NFL Power Rankings: Week 17

Last season when the New England Patriots finished the regular season undefeated we were treated to constant talk about the 1972 Miami Dolphins. That team was the only team in NFL history to finish the regular season and post season undefeated. The Pats made it all the way to the Super Bowl, only to lose to the major underdog New York Giants 17-14. After that result, Mercury Morris, Larry Csonka and Bob Griese were all able to breathe a little easier, knowing that their record would stand at least one more year.

That record will stand at least another season since there are no undefeated teams heading into week 17. Although another monumental and equally significant record has already been broken. The Detroit Lions are the first team in NFL history to start a season 0-15 and are challenging the 1976 Buccaneers as the only team to finish a season winless. In ’76, the season only lasted 14 games, hence the fact that Detroit starting 0-15 is a new record for worst start in NFL history. If they lose this weekend at Green Bay, they can become the first 0-16 team ever.

Seriously, which is more impressive? Finishing undefeated or winless? Both are extremely hard to manage. In this parity filled league, it would seem impossible for a team to finish winless. Somehow, we just might see it. Fingers crossed!

Team TW LW Record
1 2 13-2 LenDale White and the Titans trampled on the terrible towel, literally and figuratively.
2 5 12-3 Derrick Ward ran for 215 yards on only fifteen carries. That’s what I call production.
3 4 11-4 Peyton Manning only had five incomplete passes out of thirty-four attempts on Sunday.
4 3 11-4 If the Panthers want to get far into the playoffs they better learn to stop the run.
5 1 11-4 Only held onto the top spot for one week. Ouch.
6 6 10-5 Ed Reed is tied with Troy Polamalu for the NFL lead in picks with seven.
7 11 10-5 The Patriots might finish 11-5 and still not make the post season.
8 8 9-6 Not a great way to say farewell to Texas Stadium.
9 9 10-5 Matt Ryan for MVP?
10 12 10-5 Only AFC East team who control their own destiny.
11 10 9-6 The Buccaneers lost three in a row and might be out of the playoffs. Somewhere Billy Madison is yelling “You blew it!”
12 7 9-6 Brett Favre is officially old and tired.
13 13 9-6 Does anyone know how to pronounce Visanthe Shiancoe?
14 21 7-8 If the Chargers beat the Broncos this weekend they win the AFC West. Who knew?
15 16 9-6 Unnecessary, ridiculous nickname of the week: Kyle Orton “Hears a Who.”
16 15 8-7 Denver took a page out of Buffalo’s playbook and gave away a game they should have easily won.
17 17 8-6-1 Philly was held without a touchdown for the first time this season at the worst possible time.
18 18 8-7 The Skins win a huge game…..and get eliminated from the playoffs.
19 20 8-7 New Orleans went 11-11 on third down, but they were playing the Lions so nobody really noticed.
20 19 7-8 Houston managed to work its way back into playoff discussions and then promptly lost to the lowly Raiders.
21 14 8-7 The Cards could really use Rod Tidwell right about now.
22 22 6-9 If the Niners had a few more bounces go their way they could have won the NFC West.
23 23 7-8 The win at Denver probably saved Dick Jauron’s job.
24 24 5-10 The pack can be the team to make the ’08 Lions the most infamous team in NFL history.
25 25 5-10 Who’s had a more disappointing season, Jacksonville or Cleveland?
26 28 4-11 Might have played the playoff spoiler after beating the Jets.
27 27 4-11 Showed some Gumption in defeat of the charging Texans.
28 31 3-11-1 Cincy took the battle of horrible Ohio teams.
29 26 4-11 The Browns haven’t scored an offensive touchdown in 20 quarters.
30 29 2-13 The Rams led the Niners 16-3 with seven minutes left….and lost.
31 30 2-13 Wow, seven people will watch the Chiefs play the Bengals this week.
32 32 0-15 They’ve gotten this far, why win now?

Article image by: Paige Foster, SXC

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