Way-too-early 2022 NFL Power Rankings
|Saturday, February 19, 2022, 9:25 AM- -|
We're through the 2021 NFL season, and it was a great season as Nonetheless, the Los Angeles Rams won the Super Bowl over the Cincinnati Bengals. As the offseason approaches, we decided to give our way-to-early power rankings for next season.
We decided to explain the top 16 and the Bears:
1. Los Angeles Rams 12-5
The LA Rams came into this season as arguably the most improved team in the league because they added Matthew Stafford in place of Jared Goff. Throughout the season, they improved even more with various acquisitions and have a Super Bowl trophy as a reward. They are the champions, so they will have our number one spot, although they do not have many draft picks or cap space.
2. Kansas City Chiefs 12-5
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs turned a rocky start into a dominating end of the season. Aside from losses to the Bengals, the Chiefs have not lost since October. Their offense is still contracted as one of the best in football and have all of the pieces to be great for years to come.
3. Buffalo Bills 11-6
The Bills are one of the league's best teams and had a heartbreaking end to the postseason. Josh Allen and the Bills won the AFC East and dominated New England 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 will return a large portion of what already was an incredible roster.
4. Green Bay Packers 13-4
For most of the last offseason, the Packers were one of the most questionable teams — and it all depended on reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers. He led the Packers to the No. 1 seed in the NFC before getting upset by the 49ers. Now it's back to the offseason and more questions for the Packers. They are loaded with talent, but it all depends on Rodgers — if he's back, they're top 5.
5. Cincinnati Bengals 10-7
Joe Burrow and the Bengals shocked the world in 2021 and almost won the Super Bowl. The team has some clear weaknesses (offensive line, cornerback) but boasts one of the best young quarterbacks and the most cap room in the NFL. The recipe is there for the Bengals to last as a contender in the AFC.
6. San Francisco 49ers 10-7
San Francisco has one of the most talented rosters and rode their best players to an NFC Championship appearance. QB is unknown, but with Kyle Shannahan and the defensive superstars the 49ers have, they are easily one of the NFC's best teams.
7. Tennessee Titans 12-5
The Titans are the twice reigning AFC South champions and are coming off a season where they earned the No. 1 seed in the AFC. Despite battling numerous injuries, the Titans found a way to make it work all year long. Getting some health back, one can expect another strong season out of the Titans in 2022.
8. Dallas Cowboys 12-5
Dallas had a disappointing end to a strong season that included winning the NFC East. Dallas has playmakers all over the field and looks to be the class of the NFC East. It's just time for Dak Prescott to take the next step as QB and win a playoff game.
9. Arizona Cardinals 11-6
After looking like the NFL's best team for most of the first half, a dramatic fall-off thanks to injuries leaves the Cardinals with some question marks. However, if Kyler Murray stays and plays in Arizona, this roster is more than good enough to be a top 10 team.
10. Los Angeles Chargers 9-8
LA might have had the best offseason in the AFC last season but still missed the playoffs. But the Chargers know that Justin Herbert is one of the league's best QB's, and it is only a matter of time before they find themselves in the postseason. The Chargers could use a little bit of help on the defensive side of the ball to solidify being a contender.
11. New England Patriots 10-7
The best coach still coaches the New England Patriots in Bill Bellichick, and rookie QB Mac Jones will only improve. That alone should be enough for the Patriots to feel confident about their future.
12. Baltimore Ravens 8-9
Baltimore has one of the league's strongest rosters, but they spent most of 2021 as the most injured teams. 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 need to stay healthy.
13. Las Vegas Raiders 10-7
What the Las Vegas Raiders did in 2021 is nothing short of impressive. Derek Carr and the Raiders made the playoffs despite losing multiple players and a coach to legal miscues. The AFC is loaded, and the AFC West is no cakewalk, but the Raiders showed in 2021 to never count them out.
14. Indianapolis Colts 9-8
The Colts are in our top 16 after an upside-down season. The Colts started slow, got hot in the middle of the year thanks to a strong defense and the NFL's leading rusher Jonathan Taylor — and then collapsed in the season's final weeks. Nonetheless, they are built for the future and have their identity. The only question regarding the Colts is whether or not Carson Wentz is the guy to lead them.
15. Minnesota Vikings 8-9
At 15, you can look at the Vikings in one of two ways. They are the best bad team or the worst good team. Nonetheless, the Vikings boast one of the best rosters in the sport and should be winning more games. The Vikings have a roster that could go deep into the postseason, whether it's Kirk Cousins or someone else.
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-4
So we know the Bucs have a wildly talented offense and a defense with young stars — but without Tom Brady, who announced his retirement, we don't honestly know what this team is. But what Brady showed us, a good quarterback can make the Bucs one of the league's best teams.
17. Philadelphia Eagles 9-8
18. Cleveland Browns 8-9
19. Seattle Seahawks 7-10
20. New Orleans Saints 9-8
21. Denver Broncos 7-10
22. Chicago Bears 6-11
The Bears go into the offseason with a new coach, a new general manager, a new staff, and a quarterback who knows he will be starting come next season. Now it's time for the Bears to upgrade the offensive line and build around Justin Fields.
23. Pittsburgh Steelers 9-7-1
24. Miami Dolphins 9-8
25. Washington Football Team 7-10
26. Atlanta Falcons 7-10
27. Carolina Panthers 5-12
28. Detroit Lions 3-13-1
29. Houston Texans 4-13
30. New York Jets 4-13
31. New York Giants 4-13
32. Jacksonville Jaguars 3-14
Stay tuned as we update these rankings periodically.