This week proved that nothing is a given in the NFL.
The Rams and the Steelers fancied themselves for much of the season, yet they were both on the receiving end of embarrassing defeats to so-called, “lesser teams.” A lesson to be learned by every team.
In other news, the Cowboys and the Bears kept their season alive. The same can’t be said about the Patriots, who failed to make the playoffs for the first time in what seems a lifetime.
This week’s voters were Matt Stagner, Pete Sweeney, Ron Kopp and myself.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (1st)
The No. 1 seed in the bag with two games to spare. Can’t complain.
2. Green Bay Packers (2nd)
With some help from Kansas City, the Packers all but locked up the NFC’s top seed this weekend.
3. Buffalo Bills (3rd)
Josh Allen was crazy good as the Bills tore apart the Broncos.
4. New Orleans Saints (4th)
Drew Brees did not look right in his return. He has three weeks to get back to form.
5. Tennessee Titans (8th)
Is Ryan Tannehill a top-10 quarterback?
6. Baltimore Ravens (9th)
This is the best they have been playing since last year. They’re cominng into form at the right time.
7. Indianapolis Colts (10th)
The hardest team to evaluate. I have no idea what they will do in January.
8. Seattle Seahawks (7th)
Does anyone honestly believe this team can win four playoff games?
9. Cleveland Browns (12th)
On paper, they were the stronger team going into Sunday Night Football. They proved it on the field.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11th)
The latest team to take advantage of the Atlanta Falcons' inability to put away games.
11. Pittsburgh Steelers (5th) | This week’s big faller
I’ve got a feeling JuJu won’t be dancing on any logos anytime soon.
12. Los Angeles Rams (6th)
They lost to the Jets. They shouldn’t be taken seriously at all.
13. Miami Dolphins (13th)
It must have been so sweet eliminating the Patriots from playoff contention.
14. Arizona Cardinals (14th)
Come out of a super-fun game victorious. Still in the hunt.
15. Washington Football Team (15th)
If Alex Smith played, they would have beaten Seattle.
16. Chicago Bears (20th) | This week’s high riser
Looking like they will back-door it into the playoffs.
17. Las Vegas Raiders (16th)
At least they’ve got Darren Waller and a nice new stadium.
18. Minnesota Vikings (17th)
This team needs a fresh start.
19. New England Patriots (18th)
Hell has frozen over.
20. San Francisco 49ers (19th)
Will come back strong in 2021, no doubt.
21. New York Giants (22nd)
I bet NBC wishes it hadn’t moved the Giants into primetime.
22. Los Angeles Chargers (24th)
When the Chiefs gift wrap them a win in Week 17, it may cost the Chargers up to five draft positions.
23. Atlanta Falcons (21st)
How many points could the Chiefs spot the Falcons this weekend and still feel they’ve got a realistic chance of winning?
24. Houston Texans (23rd)
Good in division games — that’s about it.
25. Carolina Panthers (25th)
Probably over-exceeded many people’s expectations this year.
26. Dallas Cowboys (29th)
On the rise again.
27. Philadelphia Eagles (27th)
Carson Wentz is not happy apparently. He’ll be even unhappier after Jalen Hurts’ performance on Sunday.
28. Denver Broncos (26th)
This might be the last Christmas you spend in Denver, Drew.
29. Cincinnati Bengals (30th)
Just going to leave this here:
30. Detroit Lions (28th)
I’ve paused the record updates to acknowledge the no-look pass from Stafford. Phenomenal.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (31st)
They lost the battle, but they won the war.
32. New York Jets (32nd)
The most damaging victory in sporting history?