The final week of the NFL regular season saw many big names sitting on the sideline, and others coming up just short of a postseason appearance. The Dallas Cowboys sat Ezekiel Elliott against the Eagles, and only gave Dak Prescott limited playing time. Tony Romo played a series and looked like his old self, but then ceded way to Mark Sanchez, who also looked like his old self.
In the end, the Cowboys dropped just their third game of the season and also dipped a bit in the power rankings.
The New England Patriots remain the No. 1 team in this week’s power rankings after a 35-14 stomping of the Miami Dolphins, clinching the top seed in the AFC and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Tom Brady and wideout Julian Edelman continue to form one of the most dangerous offensive duos in the league. The pair connected for 151 yards and a score in the last week of the regular season.
Week 17 included a big win for the Kansas City Chiefs and a tough loss — of both the game and their No. 2 quarterback — for the Oakland Raiders.
Just a week after losing their starting quarterback Derek Carr to a broken leg, the team’s backup, Matt McGloin, was sidelined Sunday with a shoulder injury, leaving the Raiders offense in the inexperienced hands of rookie Connor Cook. Oakland, which hadn’t made the postseason since 2002, just narrowly missed being named the AFC West division champs after a 24-6 loss to the Broncos.
Cook had a decent showing for his debut, completing 14 of 21 passes for 150 yards, one touchdown, and an interception. The extent of McGloin’s injury to his non-throwing shoulder will determine who starts for the Raiders in their playoff game in Houston. The Texans are also dealing with uncertainty at quarterback for Wild Card Weekend. Tom Savage, who replaced Brock Osweiler a couple weeks ago, left the game against the Titans with a concussion and will have to clear concussion protocol to be able to play.
Washington fell this week after late-game comeback against the New York Giants resulted in an interception to seal their fate. The team was still hoping to snag a spot in the playoffs, but was eliminated with the loss. That meant both the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions would make the postseason even before their matchup in the season finale of Sunday Night Football.
What started as a defensive struggle Sunday night ended up as another offensive showcase for both Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford, who combined threw for five touchdowns and nearly 650 yards.
But the Packers escaped with the 31-24 win and the NFC North crown, while the Lions will take a trip to Seattle to play the Seahawks in the Wild Card round.
With their 15th loss this season, the Cleveland Browns have solidified themselves at the bottom of the NFL. They held tight with the Pittsburgh Steelers through four quarters and into overtime — due in large part to the Steelers sitting Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown — but ultimately couldn’t keep it together long enough to claim the victory.
Here are the final power rankings from around the internet for the 2016 season.
Final NFL Power Rankings
|1||New England Patriots||New England Patriots||New England Patriots||New England Patriots|
|2||Atlanta Falcons||Dallas Cowboys||Dallas Cowboys||Dallas Cowboys|
|3||Dallas Cowboys||Pittsburgh Steelers||Pittsburgh Steelers||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|4||Kansas City Chiefs||Atlanta Falcons||Kansas City Chiefs||Kansas City Chiefs|
|5||Pittsburgh Steelers||Kansas City Chiefs||Green Bay Packers||Atlanta Falcons|
|6||Green Bay Packers||Green Bay Packers||Seattle Seahawks||Green Bay Packers|
|7||New York Giants||Seattle Seahawks||Atlanta Falcons||New York Giants|
|8||Seattle Seahawks||New York Giants||New York Giants||Seattle Seahawks|
|9||Detroit Lions||Oakland Raiders||Oakland Raiders||Miami Dolphins|
|10||Miami Dolphins||Miami Dolphins||Detroit Lions||Detroit Lions|
|11||Oakland Raiders||Detroit Lions||Denver Broncos||Oakland Raiders|
|12||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Houston Texans||Miami Dolphins||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|13||Baltimore Ravens||Tennesee Titans||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Washington|
|14||Washington||Denver Broncos||Baltimore Ravens||Houston Texans|
|15||Houston Texans||Washington||Tennessee Titans||Tennessee Titans|
|16||Arizona Cardinals||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Houston Texans||Denver Broncos|
|17||New Orleans Saints||Baltimore Ravens||Washington||Indianapolis Colts|
|18||Indianapolis Colts||Arizona Cardinals||Arizona Cardinals||Baltimore Ravens|
|19||Philadelphia Eagles||Indianapolis Colts||Minnesota Vikings||Minnesota Vikings|
|20||Denver Broncos||Buffalo Bills||Indianapolis Colts||Arizona Cardinals|
|21||Tennessee Titans||Minnesota Vikings||Cincinnati Bengals||New Orleans Saints|
|22||Buffalo Bills||Philadelphia Eagles||New Orleans Saints||Cincinnati Bengals|
|23||Cincinnati Bengals||Cincinnati Bengals||Philadelphia Eagles||Philadelphia Eagles|
|24||Minnesota Vikings||New Orleans Saints||Carolina Panthers||Buffalo Bills|
|25||Carolina Panthers||Carolina Panthers||Buffalo Bills||Carolina Panthers|
|26||Jacksonville Jaguars||New York Jets||San Diego Chargers||San Diego Chargers|
|27||San Diego Chargers||San Diego Chargers||Jacksonville Jaguars||New York Jets|
|28||New York Jets||Jacksonville Jaguars||New York Jets||Jacksonville Jaguars|
|29||Chicago Bears||Chicago Bears||Los Angeles Rams||Chicago Bears|
|30||San Francisco 49ers||San Francisco 49ers||Chicago Bears||San Francisco 49ers|
|31||Cleveland Browns||Los Angeles Rams||San Francisco 49ers||Los Angeles Rams|
|32||Los Angeles Rams||Cleveland Browns||Cleveland Browns||Cleveland Browns|