NFL power Rankings Week 18: 1-32 poll, plus New 12 months's resolutions for each crew - ESPN

Now that 2021 is in the rearview and we're now in 2022, the NFL power Rankings are looking ahead. whereas there are nevertheless playoff berths to be earned and championships to be won, we decided this become an ideal time for each franchise to supply a new 12 months's decision for 2022.

To try this, we asked our NFL Nation newshounds to pen their edition of "Auld Lang Syne" and come up with a primary goal for the groups they cover over the next yr. whereas the new England Patriots went rogue a little bit, the relaxation of the responses generally fell into a couple of categories. For contenders just like the eco-friendly Bay Packers, short-time period goals to set up a run at this season's Vince Lombardi Trophy have been the primary focal point. For other groups, lucrative deserving players or surrounding stars with more desirable aid are what caught the newshounds' attention. And in your downtrodden franchises (sorry Jacksonville), effectively taking a favorable step down the long highway to respectability was the name.

How we assess our vigor Rankings: Our vigor panel -- a bunch of more than eighty writers, editors and tv personalities -- evaluates how teams stack up right through the season.

old rankings: 17 | 16 | 15 | 14 | 13 | 12 | eleven | 10 | 9 | eight | 7 | 6 | 5 | 4 | 3 | 2 | Preseason

start to:ARI | ATL | BAL | BUF | motor vehicle | CHI | CINCLE | DAL | DEN | DET | GB | HOU | INDJAX | KC | LV | LAC | LAR | MIA | MINNE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SFSEA | TB | TEN | WSH

previous rating: 2

New year's resolution: support IR guys return

there may be a gaggle of players on injured reserve -- and not just any players but starters and a few seasoned Bowlers -- who've a chance to come back for the playoffs. amongst them are CB Jaire Alexander, OLB Za'Darius Smith, LT David Bakhtiari, C Josh Myers and WR Randall Cobb. After Sunday's online game, Aaron Rodgers spoke confidently about some or all of them coming returned this 12 months, however instruct Matt LaFleur downplayed it somewhat. The return of any of them might support within the postseason. -- Rob Demovsky

previous rating: 1

New yr's resolution: Re-signal Tyrann Mathieu

The Chiefs need to maintain Mathieu around previous the end of his contract in a couple of months. He has a lot of price as a player and an equal volume as a pacesetter in the locker room. The Chiefs would fight to locate all that he brings at a lesser rate than what it could take to re-signal him. They haven't invested closely in their secondary other than Mathieu, and he is one participant they cannot do without. -- Adam Teicher


1:forty two

Ryan Clark details why Antonio Brown has run out of room for forgiveness from NFL teams despite his elite skill set.

outdated rating: 4

New yr's decision: Get suit for the postseason

The Bucs are decimated via accidents. Chris Godwin's finished for the yr. Leonard Fournette, Lavonte David and Giovani Bernard are on IR however could come again. Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul are out because of knee and shoulder accidents. Mike Evans simply again from a hamstring damage and Antoine Winfield Jr. from a foot injury. Ronald Jones II left Sunday's online game because of an ankle harm. they're limping into the postseason large time at this time. To make concerns worse, they ought to now exchange Antonio Brown, who left the crew. -- Jenna Laine

outdated rating: 5

New year's decision: dispose of turnovers

Matthew Stafford has obviously ignited the offense, but when handiest the thirteenth-12 months quarterback may get rid of a few of his turnover streaks, the Rams can be unstoppable. Stafford ranks second within the NFL with 38 passing touchdowns, but he is also tied for 2d with 15 interceptions -- including 4 decide on-sixes, which lead the league. The wild part is the Rams have overcome back-to-lower back multi-turnover performances to produce victories, enabling a 5-game win streak. imagine how dominant they may well be if Stafford discovered a means to reduce down on the multi-turnover games (he has 5) or get rid of them altogether. -- Lindsey Thiry

  • 57mTyler Fulghum

  • 37mBill Barnwell

  • 22hDan Graziano

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    previous rating: 8

    New yr's resolution: Re-signal OLB Harold Landry III

    The Titans haven't had a move-rusher finish with double-digit sack totals considering the fact that Brian Orakpo had 10.5 sacks in 2016. Landry's 12 sacks this season region him in a tie with Kyle Vanden Bosch for the fifth most in a single season in franchise heritage. all at once, the Titans have a ambitious pass rush, led with the aid of Landry, that has forty one sacks, the sixth most in the NFL. The Titans drop Landry into insurance from time to time, and he's robust towards the run. Landry has also been one of the crucial team's most durable players, as he has ignored only one online game in four seasons. -- Turron Davenport

    previous ranking: 7

    New 12 months's resolution: find how to win shut games

    The expenses are on their way to the playoffs and want a win over the Jets or a Patriots loss to the Dolphins to clinch the division for a second straight 12 months. but Buffalo had the expertise to focus on its course to the playoffs lots earlier. as a substitute, the bills have long past 0-5 in a single-ranking games, with the offense having late opportunities to win the online game or tie in 4 of those and falling just brief. it's not an easy thing to fix, like proposing gloves for Sean McDermott's clapping hands or discovering a dominant running again of the future, however it's whatever thing that needs to get corrected for a group that should still be in rivalry for years to come back. -- Alaina Getzenberg



    Dan Orlovsky and Rex Ryan wreck down what went wrong for the Cowboys vs. the Cardinals and if they could make a run within the postseason.

    outdated rating: three

    New yr's decision: keep Dan Quinn and Kellen Moore

    there is simplest so a whole lot Jerry Jones can do if one other crew offers both assistant train a head-teaching place, but he has been persuasive in the past with different coaches. Quinn has turned around the protection. Moore has been in quarterback Dak Prescott's ear from the starting. beginning over with a third defensive coordinator in three seasons below Mike McCarthy and perhaps transferring the offensive scheme would no longer be the most beneficial technique to beginning the brand new yr. -- Todd Archer

    previous rating: 11

    New yr's resolution: will not have 2nd-half meltdowns

    in spite of the fact that Arizona gained Sunday in Dallas, the Cardinals have still misplaced 5 of their previous 9, which still offers Kliff Kingsbury a second-half slide in every season he has been a head train. If this season's slide didn't turn up, the Cardinals would have likely received the NFC West by using now and probably been competing for or have captured the No. 1 seed in the entire convention. On top of all that, they may've been looking at 14 or 15 wins. it's whatever thing Kingsbury needs to work on since it lowers his ceiling, and with a quarterback like Kyler Murray, having a restrict to what a group can do on the container is never a way to win tremendous Bowls. -- Josh Weinfuss

    outdated rating: 9

    New 12 months's resolution: stop asking invoice Belichick about resolutions

    After the team's Week 16 domestic loss to the expenses, Belichick was asked if he had any resolutions. That predictably did not go too neatly. Then he turned into asked a observe-up on videoconference six days later and he referred to, "those would all be personal anyway, so they likely wouldn't suggest much to you anyway." -- Mike Reiss

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    previous ranking: 10

    New year's decision: enrich Joe Burrow's protection

    cease me if you've heard this before: The Bengals QB is in danger within the pocket a little more than anyone is doubtless comfortable with. before being dissuaded from this resolution through any tremendous feedback, let's take a look at the numbers. The Bengals rank thirty first in flow block win fee, in keeping with NFL next Gen Stats. They were also thirty first in 2019 and tied for 29th in 2020. Burrow has been contacted 89 times inside the pocket -- the third-maximum total within the league, per ESPN Stats & guidance research. The Bengals want improvement from current avid gamers and a few offseason acquisitions to at last get the pass blocking off somewhere near par. -- Ben child

    old ranking: 12

    New 12 months's resolution: Make a major funding at cornerback

    The Niners have put major substances into key positions like quarterback, left address and pass-rusher considering GM John Lynch and HC Kyle Shanahan arrived in 2017. however they have not achieved the same at cornerback, the place the largest funding was in Richard Sherman when he was coming off a torn Achilles. within the draft, the Niners haven't taken a cornerback earlier than No. 66, either. San Francisco's raw passing yards allowed numbers are great, however leads the NFL with 19 shielding circulate interference penalties. A accurate-stage corner may elevate the 49ers' protection again into elite territory in 2022. -- Nick Wagoner

    old ranking: 6

    New yr's decision: Make Carson Wentz extra consistent

    The Colts may still be grateful that they have got the NFL's main rusher in Jonathan Taylor (1,734 yards) because he's an immense explanation why they are a win faraway from making the playoffs. Wentz, whom the Colts gave up a first-round select to acquire from Philadelphia final offseason, has lacked the soundness to show they could win with him long run. Wentz appeared super in the fourth quarter against Arizona on Christmas nighttime however has issues with overthrows and is simply too often taking hazards that nevertheless cause uneasiness. -- Mike Wells



    Dan Orlovsky and Ryan Clark agree that Nick Sirianni's a hit playcalling and execution make the Eagles dangerous within the playoffs.

    previous ranking: 13

    New year's decision: give Jalen Hurts some area

    The Eagles need to be a "quarterback manufacturing unit," as widespread supervisor Howie Roseman as soon as famously spoke of, and that's not a foul frame of mind to have -- over investing within the most crucial position in pro activities is frequently smart. but the QB1 additionally should think supported. When Carson Wentz felt that changed into in question after the Eagles chosen Hurts within the 2d round of the 2020 NFL Draft, issues fell aside quickly. It might be enticing for the Eagles to make use of some of their handsome draft capital (they have got three first-circular picks this April) to at ease a huge-name quarterback, but Hurts has guided his team to the playoffs in his first 12 months as a full-time starter, and at age 23, deserves some breathing room earlier than the Philly brass gets the manufacturing facility up and cranking once again. -- Tim McManus

    outdated ranking: 17

    New 12 months's resolution: much less drama

    From Jon Gruden's emails and swift resignation to Henry Ruggs III's lethal vehicle crash to Damon Arnette's social media profile to five stroll-off wins to an unlikely playoff chase to an offseason of uncertainty (whither GM Mike Mayock? meantime train rich Bisaccia? QB Derek Carr?), the Raiders may stand a more mellow 2022. Then once more, they've thrived below adversity of late and are one win away from going to the playoffs for simply the 2nd time for the reason that (checks notes) 2002! -- Paul Gutierrez

    outdated rating: 15

    New 12 months's resolution: Re-do Justin Herbert's contract

    i do know Herbert is within the second 12 months of his rookie contract and guidelines are rules, but his base income this yr is $1,818,125. He actually might not starve and should receives a commission big time in his 2d contract, but nonetheless. It appears low for a QB with a shot of leading his group to its first playoff berth due to the fact that 2009, who made the pro Bowl, just set a franchise list for TD passes at 35 (besting Dan Fouts and Philip Rivers) and is being paid a long way under gamers who have performed far less: Deshaun Watson and Dak Prescott. Herbert has proven himself. -- Shelley Smith

    Russell Wilson, Harold Landry & Justin Herbert ESPN

    old ranking: 14

    New year's decision: locate a method to stay suit

    From training camp to the final week of the ordinary season, overcoming injuries were an ongoing problem. The Ravens have perfect up 75 players this season, tying 2020 for essentially the most in team historical past. Baltimore has started 45 distinct avid gamers for as a minimum one online game. Even Lamar Jackson, who had by no means neglected a online game due to damage in his first three seasons, couldn't prevent getting sidelined. A right ankle injury has forced him to pass over the previous three games. When match, the Ravens accept as true with they are a brilliant Bowl contender. but Baltimore has been a shell of itself this season. -- Jamison Hensley

    outdated ranking: sixteen

    New 12 months's decision: help Tua!

    Dolphins popular supervisor Chris Grier has spent four top-ninety picks on offensive linemen on account that 2019 -- and that they nevertheless own the worst flow-blocking off offensive line in 2021. With practically $80 million of projected cap space this offseason, it's time to stop throwing draft picks at this issue and start spending severe funds on it. while he is at it, draft an influence running again on the 2nd day of the draft; Grier's alternative is to wait except Day three, and it indicates on the box. Miami has a choice to make when it comes to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa after next season. It must both put a assisting forged around him that may assist him be successful or put the pieces in vicinity for Tagovailoa's successor if the group decides to flow on. -- Marcel Louis-Jacques



    Ryan Clark, Byron Leftwich, Alan Faneca, Jerome Bettis and Bruce Arians seem again at Ben Roethlisberger's legendary profession with the Steelers.

    old ranking: 19

    New yr's resolution: figure out Ben Roethlisberger's substitute

    Is it Mason Rudolph? a first-round rookie? Dare I say, Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson? With the wealth of issues to repair on the offensive line for subsequent season, it likely is rarely the latter, however the Steelers should figure something out. With Roethlisberger prolonging his profession, the Steelers have procrastinated on the quarterback succession plan, but the project is due. The run game also enters the offseason desiring enormous assist for the third year in a row, but all of that starts with selecting the next signal-caller. -- Brooke Pryor

    old ranking: 18

    New year's resolution: surround the subsequent QB with greater ability

    selecting the right quarterback in 2022 is definitely the excellent priority for a Saints group that has used 5 distinct QBs over the remaining calendar 12 months. Jameis Winston likely continues to be the front-runner, however the Saints will consider all alternate options -- blockbuster and in any other case -- as a result of Winston is an unsigned free agent improving from a torn ACL. inspite of whom they select, the Saints need to encompass their subsequent QB with more advantageous move catchers and a more complete offensive line. accidents were an important ingredient in 2021. WR Michael Thomas ignored the entire season, while linemen Terron Armstead, Ryan Ramczyk and Andrus Peat overlooked plentiful time. Now the Saints will face some difficult monetary decisions about what number of of those guys they can bring again in 2022, apart from adding more reinforcements. -- Mike Triplett

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    previous rating: 20

    New 12 months's resolution: Bolster the passing game

    it be a long way too lazy to solely blame Cleveland's struggles in the course of the air on quarterback Baker Mayfield, who has been playing via a torn labrum to his non-throwing left shoulder on account that Week 2. Mayfield has struggled, to be certain. but he's hardly ever the best explanation why the Browns unexpectedly personal one of the vital league's least dangerous passing attacks. The Browns have received to improve the ability at wide receiver, in particular the downfield playmaking. In what seems to be a different tantalizing WR draft, look for the Browns to goal a receiver with their first decide upon. -- Jake Trotter

    outdated rating: 21

    New year's resolution: fix the offense

    The Broncos have begun 10 different quarterbacks, as well as working lower back Phillip Lindsay, in the back of core given that 2016. but this team's troubles with the ball go far deeper than its quarterback. they have refused over lots of the previous 4 seasons to fit their offensive scheme to the personnel they've drafted or signed. they have damaged two fundamental tenets of offense -- they routinely call what they can't block, and if their personal defense changed into requested "is your offense complex to guard," the reply can be "no." yes, are trying with each aid they must turn into one of the vital league's most lucky groups with a protracted-time period answer at quarterback, but even the foremost choice at quarterback will fight in the event that they can't suit a playbook to the group that is basically in the huddle. -- Jeff Legwold

    old rating: 22

    New year's decision: A clear beginning

    The Vikings haven't been above .500 in additional than seven-hundred days. They tried to do a smooth rebuild strategy, and it didn't work. They tried to retool their defense to carry returned the glory days of the 2017 season and could not. Mike Zimmer brought this group to the playoffs three times in eight seasons, widely wide-spread manager Rick Spielman brought in draft picks like Brian O'Neill and Justin Jefferson and quarterback Kirk Cousins had one of the surest years of his career in 2021. nevertheless it's time to beginning over and circulation this franchise in a distinct course with clean concepts, new management and changes across the board in 2022. -- Courtney Cronin

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    outdated rating: 23

    New 12 months's resolution: Get line help -- on either side

    truly, this may double as a gift for quarterback Matt Ryan and cornerback A.J. Terrell -- two of Atlanta's highest quality avid gamers. one of the issues Falcons head train Arthur Smith wishes his group to be is actual on the lines -- and despite the different holes on his roster, it really is where to start when looking on the offseason. Atlanta continues to be unable to create a circulate rush --no Falcons player has greater than 4.5 sacks (Dante Fowler Jr.) or 12 quarterback hits (Grady Jarrett) -- and too commonly quarterbacks take a seat back and decide upon aside Atlanta's secondary, even with Terrell. On offense, Ryan has been sacked as a minimum once in each online game but two. In half of Atlanta's games, he has been sacked three times. So fixing the fronts must be a major precedence for the Falcons in the event that they want to take a step ahead in 2022. -- Michael Rothstein

    outdated rating: 24

    New 12 months's resolution: find a QB

    There may be so many resolutions -- starting with getting the new name right. but when Washington wants to win fans lower back, it'll take more than a new name. lovers want hope, and nothing provides that greater than a quarterback. Washington needs to be aggressive trying to find one -- whether or not it's trading for an established veteran or finding the right guy in the draft. for many causes, Washington enthusiasts have lacked hope for a long time; supply them a cause to accept as true with that perhaps subsequent 12 months will be more desirable. The franchise has began 32 quarterbacks seeing that last profitable the tremendous Bowl after the 1991 season; no stat improved explains why it has won best two playoff games when you consider that proprietor Dan Snyder took control in 1999. find that guy. -- John Keim

    previous ranking: 25

    New 12 months's decision: rating extra

    every so often, New year's resolutions are not complex. drop pounds. Be nicer. read greater books. Or in Chicago's case, score extra features. The Bears are in an countless cycle of anemic offense, including this season, after they've averaged only 18 features per video game. Will a new coach help? in all probability, however they've tried that route before. Is rookie Justin Fields even the answer? once again, most likely, but with out proper schemes and coaching it's complicated to inform. it really is why the Bears are in want of some divine intervention. Nothing else has worked, so might be an easy New year's decision is how to go. Declare it to be so, and maybe the facets will come. Then again, Bears enthusiasts have tried that route, too. Prayer hasn't worked a whole lot, so on second notion, let's just get that new head teach. -- Jesse Rogers

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    previous ranking: 26

    New yr's resolution: Be superior on third down

    It has been the offense's Achilles' heel and one of the vital extra head-scratching features of the 6-10 season. The Seahawks are 28th in offensive EPA and twenty eighth in yards per play on third down, yet they may be fifth in both classes over first and second down. So it's no longer as notwithstanding their third-down struggles are merely an extra symptom of a foul offense. And earlier than you assume Russell Wilson's finger damage is responsible, accept as true with that the Seahawks have been twenty seventh in third-down conversion rate over the primary 4 video games before he went down in the 2d half of Week 5. They have been lifeless last getting into Sunday and enhanced to 27th by using going a season-most desirable 7-of-12 in their blowout win over Detroit. -- Brady Henderson

    previous rating: 27

    New 12 months's decision: invest in an offensive line

    i am now not saying Sam Darnold is the reply at quarterback for the Panthers. I do not consider he's. however there isn't a solution to in fact understand in view that how regularly he is under duress. No quarterback should still need to undergo the lack of protection that Darnold has been below for the reason that becoming a member of the NFL, first with the new york Jets and now with Carolina. He has been sacked 2.sixty seven times per video game seeing that 2018 and three.three instances per game this season with the Panthers. No ask yourself he has been seeing "ghosts" considering the fact that 2019. -- David Newton

    previous rating: 28

    New year's decision: trade Deshaun Watson

    each events have made it clear that Watson's future isn't in Houston. whereas the Texans and Dolphins tried to get a deal done at the change deadline, the court cases towards Watson alleging sexual assault and inappropriate habits averted that from going on. definitely there are still a lot of unknowns for the way Watson's felony condition plays out, however at some element the Texans will movement on from the quarterback and be capable of movement on to the subsequent chapter within the franchise. -- Sarah Barshop

    old ranking: 30

    New year's resolution: Get Robert Saleh some gamers on defense

    The Jets, ranked 32nd in elements and yards allowed, have surrendered a franchise-list 477 features. it's now not a training challenge, or not it's a skill concern. accept as true with: The previous high become 457, set remaining season with a very different team of workers and scheme. Saleh, who made his bones as a protective coach, wants support on all three ranges, primarily linebacker and defense. The Jets have 4 draft picks in the first two rounds. If at the least two aren't on defense, there may still be an investigation. -- wealthy Cimini



    Dan Orlovsky rips into Joe judge's try to use coachspeak like invoice Belichick, saying as a way to make the Giants' avid gamers tune him out.

    outdated ranking: 29

    New yr's resolution: Be equipped

    is that this definitely too lots to ask? The Giants have lost double-digit games in 5 straight seasons. Joe judge insisted after Sunday's loss to the Bears that this "ain't some clown reveal organization." How about some tangible on-box proof to show that? The bar is low with the Giants during this 12 months's resolution, which is what occurs when a firm misses the playoffs five years in a row and in nine out of 10 seasons. -- Jordan Raanan

    outdated rating: 31

    New year's resolution: A successful checklist

    Lord is aware of how tons Lions lovers have suffered through the years. With just one playoff victory for the reason that 1957, the metropolis is starving for some football success. They've had famous person players and strong coaching from time to time, but just can't appear to put all of it together. however let's not even think about the playoffs, let's focus on the usual season for this New year's resolution. we will delivery with a profitable list. That hasn't happened when you consider that 2017, the 2nd of again-to-returned 9-7 seasons under Jim Caldwell. If Dan Campbell can deliver at least a .500 mark, that'll be respectable. -- Eric Woodyard

    previous ranking: 32

    New year's resolution: Get the teaching employ correct

    Shad Khan has hardly achieved that in his 10 years as owner. Even the resolution he did get correct -- bringing again Tom Coughlin as football czar and hiring Doug Marrone -- backfired spectacularly after one decent season. This changed into a lost year for Trevor Lawrence, and the franchise is at real chance of doubtless ruining his profession if Khan flubs one more head-instruct hiring. in accordance with his previous record, there's little self belief that Khan will make the appropriate choice, sadly. -- Mike DiRocco

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