Wayne Root: NFL Week 17 Power Poll


By Wayne Allyn Root

1) DENVER---Peyton Manning is a stud. A Bronco stud that has accomplished something so incredible it's worth noting this individual achievement. He has thrown 51 touchdown passes this season with one game to go. Twenty-one teams don't have 51 touchdown passes over the past two seasons combined. That says it all! This week, they travel to play Oakland.

2) SEATTLE---WOW! Look what Arizona did to the Seahawks. Before Sunday, the Seahawks hadn't lost a home game since 2011. Seattle went 14-0 at home in between those defeats. Will they lose 2 in a row to finish out the season? They host the charging St Louis Rams. One never knows. But they did open the door for upcoming teams knowing that they can be defeated at home.

3) SAN FRANCISCO---The 49ers are coming off a short week but one can feel the momentum picking up as they travel to Arizona; the team that just knocked off the Seahawks. Watch out for the 49ers. San Francisco has the longest current winning streak (five games) and can clinch a bye with a win and Seattle loss in Week 17.

4) CAROLINA---Watch out for this team as defense wins Championships. Luke Kuechly is a tackling machine. His 24 tackles Sunday tied for most in a game since the NFL started tracking the stat in 1994. Let's just hope Steve Smith is healthy enough to carry this offense with Cam Newton. Smith is the "key" to this team.

5) NEW ENGLAND---When you have "the Coach" and "the Quarterback", all you need is "the Receiver". Julian Edelman has successfully morphed into Wes Welker's role. Over the past five weeks, Edelman leads the NFL in receptions (44), and he's just four shy of 100 on the season. They took another road win (and as an underdog) and now finish up with rival Buffalo at home.

6) NEW ORLEANS---The Saints need to figure out how to win on the road or it will be a short playoff event for them. Darren Sproles was limited to 20 yards from scrimmage in Sunday's loss to the Panthers. Sproles has averaged 56.8 yards per game this season, his lowest mark since joining the Saints. Drew Brees needs to take charge of the entire offense. Not just completing some passes but the over-all effort. This week the Bucs come marching in looking to upset the Saints!

7) CINCINNATI---The Bengals need all the home games they can get. Cincinnati has scored 40 points in each of its past four home games. The Bengals average 34.4 points per game at home, compared to 19.4 points on the road. They have what it takes to be in just about every game they play but in the playoffs, that's not good enough. They have a KEY game this week hosting the Ravens.

8) INDIANAPOLIS---Andrew Luck will be one of the best before his career is over. It's too bad they lost Reggie Wayne this year. Luck was 16-of-22 (72.7 percent) targeting his wide receivers in Week 16. Luck had completed just 53.7 percent of those passes in his first seven games without Wayne. And it was against a good Kansas City defense. They get a "walk-thru" practice this week against Jacksonville.

9) KANSAS CITY---So is it Alex Smith and Andy Reid for the Chiefs turn-around? Is it the 12th man, Arrowhead Stadium? Or is it Jamaal Charles? Let's face it: where would the Chiefs be without Charles? No player has accounted for a higher percentage of his team's yards from scrimmage this season (37.5 percent). Getting blown out last week at home has many scratching their heads. They have work ahead for themselves as they travel to San Diego this week as a huge underdog.

10) ARIZONA---Congratulations for doing what nobody has done in two years beat the Seahawks have won at home. The Cardinals did it as a double-digit underdog. But this team can play. They just happen to be in the best conference this year. The Cardinals are 7-1 in their past eight games and could finish with more wins than the eventual NFC North and NFC East champions. We'll see if it was magic last week as they host San Francisco this week.



11) PHILADELPHIA---Plays for it all at Dallas this week

12) SAN DIEGO---They are 8-7 but lost to Houston, Oakland and Washington. OUCH!!

13) CHICAGO---Keep disappointing that great City of Chicago

14) BALTIMORE---Good luck at Cincinnati this week

15) DALLAS---Four Games decided by 1 point this year

16) GREEN BAY---Where is Aaron Rodgers?

Don't forget to get with me, WAYNE ALLYN ROOT, every game day in the NFL or hoops for top-of-the-line selections! Also, check out my package for the College Bowl season and NFL Playoffs!



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