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Postseason NFL Power rankings poll: Packers clinch top spot, Titans fall behind

The common season is within the books, and we’ll be on to playoff predictions very quickly. However earlier than we transfer forward with the ultimate 13 video games, let’s take one final look again at every crew’s season on this week’s MMQB Power Rankings Ballot.

Right here’s how the groups stack up one by way of 32, one final time. (Who’re we kidding; we’ll virtually definitely do that once more after the Tremendous Bowl and the draft.)

You’ll be aware one of many groups that earned a first-round bye is sitting atop the ballot, whereas the opposite is notably additional down the record. The Steelers are our lowest-ranked playoff crew and they’re behind one AFC crew on the skin wanting in. Plus, see when you guess which New York crew is available in lifeless final.

This week’s MMQB Power Rankings Ballot voters:

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Albert Breer, senior NFL reporter
Conor Orr, employees author
Michael Rosenberg, senior author
Andrew Brandt, enterprise of soccer columnist
Gary Gramling, senior editor
Mitch Goldich, editor/author

1. Inexperienced Bay Packers (13–4)

Factors in ballot: 190
Highest-place vote: 1 (5 votes)
Lowest-place vote: 3 (1 vote)
Subsequent week: First-round bye

The highway to the Tremendous Bowl as soon as once more goes by way of Lambeau Area, because the Packers rolled to the NFC’s top seed and a coveted first-round bye.

2. Kansas Metropolis Chiefs (12–5)

Factors in ballot: 179
Highest-place vote: 1 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 6 (1 vote)
Subsequent week: vs. Steelers

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The 2-time defending AFC champs have but to play a highway playoff recreation in Patrick Mahomes’s profession, however they’d have to go to Nashville if we get a rematch of the 2019 AFC championship recreation.

T-3. Buffalo Payments (11–6)

Factors in ballot: 174
Highest-place vote: 2 (2 votes)
Lowest-place vote: 5 (4 votes)
Subsequent week: vs. Patriots

The Payments appeared susceptible at instances this season, however they fended off the Patriots to win a second straight AFC East crown and now get the correct to host the rubber match this weekend.

T-3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13–4)

Factors in ballot: 174
Highest-place vote: 2 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 6 (1 vote)
Subsequent week: vs. Eagles

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The defending champs are banged up, however nonetheless harmful as they head into the playoffs. Would anybody be stunned if Tom Brady received a ridiculous eighth Tremendous Bowl ring?

5. Los Angeles Rams (12–5)

Factors in ballot: 167
Highest-place vote: 3 (2 votes)
Lowest-place vote: 8 (1 vote)
Subsequent week: vs. Cardinals

The Rams are again within the playoffs for the fourth time in 5 years, and now we get to see if Matthew Stafford was well worth the funding.

6. Dallas Cowboys (12–5)

Factors in ballot: 163
Highest-place vote: 2 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 7 (3 votes)
Subsequent week: vs. 49ers

Bear in mind the times when Dak Prescott needed to carry round a leaky protection? Now the Cowboys’ D might be what carries the crew by way of a playoff run.

7. Tennessee Titans (12–5)

Factors in ballot: 162
Highest-place vote: 3 (2 votes)
Lowest-place vote: 13 (1 vote)
Subsequent week: First-round bye

The Titans are the AFC’s top seed, however our voters (a minimum of considered one of them particularly) aren’t absolutely satisfied. All eyes are on Derrick Henry, and the likelihood he might be again after the bye week.

8. Cincinnati Bengals (10–7)

Factors in ballot: 149
Highest-place vote: 6 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 10 (1 vote)
Subsequent week: vs. Raiders

The Bengals are nonetheless searching for their first postseason win since 1990. Joe Burrow is clearly the QB to do it, it’s only a matter of when. They’ll be favored to get that monkey off their backs on Saturday.

9. San Francisco 49ers (10–7)

Factors in ballot: 143
Highest-place vote: 7 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (1 vote)
Subsequent week: at Cowboys

The Niners didn’t lock up their playoff spot till the ultimate day of the season, however our voters see them as a top-10 crew nobody needs to be sleeping on.

10. New England Patriots (10–7)

Factors in ballot: 138
Highest-place vote: 9 (2 votes)
Lowest-place vote: 1 (2 votes)
Subsequent week: at Payments

After a one-year absence, the Patriots are again within the playoffs with a rookie quarterback beneath middle. However we all know they’ve expertise elsewhere on the roster and a training employees that’s been right here a time or two.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) celebrates his rushing touchdown during the fourth quarter.

11. Las Vegas Raiders (10–7)

Factors in ballot: 133
Highest-place vote: 9 (2 votes)
Lowest-place vote: 12 (3 votes)
Subsequent week: at Bengals

The Raiders survived one of many extra emotionally exhausting video games of the yr simply to get within the playoffs, now they’ve a fast turnaround in opposition to a Bengals crew that rested key gamers in Week 18.

12. Arizona Cardinals (11–6)

Factors in ballot: 129
Highest-place vote: 10 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 14 (1 vote)
Subsequent week: at Rams

The Cardinals had been the NFL’s final undefeated crew again in October, however they haven’t appeared like that crew for a while now. Nonetheless, something can occur within the event, even for groups that limp in.

13. Philadelphia Eagles (9–8)

Factors in ballot: 117
Highest-place vote: 10 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (1 vote)
Subsequent week: at Buccaneers

Nick Sirianni is the one rookie head coach who took his crew to the playoffs this season. The reward is a visit to Tampa to face the defending champs. However no matter occurs, this season has been a hit.

14. Los Angeles Chargers (9–8)

Factors in ballot: 113
Highest-place vote: 13 (3 votes)
Lowest-place vote: 16 (2 votes)
Season end result: Third place in AFC West

The Chargers discovered a strategy to come up brief, even when they didn’t appear like the identical previous Chargers doing it. However the loss (and close to tie!) in opposition to the Raiders will make for an extended offseason, in additional methods than one.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7-1)

Factors in ballot: 105
Highest-place vote: 13 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (1 vote)
Subsequent week: at Chiefs

The large beneficiaries of the Jaguars’ upset over the Colts will stroll into the playoffs one final time (we predict) with Ben Roethlisberger on the helm. Then we’ll settle in for an attention-grabbing offseason.

16. Indianapolis Colts (9–8)

Factors in ballot: 99
Highest-place vote: 12 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 20 (1 vote)
Season end result: Second place in AFC North

Only a few weeks in the past, the Colts had been checked out by many as a top-five crew. They’re nonetheless the top non-playoff crew in our ballot, after an all-time choke job the final two weeks.

17. Baltimore Ravens (8–9)

Factors in ballot: 93
Highest-place vote: 17 (4 votes)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (1 vote)
Season end result: Fourth place in AFC North

The Ravens are undeniably proficient, however suffered too many accidents and misplaced too many shut video games. There’s loads of cause to imagine they’ll be proper again within the combine subsequent yr.

18. Miami Dolphins (9–8)

Factors in ballot: 92
Highest-place vote: 14 (2 votes)
Lowest-place vote: 23 (1 vote)
Season end result: Third place in AFC East

The Dolphins’ wild run of seven straight wins got here to an abrupt finish, after which Brian Flores discovered that turning the season round in dramatic vogue wasn’t sufficient to avoid wasting his job. The Dolphins now seem like rebooting (once more).

19. New Orleans Saints (9–8)

Factors in ballot: 91
Highest-place vote: 16 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 19 (1 vote)
Season end result: Second place in NFC South

The Saints deserve credit score for combating to win 9 video games in an injury-plagued season that noticed them begin 4 completely different quarterbacks. They’re considered one of a number of groups that can spotlight an attention-grabbing offseason of potential QB motion.

20. Cleveland Browns (8–9)

Factors in ballot: 77
Highest-place vote: 15 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 22 (3 votes)
Season end result: Third place in AFC North

Few groups had as disappointing a season because the Browns, given how this crew felt about itself 12 months in the past. The crew is now saying it desires Baker Mayfield again in 2022, however nobody needs to be stunned in the event that they attempt to make a splash.

Cleveland Browns defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (90) celebrates after a sack.

21. Denver Broncos (7–10)

Factors in ballot: 72
Highest-place vote: 19 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 24 (1 vote)
Season end result: Fourth place in AFC West

The Broncos simply haven’t been capable of finding an answer at quarterback since Peyton Manning retired. They’ll maintain wanting, they usually have the remainder of the roster to make a fast leap in the event that they discover one.

22. Seattle Seahawks (7–10)

Factors in ballot: 70
Highest-place vote: 20 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 23 (1 vote)
Season end result: Fourth place in NFC West

Was this yr the top of an period in Seattle, or only a blip in Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson’s run there? It’s one of many greatest questions of the offseason.

23. Minnesota Vikings (8–9)

Factors in ballot: 59
Highest-place vote: 19 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (3 votes)
Season end result: Second place in NFC North

This was a becoming last yr of the Mike Zimmer period, because the Vikings had been shut however simply not fairly ok. There’s loads of expertise on the roster, however we’ll see what sort of adjustments are made with a brand new GM and coach in place.

24. Atlanta Falcons (7–10)

Factors in ballot: 55
Highest-place vote: 22 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 28 (1 vote)
Season end result: Third place in NFC South

Arthur Smith’s squad hung across the fringes of the NFC’s playoff image for a lot of the season, however was by no means actually a severe contender. Their minus-146 level differential was second-worst within the convention.

Factors in ballot: 53
Highest-place vote: 23 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 25 (2 votes)
Season end result: Third place in NFC East

Washington received the worst division in NFL historical past final season, so that is the place a step again takes you. Having your beginning quarterback go down in Week 1 is one strategy to derail a season, however that may’t be the one excuse right here.

26. Chicago Bears (6–11)

Factors in ballot: 43
Highest-place vote: 25 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 26 (5 votes)
Season end result: Third place in NFC North

The Bears tried to string the needle this season, competing and bringing alongside a rookie quarterback. Justin Fields may have somebody new in his ear subsequent yr, tasked with creating him into the star Chicago is anticipating.

27. Carolina Panthers (5–12)

Factors in ballot: 33
Highest-place vote: 27 (4 votes)
Lowest-place vote: 29 (1 vote)
Season end result: Fourth place in NFC South

Matt Rhule will enter the third season of his seven-year deal on the new seat. Maybe this was a much bigger venture than we realized on the time, however the outcomes should present on the sphere sooner or later.

28. Detroit Lions (3-13-1)

Factors in ballot: 29
Highest-place vote: 26 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (1 vote)
Season end result: Fourth place in NFC North

It’s cliché at this level to speak about how a lot credit score Dan Campbell deserves for preserving his crew invested by way of the early losses, and to admire the late-season wins. However everybody’s saying it as a result of it’s true! All of us noticed it.

29. New York Jets (4–13)

Factors in ballot: 27
Highest-place vote: 27 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 31 (1 vote)
Season end result: Fourth place in AFC East

The Jets nonetheless have a number of work to do after 12 months 1 with Robert Saleh and Zach Wilson. We’ll see how a lot persistence the fan base may have if issues don’t decide up subsequent season.

30. Houston Texans (4–13)

Factors in ballot: 20
Highest-place vote: 29 (2 votes)
Lowest-place vote: 30 (4 votes)
Season end result: Third place in AFC South

The Texans had been anticipated to be the worst crew within the NFL, however they fought arduous for David Culley and competed (in a bunch of video games, a minimum of) with Davis Mills.

31. Jacksonville Jaguars (3–14)

Factors in ballot: 11
Highest-place vote: 30 (1 vote)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (2 votes)
Season end result: Fourth place in AFC South

The City Meyer period led to full catastrophe, however Sunday’s clown out win in opposition to the Colts was an unforgettable strategy to finish the season. The Jags are as soon as once more on the clock to get one other constructing block, probably on the other facet of the ball from Trevor Lawrence.

32. New York Giants (4–13)

Factors in ballot: 8
Highest-place vote: 31 (2 votes)
Lowest-place vote: 32 (4 votes)
Season end result: Fourth place in NFC East

It’s not simply the shedding, however the way in which they did it that helped sink the Giants to the very backside of the rankings. However a pair of top-seven picks is a pleasant comfort prize after a season that went off the rails.

Extra NFL Protection:
• Mac Jones’s First Impression
• Antonio Brown Is Making certain His NFL Profession Is Over
• Why Brian Flores and Matt Nagy Will Seemingly Get Second Possibilities
• Jimmy G’s Niners Save Their Season; Jags Wreck Colts; Steelers, By some means, Reside

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