NFL Power Rankings Week 17: Jaguars Win By Finishing 32nd

Payton Matthews | Updated Dec 29, 2020

trevor lawrence jaguars

Outside of whichever team wins Super Bowl 55, has any NFL team had a better 2020 season than the one-win Jaguars? Looking long term, perhaps not.

Here’s a look at power rankings off the Week 16 results.

NFL Week 17 Power Rankings

1. Kansas City (14-1): While the Chiefs aren’t exactly playing their best football right now, the road to Super Bowl 55 in the AFC goes through Kansas City. Remember, the Chiefs didn’t have home-field advantage in last season’s playoffs but ended up not playing a road game. No reason for the Chiefs to play their starters on Sunday.

2. Green Bay (12-3): The road to Super Bowl 55 will go through Green Bay if the Packers win in Chicago on Sunday – and they usually do win there. Aaron Rodgers is going to win a third NFL MVP Award, becoming just the sixth player with that many.

3. Buffalo (12-3): Off their first sweep over New England this century, the Bills actually have little to play for this Sunday as they can’t get the AFC’s top seed and will be either the No. 2 or No. 3. Is getting the No. 2 worth risking starters when it no longer includes a bye?

4. New Orleans (11-4): Assuming he plays, Sunday will almost surely be the final regular-season game ever for Drew Brees. In this writer’s book, Brees is the best regular-season QB in history.

5. Baltimore (10-5): My preseason Super Bowl pick is now playing like it, and the Ravens are absolutely the team no one wants to face on Wild-Card Weekend. They could actually still miss the playoffs with a loss in Cincinnati on Sunday, but that’s not happening.

6. Tampa Bay (10-5): The Bucs may or may not care on Sunday vs. Atlanta as they probably will be the NFC’s No. 5 seed and visit the NFC East champion on Wild-Card Weekend whether Tampa Bay loses or not in Week 17.

7. Pittsburgh (12-3): Expect Coach Mike Tomlin to rest Ben Roethlisberger and other veteran starters in Week 17 as the Steelers will be the AFC’s No. 2 or 3 seed regardless and it’s better for Big Ben to get a bye ahead of the Wild-Card Round.

8. Seattle (11-4): Can the Seahawks get to Super Bowl 55? Their defence has really turned it on of late, but the only realistic way this writer sees it is if Seattle steals the NFC’s top seed on Sunday over Green Bay.

9. Tennessee (10-5): The Titans would clinch the AFC South title with a win at nothing-to-play for Houston but could in theory miss the playoffs outright with a loss.

10. Indianapolis (10-5): The Colts could become just the third team ever to win 11 games and miss the playoffs. They’ll do their part Sunday by beating Jacksonville but need help in at least one other game to get in.

11. Miami (10-5): If the Fins win in Buffalo on Sunday, they are in the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Oh, and Miami could also land the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 draft courtesy of Houston. This team will be a powerhouse soon.

12. Cleveland (10-5): The Browns were decimated by COVID/injury last week in being upset by the Jets but are in the playoffs for the first time since 2002 with a win over visiting Pittsburgh on Sunday – and as noted above, the Steelers probably won’t care about that game. The Browns could miss out with a loss.

13. Chicago (8-7): If the Bears upset visiting Green Bay on Sunday to get into the playoffs, Coach Matt Nagy probably returns in 2021 and so does QB Mitchell Trubisky on a short-term contract. If the Bears lose and miss the playoffs, probably not on both.

14. Arizona (8-7): The Cardinals are in the postseason with a win at the Rams and are going to catch a major break in that one …

15. LA Rams (9-6): … in that the Rams are going to be without starting QB Jared Goff, who had thumb surgery Monday. Former Wake Forest QB John Wolford will make his first NFL start. He has never played in a regular-season game. L.A. can still reach the playoffs with a loss vs. Arizona but needs help.

16. Dallas (6-9): My pick of Dallas representing the NFC in Super Bowl 55 is still possible! The Cowboys win the NFC East with a victory at the Giants on Sunday and a Washington loss in Philadelphia.

17. LA Chargers (6-9): Justin Herbert has had arguably the best rookie season by a quarterback in history. Sunday will likely be Coach Anthony Lynn’s last game, even with a late-season surge.

18. Las Vegas (7-8): Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all to pay Jon Gruden $100 million (US) to leave the Monday Night Football both and take over as coach a few years ago. Gruden blew last Saturday’s game vs. Miami and there’s no argument.

19. Washington (6-9): We are downgrading Washington heavily because the Football Team seems a bit in disarray right now with Monday’s release of quarterback and 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins after he had started the past two games. Google “Taylor Heinicke” … he starts Sunday in Philadelphia if Alex Smith isn’t healthy. Washington wins the NFC East with a win and misses the playoffs with a loss.

20. Minnesota (6-9): Will Coach Mike Zimmer survive this disappointing season? Minnesota will finish third in the NFC North but did hit a grand slam with 2020 first-round receiver pick Justin Jefferson.

21. New England (6-9): Who is this team’s quarterback Week 1 of next season? He probably isn’t on the roster right now.

22. San Francisco (6-9): Will Jimmy Garoppolo return in 2021? That’s clearly the biggest offseason question for this team. The Niners also did well with their first-round selection of receiver Brandon Aiyuk. He won’t play in Week 17 and finishes with 60 receptions, 748 receiving yards and seven all-purpose touchdowns.

23. Carolina (5-10): It was basically a lost season for All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey. Do the Panthers take a quarterback with their 2021 first-round pick?

24. Denver (5-10): Second-year QB Drew Lock is tied with Carson Wentz for the league lead with 15 interceptions, and Wentz hasn’t played in a few weeks.

25. NY Giants (5-10): New York can win the NFC East with a victory over Dallas and Washington loss in Philadelphia, but this team clearly needs massive help on offence this offseason.

26. Philadelphia (4-10-1): Coach Doug Pederson says he expects to be back in 2021. Most members of the Philadelphia media disagree.

27. Detroit (5-10): Matthew Stafford is hoping to play Week 17 through a sprained ankle as he knows it could be his final game in a Lions uniform. At least the 2021 Lions get another last-place schedule.

28. Cincinnati (4-10-1): The Bengals might have goofed by winning in Houston last week as for now it cost them the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 draft and a shot at by far the best offensive lineman in Oregon’s Penei Sewell – he’s exactly what Cincinnati needs.

29. Houston (4-11): Just a reminder that Houston has neither its first- or second-round picks in next year’s draft, so good luck finding any quick fixes around Deshaun Watson.

30. Atlanta (4-11): Will Sunday be the final game in the Falcons careers of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones (if Jones even plays). Our guess is both are back in 2021 simply because of their onerous contracts.

31. NY Jets (2-13): The Jets can’t even tank right, winning in back-to-back weeks to lock into the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 draft. Ohio State QB Justin Fields? BYU’s Zach Wilson? Coach Adam Gase will be fired after Sunday’s game.

32. Jacksonville (1-14): Urban Meyer and Trevor Lawrence on the 2021 Jaguars? Lawrence is a lock and he could help lure Meyer. This will be the most-coveted coaching job in the NFL this offseason – current coach Doug Marrone will be fired no later than Monday.

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