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NFL Power Rankings 2021: Week 18

Syndication: Journal Sentinel Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

The NFL is down to their final weekend of the regular season, moving on to their first Week 18 in the new 17-game schedule. This week is about teams claiming the final playoff sports and sorting out the final seeding in both conferences. Who is set to make a run through the postseason and claim the Lombardi Trophy next month?

Currently, the AFC playoff picture has the AFC South division champion Tennesee Titans in the top spot, with the AFC West division champion Kansas City Chiefs the second seed, and the AFC North division champion Cincinnati Bengals in the third seed. The Buffalo Bills are currently the fourth seed, but, while they are locked into the playoffs, they have not yet secured the AFC East title, with the fifth seeded New England Patriots, who have also clinched a playoff berth, potentially coming back to grab the division crown. The sixth- and seventh-seeded teams are not yet guaranteed a playoff position, with the Indianapolis Colts and the Los Angeles Chargers in those two positions.

Over on the NFC side of the bracket, the Green Bay Packers have won the NFC North title and are locked into the top seed in the conference. Behind them, the NFC West leading Los Angeles Rams are currently the second seed, though the fifth-seeded Arizona Cardinals could jump into the division title in Week 18; both teams are locked into the playoffs. The third seed is currently held by the NFC South champion Tampa Bay Buccaeers and the current fourth seed is the NFC East champion Dallas Cowboys. After the Cardinals in the top wildcard spot, the San Francisco 49ers are holding on to the sixth-seed, but they are not yet locked into the postseason. The Philadephia Eagles, currently the seventh-seed, are guaranteed a position in the postseason.

Much like last week, the world outside The Phinsider prevented us from doing our normal draft-style power rankings, where Josh Houtz and Kevin Nogle alternate selecting the team that best answers the questions, “Who can win the Super Bowl?” With Houtz unable to join in this week, Nogle ran through the power rankings. Interestingly, without trying, Nogle’s top 18 teams are the 18 teams that have either locked in a playoff position, or are capable of still making the postseason. The first eliminated team, the Miami Dolphins, are in the 19th spot.

  1. Green Bay Packers (Last week: 1)
  2. Los Angeles Rams (4)
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5)
  4. Tennessee Titans (9)
  5. Kansas City Chiefs (2)
  6. Dallas Cowboys (3)
  7. Cincinnati Bengals (8)
  8. Indianapolis Colts (7)
  9. Buffalo Bills (6)
  10. Arizona Cardinals (13)
  11. New England Patriots (10)
  12. San Francisco 49ers (12)
  13. Philadelphia Eagles (16)
  14. Los Angeles Chargers (14)
  15. Las Vegas Raiders (17)
  16. Pittsburgh Steelers (19)
  17. New Orleans Saints (23)
  18. Baltimore Ravens (20)
  19. Miami Dolphins (11)
  20. Minnesota Vikings (18)
  21. Cleveland Browns (15)
  22. Chicago Bears (24)
  23. Seattle Seahawks (25)
  24. Washington Football Team (27)
  25. Denver Broncos (22)
  26. Atlanta Falcons (21)
  27. Houston Texans (26)
  28. New York Jets (30)
  29. Carolina Panthers (29)
  30. Detroit Lions (28)
  31. New York Giants (31)
  32. Jacksonville Jaguars (32)