clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2021 NFL Week 18 power rankings: Packers clear number one, Cowboys fall out of top five

Taking a look at the entire NFL entering the final week of the regular season.

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

We have reached the final week of the regular season and have done so with only a few playoff spots up for grabs. It’s almost as if an NFL season could properly function with only 17 weeks as opposed to 18.

As the postseason approaches almost half of the league is preparing for a hopeful ride through February while the others are looking to the 2022 NFL Draft.

How does the league stack up entering the first-ever Week 18? As we do every week we have put together our power rankings to take a look at it all and gathered how places around the internet view the Dallas Cowboys. That should be fun!

You can visit our rankings from last week right here.

1 - Green Bay Packers (LW: 1)

They are the number one seed in the NFC, have an amazing coach, and a quarterback who is going to win MVP. It is annoying.

It also feels like the Dallas Cowboys are destined to see them in the playoffs.

2 - Tennessee Titans (LW: 8)

Pretty amazing how they are a win away from the number one seed in the AFC and still have Derrick Henry on his way back. They are going to be trouble.

3 - Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 7)

This team is so much fun. Ja’Marr Chase is unreal and Joe Burrow is a legit MVP candidate. Let’s see them do some damage!

4 - Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 2)

The Chiefs lost, but their offense looks totally fine. They may not have the number one seed in the conference when it is all said and done but there is reason to believe.

5 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 3)

It is hard to drop after winning, but the Buccaneers barely won against the New York Jets and lost one of their top skill position players in the process. They have a clear ceiling on them entering the playoffs.

6 - Los Angeles Rams (LW: 6)

Is Matthew Stafford going to be reliable in the playoffs? It sure doesn’t feel that way.

7 - Buffalo Bills (LW: 9)

Josh Allen has had a lot of success on the ground as of late but if Buffalo is going to truly contend in the postseason he is going to have to get it done through the air as well.

8 - Arizona Cardinals (LW: 11)

They won. Fair and square.

9 - New England Patriots (LW: 10)

We want to see the Patriots/Bills rematch in the playoffs!

10 - Dallas Cowboys (LW: 4)


11 - Las Vegas Raiders (LW: 13)

It is pretty amazing that they are going to play a game of consequence in Week 18 given everything that they have dealt with this season.

12 - Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 14)

The Chargers won this past week, but they are only one week removed from getting routed by the Houston Texans. I still cannot trust them.

13 - San Francisco 49ers (LW: 12)

Who is going to be the quarterback here?

14 - Indianapolis Colts (LW: 5)

The quarterback here is super unreliable.

15 - Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 15)

Welcome to the playoffs, little brothers.

16 - New Orleans Saints (LW: 23)

Could they really squeak in?

17 - Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 18)

They are not a great team, but they had a moment that they will enjoy on Monday night.

18 - Miami Dolphins (LW: 16)

Pretty wild how their seven-game winning streak ended on the same day that they were eliminated from playoff contention. You don’t see that every day.

19 - Minnesota Vikings (LW: 17)

It looks like our old friend Mike Zimmer might be out of there next week.

20 - Baltimore Ravens (LW: 19)

This season has just been too much for the Ravens. They’ll be back.

21 - Atlanta Falcons (LW: 21)

It has been such a weird year for Atlanta. They don’t really feel improved from last year.

22 - Denver Broncos (LW: 22)

They are a quarterback away from being truly legitimate. Is it going to be you-know-who?

23 - Seattle Seahawks (LW: 28)

Russell Wilson played very well in what might have been his last home game as a Seahawk. Where will he go next season?

24 - Cleveland Browns (LW: 20)

The days of last season where people thought Cleveland had turned it around for good feel like so long ago.

25 - Chicago Bears (LW: 24)

Shout out to Robert Quinn! He set the single-season record for most sacks in Bears franchise history on Sunday.

26 - Washington Football Team (LW: 25)

The ultimate meme.

27 - Houston Texans (LW: 26)

Just let it end already.

28 - New York Jets (LW: 27)

In a weird way I am grateful that they didn’t beat the Buccaneers. It would have been even more frustrating to know the Cowboys lost AFTER the Jets of all teams helped them out.

29 - Detroit Lions (LW: 29)

It’s almost over, guys.

30 - Carolina Panthers (LW: 30)

At least Matt Rhule didn’t have a weird analogy in a press conference this week.

31 - Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 32)

Will they ever get it right?

32 - New York Giants (LW: 31)

Somehow, some way, they had -10 (as in NEGATIVE ten) net passing yards on Sunday. Stay around as long as you like, Joe Judge! 10 (LW: 6)

So it begins.

Something continues to be slightly off in the mix for the Cowboys. An outrageous beatdown of a decimated Washington Football Team felt like ancient history by the second half of a 25-22 loss to the Cardinals in which the offense once again struggled to find its footing. Dak Prescott had five passes batted down at the line of scrimmage and struggled with his accuracy, while Michael Gallup was lost for the remainder of the year when he tore his ACL on a touchdown grab in the second quarter. A Week 18 matchup against the Eagles feels very important regardless of what it might mean to Dallas’ playoff seeding.

ESPN: 7 (LW: 3)

Not as far as a drop. Plus each team had their own New Year’s resolution.

New Year’s resolution: Keep Dan Quinn and Kellen Moore

There’s only so much Jerry Jones can do if another team offers either assistant coach a head-coaching position, but he has been persuasive in the past with other coaches. Quinn has turned around the defense. Moore has been in quarterback Dak Prescott’s ear from the beginning. Starting over with a third defensive coordinator in three seasons under Mike McCarthy and perhaps shifting the offensive scheme would not be the best way to start the new year. — Todd Archer

USA Today: 11 (LW: 4)

It is going to be a lot of “they don’t beat good teams” takes for the Cowboys for a few weeks. They had a chance to bury that narrative and they didn’t.

Their last win over a team that currently sports a winning record came in a Week 6 overtime escape at New England. Worrisome playoff harbinger for a franchise that hasn’t advanced beyond the divisional round since 1995?

Yahoo: 6 (LW: 3)

The most minuscule drop so far.

This isn’t exclusive to the Cowboys, but if they aren’t turning teams over it’s going to be very hard for them to win. They’re 1-3 when not forcing a turnover, with home losses to Denver, Las Vegas and Arizona. It’s fine to be a turnover-dependent big-play defense, but there are potential pitfalls.

CBS Sports: 10 (LW: 3)

Down to the double digits.

What has happened to the offense? Dak Prescott, aside from one game in the past month, just hasn’t looked right.

Sports Illustrated: 8 (LW: 3)

Losing to another playoff team has ramifications.

A disappointing performance against the Cardinals this weekend, which followed a 50-plus point performance a week before. This team waltzed through an underwhelming NFC East this year, but it’s still fair to wonder if they possess the completeness to survive a long playoff run. Regardless, the future is bright. Mike McCarthy better hope that defensive coordinator Dan Quinn doesn’t leave for another head coaching job right away.

Sporting News: 7 (LW: 3)

Lucky number seven.

The Cowboys saw their level of competition rise again with the Cardinals and they weren’t up to the task, with another slow start for their offense and not much worthy support in the running game for Dak Prescott. The defense still makes a lot of big plays, but it can also give up a lot of little ones.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Blogging The Boys Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your Dallas Cowboys news from Blogging The Boys