NFL Week 18 Power Rankings: Bills jump into the top five, Ravens replace Cowboys at No. 2

2WA0EEW Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs against Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Zach Sieler (92) during the second half of an NFL football game in Baltimore, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

• Biggest riser: Los Angeles Rams (up five places since Week 17)

• Biggest faller: Minnesota Vikings (down five places since Week 17)

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NFL Week 18 Power Rankings

  1. San Francisco 49ers (no change)
  2. Baltimore Ravens (up 1)
  3. Dallas Cowboys (down 1)
  4. Kansas City Chiefs (no change)
  5. Buffalo Bills (up 2)
  6. Miami Dolphins (no change)
  7. Philadelphia Eagles (down 2)
  8. Detroit Lions (no change)
  9. Jacksonville Jaguars (no change)
  10. Cleveland Browns (no change)
  11. Los Angeles Rams (up 5)
  12. Houston Texans (up 1)
  13. Indianapolis Colts (up 1)
  14. Seattle Seahawks (down 3)
  15. Cincinnati Bengals (down 3)
  16. Green Bay Packers (up 1)
  17. New Orleans Saints (up 1)
  18. Pittsburgh Steelers (up 3)
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (up 1)
  20. Minnesota Vikings (down 5)
  21. Denver Broncos (down 2)
  22. Chicago Bears (up 3)
  23. Las Vegas Raiders (up 3)
  24. Atlanta Falcons (down 2)
  25. New York Jets (down 2)
  26. Tennessee Titans (down 2)
  27. Arizona Cardinals (up 1)
  28. Washington Commanders (up 1)
  29. New York Giants (up 1)
  30. Los Angeles Chargers (down 3)
  31. New England Patriots (no change)
  32. Carolina Panthers (no change)

It’s the last week of the regular season, so things are now down to the wire. Nine teams have clinched playoff berths, leaving five spots available. 

The Ravens crushed the Miami Dolphins in Week 17 and earned a first-round bye in the playoffs. The race to the AFC East crown is now between the Dolphins and Bills, who go head-to-head in Week 18. 

Despite their loss to the Cowboys, the Lions put up a fight and have clinched the NFC North. If the Cowboys beat the Commanders in Week 18, they’ll clinch the NFC East.

Source: @PFF_Moo via X (Twitter)

Biggest Riser: Los Angeles Rams

The Rams secured a playoff spot despite fielding one of the youngest rosters in the entire league. It’s a testament to their coaching staff and front office for being able to replenish their roster and develop them quickly enough to be productive contributors to the team.

Matthew Stafford has also been one of the league's best quarterbacks since the Rams' bye week and has kept the Rams in games where their defense has faltered. In most other years, Puka Nacua would be the runaway Offensive Rookie of the Year winner, but C.J. Stroud’s rookie campaign might be too much to overcome.

Biggest Faller: Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings seemed to overperform even after losing Kirk Cousins (Achilles) for the season, but their winning ways with multiple backup QBs seem to have finally ended.

None of Nick Mullens, Joshua Dobbs or Jaren Hall have been able to execute Kevin O’Connell's offense at a high level, and all three of them have been benched at some point after Cousins’ injury. Brian Flores’ defense, which had been a revelation for most of the season, has also started falling apart at the seams, ultimately due to the lack of talent in the secondary and the injury to Byron Murphy Jr.

WAR Lost to Injuries

Notable offensive injuries from Week 17 include Cardinals tackle D.J. Humphries, Packers receiver Jayden Reed and running back A.J. Dillon, Texans tackle Laremy Tunsil and receiver Robert Woods, Saints running back Alvin Kamara, Patriots receiver DeVante Parker, Eagles receiver DeVonta Smith, 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey and Seahawks tackle Abraham Lucas.

Notable defensive injuries this week include Dolphins edge rusher Bradley Chubb and cornerback Xavien Howard, and Cardinals cornerback Garrett Williams.

Late-Down Decision-Making

Although the Dolphins went for it five times on fourth down in Week 17, they were able to convert only two of them.

The Panthers were more successful, converting three of their six fourth-down attempts. Through Week 16, both teams converted less than half of their fourth-down attempts.

Game Finishers

The Cardinals offense turned on the jets in the second half, producing the highest successful play rate of the week (55.9%) over the last 30 minutes. Their defense also showed up, intercepting Hurts with seven seconds left in the game and limiting the Eagles to only 10 points in the second half.

The Trenches

49ers tackle Trent Williams was the highest-graded offensive lineman this week (93.2). Their line as a whole didn’t allow any sacks or hits and allowed pressure on just 19.4% of their pass-blocking snaps, their second-best single-game mark of the year.

Defensive Success

Maxx Crosby was the highest-graded run defender in Week 17 (94.4). He came away with a forced fumble and four stops.

Charvarius Ward earned the best coverage grade (91.7), tallying one interception and allowing only 12 yards in coverage.

Bills cornerback Rasul Douglas came down with two interceptions last week, with the Bills defense finishing fourth in EPA allowed per play (-0.21).


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