- NFC Divisional Round Preview – The Knockout - January 20, 2022
- NFC Wild Card Preview – Wicked Winds - January 13, 2022
- NFL Power Rankings Playoff Edition – The Course Of The Contenders - January 12, 2022
The longest regular season in NFL history is finally (sadly) coming to an end. Most of the teams have either clinched or been eliminated from postseason contention. The few teams that still need wins to either get in or solidify position will have to put it together for one more week.
There will be a bunch of first time occurrences and a few records will get broken. The long goodnight is coming to a close.
1. Green Bay Packers (13-3)
The Packers extended their winning streak to five games and are heading into week 18 with the number one seed in the NFC clinched.
2. Los Angeles Rams (12-4)
The Rams can clinch the NFC West with a victory over the 49ers or a Cardinals loss.
3. Tennessee Titans (11-5)
Tennessee would clinch the top spot in the AFC and a first round bye with a victory over Houston. More importantly, it would give Derrick Henry more time to recover and get back on the field.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (11-5)
The Chiefs will need a win on Sunday and a Tennessee loss to clinch the top seed in the AFC.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-4)
The highest the Buccaneers can finish is second, which means they will be playing on wild card weekend. Who’s actually on the field to play might be the bigger story.
6. Dallas Cowboys (11-5)
Dallas has clinched the NFC East and they (still) currently lead the NFL in total points scored, despite their loss on Sunday. They need 21 points to reach 500 total points scored this season.
7. Buffalo Bills (10-6)
The Bills can clinch the AFC East title with a victory or tie against the New York Jets or a Patriots loss or tie to Miami. It would be Buffalo’s second division title in a row.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (10-6)
The Bengals can still get the AFC’s top seed with a win against Cleveland on Sunday and losses to the Chiefs and Titans. They also need Buffalo to win their game.
9. New England Patriots (10-6)
The Patriots can win the AFC East with a win over Miami and a Buffalo loss to the Jets. The Patriots can actually get the number one seed in the AFC with a win and a slew of other occurrences.
10. Arizona Cardinals (11-5)
The Cardinals win over Dallas snapped a three game losing streak. They can clinch the NFC West with a win over Seattle or a Rams loss.
11. Indianapolis Colts (9-7)
The Colts have a few ways of getting into the postseason, but the best path is for them is to beat Jacksonville on Sunday.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)
The Eagles have won four in a row and they’ve clinched a wild card spot. The team finishes off the regular season at home versus Dallas.
13. San Francisco 49ers (9-7)
San Francisco can clinch their playoff spot with a win or a loss to the Saints. They have won three out of their last four games.
14. Baltimore Ravens (8-8)
Baltimore needs to defeat Pittsburgh to have a chance at the playoffs. Then they need to pray the Chargers and Colts lose and Miami loses or finishes in a tie.
15. Los Angeles Chargers (9-7)
The Chargers can get into the playoffs if they defeat the Raiders on Sunday. Los Angeles is 2-2 in their last four games.
16. Las Vegas Raiders (9-7)
Las Vegas can clinch a playoff spot if they can defeat the Chargers. The Raiders can also back door their way in if the Colts and Steelers lose.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7-1)
Ben Roethlisberger has most likely played his last home game for the Pittsburgh Steelers. The big man threw for over 60,000 and 400 touchdowns and will almost surely be enshrined in the Hall of Fame soon.
18. New Orleans Saints (8-8)
The Saints can get into the playoffs with a victory over the Falcons and a San Francisco loss.
19. Miami Dolphins (8-8)
After being way down and then flying sky high, the Dolphins sit right at the .500 mark. Brian Flores can complete his second winning season in a row, but the team has yet to snag a playoff bid under the third year head coach.
20. Cleveland Browns (7-9)
The loss to the Steelers finished all talks about a Browns’ postseason appearance. The conversation now shifts to whether or not they have their franchise quarterback on the roster.
21. Minnesota Vikings (7-9)
The Vikings’ current two game losing streak has knocked them out of playoff contention. The team will have a long offseason knowing they probably had the talent to make a playoff run.
22. Denver Broncos (7-9)
Denver is out of playoff contention, but they could play spoiler when they host the Chiefs on Sunday.
23. Atlanta Falcons (7-9)
Atlanta will go back to the drawing board once again this offseason. They really need an influx of talent on both lines and at the wide receiver position.
24. Washington Football Team (6-10)
The Washington defense went from fourth in total points allowed in 2020 to their current ranking of 28th. They close out their season with the New York Giants.
25. Chicago Bears (6-10)
According to reports, the Bears are expected to part ways with head coach Matt Nagy. He currently has a record of 34-30-0.
26. Seattle Seahawks (6-10)
The Russell Wilson-Pete Carroll connection might be severed after the Seahawks close out the season. The combination has produced a bunch of winning seasons and a Super Bowl championship.
27. Carolina Panthers (5-11)
The Panthers won’t sniff the playoffs, despite having a defense ranked second in total yards allowed. They are currently on a six game losing streak.
28. Houston Texans (4-12)
Other than playing spoiler the Texans players will mostly be playing for jobs, whether it be in Houston or elsewhere. The Deshaun Watson talk should also be heating up soon.
29. New York Jets (4-12)
The Jets will finish their first season under Robert Saleh with a trip to Buffalo. The former defensive coordinator will need to vastly improve a defense that is currently ranked 32nd in points allowed and total yards given up.
30. New York Giants (4-12)
The Giants’ offseason could get very interesting. The team announced it already plans to bring back head coach Joe Judge and quarterback Daniel Jones for next season, but there’s some big question marks surrounding both individuals.
31. Detroit Lions (2-13-1)
Coach Dan Campbell can build off of what should be considered a disappointing season overall. He never lost the locker room and they have some pieces to work with in the draft.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-14)
The Jaguars are locked in battle for the first overall draft pick in the 2022 NFL draft. Whether they pick first or second they will need to hit big on this one: Jacksonville needs playmakers all over the field.