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NFL Power Rankings Week 17: Patriots Still Riding High

[Note by JasonB, 12/28/10 1:17 PM EST ] Our full week 17 power ranking can be found here.

It’s Monday and time for our top 10 power ranking preview. This week is a bit unique and tough to do considering that three of our top 10 have yet to even play this week. So pending the outcome of the Monday and Tuesday night games we could see some shakeups in the top 10.

(1) New England Patriots – After their blowout of the Bills, Tom Brady talked about how tough the AFC East was because they had to play teams like the Bills and Dolphins twice a year. Really Tom? (LW: 1)

(2) Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons face their last major test of the season tonight when they host the Saints. They only need one win to clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC and unless they forfeit the final game against the the Panthers, they’re going to get that win. (LW: 2)

(3) Chicago Bears – This team keeps winning and this time it was over a quality opponent in the Jets. It wasn’t even that close either. The Bears blew the Jets away in the 3rd quarter of that game. (LW: 3)

(4) Philadelphia Eagles – Won the NFC East without even playing Sunday after their game was postponed until Tuesday. Now they’ve got to beat the Vikings and face a quick turnaround to host Dallas four days later. (LW: 4)

(5) Baltimore Ravens – Baltimore is tied atop the AFC North with Pittsburgh, although they lose a tiebreaker. That said, the Ravens have won three straight scoring over 30 in two of those games. They’re playing better than Pittsburgh right now. (LW: 5)

(6) Pittsburgh Steelers – They get an easy win over the hapless Panthers in Heinz Field and despite the fact that they could very well end this season with 12 wins I’m still very wary of this Steelers team. It’s almost inconceivable to see a Steeler team with an offensive line that bad. (LW: 7)

(7) New Orleans Saints – The third team in our top ten that hasn’t even played yet. They’ve got a huge game against the Falcons tonight that could really jump start their defense of last year’s Super Bowl title. (LW: 8)

(9) Kansas City Chiefs – Another team that just keeps winning and they clinched the AFC West this weekend. That’s got to feel good for franchise that’s been pretty bad for quite a while now. (LW: 9)

(10) Green Bay Packers – Huge win over the Giants to seize control of the final wild card spot. A team with a good defense and good QB like this should scare anyone in the playoffs. (LW: 13)

We’re going to include two more teams in our “top ten” because I really do think these last couple spots are very close.

(11) Indianapolis Colts – I jumped the Packers over the Colts this week because I think they’re just a better team. They’re grinding out wins, but they’re doing it with smoke and mirrors. (LW: 10)

(12) New York Jets – The Jets were in a tough position playing back to back road games against quality opponents, but the reality is that the Jets are now 1-3 in December. Their defense isn’t nearly as good as advertised and their QB has regressed as the year has gone on. (LW: 6)