NFL Power Rankings: Cardinals rise, Packers fall in Week 17

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Dec 28, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (94) and cornerback Aqib Talib (21) react to the overtime win against the Cincinnati Bengals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 20-17 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports


Last week: 9
Change: +2

It wasn’t the showdown between Peyton Manning and Andy Dalton we all expected early in the season, but it was a pretty entertaining game between the Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals. Despite a hot start from the Bengals, the Broncos defense made some adjustments and overpowered Cincinnati to take a narrow victory in overtime.

The defense had a lot to deal with early on, as A.J. McCarron was putting his throws on the money, and the Bengals then used the Wildcat formation with Mohamed Sanu taking it out of the shotgun and running into the end zone. But the defense made the appropriate adjustments, and the Bengals scored just three more points following their early second quarter touchdown.

With the victory, Denver clinches a playoff berth and can secure a first round bye with victory over San Diego on Sunday. The Broncos can still earn the No. 1 seed, but would need help from the Dolphins over the Patriots. If the Patriots lose their final game, a Broncos win would wrap up home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Denver could do with the bye, and the No. 1 seed would be huge for their playoff hopes. A possible rematch with New England would be much more favorable at home than at Gillette.

Next: No. 6