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NFL Power Rankings Finale: Jets, Colts, Packers and Seahawks Surge into Playoffs

Posted By Bear Heiser On Jan 3 2011 @ 6:10 pm In NFL | No Comments

I’d like to start off by thanking the NFL for making Week 17 games divisional. If they hadn’t, we wouldn’t have been able to see the “NFC West’s Lackluster Bowl” on Sunday Night Football. Just kidding—I really do believe that the change made the games more competitive.

Even though the Texans, Redskins, Cowboys and Lions had nothing on the line, they still showed up and played until the end. I wonder if the threat of a lockout gave the players a little extra motivation.

Anyway, the playoff matchups are set. Let’s take a look.

AFC Wild Card Round

No. 6 New York Jets (11-5) at No. 3 Indianapolis Colts (10-6)

Saturday, January 8, 2011, Lucas Oil Stadium, 8 p.m. ET, NBC

No. 5 Baltimore Ravens (12-4) at No. 4 Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)

Sunday, January 9, 2011, Arrowhead Stadium, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

First-Round Byes: New England, Pittsburgh

NFC Wild Card Round

No. 5 New Orleans Saints (11-5) at No. 4 Seattle Seahawks (7-9)

Saturday, January 8, 2011, Qwest Field, 4:30 p.m. ET, NBC

Green Bay Packers (10-6) at No. 3 Philadelphia Eagles (10-6)

Sunday, January 9, 2011, Lincoln Financial Field, 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX

First-Round Byes: Atlanta, Chicago

And now, what you’ve all been waiting for: the greatest end of season power rankings in the history of the world. #YeahISaidIt

Don’t like my list? I want to hear from you! Share yours in the comments section below. Let’s discuss people! Have any mock headlines? Share those too.

For more NFL coverage, head over to http://www.BearConsults.com or you can follow @BearConsults and @RamsReport on Twitter.

32. Carolina Panthers 2-14

Previously Ranked: 32

Week 17: 31-10 loss at Atlanta

Memo to Carolina: Thanks for being competitive. Once again, you failed to create any sort of excitement on Sunday.

2011 Offseason Headline: “Panthers Get Kiper-ed Again”

31. Arizona Cardinals 5-11

Previously Ranked: 31

Week 17: 38-7 loss at San Francisco

Some guy named Richard Bartel played quarterback for the Cardinals on Sunday. That’s just in case you were wondering how bad things have gotten in Arizona.

2011 Offseason Headline: “Fitzgerald Has Bags Packed and Is Ready To Go”

30. Denver Broncos 4-12

Previously Ranked: 29

Week 17: 33-28 loss to San Diego

It’s nice to see John Elway back with the Broncos. Hopefully he can bring some tenacity to the team.

29. Cincinnati Bengals 4-12

Previously Ranked: 25

Week 17: 13-7 loss at Baltimore

I wonder if the Bengals will re-sign Terrell Owens. #hahayeahright

2011 Offseason Headline: “Marv Drives TO and Ocho to El Aeropuerto”

28. Buffalo Bills 4-12

Previously Ranked: 24

Week 17: 38-7 loss at New York Jets

Both Brian Brohm and Levi Brown performed terribly in place of Ryan Fitzpatrick. It’s a sad state of affairs in Buffalo.

2011 Offseason Headline: “Bills Move Up in First Round To Snag Another Star Running Back”

27. San Francisco 49ers 6-10

Previously Ranked: 28

Week 17: 38-7 win over Arizona

Maybe they should’ve fired Mike Singletary a long time ago. #statingtheobvious

2011 Offseason Headline: “Palmer Joins Harbaugh in San Fran”

26. Washington Redskins 6-10

Previously Ranked: 26

Week 17: 17-14 loss to New York Giants

I saw that Albert Haynesworth is supposed to rejoin the team on Monday. #why

Offseason Headline: “Shanny Still in Love with Cutler”

25. Cleveland Browns 5-11

Previously Ranked: 23

Week 17: 41-9 loss to Pittsburgh

No way Mangini returns after the bogus way the Browns finished the season.

2011 Offseason Headline: “Holmgren Cleans the Entire House”

24. Dallas Cowboys 6-10

Previously Ranked: 22

Week 17: 14-13 win at Philadelphia

I’m not sure Jerry Jones could have taken another loss.

2011 Offseason Headline: “NFL Determines Jones Broke Rooney Rule”

23. Minnesota Vikings 6-10

Previously Ranked: 21

Week 17: 20-13 loss at Detroit

Did the Vikings have the worst year of any sports franchise?

2011 Offseason Headline: “Favre Now Wants To Return After Vikings Sign McNabb”

22. St. Louis Rams 7-9

Previously Ranked: 15

Week 17: 16-6 loss at Seattle

The Rams got hosed by the officials on more than one occasion. Tough break for a team that needs all the breaks it can get.

2011 Offseason Headline: “With the 15th Pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Rams Select WR Julio Jones”

21. Tennessee Titans 6-10

Previously Ranked: 27

Week 17: 23-20 loss at Indianapolis

Thanks for putting up a fight. Made the late games more interesting.

2011 Offseason Headline: “Titans Rid Themselves of Moss Problem”

20. Houston Texans 6-10

Previously Ranked: 30

Week 17: 34-17 win over Jacksonville

I think the Texans will underachieve as long as Gary Kubiak is around.

2011 Offseason Headline: “Kubiak’s Last Stand”

19. Miami Dolphins 7-9

Previously Ranked: 19

Week 17: 38-7 loss at New England

When Tyler Thigpen is your leading passer and rusher, you’ve got problems. #newcoachwanted

2011 Offseason Headline: “Dolphins Lose Another One at Home”

18. Seattle Seahawks 7-9

Previously Ranked: 20

Week 17: 16-6 win over St. Louis

Does Matt Hasselbeck start next week against New Orleans?

Next up: No. 5 New Orleans Saints at No. 4 Seattle Seahawks, Qwest Field, 4:30 p.m. ET, NBC

17. Jacksonville Jaguars 8-8

Previously Ranked: 14

Week 17: 34-17 loss at Houston

If I were Maurice Jones-Drew, I’d want to get out of town as soon as possible.

2011 Offseason Headline: “Jaguars Headed West”

16. Detroit Lions 6-10

Previously Ranked: 18

Week 17: 20-13 win over Minnesota

Great to see the Lions finish the season on a four-game win streak.

2011 Offseason Headline: “Prince Joins Suh in Detroit”

15. San Diego Chargers 9-7

Previously Ranked: 17

Week 17: 33-28 win at Denver

Nice of Ryan Mathews to finally show up to the party.

2011 Offseason Headline: “He gone! Rivers to V-Jax No More”

14. Oakland Raiders 8-8

Previously Ranked: 16

Week 17: 31-10 win at Kansas City

Is it time to give up on Darrius Heyward-Bey?

2011 Offseason Headline: “Raiders No Longer Want To Pay for Cable”

13. New York Giants 10-6

Previously Ranked: 13

Week 17: 17-14 win at Washington

No reason to think that Tom Coughlin won’t be the Giants coach next season.

2011 Offseason Headline: “Coughlin Has Staying Power”

12. Kansas City Chiefs 10-6

Previously Ranked: 9

Week 17: 31-10 loss to Oakland

Not a good way to enter the playoffs. #casselfalls

Next Up: No. 5 Baltimore Ravens at No. 4 Kansas City Chiefs, Arrowhead Stadium, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-6

Previously Ranked: 12

Week 17: 23-13 win at New Orleans

I would’ve loved to see Josh Freeman in the playoffs. #maybenextyear

2011 Offseason Headline: “Freeman Predicts Super Bucs”

10. New York Jets 11-5

Previously Ranked: 11

Week 17: 38-7 win over Buffalo

Jets management has to be feeling a little better about letting Danny Woodhead go after seeing Joe McKnight’s big day.

Next Up: No. 6 New York Jets at No. 3 Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium, 8 p.m. ET, NBC

9. Indianapolis Colts 10-6

Previously Ranked: 10

Week 17: 23-20 win over Tennessee

If I’m Rex Ryan, I’m not happy about having to go to Indy in the first round.

Next Up: No. 6 New York Jets at No. 3 Indianapolis Colts, Lucas Oil Stadium, 8 p.m. ET, NBC

8. Chicago Bears 11-5

Previously Ranked: 2

Week 17: 10-3 loss at Green Bay

I’m puzzled by Lovie Smith’s decision to play the starters the entire game. I can’t imagine the team isn’t feeling a little deflated.

Next up: First-round bye

7. New Orleans Saints 11-5

Previously Ranked: 5

Week 17: 23-13 loss to Tampa Bay

Drew Brees makes a lot of mistakes for a guy who’s supposed to be a top five quarterback.

Next Up: No. 5 New Orleans Saints at No. 4 Seattle Seahawks, Qwest Field, 4:30 p.m. ET, NBC

6. Green Bay Packers 10-6

Previously Ranked: 7

Week 17: 10-3 win over Chicago

No way the Packers were going to lose both games to the Bears. The city of Green Bay would’ve gone into mourning.

Next Up: Green Bay Packers at No. 3 Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX

5. Philadelphia Eagles 10-6

Previously Ranked: 4

Week 17: 14-13 loss to Dallas

Probably Kevin Kolb’s last game as an Eagle. #doesanyonecare

Next Up: Green Bay Packers at No. 3 Philadelphia Eagles, Lincoln Financial Field, 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX

4. Baltimore Ravens 12-4

Previously Ranked: 7

Week 17: 13-7 win over Cincinnati

Not good to see the Ravens struggle at home against a bad Cincinnati team.

Next Up: No. 5 Baltimore Ravens at No. 4 Kansas City Chiefs, Arrowhead Stadium, 1 p.m. ET, CBS

3. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4

Previously Ranked: 6

Week 17: 41-9 win at Cleveland

Pittsburgh’s defense had four sacks and three interceptions. #anyquestions

Next Up: First-round bye

2. Atlanta Falcons 13-3

Previously Ranked: 3

Week 17: 31-10 win over Carolina

I wonder how the Falcons practice squad would have fared against the lowly Panthers.

Next up: First-round bye

1. New England Patriots 14-2

Previously Ranked: 1

Week 17: 38-7 win over Miami

I’d like to send an early congrats to Tom Brady for winning the NFL MVP Award.

Next up: First-round bye

Don’t like my list? I want to hear from you! Share yours in the comments section below. Let’s discuss people! Have any mock headlines? Share those too.

For more NFL coverage, head over to http://www.BearConsults.com or you can follow @BearConsults and @RamsReport on Twitter.

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