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Week 17 NFL Power Rankings

The Seattle Seahawks were written off by plenty of doubters multiple times throughout the 2014 National Football League regular season. Every one of those individuals look silly at the start of Christmas week. Not only have these Seahawks been to the mountaintop before. They may actually be better than they were a year ago at this time. Best of luck to those NFC teams that will have to travel out west to play the Seahawks in Seattle next month. Those sides will need more than some good fortune, as the Seahawks are playing at as high a level as is any other team in the league.

Elsewhere around the NFL, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots keep on winning. There is not a quarterback in the AFC one would choose to start a playoff game ahead of Brady, the Patriots have the best defense in the conference this holiday season, and the conference's road to the Super Bowl will be going through Gillette Stadium. New England has become an overwhelming favorite to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl for 2015. Is there anybody out there who wants to put actual money on the Patriots not advancing to the final game of the campaign?

The worst teams in the NFL are happily looking forward to the end of lousy seasons. Some are already working toward acquiring talent in the 2015 NFL Draft, while others are hoping that they will not need to sign or draft quarterbacks during the upcoming offseason. There are some smart football people out there who are convinced that the next draft class does not have a franchise quarterback in it. That is awful news for more than a few franchises that are desperate for elite signal-callers.

32 Tennessee Titans (2-13)

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

31 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-13)

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

30 New York Jets (3-12)

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

29 Chicago Bears (5-10)

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

28 Washington Redskins (4-11)

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

27 Jacksonville Jaguars (3-12)

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

26 Oakland Raiders (3-12)

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

25 New Orleans Saints (6-9)

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

24 Cleveland Browns (7-8)

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

23 San Francisco 49ers (7-8)

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

22 St. Louis Rams (6-9)

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

21 Minnesota Vikings (6-9)

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

20 New York Giants (6-9)

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

19 Atlanta Falcons (6-9)

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

18 Philadelphia Eagles (9-6)

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

17 Carolina Panthers (6-8-1)

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

16 Houston Texans (8-7)

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

15 Buffalo Bills (8-7)

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

14 Miami Dolphins (8-7)

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

13 Kansas City Chiefs (8-7)

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

12 Baltimore Ravens (9-6)

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

11 Arizona Cardinals (11-4)

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

10 Indianapolis Colts (10-5)

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

9 San Diego Chargers (9-6)

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

8 Pittsburgh Steelers (10-5)

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

7 Cincinnati Bengals (10-4-1)

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

6 Detroit Lions (11-4)

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

5 Denver Broncos (11-4)

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

4 Green Bay Packers (11-4)

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3 Dallas Cowboys (11-4)

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

2 Seattle Seahawks (11-4)

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

1 New England Patriots (12-3)

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Going to MetLife Stadium and beating Rex Ryan and the New York Jets one final time was never going to be a walk in the park for the Patriots. What makes New England that much scarier going into January 2015 is that quarterback Tom Brady is not being asked to win games on his own. Brady has the talent and ability to do so, yes, but it is the New England defense that has propelled the Patriots all the way to the top of NFL power rankings over the fall and at the start of winter. These Pats may be better than those teams that lost to the New York Giants in February games.

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Week 17 NFL Power Rankings