The New Orleans Saints offense struggled in their season finale last week at home against the Carolina Panthers but they were playing without much of their top talent. Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara sat out the contest as the NFC's top seed had already been wrapped up.

Most of the season the Saints ranked as one of the most powerful teams in the NFL and as we say goodbye to 2018 they remain in the top spot heading into the playoffs in the ESPN NFL Power Rankings.

The Top Five is as so:

  1. New Orleans Saints (13-3) Steady at 1
  2. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) Up one from 3
  3. Los Angeles Rams (13-3) Down one from 2
  4. Chicago Bears (12-4) Up one from 5
  5. Los Angeles Chargers (12-4) Down one from 4

As we put a bow on the 2018 season and wrap it up, some of the most disappointing teams from the year were: The Green Bay Packers who finished 6-9-1 and missed the playoffs for the first time with Aaron Rodgers under center the entire season since his first year starting back in 2008. The team finished 18th in the power rankings. Another team who disappointed in 2018 were the Jacksonville Jaguars who came into this season with such high expectations and a ton of swagger after they made it to the AFC Championship just a season ago. This year, they extended Blake Bortles contract and then benched him part way through the year, the defense just wasn't as dominate, and they finished the season 5-11 ranked 28th in the final power rankings.

A couple teams who surprised outside the top five were the Cleveland Browns who finished the season with more than one win for the first time since 2015 ended up 7-8-1 and ranked 16th to finish the year. Another team who surprised us were the Indianapolis Colts who won their winner take all week 17 match-up with the Tennessee Titans to get back to the playoffs. Andrew Luck was healthy and played extremely well behind an improved offensive line and the defense was even more of a surprise finishing just outside the top 10 in total defense (11th) and 8th against the run. The Colts finished 10-6 on the year and ranked 10th in the final power rankings.

As for the New Orleans Saints, they'll have a bye this weekend in the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs and will have to wait and see how things shake out this weekend to determine who they'll face. If the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Chicago Bears the Saints will play the Eagles but if the Bears win that game then New Orleans will face the winner of the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys game. It should be a fun weekend to just kick back and watch how the first round of the 2018 playoffs shape out.

 

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