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 6
32. Washington Commanders (31)
It’s fair to call the Washington Commanders the worst NFL team in 2022. It’s not even Halloween and Carson Wentz already proved he has no future with this team and possibly not as a starting quarterback anywhere. Meanwhile, Jack Del Rio’s defense is awful and this entire organization needs to be cleaned out.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers (29)
The Pittsburgh Steelers have the worst point differential (-51) in football, firmly landing them at the bottom of the Week 6 NFL power rankings. We can’t even make a fair assessment of rookie Kenny Pickett because Matt Canada’s offense doesn’t let the quarterback do anything. At least George Pickens keeps making eye-popping catches.
30. Carolina Panthers (26)
Matt Rhule is out the door as the Carolina Panthers’ head coach, a decision that should have been made in January. It puts this franchise back to where it stood in 2020, without a reliable starting quarterback and in desperate need of changes. At least Rhule is out the door, but the decision-making from the Panthers’ organization in the past two years doesn’t inspire confidence that things will get better.
29. Detroit Lions (22)
It was fun while it lasted for the Detroit Lions. Narrow losses to the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks suggested that this team could be very competitive in 2022. On Sunday, the New England Patriots crushed all of that. Heading into the bye with a 1-4 record, the Lions must figure out how to address a defense that allowed a franchise-worst 170 points through five games.
Related: Detroit Lions schedule
28. Houston Texans (32)
The Houston Texans provided the Jacksonville Jaguars with multiple chances to win on Sunday and their AFC South foe failed to take advantage. It means there are no more winless NFL teams in 2022. Outside of that and the always impressive Dameon Pierce, there isn’t much else to say about the Texans.
Related: 2023 NFL mock draft
27. Seattle Seahawks (27)
It’s Geno Smith‘s world and we’re just living in it. It seems unbelievable to think the Seattle Seahawks are starting a better quarterback than the Denver Broncos, but that is exactly what’s happening through five games. Wins never mattered for Seattle in 2022, Pete Carroll is just sitting back with a massive smile as Smith enters Week 6 with a 9-2 TD-INT ratio and one of the highest QBRs in the NFL.
26. Atlanta Falcons (25)
There is nothing to be gained for the Atlanta Falcons by starting Marcus Mariota moving forward. The offense needs a spark and the Falcons’ front office needs to find out if Desmond Ridder can be the long-term solution under center. If Atlanta doesn’t make the quarterback change soon, it’s just wasting time in a rebuild year.
Related: Heisman Watch 2022
25. Chicago Bears (30)
Yes, the Chicago Bears move up the NFL power rankings coming after a loss. It’s the end result of this team taking the Minnesota Vikings down to the final minutes and signs of growth from Justin Fields. If the second-year quarterback can build off these consecutive quality performances, maybe the Bears’ front office will actually invest in building a talented team around him.
24. Cleveland Browns (21)
Things look bleak for the Cleveland Browns. Sitting at 2-3 on the season, things are going to get much worse before there is even a shot at it getting better. By the time Deshaun Watson returns to action on Dec. 4, there’s a distinct possibility Cleveland is 3-8 and it won’t even have its own first-round pick. No, in case you were wondering, Deion Jones isn’t fixing this defense.
23. New York Jets (28)
Three wins in the last four games for the New York Jets. Putting that into perspective, New York is halfway towards its combined win total from the 2020-’21 seasons (6-27). Even if this win streak comes to an end in Week 6 against the Green Bay Packers, fans should feel very good about the direction this offense is headed.
Related: New York Jets schedule
22. New England Patriots (24)
Rhamondre Stevenson deserves a featured role in the New England Patriots’ offense and Bailey Zappe might have a long-term future in the NFL. The biggest takeaway from Sunday’s dominant victory over Detroit, Bill Belichick’s defense is back on track. With the Browns, Bears and Jets ahead on New England’s schedule in October, this team might just have a winning record entering November.
21. New Orleans Saints (23)
Taysom Hill saved the day, a fact that both the fan base and Sean Payton will love equally. We’re still not sold on the Saints being a playoff contender, but it certainly looks like a more competitive team in the last two games. Let’s see what Dennis Allen and Alvin Kamara can do against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 6.
Related: New Orleans Saints schedule
20. Denver Broncos (16)
Javonte Williams is lost for the season and Russell Wilson is either cooked or dealing with an injury that could bother him for most of the season. Either way, the Denver Broncos’ offseason investments in Wilson and Nathaniel Hackett have backfired. Even in an AFC West that isn’t nearly as good as we thought, Denver doesn’t look like a playoff team.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars (15)
Trevor Lawrence‘s sporadic play should tell you everything about why the Jacksonville Jaguars keep slipping in the NFL power rankings. After committing five turnovers in a 29-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, the second-year quarterback’s two interceptions decided Sunday’s 13-6 loss to Houston. The AFC South is still up for grabs, but the Jaguars can’t escape their own traps.
18. Las Vegas Raiders (19)
Only time will tell whether or not the Week 5 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 facing the Kansas City Chiefs.
17. Arizona Cardinals (14)
If Kyler Murray doesn’t slide too early, forcing a backup kicker to attempt a 43-yard field goal with 22 seconds left in the game, the Arizona Cardinals might have taken the Philadelphia Eagles into overtime. Instead, Kliff Kingsbury’s team drops to 2-3 with DeAndre Hopkins out another week and a challenging duel against the Seahawks looming in Week 6.
16. Indianapolis Colts (20)
The Indianapolis Colts won in Week 5, but it’s hard to push back on the belief that neither team deserved the victory on Thursday Night Football. Matt Ryan isn’t comfortable right now and he shouldn’t be behind an offensive line that is a jumbled mess. Because the 2022 season is full of chaos, Indianapolis could recapture first place in the AFC South with wins over the Jaguars and Tennessee Titans in the next two weeks. If we see a performance like the one witnessed in Week 5, the Colts could also be 2-4-1.
Related: Indianapolis Colts schedule
15. Los Angeles Rams (11)
We would have dropped the Los Angeles Rams further in the NFL power rankings if it was possible. The defending Super Bowl champions can’t protect Matthew Stafford, there is no ground attack to speak of and those are just a few of the problems. If you’re looking for a positive out of Los Angeles, at least its defense is getting back on track.
14. Miami Dolphins (7)
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will return and we expect to see a better version of the offense once he does. However, it’s clear to everyone who watches Miami for even one half that this defense is terrifyingly bad. It’s a steep drop in the rankings for the Dolphins entering Week 6 and it could plummet further if Justin Jefferson goes off against this secondary.
13. Green Bay Packers (4)
The Green Bay Packers aren’t a Super Bowl contender. Frankly, this is one of the worst NFL offenses in 2022 and it’s apparent that defensive coordinator Joe Barry will be wasting a talent-roich defense. This might seem like an egregious drop in the NFL power rankings for Green Bay, but it’s the end result of a team that collapsed under the weight of its own red flags.
12. Tennessee Titans (18)
Derrick Henry is on a mission to win the AFC South. He is once again the focal point of the Tennessee Titans offense and he carried this team to a three-game win streak entering its bye week. Responsible for 422 scrimmage yards and four touchdowns in the last three weeks, Henry might take Tennessee into the playoffs again.
Related: NFL Playoffs bracket
11. New York Giants (17)
We vowed to move the New York Giants up in the NFL power rankings if they beat the Green Bay Packers. Credit to Daniel Jones and Brian Daboll for a coaching and quarterback clinic in the second half. Daboll is firmly in the mix for Coach of the Year and looking at the rest of the opponents on the docket, it now feels like a safe bet to project the Giants for a winning record in 2022.
Related: New York Giants schedule
10. Los Angeles Chargers (12)
We’re at a point in the 2022 season with very few great teams. Look around the league and every club that finds itself in the playoff picture is alarmingly flawed. In the case of the Los Angeles Chargers, injuries have decimated the team on both sides of the ball and the run defense is just as bad as it was in 2021. With all that said, give us Justin Herbert and the Chargers’ offense over the options below it in the NFL power rankings.
9. Cincinnati Bengals (5)
The Cincinnati Bengals probably aren’t returning to the level we saw during that stunning playoff run. With that said, Joe Burrow fought pressure on his face on Sunday Night Football and delivered the go-ahead touchdown in the closing minutes. Unfortunately for him, 17 points just isn’t enough when you’re facing Lamar Jackson and Justin Tucker.
8. San Francisco 49ers (13)
The San Francisco 49ers are certainly taking advantage of their competition right now, feasting on a rival they’ve historically owned (Los Angeles Rams) and then running over a lifeless Panthers’ squad. We anticipate this stretch of excellence to continue in Week 5 against the Atlanta Falcons. Of course, there will also likely be a humbling on Oct. 23 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Related: Highest paid NFL players
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6)
Even against one of the worst defenses in the NFL, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense still didn’t look right. Look at what happened after Tom Brady and Co. took a 21-0 lead, three consecutive three-and-outs before a baffling roughing the passer penalty bailed the Buccaneers out on the final drive. Tampa Bay will beat up on teams at the bottom of the standings, but we can’t trust it against the best NFL teams right now.
6. Minnesota Vikings (8)
As long as quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings aren’t playing on primetime, this is one of the best NFL teams right now. It’s remarkable how much better the offense looks when Justin Jefferson is fed the football early and it helps set things up for Dalvin Cook. Minnesota should feast on Miami’s defense in Week 6. Speaking of defense, it’s the Achilles’ heel of this team.
Related: NFL standings
5. Baltimore Ravens (10)
On a night when Lamar Jackson missed several wide-open touchdowns, he overcame it by stepping up in the clutch with a game-winning drive. Week 5 still marked another instance of the Baltimore Ravens blowing a double-digit lead, but recovering from the setback and coming out on top could be the turning point that helps this team become a Super Bowl contender.
4. Dallas Cowboys (9)
Whether or not Dak Prescott returns in Week 6 – he is a “longshot” to play – it won’t change our long-term outlook for the Dallas Cowboys. This defense is significantly better than the unit we watched in 2021 and that was a strong group. If the Cowboys can win four games in a row with an offense limited by Cooper Rush, imagine what this team will look like with Prescott under center.
NFL power rankings: Super Bowl contenders entering Week 6
3. Kansas City Chiefs (3)
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. Philadelphia Eagles (1)
The Philadelphia Eagles are 5-0 for the first time since 2004. So, why aren’t they atop the Week 6 NFL power rankings? Part of it is the gap between quarterbacks Jalen Hurts and Josh Allen, with Allen far more proven in big games and more capable of carrying an entire offense. While both teams are outstanding defensively, Buffalo is accomplishing more despite injuries. It’s a narrow gap between the best NFL teams, but it exists.
Related: NFL QB rankings for Week 6
1. Buffalo Bills (2)
The Buffalo Bills are No. 1 in the NFL power rankings, reclaiming their title as the best team in the NFL. Even in Buffalo’s lone defeat, it overwhelmingly dominated in total yardage, time of possession and third-down conversions. Sunday’s offensive explosion highlights why this is the best offense in the NFL. Get your popcorn ready, Bills vs Chiefs in Week 6 will be phenomenal.
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.