The 2018 NFL regular season schedule is in the books. Now it’s time to see where all 32 teams rank for one last time. For reference purposes, here is a link to last week’s NFL Power Rankings.
BLG’S FINAL NFL POWER RANKINGS
1 - New Orleans Saints (Last Week: 1) - The Saints rested starters in Week 17 and they have a first-round bye. They should be fresh (or rusty?!) for the playoffs.
2 - Chicago Bears (LW: 2) - The Bears finished the season on a four-game win streak. Vic Fangio’s defense allowed an average of just 10.5 points per game in that stretch.
3 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 3) - The Rams struggled against good teams before beating up on some terrible teams in the final two weeks. They have a first-round bye but could this be another one-and-done year for Sean McVay?
4 - New England Patriots (LW: 4) - No one will be surprised if they manage to go to the Super Bowl again.
5 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 5) - The Ravens are an overtime loss to Kansas City away from being on a seven-game win streak. They’re a hot team heading into January.
6 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 7) - Having won their last four, Frank Reich’s Colts are red hot as well. Here’s to a matchup of No. 6 seeds in the Super Bowl: Philly vs. Indy.
7 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 6) - Seattle struggled to beat the league’s worst team in Week 17 but they had nothing to play for. They’ll bring their A-game for the playoffs.
8 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 8) - The Bolts are going to have to beat the team that beat them in Week 16 to make it past wild card weekend.
9 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 9) - This might be too low for the Chiefs but you can’t help but wonder if Andy Reid is going to fail to get over the hump once again.
10 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 12) - Malcolm Jenkins said it best: “We ain’t sneaking in [the playoffs], we kicking the motherf***ing door down!” It was a mistake to let Nick Foles and the reigning Super Bowl champions into the playoffs.
11 - Houston Texans (LW: 10) - The Texans are good but not great. Indy is the real best team in the AFC South.
12 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 14) - The Cowboys tried to win in Week 17 despite having nothing to play for. They barely managed to beat NYG. Dallas ranks 14th in point differential (two non-playoff teams rank higher than them) and 21st in DVOA. In other words, metrics point to them being the worst team in the playoffs.
13 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 15) - Too little, too late for a Steelers team that finished with a 9-6-1 record. That 1-4 stretch late in the season doomed them.
14 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 16) - The Browns made a lot of progress in 2018. They might be able to build on that next year if they hire the right coaching staff.
15 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 11) - The NFL’s hardest team to figure out ended the season with a 9-7 record but failed to make the playoffs.
16 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 13) - Loser team with a loser quarterback.
17 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 18) - The Falcons finished their season on a three-game win streak. They finished 17th in point differential and 17th in DVOA. Had they not been so injured, perhaps they would’ve been in the mix for the wild card.
18 - Detroit Lions (LW: 21) - The Lions are 4-0 in their last four games against Green Bay. So they have that going for them.
19 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 17) - We’ll see if the Packers can make a hire that’ll get them back to the playoffs next year.
20 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 25) - Josh Allen finished the season as Buffalo’s leading passer AND rusher. He saved his best game for Week 17. Maybe there’s some hope for him after all.
21 - Denver Broncos (LW: 19) - The Broncos fired Vance Joseph following their first back-to-back losing seasons in 46 years.
22 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 20) - Adam Gase was basically Chip Kelly redux in Miami. Now he’s gone. But he might get another coaching gig (not unlike Chip did) because that’s the NFL for you.
23 - New York Giants (LW: 22) - Pat Shurmur tried his hardest to screw up the Giants’ draft position but failed to do so. A brilliant Week 17 from Eli Manning should lock him in as th G-Men’s quarterback of the future, though.
24 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 23) - The 49ers will hope to get back on track with a healthy Jimmy G. They’ll also add a building block with the No. 2 overall pick.
25 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 24) - The Bucs fired Dirk Koetter but they’re keeping Jason Licht and Jameis Winston. What’s the point.
26 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 26) - I think it’s safe to say the Bengals moved on from Marvin Lewis too soon.
27 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 27) - The Jags drafted Leonard Fournette at No. 4 overall in 2017. Now they’re removing the guarantees from his contract. Good draft pick!
28 - Oakland Raiders (LW: 28) - Mike Mayock has five first-round picks to work with over two years in order to help rebuild the Raiders.
29 - New York Jets (LW: 29) - There’s hope for the Jets with Sam Darnold in place. Just need to find the right head coach.
30 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 31) - Well, the Panthers managed to comfortably beat the Saints’ backups. Ron Rivera avoided finishing the season on an eight-game losing streak.
31 - Washington Redskins (LW: 30) - The worst franchise in pro sports.
32 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 32) - The Cardinals are on the clock in the 2019 NFL Draft.