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What an exciting mess the NFL playoff races have become.

Just when it looked like a rare, drama-free ending, the teams on the right side of the bubble started losing and the teams left for dead started winning.

The reeling Titans have lost five straight games, one more than the plummeting Dolphins. Commanders are winless in their last three games. The Seahawks (1-5 in their last six games) and Patriots (1-4 in their last five games) are nearly as cold.

Suddenly the door is open in the AFC for the Jaguars and Steelers, who are both 4-1 in their last five games. And in the NFC for the Packers (three straight wins) and the Panthers (3-1 in their last four games).

Derrick Henry and the Titans have lost five straight games.
Getty Images

Will any of these trends change in the final two games? It happens fast. Ask the Lions, who started 1-6, went 6-1 in their seven games, then missed a golden opportunity to qualify for the playoffs by losing as favorites to the Panthers.

Here are The Post’s NFL Power Rankings for Week 17:

1. Buffalo Bills 12-3 (2)

Remember when the Patriots were kings of the AFC East, winning 11 straight division titles? Well, the Bills just clinched their third straight with a 35-13 win over the Bears and there’s no reason to assume the streak will end anytime soon. Josh Allen, Devin Singletary and James Cook all rushed for touchdowns as part of a 254-yard rushing day.

2. Philadelphia Eagles 13-2 (1)

Sound the alarm because the Eagles were set on fire by the best opposing quarterback they’ve faced this season in a 40-34 loss to Dak Prescott of the Cowboys. Don’t sound any alarms, as MVP candidate Jalen Hurts didn’t play and the offense was still explosive enough for three 75-yard or more touchdowns. The NFC East is still not picked up.

3. Cincinnati Bengals 11-4 (3)

Eight years after his infamous “We’re in Cincinnati” press conference, Patriots coach Bill Belichick is trying to leave Cincinnati after the Bengals won 22-18. Joe Burrow threw three touchdown passes for an offense that reached nearly 500 yards, but Vonn Bell’s forced fumble at the 5-yard line with about a minute left is what sealed a seventh straight victory.

4. Kansas City Chiefs 12-3 (4)

In an effort to hold his end of the bargain for Patrick Mahomes – whose breathtaking last play was a balanced one-handed touchdown dive – the defense stepped up with two fourth saves and an interception in the end zone, holding the Seahawks without a touchdown until the fourth quarter of a 24-10 win. The Chiefs have won 16 straight regular season games against the NFC.

Patrick Mahomes
Patrick Mahomes
Getty Images

5. San Francisco 49ers 11-4 (5)

No team is hotter than the 49ers, who won their eighth straight by beating the Commanders, 37-20. George Kittle rediscovered his maximum catch-and-run ability, with back-to-back two-touchdown games. Brock Purdy joined Kurt Warner as the only quarterbacks since 1950 to start his career 3-0 with multiple touchdown passes in every game. Nick Bosa owns an NFL record of 17.5 sacks.

6. Dallas Cowboys (6) 11-4

Prescott brought the Cowboys back after separate 10-point deficits in both halves of the win. He overcame a first-quarter six pick — his 11th interception, an NFL-high since returning from injury in Week 7 — to throw for 347 yards and three touchdowns. The Cowboys made a late position in the red zone against the Eagles.

7. Minnesota Vikings 12-3 (7)

Greg Joseph’s franchise-record 61-yard rush as time expired completed a 17-point fourth-quarter outburst and finished the Giants, 27-24, in a home-and-away game. The Vikings improved to an NFL record of 11-0 in one-scored games, with three Joseph wins in the final minute and two field goals in overtime. TJ Hockenson and Justin Jefferson had 242 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

8. Los Angeles Chargers 9-6 (8)

After a playoff berth slipped away in the final game of the 2021 NFL regular season, the Chargers clinched their second-place finish since 2014 with two weeks to go by beating the Colts. It’ll be a broader introduction to quarterback Justin Herbert’s brilliance, but head coach Brandon Staley’s defensive background made the biggest difference in the streak.

9. Baltimore Ravens 10-5 (10)

Playing a third straight game without Lamar Jackson, the Ravens clinched a return to the playoffs after a year-long hiatus and stayed alive in the AFC North title chase. Tyler Huntley threw a touchdown pass and ran for the ensuing two-point conversion, Gus Edwards rushed for 99 yards and Justin Tucker threw three field goals.

10. New York Giants 8-6-1 (12)

Throw away the script the Giants have used all season. Conservative in attack? Not with Daniel Jones throwing for 334 yards. Smart and unbeatable football? Not with two turnovers, a missed interception, a blocked punt and seven penalties. It all added up to a missed opportunity to clinch a playoff berth (but the feel of a moral victory) in the loss to the Vikings.

Tyreek Hill
Tyreek Hill and the Dolphins’ playoff hopes are in jeopardy.

11. Miami Dolphins 8-7 (9)

12. Detroit Lions 7-8 (11)

13. Jacksonville Jaguars 7-8 (18)

14. Pittsburgh Steelers 7-8 (19)

15. Green Bay Packers 7-8 (23)

16. Washington Commanders 7-7-1 (14)

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-8 (20)

18. Tennessee Titans 7-8 (13)

19. Seattle Seahawks 7-8 (15)

Geno Smith
Geno Smith and the Seahawks have struggled after a torrid start to the season.
Getty Images

20. New England Patriots 7-8 (16)

21. New York Jets 7-8 (17)

It looked like the end of Zach Wilson’s disastrous era when the No. 2 pick in the 2021 draft was booed by a rainstorm and benched for the second time this season – for the team call. Coach Chris Streveler, no less – in a 19-3 loss to the Jaguars. Remarkably, after four straight losses, a reasonable path to the playoffs still exists.

22. Carolina Panthers 6-9 (24)

23. New Orleans Saints 6-9 (25)

24. Cleveland Browns 6-9 (21)

25. Las Vegas Raiders 6-9 (22)

26. Los Angeles Rams 5-10 (26)

27. Atlanta Falcons 5-10 (27)

28. Indianapolis Colts 4-10-1 (28)

29. Denver Broncos 4-11 (29)

30. Arizona Cardinals 4-11 (30)

31. Houston Texans 2-12-1 (32)

32. Chicago Bears 3-12 (31)

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NFL Power Rankings for Week 17: Playoff hopes in free fall

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