NFL POWER RANKINGS: Where Every Team Stands With One Game Left

richard sherman seattle seahawks 2012

Photo: Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Week 16 was full of mismatches. Good teams played bad teams across the board, and many of them won to lock up playoff spots.There are now only two playoff positions up for grabs, both in the NFC, with the Redskins, Cowboys, Giants, Vikings, and Bears all in contention.

Going into Week 17, hot teams like the Seahawks and Packers shot up our rankings, while the 49ers and Texans slipped after blowout losses.

Click here to see the rankings >

Once again, here’s how we came up with them.

We took our rankings from last week and moved teams up and down based on the following criteria:

  • A win: up 2 spots
  • A loss: down 1 spot
  • A loss by 10+ points: down 2 spots
  • A win against a top-5 team from the week before: up 2 spots
  • A win against a top-12 team from the week before (aka, a playoff team): up 1 spot
  • Covering the point spread: up 1 spot

1. Denver Broncos (#1 last week): Beat the Browns

Record: 12-3

Biggest thing we learned this week: They've beaten a grand total of two playoff teams all year. But they're absolutely dominating teams they should beat.

2. Atlanta Falcons (#4 last week): Beat the Lions

Record: 13-2

Biggest thing we learned this week: After a mini-slump in the middle of the year, the Falcons are probably playing the best ball of their season going into the playoffs.

3. Seattle Seahawks (#7 last week): Beat the 49ers

Record: 10-5

Biggest thing we learned this week: They're almost unstoppable at home. Unfortunately they're going to have to win on the road in the playoffs.

4. New England Patriots (#5 last week): Beat the Jaguars

Record: 11-4

Biggest thing we learned this week: Tom Brady is suddenly an INT machine. He has as many picks in the last two games as he had in the first 13 games.

5. Green Bay Packers (#6 last week): Beat the Titans

Record: 11-4

Biggest thing we learned this week: Unlike last year, they are peaking at exactly the right moment. They'll grab a playoff bye with a win next week, which seemed impossible when they were struggling earlier in the year.

6. San Francisco 49ers (#2 last week): Lost to the Seahawks

Record: 10-4-1

Biggest thing we learned this week: It was an understandable loss, but Colin Kaepernick is not nearly as dynamic as some people are saying.

7. Houston Texans (#3 last week): Lost to the Vikings

Record: 12-3

Biggest thing we learned this week: It's a different offence without Arian Foster. He was out with an irregular heartbeat yesterday.

8. Indianapolis Colts (#8 last week): Beat the Chiefs

Record: 10-5

Biggest thing we learned this week: Andrew Luck, to no one's surprise, had an amazing rookie year. He set the all-time record for rookie passing yards.

9. Baltimore Ravens (#10 last week): Beat the Giants

Record: 10-5

Biggest thing we learned this week: Good things happen when you give it to Ray Rice. He had his most carries since Week 8.

10. Washington Redskins (#11 last week): Beat the Eagles

Record: 9-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: It's not all RGIII. Ryan Kerrigan played a great game on defence, and this continues to be one of the best big-play defenses in the NFL.

11. Minnesota Vikings (#13 last week): Beat the Texans

Record: 9-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: Newlywed Christian Ponder is going to decide the fate of this team. Opposing defenses are really stacking the line to stop Peterson.

12. Cincinnati Bengals (#15 last week): Beat the Steelers

Record: 9-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: The defence is really rounding into the form they had last year. They've held six of seven opponents to less than 20 points.

13. New York Giants (#9 last week): Lost to the Ravens

Record: 8-7

Biggest thing we learned this week: Jason Pierre-Paul summed it up, 'We went out there and pissed on our legs.'

14. Dallas Cowboys (#12 last week): Lost to the Saints

Record: 8-7

Biggest thing we learned this week: They got pretty unlucky, but ultimately their season comes down to one game against the Redskins on Sunday and they're playing decently enough to win.

15. Chicago Bears (#16 last week): Beat the Cardinals

Record: 9-6

Biggest thing we learned this week: The defence got back on track against a really bad Cardinals team. But it might be too little, too late to grab a playoff spot.

16. Miami Dolphins (#17 last week): Beat the Bills

Record: 7-8

Biggest thing we learned this week: Overall, it's a really solid year for Miami. They had one of the worst rosters in the league on paper. But Reggie Bush emerged as an every-down running back, and Ryan Tannehill looked great at times.

17. Pittsburgh Steelers (#14 last week): Lost to the Bengals

Record: 7-8

Biggest thing we learned this week: They just couldn't survive all those injuries. The offensive line and defence were in shambles all year and it finally broke them.

18. Carolina Panthers (#20 last week): Beat the Raiders

Record: 6-9

Biggest thing we learned this week: They're closing the year really strong. Yeah, it was Oakland, but the defence played the best game of the year. All good things going into 2013.

19. St. Louis Rams (#21 last week): Beat the Bucs

Record: 7-7-1

Biggest thing we learned this week: Janoris Jenkins, who slipped in the draft because of a marijuana test, might be the steal of the 2012 Draft. He has 4 TDs this year.

20. New Orleans Saints (#24 last week): Beat the Cowboys

Record: 7-8

Biggest thing we learned this week: Jimmy Graham is really fast. Here is where he was when he recovered the game-winning fumble against Dallas.

21. San Diego Chargers (#23 last week): Beat the Jets

Record: 6-9

Biggest thing we learned this week: The Jets stink.

22. New York Jets (#18 last week): Lost to the Chargers

Record: 6-9

Biggest thing we learned this week: It's the end for Tim Tebow. He asked not to play yesterday.

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (#19 last week): Lost to the Rams

Record: 6-9

Biggest thing we learned this week: Josh Freeman has eight picks in his last eight quarters. It's amazing that this was once a really good team.

24. Cleveland Browns (#22 last week): Lost to the Broncos

Record: 5-10

Biggest thing we learned this week: It's a shame that they ended the season so poorly. They looked decent there in the middle of the year.

25. Arizona Cardinals (#25 last week): Lost to the Bears

Record: 5-10

Biggest thing we learned this week: They put in Brian Hoyer, their fourth-string QB, at one point. Poor Larry Fitzgerald.

26. Detroit Lions (#26 last week): Lost to the Falcons

Record: 4-11

Biggest thing we learned this week: Matt Stafford might set the record for most passing attempts. So there's that.

27. Tennessee Titans (#27 last week): Lost to the Packers

Record: 5-10

Biggest thing we learned this week: Jake Locker had a 0.0 passer rating at halftime.

28. Buffalo Bills (#28 last week): Lost to the Dolphins

Record: 5-10

Biggest thing we learned this week: There's a lot of things to build on (CJ Spiller chief among them), but if they can't clean up the pass defence and the passing game, they have no chance in 2013.

29. Philadelphia Eagles (#29 last week): Lost to the Redskins

Record: 4-11

Biggest thing we learned this week: Nick Foles probably didn't do enough to keep his job next year. The Birds will try to find a new QB.

30. Kansas City Chiefs (#31 last week): Lost to the Colts

Record: 2-13

Biggest thing we learned this week: It turns out they are way better when they give the ball to Jamaal Charles as much as possible.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (#32 last week): Lost to the Patriots

Record: 2-13

Biggest thing we learned this week: They picked off Tom Brady twice and covered. Moral victory.

32. Oakland Raiders (#30 last week): Lost to the Panthers

Record: 4-11

Biggest thing we learned this week: Six points against the Panthers? Six points against the Panthers.

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