NFL Power Rankings – Final
1. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (14-3)
It was a phenomenal season for the Eagles. I don’t think many people saw that coming. They stumbled late in the year, taking back-to-back losses, but that was without Jalen Hurts at the helm – and that is why they finish the year in the top spot of my rankings. Hurts only took one loss this season, all while playing in a division that saw none of its teams finish below .500. I believe the Eagles will end up being the Super Bowl representative for the NFC.
2. BUFFALO BILLS (13-3)
The Bills have been waiting for the playoffs to begin for a while now. I would imagine they’ve been waiting ever since Travis Kelce scored that game winning TD in overtime of their Divisional Round matchup last season. Well, they carved through teams throughout the regular season and now the playoffs are here. This is my pick to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
3. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (14-3)
The Chiefs will have the 1st Round bye in the AFC because of the Damar Hamlin injury. Mahomes & company will look to get back to the Super Bowl after falling in the AFC Championship Game last season. It’s worth mentioning that the Chiefs will NOT have home field advantage should they play the Bills in the AFC title game. That meeting would take place at a neutral site.
4. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (13-4)
In Brock Purdy we trust? The 3rd string rookie QB hasn’t missed a beat since filling in for Garoppolo. He hasn’t lost a game and the Niners have the #2 seed in the NFC. It will be interesting to see how far this team can go with Purdy in command.
5. CINCINNATI BENGALS (12-4)
The Bengals had a slow start to their season after losing in the Super Bowl last year. The goal is obviously to get back to the Super Bowl and win. It wouldn’t be shocking to see them accomplish that – they will enter the postseason as one of the hottest teams in the NFL.
6. DALLAS COWBOYS (12-5)
Here we go again. Is this the year that the Cowboys can go the distance? Or will we see an all too familiar choke job? This is arguably the best Dallas team in recent history, so if there were going to be a year to get back to the Super Bowl, you’d think it would be this one.
7. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (13-4)
This team gives me fits. The playoffs are about to begin and I’m not sure if they are for real or not, which is an odd thing to say about a team that has a record of 13-4. With the talent they have on offense, you’d think they could make some noise. I suppose we’re just going to have to wait and see.
8. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (10-7)
These guys were my preseason AFC Champion pick. They haven’t come close to living up to the hype, but they dealt with a plethora of injuries throughout this season. Things are just now starting to come together as players are returning, and the team is playing well. It wouldn’t be surprising to see this team make a run.
9. BALTIMORE RAVENS (10-7)
I think it’s clear that this team needs Lamar Jackson back. As of now, it’s not looking good for him to play on Sunday. They will have to find another way to get it done against a Bengals team that they just lost to by 11.
10. DETROIT LIONS (9-8)
It’s a shame this team fell just short of the playoffs. They were one of the hottest teams down the stretch, and just an overall “feel good” type of story considering how poorly they have played in recent years. With a Top 5 offense and a defense that began to come on strong toward the end of the season, there is a lot to look forward to next year in Detroit.
11. MIAMI DOLPHINS (9-8)
It was a tale of two seasons for Miami. In the first half of the year, they looked like a bonafide Super Bowl contender. Things fell apart down the stretch, however, and they needed help from the Bills in Week 18 to secure a playoff berth. Well, they got their berth, the question is now what will they do with it?
12. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (9-8)
At one point this season it looked as if the Jags were once again destined to finish in the cellar. But lo and behold, they are the AFC South champions. Trevor Lawrence is performing the way that he has been expected to for so long. He has things looking up in Duval County.
13. NEW YORK GIANTS (9-7-1)
The G-men are back in the playoffs. Despite a lot of bad luck with injuries, the Giants finished above .500 and will play the Vikings in the Wild Card round.
14. GREEN BAY PACKERS (8-9)
A late-season playoff push fell just short. Now we wait and see if Aaron Rodgers will still be at the helm for the Packers next season.
15. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (9-8)
I’d say it was a successful year for the Steelers, given the circumstances. Mike Tomlin still has not finished a season below .500 and rookie QB Kenny Pickett showed some potential. This will be a team to watch next year if he can take a big step forward in Year 2.
16. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (8-9)
A Week 18 loss kept the Patriots out of the postseason. This will undoubtedly put a lot of pressure on Mac Jones next season.
17. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (9-8)
After losing Russell Wilson, a lot of people thought the Seahawks would be in for a rough season. This wasn’t the case. Geno Smith stepped in and played a competent game. This allowed the Seahawks to snag the 7-seed and squeak into the playoffs.
18. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (8-9)
The Bucs are division champions once again, but I would attribute that more to the weakness of the NFC South than the strength of this Bucs team. That being said, you can’t count out a Tom Brady-led team. They will have home field advantage in the Wild Card round. Anything can happen.
19. WASHINGTON COMMANDERS (8-8-1)
This season was a cause for some optimism. The QB position was a mess for most of the year, and this team played some streaky football. But they finished at .500 while playing in a competitive division, handing losses to elite Eagles & Cowboys teams. Rookie QB Sam Howell appeared in Week 18 when the Commanders handed a 20-point loss to Dallas, and he showed some potential. He may be a player to watch out for next season.
20. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (7-10)
It was once again a messy, injury riddled season in New Orleans. It appears this team will have some decisions to make in the near future.
21. CLEVELAND BROWNS (7-10)
We had to wait a few months for Deshaun Watson’s first appearance as a Brown… and he did disappoint. Maybe an off-season worth of practice and familiarization with the playbook will help him next season, but if I were a Cleveland fan, I’d be worrying about that massive contract Watson inked with the team and whether or not they will get their money’s worth.
22. TENNESSEE TITANS (7-10)
The Titans season took a massive 180-degree turn in the middle of the year. At one point there were 7-3 and not only in control of the division, but also looking like a team who could make some playoff noise. Then things went south very quickly. The Titans ended the year on a 7-game losing streak, fumbling away the division in Week 18 against the Jaguars… literally.
23. NEW YORK JETS (7-10)
Here’s another team that had things go south in a hurry. The Jets season was looking quite promising through Week 9. They were 6-3 and entering their bye week after handing a loss to the juggernaut Buffalo Bills. Then the issues at QB began and they would go on to lose 7 of their final 8 games. Zach Wilson would be benched late in the season, so one must wonder what his future in New York holds.
24. ATLANTA FALCONS (7-10)
The Falcons finished 7-10 but performed somewhat better than expected – especially early on in the season. I would have to assume a solution at QB will be the priority, as young pass catchers such as Drake London & Kyle Pitts give the Falcons a lot of potential in the passing game.
25. CAROLINA PANTHERS (7-10)
The Carolina Panthers traded star RB Christian McCaffrey… and then proceed to take a run at the division. Who saw that coming? The focus now will be on the rebuild, but who’s to say they can’t make another run at a division title next year within the lowly NFC South.
26. LOS ANGELES RAMS (5-12)
The defending Super Bowl champions won’t be defending their title. It was an abysmal season for the star-studded Rams. Injuries were a concern, but things weren’t going great before Stafford, Kupp & Donald got hurt. But that’s life in the NFL. All you can do is get healthy and try to make another run next year.
27. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS (6-11)
It was a massively disappointing season for the Raiders, especially after earning a playoff berth last season. Their attention will now turn to finding a replacement for Derek Carr at QB.
28. DENVER BRONCOS (5-12)
Nathaniel Hackett proved to be a disastrous hire, as he didn’t even last a full season as the Broncos coach. The acquisition of Russell Wilson didn’t fare much better, as the QB had an underwhelming year. But he will have a chance to improve next season under a new head coach.
29. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (4-12-1)
I’m anxious to see what the Colts will do at the QB position next year. Maybe they can lure Brett Favre out of retirement.
30. ARIZONA CARDINALS (4-13)
Kliff Kingsbury’s tenure as head coach is over. It appears that Deandre Hopkins is also on his way out. This was quite a surprising turn for a team that showed a lot of potential just a year ago.
31. CHICAGO BEARS (3-14)
Justin Fields needs help at receiver. Badly. The good news is that the Bears are in position to ascertain such help. They have the most cap space in the NFL, as well as the #1 pick in the upcoming draft. Let’s hope they don’t do something foolish with that pick… like taking Bryce Young or CJ Stroud for example.
32. HOUSTON TEXANS (3-13-1)
The Texans went for 2 against the Colts in Week 18 to win the game and play themselves out of the #1 pick in the draft. A lot of people are criticizing them for that, but I’m not. Play to win each and every game, I say. That being said, they need to draft well in April because this team needs some serious help.