2020 NFL Power Rankings: Week 17
The playoffs are almost here! Time to enjoy a full Sunday of 16 games as we head into the postseason.
Let’s see how this week’s action shook up our rankings.
Risers and Fallers
In the AFC, three teams have clinched playoff spots as division winners (the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, and Pittsburgh Steelers), and there are five additional teams vying for the remaining playoff spots.
Three of the four NFC East teams have a chance to win the division (sorry Philadelphia Eagles’ fans) with the Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals, and Los Angeles Rams in contention for playoff spots as well.
The Bears rolled over the Jacksonville Jaguars 41-17 after winning their last three games and losing the previous six. Heading into Week 17, numberFire’s models give the Bears a 77.5% chance of making the postseason (up 46% from last week).
Chicago has scored at least 30 points in their last four games with Mitchell Trubisky getting a lot of credit -- he is seventh in Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back during this time -- so much so that there is even talk of a contract extension.
It is worth noting that Trubisky and the Bears have not faced the toughest of defenses over the past four weeks.
|Bears' Last Four Opponents||Current Rank by Adj Defensive NEP per play|
The Cleveland Browns' playoff odds dropped 42.6% (to 46.1%) after losing to the New York Jets, who earned their second straight victory after beating the Rams the previous week. Despite the setback, Cleveland can still make the playoffs by beating the Steelers and Mason Rudolph in the regular-season finale.
With that in mind, here are our Week 17 NFL Power Rankings:
Teams Ranked 32nd to 23rd
|31||New York Jets||-11.2||2-13||0.0%||1||32||25|
|24||Las Vegas Raiders||-4.46||7-8||0.0%||1||10||30|
|23||New York Giants||-4.25||5-10||22.0%||1||29||14|
So the Jets pulled off two big wins and that officially gets them out of the basement in our rankings with Jacksonville now occupying the bottom spot.
As many teams are clinching playoff berths, the Jets and Jags have wrapped up their draft positions. So they have that going for them, which is nice.
Teams Ranked 22nd to 13th
|22||New England Patriots||-3.71||6-9||0.0%||0||24||17|
|18||Los Angeles Chargers||-0.73||6-9||0.0%||-1||14||16|
|14||Washington Football Team||1.5||6-9||62.9%||-1||27||3|
The Los Angeles Chargers (ranked 18th) have been the defense force of late that we were seeing earlier in the season. Their defense was ranked as high as fourth in Adjusted Defensive NEP per play (Week 7) but are now ranked 16th.
Our 15th-ranked Arizona Cardinals took a tough loss against the San Francisco 49ers that dropped their power ranking three spots to 15th, their nERD rating by 1.1 points, and their playoff odds by 34.4%.
Kyler Murray’s Passing NEP was a league-worst -16.36 in Week 16, and his Passing Success Rate (i.e., the percentage of drop backs that lead to positive NEP for a team's offense) of 33.96% was the fourth-lowest among quarterbacks (minimum 18 pass attempts).
Teams Ranked 12th to 1st
|9||San Francisco 49ers||3.58||6-9||0.0%||2||16||5|
|6||Kansas City Chiefs||5.95||14-1||100%||-1||3||15|
|4||New Orleans Saints||7.25||11-4||100%||0||6||9|
|3||Green Bay Packers||7.42||12-3||100%||0||2||12|
|2||Los Angeles Rams||7.81||9-6||90.7%||-1||15||1|
|1||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||9.53||10-5||100%||1||7||4|
The Seattle Seahawks jump into the top 10, rising a league-high five spots after taking down the Rams. Seattle's Adjusted Rushing NEP per play is up to seventh in the league at 0.12.
The Buccaneers are atop our rankings heading into the final week of the regular season. Tom Brady was able to post Week 16’s highest Passing NEP (27.20) while playing only half of the game. This was the second-highest Passing NEP production in the first half of a game this year, just below Baker Mayfield’s first-half performance in Week 13 against the Titans when he put up 27.28 (yep, only a .08 difference).
Tampa Bay’s defense has been ranked no lower than fifth in Adjusted Defensive NEP per play since Week 2, and now their offense is up to sixth. The only other team to have their offense and defense ranked in the top-10 in Adjusted NEP is the New Orleans Saints, who come in at fourth in our Power Rankings.