2011 NFL Power Rankings: Week 18

Updated: January 3, 2012, 1:39 PM ET

To no one's surprise, the 15-1 Packers finished as runaway champions of ESPN.com's NFL Power Rankings. Green Bay led wire to wire and its reign, which actually spanned the entire calendar year, was never in doubt.

If only everything in the NFL were as clear-cut.

Let's start with this weekend's wild-card playoffs. The Saints (No. 2) appear to be the class of the group, but they'll have their hands full with the high-flying Lions (No. 8) Saturday night. Texans-Bengals? Falcons-Giants? Good luck predicting winners there, as all four teams have been enigmas for good chunks of the season.

Our voters (ESPN.com's John Clayton, ESPN.com's Ashley Fox, AFC South blogger Paul Kuharsky, NFC West blogger Mike Sando and AFC East blogger James Walker) view the Broncos (No. 14) as the weakest wild-card link, but they're playing at home against a banged-up Steelers squad that barely beat the lowly Browns in Week 17.

In other words, don't rule out a Tim Tebow appearance in the divisional round.

No matter what happens, the playoffs are sure to bring suspense, drama and intrigue -- everything the Packers' dominance took away from the battle atop this season's rankings.

• How they voted | Bloggers' analysis | NFL Playoffs Predictor Insider | Vegas rankings Insider | Mike & Mike Listen | Team Power Rankings charts since 2002

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