NFL power rankings, Week 17: Steelers rise, Browns fall

The NFL power rankings saw a big shift this week in the AFC North, with the Cleveland Browns suffering a brutal defeat and the Pittsburgh Steelers rising up.

32

Jacksonville Jaguars 1-14

Last rank: 32nd

Trevor Lawrence!

31

New York Jets 2-13

Last rank: 31st

They won again!

30

Houston Texans 4-11

Last rank: 27th

Deshaun Watson should force his way out of Houston if the Texans don’t knock their head coach search out of the park.

29

Cincinnati Bengals 4-10-1

Last rank: 30th

Give Cincinnati credit, it’s not giving up despite being without hope and Joe Burrow.

28

Philadelphia Eagles 4-10-1

Last rank: 26th

The defense was non-existent in Dallas, and now so are the Eagles’ playoff hopes.

27

Atlanta Falcons 4-11

Last rank: 28th

The Falcons actually moved up for their effort in Kansas City. Hold onto a few interceptions, and they pull a massive upset.

26

Denver Broncos 5-10

Last rank: 25th

Does John Elway keep believing in Drew Lock? Huge question this offseason.

25

Carolina Panthers 4-10

Last rank: 29th

The Panthers aren’t good, but they’ve played hard all year. Nice win on the road in Washington.

24

Detroit Lions 5-10

Last rank: 21st

Pitiful team, pitiful effort.

23

New York Giants 5-10

Last rank: 20th

Remember the Giants’ four-game winning streak? That’s a nice memory.

22

Minnesota Vikings 6-9

Last rank: 19th

The defense is rancid, and so are the Vikings.

21

San Francisco 49ers 6-9

Last rank: 24th

Give the 49ers credit. They’ve been beaten up and out of the race, and yet they play as hard as any team in football.

20

Dallas Cowboys 6-9

Last rank: 23rd

Dallas is somehow fighting to host a playoff game. The NFC East is something else.

19

Washington Football Team 6-9

Last rank: 18th

Dwayne Haskins is a mess, on and off the field. Washington still controls its own destiny, but needs to beat the Eagles in Week 17.

18

Las Vegas Raiders 7-8

Last rank: 17th

What a sideshow. The Raiders were once 6-3 and beating the Chiefs with under a minute remaining. Now? Yikes.

17

New England Patriots 6-9

Last rank: 16th

Just no ability to score a point.

16

Los Angeles Chargers 6-9

Last rank: 22nd

The Chargers get a nice bump this week. Considering they finish the season playing Kansas City’s backups, it could be a four-game win streak to finish the year.

15

Arizona Cardinals 8-7

Last rank: 14th

Arizona is 3-5 in its last eight games, and one of those wins was on a Hail Mary. The other two came against the NFC East.

14

Chicago Bears 8-7

Last rank: 15th

The Bears are somehow a win away from the playoffs.

13

Los Angeles Rams 9-6

Last rank: 13th

The Rams better hope Jared Goff can play, because despite his limitations, they’re sunk without him.

12

Tennessee Titans 10-5

Last rank: 9th

The defense is a full-blown tire fire. It’s tough to see the Titans beating a top-tier offensive team in January.

11

Cleveland Browns 10-5

Last rank: 6th

All the Browns had to do was beat the Jets. Now, they’re well-positioned to brutally torture their fans once more.

10

Miami Dolphins 10-5

Last rank: 12th

Miami needed Ryan Fitzpatrick and a miracle in the final seconds, but the Dolphins continue to win. Now, one more in Buffalo and it’s time for the postseason.

9

Indianapolis Colts 10-5

Last rank: 4th

The Colts had to drop. You can’t blow a 17-point lead when the opponent is offensively challenged. Brutal loss and it could knock them out of the playoffs.

8

Pittsburgh Steelers 12-3

Last rank: 11th

Down 24-7, it appeared we were headed for a full-scale meltdown. Then, the Steelers turned the tide and perhaps saved their Super Bowl dreams.

7

Baltimore Ravens 10-5

Last rank: 10th

Don’t look now, but the Ravens have won four straight and they suddenly control their own destiny.

6

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-5

Last rank: 8th

The Buccaneers are a tough team to figure, but when Tom Brady has time, they’re a major problem.

5

Seattle Seahawks 11-4

Last rank: 7th

Seattle has to be feeling very, very good about its defense.

4

New Orleans Saints 11-4

Last rank: 5th

Drew Brees struggled again facing Minnesota, but 52 points makes a lot of things feel better.

3

Green Bay Packers 12-3

Last rank: 3rd

The NFC has a ton of teams which are close in talent level, but the Packers must be considered the favorite.

2

Buffalo Bills 12-3

Last rank: 2nd

Buffalo is playing the best football in the NFL, bar none.

1

Kansas City Chiefs 14-1

Last rank: 1st

The Chiefs keep winning, but it’s starting to become worrisome that nothing feels easy for such a talented team.