwing one interception. The Broncos come into the power rankings at # 19 overall.

20. San Diego Chargers (7-8) – The San Diego Chargers continued to keep their playoff chances alive with a win over Tampa Bay on Sunday. The Chargers have now won three straight games, and are one game back of the Denver Broncos. San Diego and Denver will now play in a winner take all game Sunday Night. The win for the Chargers allowed them to remain at # 20 in the power rankings. Quarterback Phillip Rivers, who has thrown for 3802 yards and 32 touchdowns, has led San Diego.

21. Washington Redskins (8-7) – The Washington Redskins cannot make the NFC playoffs, but they picked up a prideful win on Sunday over the Philadelphia Eagles. The win kept the Redskins at # 21 overall. In the win for Washington running back Clinton Portis picked up 70 yards. On the season, Portis has run for 1407 yards and 8 touchdowns. Washington with their 8-7 record continues to sit at the bottom of the NFC East, ½ game behind the Eagles, and a full game behind the Dallas Cowboys. Washington will finish the 2008 season on Sunday at San Francisco.

22. Buffalo Bills (7-8) – The Bills picked up a 30-23 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday, causing Denver to play in a must win game this Sunday. The win for the Bills move them up one position from # 23 to # 22. Buffalo is now 7-3 against teams from outside their own division. The Bills have out scored opponents 336 – 329 on the season. Buffalo will look to finish the season at .500, and also ruin the Patriots playoff chances on Sunday. Buffalo is 3-4 when playing at home this season, which is where Sunday’s game will be.

23. San Francisco 49ers (6-9) – The 49ers picked up their 6th win over the season on Sunday; a come from behind 17-16 win over the St. Louis Rams. The win for the 49ers help them move up one spot in the power rankings from # 24 to # 23. In the win, San Francisco’s wide receiver Issac Bruce moved into second on the all time receiving yards passing Tim Brown. San Francisco will finish the 2008 regular season on Sunday at home against the Washington Redskins.

24. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10) – The Jaguars lost a ten-point lead on Thursday, losing to the Colts 31-24. The loss for Jacksonville was their 10th on the season, and caused them to fall two spots from # 22 to # 24. Jacksonville has been outscored 340 – 295 on the season. Jacksonville will take to the road to Baltimore on Sunday to finish their 2008 season.

25. Green Bay Packers (5-10) – The Green Bay Packers fell for the fifth straight game to fall to 5-10 overall. The Packers have lost their last four games by 4,3,4, and 3. On Monday night, a blocked field goal by the Bears sent the game to overtime, where Chicago’s kicker Robbie Gould nailed a game winning field goal for the second straight week. The Packers got 260 passing yards from rookie quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and 61 rushing yards from Ryan Grant. Green Bay will host the 0-15 Detroit Lions, and attempt to send them to the first ever 0-16 season in NFL history.

26. Seattle Seahawks (4-11) – Seattle was able to send head coach Mike Holmgren out in winning fashion at home on Sunday. The Seahawks put a serious dent in the playoff hopes of Brett Favre and the New York Jets with a 13-3 win. In the win, Seattle’s defense caused Favre to turn the ball over twice, and allowed 115 rushing yards. The Seahawks move up one spot from # 27 to # 26 in the power rankings. Seattle is now 4-11 overall, two games behind San Francisco in the NFC West standings. Seattle will finish the 2007 season on Sunday at the NFC West winning Arizona Cardinals.

27. Oakland Raiders (4-11) – Justin Fargas ran for 93 yards on Sunday and the Raiders cooled down the red hot Houston Texans, 27-16. The win for Oakland pushed them up one spot from # 28 to # 27. The Raiders have been outscored on the season 364 – 232. The Raiders will finish the 2008 season on Sunday in Tampa Bay. 28. Cincinnati Bengals (3-11-1) – Just as the season begins to conclude the Bengals have now won two straight games. Cincinnati shut out the Cleveland Browns on Sunday 14-0 to pick up their 3rd win on the season. In the win for the Bengals running back Cedric Benson ran for 171 yards. The win for the Bengals allowed them to move up a spot from # 29 to # 28. Cincinnati will finish the season on Saturday at home against the Kansas City Chiefs.

29. Cleveland Browns (4-11) – Cleveland was shut out on Sunday 14-0 by the Cincinnati Bengals. The loss to Cincinnati made up for one of Cleveland’s only four wins on the season. Coach Romeo Crennell looks to be on the hot seat when the season ends Sunday at Pittsburgh. The Browns have not scored an offensive touchdown in their last five games. The loss for Cleveland dropped them three spots from # 26 to # 29.

30. Kansas City Chiefs (2-13) – In a dogfight, the Chiefs fell on Sunday to the Miami Dolphins. In what was a 31-31 game after three quarters, the Chiefs were held scoreless in the final frame to fell 38-31. The loss was the 13th of the season for Kansas City, along with two wins. The loss keeps the Chiefs at # 30, just ahead of St. Louis and Detroit. The Chiefs will travel to Cincinnati on Sunday to take on the Bengals in the season finale for both teams.

31. St. Louis Rams (2-13) – The Rams lost their ninth straight game Sunday; 17-16 to the San Francisco 49ers. The loss kept the Rams at the # 31 position. The Rams loss came after leading heading into the fourth quarter 16-3. San Francisco scored two late touchdowns for the win. St. Louis has given up 434 points on the season, while scoring just 205. The Rams will finish the season on Sunday at 10-5 Atlanta.

32. Detroit Lions (0-15) – On Sunday, the Detroit Lions became the first National Football League team to ever start a season 0-15. The Lions remain at the # 32 position, a spot they have held most of the season. Sunday’s loss was a 42-0 drubbing to the New Orleans Saints. The Lions have been outscored on the year 486 – 247. Detroit’s last shot for a win during the 2008 season will come on Sunday, when the Lions will take on the Green Bay Packers.


















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