NFL Week 18 Power Rankings
1. Green Bay Packers
It’s the last week of the NFL season and the Green Bay Packers sit atop the NFL once again. Had the Chiefs pulled a win out over the Bengals in Week 17 we would’ve had some competition, but the Packers come into Week 18 as the unrivaled best team once again. BetMGM sportsbook finally agrees with me too, listing the Packers as the stand-alone favorite to win the Super Bowl at +400. The Packers safely won their Week 17 game against the Vikings, and have clinched the #1 spot in the conference coming into the final week of the season.
2. LA Rams (+3)
The Rams have gotten hot at exactly the right time, winning five in a row coming into Week 18. A win in their game against the Niners (or a loss by the Cardinals) would clinch the Rams the top spot in the NFC West.
The Rams were able to squeak out a win over the Ravens last week, behind Matt Stafford’s fifth 2+ touchdown performance in the last six weeks. Sportsbooks seem to be sleeping on the Rams a bit, with BetMGM currently having them as +900 to win the Super Bowl. They may not be a bad bet, especially if they can grab home-field advantage for a majority of the playoffs.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (-1)
The Chief’s 8 game win-streak was snapped last week by the cigar smoker himself, Joe Burrow. The Chiefs played well behind big performances from both Patrick Mahomes and Darrel Williams, but the defense fell apart a bit in the second half by giving up 17 points in the last two quarters.
While the loss is big, it’s not earthshattering. The Bengals were incredibly hot coming into Week 17, and the Chiefs showed they can still keep it close when all seems to go wrong. Sportsbooks seem to agree with me, still slotting the Chiefs in as the second-best odds to lift the Lombardi trophy.
4. Tampa Bay Buccs (-1)
Okay, just had to get that out of the way. But if I’m being honest, the Buccaneers didn’t look great last week. Needing a final-minute drive to beat the trashcan Jets is not an impressive win, regardless of what’s happening around it. At the end of the day, it’s Tom Brady, so you can’t doubt him too much--but it will be interesting to see how the offense operates without Antiono Brown lined up at WR.
5. Cincinnati Bengals (+4)
Joe Burrow has 971 yards and eight touchdowns…in the last two weeks. To put that in perspective, Jets QB Zach Wilson has 8 touchdowns on the whole season. You would have to take Cowboy’s QB Dak Prescott’s last FOUR WEEKS in order to tally higher than Burrow’s last two. So yea, Joe Burrow is balling out.
Joe Burrow’s MVP odds have rocketed up to +1400 in the last weeks, and a top-notch week 18 performance can make them soar even higher. They’ve already clinched the division, but a win may help them grab a higher seed.
6. Buffalo Bills (-)
Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills have won each of their last three games, and have a Week 18 game against the Jets at home coming up so that number will be four in no time. They currently share the top spot in the AFC East with the Patrtiots, so they need a win to guarantee a home-field advantage in the wildcard round. Josh Allen had a horrible game in Week 17, throwing for 120 yards and three interceptions, so he’ll have to rebound from that if he wants to stand a chance in the playoffs.
7. Dallas Cowboys (-3)
I may have been a bit heavy-handed last week with the Dallas Cowboys, and I’m afraid I’m doing it again. Their Week 17 game wasn’t the worst, but snapping the Cardinal’s three-game losing streak is never good. Dak Prescott still had a phenomenal game, but Ezekial Elliott only ran for 16 yards on 9 carries. Their run game, in general, has been lackluster this season–Elliott hasn’t had a 100-yard running game since Week 5.
8. Tennessee Titans (-)
The Titans are on the verge of erupting up these rankings with the return of Derrick Henry on the horizon. However, the Titans have proven their ability to win without Henry, going 5-3 in his absence. The Titans have clinched the top spot in the AFC South, so their Week 18 game may only be worth following if Derrick Henry returns.
9. New England Patriots (+2)
The Pats are back but have never really left but are also back? I don’t know. I’ll be honest, I never know what to do with this Patriots team. I can never get over the fact that they are still being led by a rookie QB, who has absolutely no experience in the NFL postseason. He looked great in their Week 17 game over the Jaguars, but so could I. They take on the Dolphins in Week 18, and need a win in order to have a chance to win the AFC East.
10. Arizona Cardinals (-)
Speaking of being back, the Cardinals are back? In their Week 17 win over the Cowboys, Kyler Murray looked great for the first time in weeks, but it was on the defensive side of things where things went wrong. They almost blew the lead in the fourth quarter after allowing 15 points in the final quarter of play alone. If the Rams lose and the Cardinals win in Week 18, the Cardinals will win the NFC West.
11. Los Angeles Chargers (+1)
Justin Herbert is in the second year of his rookie contract and may very well be on his way to a huge extension next year after this season’s performance. In his first two seasons Herbert has almost 9,000 yards and 60 touchdowns, and could land his first playoff appearance with a win in Week 18.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (+3)
Honestly, good for the Eagles. Behind Jalen Hurts the Eagles have clinched the playoffs for the first time since their Super Bowl victory. And even though Hurts has amassed 32 touchdowns (between the air and on the ground) and over 5000 all-purpose yards, there are still talks of moving on from Hurts in the offseason. Hurts may, unfortunately, be playing for his job this offseason, and if he loses it, he’s more than welcome on my team.
13. San Fransico 49ers (+1)
Ugh, what a boring team. Trey Lance starting the Week 17 game and playing decently was the greatest thing to happen to them all year. The Niners have a 60% chance to make the playoffs, and can clinch it with a win over the Rams or a loss by the Saints.
14. Las Vegas Raiders (+2)
The Raiders can clinch a playoff berth with a win in Week 18, a tie+a Colts loss, or a Colts+Steelers loss. So, winning is the easiest way. Week 18 sees a game at home against the Chargers who ALSO need a win to clinch the playoffs. All in all, it should make for a great game.
15. Indianapolis Colts (-8)
The Colts took a big L in Week 17 against the Raiders, which puts them in a do or die situation in their Week 18 game against Jacksonville. Jonathan Taylor continues to dominate, but shaky play from Carson Wentz raises questions about their offensive ability.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers (+4)
Big Ben’s last home game as a Steeler came with a win Moday night against the Cleveland Browns. This kept the Steelers playoff hopes alive, and will clinch a spot with a win in Baltimore, a Colts loss, and the Raiders vs Chargers game ending in anything but a tie. The Steelers have been able to piece together a more than decent season in 2021, despite having a below-average offense in both their running and passing game.
17. New Orleans Saints (+1)
Through all the injury, it’s frankly impressive that the Saints still have a more than decent chance to make the playoffs this week. With a win in their Week 18 game over the Falcons and a loss from the Niners, the Saints would slot into the playoffs for the fifth year in a row.
Heres how the rest of the league lines up:
18. Miami Dolphins (-5)
19. Chicago Bears (+7)
20. Atlanta Falcons (+1)
21. Baltimore Ravens (-4)
22. Minnesota Vikings (-3)
23. Seattle Seahawks (+2)
24. Cleveland Browns (-1)
25. Denver Broncos (-3)
26. Washington Football Team (-2)
27. New York Jets (+2)
28. Houston Texans (-1)
29. Carolina Panthers (-1)
30. New York Giants (-)
31. Jacksonville Jaguars (-)
32. Detroit Lions (-)