NFL power rankings, Week 18: How far did Chiefs, Cowboys fall after stunning losses?

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JANUARY 02: Mike Glennon #2 of the New York Giants reacts after fumbling in the first quarter of the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on January 02, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

On the verge of wrapping up the NFL’s 102nd season. And not surprisingly, there’s been some upheaval near the top of the NFL Power Rankings.

It was another Sunday of exciting football, especially if you live in Cincinnati or Arizona.

The playoff picture in the AFC got somewhat clearer after Sunday’s action. There was an offensive explosion in the Queen City, nail-biters at Baltimore, Indianapolis, and MetLife Stadium. And the two longest winning streaks in the league entering Week 17 came to an end – hence a shift in the NFL Power Rankings.

There’s still one more week left in the regular season, and a lot more than pride is on the line for most of the league. Playoff seeding still isn’t set in either conference, and there are still tickets left to be punched on both sides of the bracket.

Don’t forget the flip side of the championship coin, which is the NFL Draft order. It appears the Jaguars have locked up the No. 1 pick for a second consecutive year, but much like the playoff bracket, the race to the bottom of the league is still an ongoing one for a handful of clubs.

NFL Power Rankings: Week 18

32

Jacksonville Jaguars 2-14

Last week: L, 50-10 at NE
Last rank: 32nd

The team with the worst record in the league headed north to Foxborough. And it was another long day for a team that has now dropped its last eight games. In a battle of rookie quarterbacks, Trevor Lawrence threw for 197 yards, one score and was picked off three times.

New England’s Mac Jones threw for 227 yards and three TDs. The reeling Jaguars allowed 471 total yards and did not force a turnover. The club has only seven takeaways in 16 contests.

31

New York Giants 4-12

Last week: L, 29-3 at CHI
Last rank: 31st

Big Blue made its way to the Windy City for the second consecutive year and it would wind up being an extremely long day for Joe Judge’s squad. The Giants ran 55 offensive plays and gained only 151 total yards.

The team failed to reach the end zone and were 1-for-11 on third-down conversions. Quarterback Mike Glennon was sacked four times and committed all four of the team’s turnovers. Saquon Barkley ran for 102 yards in the 26-point setback.

30

Detroit Lions 2-13-1

Last week: L, 51-29 at SEA
Last rank: 29th

It’s has been another long year in the Motor City although the Lions have certainly made some strides this season. Nonetheless, the team headed to Seattle with only two victories in 2021. By afternoon’s end, Dan Campbell’s club scored 29 points.

The team fell behind 38-7 early in the third quarter before making a late run. Detroit’s defense was gashed for 265 yards on the ground. And the Lions’ secondary struggled to find Seattle wideout D.K. Metcalf.

29

Carolina Panthers 5-11

Last week: L, 18-10 at NO
Last rank: 30th

Matt Rhule’s club headed to the Big Easy in position to sweep the Saints for the first time since 2015. The Panthers turned to quarterback Sam Darnold and Carolina owned a 10-3 lead at intermission.

But the turnover-prone signal-caller had a rough afternoon. He was sacked seven times, lost a fumble and served up an interception. All told, Carolina’s offense totaled only 178 yards. And the Panthers have lost at least 11 games for the third straight year.

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