NFL Power Rankings: Back on top

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New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) passes in the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's pre-Week 17 2018 NFL power rankings. And we all know how important these are:

Rank.Team (record) | Comment

1. New Orleans Saints (13-2) | 2 | Back on top

2. Los Angeles Rams (12-3) | 3 | Need to win Sunday for first-round bye

3. Los Angeles Chargers (11-4) | 1 | Still alive for AFC's No. 1 seed

4. Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) | 4 | Lost three of last five

5. Chicago Bears (11-4) | 5 | Still pushing for a first-round bye

6. New England Patriots (10-5) | 8 | 10th consecutive AFC East title

7. Indianapolis Colts (9-6) | 9 | Will make playoffs if they beat Tennessee Sunday

8. Houston Texans (10-5) | 6 | Must beat Jaguars Sunday to win AFC South

9. Baltimore Ravens (9-6) | 10 | They win the AFC North if they beat Browns Sunday

10. Seattle Seahawks (9-6) | 15 | Back in the postseason

11. Tennessee Titans (9-6) | 11 | Will make playoffs if they beat Indianapolis Sunday

12. Dallas Cowboys (9-6) | 13 | Your NFC East Champion Cowboys …

13. Minnesota Vikings (8-6-1) | 12 | Still need to win in Week 17 to get in

14. Philadelphia Eagles (8-7) | 14 | Must beat Washington Sunday and get help to get in

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6-1) | 7 | Whoa …

16.Cleveland Browns (7-7-1) | 16 | Eliminated from postseason, but made big improvement

17. Miami Dolphins (7-8) | 17 | Done in by the Duval Boys

18. Green Bay Packers (6-8-1) | 19 | Won on road for first time this season Sunday

19. Cincinnati Bengals (6-9) | 20 | Is change coming? Stay tuned

20. Atlanta Falcons (6-9) | 27 | Could be big bounce-back team in '19

21. Washington Redskins (7-8) | 21 | Officially eliminated from playoffs Sunday

22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-10) | 22 | Second double-digit loss season in three years

23. New York Giants (5-10) | 23 | Eli Debate will dwarf all else here in coming weeks

24. Carolina Panthers (6-9) | 24 | HC Ron Rivera expected to return despite seven-game slide

25. Detroit Lions (5-10) | 25 | Lions last in NFC North again

26. Denver Broncos (6-9) | 18 | Late-season fade continues

27. Buffalo Bills (5-10) | 26 | QB Josh Allen looking like what he is: a rookie

28. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10) | 30 | Blake's back … for how long?

29. Oakland Raiders (4-11) | 31 | Fond farewell

30. New York Jets (4-11) | 28 | Harbaugh in the Big Apple? Really?

31. San Francisco 49ers (4-11) | 29 | Future remains bright despite record

32. Arizona Cardinals (3-12) | 32 | One and done for Wilks?

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