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NFL Power Rankings Week 18: Playoff Pictures Come Down to the Wire

With just one week left, the NFL Playoff race has now come into focus. In the AFC, five teams will fight for two playoff spots, with the winner of the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars securing the AFC South and a home playoff game. In the NFC, a matchup between the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers will likely determine who gets the final spot, while the Seattle Seahawks could also play spoiler too. With almost all seeding still up in the air as well, there is still a lot to be decided. As the 2022-23 regular season comes to a close, here are your updated Week 18 NFL Power Rankings.

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Credit: Dylan Buell/Getty Images

NFL Power Rankings for Week 18

1) Buffalo Bills (12-3) (Last Week: 2)

The only thing that will be on anyone’s mind after the Monday night matchup between the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals was suspended will be the status of Bills safety Damar Hamlin. Our prayers go out to him, his family, and the entire Bills organization. Some things are bigger than football.

2) Kansas City Chiefs (13-3) (3)

For the second time this season, the Kansas City Chiefs struggled, but they eventually came out victorious against the Denver Broncos. Patrick Mahomes played well, but the lack of a running game hurt the Chiefs yet again. The Chiefs could only muster 2.8 yards per carry and only ran for 46 total yards. The defense struggled to contain Denver’s running game but was able to limit Wilson enough to outlast Denver. The win keeps the Chiefs in the hunt for the top seed in the AFC and rising the NFL Power Rankings.

3) Cincinnati Bengals (11-4) (4)

The Cincinnati Bengals held a 7-3 lead over the Bills before the game was suspended for Monday night. It’ll be interesting to see how the scheduling of the NFL may impact the AFC playoff picture.

4) Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) (1)

The Philadelphia Eagles had another chance to secure the top seed in the NFC, but yet they again fell short. For the second straight week, Philadelphia was without star quarterback Jalen Hurts and backup Gardner Minshew couldn’t do enough to get them the win. The Eagles’ defense did exactly what was needed of them, giving up 13 points to the New Orleans Saints. Unfortunately, a late pick-six by Minshew sealed the game and delivered the Saints a 20-10 victory. With the New York Giants on deck in Week 18, the Eagles need a win or risk falling all the way down to the fifth seed in the NFC.

5) San Francisco 49ers (12-4) (5)

Not many would’ve predicted the San Francisco 49ers would struggle to beat the Las Vegas Raiders, especially with Jarrett Stidham at the helm. San Francisco’s defense gave up over 350 passing yards and three touchdowns to Stidham. They did force two huge interceptions and one in overtime to scrape out a 37-34 victory. San Francisco now holds the second seed with a chance to possibly steal the top seed with a win and a Philadelphia loss in Week 18.

6) Dallas Cowboys (12-4) (8)

The Dallas Cowboys kept their hopes for the NFC East title alive with a 27-13 win over the lowly Tennessee Titans on Thursday night. Dallas struggled to pull away in an ugly game, but they eventually scored 14 unanswered in the fourth quarter. The defense did well to limit the Titans, but Dak Prescott’s two interceptions kept the game within reach. This type of performance from Dak was good enough this week, but will result in a prompt playoff exit if he doesn’t start to take care of the ball.

7) New York Giants (9-6-1) (9)

With a 38-10 rout of the Indianapolis Colts, the New York Giants have secured a playoff spot for the first time since 2016 and rise the NFL Power Rankings. The Giants scored 24 unanswered points in the second quarter alone and coasted in the second half. The defense did well to limit Indianapolis’ offense and Daniel Jones looked great, contributing four touchdowns and throwing just five incomplete passes. If the offense can continue to give Daniel Jones time in the pocket and the opportunity to succeed, they could make some noise in the playoffs.

8) Minnesota Vikings (12-4) (6)

The Minnesota Vikings had a golden opportunity to knock out their rivals, the Green Bay Packers, but they fell flat on Sunday. The Vikings were outplayed in just about every facet of the game with the main problem stemming from their offensive line struggling to protect Kirk Cousins. The Vikings couldn’t get anything going offensively, with Justin Jefferson locked up by Packers corner Jaire Alexander, and gave up 41 unanswered points after scoring first. The Vikings need to regroup quickly, as they now need a win in Week 18 and help to have a chance at securing a top-two seed in the NFC.

9) Los Angeles Chargers (10-6) (11)

Austin Ekeler had one of his most impressive rushing performances of his career as he helped lead the Chargers to a 31-10 win over the Los Angeles Rams. Justin Herbert looked good against a defense that can still cause problems for offenses. With the Broncos on deck in Week 18, the Chargers still have plenty to play for, as they are tied with the Baltimore Ravens for the fifth seed in the AFC.

10) Baltimore Ravens (10-6) (7)

Once again, the Baltimore Ravens were without star quarterback Lamar Jackson and once again fell short. The Ravens are now 2-2 without Lamar and, more importantly, are eliminated from the AFC North title race. More importantly, the Ravens’ defense while solid overall, couldn’t stop Najee Harris and Kenny Pickett when they needed it most. With the Cincinnati Bengals still having plenty to play for in Week 18 when the two teams face off, the game could get ugly if Lamar is again out injured.

11) Seattle Seahawks (8-8) (13)
12) Detroit Lions (8-8) (14)
13) Green Bay Packers (8-8) (15)
14) New England Patriots (8-8) (16)
15) Miami Dolphins (8-8) (10)
16) Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8) (18)
17) New York Jets (7-9) (12)
18) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8) (20)
19) Washington Commanders (7-8-1) (17)
20) New Orleans Saints (7-9) (22)
21) Atlanta Falcons (6-10) (21)
22) Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) (26)
23) Carolina Panthers (6-10) (24)
24) Cleveland Browns (7-9) (25)
25) Tennessee Titans (7-9) (19)
26) Los Angeles Rams (5-11) (23)
27) Las Vegas Raiders (6-10) (28)
28) Arizona Cardinals (4-12) (27)
29) Denver Broncos (4-12) (31)
30) Chicago Bears (3-13) (29)
31) Indianapolis Colts (4-11-1) (30)
32) Houston Texans (2-13-1) (32)

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