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.
Week 1 provided plenty of surprises. From a tie between the Indianapolis Colts vs Houston Texans to one of the worst NFL teams in 2022 taking down a Super Bowl contender. A Thursday Night Football blowout to thrilling finishes, NFL Week 1 had everything.
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 2.
32. New York Jets (28)
The New York Jets are the worst team in the NFL until Zach Wilson returns. We didn’t even see the Baltimore Ravens at their best in Week 1 and they still dispatched Joe Flacco and Co. like it was a preseason game. This feels like the first year of a rebuild and that puts New York at the bottom of the Week 2 NFL power rankings.
31. Seattle Seahawks (29)
With Geno Smith earning the starting job over Drew Lock, nothing really changes in Seattle. The Seattle Seahawks are ready to be one of the worst NFL teams this season. It’s all a part of the plan to land a top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Stuck in the cellar of a loaded NFC West, all Seattle cares about in 2022 is the development of its rookies and young players.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (25)
Drops, blown assignments, missed field goals and Trevor Lawrence whiffing on some easy throws. At times, this looked like the Jacksonville Jaguars from the Urban Meyer era. Fortunately, there were at least a few bright spots and Jacksonville kept it close. After being far too high on the Jaguars in our initial NFL power rankings, they fall down to earth.
Related: 2023 NFL mock draft
29. Atlanta Falcons (31)
Credit to the Atlanta Falcons for showing some fight against a division rival. Marcus Mariota played effective football, Cordarrelle Patterson proved his 2021 season wasn’t a fluke and rookie Drake London made some big plays. It’s the little things that will count as victories for Atlanta this season.
28. Chicago Bears (32)
Needless to say, the Chicago Bears defeating the San Francisco 49ers was the most shocking outcome in Week 1. It might be entirely the result of a terrible field and weather conditions that made life difficult for Kyle Shanahan’s offense, but that is taking credit away from an impressive performance by this defense. Do we still expect the Bears to be one of the worst NFL teams in 2022? Definitely.
Related: Chicago Bears schedule
27. Houston Texans (30)
The Houston Texans are still in a place of their rebuild where moral victories count. No one expected this team would take the Indianapolis Colts to overtime, yet Houston came out with a tie. Facing the Denver Broncos next week, though, the Texans are likely near their ceiling in our NFL power rankings.
26. New England Patriots (24)
We were concerned about the New England Patriots entering the season and they did nothing to change that in Week 1. There are problems at cornerback and the offense seems to lack everything needed to be anything but average on its best days. Looking at the schedule ahead, things could get even worse for Bill Belichick.
Related: New England Patriots schedule
25. Carolina Panthers (22)
Revenge games rarely work out how anyone wants. The injury excuses are gone for Baker Mayfield, the Carolina Panthers have put him in a position to thrive. It’s just evident at this point he is a below-average quarterback and when you pair that with a head coach who will be fired in a few months you get the Panthers.
24. Tennessee Titans (20)
When the Tennessee Titans dumped A.J. Brown for draft picks and picked Malik Willis, that should have told you this was a team preparing for the future. There’s still enough impact talent on the roster to be competitive, but that just puts Tennessee in a tier of NFL teams that will fight to fall short of .500.
23. Detroit Lions (23)
The Detroit Lions are a quarterback away from being a good football team. Dan Campbell lights a fire under every player on this roster, fueling a club that seems to compete to the final whistle in every game it plays. While that might not be quite enough to beat top NFL teams, it could secure six or seven wins.
22. New York Giants (27)
Saquon Barkley is back. On a day when quarterback Daniel Jones proved once again why he isn’t the long-term solution, Barkley demonstrated why he should have a future with the New York Giants. He is one of the best running backs in the NFL when healthy and he will thrive in Brian Daboll’s offense.
21. Washington Commanders (26)
Carson Wentz talked about how the Washington Commanders made him feel wanted. In the season opener, he rewarded the franchise’s confidence in him. Time will tell whether or not Wentz’s volatility returns, but the Commanders at least have something to feel good about right now.
20. Cleveland Browns (21)
The Cleveland Browns are going to need their defense and ground game to carry them in every game through Week 11. We saw that happen on Sunday, with Cleveland steamrolling through Carolina for 217 rushing yards and this defense played outstanding. Betting on that to happen time and time again is foolish.
19. New Orleans Saints (18)
Our expectations for the New Orleans Saints in 2022 weren’t particularly high, but they should have done a lot more against one of the worst teams in the NFL. Jameis Winston was fine, but New Orleans did nothing on the ground outside of a gadget 57-yard run by Taysom Hill. If the defense we saw in Week 1 shows up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, things won’t end well.
18. Arizona Cardinals (14)
The Arizona Cardinals are supposed to be the team that dominates in the first half of the season and then utterly collapses on itself in the final months. If Week 1 is an indication of what’s coming, the Cardinals will either be one of the worst NFL teams in 2022 or they are reversing their trends. Either way, ugly football is ahead.
17. Indianapolis Colts (13)
Not how anyone envisioned the Matt Ryan era beginning. The Indianapolis Colts rode Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman Jr. on Sunday but only mustered 20 points in five quarters. The lack of complementary talent on the offense and the issues with a passive Gus Bradley defense were on full display in Week 1. Given neither problem will go away, the Colts had to drop in the NFL power rankings Week 2.
Related: Indianapolis Colts schedule
16. Pittsburgh Steelers (19)
The Pittsburgh Steelers survived a chaotic football game, but it came at a cost. T.J. Watt is out indefinitely with a torn pectoral and running back Najee Harris left in the fourth quarter with a foot injury. Pittsburgh moves up in the power rankings for not, but the injuries to cornerstone players will make it a very short stay.
15. Las Vegas Raiders (12)
The Las Vegas Raiders failed their first test of the 2022 season. Even with a friendly crowd supporting the team at SoFi Stadium, quarterback Derek Carr struggled (three interceptions, 69.1 QB rating) and Las Vegas couldn’t make the big plays when it absolutely needed them. It’s clear Las Vegas is a tier below its rivals in the AFC West, but this is still a playoff contender.
14. Dallas Cowboys
A top-10 team in our NFL power rankings after the 2021 season, it’s been a steady fall downwards for the Dallas Cowboys. A thin receiving corps and concerns with defensive regression already existed. With Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith now sidelined until December, in a best-case scenario, things look very dark in Texas.
13. Miami Dolphins (15)
Tyreek Hill and a new play-caller make all the difference for the Miami Dolphins offense. Hill (100 scrimmage yards) became the focal point of Miami’s passing attack and made life much easier for Tua Tagovailoa. The fan base will be elated with the 104.4 quarterback rating and it recognizes the lack of touchdowns from Tua doesn’t mean much as long as this team wins convincingly. The Dolphins are a legitimate playoff threat in 2022 and this combo of a top-10 defense and solid offense can keep the Fins flipping up the NFL power rankings.
12. Cincinnati Bengals (9)
It’s not the turnovers from Joe Burrow that are concerning, those are freak occurrences from a quarterback with exceptional accuracy and decision-making. However, allowing 11 quarterback hits and six sacks just a few months after investing in the offensive line is a major red flag. We’ll see how the pass protection fares in Week 2 against DeMarcus Lawrence and Micah Parsons.
11. Minnesota Vikings (17)
Justin Jefferson is the best wide receiver in the NFL and the Kevin O’Connell offense is going to prove it. While there is still some skepticism regarding the Minnesota Vikings defense – the Green Bay Packers played with backup offensive tackles – this offense is legit. SKOL fans should start budgeting for tickets to the NFL playoffs.
10. Denver Broncos
Losing Tim Patrick for the season is a significant blow for the Denver Broncos, especially since there are still some questions about Jerry Jeudy. Fortunately, those worries are eased because of quarterback Russell Wilson. Denver could have a top-10 defense and offense this fall, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they reach that status in our NFL power rankings.
9. San Francisco 49ers (7)
What happened in Week 1 isn’t because of Trey Lance. An elite San Francisco 49ers defense made a few rare mistakes and Deebo Samuel coughed up the football near the goal line. Combine that with the horrific field conditions, we’ll chalk this one up as a learning moment for San Francisco.
8. Green Bay Packers (6)
The Green Bay Packers seem to value Week 1 even less than a preseason. Matt LaFleur’s offense scored a combined 20 points in three of its last four season openers. It certainly didn’t help that both Elgton Jenkins and David Bakhtiari were out nor does it help that Green Bay had no interest in lining up its All-Pro corner against Justin Jefferson. Speaking of receivers, maybe it would have been a good idea for the Packers to invest more in an impact veteran.
7. Los Angeles Rams (5)
There’s reason to believe the Los Angeles Rams can repeat as Super Bowl champions. With that said, we did not see anywhere near the championship-caliber team in a 31-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills Thursday night. Matthew Stafford (three interceptions) looked like a shell of his former self. The offensive line (seven sacks) struggled big time. Defensively, a lack of a pass rush and questions in the secondary led to four Josh Allen touchdowns. We hate to overreact after one game. But there are some issues in Southen California.
6. Philadelphia Eagles (10)
The Philadelphia Eagles look like they could be one of the best teams in the NFL. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was dynamic, A.J. Brown exploded in his first game and the three-headed backfield ate up yards on the ground. As for that defense we were so high on heading into Week 1, that performance was a bit concerning.
5. Baltimore Ravens (8)
On a weekend where several teams in the top-10 of our NFL power rankings came out flat, the Baltimore Ravens overcame injuries to dismantle the Jets. Lamar Jackson looked like a quarterback worth a $50 million AAV, especially since he started behind a banged-up offensive line. Let’s see how Baltimore’s offense fares in Week 2 against Miami.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (4)
Patrick Mahomes didn’t respond to all the offseason comments from Tyreek Hill until now. Facing Arizona, Mahomes made it look like he never knew Hill even existed. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback played at an MVP-caliber level, but the defensive clinic on display is what could send the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl.
Related: NFL MVP race
3. Los Angeles Chargers (3)
The Los Angeles Chargers don’t need the fans on their side at SoFi Stadium to win a big game. Even on an afternoon when Pro Bowl running back Austin Ekeler didn’t really influence the game, Justin Herbert and this revamped defense handled the business. There are only a few days of rest for this team, but the Thursday Night Football clash between the Chargers and Chiefs will be for the No. 2 spot in our NFL power rankings.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2)
The concerns with the interior of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ offensive line are undeniable. It’s also fair to at least have a bit of concern with quarterback Tom Brady and whether or not the issues that pulled him away from training camp will impact him during the regular season. With all that said, this is still the best player in NFL history and the Bucs have far too much talent to not be viewed as the best team in the NFC.
1. Buffalo Bills (1)
The Buffalo Bills are the best NFL team in 2022. They proved that in more ways than one, blowing out the defending champion Rams on the road in Week 1. Josh Allen scored four combined touchdowns. Stefon Diggs did his thing through the air. Defensively, the Bills got to Matthew Stafford for seven sacks while intercepting him a whopping three times. Sean McDermott has himself a well-oiled machine in Western New York.
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This article was originally published on Sportsnaut.com and is republished here with permission.