As football fans celebrate New Year’s Day and welcome in 2024, our latest Week 18 NFL power rankings take a look at everything that happened this weekend. The NFL’s playoff picture has taken a clear shape as we prepare for the final week of the regular season. In Week 17, the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers secured the No. 1 seeds in their respective conferences, earning first-round byes. Five teams are alive for three playoff spots in the AFC and six teams are alive for two spots in the NFC. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Browns clinched a playoff spot and the race for the NFC East opened up. No team better exemplifies the madness than the Bills, who can potentially win their division and move up to the No. 2 seed in the AFC but also miss the playoffs completely in the last of the 272 regular-games. 1. Baltimore Ravens (13-3)Wow, what a performance by both Lamar Jackson and the defense. I doubted the Ravens because I was concerned about their tackle and cornerback play, but they dominated San Francisco and Miami. In a game between arguably the AFC’s two best teams, the Ravens routed the Dolphins, 56-19, to clinch the AFC North and home-field advantage until the Super Bowl. Lamar Jackson might’ve clinched NFL MVP, too, with 321 passing yards, five touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 rating. Congrats to Jackson for wrapping up the MVP award.2. San Francisco 49ers (12-4)Is Christian McCaffrey OK? Luckily for the 49ers, they’ll be able to give him two weeks of rest before their first playoff game. With a little help elsewhere, the 49ers clinched the first-round bye extra time for Christian McCaffrey to heal from a possible strained calf muscle that caused him to leave in the third quarter after gaining 91 yards. Brock Purdy bounced back from his career-worst performance by throwing two touchdowns in a 27-10 win against the Commanders.3. Cleveland Browns (11-5)Joe Flacco hasn’t had a hot streak like this since his four-game playoff tear for the Ravens on the way to Super Bowl MVP in 2012. The Browns are somehow nearly 5-0 with Joe Flacco at quarterback. Though it seems odd, remember that Flacco could be deemed the best quarterback the Browns have had in a long time. Flacco has four straight 300-yard passing games, the latest of which included a career-high 296 in the first half during a playoff-berth-clinching 37-20 stomping of the Jets. I have to imagine all the young players on the team really look up to him because of his experience and leadership. Flacco was even able to succeed against a talented Jets secondary without Amari Cooper.4. Dallas Cowboys (11-5)The Cowboys are lucky they didn’t lose to the Lions. However, is there a better quarterback-receiver combination right now than Dak Prescott-CeeDee Lamb? They connected for 13 catches on 17 targets, resulting in 227 yards and a touchdown. Prescott directed a game-winning 75-yard fourth-quarter drive to complete an undefeated home schedule (8-0) for the first time since 1981.5. Detroit (11-5)An upset victory of the Cowboys was in the works until the officials penalized their trick two-point conversion pass to offensive lineman Taylor Decker with 23 seconds remaining. Was it a blown call? It looks that way. No solace to the Lions after falling short when their third try at the go-ahead two points ended on Jared Goff’s incompletion. The official, Brad Allen, screwed over the Bears recently as well, so it’s worth wondering whether he’s a Packers or a Vikings fan.6. Los Angeles Rams (9-7)After beating the Giants, 26-25, the surging Rams’ team plane reportedly waited at the airport for other games to end so they could celebrate clinching a playoff spot. The Rams were very sloppy against the Giants, but still were able to win. I don’t know if this is a good thing. On one hand, they were able to overcome poor play to prevail. On the other hand, it would obviously be troubling if this were the beginning of a trend where the Rams started being careless with the football. I’ve moved the Rams up to because they’re the only team in the top six of both offensive and defensive EPA. I worry about their special teams, but that’s about it.7. Buffalo Bills (10-6)Josh Allen ran for two touchdowns to send the Bills into a winner-take-division game against Miami. The Bills once again didn’t have the most convincing performance, as they’ve been sleepwalking ever since they beat the Cowboys in that lopsided statement game. It wasn’t as easy as it should’ve been but vengeance was exacted for an early-season loss by beating the Patriots, 27-21. The offense has been a big disappointment the past two weeks, and what has happened to Stefon Diggs? Buffalo needs Diggs to show some life with the playoffs soon underway.8. Miami Dolphins (11-5)A season-long explosive offense looked pedestrian without the injured duo of Raheem Mostert (NFL touchdowns leader) and Jaylen Waddle against the Ravens’ top-ranked scoring defense. The Dolphins suddenly have huge concerns because Tua Tagovailoa, Xavien Howard and Bradley Chubb all suffered injuries against the Ravens. Tua Tagovailoa threw two touchdowns and two interceptions, leaving the AFC East title unclinched. I liked the Dolphins’ chances before the Baltimore game, but not anymore.9. Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)The good news is that the Chiefs won and can rest their starters in Week 18 because they’ve clinched the No. 3 seed. The bad news is that the Chiefs continued to make dumb mistakes when they weren’t feeding the ball to Isiah Pacheco. If the Kansas City Chiefs are going to have any success in the playoffs, Rashee Rice and Isiah Pacheco have to be just as involved as Travis Kelce. We know Patrick Mahomes can amplify this offense, helping Rice look like a No. 1 receiver and Pacheco a dangerous three-down back. However, the Chiefs’ offense is still dealing with costly turnover problems and it will have to face much better defenses in the playoffs.10. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7)Just when you thought the Steelers were dead and incapable of giving Mike Tomlin another winning record. Mason Rudolph did just enough to likely keep the starting job, but the real standouts in Week 17 from Pittsburgh were Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren. The Steelers’ running backs made eclipsing 200 scrimmage yards look easy and it’s because of them that Pittsburgh has another winning season. They crushed the Bengals, then went into Seattle and won. Unfortunately for them, they need the Jaguars to lose to the Titans to make the postseason.