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PFT’s Week 17 Power Rankings

1. Cardinals (13-2; last week No. 2): Nine straight wins, and a much-deserved leapfrogging of a team with one less loss.

2. Panthers (14-1; last week No. 1): If 16-0 in the regular season makes it harder to go 3-0 in the postseason, it’s better to go 15-1 en route to 18-1.

3. Patriots (12-3; No. 3): Marty Mornhinweg says, “Does this mean I finally get another head-coaching job?”

4. Broncos (11-4; No. 9): Peyton Manning will now have plenty of time to issue statements and give interviews disputing that Al Jazeera report.

5. Chiefs (10-5; No. 7): Nine straight wins makes them the hottest team in the AFC. And still no one believes in them.

6. Packers (10-5; No. 4): Last week, I said they’re just good enough to lose in the divisional round. I was wrong. They’re just good enough to get blown out in the divisional round.

7. Seahawks (9-6; No. 5): Suddenly, Marshawn Lynch’s return seems inevitable.

8. Vikings (10-5; No. 11): Are they better off as the No. 3 seed at home against Seattle or as the No. 5 seed on the road at Washington?

9. Bengals (11-4; No. 8): A.J. McCarron already plays as well as Andy Dalton -- in prime time.

10. Jets (10-5; No. 10): Rex Ryan guaranteed to take Buffalo to the playoffs. He’ll have to settle for trying to knock out the team that fired him last year.

11. Washington (8-7; No. 12): At the outset of the season, Washington would have been ranked this high only if they had moved to the CFL.

12. Steelers (9-6; No. 6): They’re the most dangerous team in the AFC. Especially to themselves.

13. Texans (8-7; No. 13): The only thing standing in the way of a playoff berth is a chain of events that would end up being far more memorable that the inevitable one-and-done that’s looming.

14. Falcons (8-7; No. 19): Sunday’s performance against Carolina makes all the losses even more confounding.

15. Raiders (7-8; No. 14): The Raiders belong in Oakland, and the folks in Oakland deserve a better Raiders team. Maybe both will happen.

16. Rams (7-8; No. 20): They’re cobbling together just enough hope to justify staying the course, again.

17. Bills (7-8; No. 17): Rex Ryan guarantees that the Bills will field a team next year. Hopefully, he’ll be able to make good on that one.

18. Eagles (6-9; No. 15): Chip Kelly now says he wasn’t the G.M. Plenty of fans wish he also wasn’t the head coach.

19. Giants (6-9; No. 16): Tom Coughlin thinks his players shouldn’t worry about the coach’s future. Based on Sunday night’s game, they apparently aren’t.

20. Bears (6-9; No. 21): They should be better. They could be worse.

21. Buccaneers (6-9; No. 18): Three straight losses have killed what once seemed to be a stunning turnaround. They’ve still tripled their wins from a year ago.

22. Colts (7-8; No. 22): They’re getting closer and closer to signing Tim Tebow or Vince Young.

23. Lions (6-9; No. 23): Cooterball could still save Jim Caldwell.

24. Saints (6-9; No. 26): Based on Drew Brees’ performance, quarterbacks throughout the league will be trying to tear their plantar fascia tendons.

25. Ravens (5-10; No. 29): Long dead, the Ravens were happy to potentially take the Steelers with them.

26. Jaguars (5-10; No. 24): That 51-point outburst seems like it happened a long time ago.

27. Dolphins (5-10; No. 25): Hopefully the Dolphins won’t cut Brent Grimes; his wife’s Twitter page is the most entertaining thing about the team.

28. Chargers (4-11; No. 27): Eric Weddle’s squabble with the team provides a nice distraction from the fact that the team is about to leave town.

29. Cowboys (4-11; No. 28): Sean Payton has long been linked to the Cowboys. After the team’s performance in 2015, maybe those rumors will finally gather some steam.

30. Browns (3-12; No. 30): If Johnny Manziel is posting those videos in order to get cut, he’s smarter than anyone realizes.

31. 49ers (4-11; No. 31): Jim Tomsula said he’s the coach until someone tells him otherwise. More than 75 percent of the fan base already has volunteered to be the messenger.

32. Titans (3-12; No. 32): They don’t know how to do much, but they know how to nail down the No. 1 seed.