Twenty teams are now packing their bags for the offseason, while 12 still have visions of heading to Miami in February for Super Bowl LIV. After 256 games, here are our final regular season power rankings.
1. Baltimore Ravens (14-2, Last Week: 1)
Week 17 Result: Defeated Pittsburgh, 28-10
Despite resting a bunch of starters, the Ravens still dominated the Steelers and showed why they are the Super Bowl favorites. Their roster is both talented and has a lot of depth. They will ride a 12-game winning streak into the postseason
2. San Francisco 49ers (13-3, Last Week: 2)
Week 17 Result: Defeated Seattle, 26-21
You could not get any closer than that. Literally about an inch separated the 49ers from dropping to the fifth seed in the NFC. Instead, Dre Greenlaw came up with the big stop and the road to the Super Bowl runs through Levi’s Stadium. We may very well get 49ers-Seahawks III in the Divisional Playoffs.
3. New Orleans Saints (13-3, Last Week: 3)
Week 17 Result: Defeated Carolina, 42-10
The Saints didn’t leave any doubt, putting the Panthers away early in their bid to secure a first-round bye. However, the 49ers and Packers put a stop to that, so instead, the Saints will renew their exciting postseason history with the Minnesota Vikings next week.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4, Last Week: 5)
Week 17 Result: Defeated L.A. Chargers, 31-21
Kansas City needs to send a late Christmas card to the Miami Dolphins for stunning the New England Patriots and lifting the Chiefs to the second seed and a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs. Losing Juan Thornhill is a tough blow but they still have number 15 at quarterback.
5. Green Bay Packers (13-3, Last Week: 4)
Week 17 Result: Defeated Detroit, 23-20
The Packers trailed 17-3 at halftime in Detroit and we were all starting to think about a Packers/Vikings Wild Card meeting. Then Green Bay woke up and secured a first-round bye with the final kick of the game, setting up a potential Divisional date with the Saints.
6. Seattle Seahawks (11-5, Last Week: 7)
Week 17 Result: Lost to San Francisco, 26-21
It was deja vu for the Seahawks. That pesky goal line late in the game did them in again. It wasn’t the Super Bowl, but it certainly made their road to the Super Bowl much tougher. Two straight home losses have taken the Seahawks from playing at home through the NFC playoffs to now traveling to Philadelphia on Wild Card weekend. Not ideal, but not a death sentence either.
7. Minnesota Vikings (10-6, Last Week: 8)
Week 17 Result: Lost to Chicago, 21-19
Minnesota barely played any starters against the Bears. They had no reason to. They couldn’t move up in the playoffs. So they should be well-rested for what should be another exciting playoff battle with the Saints on Sunday.
8. Houston Texans (11-5, Last Week: 9)
Week 17 Result: Lost to Tennessee, 35-14
Houston was another team that rested players, letting A.J. McCarron take the reigns against the Titans. A tough matchup against the Bills awaits to open the playoffs. It also has become an unwritten rule that if the Texans make the playoffs, they play in the Saturday afternoon slot.
9. Tennessee Titans (9-7, Last Week: 11)
Week 17 Result: Defeated Houston, 35-14
Sure, the Titans were facing a bunch of backups in Houston. They still did what they needed to do to come away with a postseason berth, as Derrick Henry took home the rushing title in emphatic fashion, going for 211 yards and three touchdowns. Henry finishes with 1,540 yards, 46 yards ahead of Cleveland’s Nick Chubb. They’ll head to Foxborough to take on the Patriots in primetime Saturday.
10. New England Patriots (12-4, Last Week: 6)
Week 17 Result: Lost to Miami, 27-24
We’ve had some strange and shocking results this season, but New England losing at home to Miami in Week 17 with a chance to secure yet another first-round bye might be the upset of the season. For the first time since 2009, the Patriots will be playing on Wild Card Weekend and they draw a dangerous Titans team who will be playing with house money. It’s quite possible New England doesn’t even make it to Divisional Weekend.
11. Buffalo Bills (10-6, Last Week: 10)
Week 17 Result: Lost to New York Jets, 13-6
On paper, losing to the Jets right before the playoffs certainly looks bad. But Buffalo only let Josh Allen throw five passes before yanking him for Matt Barkley. Allen will now prepare for his first playoff game when the Bills travel to Houston on Saturday. That will be a very intriguing game to kick off the postseason.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7, Last Week: 12)
Week 17 Result: Defeated New York Giants, 34-17
The injuries just keep on piling up for the Eagles. But you know what else has been piling up? Wins. Four straight wins for the Eagles got them to 9-7 and an NFC East championship. Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz did a phenomenal job of dragging this team into the playoffs when the season looked dead and buried after losing in Miami in Week 13. Philadelphia will wrap up Wild Card Weekend at home against the Seahawks.
13. Los Angeles Rams (9-7, Last Week: 14)
Week 17 Result: Defeated Arizona, 31-24
The Rams will at least finish with a winning record this season but it is still ultimately a disappointment missing the playoffs. The Rams also ended their run at the Coliseum with a win. Next year, they move into their new stadium in Inglewood and we look forward to their new color scheme and jerseys.
14. Dallas Cowboys (8-8, Last Week: 13)
Week 17 Result: Defeated Washington, 47-16
The first question you ask from this score is where was this offense against the Eagles when they could have won the division? Now the question, likely, will be who will be the next head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. It’s almost fitting that Garrett’s likely final season ends at 8-8 after his first three seasons also finished 8-8 each.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8, Last Week: 13)
Week 17 Result: Lost to Baltimore, 28-10
It was a nice story for a while with Duck Hodges but he really played poorly down the stretch and the Steelers watched their playoff hopes disappear. To be honest, the Steelers play the last few weeks showed they didn’t really deserve to go to the playoffs anyway after losing to the Jets and the Ravens’ backups.
16. Chicago Bears (8-8, Last Week: 19)
Week 17 Result: Defeated Minnesota, 21-19
The Bears just squeaked by a Vikings team led by Sean Mannion. Not Kirk Cousins. Sean Mannion. How hot will Matt Nagy’s seat be in 2020 and what will the future hold for Mitchell Trubisky?
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9, Last Week: 16)
Week 17 Result: Lost to Atlanta, 28-22 (OT)
It was the most fitting way for Jameis Winston to end his season and prepare for free agency: throw a pick-six on the first play of overtime for his 30th interception of the season. Winston ended up winning the passing title by over 200 yards over Dak Prescott as he threw for 5,109 yards. He threw 33 touchdown passes, which was second to the 36 from Lamar Jackson. But it’s those 30 interceptions that really make you wonder why the Buccaneers should bring Winston back.
18. Oakland Raiders (7-9, Last Week: 17)
Week 17 Result: Lost to Denver, 16-15
The Raiders actually had a playoff pulse in the late window before Tennessee pulled away from Houston to end any hope. And with that, the Oakland Raiders are no more. Time to start getting used to saying “Las Vegas Raiders”. Already sounds weird. This is going to take a while.
19. Atlanta Falcons (7-9, Last Week: 21)
Week 17 Result: Defeated Tampa Bay, 33-23
We wondered last week if the Falcons had done enough to save Dan Quinn’s job with their recent surge. Sure enough, the Falcons came out this week and announced Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff would return in 2020.
20. Indianapolis Colts (7-9, Last Week: 18)
Week 17 Result: Lost to Jacksonville, 38-20
An ugly way to end the season for the Colts, allowing 38 points to the Jaguars. They’re likely to find a new quarterback at some point this offseason. They’re also hoping for better luck on the injury front in 2020 as losing T.Y. Hilton for a handful of weeks did not help their cause at all.
21. Denver Broncos (7-9, Last Week: 22)
Week 17 Result: Defeated Oakland, 16-15
Denver held off Oakland on a two-point conversion attempt and Drew Lock ends up 4-1 in his five starts this season. Denver will look to better protect Lock next season and perhaps get him some more weapons on offense.
22. New York Jets (7-9, Last Week: 25)
Week 17 Result: Defeated Buffalo, 13-6
The Jets had themselves a fine second half, going 6-2. Obviously their first half killed basically any hope they had of the playoffs. But they certainly have some momentum to ride into the offseason.
23. Cleveland Browns (6-10, Last Week: 20)
Week 17 Result: Lost to Cincinnati, 33-23
The day started with reports that Week 17 may determine the fate of head coach Freddie Kitchens. The Browns proceeded to lose to the worst team in the league, the Bengals, and finish their hyped-up year at 6-10. Cleveland didn’t even wait until Monday to fire Kitchens after just one season. It’s going to be a long offseason in Cleveland.
24. Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1, Last Week: 23)
Week 17 Result: Lost to L.A. Rams, 31-24
The defense needs a lot of help, but with the right pieces, the Cardinals might be a sneaky dark horse playoff pick next season if Kyler Murray takes the next step in his progression.
25. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11, Last Week: 24)
Week 17 Result: Lost to Kansas City, 31-21
Philip Rivers was very emotional after Sunday’s game. It’s quite possible we just watched his last game as a Charger.
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26. Miami Dolphins (5-11, Last Week: 29)
Week 17 Result: Defeated New England, 27-24
They may have only went 5-11, but for this roster, that is incredible. They capped it off with a shocking victory on the road against the Patriots and costing them the second seed in the AFC playoffs. The best news for Miami is they stayed in the top five in the draft even with the win. And for those wishing they would have tanked in Week 17, a loss would have slotted them…fifth. The future in bright in South Beach.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10, Last Week: 26)
Week 17 Result: Defeated Indianapolis, 38-20
Jacksonville’s offense finally came to life in Week 17 in what may have been Doug Marrone’s final game as head coach. Whoever the coach is for 2020 will at least inherit a team that holds two picks in the first round of April’s draft. But that Nick Foles contract, though.
28. Carolina Panthers (5-11, Last Week: 27)
Week 17 Result: Lost to New Orleans, 42-10
It was a fitting way for the Panthers to end their season, with the offense totally lackluster, save for Christian McCaffrey, and getting completely hammered at home. If there is a silver lining, the Panthers have done pretty well lately in the draft with a top-ten pick, namely Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly and McCaffrey, who posted a 1,000/1,000 season.
29. New York Giants (4-12, Last Week: 28)
Week 17 Result: Lost to Philadelphia, 34-17
As expected, Week 17 turned out to be the final game for Pat Shurmur as head coach. The team decided to keep Dave Gettleman, however, continuing questions of continuity and stability in the Giants’ organization. Will they land Matt Rhule?
30. Washington Redskins (3-13, Last Week: 30)
Week 17 Result: Lost to Dallas, 47-16
Washington ended the Bill Callahan era with a dud, getting blasted in Dallas. A new and better era is on the horizon, however. Bruce Allen is gone and Ron Rivera, likely, is coming in to coach. Washington also has the second pick in the draft and Chase Young will be there for the taking.
31. Detroit Lions (3-12-1, Last Week: 31)
Week 17 Result: Lost to Green Bay, 23-20
The Lions had their sights set on spoiling the Packers’ chances of a first-round bye. Unfortunately, as was the case all season, their defense failed them. The loss, however, did lock them into the third pick in the draft.
32. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14, Last Week: 32)
Week 17 Result: Defeated Cleveland, 33-23
The Bengals showed some firepower in the final week and essentially sent Freddie Kitchens packing. Plenty of holes to fill but it’s all but a foregone conclusion that Joe Burrow will be leading this team next season. The way he was talking, Andy Dalton knows his time is up in Cincinnati.
Bill Riccette is an NFL writer for Pro Football Network. You can find him on twitter @Bill_Riccette.