NFL power rankings entering Week 17

Despite their first loss, Kawann Short and the Panthers remain No. 1 on Nathan Jahnke's list.

| 10 months ago
(AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

(AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

NFL power rankings entering Week 17

In preparation for NFL Week 17, here are my updated PFF power rankings. This week, the rankings are presented with a player who has performed well in the month of December. All of the statistics and rankings are based only on games played in December.

1. Carolina Panthers

Defensive tackle Kawann Short has five sacks in December, the most for any interior defensive linemen this month.

2. New England Patriots

Defensive end Jabaal Sheard has a run stop percentage of 13.8 percent, which is the best for 4-3 defensive ends. He has eight stops on 58 run snaps.

3. Arizona Cardinals

The wide receiver with the most yards per route run is Michael Floyd, at 3.69. He has 387 yards on 105 routes run.

4. Cincinnati Bengals

4-3 outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict has the highest run stop percentage for the position, at 17.2 percent.

5. Minnesota Vikings

Cornerback Xavier Rhodes is tied for the league lead in passes defended, at five.

6. Green Bay Packers

Safety Morgan Burnett has three passes defended, which is tied for the most among safeties.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers

The wide receiver with the most catches without a drop is Antonio Brown. He has 38 catches in December, and hasn’t dropped a single pass.

8. Denver Broncos

The running back with the most yards after contact per carry is C.J. Anderson, at 4.7. He’s averaging more yards after contact per carry than most running backs have yards per carry both before and after contact.

9. Oakland Raiders

The Raiders have the top two 3-4 defensive ends in run stop percentage, with Shelby Harris at 14.8 and Stacy McGee at 13.3.

10. Seattle Seahawks

Quarterback Russell Wilson has been the most accurate quarterback, with an accuracy percentage of 82.6.

11. Atlanta Falcons

The wide receiver with the most yards after the catch in December is Julio Jones, at 188.

12. Kansas City Chiefs

Outside linebacker Dee Ford has 23 total pressures, tied for the most among 3-4 OLBs.

13. Houston Texans

The 3-4 outside linebacker with the highest pass rushing productivity is Whitney Mercilus, at 14.9 percent. He has two sacks, three hits, and 12 hurries on 89 pass rushes.

14. New York Jets

The defensive tackle with the highest run stop percentage is Damon Harrison, at 20.0 percent. He has 12 run stops on 60 run snaps.

15. New Orleans Saints

The cornerback with the lowest yards per coverage snap is Delvin Breaux, at 0.32. He’s allowed just 8-of-18 passes thrown his way to be caught for 35 yards, and that was on 110 coverage snaps.

16. Buffalo Bills

The quarterback with the most passing yards on deep passes is Tyrod Taylor, with 376. He’s completed 10-of-27 passes, and four have gone for touchdowns.

17. Chicago Bears

Since taking over the slot cornerback role, Demontre Hurst hasn’t allowed a single yard. On 37 coverage snaps, he’s been targeted twice, and has allowed one catch for no yards.

18. St. Louis Rams

The defensive tackle with the highest pass rushing productivity is Aaron Donald, at 17.4. He has 29 pressures, which also leads the position, and 16 combined sacks and hits, which doubles any other defensive tackle.

19. Washington

The tight end with the most catches without a drop is Jordan Reed. He has 28 catches compared to no drops. He also has the most yards per route run for tight ends, at 2.77.

20. Baltimore Ravens

Kick Justin Tucker is averaging 73.5 yards per kickoff, the most among kickers.

21. Philadelphia Eagles

The most accurate passer under pressure has been Sam Bradford, at 80.0 percent. He’s completed 26-of-41 passes, but six of his incompletions have been throwaways, and two were dropped.

22. Indianapolis Colts

Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson has 16 run stops, tied for the most for inside/middle linebackers.

23. Dallas Cowboys

Guard Zack Martin has been perfect in pass protection in December. He hasn’t allowed a single pressure on 130 pass blocks.

24. Detroit Lions

The cornerback with the highest run stop percentage is Quandre Diggs, at 10.3 percent. He has four run stop on 39 run snaps.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The running back with the most yards per route run is Charles Sims, at 2.87. He has 175 yards on 61 routes run.

26. Jacksonville Jaguars

The wide receiver with the highest yards per route run in the slot for receivers who spend at least half of their snaps in the slot is Allen Hurns, at 3.96. He has 206 yards on 52 routes run from the slot.

27. Miami Dolphins

The offensive tackle with the best pass blocking efficiency is Branden Albert, at 99.3. He has not allowed a sack or hit this month, and has only allowed one hurry.

28. New York Giants

When lined up on the left side, Jason Pierre-Paul has 24 total pressures, which is seven more than any other 4-3 defensive end when on the left side.

29. Cleveland Browns

Linebacker Craig Robertson has a perfect yards per coverage snap. In 53 coverage snaps, he has just been thrown at once, and didn’t allow a catch.

30. Tennessee Titans

The safety with the most run stops is Michael Griffin, at 14. He also has the highest run stop percentage for safeties, at 11.8.

31. San Francisco 49ers

Defensive tackle Ian Williams has 14 run stops, which is the most for all defensive/nose tackles.

32. San Diego Chargers

The 3-4 outside linebacker with both the most run stops and best run stop percentage is Jerry Attaochu, at 10 stops and a 16.7 run stop percentage.

| Director of Analytics

Nathan has been with Pro Football Focus since 2010. He is the Director of Analytics, an NFL analyst, and a fantasy writer.

  • krissberg

    Denver had beaten the 4 of the top 7 teams. Not arguing the rankings but it’s interesting…

  • Brandon

    Once again my chiefs fall despite riding a 9 game winning streak. I can’t wait to beat the raiders this week (again) so it can make whoever made these power rankings look idiotic for putting them ahead of us week in and week out. No respect. D ford has the most pressures by any OLB interesting. You do know he is our third string right?

    • crosseyedlemon

      Stay calm Brandon. The Chiefs are the classic example of a team playing beyond the sum of it’s individual parts. Full credit to coach Reid for making that possible. The Chiefs lack the “Wow” factor that some other teams have but their “giveaway” total is the lowest in the league and that is a good reason to be optimistic about their chances in the playoffs.

      • Sam Doohan

        Exactly. KC are a good team, certainly playing better than anyone expected, but even then they aren’t even close to the best. The fact that it took a nine game winning streak to get to 10-5 shows you the other side of the story with losses against better teams.

      • Brandon

        Its hard to stay calm when week in week out we fall down the power rankings when we keep losing. We have been winning by an average of twenty points (before the browns game) everyone judges us by our offense. I’ll be the first to agree I get more excited with the defense on the field. We live off our defense. You mentioned we don’t give the ball up. That’s our MO and trust me when I say the ENTIRE NFL would jump on the bandwagon if Jamaal Charles was healthy. Look at how many takeaways we have. So when you give up the ball the least amount in the NFL, and your taking it away idk top 3 you deserve respect. We have a formula and we are following it to success. I feel like just because we don’t win fancy and our PFF ratings aren’t exactly eye poppers that this website writes us off

        • anon76returns

          Power rankings are based mostly on PFF grades. KC manages to win a lot without grading out that well. I wouldn’t really get too bothered by it- would you rather the Chiefs graded out as well as Oak but missed the dance?

          • Brandon

            No but I think it’s absurd how they ranks these teams. This is hurting us because our PFF stud’s are hurt. Houston and Charles. Our entire team is “anti” PFF. With our conservative offense and our bend but don’t break defense. I still think the chiefs should get a lil bit more respect then they are getting. If Charles was healthy id go as far as say we’d be just as scary as any time in the dance.

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          • David E. Bell

            I worry the Offense, but not because the players can’t do it–Reid goes conservative with a lead. btw, did you get the Verderame Mock?

          • larry mckinney

            Brandon, its time to realize that you are correct – its absurd how they rank these teams. You see in this PFF system, Atlanta’s strong beginning still carries significant weight even after they completely collapsed mid-season.

            A better way of ranking teams is to place emphasis how the team has been playing in the last 4-5 games. That is the team that will face the next opponent. This is how Pittsburgh can be ranked very high, despite having a sluggish mid-season period before Roethlisberger (sp?) returned. In that light, the Chiefs would be ranked very highly (see rankings for an example).

    • Felton51

      Brother, all that matters is winning right now. The more wins, the more attention. Good luck – it’s been a while for you guys. I was in the stands at old Tulane Stadium in 1970 when the Chiefs beat the Vikings 23-7 in the Super Bowl. My dad was pissed that the 4 tickets cost $15 each. Of course, at that time, my parent paid $7.50 each for two sideline seats and $1.50 each for 4 youth end zone seats. Stay calm and keep winning!!!!

      • Brandon

        Lol always a privileged to meet an old chief head. I salute you sir.

        • Felton51

          I’m a Saint fan – but that day, everyone in cold, wet Tulane Stadium was a Chiefs fan. I also have great memories of the Christmas game vs the Dolphins when Ed Podolak seemingly could not be stopped. But nothing compared to the old Chief – Raider games in the late slot on NBC!

      • crosseyedlemon

        Hank Stram, the rats and 65 toss power trap…..great memories!

  • crosseyedlemon

    It’s time to hold your nose when you see a ranking of 19 being good enough to claim a divisional title.

    • Bob Charley

      Clearly these rankings are wrong as the Redskins beat the Rams, Bears, Saints and Bills, all of whom are ranked ahead of them.

  • Jared Tremonti

    What exactly is the basis for these power rankings? Who would beat who on a neutral field? Who is hotter than who? Or some arbitrary combination of player rankings? Because two of those three scoff at the Raiders being #9.

  • Zachary Arnold

    How does it make any sense that a team that has won 9 in a row is ranked 6 spots lower than a team that has gone 4-6 in its last 10 and is coming off of a 38-8 defeat. Brandon is right; the chiefs have been slighted majorly.

    • Sam Doohan

      I agree that GB should be lower but they are still a better team than KC. Look at the schedule for their mighty win streak – Cleveland, Baltimore, San Diego, Detroit. Hardly an upset to win. KC are a good team, better than the sum of their parts but beating a bunch of crappy teams doesn’t prove much. Against good teams KC have split with Denver, lost to Cinci, lost to Green Bay, lost to Minnesota. KC deserve to make the playoffs but their streak is an accident of scheduling not a sign of something more.

      • larry mckinney

        And KC’s streak includes wins @Denver, @ tough Raiders team, at home against a tough Buffalo team, and Pittsburgh. Your opinion is an opinion, as good as anyones’ perhaps. But I wonder, has your team won 9 NFL games in a row this year?

      • gooeymarshmallows

        So your reasoning for why GB – one of the most overrated teams in all of football – is better than KC is because KC blew out Detroit? As opposed to GB who, oh, what do you know, LOST to Detroit and then beat them on a fluke Hail Mary, right?

  • Biff

    I think you geniuses need to learn how to read. Rankings and statistics are for December games only.

    • Robert Reyes

      this applies to the player comments below each ranking, i.e. the player’s statistics and the player’s ranking are for the month of december, not the overall team rankings, geesh… the rams are 3-1 in december, do you think it makes sense to rank them 18th if the rankings were just for december? again, geesh….

  • Kyle

    Lol redskins ranked directly behind 3 teams they’ve handily beaten.

  • Jon

    The Redskins have beaten the four teams directly ahead of them in the power rankings. Three of them were defeated decisively.

    • Felton51

      Yes – they gave the Saints a drug problem – they drug them up and down the field. Saints at #15 is good for a laugh.
      YOU LIKE THAT?!?!?!

  • Robert Reyes

    how does a paid subscriber such as myself get someone at pff to return emails? have sent several and zero replies….

    • eYeDEF

      They don’t care about you and me anymore because they no longer depend on us to pay the bills. They’re all about catering to their big money clients, the teams that pay them thousands a month for their premium stats that us common fans and statheads are relegated to their shitty 0-100 player ranking system for the masses.

      • Robert Reyes

        always liked pff’s raw data, their tallies, which was available to subscribers prior to the switch, but was never a fan of their grades, way off base imo, and it seems that they’ve continued the same shaky grading system except that they now convert it to a 0-100 scale… speaking of which, it seems that their individual game grades are actually cumulative season grades, as opposed to actual grades a player earned for a particular game, what do you think? also, i know pff didn’t use 22 tape to grade players when they first opened for business, they used the same live game broadcasts john q. public sees, and from what i can tell they still don’t use 22 tape given their grades come out before 22 tape is available, i.e. they still use live game broadcasts… if this is the case, i really don’t know how they can grade accurately if they can’t see what receivers and dbs do downfield on every play (which you often can’t see with live broadcasts), or how they can grade a qb accurately if they can’t see what is happening downfield, what the qb sees or doesn’t see downfield, or how they can grade interior line play accurately….

        • eYeDEF

          Couldn’t agree with you more on this. Their real value was in their sig stats and I really think they made a poor choice by no longer allowing access to them to the public. It’s to their detriment to prevent statheads and the general public to have access to their sig stats since it disallows for them being crunched and cited on a broad scale. It can’t do that if it’s only given to media members to cite while the true diehards are prevented from accessing their raw numbers. There’s a profound vacuum now in what’s available as far as advanced stats in football. Someone needs to step up since PFF has decided to be such shitheads about it.

  • Backinmd

    Have the Falcons – who are awful — 11th, and the Redskins – won have won three in a row — 19th ? . Redskins beat the Bears and Buffalo the next week and you have both teams ranked higher than the Skins …Seen the Falcons play five, six times and I think on a good week Alabama could beat them … Matt Ryan is bipolar … Reminds me of Rex Grossman :: every play was 50/50 ..Falcons are ranked 11th ? .Gimme a break .. HTTR ! ..

  • Robert Reyes

    bradford is the most accurate passer under pressure? that’s extremely hard to believe, historically he’s been horrible when throwing under pressure… in fact, historically, he’s been horrible when throwing on 3rd down, and this year is no different, which is often a pressure passing down… this season, on 3rd down, among the 35 qbs with the most 3rd down passes, bradford ranks 31st in completion %, 34th in yards per pass attempt, 28th in qb rating, and 32nd in first downs converted per pass attempts, which is right about where he’s ranked on 3rd downs every year he’s played, good grief….

    • Tellytubby

      Maybe so – but against pressure (I.e a pass rush in his face – not psychological pressure of it being 3rd down) he’s been money. Watch the Skins game tape or the Cardinals game and you see hi deliver strikes as he gets hit time after time.

  • Jason Robert-Michael Edwards

    Cardinals at number 3? Are you guys on crack?