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NFL power rankings: Jaguars rise entering Week 18

The Jacksonville Jaguars are not yet Super Bowl contenders in the eyes of national media.

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NFL: DEC 31 Panthers at Jaguars Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

To get a feel for how the Jacksonville Jaguars are viewed around the league, here’s a look at 10 different national media power rankings going into Week 18 of the 2023 season.

The Ringer: 11 (last week: 12)

From Sheil Kapadia:

Good luck trying to explain this team. With C.J. Beathard starting in place of an injured Trevor Lawrence, the Jaguars broke their four-game losing streak and shut the Panthers out, 26-0. Running back Travis Etienne rushed for more than 100 yards and scored both of Jacksonville’s touchdowns. It was a terrific defensive performance from Jacksonville, with edge rusher Josh Allen piling up three sacks in the victory. The Jaguars have not clinched a playoff berth yet, but despite the up-and-down season, they are positioned to host a playoff game if they can take care of business and beat the Titans in Week 18.

CBS Sports: 11 (last week: 12)

From Pete Prisco:

If they win this week against the Titans, they win the division. But playing in Nashville hasn’t been kind to them over the years.

Yahoo Sports: 11 (last week: 13)

From Frank Schwab:

Even though their all-important Week 18 game is at Tennessee, the Jaguars should win it. If they lose, there still is a path to the playoffs with help. But if the Jaguars can’t beat Tennessee to win the AFC South, they don’t deserve to be in the postseason anyway.

Pro Football Talk: 12 (last week: 15)

From Mike Florio:

They need Trevor Lawrence back this weekend. 12 (last week: 13)

From Eric Edholm:

Even if it came against the league’s worst team, Sunday’s victory was important for a number of reasons. First, it kept the Jaguars breathing in the playoff race and kept the door open for a division title. Second, playing a turnover-free, one-penalty game with Trevor Lawrence on the sideline for the first time in his NFL career is not anything to sneeze at. Even if the red-zone offense (1-for-5 on Sunday) was an ugly sight, the rest of the performance belied all the things that went wrong during Jacksonville’s horrific December downturn. The Jaguars averaged 2.5 turnovers and 5.5 penalties per game in four consecutive losses ahead of Sunday. Whether or not a season that started with an 8-3 record can be salvaged remains very much up in the air, but the Jaguars are alive for now, and they’re facing a win-and-in Week 18 contest at Tennessee — almost the same spot they were in one year ago.

USA Today: 13 (last week: 14)

From Nate Davis:

How much money will OLB Josh Allen make in free agency? Well, the franchise tag is likely to delay his payday. But consider this: He and Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor are the only players since 1982 with at least 2½ sacks four times in one season.

ESPN: 13 (last week: 14)

Bleacher Report: 14 (last week: 15)

The Athletic: 17 (last week: 16)

Fox Sports: 18 (last week: 22)

From David Helman:

A shutout is still a shutout, even if it came against the worst offense in the NFL. The Jaguars are going to need their defense to maintain that momentum if they’re going to lock up the division — and make noise in the playoffs beyond that.

Gus’ power rankings:

1. Ravens (last week: 1)

2. 49ers (2) -- The top seed in each conference has been locked up. Very good chance of Week 16’s game between Baltimore and San Francisco being a Super Bowl preview.

3. Bills (3) -- Win against Miami, and Buffalo gets the No. 2 seed in the AFC. Lose, and they’re out of the playoffs entirely. I’m betting on Josh Allen over Tua Tagovailoa to represent the AFC East in the playoffs.

4. Cowboys (5)

5. Dolphins (4) -- Miami should trade for Justin Fields in the offseason.

6. Chiefs (6)

7. Browns (9) — Prepare yourselves for Joe Flacco coming to town in the Divisional Round.

8. Rams (8) -- My favorite Super Bowl sleeper this season, though C.J. Stroud deserves to win Offensive Rookie of the Year over Puka Nacua. Kevin Stefanski is still my COY pick.

9. Lions (not ranked)

10. Jaguars (not ranked) -- If a few key players can shake off injuries in time (namely Trevor Lawrence and Christian Kirk), Jacksonville might make a splash in the postseason. A few notable leaders (namely Josh Allen and Travis Etienne) confirmed after last week’s victory that the Super Bowl is still on the mind of everyone in Jacksonville’s locker room.

Where would you rank the team heading into Week 18, Jaguars fans? Let us know in the comments!