NFL Power Rankings Week 17: You Can Guess How It Goes

The Raiders and 49ers both lost this week, although one could argue the Raiders had a "better" loss than the 49ers. With both teams eliminated from playoff contention, what will the rankings reflect?

For the first time since week 11, the 49ers and Raiders both had the same result as they each lost their respective games. This will naturally reflect in the week 17 NFL power rankings around the Internet. Neither has won in the same week since week eight when the 49ers beat Denver and the Raiders beat Seattle. This weekend also saw both teams eliminated from playoff contention courtesy of 10am games. The 49ers lost at the Rams to end their season, while the Raiders saw the Chiefs beat the Titans thus eliminating the Raiders from the postseason.

The Raiders lost a tough one to the Colts 31-26. They actually contained Peyton Manning fairly well as they held him to only 179 passing yards and intercepted him twice. It was Manning's lowest yardage total of the season. Of course the Colts rushing attack was a difference maker netting 191 yards on the ground at a 4.9 per carry clip. The Raiders simply could not make enough things happen and suffered the consequences. They now sit at 7-8, looking to finish the season at .500 for the first time since 2002.

The 49ers lost a brutal contest to the Rams 25-17 that ultimately cost Mike Singletary his job. The 49ers had a 14-12 halftime lead but they just could not execute in the second half. They made a QB switch from Troy Smith to Alex Smith but it really didn't matter. The result was similar to what 49ers fans had seen all year. The 49ers now sit at 5-10 and now find themselves in a battle for draft positioning. They'll certainly try to win on Sunday against the Cardinals, but a loss could conceivably bump them as high as the number two pick in the 2011 draft. At worst, a loss would get them the fifth pick in the draft. Of course, they're also seven points favorites against Arizona, so we'll see what happens.

SB Nation produced their Week 17 NFL Power Rankings and they seemed to correct a mistake from last week. The Raiders dropped in spite of a solid win over the Broncos, but this week they rose from 19 to 18 courtesy of a tough loss to the Colts:

18. Oakland Raiders (7-8): The Raiders hung with the Colts but couldn't get it done. They can go 6-0 in the division -- and not make the playoffs -- by beating the Chiefs Sunday. LW: 19

On the other hand the 49ers took one final nose-dive, dropping from 26 to 31:

31. San Francisco 49ers (5-10): See ya, Mike Singletary. The 49ers fired their coach after they lost in a must-win game against the Rams. LW: 26

ESPN and Fox Sports are two sites I like to also check out for power rankings. At the end of the day, power rankings are really just subjective systems, but it gives us a chance to see how the national media views our favorite teams. A quick look at those two sites reveals similar rankings for the Raiders, and slightly higher rankings for the 49ers. It seems like it can often be harder sorting through the crappy teams as opposed to the middle of the road teams.

The 49ers had a horrible year, but it's buried amidst a host of other awful years. Considering they lost to the Panthers, what do you really do with them? The Raiders are bunched up with a couple teams as well, but I'd argue it's a bit easier to distinguish between them and other teams.

As the teams head into the final week of the 2010 regular season, the Raiders have a chance to make up a lot more ground in the rankings for whatever that's worth. They face the Chiefs at Kansas City and a win would give them a perfect 6-0 record and get them to .500. It won't get them a playoff spot, but it will certainly give them something to build on heading into 2011.

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