CSN's Week 17 NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Patriots coasting into playoffs

CSN's Week 17 NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Patriots coasting into playoffs

We've reached Week 17 in the NFL with two clear powerhouses in the Patriots and Cowboys. With just one week remaining in the regular season, which teams will fill in the final playoff spots and which teams will be on the outside looking in?

After taking in all the action from this past week, here is CSN's NFL Power Rankings for Week 17, compiled by Derrick Gunn and John Boruk.

1. Patriots (13-2)
Tom Brady’s 25/2 TD/Int ratio is unreal. He’s my choice for MVP. -Boruk

The Pats have 14 takeaways and just one giveaway in the last five weeks. -Gunn

2. Cowboys (13-2)
If I was Jason Garrett, I’d rest Prescott and Elliott for the Eagles game. -Boruk

The Cowboys had nothing to play for Monday night and still demolished Detroit. -Gunn

3. Raiders (12-3)
Without Derek Carr, Oakland probably doesn’t win another game this season. -Boruk

With Derek Carr, the Raiders are a dangerous squad. Without him, the Raiders could be one and done in the playoffs. -Gunn

4. Chiefs (11-4)
Don’t quite understand the Dontari Poe TD pass at the end of the game. Not necessary. -Boruk

Andy Reid gets his 172nd career win and is tied with Bill Parcells for 12th place on the all time list. -Gunn

5. Steelers (10-5)
That 4th quarter may have been the most explosive we’ve seen the Steelers' offense this season. -Boruk

Survived a hard fought battle with Baltimore to win the AFC North. -Gunn

6. Falcons (10-5)
Highest-scoring team in the league scored their fewest points (15) in Philadelphia. -Boruk

Should Matt Ryan be mentioned in MVP chatter? He's 1st in QB rating (115.5) and 3rd in passing yards (4613), TD passes (34) and completions (69.5 percent). -Gunn

7. Seahawks (9-5-1)
Allow me to reiterate: The Hawks aren’t the same team without safety Earl Thomas. -Boruk

Were the only unbeaten squad at home before falling to Arizona. -Gunn

8. Giants (10-5)
In the last 10 weeks, the Giants have lost twice, both in the state of Pennsylvania. -Boruk

Playoff bound, but haven't scored more than 19 points in the last four weeks. -Gunn

9. Packers (9-6)
Aaron Rodgers is 5-1 in his last six games at Ford Field. Pack will win the NFC North. -Boruk

When Aaron Rodgers speaks, we have to listen. Five in a row and counting. -Gunn

10. Lions (9-6)
What a collapse it would be if the Lions failed to make the playoffs. Can still get in with a loss. -Boruk

The Lions are reeling and now a date with red-hot Green Bay for the NFC North title looms. -Gunn

11. Dolphins (10-5)
Adam Gase should be considered for coach of the year after rallying the Dolphins from a 1-4 start. -Boruk

Running back Jay Ajayi has been a pleasant surprise. 6th in rushing (1,213) and tied for 3rd in rushing touchdowns (10). -Gunn

12. Ravens (8-7)
Regardless of the outcome, Joe Flacco is still a clutch quarterback in crunch time. -Boruk

John Harbaugh is not used to missing the playoffs and is out for the second year in a row. -Gunn

13. Texans (9-6)
Somehow the Texans are a playoff team despite a -42 in point differential, 4th worst in the AFC. -Boruk

Won the last three games by a total of eight points. -Gunn

14. Buccaneers (8-7)
Losing tight end Cameron Brate is a big blow to a team that still has playoff aspirations. -Boruk

Bucs on a two-game slide. Slim playoff hopes, but need a lot of help. -Gunn

15. Broncos (8-7)
Broncos offense has managed just 23 points over their last three games. A 1-4 record in the AFC West. -Boruk

Falling behind early in games finally caught up to the Broncos in the end. -Gunn

16. Redskins (8-6-1)
Kirk Cousins needs 370 yards against the Giants to finish the season with 5,000 passing yards. -Boruk

The Skins can breathe a sigh of relief, no structural damage to Robert Kelley’s knee. -Gunn

17. Titans (8-7)
If Marcus Mariota can come back healthy and start quickly, the Titans are the team to watch in 2017. -Boruk

We can now only speculate what might have been had Mariota not broken his leg. -Gunn

18. Colts (7-8)
With 33 yards Sunday, Frank Gore can become the oldest RB with a 1,000-yard season since John Riggins in 1984. -Boruk

The Colts had five losses by eight points or less. All were winnable. -Gunn

19. Saints (7-8)
I know Sean Payton has won a Super Bowl, but that was 7 years ago. His job shouldn’t be secure heading into 2017. -Boruk

The Saints are still an offensive juggernaut, but the defense needs to be overhauled. -Gunn

20. Vikings (7-8)
A Vikings loss coupled with an Eagles win will actually help their first-round draft position. -Boruk

From 5-0 to 2-8 since Week 7. -Gunn

21. Bills (7-8)
If a new coach can fix the defense, this may be the most attractive job out there right now. -Boruk

Bills haven't been to the playoffs since 1999 and now Rex and Rob Ryan won’t be around to oversee the team's future. -Gunn

22. Cardinals (6-8-1)
David Johnson could become the first RB ever with 100 yards from scrimmage in all 16 games. -Boruk

RB David Johnson has 15 straight games with at least 100 yards from scrimmage. Can set a new all-time record this Sunday. -Gunn

23. Bengals (5-9-1)
Marvin Lewis will finish with his first losing season since 2010. -Boruk

The Marvin Lewis watch continues. -Gunn

24. Eagles (6-9)
Who’s the Eagles' MVP this season? Hard to say, but I’d lean towards Brandon Graham. -Boruk

Taking down the Giants showed this crew has not quit. -Gunn

25. Panthers (6-9)
How will Cam Newton, only 27, bounce back from arguably the worst season of his NFL career? -Boruk

From the penthouse to the outhouse. -Gunn

26. Chargers (5-10)
I would like to drop the Chargers to 31st after losing to the previously winless Browns. -Boruk

They must now live with the shame of losing to the Browns. -Gunn

27. Bears (3-12)
Some good young talent on offense (Cameron Meredith, Jordan Howard), they just need a QB to pull it all together. -Boruk

Matt Barkley threw five picks vs. the 'Skins, the most in a game by a Bears QB since 2009 (Jay Cutler). -Gunn

28. Jets (4-11)
The Jets once had a top-notch defense. They have allowed 145 points in their last 4 games. -Boruk

Their play Christmas Eve vs. the Patriots was like their season. Embarrassing. -Gunn

29. Rams (4-11)
L.A.’s new coach will soon realize Jared Goff is not a franchise quarterback. Goff now 0-6 to start his career. -Boruk

WR Kenny Britt became the first Rams receiver to go over 1000 yards since 2007. -Gunn

30. Jaguars (3-12)
Will be interesting to see what the Jaguars decide to do with QB Blake Bortles, the 3rd overall pick in 2014. -Boruk

Jags switch coaches and snap a nine game slide. Go figure! -Gunn

31. 49ers (2-13)
Chip Kelly’s great offensive mind has produced the worst passing attack in the NFL at 181.3 yards per game. -Boruk

RB Carlos Hyde was having his best pro season ever and tears his MCL. -Gunn

32. Browns (1-14)
Sorry 2008 Lions, you’re still the only member of the 0-16 club. -Boruk

Browns win!!! Browns win!!! It must be Christmas. -Gunn

NFL Notes: Ezekiel Elliott reportedly getting an emergency hearing


NFL Notes: Ezekiel Elliott reportedly getting an emergency hearing

A person with direct knowledge of the situation says attorneys for Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott are set for an emergency hearing in federal court in New York as they try again to stop the running back's six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations.

Elliott's legal team filed a request for a temporary restraining order Monday and will get a hearing Tuesday in the Southern District of New York, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the filing hadn't been made public.

Last year's NFL rushing leader is suspended for Sunday's game at San Francisco after a federal appeals court overturned an injunction that had allowed him to play this season.

The case is shifting to New York because the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ordered the dismissal of Elliott's lawsuit in Texas. Elliott's attorneys have indicated they are still pursuing the case with the New Orleans court.

The person told the AP that U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty would hear arguments Tuesday in New York because the presiding judge, Katherine Polk Fialla, is out of town (see full story).

Packers: Rodgers to have surgery on collarbone
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy says quarterback Aaron Rodgers will have surgery on his broken right collarbone, and that his season could be over.

McCarthy said Monday that the two-time NFL MVP would have surgery in the near future. He says that there is no timeline for his potential return.

"The key is to get Aaron healthy, it's not to develop a timeline," McCarthy said.

Rodgers got hurt in the first quarter of the 23-10 loss on Sunday at Minnesota.

Brett Hundley is now the starting quarterback. The Packers also promoted third-stringer Joe Callahan from the practice squad to become the backup quarterback.

Cornerback Quinten Rollins was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury to make room for Callahan (see full story).

Steelers: Bryant downplays reported trade demand
PITTSBURGH -- Yes, Martavis Bryant wants a trade.

To the Golden State Warriors.

Otherwise, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver insists he's just fine even after multiple reports that he asked the team to ship him elsewhere.

Asked Monday if he'd like a change of scenery, Bryant reiterated he's happy in Pittsburgh.

"I'm doing fine, everything is good," he said.

Even if -- at least statistically -- in his return from a year-plus suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy has been underwhelming.

Bryant caught two passes for 27 yards in Sunday's 19-13 victory over Kansas City and has just 17 receptions and one touchdown through six games for the first-place Steelers (4-2). His 13.6 yards per catch is more than 4 yards below his career average while splitting playing time with rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster (see full story).

Raiders: Linebacker Bowman signs 1-year deal
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- NaVorro Bowman will make a short move following his release last week from the San Francisco 49ers, signing a $3 million, one-year contract with the Oakland Raiders on Monday.

"It's a refresher for me," Bowman said after taking part in a walkthrough with his new team. "It's a new picture, new scenery. The guys are a special group of guys. You can just see the talent they have on the offensive side of the ball. I'm excited to go out there and play for an offense that is eager to score points. I look forward to it."

Bowman visited the Raiders on Monday and then signed the deal shortly after that, cancelling a planned visit to the Dallas Cowboys. He went right into meetings with the assistant coaches and could be ready to play when the Raiders (2-4) host the first-place Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night.

Bowman said he will do extra work this week to learn the defense and said he plans to play this week if he's prepared enough. The Raiders will be happy to get him on the field to add some experience to a young group of inside linebackers (see full story).

Redskins dealing with numerous injuries heading into Week 7 vs. Eagles

USA Today Images

Redskins dealing with numerous injuries heading into Week 7 vs. Eagles

ASHBURN, Va. — Quinton Dunbar takes pride in the way Washington Redskins defensive backs coach Torrian Gray makes every member of the secondary prepare as though he's starting.

"When you get in, you are expected to play like a starter," Dunbar said.

That approach has come in handy this season. Already 2015 All-Pro Josh Norman, fellow cornerback Bashaud Breeland and safety Stefan McClure have gone down with injuries, and second-year safety Su'a Cravens left the team to contemplate retirement.

It's possible Breeland, who sprained his left knee Sunday against San Francisco, and Norman, who has been out with a broken rib, play Monday night.

If they can't go, Washington will lean heavily on Dunbar, Kendall Fuller and rookies Montae Nicholson, Fabian Moreau and Joshua Holsey against quarterback Carson Wentz and the NFC East-leading Eagles.

"It'll be a great challenge because he's playing extremely well," Gruden said.

"Our guys will have to step up. That's just the way it is. There's a lot of teams around the National Football League this time of year that are dealing with key injuries at certain positions and we just had a couple of them at the corner spot. Fabian, Dunbar, they'll have to step up and play well (along with) Holsey, Fuller."

Breeland began the 49ers game as the top cornerback with Norman out and took a block at the knee from offensive lineman Joe Staley. Gruden said Breeland escaped serious MCL damage and is a quick healer, so he could be ready to face the 5-1 Eagles.

Norman will ramp up his running and exercise this week, and Gruden said "there's a chance" he plays Monday.

The news isn't so good for rookie defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, who could miss three weeks or more with a Lisfranc sprain in his left foot, and kicker Dustin Hopkins, whose right hip rotator muscle strain will force the Redskins to work out free agent kickers this week.

Even with all the injuries in the secondary, Washington hasn't yet had to look for external help because it has four 2016 or 2017 draft picks on the roster and able to take on extended roles.

"We are as strong as our weakest link and we always talk about not having the drop-offs," said Fuller, a 2016 third-round pick. "Anybody who is in there, we trust to make plays."

The Redskins have had no choice but to trust their young players, including Dunbar, a 25-year-old converted receiver. Injuries to D.J. Swearinger and Nicholson on Sunday almost forced Fuller to move from cornerback to safety where he saw no snaps at practice, and Moreau had to take over on the outside when Breeland was hurt in the second half.

Moreau, a third-round pick who missed the start of training camp with a torn pectoral muscle, said players follow Swearinger's lead to be ready for any situation.

"We got dogs," Moreau said. "We all trust each other. We all feed off of him, and we know that."

Of all the young defensive backs, no one has made a bigger leap than Dunbar, who was a receiver at Florida. Gruden joked that Dunbar isn't "really smart enough to know the magnitude of the situation he's in" and just goes out and plays.

Dunbar said after what he went through growing up that football's a pleasure for him and he doesn't blink. But he has made incredible strides since shifting to cornerback.

"Mentally I'm a thousand times better," Dunbar said. "I always had the physical attributes, man. It was more mental for me -- just breaking down the offenses, learning what's coming and stuff like that."

That'll come in handy against Wentz as the 3-2 Redskins try to close the gap and keep this a competitive division race.

From the coverage to the pass rush, Washington's defense must be better against Wentz than it was in a 30-17 loss in Week 1.

"We've got to figure out a way to contain Wentz," Gruden said. "He killed us with the off-schedule plays, and he's been doing that consistently throughout the year. That's why they're 5-1. It's a big game for us. We know that."