NFL Power Rankings Week 18

My current NFL Power Rankings for Week 18 of the 2022 NFL Season. The Buccaneers and Chargers move up after huge wins.

I’m going to use these rankings as the order for my 2023 NFL Mock Draft during the early stages of the 2022 season. Follow @walterfootball.

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

NFL Power Rankings updated Jan. 2, 2023

  1. Houston Texans Houston Texans (2-13-1) – Previously: 32.
    I wonder if the call came from ownership about not winning another game to maintain the No. 1 overall pick. The Texans went from trying hard to barely giving a crap? Someone definitely told them to lose.

  2. Chicago Bears Chicago Bears (3-13) – Previously: 31.
    If I were running the Bears, I wouldn’t even play Justin Fields in the finale. What’s the upside? Fields could perform well in a plus matchup, but even if he does, the Bears could hurt their draft positioning. The worst-case scenario is a devastating injury that could leak into 2023.

  3. Indianapolis Colts Indianapolis Colts (4-11-1) – Previously: 29.
    Nick Foles can always say he had a great NFL career because he was a Super Bowl MVP and champion, but it wouldn’t surprise me if his playing days are over after that crushing hit he took from Kayvon Thibodeaux. I’ll never forget Thibodeaux doing snow angels while Foles was convulsing on the ground. Thibodeaux may not have known what was happening, but it was just a sad way for Foles’ career to end.

  4. Arizona Cardinals Arizona Cardinals (4-12) – Previously: 30.
    Congratulations to the Cardinals, who found a way to lose to the Falcons despite having a lead for most of the second half. Losing would have been disastrous for draft positioning. As it stands now, Arizona is in great shape to draft an elite edge rusher, a replacement for J.J. Watt, or Bijan Robinson. Check my 2023 NFL Mock Draft for more info.

  5. Atlanta Falcons Atlanta Falcons (6-10) – Previously: 25.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Falcons are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  6. Denver Broncos Denver Broncos (4-12) – Previously: 26.
    The Broncos looked like the worst team in the NFL against the Rams, but they showed no effort in that game. It was obvious that they were saving their energy for the Chiefs. They treated that contest as if it were their Super Bowl, but ended up losing at the end.

  7. Los Angeles Rams Los Angeles Rams (5-11) – Previously: 24.
    Baker Mayfield and Cam Akers looked like Troy Aikman and Emmitt Smith against the Broncos, but that didn’t last very long. They were dominated in the Chargers-Rams Battle of LA, which is my favorite long-standing rivalry in the NFL. Man, those two teams hate each other.

  8. Washington Redskins Washington Redskins (7-8-1) – Previously: 16.
    Ron Rivera had the derp moment of the year by starting Carson Wentz. What was he thinking? This is not something we’re criticizing him in hindsight. Everyone knew this was a stupid decision!

  9. New York Jets New York Jets (7-9) – Previously: 15.
    I get Mike White struggling against the worst defense in the NFL because he may not have been 100 percent coming off his rib injury. What I don’t get is the play of the defense. The Jets’ defense was a complete joke, as it didn’t have an answer for a previously struggling Geno Smith, a banged-up Kenneth Walker, and a pedestrian-at-best Colby Parkinson.

  10. Miami Dolphins Miami Dolphins (8-8) – Previously: 11.
    The Dolphins should think about finding quarterbacks who don’t get hurt all the time. What a collapse from 8-3! Miami looked like it would make a deep playoff run with Bradley Chubb energizing the defense, but the Dolphins have lost five in a row, as Chubb and Terron Armstead weren’t even around to help Miami’s backup quarterbacks.

  11. Tennessee Titans Tennessee Titans (7-9) – Previously: 28.
    The Titans will win the division if they beat the Jaguars, but they’ll have to do it with Joshua Dobbs, who at least offers an upgrade over Malik Willis. To be fair, I think anyone not named Nick Foles would be an upgrade over Willis.

  12. Seattle Seahawks Seattle Seahawks (8-8) – Previously: 27.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Seahawks are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  13. New England Patriots New England Patriots (8-8) – Previously: 21.
    Rhamondre Stevenson didn’t sabotage a potential victory in this game. Instead, he didn’t do anything. In fact, the Patriots’ offense as a whole did nothing, as Miami’s backup quarterbacks threw the game away. The Dolphins ended up outgaining New England in total yards and yards per play.

  14. New York Giants New York Giants (9-6-1) – Previously: 23.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Giants are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  15. Cleveland Browns Cleveland Browns (7-9) – Previously: 20.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Browns are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  16. Carolina Panthers Carolina Panthers (6-10) – Previously: 17.
    It was a good run, but the Panthers were betrayed by the loss of Jaycee Horn. I’d say he was missed every time Mike Evans was catching a deep pass in the second half to help the Buccaneers win the division and to have me lose my fantasy championship because I was going up against Evans!

  17. Las Vegas Raiders Las Vegas Raiders (6-10) – Previously: 14.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Raiders are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  18. Minnesota Vikings Minnesota Vikings (12-4) – Previously: 12.
    Overrated NFL Team: See why the Vikings are an overrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  19. New Orleans Saints New Orleans Saints (7-9) – Previously: 13.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Saints are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  20. Green Bay Packers Green Bay Packers (8-8) – Previously: 19.
    I had a discussion about what the Packers’ record would be if Aaron Rodgers never broke his thumb earlier in the season. I have to believe they’d be 10-6 at the very least right now. That said, the public is beginning to catch on to this, so I can’t quite call them underrated.

  21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8) – Previously: 22.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Buccaneers are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  22. Jacksonville Jaguars Jacksonville Jaguars (8-8) – Previously: 10.
    The Jaguars didn’t need to beat Houston to win the division, but they can now at least say that they can defeat the Texans. This is a good thing because NFL bylaws say that teams will vacate a Super Bowl win if they lose to the Texans during the regular season.

  23. Detroit Lions NFL Power Rankings Detroit Lions (8-8) – Previously: 9.
    I guess the Lions’ loss to the Panthers was a fluke. It’s a shame that this defeat happened because they’d otherwise be in control of their own destiny. Of course, they would be if they had beaten Seattle earlier in the year. That was one of the few times I bet against the Lions this year, only because they were missing half of their roster. It’s absurd that their playoff dreams could come down to that loss.

  24. Pittsburgh Steelers Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) – Previously: 8.
    The Steelers have crawled back to 8-8, so I can’t really call them underrated anymore. It’s remarkable that they are 7-2 with T.J. Watt on the field, so imagine where they’d be if they had him available the entire year.

  25. Baltimore Ravens Baltimore Ravens (10-6) – Previously: 7.
    These latest losses by the Ravens don’t mean much as long as Lamar Jackson can return to the field at 100 percent. Will that happen though? I thought Jackson would be back two weeks ago, yet he hasn’t been able to practice at all!

  26. Los Angeles Chargers San Angeles Chargers (10-6) – Previously: 18.
    Underrated NFL Team: See why the Chargers are an underrated NFL team in our Overrated-Underrated page.

  27. Dallas Cowboys Dallas Cowboys (12-4) – Previously: 6.
    The Cowboys beat the Eagles in Week 16, but they were outgained in total yards and yards per play. Their defense is far less fearsome if they can’t get to the quarterback, which they struggled to do against Philadelphia’s elite offensive line.

  28. San Francisco 49ers San Francisco 49ers (12-4) – Previously: 5.
    Is Brock Purdy ever going to have a big game? No rookie quarterback has ever won the Super Bowl, but perhaps he’ll be the first. If he can hold that distinction, the 49ers’ pass defense will need to be better than how they performed against Jarrett Stidham.

  29. Kansas City Chiefs NFL Power Rankings Kansas City Chiefs (13-3) – Previously: 4.
    The Chiefs barely escaped against the Broncos twice and Texans, needing an injury to Russell Wilson and an overtime fumble by Davis Mills. They also had a very disappointing performance against the Seahawks. They won by 14, but were outgained, as they produced very little against Seattle’s horrible defense.

  30. Cincinnati Bengals Cincinnati Bengals (11-4*) – Previously: 3.
    The Bengals dominated the Patriots in the first half, but almost lost because they fell asleep at the wheel. They dropped two touchdowns, missed a field goal, saw Ja’Marr Chase lose a fumble, and allowed a touchdown on a Hail Mary.

  31. Buffalo Bills Buffalo Bills (12-3*) – Previously: 2.
    The Bills had a sluggish game against the Bears, and yet they won 35-13. Josh Allen threw some very sketchy passes, which would have me a bit concerned for the playoff run. That said, it was a frigid game against an unfamiliar opponent, so I’m more likely to give Buffalo a pass.

  32. Philadelphia Eagles Philadelphia Eagles (13-3) – Previously: 1.
    The Eagles were a no-show after their exhausting shootout against the Cowboys. They thought they could beat the Saints easily, but New Orleans sat on the ball for what seemed like an eternity in the first half. Lane Johnson’s absence was a huge factor as well. On the bright side, Jalen Hurts is due back for Week 18. See whom I’m picking for that game on my NFL Picks page, as of Tuesday afternoon.

    2022 NFL MVP Race:

    1. Jalen Hurts, QB, Eagles
    2. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs
    3. Josh Allen, QB, Bills
    4. Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals

    5. Micah Parsons, DE, 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 |