2022 NFL Power Rankings: Bengals and Raiders climb, Commanders nosedive into Week 5

Who is the best team in the NFL? The return of our 2022 NFL power rankings takes a look at what teams will be competing for a Super Bowl this season and which clubs will be in the race for Bryce Young. From the start of the preseason to the final whistle, the 2022 NFL season should be fascinating.

Bookmark this page throughout the season for updates to our weekly NFL power rankings. Let’s look at how all 32 teams performed this weekend as we dive into our NFL power rankings for Week 5

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NFL power rankings 2022: Worst NFL teams

32. Houston Texans (32)

All that matters for the Houston Texans is improving its chances of landing the No. 1 overall pick. This team is still in the early stages of its rebuild, but running back Dameon Pierce and defensive back Jalen Pitre are proving they will be core pieces when the Texans are good again.

31. Washington Commanders (27)

It’s starting to feel like the Washington Commanders are the 2020 Jacksonville Jaguars. Deliver a surprising win in the season opener and then immediately collapse, with the offense getting worse every Sunday. It’s not exactly a bold prediction to say that a third NFL team will be done with Carson Wentz after one year.

30. Chicago Bears (29)

Put the 2-2 record aside, the Chicago Bears are one of the worst NFL teams in 2022. Justin Fields showed a few glimpses of promise on Sunday, but that might say a lot more about the New York Giants’ inability to create pressure.

29. Pittsburgh Steelers (25)

At least the Pittsburgh Steelers finally benched Mitch Trubisky. There is clearly more confidence among the players in Kenny Pickett and the rookie will open up more of the field for the offense. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, it’s about to run through a gauntlet that includes the Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles.

28. New York Jets (30)

Zach Wilson stepped up when the New York Jets needed him the most, providing late-game heroics with two clutch drives that allowed everyone to forget about an ugly performance in the first three quarters. If New York can get more of the good moving forward, it has the all-important franchise quarterback.

27. Seattle Seahawks (31)

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions
David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Geno Smith might be too good for the Seattle Seahawks. He is delivering in a contract year, proving that he could be a viable starting quarterback when the right pieces are around him. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, it’s costing them some valuable draft positioning.

26. Carolina Panthers (19)

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers are 1-26 when their opponent scores at least 17 points (NFL Network) and they’ve won just five games since Week 4 of the 2021 season. It speaks volumes about Matt Rhule and why he will likely return to college football after being fired this year.

25. Atlanta Falcons (28)

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

If nothing else, Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith is keeping himself off the hot seat. Atlanta’s offense is ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals (346.8) and Minnesota Vikings (344) in total yards per game and this is the eighth-highest scoring offense in the NFL. The defense is a mess, but Atlanta seems to have found the right coach.

24. New England Patriots (26)

NFL: New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

All things considered, the New England Patriots, the New England Patriots should be happy with the results on Sunday. Relying on a third-string quarterback and taking the Green Bay Packers to overtime. A loss still puts them at the bottom of the division, but at least New England looks competitive.

23. New Orleans Saints (21)

NFL: International Series-Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The double-doink will be remembered, but the New Orleans Saints found a variety of ways to lose in Week 4. Special teams are becoming a recurring issue for this club and the passing game continues to show why it can’t be trusted outside of big plays from Chris Olave. At 1-3 without its first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Saints are in an awful spot.

22. Detroit Lions (18)

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions
David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Many viewed Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn as a top coaching candidate entering the 2022 NFL season. Through four games, Glenn’s defense is allowing 6.5 yards per play (31st in NFL) with opponents averaging a 100.5 quarterback rating against Detroit. If this defense could deliver just a few more stops, it would be significantly higher in the NFL power rankings. Instead, Glenn seems to be on the hot seat.

21. Cleveland Browns (18)

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Atlanta Falcons
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Playing without key starters on the defensive side proved costly. The Cleveland Browns fell behind early (10-0) and responded with a 20-17 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Unfortunately for the Browns, a depleted defense couldn’t get two stops when it needed them. Sitting at 2-2, the schedule gets a lot more difficult from here.

Related: Cleveland Browns schedule

20. Indianapolis Colts (15)

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star
Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Indianapolis Colts were simply overrated coming into the season. Everyone glossed over some alarming holes at key positions, buying into the odd approach of roster construction taken by general manager Chris Ballard. This simply isn’t a very good team and if the Kansas City Chiefs made one fewer mistake on special teams in Week 3, we’d be looking at a winless Colts team.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (24)

NFL: Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Only time will tell whether or not Sunday’s victory turns things around for the Las Vegas Raiders. Josh McDaniels finally committed to the run game and Josh Jacobs exploded. It made life easier for Davante Adams and the Raiders’ defense even stepped up. There is renewed confidence in Las Vegas, but we’ll see if it lasts after the trip to Kansas City.

18. Tennessee Titans (23)

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts
Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

The classic Tennessee Titans suddenly appeared. Looking like one of the worst NFL teams through the first two weeks, Derrick Henry put the offense on his back and carried it to victories over Las Vegas and Indianapolis. We still wouldn’t project the Titans to win the AFC South, but they can beat Washington and a 3-2 record entering the Week 6 bye would be quite the turnaround.

17. San Francisco 49ers (16)

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Denver Broncos
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Garoppolo behind an elite offensive line with a great rushing attack is a functional starter. Remove that from the equation and it becomes indisputable that he is a bridge quarterback. The San Francisco 49ers offensive line is a shell of what it used to be and Kyle Shanahan’s offense isn’t firing on all cylinders right now. This is the first steep drop in the NFL power rankings for the 49ers and a loss to the Rams in Week 4 will sink them further.

16. New York Giants (22)

Syndication: The Record
Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

This might be the lowest a 3-1 team ever landed in the NFL power rankings. It’s impossible to find an impressive win on the New York Giants schedule, they are narrowly beating bad teams. Yet, there are 23 NFL clubs who would love to have this record. If New York beats the Green Bay Packers in London, we can guarantee the Giants will finally receive their respect.

15. Denver Broncos (14)

NFL: Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

This can’t be what the richest owner in NFL history expected when he bought the Denver Broncos. Russell Wilson played better on Sunday, but he still isn’t anywhere close to the level you’d expect from one of the highest-paid NFL players. On a short week without Javonte Williams and Randy Gregory, Thursday Night Football will be a litmus test for both the Colts and Broncos.

Related: Denver Broncos fear ‘significant’ Javonte Williams injury

14. Jacksonville Jaguars (13)

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Lawrence committed five turnovers on Sunday and it tells everything you need to know about how cats handle water. The Jacksonville Jaguars’ offense couldn’t do anything, reminding the NFL world that the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense is exceptional and the Jaguars’ skill group is very young. We expect Jacksonville to rebound in Week 5 against the Texans and a 3-2 record would put them atop the AFC South.

13. Arizona Cardinals (20)

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals might ping-pong around NFL power rankings every week. They responded to an ugly loss to the Los Angeles Rams with a fourth-quarter rally to take down Carolina. It came down to betting on the Broncos, Giants, Browns and Titans. There is no good choice in that group.

Related: Highest-paid NFL quarterbacks

12. Los Angeles Chargers (12)

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Houston Texans
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Chargers escaped Texas with a victory and they might do the same in Week 5 against Cleveland. There is just a feeling that suggests it won’t last. Rashawn Slater is lost for the season and Joey Bosa is gone until December, two massive holes on each side of the ball that some of the teams atop our NFL power rankings can exploit in head-to-head matchups.

11. Baltimore Ravens (8)

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh’s decision near the goal line is defensible, the gamble just didn’t pay off. The Baltimore Ravens came seconds away from a statement victory once again, but the defense’s inability to close out games is really becoming alarming. We’ll see if it proves costly in a Week 5 matchup that is pivotal for the AFC North race.

10. Dallas Cowboys (11)

NFL: Washington Commanders at Dallas Cowboys
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

There isn’t a quarterback but the Dallas Cowboys are very thankful for Cooper Rush. Defense is carrying this team right now, but Rush is playing efficient football and helping this offense stay afloat. Whether Dak Prescott returns in Week 5 or Dallas plays it safe with a Week 6 return, the Cowboys are on the rise.

Related: Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott targeting Week 5 return

9. Minnesota Vikings (9)

NFL: International Series-Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints
Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

Wins are the only thing that matters and the Minnesota Vikings will happily accept a 3-1 record, putting them near the top of the NFL standings. However, Kevin Stefanski’s conservative play-calling in the red zone suggests a real lack of confidence in Kirk Cousins. It’s a storyline everyone needs to keep an eye on moving forward.

Related: Takeaways from Minnesota Vikings’ Week 4 victory

8. Miami Dolphins (8)

NFL: Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins played a majority of Thursday Night Football not knowing the status of their leader. Fortunately, Tua Tagovailoa is recovering nicely and Miami can still feel good about its 3-1 record. It’s the injuries in the secondary and the uncertainty for when Tagovailoa returns that pushes the Dolphins down.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5)

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Some stat-padding helped Tom Brady finish with better numbers, but the outcome on Sunday Night Football was never in doubt. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers looked like the inferior team, unable to contain Patrick Mahomes and the Buccaneers’ offense struggled to sustain drives. The inability to protect Tom Brady remains a concern, but the amount of talent on the roster suggests the Buccaneers are still a dangerous threat to win the Super Bowl.

6. Cincinnati Bengals (10)

Syndication: The Enquirer
Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Cincinnati Bengals lost their first two games of the season by a combined six points, committing 11 penalties with five turnovers during that span. When they play cleaner football and keep Joe Burrow‘s neat, they play like one of the best teams in the NFL. The Week 5 Bengals vs Ravens game puts a lot at stake for both the NFL power rankings and the AFC North.

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NFL power rankings: Best teams in NFL

5. Los Angeles Rams (7)

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

A small step forward by the Los Angeles Rams in Week 3. They knocked around the Cardinals the way you’d expect one of the best NFL teams to handle a Kliff Kingsbury-coached club. This is a nice step forward, but it’s going to take a decisive road win in San Francisco on Monday Night Football for Los Angeles to prove its back for good and history suggests that’s far from a guarantee.

4. Green Bay Packers (4)

NFL: New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

A theme of the NFL power rankings this week is winning ugly. The Green Bay Packers entered as a heavy favorite over New England, more so after the mid-game Brian Hoyer injury. Between an exceptionally rare pick-six from Aaron Rodgers, another Packers fumble and a missed delay of game, Green Bay needed overtime to win. With that said, one of the best teams in the NFL will take a 3-1 record before a soft stretch in its schedule (vs Giants, Jets, Commanders).

3. Kansas City Chiefs (6)

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Look at what happens when the Kansas City Chiefs don’t repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot. Patrick Mahomes delivered more unthinkable plays on Sunday Night Football and the Chiefs’ offense recaptured its swagger. It also makes that loss to Indianapolis even wilder. Barring Kansas City playing down to its opponent on Monday Night Football in Week 5, we’ll get a must-see 4-1 clash of Bills vs Chiefs on Oct. 16.

2. Buffalo Bills (4)

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills needed to win on Sunday. Dropping to 2-2, with two consecutive losses against playoff-caliber opponents, would have raised significant questions about a team plagued by injuries. Fortunately for the Bills, the defense stepped up in a big way and this once again looks like one of the best NFL teams right now.

Related: Buffalo Bills schedule

1. Philadelphia Eagles (1)

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Eagles are the No. 1 team in NFL power rankings for a variety of reasons. It certainly helps to be the only undefeated team in the NFL, but it goes beyond that. We saw a messy victory in Week 4. Jalen Hurts struggled and the rain made everything far more challenging. Yet, Philadelphia recovered from a 14-0 deficit and will take its 4-0 record into Arizona.

Related: Super Bowl odds

Feedback on Sportsnaut’s NFL power rankings can be sent on Twitter to @MattJ_Sports

This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.

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