2022 NFL Power Rankings: Bears outside of Top 25
|Friday, December 30, 2022, 5:00 PM- -|
Here is BearsHQ.com's 18th power rankings for the 2022 season.
*We decided to explain the top 16 and the Bears*
1. Kansas City Chiefs 12-3 (up 1)
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs turned a rocky start into a dominating end of the season. Aside from two losses to the Bengals, the Chiefs did not lose since October. However, without Tyreek Hill, the offense looks much different, although the Chiefs did acquire Ju-Ju Smith Schuster, Marquez-Valdez Scantling, and rookie Skyy Moore to an offense that has Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. And that offense was clicking in weeks one and two. The Chiefs are one of the league’s best teams — despite dropping a late game to the Colts early on. The Chiefs got back on track in a big way with a dominating win over the Buccaneers and beat the Raiders in prime time Monday night.
The Chiefs are easily a top-5 team in the sport, despite their recent loss to Buffalo at home — mostly because they responded by dominating the 49ers and beating the Titans, Jaguars, Chargers, and the Rams most recently before dropping their third loss of the calendar year to the Cincinnati Bengals. But the Chiefs got back on track with a win over the Broncos and squeaked past the Texans in overtime. This week, the Chiefs took care of the Seahawks and kept pace in the AFC.
2. Buffalo Bills 12-3 (up 1)
The Bills are one of the league’s best teams and had a heartbreaking end to the postseason a year ago. Josh Allen and the Bills won the AFC East and dominated New England in the playoffs before falling to Kansas City in overtime in the playoffs. Either way, the Bills are primed to own the AFC East and contend in the AFC. They are motivated, and showed it in their week one blowout of LA and week two domination of Tennessee, but faltered a bit in week 3 against Miami. The Bills did get back on track against the Ravens in week four, their first win over their last 20 victories that was by less than 10 points. The Bills followed that up by throttling the Steelers and getting past the big brother Chiefs in a thriller.
The Bills beat down the Packers, but they faltered against the Jets. They look GOOD, but beatable, which showed against Minnesota. But the Bills got back on track these past three weeks, getting past the Browns, Lions, Patriots, Jets, and Dolphins in a snowy game. Despite trailing to the Bears at halftime, the Bills rallied 32-3 to beat the Bears on Sunday and own the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
3. Philadelphia Eagles 13-2 (down 2)
Philadelphia ended last season on a hot streak and added AJ Brown to an offense that was missing a WR 1, and all of a sudden, the Eagles look like a championship team. 38 points in week one, a week two blowout on Monday Night Football over the Minnesota Vikings, and a dominating win over the Commanders, Jaguars, Cardinals, and division rival Cowboys — plus they recently dismantled their in-state rival Steelers and the Texans in primetime. Philly looks legit, the best team in the NFL thus far, until their week 10 loss to Washington.
However, the Eagles have rebounded nicely since, with wins over the Colts, and Packers and convincing wins over the Titans, Giants, and Bears. But, a potential Jalen Hurts injury puts the Eagles' top spot at risk, especially after losing to the Cowboys in week 16.
4. San Francisco 49ers 11-4 (no change)
San Francisco has one of the most talented rosters in the sport and rode their best players to an NFC Championship appearance. The 49ers made the change to Trey Lance, but with Kyle Shannahan and the defensive superstars the 49ers have, they are easily one of the NFC’s best teams on paper — and with Trey Lance injured, Jimmy G is back under center, so we know what they are, and that is a good team, as shown on Monday night when they handled the Rams and this week when they thumped Carolina. But, the 49ers faltered on Sunday against the Falcons.
The 49ers acquired Christian McCaffrey at the trade deadline, and now look primed for a playoff push, and beating the Rams, Chargers, Cardinals, Saints and Dolphins certainly helps their case — but we’ll see how the 49ers look with Brock Purdy under center instead of Jimmy G, so far so good with back-to-back-to-back-to-back wins.
5. Cincinnati Bengals 11-4 (no change)
The Bengals were the AFC’s representative in the Super Bowl, but it has been a rocky start to the season for Joe Burrow and the Bengals. The Bengals have struggled to keep Burrow upright, but still, have the makings of a contending team, and showed that Sunday against the Jets and last Thursday against the then-undefeated Dolphins — but faltered slightly on SNF against Baltimore. The Bengals got back on track with a win over New Orleans on Sunday — but faltered in a big way against the Browns on Monday Night Football.
However, the Bengals got back to winning ways over Carolina, Steelers, Titans, Chiefs, Browns, Buccaneers, and the Patriots this past week. They are one of the hottest teams in all of football right now.
6. Dallas Cowboys 11-4 (no change)
Dallas has one of the best defenses in the league, but week 1 was challenging as the Cowboys dropped the game to Tampa and lost Dak Prescott to injury. But since then, the Cowboys have rallied to beat the Bengals, Giants, Commanders, and Rams — they are definitely a team to look out for in the NFC. With Dak back, the Cowboys have beaten the Lions and Bears in a convincing fashion. But have faltered against the Packers this past Sunday. Dallas had an elite response, though, dominating the 8-1 Vikings on the road on Sunday and beating the Giants on Thanksgiving and the Colts in dominant fashion before squeaking past the Texans and losing from behind to the Jaguars.
The Cowboys got back on track in a big way by beating the Eagles on Sunday.
7. Minnesota Vikings 12-3 (no change)
With an offensive-minded head coach and the best wide receiver in football, the Minnesota Vikings look like legit contenders early on. A blowout win of the division rival Green Bay Packers certainly helps, but getting blown out against Philadelphia certainly does not. But keep an eye on Minnesota, as they got back on track with wins over the Lions, Saints, Bears, Dolphins, Cardinals, Commanders, and Bills. However, the Vikings fell mightily to the Cowboys on Sunday. But, getting back on track on Thanksgiving over the Patriots and Jets was a strong showing for Minnesota, but they faltered to Detroit this past week. Minnesota got back on track in a BIG way; down 33-0 against the Colts, the Vikings came from behind to win 39-36 in OT — the NFL’s biggest comeback ever.
They followed that up with another big win over the Giants, their 11th one-possession win.
8. Los Angeles Chargers 9-6 (no change)
LA might have had the best off-season in the league. The offense had no problems, but the Chargers struggled to get stops. This year, the Chargers add pass rusher Khalil Mack and shut down corner JC Jackson to a defense that will be getting a healthy Derwin James and Joey Bosa back in 2022. This team might be the most complete team in the NFL, and they looked like it handling the Raiders in Week one. A step back in week two against KC, where Justin Herbert was injured, and a week three loss where he was not himself will not knock the Chargers too far back in our rankings, especially after their blowout of the Texans and wins over Cleveland and Broncos over the last three weeks. However, dropping to Seattle did not help the Chargers, but beating Atlanta did before they lost to the 49ers and Chiefs in back-to-back weeks.
They got back on track nicely this past week over the Cardinals as they begin to regain health, but dropped one to the Raiders this week — they’ve been disappointing. But they could still make the playoffs, and a strong showing on SNF over Miami, Tennessee, and the Colts has the Chargers clicking at the right time.
9. Baltimore Ravens 10-5 (up 1)
Baltimore has one of the league’s strongest rosters but they spent most of 2021 as the most injured team in the sport. But this team has speed all over the field, on both sides of the ball, and they know their identity. Led by an MVP in Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have the recipe for success — they just need to stay healthy. The Ravens lost a shootout thriller in week two against Miami and a tough game to Buffalo in week four but got back on track by beating the Bengals on Sunday night. This week, Baltimore took a step back, falling to the Giants. However, the Ravens have gotten it back on track beating the Browns, Tampa Bay, the Saints, and the Panthers. Just when it appeared the Ravens had turned the corner of finishing games strong, they blew a 9-point fourth-quarter lead to the Jaguars and barely snuck past the Broncos in a game that Lamar Jackson got hurt in and beat the Steelers without Jackson last week, but fell to the Browns this past Saturday. Even without Jackson, the Ravens were able to beat the Falcons and maintain pace in the division.
10. Miami Dolphins 8-7 (down 1)
The question surrounding the Miami Dolphins is how good can Tua be, because the offense that features Tyreek Hill, Jalen Waddle, and Raheem Mostert is loaded with speed. If Tua can tie it all together, Miami looks scary, and his six touchdown passes in an epic comeback against Baltimore certainly looks like it and hanging on over the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills, among other victories over the Bears, Browns, Patriots, Steelers, Lions, and Texans make the Dolphins a top-10 team — despite their losses to Cincinnati, New York, Minnesota, San Francisco, LA, Buffalo and now the Packers.
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-8 (up 2)
So we know the Bucs have a wildly talented offense and a defense with young stars — plus Tom Brady, so this team really does not have any flaws — and that was on display Sunday night in Dallas. This week against New Orleans, Tom Brady had some struggles, but the defense came through at the end to make Tampa Bay 2-0. Weeks three and four were a step back, losing to Green Bay and Kansas City. Tom Brady has not lost three weeks in a row since 2002. That streak continued when the Bucs beat the Falcons in Week 5. However, there is plenty of drama surrounding Brady, and some think that led to the Bucs dropping one to the Steelers or to the Ravens this week. We saw a bit of vintage Brady this past week over the Rams, though, and in Germany over the Seahawks. Brady has become the only quarterback in NFL history to win an NFL game in four countries.
The Buccaneers looked primed to get over .500 on Sunday, but they uncharacteristically choked a fourth-quarter lead and lost in overtime to the Browns. But, Brady’s magic was back in full swing this week against the Saints, completing a 14-point comeback in the fourth quarter. However, it did not last, as the 49ers handled the Bucs this week, and the Bengals came back from down 17-0 to win 34-23. But, Tampa was able to get back on track with a win over Arizona on Christmas.
12. Jacksonville Jaguars 7-8 (up 2)
Back in our top 16 is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are hot at the right time in the NFL’s weakest division. Trevor Laurence is finally starting to live up to his hype, and the Jaguars have an offense that has produced at least 27 points in four of its last six games. They are hot right now, and with an easy schedule left, the Jaguars could squeak into the playoffs.
13. New York Giants 8-6-1 (down 2)
The New York Giants have shocked the football world early on as they are in position for a playoff berth. Led by a resurgent Saquan Barkley and stout defense, the Giants have been able to beat the Titans, Panthers, Bears, Packers, and Ravens in the early going — all while proven no lead is safe against the G men — even though the Giants were unable to complete the comeback against Seattle, they got back on track against the Texans this week before losing to the Lions on Sunday and the Cowboys on Thanksgiving, tying the Commanders and losing to the Eagles.
But, the Giants made a statement in week 15, beating the Commanders and taking control of the NFC’s last playoff spot even despite their loss to the Vikings.
14. Detroit Lions 7-8 (down 2)
The Lions have been one of the best stories in the NFL this season. Despite faltering to 1-6 out of the gate, the Lions have battled to 7-7 led by Jared Goff and a prolific offense that is surprisingly loaded with weapons. The Lions' defense has begun to click as of late. The Lions have wins over the Packers, Bears, Jets, Giants, Jaguars, and Vikings to show for it. However, with a lot of hype, the Lions struggled against Carolina on Saturday.
15. Green Bay Packers 7-8 (up 2)
Green Bay is back in our top 15 after their recent hot stretch. When everything playoff related looked bleak for Aaron Rodgers and the nearly weaponless Green Bay Packers, they have flipped the switch. Once 4-8, the Packers have rattled off wins over the Bears, Rams, and Dolphins to put themselves within striking distance of the playoffs. And with a team led by Aaron Rodgers, I’m sure no team would be itching to play them.
16. New York Jets 7-8 (down 1)
New York Jets are back in our top 15 after a commanding win over the Bears, with new starting quarterback Mike White at the helm. The Jets benched Zach Wilson despite having a winning record, and the Jets' offense appeared to click. The Jets have wins over the Bills, Packers, Bears, Dolphins, Browns, Steelers, and Broncos and are enjoying their best season in years. A bit of QB controversy late in the season leaves the playoffs in question, but we’ll keep our eyes on the Jets.
17. Washington Commanders 7-7-1 (down 1)
18. New England Patriots 7-8 (no change)
19. Pittsburgh Steelers 7-8 (up 2)
20. Tennessee Titans 7-8 (down 1)
21. Seattle Seahawks 7-8 (down 1)
22. Las Vegas Raiders 6-9 (no change)
23. New Orleans Saints 6-9 (no change)
24. Atlanta Falcons 5-10 (no change)
25. Cleveland Browns 6-9 (no change)
26. Carolina Panthers 6-9 (up 3)
27. Los Angeles Rams 5-10 (up 3)
28. Chicago Bears 3-12 (down 2)
The Bears go into the season with a new coach, a new general manager, a new staff, and a quarterback who many expect to take the next step. Now it’s just time for the Bears to upgrade the offensive line and build around Justin Fields, and finally, show some promise on the field. Which they did in their week 1 win over the 49ers. After a few weeks of choppy offense, the Bears delivered in a big way on Monday night over the New England Patriots, dominating in Foxboro. Justin Fields is showing some real promise, and the Bears are winning games — plus, the acquisition of Chase Claypool should help the offense.
The Bears have lost to the Cowboys, Dolphins, Lions, Falcons, Jets, Packers, Eagles, and Bills in consecutive weeks, but the best player on the field in all games has been from Chicago — in fact, Fields became the first player all season to win NFC Player of the week in a losing effort, and the first in NFL history to rush for 178 yards in a game. And the first ever to have three 50+ yard rush TDs. Plus, the Bears are the first team in NFL History to lose three straight games when they put up 29+ points. Fields now has 1,000 rush yards too.
29. Arizona Cardinals 4-11 (down 2)
30. Indianapolis Colts 4–10-1 (down 2)
31. Denver Broncos 4-11 (no change)
32. Houston Texans 1–12-1 (no change)
Stay tuned as we update these rankings every week.