NFL Top 10 Teams Entering Week 17

by Glenn Kaplan
by Glenn Kaplan

Heading into the final week of the NFL regular season, there is a lot of things that needs to be determined. Who are the Top 10 teams in the NFL heading into Week 17 of the regular season?

10. Houston Texans (10-5): I can't buy anything about this team right now. They aren't as good as people make them out to be. Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins is their entire offense. The defense is also prone to big plays. The only reason why they are in the Top 10 in these rankings because the Texans have won 10 games. They currently lead the AFC South. If they lose, Houston will be on the road on Wild Card Weekend unless the Indianapolis Colts and the Tennessee Titans tie. Last week's ranking: 6.

9. Seattle Seahawks (9-6): It is amazing how well Russell Wilson has been playing this season. Wilson continues to make the big time throw. Chris Carson has also been helping him out in the ground game. He rushed for 116 yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns, in the Seahawks 38-31 at home last Sunday night against the Kansas City Chiefs. They could be a dangerous team in the playoffs. Last week's ranking: not ranked.

8. Indianapolis Colts (9-6): The Colts have a chance to win the division with a win against the Tennessee Titans on the road this upcoming Sunday night and a Houston Texans loss. Indianapolis was on the verge of losing to the New York Giants (5-10) at home. They led for only 55 seconds in the game and it was the 55 seconds that mattered. Andrew Luck continues to make the right play at the right time. He completed 66 percent of his passes for 357 yards two touchdowns and a interception in a 28-27 win. Luck is 10-0 all time against Tennessee. Last week's ranking: 9.

7. New England Patriots (10-5): With the Texans loss and the Patriots win in Week 16, New England currently moves into the number two seed in the AFC. As long as they win against the New York Jets at home in Week 17, the New England Patriots will have another first-round bye. They haven't been flashy at all this season. Rob Gronkowski is starting to slow down. Sony Michel will need to relied on a lot for the rest of the season. He rushed for 116 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown, in a 33-16 win at home over the Buffalo Bills. Last week's ranking: 7.

6. Baltimore Ravens (9-6): The Ravens found a formula that is working for them and it could potentially be dangerous if they make the playoffs. Lamar Jackson is sparking this team by either running the ball or passing the ball. He threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Mark Andrews on the road against the Los Angeles Chargers. The defense made Philip Rivers uncomfortable and Tavon Young recovered a fumble for a touchdown to seal the win 22-10. Baltimore needs to take care of business at home on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns (7-7-1). Last week's ranking: 10.

5. Los Angeles Chargers (11-4): The Chargers blew a golden opportunity to take the lead in the AFC West race, but it slipped through their fingers. Los Angeles was roughed up at home against the Baltimore Ravens 22-10 last Saturday night and it is very possible these two teams could face each other again on Wild Card Weekend. Philip Rivers can't seem to make a big play. The only big play he made all year was against the Kansas City Chiefs on the road on Thursday night in Week 15 on a fourth down play that eventually set up the touchdown and 2-point conversion to Mike Williams to win the game. Melvin Gordon came back from injury and he rushed for 41 yards on 12 carries and a score. The Los Angeles Chargers have a chance to get the number one seed with a win on the road against the Denver Broncos (6-9) and a Kansas City Chiefs loss to the Oakland Raiders (4-11). Last week's ranking: 2.

4. Kansas City Chiefs (11-4): The Chiefs can not continue to rely on their offense all the time. The defense is going to have to make a play sooner or later and they can't do it. Kansas City still controls its own destiny. As long as they take care of business against the Oakland Raiders, they will be the number one seed. If not, the Kansas City Chiefs will most likely be on the road Wild Card weekend. This team could use a first-round bye. Last week's ranking: 3.

3. Chicago Bears (11-4): The Bears defense continues to be a difference. They were the reason why they won 14-9 on the road against the San Francisco 49ers. Mitchell Trubisky struggled, but he did just enough to win the game. Matt Nagy continues to be an inspiration for this team. Chicago has a chance to get the number two seed if they beat the Minnesota Vikings (8-6-1) on the road and if the Los Angeles Rams lose to San Francisco (4-11). Last week's ranking: 4.

2. Los Angeles Rams (12-3): The Rams snapped a two-game skid against the Arizona Cardinals (3-12) with a 31-9 win on the road. Todd Gurley sat out with a knee injury. C.J. Anderson was signed last week and he rushed for 167 yards on 20 carries and a score. Anderson could be an x-factor for this team in the playoffs. The defense played a lot better this week. They can't get the number one seed in the NFC, but they could very well wrap up the two seed with a win on the road against the San Francisco 49ers. If Los Angeles loses, they could wind up playing on Wild Card weekend and they don't want that. Last week's ranking: 5.

1. New Orleans Saints (13-2): The Saints escaped with a 31-28 win at home on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6-1). Michael Thomas took the game over for this team. He is probably the second best wide receiver in the league right now behind Antonio Brown of Pittsburgh. Thomas caught the game-winning touchdown pass and he caught 11 passes for 109 yards receiving and a touchdown. The defense also forced two key fumbles in the fourth-quarter and they also stopped a fake punt. New Orleans will have the number one seed in the NFC and they deserve to be. The only other time they were the number one seed was when they won the Super Bowl back in the 2009 regular season and the 2010 postseason. Last week's ranking: 1.