Week 17 NFC Power Rankings: Eagles on the Fringe of Playoffs

The Eagles kept things rolling Sunday, taking down a 10-win Texans team, but it all comes down to this weekend. They need to win and then need some help. 

Here's an updated look at our NFC power rankings: 

1. Saints (13-2) Last week: 1
It was obviously a close game, but the Saints took down the Steelers 31-28 Sunday. The Saints have one loss in their last 14 games and that came in Dallas in Week 13. They have now rattled off three straight wins since then and clinched the NFC's top playoff seed Sunday. 

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2. Bears (11-4) Last week: 2
It wasn't necessarily pretty but the Bears took down the 49ers 14-9 Sunday and have now won three straight since their OT loss to the Giants. They enter Week 17 with a chance to earn the NFC's No. 2 seed and a bye, but will need some help. 

3. Rams (12-3) Last week: 3
The help would come in the form of a 49ers' win over the Rams. That seems unlikely. The Rams beat the Niners 39-10 earlier this season. This last weekend, the Rams beat up on the Cardinals to avoid a three-game skid. They're going to make sure they play Sunday and win to get that all-important bye. 

4. Seahawks (9-6) Last week: 4
Big win for the Seahawks, who took down the Chiefs 38-31 in Seattle. They punched their ticket to the playoffs with the win. With that win over the Chiefs, they eliminated one of three avenues the Eagles had to the playoffs. 

5. Vikings (8-6-1) Last week: 5
The Lions couldn't help the Eagles and gave up an early lead over the Vikings, who beat them 27-9. Pretty simple for the Vikings. If they beat the Bears on Sunday, they're in the playoffs and eliminate the Eagles, who have become a weird rival over the last year. 

6. Cowboys (9-6) Last week: 6
Give credit to the Cowboys. They came off that shutout loss to the Colts and rebounded to beat the Bucs 27-20 and clinch the NFC East, shutting another door on the Eagles. There still hasn't been a back-to-back champion in the division since the Eagles won it four times in a row from 2001-04. 

7. Eagles (8-7) Last week: 7
Nice win for the Eagles, 32-30, over the Texans, but you just can't put them above any of those teams up there. Still, they have a shot at the playoffs. They need to beat the Redskins and the Vikings need to lose to the Bears. It would be a shame if the Eagles win and still don't get in. That would mean they would have won five of their last six and still missed the playoffs. That's very possible. Still, they have no one to blame but themselves for getting into this position. 

8. Packers (6-8-1) Last week: 9
An overtime win against the Jets isn't exactly winning the Super Bowl, but the Packers will take it, especially because they scored a season-high 44 points. 

9. Redskins (7-8) Last week: 8
With their fourth-string quarterback, Washington was eliminated from playoff contention with its 25-16 loss over the Titans. They're 1-5 in their last six heading into the season finale at home against the Eagles and they just cut one of their best defensive players because he publicly criticized the coaching staff. 

10. Falcons (6-9) Last week: 13
I still can't believe this happened, but Atlanta is now in second place in the NFC South behind New Orleans. This division was supposed to be loaded and it's collapsed. Anyway, the Falcons have won their last two games over the Cardinals and Panthers by an average of 20 points per game. 

11. Panthers (6-9) Last week: 10 
Carolina was really 6-2 this year in November. That really happened. So did this seven-game losing streak. Maybe they'll beat the Saints in New Orleans this weekend simply because the Saints have nothing to play for, but this Carolina team stinks and it's hard to imagine Ron Rivera sticking around. 

12. Giants (5-10) Last week: 14
After a couple big wins, the Giants have lost their last two. They lost by one point to the Colts, but at least they've pulled themselves out of the basement of the NFC. 

13. Buccaneers (5-10) Last week: 11
They've now lost their last three and head into a battle at home against the Falcons that means absolutely nothing in real life but could change the landscape of these power rankings. Is that enough reason to pay attention? 

14. Lions (5-10) Last week: 12
The Lions had a chance to help the Eagles last weekend and they didn't. The got crushed, 27-9, and have lost four of their last five. They'll finish up their miserable season against the Packers in Green Bay. 

15. 49ers (4-11) Last week: 15
The Eagles fans are obviously going to be big Bears fans this weekend, but they'll be big 49ers fans too. The Niners play the Rams and if they keep it close, that will force the Bears to continue to play their starters against the Vikings. 

16. Cardinals (3-12) Last week: 16 
The Cardinals will be in Seattle as they try to win their fourth game of the season. If they don't, they'll finish at the bottom spot in the NFC. 

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