Rabu, 28 Desember 2011

NFL Power Rankings

Week 16 was very important in clearing up the playoff picture but it has left a lot about this year up in the air. Here are the NFL power rankings going in to the final week of the season.
1. Green Bay Packers
Green Bay was able to lock up home field advantage last week against the Bears. The Packers will have nothing to play for and probably give their starters some rest. Green Bay biggest concern is the health of their offensive line which they will need for the playoffs.
2. New Orleans Saints
The Saints were very impressive against the Falcons. Drew Brees broke the single season passing yards record on Monday. The Saints have an excellent offense with Drew Brees at the helm of it. New Orleans should be able to rest some starters this week.
3. San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers have one of the best defenses in football. The 49ers got in a NFC high of 8 players in  the Pro Bowl. The 49ers should also be able to lock up a first round bye and be able to rest some starters since they are playing the Rams.
4. New England Patriots
New England proved that if Tom Brady struggles like he did against Miami in the first half, the Patriots will not last long in the playoffs. The Patriots have 8 players in the Pro Bowl which is deserving. The Patriots should lock up home field advantage this week.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh got a huge win against a depleted Rams team. Yes, it is only St Louis but the Steelers needed this type of win to gain some momentum before the playoffs. The Steelers are hoping for a win and a Ravens loss so they can get a first round bye instead of playing on the road in the first round of the playoffs.
6. Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore could use some momentum going into the playoffs and a win Sunday in Cincinnati would certainly do just that. The Ravens biggest issue is inconsistency which they have occasionally had this year. The Ravens should probably give some players some rest if they go up big.
7. Detroit Lions
Detroit is one of the best teams in football and should be the fifth seed in the NFC. They play a Packers team that will probably rest their starters due to the coming playoffs so they should be able to get a win. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson have become the best QB-WR combo in all of football.
8. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals have to play their most important game of their season this week against the Ravens. This will be a true test for the Bengals because the Ravens will be playing for a first round bye. The Bengals know a loss can keep them out of the playoffs. Andy Dalton should also be rookie of the year no matter what happens Sunday.
9. Houston Texans
The Texans are lucky that the lowest seed they can be is the third seed because of their offensive struggles. The Texans need to open up the offense for TJ Yates so he can be effective in the passing game. Gary Kubiak should probably rest key players like Arian Foster for the playoffs because of all their injuries.
10. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons did not play well against the Saints. Unfourtunately, the Falcons may have to play the Saints again in the first round. Mike Smith will have to decide on whether to rest his starters or not because they are almost locked in to the sixth seed.
Week 17 will be decisive in determining playoff seeds and who gets in. The NFL should be in for an exciting final Sunday.

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