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Week 17 NFL Power Rankings: Playoff berths being clinched

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The Miami Dolphins are locked into the playoffs. Do their power rankings reflect the accomplishment?

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Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins are heading to the postseason for the first time since 2008. It has not always been an easy road for the South Florida franchise to get to the playoffs, but they have done it, and they did it with a week to spare in the regular season.

The Dolphins’ power rankings have fluctuated throughout the year, ranging from as low as 31st out of the league’s 32 teams, and as high as a top ten selection. Where do they stand now that they are one of the top 12 teams in the NFL?

Each week, we take a look at some of the various NFL Power Rankings from around the web, seeing where the Dolphins are ranked and what other sites are saying about the team. Here is the Week 17 version of the Power Rankings review:

SB Nation

Week 17: 10

Last Week: 12

Comments: No team specific comments.


Fox Sports

Week 17: 10

Last Week: 10

Comments: Miami just keeps finding ways to win games despite Ryan Tannehill’s absence. Sunday’s game against the Patriots will be a good measuring stick for their shot at making a deep run, but it could get ugly if they come out lackadaisical with an eye on the postseason.


USA Today

Week 17: 10

Last Week: 14

Comments: RB Jay Ajayi’s breakout has been welcome. But consistency is an issue as more than half his 1,213 rushing yards have come in three games.


Yahoo!

Week 17: 9

Last Week: 11

Comments: That was a clutch win at Buffalo, but it has to be concerning that the defense allowed the Bills to set a franchise record with 589 yards. But the Dolphins are in the playoffs before Week 17 even kicks off. That already makes the entire season a success.


CBS Sports

Week 17: 10

Last Week: 12

Comments: They are in the playoffs and that's an amazing job by coach Adam Gase. The defense has to tighten up after getting dominated by the Bills.


NFL.com

Week 17: 10

Last Week: 14

Comments: Huge win in the scope of the AFC playoff picture for the Fins on Saturday in Buffalo. Besides knocking out their AFC East adversary, Miami locked up a postseason berth for the first time since 2008. In fact, the Dolphins have only made it to the tournament two other times this millennium: 2000 and '01. The first two came courtesy of Jay Fiedler. So if you're thinking Matt Moore is not quality enough to close the deal in Week 17...umm...


ESPN

Week 17: 11

Last Week: 14

Comments: The Dolphins are 9-1 in their last 10 games. In that time, Jay Ajayi has rushed for 1,096 yards and six touchdowns and has topped 200 yards three times. He might not draw the MVP buzz, but he's huge for the Dolphins. He'll look to run through the Patriots in Week 17.


PFF

Week 17: 9

Last Week: 14

Comments: No Comments.


Bleacher Report

Week 17: 10

Last Week: 16

Comments: I knew Matt Moore was one of the more capable NFL backups around.

But even I underestimated his ability to duplicate Ryan Tannehill’s success. He’s doing that and more for this playoff-bound team.

The offense is a big-play machine, busting runs with Jay Ajayi, Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams. DeVante Parker proved he must command double coverage (and capable tacklers!).

Plug up a few holes in the run defense and—boom. You have a real pain-in-the-ass playoff team entering the fracas down in South Beach.

Looking forward: Go right ahead. You try telling Ndamukong Suh this weekend’s game versus New England doesn’t mean anything.


Detroit Free Press

Week 17: 8

Last Week: 9

Comments: The hottest team in the NFL not based in Dallas or Foxboro. But a likely wild-card matchup in Pittsburgh could be difficult.


Washington Post

Week 17: 8

Last Week: 10

Comments: Adam Gase might not win the coach of the year award. But he at least deserves consideration after the Dolphins have gone from a 1-4 start to the playoffs.


Fansided

Week 17: 11

Last Week: 13

Comments: After a completing a sweep of the rival New York Jets last week, the Dolphins attempted to so the same against the Bills in Orchard Park. Miami took a 14-7 advantage after 30 minutes of play. Adam Gase’s club would eventually own a 28-14 third-quarter lead before Buffalo responded with 17 consecutive points. Down by three with 1:20 to play, Matt Moore drove his team in position to tie the game and did so with six seconds to play as Andrew Franks nailed a 55-yards field goal. He would respond in overtime with a 27-yard game winner with a big assist from running back Jay Ajayi, who finished the contest with 206 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries.

Next Week: The best news came for Miami on Christmas night as the Kansas City Chiefs’ 33-10 win over Denver put the Dolphins in the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Gase’s club is a wild-card entry but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to end the regular season on a high note with a win over the visiting Patriots. Look for Moore and the offense to get as much work as possible as the veteran backup still needs the work. And the Dolphins’ defense needs to play a lot better after giving up a whopping 589 total yards to the Bills on Saturday.


Averages

  • Week 17 Average: 10
  • Week 16 Average: 12
  • Change: None
  • Highest Week 17 Ranking: 8 (Detroit Free Press / Washington Post)
  • Lowest Week 17 Ranking: 11 (ESPN / Fansided)
  • Highest Single Site Weekly Ranking: 6 (Sports Illustrated - Week 12; SB Nation - Week 13)
  • Lowest Single Site Weekly Ranking: 31 (NFL/USA Today - Week 5)
  • Highest Average Weekly Ranking: 10 - Week 13 / Week 17
  • Lowest Average Weekly Ranking: 28 - Week 5