NFL power rankings: Ravens move into Top 5 heading into playoffs

NFL power rankings, post-regular season edition:

1. Saints (1): Talented, balanced team armed with home-field advantage at one of NFL's toughest venues. Pretty much your prohibitive Super Bowl favorites.

2. Bears (2): League's stingiest defense has gotten deserved acclaim after being overlooked in recent years. Coordinator Vic Fangio now a hot HC candidate.

3. Rams (3): Needed bye with Todd Gurley, Andrew Whitworth on mend. Won't open playoffs hosting Kryptonite Eagles, who have beaten Rams six straight times.

4. Chiefs (5): Finally completed quest for AFC's top seed. But what do they do with it given they've lost six consecutive playoff games at Arrowhead?

5. Ravens (6): Appropriate they reached wild-card round given they're ultimate wild cards with dynamic rookie QB, grind-'em-up attack and jackhammer defense.

6. Chargers (4): They crest too soon? Philip Rivers has looked quite mortal since heroics in Kansas City and didn't come close to solving Ravens in Week 16.

7. Patriots (8): Tempting to pencil them into eighth straight AFC title game, though that seems far likelier if they draw Texans — their personal punching bags —in divisional round.

8. Colts (7): Was there a better free agent signing in 2018 than TE Eric Ebron? His career year included 14 TDs after he scored 12 in four combined seasons with Detroit.

9. Seahawks (9): Reboot pretty much complete. Paul Allen would be proud. Be tough to win in New Orleans, but they can easily beat anyone else in January.

10. Texans (10): They're 3-1 all-time in wild-card games, so history says they're primed to notch that signature win skeptics say they've lacked all season.

11. Cowboys (11): Efficacy of their battered offensive line could be the key to their ability to survive Seattle in Saturday's wild-card showdown.

12. Eagles (14): Gotta feel for Carson Wentz as he watches another playoff push from sideline while Nick Foles is once again hailed as Philly’s savior.

13. Steelers (15): Numbers suggest Ben Roethlisberger had career year with 5,129 passing yards and 34 TDs, but will he really want to remember this season?

14. Browns (16): What if Baker Mayfield had started sooner? What if Hue Jackson had been fired sooner? Regardless, Cleveland thrilled Factory of Sadness has apparently been shuttered.

15. Vikings (12): Maybe this is what Minnesota fans should've reasonably expected — since becoming full-time starter in 2015, Kirk Cousins' record is 32-30-2.

16. Falcons (18): This just got interesting. One of league's most stable and talented rosters in recent years about to get whole new band of coordinators.

17. Titans (13): They realized, a bit too late, that Derrick Henry should be their offensive identity. Now it's time to decide if they can rely on Marcus Mariota.

18. Packers (17): This figures to be most scrutinized coaching hire of offseason as candidates decide whether working with Aaron Rodgers is a pro or con.

19. Giants (19): Scintillating Saquon Barkley clearly new face of this franchise. What it means for OBJ's ego and Eli Manning's future remains to be seen.

20. Panthers (30): Ron Rivera has apparently survived one of most baffling collapses in recent memory. But he's 24-26 since Super Bowl 50 and probably can't endure another bad year.

21. 49ers (20): They gave some of league's best teams all they could handle in December. Once again look primed for liftoff when Jimmy Garoppolo returns.

22. Bills (25): We're left wondering why retiring Kyle Williams wasn't integrated into offense sooner. Another club that fought hard with nothing on line.

23. Raiders (26): Latest roll of dice — so Vegas — is turning over all those draft picks to new GM Mike Mayock, who knows college talent but has never worked in an NFL front office.

24. Jets (24): Presence of QB Sam Darnold, Pro Bowl S Jamal Adams and a boatload of salary cap space actually make this one of league's most desirable open jobs.

25. Bengals (31): Just when you thought Marvin Lewis had lifetime appointment, Mike Brown makes a change. Next, he needs to change his spending habits.

26. Broncos (27): John Elway still insists this is a plum job, but next coach will be well aware he might end up paying for GM's personnel mistakes.

27. Jaguars (28): What good is stability at the top when you're looking for a QB, voiding your star RB's guaranteed money, and your best player is unhappy?

28. Lions (29): You'd think an engineer like Matt Patricia would navigate his learning curve a little more gracefully. Hard to see where Detroit is headed.

29. Buccaneers (21): GM Jason Licht has made more than his share of questionable decisions over the years, but apparently he gets to continue making them.

30. Cardinals (32): They need a coach. But they do (apparently) have franchise QB, stud tailback and top pick of the 2019 draft. Turnaround could be quick.

31. Redskins (22): How many self-inflicted mistakes can one franchise make? Embarrassing second half capped with sacking of business department the day after Christmas.

32. Dolphins (23): Who's the coach going to be? Who's the quarterback going to be? Will their best player be a 36-year-old running back? Happy New Year!!

(Previous week's rank in parentheses)


Follow Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis

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