2022 NFL Power Rankings: Previewing all 32 teams in Week 1

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.

Related: NFL Sunday Ticket – Pricing, How to Buy, and it’s Future

Everyone will remember the offseason for the big moves, with marquee quarterbacks changing teams and the AFC loading up with talent. While there does seem to be a power imbalance between the two conferences, we could see a team from either side hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

Bookmark this page throughout the season for updates to our weekly NFL power rankings. Let’s look at all 32 teams heading into Week 1.

32. Chicago Bears

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Call it “Year Zero” if you want, any label comes with the same criticism. The Chicago Bears are setting quarterback Justin Fields up to fail. He’ll operate behind a bad offensive line with one of the worst receiving corps in recent memory and has an experienced play-caller drawing everything up. Months into the job, Ryan Poles is signaling Fields’ success and long-term outlook aren’t priorities. The good news? Fields is coming off a tremendous preseason finale. The bad news? His reward is a dominant San Francisco 49ers defense in Week 1.

31. Atlanta Falcons

NFL: Pro Bowl-NFC Practice
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There are elements of the Atlanta Falcons roster we like. Young talent like Kyle Pitts, Drake London, A.J. Terrell and Isaiah Oliver provide building blocks for the future. The 2022 season will also be a great year of development for Desmond Ridder and Arnold Ebiketie. However, this is still one of the worst teams in football and it belongs at the bottom of NFL power rankings from now through Week 18.

Related: Atlanta Falcons schedule, predictions

30. Houston Texans

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans
Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

We like the start of the Houston Texans’ rebuild. It doesn’t necessarily mean anyone should buy into quarterback Davis Mills as the starter beyond 2022, but he showed flashes as a rookie. Paired with the talent added in the draft class and Houston’s collection of future picks, things should slowly improve. With that said, this is still one of the most talent-void rosters in the NFL and Houston could reach the bottom of our NFL power rankings very quickly unless the Mills to Nico Collins connections extends into the regular season.

29. Seattle Seahawks

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Related: Seattle Seahawks schedule 2022

28. New York Jets

NFL: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets are breathing a sigh of relief after avoiding the worst-case scenario with the Zach Wilson injury. While it might not cost him much time, if any, for the regular season, it could limit his effectiveness out of the gate. Just give the second-year quarterback time, New York is still rebuilding and there’s no incentive to rush things. If they have to rely on Joe Flacco for an extended period of time, things will turn ugly.

27. New York Giants

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

Daniel Jones is the only player holding the New York Giants back from being a top-20 team in the 2022 NFL power rankings. Unfortunately for Brian Daboll, the reports out of training camp were bleak. This shouldn’t be one of the worst NFL teams in 2022, but it’s also going to live near the bottom of the NFC East once again.

Related: New York Giants schedule

26. Washington Commanders

NFL: Washington Commanders-Carson Wentz Press Conference
John McCreary-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Commanders fired their defensive line coach, edge rusher Chase Young is missing the start of the NFL season and quarterback Carson Wentz had a lot of problems in training camp. Other than that, sure, everything is fine. There is a much higher chance Washington finishes as one of the worst teams in the NFL than of it making the playoffs.

Related: Washington Commanders schedule

25. Jacksonville Jaguars

Syndication: Florida Times-Union

If the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to surprise anyone this year, quarterback Trevor Lawrence needs to become a star quickly. He certainly boasts the talent to do it and he showed many of his outstanding qualities during the preseason. There is also a lot of buzz on the defensive line, with some confident it can be one of the best in the AFC. Jacksonville is slowly trending up in our NFL power rankings, but there is a lot of work ahead.

24. New England Patriots

Syndication: USA TODAY

Let’s take a quick glance at the New England Patriots. First, the buzz out of training camp was that very few have confidence in the play-calling and that’s backed up by practices and the recent on-field play of Mac Jones. On top of that, New England’s defense could be significantly worse than many are anticipating. This might be the lowest spot for the Patriots in NFL power rankings, but it reflects valid concerns about the roster and decision-making.

Related: New England Patriots schedule

23. Detroit Lions

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

We are excited about the Detroit Lions’ future. The new regime is building this team the right way and while there are still some reservations regarding Dan Campbell’s mastery of in-game adjustments, he could be the perfect ‘football CEO’ serving as coach for this young team. No one should expect Detroit to compete for the playoffs, but six or seven wins seems possible.

22. Carolina Panthers

NFL: Carolina Panthers at Washington Commanders
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not a surprise that quarterback Baker Mayfield earned the Panthers’ starting job. He is the superior talent and with the improvements made to the offensive line, the Carolina Panthers could be one of the pleasant surprises in the NFL this season. At peak, Carolina could push for a spot in the 15-18 range in the NFL rankings. If they fall short of the expectations set by owner David Tepper, there is no telling how many people will get axed at the end of the year.

21. Cleveland Browns

Syndication: USA TODAY

An 11-game suspension for quarterback Deshaun Watson means he won’t see the field until Week 13 against the Houston Texans. While the Cleveland Browns certainly have some talent and they like Jacoby Brissett, this is now a much worse football team. Expecting losses against the Chargers, Patriots, Ravens, Bengals, Bills and Buccaneers before Watson even plays, that would already be six losses with road trips to Cincinnati and Baltimore left. Dropping Cleveland in the NFL power rankings was an easy call.

20. Tennessee Titans

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Tennessee Titans
Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

We are even less confident in the Tennessee Titans than the organization is regarding quarterback Ryan Tannehill long-term. The signature moves this offseason indicate the front office is using 2022 as a transition year, that’s an honest assessment. With several concerns on offense, the No. 1 seed in the AFC last year barely cracks the top-20 of our Week 1 NFL power rankings. It’s only made worse with Harold Landry done for the season, delivering a Tennessee-sized blow to our confidence in the defense.

19. Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

There are a lot of things to like about the Pittsburgh Steelers. An excellent coaching staff paired with outstanding talent at key positions on both sides of the ball is responsible for Pittsburgh earning a lot of respect in NFL power rankings. However, this is a 17-game season and the questions at quarterback paired with a shaky offensive line will likely prove costly. The first three games of the season will dramatically shape if Pittsburgh can even be viewed as a top-20 team entering October.

Related: Pittsburgh Steelers schedule

18. New Orleans Saints

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Things are looking up for the New Orleans Saints with Alvin Kamara no longer expected to face a suspension early this season. It sets this offense up nicely to be a lot better than what we saw in 2021. However, we’re going to need to see what a healthy Jameis Winston looks like behind a shaky left side of this offensive line without Sean Payton before elevating the Saints in our NFL power rankings.

Related: New Orleans Saints schedule

17. Minnesota Vikings

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a nice climb in the NFL power rankings for the Minnesota Vikings. While quarterback Kirk Cousins is never going to be a top-12 player at his position, first-year coach Kevin O’Connell is building an offense that is much better for this team. While losing Mike Zimmer’s defensive mind is a hit, the atmosphere in the locker room is better and there is simply more talent on the roster. Minnesota certainly looks like a playoff-caliber team.

Related: Minnesota Vikings schedule

16. Dallas Cowboys

NFL: NFC Wild Card Playoff-San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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.

15. Miami Dolphins

Syndication: Palm Beach Post

It all comes down to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The Miami Dolphins offense is loaded with explosive weapons (Jaylen Waddle, Tyreek Hill, Raheem Mostert, Mike Gesicki) and adding Terron Armstead fortifies the offensive line. On defense, we have no doubt this could be a top-12 unit. What separates Miami from the top teams in our NFL power rankings, is quarterback. It’s why Stephen Ross secretly tried to pull a fast one with his Tom Brady pursuit.

14. Arizona Cardinals

Syndication: USA TODAY

Lost in the offseason debate regarding quarterback Kyler Murray was that poor roster construction and even worse coaching were the Arizona Cardinals’ biggest problems. Somehow, Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury received extensions. With DeAndre Hopkins suspended, Arizona desperately needs Murray to play like an NFL MVP. There is a bright side if the Cardinals deliver another ugly second-half collapse, it will all be captured on Hard Knocks this season.

Related: NFL stadium rankings

13. Indianapolis Colts

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star
Michelle Pemberton/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Indianapolis Colts wanted to find stability and quarterback Matt Ryan delivers precisely that. While the days of him carrying a team are long gone, he’s a good fit for this run-first offense. We should also see improvements offensively with Alex Pierce and Bernhard Raimann joining the mix. As of now, the Colts look like a good but not great team. Issues at left tackle add to some of the question marks.

12. Las Vegas Raiders

NFL: Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Significant investments this offseason are creating a ton of buzz for the Las Vegas Raiders. With an elite cast of weapons around him, Derek Carr could become a top-10 quarterback in 2022. Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Patrick Graham is a better teacher and play-caller than Gus Bradley. Of course, concerns in the secondary and the offensive line prevent Las Vegas from cracking the top-10 in our NFL power rankings.

Related: Las Vegas Raiders schedule

11. Denver Broncos

NFL: Denver Broncos-Mini Camp
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

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.

10. Philadelphia Eagles

NFL: NFC Wild Card Playoffs-Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

It’s all on quarterback Jalen Hurts. The Philadelphia Eagles are in a very winnable division, paving the way for them to snag double-digit wins with relative ease. We love the Eagles’ defense and there’s a great argument to be made that this is one of the best 53-man rosters in the NFL. If Hurts can even become an above-average quarterback with consistency under pressure and a passer, this is a dark horse Super Bowl pick.

9. Cincinnati Bengals

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

This is likely one of the lowest spots you’ll find the Cincinnati Bengals in NFL power rankings. Heading into the 2022 NFL season, the roster is actually improved with the offensive line much closer to being ‘average’ than we even saw in the Super Bowl. However, a lot of dominoes had to fall for the Bengals to make it as far as they did. The young core on offense is outstanding and quarterback Joe Burrow is an even better leader than quarterback, this just feels like a team destined for some regression.

Related: Cincinnati Bengals schedule

8. Baltimore Ravens

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries devastated the Baltimore Ravens in 2021, both before Week 1 and throughout the regular season. Lamar Jackson is back, the offensive line is improved and the defense is poised for a massive turnaround as long as no one significant goes down in the secondary. If you’re looking for a sleeper in our NFL power rankings to win the AFC, it’s the Ravens.

7. San Francisco 49ers

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Los Angeles Rams
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

It’s fair to say the San Francisco 49ers could be the most volatile team in our NFL power rankings. The best version of quarterback Trey Lance could make this the best team in the NFC. Of course, San Francisco admits they are preparing for inconsistency from their first-year starter. When accounting for both outcomes, the No. 7 spot feels fair but the best version of Lance can earn San Francisco the Lombardi Trophy and the No. 1 spot in NFL power rankings.

NFL power rankings: Super Bowl favorites

6. Green Bay Packers

Syndication: Green Bay Press-Gazette

Moving the Green Bay Packers down in the NFL power rankings before Week 1 has more to do with the offensive line than receiver. David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins are off the PUP list, but there is no definitive timetable for either playing and it’s hard to predict how they will perform when they take the field. When you combine that with frustrations from QB1 towards the receivers, it opens the door to a Week 1 loss to the Vikings.

Related: Green Bay Packers schedule

5. Los Angeles Rams

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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’s some issues in Southen California.

4. Kansas City Chiefs

NFL: AFC Championship-Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Chiefs offense will be fascinating this season. JuJu Smith-Schuster is lining up everywhere, fellow wideout Marquez Valdes-Scantling is catching attention and it looks like this receiving corps will be a lot deeper than in previous years. However, concerns on the defensive side are an even bigger hesitation right now than the departure of Tyreek Hill.

3. Los Angeles Chargers

NFL: Pro Bowl-NFC at AFC
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It feels so dangerous to bet on the Los Angeles Chargers. They have placed near the top of preseason NFL power rankings for two consecutive years and as their team history would indicate, disappointment was the end result. However, adding Khalil Mack, J.C. Jackson and so many other influential pieces to the defense and projected growth from Justin Herbert creates a level of confidence that this team could win the AFC West.

Related: Los Angeles Chargers schedule

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL: NFC Divisional Round-Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Related: Predicting NFL playoff bracket and Super Bowl 2023 winner

1. Buffalo Bills

nfl power rankings; buffalo bills
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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

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