The NFL played its first Tuesday game in 46 years, which leads to another unique scheduling twist: the latest-ever power rankings. The stunning home upset loss by the Eagles created plenty of ripple effects at the top of the draft, as Philly blew a chance at securing a first-round bye with its loss to the Vikings.
1. Patriots (13-2) (1): Tom Brady throws three more TD passes to extend Patriots’ winning streak to three games. Brady set the NFL record for most attempts (319) without an INT, topping the mark set by former Browns QB Bernie Kosar.
2. Saints (11-4) (7): Drew Brees does just enough to get the streaking Saints past the Falcons; now on to host the Buccaneers in the season finale.
3. Falcons (12-3) (2): Matt Ryan loses for only the second time in his career at home, as the defending champion Saints prevail 17-14 on Monday night.
4. Ravens (11-4) (4): Ravens punch a ticket to the playoffs for the third straight year as Joe Flacco throws two TD passes and Ed Reed intercepts two Colt McCoy passes. Ravens tied with Stillers for AFC North lead with one game to play.
5. Steelers (11-4) (5): Stillers thrash hapless Panthers on Thursday night, 27-3, and can win AFC North and earn a bye if they beat the Browns in the season finale.
6. Bears (11-4) (8): Jay Cutler throws three TD passes to slice apart the Jets’ pass defense, and the Bears win for the seventh time in the last eight games. Johnny Knox stars with 92 receiving yards and two TD catches.
7. Chiefs (10-5) (9): Just hours after the Chiefs spank Tennessee at home, 34-14, they clinch the AFC West when San Diego loses to the Bengals. It’s the Chiefs’ first divisional win since Dick Vermeil’s 2003 team went 13-3.
8. Eagles (10-4) (3): Eagles can’t get a bye in the first round. Not good news for Michael Vick, who has been getting pounded in recent weeks and was seen limping in several spots in last night’s home loss to the Vikes.
9. Jets (10-5) (6): Jets get into unexpected shootout with Bears and come out on the losing end, 38-34. They back into the playoffs anyway thanks for Jacksonville’s loss to the Redskins. After a meaningless regular season finale against the Bills, it’s on to the postseason for the second straight time for Rex Ryan.
10. Packers (9-6) (13): Aaron Rodgers returns from a concussion to torch the Giants’ secondary in a 45-17 win. He throws a career high 404 yards and ties career best with four TD passes.
11. Colts (9-6) (12): Peyton Manning throws three TD passes to help the Colts take control in the AFC South. A win at home next week over the Titans or a Jags loss at home to Houston clinches the division.
12. Buccaneers (9-6) (15): Josh Freeman throws a career high five touchdown passes to help the Bucs keep their playoff hopes alive with a 38-15 shellacking of the Seahawks.
13. Giants (9-6) (10): In last 4 ½ quarters, Giants have been outscored by a combined 73-17. Playoff hopes now imperiled.
14. Chargers (8-7) (11): So much for the Chargers playing some of the best football of anyone in recent weeks. Upset loss in Cincinnati dooms their playoff hopes, and possibly Norv Turner’s tenure in San Diego.
15. Rams (7-8) (17): Rams hold on to beat 49ers at home to set up winner-take-all scenario next week in Seattle. Rams can win division with a win over the Seahawks.
16. Jaguars (8-7) (14): Jags still clinging to playoff hopes, but only barely after frittering away a home game to the Redskins in overtime.
17. Raiders (7-8) (16): Jacoby Ford returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, but that was the main highlight for the Raiders in a home loss to the Colts.
18. Cowboys (5-10) (18): Jerry Jones was livid after watching the Cowboys blow a last-minute lead after a stirring second-half comeback in Arizona.
19. Titans (6-9) (19): More misery for the Titans in a blowout road loss to the Chiefs. Is Jeff Fisher about to coach his last game in Tennessee?
20. Vikings (6-9) (22): Rookie Joe Webb outplays Michael Vick to give the Vikings their third win in five games for coach Leslie Frazier, who might have the interim tag removed before long.
21. Redskins (6-9) (25): The Redskins haven’t done much of anything right this season – except overtime. They won for the third time in four tries, beating the Jaguars 20-17 on the road to deal a huge blow to Jacksonville’s playoff hopes.
22. Lions (5-10) (26): Last week, Lions break a 26-game road losing streak with a win in Tampa. They win again on the road, this time in Miami. Maybe next year, things finally come together for this long-suffering franchise.
23. Dolphins (7-8) (20): Bill Parcells walked away before the season. Now Tony Sparano might be doing the same – although not of his own choosing – after it. Dolphins wind up a woeful 1-7 at home after inept showing against Lions.
24. Texans (5-10) (21): End of the road for Gary Kubiak?
25. Seahawks (6-9) (24): Three games under .500 heading into the last game of the season, and the Seahawks can win the NFC West with a win at home over the Rams!
26. Cardinals (5-9) (30): Remarkable last-minute win over the Cowboys gives Arizona a rare highlight moment this season.
27. Broncos (4-11) (31): Tim Tebow thrills the home crowd with a stirring second-half comeback against the Texans.
28. Bengals (4-11) (29): No Terrell Owens. No Chad Ochocinco. So what does Carson Palmer do? Throws four TD passes in a shocking win over the Chargers. Welcome to the NFL – the No Figure League.
29. 49ers (5-10) (23): Mike Singletary gets the gate with a week to play in the season. Grandstanding move by 49ers’ owners, who have mismanaged this franchise since taking over from Eddie D.
30. Bills (4-11) (27): Bills get waxed at home by the Patriots, and finish off another miserable season against the Jets.
31. Browns (5-10) (28): Eric Mangini might be coaching his last game in Cleveland. Mike Holmgren next?
32. Panthers (2-13) (32): One more game left in the John Fox era.