Rankings

NFL Week 18 Power Rankings: Eagles Slide, 49ers Surge Entering Playoffs

The Bills remained in the top spot in The 33rd Team’s Week 18 power rankings for the second straight week, but not the way they had hoped.

Their much-anticipated Monday night game against the No. 3 Bengals was postponed after Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field and was taken to the hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

The Eagles (13-3), who have been ranked first or second much of the season, dropped from 2 to 5 after their second straight loss without starting quarterback Jalen Hurts, a 20-10 defeat to the 7-9 Saints.

The 49ers (12-4), who beat the Raiders for their ninth straight win, moved up from 3 to 2. The Bengals (11-4) and Chiefs (13-3) also moved ahead of the Eagles.

The Chargers (10-6) and Cowboys (12-4) remained in the No. 6 and 7 spots. The Jaguars, Lions and Packers, three of the league’s eight teams with 8-8 records heading into Week 18, round out the top 10.

The Packers jumped from 15 to 10 with their fourth straight win, 41-17 over the Vikings (12-4). The Vikings dropped from eighth to 12th.

The Saints made the biggest jump of the week, improving six spots from 25th to 19th after their win over the Eagles.

The complete 33rd Team Week 18 power rankings:

1. Buffalo Bills (12-3)

Last week: at Bengals (postponed) | This week: vs. 8-8 Patriots |  Previous: 1

Good news: The Bills are just 10th in red-zone offense (60.7%), but they’ve been money in inside the 20 lately, converting 14 of their last 17 trips into touchdowns.

Bad news: Bills have won six in a row, but none of those wins were against a team that currently has a winning record.

2. San Francisco 49ers (12-4)

Last week: W 37-34 at Raiders | This week: vs. 4-12 Cardinals | Previous: 3

Good news: Christian McCaffrey has had a profound impact on the Niners’ offense. He has 688 yards from scrimmage in the last five games.

Bad news: A defense that is considered the best in the league gave up 365 yards passing and three TDs last week to a quarterback making his first career start (Jarrett Stidham).

3. Cincinnati Bengals (11-4)

Last week: vs. Bills (postponed) | This week: vs. 10-6 Ravens | Previous: 4

Good news: Joe Burrow has thrown 16 touchdown passes in the last six games.

Bad news: The Bengals’ run game has been hit-and-miss. They’ve averaged 2.8 yards per carry in their last two games, 3.7 in their last six.

4. Kansas City Chiefs (13-3)

Last week: 27-24 vs. Broncos | This week: at 6-10 Raiders | Previous: 5

Good news: Patrick Mahomes misses Tyreek Hill so much he just notched the second 40-touchdown season of his career.

Bad news: With Clyde Edwards-Helaire on IR, the Chiefs’ ground game has been a bit inconsistent. They’ve had less than 90 yards rushing in three of their last four games. They averaged just 2.9 yards per carry Sunday.

5. Philadelphia Eagles (13-3)

Last week: L 10-20 vs. Saints | This week: vs. 9-6-1 Giants | Previous: 2

Good news: Another seven sacks for the defense. That’s a franchise record 68, including 32 in the last five games.

Bad news: So much for plans to rest Jalen Hurts and his healing sprained shoulder until the second round of the playoffs. The Eagles need him this week to beat the Giants and earn the NFC’s No. 1 seed

6. Los Angeles Chargers (10-6)

Last week: W 31-10 vs. Rams| This week: at 4-12 Broncos | Previous: 6

Good news: With Keenan Allen and Mike Williams both on the field the last four weeks, the Chargers are 4-0, and Allen-Williams have combined for 57 catches and 695 yards.

Bad news: The defense is giving up a league-worst 5.4 yards per carry.

7. Dallas Cowboys (12-4)

Last week: W 27-13 at Titans | This week: at 7-8-1 Commanders | Previous: 7

Good news: Dak Prescott has been interception-prone (12 in the last eight games), but it hasn’t slowed down the Cowboys’ offense. They’re averaging 36.3 points per game in the last nine games.

Bad news: The Cowboys are second in the league in sacks with 51 but have just three in the last four games.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8)

Last week: W 31-3 at Texans | This week: vs. 7-9 Titans | Previous: 10

Good news: The Jaguars haven’t given up a touchdown in their last two games.

Bad news: Those games were against the second (Texans) and sixth (Jets) lowest-scoring teams in the NFL.

9. Detroit Lions (8-8)

Last week: W 41-10 vs. Bears | This week: at 8-8 Packers | Previous: 11

Good news: Lions can score on anybody. They’re fifth in the league in scoring and have put up 30 or more points in eight of their 16 games.

Bad news: Beyond edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson, their defense still is a work in progress. They’re 29th in points allowed. But with four picks in the first two rounds of the April draft, general manager Brad Holmes has the ammo to continue to improve that side of the ball.

10. Green Bay Packers (8-8)

Last week: W 41-17 vs. Vikings | This week: v. 8-8 Lions | Previous: 15

Good news: The Packers have 12 takeaways in their last four games. They’ve won all four games.

Bad news: Aaron Rodgers’ 11 interceptions equals the second most of his career.

11. Baltimore Ravens (10-6)

Last week: L 13-16 vs. Steelers| This week: at Bengals | Previous: 9

Good news: The Ravens’ defense has allowed just 14.7 points per game in the last 10 games.

Bad news: The Ravens’ offense without Lamar Jackson is like a car without a battery. They’re averaging a puny 11.8 points per game in the five games since he hurt his knee.

12. Minnesota Vikings (12-4)

Last week: L 17-41 at Packers | This week: at 3-13 Bears | Previous: 8

Good news: Make fun all you want about their penchant for playing everybody close and Kirk Cousins’ 14 interceptions, they’re 12-4 and headed to the playoffs.

Bad news: Justin Jefferson was targeted five times Sunday and had just one catch for 15 yards.

13. New York Giants (9-6-1)

Last week: W 38-10 vs. Colts | This week: at 13-3 Eagles | Previous: 14

Good news: Don’t underestimate the importance of Daniel Jones’ running ability in the playoffs. He rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns Sunday against the Colts.

Bad news: Sunday’s 38-point explosion was just the second time this season that the Giants have scored more than 24 points.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8)

Last week: W 16-13 at Ravens | This week: vs. 7-9 Browns | Previous: 17

Good news: Rookie Kenny Pickett engineered a game-winning 80-yard touchdown drive on the road against one of the best defenses in the league.

Bad news: Pickett’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Najee Harris was only his sixth TD in 360 attempts this season.

15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8)

Last week: W 30-24 vs. Panthers | This week: at 6-10 Falcons | Previous: 21

Good news: Take down the Missing posters of Mike Evans. The Buccaneers WR has resurfaced just in time for the playoffs, catching three TDs from Tom Brady Sunday.

Bad news: Brady has the lowest touchdown percentage and lowest yards-per-attempt average of his career.

16. New England Patriots (8-8)

Last week: W 23-21 vs. Dolphins | This week: at Bills | Previous: 18

Good news: Patriots can earn a playoff spot with a win in their final regular-season game.

Bad news: They’re playing the Bills, who have already beaten them once.

17. Seattle Seahawks (8-8)

Last week: W 23-6 vs. Jets | This week: vs. 5-11 Rams | Previous: 23

Good news: This was supposed to be a rebuilding year, and they’re still in the playoff hunt with one game left and probably are going to finish with a winning record.

Bad news: DK Metcalf had just two 100-yard receiving games this season to go with 16-game career lows in touchdowns (6) and yards per catch (11.6)

18. Miami Dolphins (8-8)

Last week: L 21-23 at Patriots | This week: vs. 7-9 Jets | Previous: 12

Good news: Even after losing five in a row, the Dolphins still have a decent chance to make the playoffs, which should be illegal or something.

Bad news: It’s uncertain if and when QB Tua Tagovailoa will play again after his latest concussion issue.

19. New Orleans Saints (7-9)

Last week: W 20-10 at Saints | This week: vs. 6-10 Panthers | Previous: 25

Good news: It took a while to find its groove, but the Saints’ defense, aside from problems forcing turnovers (just 12 takeaways), is playing as well as any unit in the league. They’ve given up just 108 points in their last seven games (15.4 points per game).

Bad news: Rotating Taysom Hill and Andy Dalton isn’t a workable long-term solution at quarterback. The Saints have to find one in the offseason.

20. Carolina Panthers (6-10)

Last week: L 24-30 at Bucs | This week: at 7-9 Saints | Previous: 19

Good news: Amazingly, Sam Darnold has played his way back into the Panthers’ QB picture. He put up his fourth 100-plus passer rating in five starts Sunday.

Bad news: With Sunday’s loss to the Buccaneers, the Panthers were eliminated from playoff consideration.

21. New York Jets (7-9)

Last week: L 6-23 at Seahawks | This week: at 8-8 Dolphins | Previous: 13

Good news: Knocking the Dolphins out of playoff contention could be a hoot.

Bad news: The Jets’ offense may qualify for federal disaster assistance. They’ve scored three offensive touchdowns in the last four games and have averaged 3.3 yards per carry on the ground in those four games. First-round rookie WR Garrett Wilson has seven catches for 48 yards in the past two games.

22. Cleveland Browns (6-10)

Last week: W 24-10 at Commanders | This week: at 8-8 Steelers | Previous: 26

Good news: The Browns won for the fourth time in the last six games as Deshaun Watson threw three touchdown passes.

Bad news: Too little too late after a 3-8 start during Watson’s suspension.

23. Las Vegas Raiders (6-10)

Last week: L 34-37 vs. 49ers | This week: vs. 13-3 Chiefs | Previous: 22

Good news: Jarrett Stidham threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start.

Bad news: The Raiders’ decision to bench veteran QB Derek Carr is going to make it difficult for them to get much for him in an off-season trade.

24. Washington Commanders (7-8-1)

Last week: L 10-24 vs. Browns | This week: v. 12-4 Cowboys | Previous: 16

Good news: Third-round rookie Brian Robinson has been one of the team’s few offensive bright spots. He has rushed for 578 yards over the last seven games.

Bad news: So much for thinking Carson Wentz could kickstart the offense. He threw three interceptions against the Browns.

25. Tennessee Titans (7-9)

Last week: L 13-27 vs. Cowboys | This week: at Jaguars | Previous: 20

Good news: Titans picked off Prescott twice last week and are tied for sixth in interceptions with 14, including five in the last three games.

Bad news: The Titans QB situation is so bad they signed a guy off the Lions’ practice squad (Josh Dobbs) and gave him his first career start against the Cowboys, and he’s expected to start against Jacksonville too.

26. Atlanta Falcons (6-10)

Last week: W20-19 vs. Cardinals| This week: v. 8-8 Bucs | Previous: 32

Good news: Rookie Desmond Ridder has completed 69.5% of his attempts in his last two starts. He was 3-for-3 on the Falcons’ game-winning drive against the Cardinals.

Bad news: The Falcons’ defense has the second-fewest sacks in the league (21), including just four in the last five games. Assuming they think Ridder can be their starting quarterback going forward, they’ll be looking for edge-rush help in the draft and free agency.

27. Los Angeles Rams (5-11)

Last week: L 10-31 at Chargers | This week: at 8-8 Seahawks | Previous: 24

Good news: Cam Akers had his best-rushing performance since tearing his Achilles tendon last October. He ran for 123 yards on 19 carries against the Chargers.

Bad news: The Rams have lost 8 of their last 10 games. They’ve averaged just 14.9 points per game in those eight losses.

28. Denver Broncos (4-12)

Last week: L 24-27 at Chiefs | This week: vs. 10-6 Chargers | Previous: 29

Good news: The Broncos have played the Chiefs twice in the last four weeks and have played them tough both times, losing by three and six points. Nine of the Broncos’ 12 losses have been by seven points or less.

Bad news: Russell Wilson has the lowest passer rating, touchdown percentage and yards-per-attempt average of his career.

29. Houston Texans (2-13-1)

Last week: vs. Jaguars | This week: at 4-12 Colts | Previous: 27

Good news: Now, that’s how you tank, guys. Bryce Young, come on down.

Bad news: Their defense has given up 27 or more points in five of their last six games. So a quarterback isn’t the only thing they need.

30. Arizona Cardinals (4-12)

Last week: L 20-19 at Falcons | This week: at 12-4 49ers | Previous: 28

Good news: RB James Conner has provided a rare dose of consistency to the offense. He has averaged 85.2 rushing yards per game over the last five games.

Bad news: The Cardinals have lost six in a row. They’ve scored a total of 97 points in those six games.

31. Chicago Bears (3-13)

Last week: L 10-41 at Lions | This week: vs. 12-4 Vikings | Previous: 30

Good news: QB Justin Fields is tied for second in the league in rushing first downs (65).

Bad news: He’s 26th in passer rating (85.2) and 31st in completion percentage (60.4) and has been sacked an NFL-high 55 times.

32. Indianapolis Colts (4-11-1)

Last week: L 38-10 at Giants | This week: vs. Texans | Previous: 31

Good news: The opportunity to develop whichever one of the draft’s top young quarterbacks they select should be a plus for the Colts in attracting a new head coach.

Bad news: The Colts’ offensive line has given up 58 sacks this season. Only the Broncos have allowed more.

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