Week 17 NFL Power Rankings, Presented by GMC
Everyone has their own set of NFL power rankings, but not all of them take computer-driven, algorithmically-derived approaches that look at underlying data to figure out true team strength.
But numberFire's power rankings do just that.
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Using our nERD metric, which indicates the expected point differential against an average opponent on a neutral field, here is how our model ranks and rates all 32 teams.
numberFire's NFL Power Rankings
There's a Big Six forming at the top of the power rankings. The Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Cincinnati Bengals all have nERD scores between 8.43 and 9.86. The next best rating belongs to the Miami Dolphins at 2.13. That means -- more or less -- our model at numberFire thinks one of those top six would beat any other team at a neutral site by at least a touchdown if the game played to expectation. All six of them have clinched a playoff spot.
As for the playoff race outside the top six, there are some interesting spots. The 8-7 Dolphins have a 73.3% playoff chance after bumping up their odds by 9.8 percentage points despite a Week 16 loss to the Green Bay Packers, whose odds increased 21.9 points to 31.6%.
Sandwiched between two 7-8 AFC East teams with sub-12.0% playoff chances (the New England Patriots and New York Jets) are the 7-8 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are now 10th in nERD. They scored a 19-16 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 16 and finish the season against two teams at the bottom of the power rankings (versus the Carolina Panthers and then are at the Falcons in Week 18). Tampa Bay is 84.1% likely to clinch a playoff spot after a tumultuous season.
The largest playoff odds increases (by percentage points) this week belong to the Packers (as already noted), the Jacksonville Jaguars (up 16.4 points to 64.4%), the Dolphins (as already noted), and the Los Angeles Chargers (up 9.8 points to a clinched position).
On the other side of the equation, the Jets dropped 20.0 points to 11.9%, the Detroit Lions fell 18.1 points to 22.7%, the Tennessee Titans are down 15.3 points to 37.1%, and the Washington Commanders plummeted 11.2 points to 24.9%.