Final NFL Power Rankings: 2018 season proved to be tough to predict, humbling

There's nothing more humbling than putting together the final NFL Power Rankings for a season and looking back at the first rankings from that same year.

Talk about making myself look like an idiot – some of you would agree that's the case all the time, judging by Twitter.

In my week one Power Rankings back in September, there were five teams in my top-10 who aren't finishing that way. 

My top two teams – and my Super Bowl pick – were the Green Bay Packers and Jacksonville Jaguars.

Oops.

The Packers opened in the top spot, but finished 18th. The Jaguars were second, and finished 28th.

Three of the bottom-10 teams from my first rankings made the playoffs. They are the Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts (hey, I was worried about Andrew Luck's shoulder) and the Seattle Seahawks

Oops, again.

It just goes to show that when August rolls around and we think we know, we really don't. 

Or at least I don't.

Biggest Movers
5 Bills
3 Vikings
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Saints They earned the top seed in the playoffs, but showed what life might be like without Drew Brees against the Panthers. It wasn't pretty. --13-3-0
2 Rams They head to the playoffs as the second seed in the NFC, but the pressure will be on for Sean McVay to win his first playoff game. --13-3-0
3 Chiefs Patrick Mahomes should be the MVP and has his team as the top seed in the AFC. Even the defense was making plays against the Raiders. --12-4-0
4 Bears The defense is fierce and can take them deep in the playoffs. But the offense will have to make some big plays to help balance it. --12-4-0
5 Patriots Guess who has a bye and will need just two wins to get to the Super Bowl. It's the same old story for the Patriots. --11-5-0
6 Ravens Since Lamar Jackson has taken over as the quarterback this team has changed in a big way. Now they have to beat the Chargers for a second time in three weeks. --10-6-0
7 Chargers They will be a dangerous wild-card team. They have a passer and pass rushers. --12-4-0
8 Colts The Colts are the hottest team in the league right now and head to the playoffs winners of eight of nine. They could present big problems for the Texans this week. --10-6-0
9 Cowboys They play Seattle this week, and it's an enormous game for Dak Prescott. He has to prove he can play like he did against the Giants this past Sunday. --10-6-0
10 Seahawks They are a shock to be here this high in the rankings after the tear down after last season. Pete Carroll has done an amazing job. --10-6-0
11 Texans As division champs, they will host a playoff game against the Colts. At some point, they have to make some noise in the playoffs rather than just getting there. --11-5-0
12 Eagles Nick Foles has this team back in the playoffs. Can he do it again and get them into the Super Bowl? It won't be easy, that's for sure. 29-7-0
13 Titans If only Marcus Mariota didn't get hurt. They might have been in the playoffs. --9-7-0
14 Steelers They can sum up their season with one word: Underachieving. It's not a good look for coach Mike Tomlin. 19-6-1
15 Vikings So much for the idea that signing Kirk Cousins would put them over the top. That contract will be closely scrutinized in 2019. 38-7-1
16 Browns Look out of for the Browns in 2019. They have a lot of young talent a budding star at quarterback in Baker Mayfield. --7-8-1
17 Falcons They should be back it the mix to win the division next year. They do need to sure up the offensive line and hire some new coordinators. 27-9-0
18 Packers It's hard to believe they are watching the playoffs. Now they have to pick a new coach to help get the offense with the times. 16-9-1
19 Redskins Injuries crippled this team, which is why Jay Gruden is coming back. But they have major questions about the quarterback spot with Alex Smith's status up in the air. 17-9-0
20 Bills Sean McDermott did a nice job with this team this season. They have money to spend to get better in 2019. 56-10-0
21 Dolphins They made the move to fire coach Adam Gase. But was it the right one? I wonder. 17-9-0
22 Broncos With Vance Joseph out, it's up to general manager John Elway to fix this mess. He needs to hit on the next coach. 16-10-0
23 Panthers Ron Rivera will be back, but you can bet there will changes in other spots. Cam Newton's shoulder is a concern. --7-9-0
24 Lions Matt Patricia's first year didn't go well. He might be a two-and-done if things don't change next season. 26-10-0
25 Giants Will Eli Manning be the quarterback next season? It's starting to look that way. 35-11-0
26 Bengals Marvin Lewis is out as coach, which means for the first time in a long time there will be a new face on the sideline. Who will Mike Brown target? 26-10-0
27 49ers The good news is Jimmy Garoppolo will be back in 2019. They should be much improved. --4-12-0
28 Jaguars Coach Doug Marrone will be back, but he better get off to a good start in 2019. --5-11-0
29 Buccaneers Dirk Koetter is out, but Jameis Winston will be back. Who will take over as coach in 2019? --5-11-0
30 Raiders The Raiders have hired Mike Mayock as their general manager. He was good on TV, but will he be good for Jon Gruden? --4-12-0
31 Jets With Todd Bowles out, they need to get a strong offensive mind to go with Sam Darnold and help him develop. --4-12-0
32 Cardinals General manager Steve Keim is back, but coach Steve Wilks is gone. They need to get an offensive coach to guide Josh Rosen. --3-13-0
CBS Sports Senior Writer

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an... Full Bio

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