NFL Power Rankings: Week 18

My current NFL Power Rankings for Week 18 of the 2021 NFL Season.

I’m going to use these rankings as the order for my 2022 NFL Mock Draft during the 2021 season. Follow @walterfootball.

I’ve gone from WORST to FIRST, so if you don’t see reverse numbering (via Javascript), don’t worry; the Jets and Texans aren’t my top teams.

Updated: Jan. 4

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14) – Previously: 32.
    No one should be surprised that Trevor Lawrence struggled against Bill Belichick, but it’s not like he’s played well against anyone this year. He needs so much help. That said, this rookie year has been a colossal disappointment.

  2. New York Giants New York Giants (4-12) – Previously: 31.
    Mike Glennon was 4-of-11 for 24 yards and two interceptions against the Bears. Would Jake Fromm have been much worse? I don’t understand why the Giants didn’t start Fromm. There is literally no incentive to go with Glennon. Fromm is at least young and has an unknown factor to him.

  3. Carolina Panthers Carolina Panthers (5-11) – Previously: 28.
    So much for Matt Rhule’s platoon of Cam Newton and Sam Darnold. But he knows what he’s doing. He’s the Jay-Z of NFL head coaches, after all.

  4. Detroit Lions NFL Power Rankings Detroit Lions (2-13-1) – Previously: 29.
    If you were to tell me Tim Boyle would score 29 points, and that the Lions would average 6.1 yards per play versus Seattle, I would have bet the farm on the Lions. Oh wait, I already did, FML.

  5. New York Jets New York Jets (4-12) – Previously: 30.
    The best possible result for the Jets. They can gain confidence because they played a close game against the Buccaneers, but they were able to preserve draft positioning by losing. Unfortunately for the Jets, their pick from the Seahawks got worse because Seattle clobbered Detroit.

  6. Houston Texans Houston Texans (4-12) – Previously: 27.
    Are the Texans sure they want to keep Davis Mills? He was battling an injury-ravaged 49er team this past week, and yet the only points he scored came off a turnover. Perhaps they should give Kenny Pickett stronger consideration.

  7. Atlanta Falcons Atlanta Falcons (7-9) – Previously: 26.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Falcons are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  8. Seattle Seahawks Seattle Seahawks (6-10) – Previously: 25.
    I find myself wondering how the Seahawks scored 51 points when missing two starting offensive linemen, but then I remember that they battled the Lions. And yet, I’m still confused because Detroit had played so well following the bye.

  9. Chicago Bears Chicago Bears (6-10) – Previously: 24.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Bears are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  10. Washington Redskins Washington Redskins (6-10) – Previously: 23.
    The poor Redskins were 6-6 a few weeks ago, but they’ve been ravaged by the virus and Dallas’ monstrous defensive line. People will be quick to blame Taylor Heinicke, but he never had a chance behind his offensive line. He even nearly led his team to a win over the Eagles, but the game-ending pick was a blessing in disguise because it allowed Washington to preserve its draft positioning.

    As mentioned last week, the Redskins need a new left tackle to replace Trent Williams. Luckily for them, there will be some good blockers available this April. Check out our 2022 NFL Draft Offensive Tackle Prospect Rankings for more.

  11. Denver Broncos Denver Broncos (7-9) – Previously: 22.
    The sharps keep betting the Broncos, and they keep losing. Denver even got money late in the week at +8, yet the team lost 34-13. I hope to one day read a book from a professional bettor about why he and people of his ilk ceaselessly bet the Broncos at the end of the 2021 season. The book’s title can be, How I Lost All My Money Betting on a Crappy Coach, Terrible Quarterback and Injury-Ravaged Defense.

  12. Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns (7-9) – Previously: 14.
    Someone needs to explain why Nick Chubb rushed the ball just four times in the first half against the Steelers’ horrible run defense. If the Browns wanted to preserve Chubb because they were eliminated from the postseason, why play him at all? And why not give D’Ernest Johnson a huge workload? I don’t think Kevin Stefanski knows what he’s doing.

  13. Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7-1) – Previously: 21.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Steelers are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  14. New Orleans Saints New Orleans Saints (8-8) – Previously: 20.
    I didn’t judge the Saints by their performance against the Dolphins, given that they were missing their top three quarterbacks, both tackles, the top two linebackers and other players. They were still missing lots of personnel against the Panthers, which would explain why they had trouble putting away Carolina.

  15. Baltimore Ravens Baltimore Ravens (8-8) – Previously: 19.
    The Ravens nearly beat the Rams, but they averaged two fewer yards per play than Los Angeles. The only reason they were ahead was that a decrepit Matthew Stafford gifted points to them. Don’t make the mistake of thinking the Ravens are suddenly good again because they were one point away from beating the Rams.

  16. Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins (8-8) – Previously: 16.
    The Dolphins can’t be overrated anymore after that 34-3 loss. Here’s why I thought they were overrated heading into the Tennessee game:

    The Dolphins have ventured into overrated territory. They’ve won six in a row, but four of their wins have come against the Texans, Jets (twice) and Giants. Speaking of the Jets, they outgained New York in the first matchup by just eight yards and averaged 0.6 fewer yards per play. They were lucky that the Jets scored zero points on drives ending at the Miami 5-, 22- and 36-yard lines. As for three weeks ago, the Dolphins beat the Panthers, but Cam Newton looked like a shell of his former self. The Dolphins’ offense averaged only 4.4 yards per play. Miami also averaged 4.4 yards per play versus the Giants. The only reason it was a double-digit win was because Kenny Golladay got hurt. Golladay’s absence was huge because the Giants were already missing their other two top receivers.

  17. Minnesota Vikings Minnesota Vikings (7-9) – Previously: 15.
    I think Sean Mannion was like 1-of-23 after Cris Collinsworth said, “#FreeSeanMannion.” Perhaps the Vikings’ coaches were listening a little too closely because Dalvin Cook receiving just nine carries didn’t make any sense. What an embarrassing performance:

  18. Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) – Previously: 18.
    I’ve been listing the Eagles as underrated for a while, but they’re getting close to overrated territory. Two of their three recent wins were against Garrett Gilbert and Jake Fromm, and they nearly lost to Taylor Heinicke this past week.

  19. Indianapolis Colts Indianapolis Colts (9-7) – Previously: 10.
    Carson Wentz was once again a liability for the Colts, who look so foolish for trading a first-round pick for him. Wentz had just one completion in the first 28 minutes of the game, and he needed a lucky bounce on his sole touchdown, which was yet another foolish throw into double coverage.

  20. Las Vegas Raiders Las Vegas Raiders (9-7) – Previously: 17.
    The Raiders scored more than 20 points for the second time since Henry Ruggs’ banishment. It should’ve been the third, as they absolutely dominated the Broncos the prior week despite winning by only four. The Raiders would be an underrated team right now if they weren’t coming off such an upset victory.

  21. Los Angeles Chargers San Angeles Chargers (9-7) – Previously: 12.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Chargers are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  22. San Francisco 49ers San Francisco 49ers (9-7) – Previously: 11.
    A fine debut by Trey Lance. The 49ers had trouble pulling away from the Texans on the scoreboard, but they outgained Houston, 416-222, and they averaged 3.2 more yards per play.

  23. Tennessee Titans Tennessee Titans (11-5) – Previously: 9.
    All the Titans need to do is beat the Texans, and they get the No. 1 seed in the AFC. That’s huge because it’ll give Derrick Henry an extra week to return from injury.

  24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-4) – Previously: 3.
    The Buccaneers barely beat the Jets and then lost Antonio Brown because of his meltdown. They never should have suspended him. Now, they’ll have to win a Super Bowl with only one viable wide receiver. And no, Breshad Perriman doesn’t count, despite him ruining a great Bills pick a few weeks ago.

  25. Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Rams (12-4) – Previously: 6.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Rams are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  26. New England Patriots New England Patriots (10-6) – Previously: 7.
    It’s amazing that the Patriots have won in so many blowouts this year. You’d think a defensive team with a rookie quarterback would squeak by opponents in defensive grinders, but New England has dominated most of its competition.

  27. Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys (11-5) – Previously: 4.
    The Cowboys’ offense has been sluggish for the most part since Dak Prescott returned from injury. I wouldn’t write them off yet, however, as they could go on a tear in the playoffs because they have some great personnel.

  28. Arizona Cardinals Arizona Cardinals (11-5) – Previously: 13.
    It was nice to see the Cardinals snap out of their ugly funk with a win over Dallas. Perhaps these Cardinals can do what the 2009 Cardinals did and go on a tear in the playoffs after getting crushed late in the season.

  29. Cincinnati Bengals Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) – Previously: 8.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Bengals are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  30. Buffalo Bills Buffalo Bills (10-6) – Previously: 5.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Bills are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  31. Kansas City Chiefs NFL Power Rankings Kansas City Chiefs (11-5) – Previously: 1.
    It’s hard to believe the Chiefs blew a double-digit lead against such a young team. It’s also astonishing that they scored just three points the second half. They blew the No. 1 seed in the AFC, but it’s not like they can’t win the Super Bowl without home-field advantage.

  32. Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers (13-3) – Previously: 2.
    The Packers haven’t been as good as their record says they are, as they’ve gotten very lucky with some wins this year. This includes a win two weeks ago over the Browns that saw Cleveland outgain Green Bay and average more yards per play. However, the Packers will be much better in the near future once David Bakhtiari and Jaire Alexander return from injury. They both seem very close to returning to action. I’m sure they’ll be back in the divisional round of the playoffs.

    By the way, we have a t-shirt to support Aaron Rodgers in our merch store! This is your chance to support Rodgers, who has been attacked unfairly by the scumbag media!

    MVP Race:

    1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
    2. Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals
    3. Tom Brady, QB, Buccaneers
    4. Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals
    5. Micah Parsons, DE/LB, Cowboys

    Scrubs of the Week:

    1. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
    2. Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
    3. Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
    4. Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
    5. Miles Sanders, RB, Eagles
    6. Chase Claypool, WR, Steelers
    7. Aaron Jones, RB, Packers
    8. Travis Kelce, TE, Chiefs
    9. Josh Allen, QB, Bills
    10. Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
    11. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs
    12. Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
    13. James Robinson, RB, Jaguars
    14. James Robinson, RB, Jaguars
    15. Dak Prescott, QB, Cowbys
    16. Saquon Barkley, RB, Giants
    17. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys

2024 NFL Mock Draft - April 9

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

Fantasy Football Rankings - Feb. 19

NFL Picks - Feb. 12

2022 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Post-Super Bowl Power Rankings | Post-Free Agency Power Rankings | Post-NFL Draft Power Rankings | Post-Preseason Power Rankings | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17

2021 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Post-Super Bowl Power Rankings | Preseason Power Rankings | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | Playoffs |

2020 NFL Power Rankings. Week: Post-Super Bowl Power Rankings 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | Playoffs |