We’ve rung in the New Year and with it comes the next to the last regular season game of the NFL. Going into the newly minted Week 18, there is still one playoff spot up for grabs and numerous scenarios to change seeding. Here’s a final look at the regular season top ten in the rankings.
1. Green Bay Packers 13-3
Previous Ranking- 1
The Packers clinched the number one seed and a first-round bye with an easy win over the Vikings Sunday night. Green Bay outgained Minnesota 481-206 in the 37-10 win. Aaron Rodgers threw for 288 yards and 2 TDs while the Packer rushing attack ran for 174 yards with 2 TDs, both scores from A.J. Dillion.
2. Tennessee Titans 11-5
Previous ranking- 7
All of a sudden, the Titans sit atop the AFC in the number one seed with one game to go. They clinched their second consecutive division title with a 34-3 win over the Dolphins on Sunday. D’Onta Foreman rushed for 132 yards with a TD to lead the Tennessee offense while Ryan Tannehill added two more scores through the air. The Titans look likely to clinch a first-round bye as they await the possible return of Derrick Henry.
3. Los Angeles Rams 12-4
Previous ranking- 4
A touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to Odell Beckham Jr. with 57 seconds left lifted the Rams over the depleted Ravens 20-19. Stafford had another rough game however, committing three turnovers including yet another pick-six. But he did lead a fourth quarter comeback that saw L.A. score 13 points to erase a 16-7 deficit.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12-4
Previous ranking- 6
Tom Brady rallied the Bucs away from a near disastrous loss to the Jets in a 28-24 win that was overshadowed by Antonio Brown abruptly leaving the field mid-game. Brown was cut shortly after the game in which Brady led a 93-yard touchdown drive with under 2 minutes left. That drive was capped off by Brady’s third TD pass of the day with 15 seconds left to take the deciding 28-24 lead.
5. Buffalo Bills 10-6
Previous ranking- 5
The Bills punched their ticket to the postseason with a 29-15 win over the Falcons. The Buffalo rushing attack carried the load with 233 total yards and 4 TDs. Devin Singletary and Josh Allen both had two rushing touchdowns apiece and Singletary had 110 rushing yards. Allen totaled 81 yards on the ground to offset a poor passing day in which he threw three picks and was 11/26 for 120 yards.
6. Cincinnati Bengals 10-6
Previous ranking- 8
The Bengals clinched their first division and playoff appearances since 2015 with a 34-31 win over the Chiefs. This week it was Ja’Marr Chase’s turn to shatter records. Chase’s outstanding performance featured 11 catches for 266 yards and 3 TDs. He now owns the single game receiving yardage record for a rookie as well as the season total record for rookies.
7. New England Patriots 10-6
Previous ranking- 10
The Patriots dominated the hapless Jaguars 50-10 to earn a spot in the postseason. Mac Jones tossed 3 TDs while the New England defense picked off Trevor Lawrence three times. Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson each rushed for 2 TDs as a part of a Patriots rushing attack that totaled 181 yards and four scores.
8. Kansas City Chiefs 11-5
Previous ranking- 2
The Chiefs fell to the Bengals 34-31 in a game where Ja’Marr Chase had more receiving yards than Patrick Mahomes had passing yards. Kansas City couldn’t hold on to a 28-17 halftime lead as their defense could not contain the electric duo of Chase and Joe Burrow. Their offense sputtered in the second half as well, adding only a field goal with six minutes left that did tie the game but wasn’t enough as Cincinnati added one of their own as time expired.
9. Arizona Cardinals 11-5
Previous ranking- Unranked
The Cardinals rebounded from a rough stretch of games with a solid performance against Dallas on the road, winning 25-22. Kyler Murray threw for 263 yards and two TDs as Arizona jumped out to a 22-7 lead by the end of the third quarter. They narrowly avoided a fourth quarter collapse thanks to a field goal mid-way through the fourth that proved to be the difference.
10. Dallas Cowboys 11-5
Previous ranking- 3
Dallas took too long to get their offense going in their 25-22 loss to the Cardinals. They did 15 of their 22 points in the fourth quarter, but they were not able to challenge a possible fumble that would’ve given them a chance to win due to being out of timeouts. Head coach Mike McCarthy opted to use all of Dallas’ timeouts before the two-minute warning, with the last coming at 2:51 seconds.