Week 17 NFL Power Rankings
by Robert Ferringo - 12/30/2006
I apologize on the tardiness of my Power Rankings. You can blame me or blame Delta Airlines (long story). I prefer you put it on me. Anyway, Brevity is the soul of wit so we're going to try to keep this short and sweet. And without further ado, my Week 17 Power Rankings:
1. San Diego (13-2) - The Chargers are looking to lock up home-field, but they've never gone 8-0 at home in a season. Philip Rivers is just 64-for-136 (47 percent) with five touchdowns and three interceptions over his past five games.
2. Chicago (13-2) - Why isn't anyone talking about Mark Anderson (12 sacks, four forced fumbles) for Defensive Rookie of the Year? The Bears defense is not the same. They've given up an average of 21.8 points per game over their last five.
3. Baltimore (12-3) - If Baltimore has any shot at the Super Bowl they need a first-round bye. Recently, the Ravens have surrendered just one sack while racking up 27.
4. New England (11-4) - Remember that last season the Pats made a mockery of Week 17 with Doug Flutie drop-kicking balls. With their playoff spot secure I don't see them playing the regulars more than one quarter.
5. New Orleans (10-5) - Same as the Pats. They'll leave nothing to chance with the prospect of a home playoff game ahead of them.
6. Denver (9-6) - The Broncos have the least-penalized offense in the NFL (59 penalties). With a strong defense and a disciplined offense they're not dead yet in the AFC. But Tatum Bell has to get going (2.6 ypc and two fumbles over past two games).
7. Jacksonville (8-7) - Since 2001 the Jags are 19-29 SU on the road. Now they're supposed to go into Arrowhead and win to make the playoffs? Not so much.
8. Indianapolis (11-4) - Teams are converting an amazing 46.6 percent of their third downs against the Colts.
9. Philadelphia (9-6) - The Eagles remind me exactly of the Washington Redskins from a year ago. Both veteran teams were able to get hot and ride a long winning streak into the playoffs.
10. Cincinnati (8-7) - Let's just remember who said at the beginning of the year that the Bengals wouldn't make the playoffs. Yes, it was me. And some people had these clowns going to the Super Bowl.
11. Kansas City (8-7) - Larry Johnson already averages over 25 carries per game and is on pace to finish the year with an astounding 408.
12. Dallas (9-6) - Much like the Colts, the Cowboys cannot stop people on third down. Teams are converting 43.1 percent of the time. And how in God's name did Tony Romo make the Pro Bowl? Are you kidding me?
13. New York Jets (9-6) - Every Jet fan I know is absolutely terrified of this weekend's game against Oakland. It has nothing to do with injuries and everything to do with the fact that the Jets are a choke team that can't be counted on. Ever.
14. Tennessee (8-7) - Vince Young is getting all the credit, but the Titans transformation really has more to do with the veteran presence of guys like Keith Bulluck and Kevin Mawae.
15. Seattle (8-7) - The Seahawks are just 1-3 SU against teams over .500. Since the start of 2003 they are just 8-16 SU against winning teams.
16. Pittsburgh (7-8) - This year the Steelers have twice as many interceptions (22) and nearly twice as many sacks given up (45) this year than last. That's what happens when a running team tries to air it out.
17. New York Giants (7-8) - They head into Washington with their playoff hopes resting on Eli Manning and Plexico Burress. Hahahahahahahaha!!!!
18. Buffalo (7-8) - I didn't use the Bills this week, but I absolutely love them +9.5 against the Ravens. They're gritty and they've got nothing to lose.
19. Green Bay (7-8) - First off, how could NFL schedule makers not give the Packers a season-ending home game? Secondly, the Pack will be eliminated from the playoffs before kickoff so don't expect that inspired effort that everyone's looking for.
20. Carolina (7-8) - I love the direct snap to the running back. Now we just need them to bring back the old single wing formation and the full house backfield. Maybe then they'd convert more than 30 percent of their third downs.
21. St. Louis (7-8) - This weekend is a must-win game that the Rams have to get in order to have a shot at the playoffs. So expect them to lose by 30.
22. Atlanta (7-8) - If the Falcons get embarrassed this weekend don't expect to see Jim Mora back. Vick, a.k.a. the Coach Killer, will have claimed his second victim.
23. Miami (6-9) - Cleo Lemon? Are you %*#@ing kidding me?
24. Washington (5-10) - Amazingly, the Redskins are actually $1 million over the 2007-08 cap. Not good.
25. San Francisco (6-9) - Someone tell Antonio Bryant that you're not tough to spot in an orange Lamborghini. Maybe he was just trying to get Alex Smith's attention because he thought he was open.
26. Minnesota (6-9) - The Vikings and their mammoth offensive line should have their way with the St. Louis defense (31st against the rush).
27. Houston (5-10) - Don't look now, but DeMeco Ryans and Mario Williams are laying the foundation for what could become a very strong defense.
28. Arizona (5-10) - Expect to see Kurt Warner in an off-Broadway production of "Happy Feet" opening this weekend in San Diego.
29. Tampa Bay (4-11) - What has Tampa seen to make them think that Chris Simms deserves "starter's money"?
30. Cleveland (4-11) - The Browns are 3-0 SU and ATS in their season-ending game over the past three years. They play just well enough to end the season to give their fans hope that next year won't be a complete and utter disaster.
31. Oakland (2-13) - Speaking of disasters, the Raiders have been playing for nothing but pride for about 13 weeks now. I don't think they'll be the proverbial Bags Packed team this weekend.
32. Detroit (2-13) - The Lions, on the other hand…
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