NFL Power Rankings: Week 17

My current NFL Power Rankings for Week 17 of the 2021 NFL Season.

I’m going to use these rankings as the order for my 2022 NFL Mock Draft during the 2021 season. Follow @walterfootball.

I’ve gone from WORST to FIRST, so if you don’t see reverse numbering (via Javascript), don’t worry; the Jets and Texans aren’t my top teams.

Updated: Dec. 28

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville Jaguars (2-13) – Previously: 32.
    I was joking last week about the Jaguars wanting to trade Trevor Lawrence for Davis Mills, but we’re getting closer to that being an even trade, aren’t we? I was hoping for some signs of life from Lawrence against the Jets’ terrible defense, but we didn’t see anything.

  2. New York Giants New York Giants (4-11) – Previously: 27.
    I don’t understand how Jake Fromm was so bad against the Eagles when he nearly gave me a heart attack the prior week when almost completing a back-door drive at the very end.

  3. New York Jets New York Jets (4-11) – Previously: 30.
    Love this tweet from @PlayLikeaJet1:

    The Jets had a very painful loss this past Sunday, which has apparently been a trend. Perhaps they should have allowed the Jaguars to score at the end.

  4. Detroit Lions NFL Power Rankings Detroit Lions (2-12-1) – Previously: 29.
    Credit the Lions for trying hard despite coming off a rare win. They didn’t have Jared Goff, yet they nearly beat the Falcons. In fact, they outgained them, 338-254!

  5. Carolina Panthers Carolina Panthers (5-10) – Previously: 28.
    Somehow, Matt Rhule’s platoon of Cam Newton and Sam Darnold didn’t work out very well. During the post-game press conference, Rhule compared himself to Jay-Z when asked about his horrible offense. Rhule has clearly lost his mind, so if owner Axe Tepper is paying attention at all, he’ll clean house this offseason.

  6. Houston Texans Houston Texans (4-11) – Previously: 31.
    I’ve seen some speculation regarding the Texans giving Davis Mills a chance next year. Mills has earned it, and it’s not like the Texans will be able to get a top-end quarterback prospect if they can’t land Kenny Pickett. Besides, the following draft looks better for quarterbacks anyway. Check out my 2023 NFL Mock Draft for more details.

  7. Atlanta Falcons Atlanta Falcons (7-8) – Previously: 26.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Falcons are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  8. Seattle Seahawks Seattle Seahawks (5-10) – Previously: 24.
    I loved the Bears when I thought they’d have Justin Fields, Akiem Hicks and potentially Jason Peters on the field. One by one, those players ruled out, so I just figured Seattle would prevail. That didn’t happen. The Seahawks outgained the Bears and averaged 1.6 more yards per play, but does it really matter considering that the Bears were missing their quarterback and some of their top players?

  9. Chicago Bears Chicago Bears (5-10) – Previously: 25.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Bears are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  10. Washington Redskins Washington Redskins (6-9) – Previously: 21.
    The poor Redskins were 6-6 a few weeks ago, but they’ve been ravaged by the virus and Dallas’ monstrous defensive line. People will be quick to blame Taylor Heinicke, but he never had a chance behind his offensive line. The Redskins need a new left tackle to replace Trent Williams. Luckily for them, there will be some good blockers available this April. Check out our 2022 NFL Draft Offensive Tackle Prospect Rankings for more.

  11. Denver Broncos Denver Broncos (7-8) – Previously: 20.
    The sharps keep betting the Broncos, and they keep losing. Denver was humiliated at Las Vegas. The score was just 17-13, but the Raiders outgained then, 342-158. Of the 13 points the Broncos scored, 10 came off fluky turnovers. Despite what the sharps think, the Broncos are one of the worst teams in the NFL. Vic Fangio needs to go.

  12. Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1) – Previously: 19.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Steelers are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  13. New Orleans Saints New Orleans Saints (7-8) – Previously: 23.
    I won’t judge the Saints by their performance against the Dolphins, given that they were missing their top three quarterbacks, both tackles, the top two linebackers and other players.

  14. Baltimore Ravens Baltimore Ravens (8-7) – Previously: 17.
    I’ve moved the Ravens off the overrated list because people may finally understand how bad they are. The Ravens earned some lucky wins earlier in the season, but their team has been absolutely ravaged by injuries.

  15. Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia Eagles (8-7) – Previously: 22.
    I’ve been listing the Eagles as underrated, but I can no longer do that because they’ve been listed as double-digit favorites the past couple of weeks, albeit against teams with disastrous quarterback situations. They got a bit lucky in both games, so Philadelphia is now overrated, if anything.

  16. Las Vegas Raiders Las Vegas Raiders (8-7) – Previously: 18.
    The Raiders still have scored more than 20 points just once since losing Henry Ruggs. They rammed the ball down Denver’s throat in a complete domination. The score was just 17-13, but the Raiders outgained the Broncos, 342-158.

  17. Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins (8-7) – Previously: 16.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Dolphins are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  18. Minnesota Vikings Minnesota Vikings (7-8) – Previously: 15.
    The Vikings outgained the Rams and averaged more yards per play, but they found a way to lose because of red zone incompetence and a surrendered touchdown on a punt return. I bet on the Vikings, so I found this to be incredibly frustrating!

  19. Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns (7-8) – Previously: 13.
    The Browns outgained the Packers and averaged more yards per play, yet they lost because of Baker Mayfield’s incompetence. Mayfield’s first three interceptions led to 21 of Green Bay’s 24 points. Perhaps Mayfield’s shoulder is still a problem, but that doesn’t explain his bad reads and his awful mechanics.

  20. Arizona Cardinals Arizona Cardinals (10-5) – Previously: 11.
    In the past two weeks, the Cardinals were blown out by the Lions and lost to an Indianapolis team missing four offensive linemen and its best defensive player. The Cardinals are a complete joke, and I don’t think they’re going to win another game until fall 2022.

  21. Los Angeles Chargers San Angeles Chargers (8-7) – Previously: 9.
    I don’t understand how the Chargers could legitimately lose to a team with a depth chart that looked like this:

    I imagine the Chargers didn’t take the Texans seriously after playing such an emotional game against the Chiefs, but it was still a very disappointing result. I thought they were past having dumb defeats like this in the Brandon Staley era, but apparently not.

  22. San Francisco 49ers San Francisco 49ers (8-7) – Previously: 7.
    Jimmy Garoppolo sucks against teams that defend the middle of the field very well. The Titans qualify as such, which is why Garoppolo was terrible. The 49ers should consider a quarterback change because Garoppolo isn’t good enough to win a Super Bowl unless he gets the easiest matchups ever somehow.

  23. Indianapolis Colts Indianapolis Colts (9-6) – Previously: 12.
    Carson Wentz made some clutch throws against the Cardinals. It was a nice win for Indianapolis and all of its injured players, but before you commend them too much, remember that they beat a team that just got trashed by the Lions.

  24. Tennessee Titans Tennessee Titans (10-5) – Previously: 14.
    It was no shock to see the Titans thrive with A.J. Brown back from injury. He’s such a huge difference-maker for them. Derrick Henry is another, of course, and he coud be back in a few weeks.

    By the way, I’d like to share my dad’s first senior moment with you. I watch the Thursday night games with my dad, and he asked the following when he heard Zach Cunningham’s name:

    Dad: Cunningham, did he play for the Eagles?

    Me: No, he played for Houston.

    Dad: Are you sure? The quarterback, Cunningham.

    Me: Quarterback?

    Dad: Yeah. Randall Cunningham. Is that him?

    Me: No…

    Randall Cunningham is 58 years old, yet he can still play linebacker in the NFL, apparently!

  25. Cincinnati Bengals Cincinnati Bengals (9-6) – Previously: 10.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Bengals are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  26. New England Patriots New England Patriots (9-6) – Previously: 8.
    I’ve removed the Patriots from the overrated list because they lost to the Bills and are no longer in first place in the division. Still, the Patriots are a good team; they just weren’t ahead of the Bills yet, considering that Mac Jones is merely a rookie and doesn’t have any great receivers at his disposal. We saw obvious signs of that with the Patriots dropping numerous passes against Buffalo.

  27. Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Rams (11-4) – Previously: 2.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Rams are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  28. Buffalo Bills Buffalo Bills (9-6) – Previously: 6.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Bills are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  29. Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys (11-4) – Previously: 4.
    Dak Prescott appeared to snap out of his slump Sunday night against the Redskins. Then again, he was battling a defense missing numerous starters, so let’s just see if Prescott is really back to his usual self when he battles stronger competition.

  30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-4) – Previously: 3.
    The Buccaneers will miss Chris Godwin in the playoffs, but at least they got Antonio Brown back from his unwarranted suspension. The Buccaneers can win the Super Bowl with Brown, Mike Evans, Rob Gronkowski and Leonard Fournette, but it’ll be more difficult without Godwin.

  31. Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers (12-3) – Previously: 1.
    The Packers haven’t been as good as their record says they are, as they’ve gotten very lucky with some wins this year. This includes last week’s win over the Browns that saw Cleveland outgain Green Bay and average more yards per play. However, the Packers will be much better in the near future once David Bakhtiari and Jaire Alexander return from injury.

    By the way, we have a t-shirt to support Aaron Rodgers in our merch store! This is your chance to support Rodgers, who has been attacked unfairly by the scumbag media!

  32. Kansas City Chiefs NFL Power Rankings Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) – Previously: 5.
    The Chiefs could’ve beaten the Steelers 56-0 if they wanted to do so. Instead, they had Patrick Mahomes throw just five passes in the second half, pulling him early in the fourth quarter. Kansas City appears to have solved its offensive woes, while the defense looks impenetrable. An argument can be made that the Chiefs are the best team in the NFL.

    MVP Race:

    1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
    2. Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers
    3. Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals

    4. Micah Parsons, DE/LB, Cowboys
    5. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Colts

    Scrubs of the Week:

    1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
    2. Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
    3. Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
    4. Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
    5. Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
    6. Chase Claypool, WR, Steelers
    7. Aaron Jones, RB, Packers
    8. Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
    9. Josh Allen, QB, Bills
    10. Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
    11. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs
    12. Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
    13. James Robinson, RB, Jaguars
    14. James Robinson, RB, Jaguars
    15. Dak Prescott, QB, Cowbys
    16. Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants

2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 16

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19

NFL Picks - Feb. 12

2022 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Post-Super Bowl Power Rankings | Post-Free Agency Power Rankings | Post-NFL Draft Power Rankings | Post-Preseason Power Rankings | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17

2021 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Post-Super Bowl Power Rankings | Preseason Power Rankings | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | Playoffs |

2020 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Post-Super Bowl Power Rankings 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | Playoffs |