NFL Power Rankings Week 17: Nobody Wants to Make the Playoffs

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SLR’s Week 17 NFL Power Rankings: 24-17 Dec 22, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) looks down during overtime against the New York Giants at Ford Field. Giants beat the Lions 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

24. Buffalo Bills (6-9) ▲1

The Bills have made it to another six-win season, which frankly has a lot to do with why they can never seem to dig out of mediocrity. Why is it they wait until the playoffs are out of reach to start winning and wreck their draft position?

23. New York Giants (6-9) ▼1

Turns out, the only thing the Giants needed to get a win was to play the only team more mistake-prone than they are. That team is the Detroit Lions, whom the Giants have just eliminated from playoff contention.

22. Tennessee Titans (6-9) NC

Had the Titans not pulled out this game, it’s entirely possible that the Jaguars could have finished alone in second place in the AFC South. Instead, the 6-9 Titans retain that dubious honor. In related news, the AFC South is absolutely garbage, and it can’t be said enough.

21. Detroit Lions (7-8) ▼5

With the NFC North laid bare before them and countless opportunities to run away with the division, the Lions went 1-5 in a series of games against teams with the same or worse records than them. Had they won another game anywhere in that stretch—including this week— they’d be in playoff position right now. Instead, they’re eliminated, as is, most likely, their head coach.

20. New York Jets (7-8) ▲1

No, Jets, it’s too late. You can’t go to the playoffs, and it doesn’t matter how miserable you make Browns fans. Good building block game for Geno Smith, though.

19. Chicago Bears (8-7) ▼5

The Lions and Packers put the NFC North on a platter, and the Bears confirmed what we’ve seen all season: Absolutely nobody wants to win the NFC North. The Bears could have clinched the division on Sunday night, and turned Week 17 into a preseason game for them. Instead, they posted their most embarrassing loss of the season, and Week 17 is now a winner-take-all grudge match. I should mention that they started Jay Cutler. Take that for whatever you think it’s worth.

18. Green Bay Packers (7-7-1) ▼1

The bad news is, they lost. The good news? So did everyone else in the NFC North, and in entirely more embarrassing fashion. So they still get to play the Bears next week in a win-and-in playoff. It will be interesting to see which team earns the honor of being sacrificed on an altar to the top wildcard team.

17. Dallas Cowboys (8-7) ▲3

A win is a win I guess, but is anybody excited about watching a team in the playoffs that could barely take care of the Redskins by a point?