Welcome to the real playoffs. All of the non-playoff teams have been taken out of the power rankings because they cannot win the Super Bowl. Each installment of the Playoff Power Rankings will include the remaining teams plus the teams that were eliminated the week prior.
The power rankings will no longer be in perfect Splash-ELO order (Splash-ELO is my attempt to judge the teams numerically), but the sections will be organized according to Splash-ELO.
No. 12: Philadelphia Eagles (ELO: 1581, +0)
Josh McCown and the Eagles held in with Seattle admirably, but they came up just short on a pair of do-or-die drives to tie the game. The Eagles would likely have scored with Carson Wentz, but Wentz was knocked out of the game early on a questionably dirty hit by Jadeveon Clowney. It is a lost year for the Eagles, but they should be able to add some wide receivers and cornerbacks in the off-season to return to being a contender.
No. 11: New England Patriots (ELO: 1607, -5)
The Patriots could just not stop Derrick Henry. The offense was inept, but at the same time, the defense could not stop the 2019 rushing champion. The Patriots were simply worn down offensively and defensively, and they could not move the ball on offense while taking hit after hit from the bruising nature of Henry. The Patriots now have a gigantic elephant in the room and his name is Tom Brady.
No. 10: Buffalo Bills (ELO: 1621, -2)
The Bills played one of the ugliest fourth quarters in recent memory. It was quite a mess for Josh Allen and co. as they made bone-headed play after bone-headed play before giving the Texans a golden opportunity to win the game in overtime. Moving forward, the Bills might be able to capitalize on the fall of the Patriots (as long as the Jets and Dolphins do not beat them to the punch). The Bills have a future.
No. 9: New Orleans Saints (ELO: 1936, -7)
I had this wonderful ranking system. The Saints ruined it. Moving onto the team itself, the Saints were let down by their stars when it mattered. Drew Brees was responsible for two turnovers. Ryan Ramczyk was demolished by Danielle Hunter. Marshon Lattimore was eaten alive by Adam Thielen. All around, it was a messy performance from the Saints. Despite the best efforts of Taysom Hill, the Saints took the loss. The Saints will have the usual questions concerning Drew Brees and his future, but the Saints need to exorcise their playoff demons.
No. 8: Houston Texans (ELO: 1639, -1)
By technicality, the Texans remain in the top eight. After an abysmal performance for much of the game against the Bills, a J.J. Watt sack fueled the Texans to go on a 19-0 run to take the lead before winning in overtime.
The Texans have a tough task of going to Kansas City to defeat the Chiefs. The Texans won in their trip to Kansas City during the season, but the Chiefs have improved defensively since that game.
No. 7: Seattle Seahawks (ELO: 1640, +3)
A tame rushing attack kept the Seahawks from dismantling the Eagles. Russell Wilson and D.K. Metcalf were phenomenal, and the defense had a standout performance with its ability to get to the quarterback. The Eagles were decimated with injuries, but the Seahawks were able to take care of business on the road. The Seahawks have been poor in their recent trips to Green Bay, but with Russell Wilson, anything can happen.
No. 6: Minnesota Vikings (ELO: 1641, +5)
The Vikings stunned the Saints for the second time in three years as the Vikings were fueled by an electric performance by Danielle Hunter on defense and Dalvin Cook on offense. Kirk Cousins got the playoff monkey off his back, and he should be relieved to be moving on. A trip to San Francisco awaits. It will be difficult to beat the 49ers, but the Vikings already knocked off one of the best teams in the NFL in New Orleans.
No. 5: Green Bay Packers (ELO: 1652, +0)
The Packers earned a bye, but they have been tagged as a fraud by many in the media. The Packers have many good pieces including the likes of Aaron Jones and Jaire Alexander, but they have just been underwhelming in 2019. The defense upgraded massively, but they still allowed yards in bunches and were decimated by the 49ers in prime time. The luster of Aaron Rodgers has worn off slightly as the former MVP appears to be a shell of his former self rather than a Super Bowl threat.
No. 4: Tennessee Titans (ELO: 1656, +5)
The Titans won a franchise-altering game on Saturday night. Punctuated by an anti-climatic pick-six by Logan Ryan, the Titans controlled most of the game through the strength of Derrick Henry. Henry accounted for over 200 yards, and the Titans went long stretches without using any player outside of Henry to move the ball. Against Baltimore, it seems unlikely that the Titans can rely so heavily on one player, but Derrick Henry has put the Titans in with a chance to make it to the AFC Title Game for the first time since 2002.
No. 3: San Francisco 49ers (ELO: 1869, +1)
The 49ers are expecting Kwon Alexander back, and he could be the difference between a trip to the Super Bowl and a sixth Lombardi trophy. Alexander has not been active since Week 9, but the 49ers were undefeated with Alexander on the field. Alexander gives the 49er linebackers an extra element of athleticism. Alexander could be the key to stopping future tight end matchups in Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews.
No. 2: Kansas City Chiefs (ELO: 1937, +1)
The red-hot Chiefs welcome the Texans to the confines of Arrowhead for the second time on the season. With Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill fully healthy, the Texans will likely pose no threat as the Chiefs are virtual locks to advance to the AFC Title Game for the second consecutive season. Defensively, the Chiefs have improved massively, and they could ride a defensive wave to a Lombardi trophy. A potential trip to Baltimore next week would be quite the task, but the Chiefs have been able to slow down Lamar Jackson in both of their previous meetings.
No. 1: Baltimore Ravens (ELO: 1990, +0)
The Ravens have not lost since September, and they will remain at the pinnacle of the power rankings until they lose. Led by the MVP frontrunner in Lamar Jackson, the Ravens posted 30 points in eight different games including five straight in the middle of the season. Defensively, the Ravens have not allowed 350 yards since Week 4, and the Ravens are 14-0 when they hold teams to before 350 yards. Derrick Henry poses a stiff test for the defense, but Tennessee likely will have to stop an equally dominant rushing attack with Jackson, Mark Ingram, and Gus Edwards.