The 2022 NFL season is HERE! And so it’s the perfect time for everyone’s favorite meaningful exercise: NFL Power Rankings! Let’s take a look at how all 32 teams stack up. What differentiates these rankings from others is that they’re the only truly accurate ones in the entire universe. So, make sure to take them entirely too seriously.
BLG’S WEEK 1 NFL POWER RANKINGS
1 - Los Angeles Rams - Given the uncertainty regarding Matthew Stafford’s elbow, it’s hard to feel great about putting the Rams in the top spot. Stafford himself recently seemed to indicate he’s not quite at 100%. Still, the reigning Super Bowl champions have earned some benefit of the doubt. There’s still enough talent on their roster to believe they’re the top team in the NFC, if not the entire NFL.
2 - Buffalo Bills - Well, isn’t this fun? Arguably the top two teams in the league kicking off the 2022 season on Thursday night. In addition to boasting a loaded roster, the Bills might very well have the top quarterback in the league. If he can pick up where he left off, Josh Allen is a force to be reckoned with.
3 - Kansas City Chiefs - Tell me you can’t see the Chiefs as the NFL’s version of the Warriors. Everyone kind of got bored with how great Stephen Curry was that they probably underrated the Golden State’s chances to win another title. Similar thing could be happening with Patrick Mahomes. While I do think the impact of losing Tyreek Hill is a concern to monitor, the Chiefs might just roll along anyway. No one will be shocked if they win the Super Bowl this year.
4 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers - One must admit that the vibes in Tampa are not exactly immaculate. There’s some weirdness going on down there. Tom Brady missing a big chunk of training camp was strange. The Bucs getting weaker on the interior offensive line is a big red flag. That said, it’s hard to doubt Brady too much until we actually see him fall off.
5 - Green Bay Packers - Losing Davante Adams feels like it should be a big deal considering the Packers’ top wide receiver options are currently Allen Lazard, Sammy Watkins, and Randall Cobb. But how much can you doubt Aaron Rodgers? While his teams have certainly come up short in the postseason, they’re 39-10 in the regular season since Matt LaFleur arrived. It’s hard to imagine they’re suddenly going to be easy to beat.
6 - Cincinnati Bengals - There’s a case to be made the Bengals are being slept on. History doesn’t necessarily bode well for teams coming off a Super Bowl loss. But it’s hard not to buy into Joe Burrow. He’s clearly one of the rare “win because of” quarterbacks in the NFL, as opposed to “win with” or “with in spite of” passers. Burrow is the straw that stirs the drink and he played his best football as he got further removed from the injury that ended his rookie season early. Now equipped with the best offensive line of his NFL career, Burrow could feasibly make an MVP run.
7 - Los Angeles Chargers - Even the most ardent Chargers proponents can’t ignore how the team NEVER lives up to the lofty expectations placed upon them. But, hey, this is a hill that many (including myself) are willing to die on. Justin Herbert is way too talented as a passer to not be willing to believe in him. The Bolts adding Khalil Mack to their defense kind of got swept under the rug given all the other big player movement in the NFL this offseason. Though it won’t be easy by any means, the Bolts have what it takes to win their division. It probably won’t happen because, well, they’re the Chargers, but the path is there for them.
8 - Denver Broncos - Am I alone in feeling uneasy about this team? I think there’s a case to be made the Broncos are the most overrated squad in the NFL. Coming off a down year in Seattle, Russell Wilson might not be able to make as big of a difference for Denver as one would believe. It’s hard to totally know what to make of Nathaniel Hackett as a head coach. The division is so tough. Ultimately, I do believe Russ is one of the very best quarterbacks in the NFL, which is why I have them this high. But there’s serious potential for disappointment here.
9 - Baltimore Ravens - There’s a lot of pressure on Lamar Jackson as he enters a contract year. What do the Ravens do if he has another strong regular season but totally flames out in the playoffs yet again? Baltimore is a prime worst-to-first candidate as they figure to avoid having the worst injury luck in the NFL for the second year in a row. They also added a lot of talent in the 2022 NFL Draft. Still, perhaps more than any other team, they need to perform in the postseason.
10 - Miami Dolphins - I’m surprised I’ve reached this point but I think the Dolphins might be the most underrated team in the NFL. I never really saw it with Tua Tagovailoa but that changed when I watched him practice against Philly. It’s entirely possible and perhaps very likely I’m making way too much out of one practice. But Tua looked really good throwing to the weapons that Miami has provided him with. Tyreek Hill is a needle-mover for this franchise. They have a better chance of winning the AFC East than most will be willing to admit.
11 - Philadelphia Eagles - There’s ample reason to be excited about the Eagles. They have one the most talented rosters in the NFL. They have one of the easiest schedules in the NFL. So, why aren’t they in the top 10? The fact of the matter is they still have so much to prove. Jalen Hurts has yet to demonstrate he can lead his team to victory when the Eagles face one of the better teams in the NFL. Jonathan Gannon has yet to prove his defense won’t get absolutely roasted by one of the league’s better quarterbacks. Again, there’s reason to believe that improvement is in store. But the Birds haven’t earned the benefit of the doubt just yet.
12 - Dallas Cowboys - It’s difficult for even the biggest Cowboys homers to argue that Dallas got better this offseason. By contrast, it’s easy to point out how they got worse in multiple areas. No more Amari Cooper. A weakened offensive line that only got weaker with Tyron Smith suffering a serious injury. Dallas still has enough going for them to beat up on weaker opponents and contend for the NFC East crown. As we all know, though, history does not bode well for their chances of repeating as division champs. The Dallas decline is coinciding with an Eagles elevation.
13 - Las Vegas Raiders - There are certainly things to like about the Raiders. That the team was able to navigate tumultuous circumstances last year to still make the playoffs was impressive. Derek Carr is coming off a quality season. Reuniting him with Davonte Adams could conceivably take him to new heights. Adding Chandler Jones to pair with Maxx Crosby is a big deal. All that said, the offensive line situation isn’t the strongest. And that could be a big undoing. Can you even name their starters outside of Kolton Miller?
14 - Minnesota Vikings - Any optimism about the Vikings has to start with Justin Jefferson His claim that he’ll be the best wide receiver in the NFL after this season is hardly far-fetched. It’ll be especially exciting to see how a new coaching staff can find ways to maximize him. At the end of the day, the Vikings’ ceiling is capped with Kirk Cousins at the helm. But this team will be pushing for a playoff spot in a relatively weak NFC.
15 - San Francisco 49ers - Arguably the hardest team to place in these rankings. There’s a lot of talent on this roster. The coaching staff knows how to produce a productive offense. But the quarterback is a gigantic question mark. Trey Lance did not look good in the summer and those struggles are not unrelated to Jimmy Garoppolo’s unexpected return. Entering the season, I see a team that will struggle with consistency.
16 - Indianapolis Colts - The Colts seem to believe replacing Carson Wentz with Matt Ryan will fix all of their problems. While Wentz was certainly not part of the solution, he wasn’t the ONLY issue in Indianapolis last year. Unless Jonathan Taylor can really carry them again, which isn’t out of the question, this looks like a middling roster. I mean, Matt Pryor is currently their starting left tackle.
17 - New England Patriots - What’s more likely: the Pats winning the AFC East or the Pats finishing last in their division? I feel like the majority would go with the former but I’m leaning with the latter. While Bill Belichick has obviously earned some benefit of the doubt, entrusting Matt Patricia and Joe Judge to run the offense is going too far. They’re the ones to maximize an offensive depth chart that doesn’t even look all too inspiring? I like Mac Jones more than most but he needs the proper support system and I’m not so sure he has that.
18 - Arizona Cardinals - Is there anyone out there that feels really good about the Cards right now? Are you really buying Kliff Kingsbury and/or Kyler Murray stock following their regular late season collapses?
19 - New Orleans Saints - The Saints are one of the most overrated teams in the league. I mean, Peter King has them finishing as the No. 1 seed in the NFC. How? Why is everyone ignoring that Jameis Winston has largely been a turnover machine in his career? Why is everyone ignoring that defensive performance isn’t as sticky on a year-to-year basis? It’s bizarre. Losing Sean Payton is going to have a bigger impact than people seem to realize.
20 - Tennessee Titans - The Titans are one of the biggest stock down teams of the 2022 offseason. After finishing as the No. 1 seed in the AFC last year, they could conceivably miss the playoffs this season. Losing A.J. Brown is a big deal. Derrick Henry isn’t going to be able to be Derrick Henry forever. Would anyone be truly shocked to see Ryan Tannehill lose his job to Malik Willis at some point this year?
21 - Pittsburgh Steelers - It feels like the Steelers are in jeopardy of being a losing team for the first time since 2003. Of course, Mike Tomlin is typically not someone you want to count out. While it’s fair to be skeptical about a team with Mitchell Trubisky as their starting quarterback, it’s only fair to point out he’s probably an upgrade on their previous starter from the past two years. I’m also low key buying Kenny Pickett turning into a good quarterback. I think he replaces Trubisky sooner than later and turns out to be at least a “win with” player.
22 - Washington Commanders - For reasons both on and off the field, the vibes are bad in Washington. Carson Wentz is going to have some nice moments this year. But the bad plays are going out to outweigh the good. He is what he is at this point and he’s not going to change. Washington will be looking for a new quarterback after this season with Wentz playing his final season in the NFL.
23 - Detroit Lions - The Lions were frisky last year. They have the potential to be a bigger pain after adding Aidan Hutchinson. They still don’t have enough talent to seriously contend for a playoff spot and Jared Goff certainly isn’t elevating the supporting cast around him. But they’re rarely going to be a cakewalk team to beat with Dan Campbell at the helm.
24 - Cleveland Browns - Jacoby Brissett is decidedly not it, folks. This a lost season for the Browns. By the time Deshaun Watson returns late in the season, it’ll be too late.
25 - New York Giants - The Giants know this isn’t their year. If they were under any delusions about maximizing their ability to win now, they wouldn’t have merely cut players like James Bradberry and Blake Martinez. Joe Schoen is wise to think about the team’s long-term health. Unfortunately for Giants fans, that means a season of taking their medicine. The good news is that Brian Daboll probably won’t be as pathetic as previous Giants coaches (see: Joe Judge, Pat Shurmur)
26 - Jacksonville Jaguars - The AFC South is open enough to argue there’s a path for Doug Pedereson to lead the Jags to a division title. Trevor Lawrence has the potential to make the leap. For now, it’s hard to merely assume the team that finished with the No. 1 overall pick the past two years is going to a good team. Let’s see them prove it at least a little bit first.
27 - New York Jets - Joe Flacco is going to play well enough for Jets fans to call for him when Zach Wilson inevitably struggles upon his return.
28 - Houston Texans - On one hand, the Texans’ roster isn’t good. On the other hand, their division is kinda open and they could benefit from such low expectations. They have an easier path to overachieving in this regard.
29 - Chicago Bears - The Bears are serious contenders for the No. 1 overall pick. Everyone has already built excuses for Justin Fields not playing well. And while there is certainly truth to him lacking an ideal supporting cast, most don’t want to admit that he might also not be as good as they think he is.
30 - Atlanta Falcons - What makes you feel good about the Falcons? What can you point to that you really believe in? Kyle Pitts, OK. Anything else? Grady Jarett used to be a force but he had one sack in 17 games last year and is entering his age 29 season. Arthur Smith did not inspire much confidence last year.
31 - Carolina Panthers - Acquiring Baker Mayfield raised the Panthers’ floor a little bit. Is their ceiling all too different, though? Is anyone buying Matt Rhule stock right now? He’s a strong contender to be the first head coach fired.
32 - Seattle Seahawks - The year is 2022 and Geno Smith is their starting quarterback. Need I say more?