2015 NFL Power Rankings: Week 17

Updated: December 29, 2015, 2:25 PM ET




NFL Power Rankings: Week 17
John Clayton breaks down the biggest trends in the latest edition of the NFL Power Rankings, which include a change at the top and a big jump by the Jets.

The Panthers’ winning streak is over. So is their four-week run at No. 1.

The Cardinals, winners of nine straight, including a dismantling of the Packers in Week 16, have ascended to our top spot for the first time ever in these Power Rankings. Carolina is now No. 2, followed by New England and Denver, which returned to the top five after beating Cincinnati on Monday night.



The Jets’ big win over the Patriots was good for a five-spot rise to No. 5, a season-best mark. The week’s most notable fall belongs to the Steelers, who dropped five spots to No. 9 after losing to the Ravens.

A victory in Week 17 will almost guarantee Arizona the Power Rankings “title” for 2015. (Next week’s edition is the last of the season.) But it won’t be easy, as Carson Palmer & Co. host rival Seattle, which is smarting from an upset loss to St. Louis.



Note: The comments below are provided by ESPN Stats & Information.

• Vegas Rankings Insider | Team Power Rankings charts since 2002


2015 Power Rankings: Week 17

Last Week: 2

The Cardinals have won nine straight games for only the second time in franchise history. The last time they did that was across the 1948-49 seasons (11 straight).

Last Week: 1

A 14-0 start might finish at 14-2 when all is said and done. The five other teams to start 6-0 or better this season each followed up their winning streak with two consecutive losses.

Last Week: 3

The Patriots have lost three of their past five and committed at least one turnover in eight straight games. The Patriots didn’t commit a turnover in five of their first seven games.

Last Week: 8

The Broncos had been shut out in the second half in three straight games, but a 14-point effort (plus three more in overtime) Monday night not only kept the Broncos in the playoffs, but in position for a first-round bye.

Last Week: 10

Ryan Fitzpatrick needs one more touchdown to break a tie with Vinny Testaverde for the Jets’ single-season franchise record for touchdown passes (29).

Last Week: 5

Including the game in which he was injured, the Bengals are 1-2 since losing Andy Dalton. The Bengals are scoring on 30 percent of drives with AJ McCarron this season (43 percent with Dalton).

Last Week: 9

The Chiefs are 10-5 despite posting a five-game losing streak this season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 1986 Jets are the only other team to win 10 games the same year as losing five straight.

Last Week: 6

The Packers’ offense has been held under 100 yards in the first half in three of its past four games and has been shut out in the first half twice in that span.

Last Week: 4

The bad news: Sunday’s loss has the Steelers on the outside looking in for the playoffs. The good news: They play the Browns in Week 17, against whom Ben Roethlisberger is 18-2 in his career.

Last Week: 7

The Seahawks didn’t hold a lead against the Rams in Week 16. According to Elias, it was the first time under Russell Wilson the Seahawks didn’t hold a lead in a game.

Last Week: 11

The Vikings are heating up at the right time, as they’ve had their two most decisive victories in the past two weeks. Their 49 points Sunday night were their most since 1998.

Last Week: 12

Kirk Cousins in his past nine games (starting with the “You like that?” game: 72.0 completion percentage, 20 touchdown passes, three interceptions and a 76.6 Total QBR.

Last Week: 14

Derek Carr is three passing touchdowns away from tying Daryle Lamonica’s franchise record (34), a mark that has stood since 1969. Carr has five games with three passing touchdowns this season.

Last Week: 13

Despite starting four different quarterbacks this season, the Texans have thrown for 28 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. One more touchdown ties the franchise high for a season.

Last Week: 16

Talk about hitting the highs and lows. The Falcons put an end to the Panthers’ perfect season and were eliminated from the playoffs on the same day.

Last Week: 18

The Bills missed the playoffs again, but one more win would mean a second straight non-losing season. The last time the Bills had consecutive seasons of .500 or better was 1999-2000.

Last Week: 22

Todd Gurley has eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns this season. The last Rams rookie to accomplish that? Eric Dickerson in 1983.

Last Week: 21

To make the playoffs, the Colts need only to win in Week 17 and have the Texans, Titans, Browns, Chargers, Saints, Jets, Patriots, Bengals and Chiefs lose.

Last Week: 19

Since Week 11, the Eagles have allowed 36.0 points per game, 5.2 points worse than the next-closest team (Giants). Opponents are averaging 157 rushing yards vs. the Eagles over that span.

Last Week: 23

The past three weeks have been vintage Drew Brees: 69.8 completion percentage, 355 pass yards per game, eight passing touchdowns and zero interceptions.

Last Week: 15

How did Eli Manning enjoy life without Odell Beckham Jr.? Well, he went 5-of-14 with three interceptions when targeting his wide receivers Sunday night, his worst performance in that category since 2012.

Last Week: 17

Since climbing to .500 in Week 13, the Buccaneers have lost three straight games, allowing an 89.8 Total QBR in those games. Jameis Winston has a 54.1 QBR in that stretch.

Last Week: 26

The Lions have committed the fewest turnovers (4) and have the third-best TD-INT ratio since Week 10 (16-2), going 5-2 in that span.

Last Week: 28

The Ravens are finishing with a losing record, but they swept the season series against the Steelers for only the third time in franchise history, and it might keep them out of the playoffs.

Last Week: 24

A changing of the guard taking place? Jeremy Langford has either equaled or topped Matt Forte in snaps each of the past three weeks, playing 15 more snaps total.

Last Week: 20

Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns each have 1,000 yards receiving this season. The last pair of Jaguars teammates to each top 1,000 receiving yards in the same season? Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell (2001).

Last Week: 25

Since beating the Texans 44-26, the Dolphins are 2-7. Their two wins were by a combined three points. Their losses have been decided by a combined 102 points.

Last Week: 27

Eight of the Chargers’ 11 losses this season have been by eight or fewer points, tied with the Ravens for the most such losses this season.

Last Week: 29

The Cowboys have lost 11 games for the first time since the 2002 season, when Dave Campo was coach and Chad Hutchinson was the leading passer. The Cowboys are 1-10 without Tony Romo this season.

Last Week: 32

Browns point totals in Johnny Manziel’s past five starts: 10, 9, 24, 13, 13. The Browns are 1-4 in those starts, beating only the 49ers.

Last Week: 30

DuJuan Harris and Jarryd Hayne led the 49ers in rushing in Week 16. Harris worked as a car salesman in 2012, and Hayne was playing rugby in 2014.

Last Week: 31

An NFL-worst 32 turnovers have the 3-12 Titans in line for another top-two pick in the draft. At least that’ll get Marcus Mariota some help.
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13 Responses to “2015 NFL Power Rankings: Week 17”

  1. Andrea says:

    Happy New Year everyone !!!

    So what are the odds of the Colts making the playoffs?

    Me thinks the Colts odds of making the playoffs would be better if they had signed Tebow after Andrew Luck was injured.

  2. Danny says:

    Andrea: you are right…with Luck out, Tebow would have been a high upside/low risk option for the Colts. Cowboys were another team that could have used TT but went with guaranteed fail options.

    I ran across this interesting article about the Eagles. This was one highlight of the article that we all share in regards to Tebow:

    “LeSean McCoy painted a picture of a coach not wanting his players to overshadow him.”

    This dovetails into comments we heard after the first pre-season game against the Ravens. Chip heard all the support that Tebow got and things were never the same.


    I ran across several positive Tebow comments in the comment section.

  3. Sherri says:

    Great news! The League is FINALLY getting some big time press!!


    “The League: A proposed new football league referred to as The League was trying to organize over the past year or two with teams to be concentrated in the eastern half of the United States (Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, the South and Florida). Original plans were to have 12 to 16 teams with each team having an upper and lower level minor league team within close proximity. Each team would also have an affiliation with developmental leagues to be organized in Eastern Europe, South Asia and Africa. Six southern teams were to be located in Memphis, Mobile, Miami, Orlando, Charleston (SC) and the Tidewater area. The League then decided to start in Florida with only minor league teams for its first season in 2016. One of the teams was to be called the Florida Black Bears and based in Ocala. There had been no updates on The League over the past few months.”

  4. Danny says:

    For as much grief as I’ve given Chip Kelly in this forum, I still believe he has a great philosophy and football strategy, just had the wrong QB to run the offense. Maybe he was overruled with keeping Tebow, but just the way TT was sent packing just left a sour taste in my mouth.

    The promising season that was ahead for the Eagles turned out to be the season of discontent. Players like DeMarco Murray, who had a “bad” hamstring all season which we later found out that he went to the team owner to express his discontent for Kelly and probably had pulled back from playing for the majority of the season. Jason Peters pulls himself from a game to avoid injury…and that’s the ones we heard about. Other players were grumbling about Kelly.

    How does Tebow fit into all this?

    I believe that Tebow would have been the great unifier on this team, something that Kelly desperately needed to be present on this team, especially as the team went through its rough stretches. Players would not be pulling themselves out of games or complaining about minor injuries with Tebow there. Success will do that for a team.

    Tebow, the ultimate teammate who broke up a training camp fight in the pre-season. Does anybody remember that?

    Tebow, the man who in the past had the ability to rally a team late in the game, seemingly willing the Broncos to several victories.

    Tebow, the man who would have moved mountains for Kelly and the Eagles.

    Tebow with the Eagles was bigger, stronger and a better football player than when he was with the Broncos.

    The greatness that Kelly sought for was only for himself. As much focus was on Tebow, he always deflected that praise and gave credit where credit was due. Who’s the professional here?

    Kelly needed Tebow in the worst way this season to unify this team. There was certainly a breakdown with on-field leadership as Bradford and Sanchez couldn’t right the issues within the locker room. Kelly will have to realize at his next NFL coaching job that he needs performers and leaders on the team to be winners and they might actually overshadow him at times.

    Tebow will always be known as a performer,leader,winner,and champion.

    • ck says:

      Danny: Well said and a definite AMEN!

    • Lynn B. says:

      It’s impossible to know what we do not know of course, but Chip signed Tim “after” he made the trade for Sam Bradford. Sanchez said early on that he’d been told Tim was only a “camp arm,” and maybe that was true all along, maybe Chip signed him as a favor or just on a whim or who knows what. But Chip was invested in Bradford the way that the Jets were invested in Sanchez and he had to make good on his investment – and although keeping Tim may have saved Chip’s job in the end he did not see it that way going into the season.

      This is not a popular idea on this site, but I would say once again that if Tebow were any other player Chip would have kept him but because of the fan support he had to let him go. No matter what a leader Tim is in the locker room in general there was conflict from the get-go with Sanchez and it would have been too much pressure on Bradford if fans were calling for Tebow AND THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN!

      I wish Chip had not cut Tim but I can understand why it happened. What I do not understand and what was really inexcusable in my mind was Chip throwing Tim under the bus when he said he needed to go to Canada to get reps. That was a knife in the back for no justifiable reason. Likely, he did that too to keep the fans quiet, but still, that was low.

      We simply cannot make this about Tim’s faith and bias against Christians… there are simply too many Christians in the league who have no such problems. Kirk Cousins with the Redskins is the mirror image to Tebow spiritually speaking. Benjamin Watson, Saint’s TE, just published a book on race in which he says the problem is sin and not the color of our skin. Watson is a very outspoken Christian and if anything more conservative than Tim and he is getting all manner of accolades including being up for the Walton Payton Man of the Year Award. Watson goes on all the talk shows and talks about our sinful hearts, Jesus, and His ability to change hearts and he gets no flack at all. Tim’s problem is something unique to him. Anyways, I commend Watson’s book to you all: http://underourskinbook.com/

      • ck says:

        Yes, Tebow is unique and definitely singled out b/c he stands his ground on what he believes. Not everyone has the character he has to stand against what he has had to endure and believe he is destined for a higher purpose also, Lynn B.

    • Sage says:

      Well spoken, Danny. You’re right: Tebow as a leader and teammate would have been just what the Eagles needed.

      Hard to believe Chip’s ego was so fragile that he was offended by Tebow’s popularity. Ego is a big thing in the NFL. I’ve often suspected Elway resented Tebow because Tebow was well on the way to eclipsing Elway’s achievements with the Broncos. That was part of it, anyway.

      It’s a strange world.

  5. Andrea says:

    The mainstream media keeps Kirk Cousins and Benjamin Watson’s Christianity in the closet.

    I’ve never heard of Benjamin Watson and since I live in near Washington D.C. I have heard of Kirk Cousins.

    Believe me Kirk Cousins outspoken faith is not widely known by Redskins fans. I can’t tell you the number of people who have looked stunned when I have mentioned that Kirk Cousins is a man of deep faith.

    I don’t know if you remember the police officer who was killed in the Planned Parenthood shooting in Colorado awhile back. The mainstream media focused on his dancing association with Nancy Kerrigan around 20 years ago but the mainstream media never mentioned the fact that the police officer was co-pastor at his local church.

    The mainstream media hates God and continues to demonize Tebow because of his faith.

    That’s a fact Jack.

    • ck says:

      Andrea: That is right b/c they leave things OUT ON PURPOSE where christian beliefs are concerned and I remember when the opposite was true at one time, unfortunately. It was never an option to say the “Pledge of Allegiance” like it is now!:( Supposed to be “ONE NATION UNDER GOD” AND “IN GOD WE TRUST” ETC. WE HAVE REALLY SUNK TO A NEWER LOW LEVEL IMO!!! HOPE THIS ELECTION TURNS IT AROUND W/THE RIGHT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OR WE ARE D…O…N…E!!!

    • Lynn B. says:

      Andrea: But now you are speaking of the media and not the NFL. I can sooner believe there some in the media who want Tim out of the league than I can believe the league is blackballing Tim in an organized way. The NFL praises Tim every now and again via Twitter including today playing video of his playoff pass to Thomas.

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