So, just when you thought Week 17 wouldn't carry too much drama, and there was but a smidge left in the year ...
... along came a fourth-and-a-mile in Baltimore. The written-off Bengals -- and their quarterback, who produced little outside of national indifference this season -- had one last chance to beat their division rivals in front of the Ravens' (cold) home crowd and send the perennially doomed Bills to the postseason. Fourth-and-12 from around midfield. Tyler Boyd was in the slot. Dan Fouts, doing color for CBS, pointed out he was in single coverage. Guess Andy Dalton saw it, too. Moments later, Boyd was sitting alone, 25 yards downfield, when Dalton's toss hit him square between the 8 and the 3. Throw in a terrifically bad overrun by the safety, and Boyd was galloping through the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.
Oh, and this was happening:
You might have seen that video of the Bills jumping around like sixth graders who won the Gopher Bowl. Don't care. You're watching it again.
In Seattle, around the same time, Blair Walsh was lining up to attempt a would-be game-winning kick. The Seahawks had officially been eliminated from playoff contention a couple minutes before -- with the Falcons nabbing the final NFC playoff spot by beating the Panthers -- but Walsh could at least secure a sixth straight season of 10-plus wins for Seattle. Oh, and his 48-yard attempt could also send Seahawks nemesis Bruce Arians off into the sunset under the cloud of a late loss.
The league will miss BA. He made the Cardinals relevant again in a post Ken Whisenhunt/Derek Anderson/Max Hall world. Oh, and he provided the franchise's most success since the late 1940s.
How about Jameis Winston's deep ball to down the Saints with nine ticks left? That preceded a stranger brand of on-field drama: Sean Payton's Tom-Cruise-alpha-male-in-the-room power pat to Dirk Koetter. As for the rest of the league ...
You bet, Ryan. All 32 teams, more than 4,300 words and maybe a few bad takes.
Also of note: The rankings below reflect how all the teams stack up if they were playing this week -- thus, the Aaron Rodgerses and Deshaun Watsons of the world don't factor in. Next week, I will only address those franchises that made the playoffs. Following the Super Bowl, though, the entire hierarchy will be reset, including players who were shut down this year. As for this week, send your take: @HarrisonNFL is the place.
Let the dissension commence!
PROGRAMMING NOTE: For more in-depth analysis on the updated league pecking order, tune in to NFL Network every Tuesday night at 6 p.m. ET for the "NFL Power Rankings" show. Want to add YOUR voice? Provide your thoughts at the bottom of this page or tweet @HarrisonNFL, and your comments could be featured on air.
**Trivia:** Who threw that ball in 1985? (HINT: It wasn't a trick play. Still, no cheating.) </content:power-ranking>
Meanwhile, another stellar Matthew Stafford outing sent the Lions into the offseason with some semblance of momentum. The cynical fans of this team, far too weary after the Wayne Fontes playoff disappointments and Matt Millen's stewardship, will ask, Where was this franchise-quarterback-caliber play in Cincinnati, when Detroit needed it? Fair. Yet, an obvious focal point of the offseason to come is Detroit's search for a running game to support its top-10 quarterback. Were the issues all attributable to Ameer Abdullah or a banged-up offensive line? Stafford can't carry the Lions by himself, even if he so often ( too often) does.
***(UPDATE:** The [Bengals](/teams/cincinnatibengals/profile?team=CIN) [announced Tuesday](http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000902117/article/bengals-sign-coach-marvin-lewis-to-twoyear-contract) that Lewis has been signed to a two-year contract that will carry him through the 2019 season.)* </content:power-ranking>