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AP Photo/Kyusung Gong

2023 NFL Power Rankings: Week 17

We have a new top dog in the 2023 NFL Week 17 power rankings.


1. Baltimore Ravens (12-3) | Last week: 2 (+1)

There’s no doubt for the No. 1 spot in this week’s power rankings after the Ravens demolished the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium behind elite defense—Baltimore played like they wanted to prove they are the best group in the league—and a playmaking Lamar Jackson.


2. San Francisco 49ers (11-4) | Last week: 1 (-1)

The loss to the Ravens showed that the 49ers certainly aren’t invincible in the NFC—and that the offensive line outside of Trent Williams (now dealing with a groin issue) is a potential problem. Brock Purdy did not play nearly as bad as the four interceptions indicate, and people should give the Ravens credit for their play.


3. Buffalo Bills (9-6) | Last week: 3

It was much closer than anticipated, but the bottom line is the Bills got another win at the Chargers on Christmas Eve Eve. I can’t imagine what the reaction would have been if someone other than Josh Allen made this clutch throw:



4. Miami Dolphins (11-4) | Last week: 4

The Dolphins finally beat a team with a winning record, coming out on top in a tight one over the Cowboys to improve to 11-4 and set up a huge showdown with the Ravens this weekend. Miami is likely to be without receiver Jaylen Waddle due to a high-ankle sprain, though.


5. Detroit Lions (11-4) | Last week: 5

The defense gave some big plays up in the passing game, but the Lions can score with anyone when Jared Goff is protected—and rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs (two touchdowns in the win over the Vikings) continues to play like a star.


6. Philadelphia Eagles (11-4) | Last week: 8 (+2)

While they jump a couple of spots in the power rankings due to teams ahead of them losing, the Eagles barely escaped a Christmas Day win versus the Giants. Overall, the vibes seem to be off at the moment. However, as stated, the Niners look a bit more vulnerable in the conference, especially if Philly can get their pass rush going.


7. Kansas City Chiefs (9-6) | Last week: 6 (-1)

Everyone has been waiting for the switch to flip for the defending champion Chiefs this season, but it might just not happen. To lose like that at Arrowhead is a stunner, and—though he undoubtedly needs better play from his teammates—Patrick Mahomes has struggled more than he ever has this year.


8. Dallas Cowboys (10-5) | Last week: 7 (-1)

The officiating unfortunately stood out in the Cowboys-Dolphins matchup, and Dallas was arguably on the worse end of it with Micah Parsons even complaining after the loss. The home/road splits are impossible to ignore, but the Cowboys showed fight against one of the best teams in the league.


9. Cleveland Browns (10-5) | Last week: 9

Amari Cooper went off for 11 receptions, 265 yards, and two touchdowns, and Joe Flacco threw for 368 yards and three touchdowns, to lead the Browns to a 36-22 road win at Houston. What’s crazy is that Cleveland’s passing attack—not the run game paired with the excellent defense—is the winning formula right now.


10. Los Angeles Rams (8-7) | Last week: 14 (+4)

Matthew Stafford made a ton of pinpoint throws—mostly to Puka Nacua, who might be the Offensive Rookie of the Year—and the Rams stayed hot last Thursday night versus the Saints. Remember, LA took Baltimore to overtime earlier this month. They’re a threat in the NFC.


11. Seattle Seahawks (8-7) | Last week: 15 (+4)

Geno Smith hit Colby Parkinson for the game-winning touchdown late to lift the Seahawks over the Titans in a hard-fought road win on Christmas Eve. Kenneth Walker III was bottled up by Tennessee, so we’ll see if he can get free more when Seattle hosts Pittsburgh for a key battle this week.


12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-7) | Last week: 17 (+5)

The Bucs are coming together at the right time, with Todd Bowles’ defense shutting down the Jaguars while the offense showed enough balance—despite very low efficiency on the ground—to win comfortably. It was cool to see linebacker Devin White get a big early interception with all the mystery surrounding his status with the team.


13. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7) | Last week: 10 (-3)

Clearly, the Jaguars are still in a funk—and, as stated last week, not having Christian Kirk is upping the degree of difficulty on offense. Trevor Lawrence has been banged up all year, and he and Jacksonville must do a better job of taking care of the ball.


14. Houston Texans (8-7) | Last week: 11 (-3)

The huge outing allowed to Amari Cooper was disappointing, but the Texans end their regular season with two divisional games—against the Titans and Colts—as they look to get into the AFC playoffs. C.J. Stroud (concussion) will hopefully be back this week after missing the previous two games.


15. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7) | Last week: 21 (+6)

The Steelers came out playing their best football and beat the Bengals last Saturday behind a stellar performance by quarterback Mason Rudolph and second-year receiver George Pickens (four receptions, 195 yards, two touchdowns). At Seattle and at Baltimore is one of the most difficult remaining schedules, but Mike Tomlin’s teams always seem to find a way in the end.


16. Cincinnati Bengals (8-7) | Last week: 12 (-4)

Not having DJ Reader at defensive tackle didn’t help, but the Steelers appeared to come out more fired up for the AFC North showdown last week. I expect the Bengals will come out fired up for face the rival Chiefs this week, though.


17. Indianapolis Colts (8-7) | Last week: 16 (-1)

The Colts had an off day in their surprising blowout loss to the Falcons, but they’re still 5-2 in their past seven games and are squarely in the AFC South and wild card mix ahead of matchups with the Raiders and Texans.


18. Las Vegas Raiders (7-8) | Last week: 22 (+4)

Speaking of the Raiders, the defense is playing outstanding football as of late, and the shutdown of the Chiefs is making an easy case that Antonio Pierce should get the full-time head coaching gig. Vegas seems to be playing fundamental football, which cannot be said for every team in the league.


19. Denver Broncos (7-8) | Last week: 13 (-6)

The Broncos had nearly everything they wanted to happen go their way over the weekend, but they couldn’t complete their side of things and get a home win over the struggling Patriots. Denver will look to bounce back at home against the Chargers to get back to .500.


20. Green Bay Packers (7-8) | Last week: 18 (-2)

Green Bay got the win at Carolina, but they drop a couple of spots in the power rankings after another down game from the defense. The unit has it in them to play well, so I’m interested to see how they fare in trying to contain Justin Jefferson on Sunday night.


21. Minnesota Vikings (7-8) | Last week: 19 (-2)

The loss to the Lions was a tough blow to Minnesota’s playoff chances, and things got worse with T.J. Hockenson’s season-ending knee injury that puts the start of his 2024 campaign in jeopardy.


22. New Orleans Saints (7-8) | Last week: 20 (-2)

The Saints have shown flashes of promise on offense—which was evident in the comeback effort at the Rams—but the consistency has not been there. That said, they have a massive showdown at Tampa this Sunday.


23. Atlanta Falcons (7-8) | Last week: 24 (+1)

The turn to Taylor Heinicke was a wise move by head coach Arthur Smith, as he took care of the ball in a balanced offensive attack that complemented tremendous defense. Atlanta has two road games (at Chicago and at New Orleans) as they look to get into the playoffs.


24. Chicago Bears (6-9) | Last week: 23 (-1)

The Bears outgained the Cardinals, 420-306, behind solid defense and big ground performances by Khalil Herbert (20 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown) and Justin Fields (nine carries for 97 yards and a touchdown).


25. New York Giants (5-10) | Last week: 25

The Eagles didn’t play their best game, but give the Giants major credit for sticking with it to make it a close one at Philadelphia. We’ll have to watch the quarterback situation for New York after Tyrod Taylor came in for Tommy DeVito and did some good things.


26. New York Jets (6-9) | Last week: 27 (+1)

A blown lead in a loss would have been crazy (imagine talk radio) in New York even with team owner Woody Johnson already committing to the current regime into 2024—but they were able to come back and win on a 54-yard field goal by Greg Zuerlein to at least have a good Christmas Eve.


27. Tennessee Titans (5-10) | Last week: 26 (-1)

It hasn’t led to many wins the past year and a half, but Mike Vrabel seems to always get his guys to play well—and they put the Seahawks on the ropes despite dealing with injuries. Facing the Texans for the second time in three weeks, hopefully Derrick Henry can get going this time around.


28. New England Patriots (4-11) | Last week: 29 (+1)

I was happy for Bill Belichick to get a win on Christmas Eve night, and they won by making enough plays on offense while getting key moments from the defense and special teams.


29. Los Angeles Chargers (5-10) | Last week: 30 (+1)

Giff Smith had the Chargers looking like a different team in his first game as the interim head coach, and they’ll continue playing the spoiler role when taking on the Broncos and Chiefs the next two games.


30. Arizona Cardinals (3-12) | Last week: 28 (-2)

Again, the subpar roster of the Cardinals appears to be catching up with them as the season moves along. First-year head coach Jonathan Gannon now faces an Eagles team he helped get to a Super Bowl as the defensive coordinator last season.


31. Washington Commanders (4-11) | Last week: 31

For the second consecutive week, the Commanders offense operated much better with Jacoby Brissett entering the game for Sam Howell, who seems to be pressing and still is not throwing guys open enough—something that’s really been the case all year despite the struggles now being amplified.


32. Carolina Panthers (2-13) | Last week: 32

Despite not coming away with a victory, the Panthers should be highly encouraged by the way No. 1 pick Bryce Young played in the loss to the Packers. Hopefully Young’s confidence continues to grow over the final two games of what’s been a rough rookie season.