The Cavalier’s 2022 NFL Power Rankings
September 7, 2022
Football is finally back and we have decided to rank all 32 teams based on how they will perform this season. Here are our comprehensive rankings:
- Buffalo Bills
The consensus number 1. After a heartbreaking loss to the Chiefs in the AFC divisional round last year, the Bills are gearing up for their first Super Bowl run since the days of grunge music and frosted tips. Josh Allen will always be a contender for MVP and Stephon Diggs will continue to put up great numbers. With a stacked offense, the Bills’ defense will hold teams off the board as one of the best back lines in football with Micah Hyde, Tre’Davious White, and Jordan Poyer. With an off-season signing of Von Miller, the Bills bolstered their front 7 that already includes some breakout stars like Ed Oliver and Matt Milano.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady’s unretirement plays a significant role in the Bucs’ return to the top of the list. With the possibility of Kyle Trask or Blaine Gabbert taking the reins, Tom Brady provides the consistent quarterback play to pair with their elite line, weapons, and defense. The receiving core of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage, and Julio Jones provides Brady with an elite offense that can compete for another Super Bowl.
- Los Angeles Rams
The reigning Super Bowl champions will continue to be a contender with Sean McVay,
Cooper Kupp, Matthew Stafford, and a recent off-season acquisition in Allen Robinson. The defense still boasts two generational talents in Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, and with Bobby Wagner hopefully turning back the clock to his “Legion Of Boom” days. If the Rams can click on both sides of the ball at the right time in January, expect another Super Bowl run for these guys.
- Kansas City Chiefs
Even after losing Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs still have a loaded offense featuring Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and new addition Juju Smith-Schuster. The Chiefs do not have a stable running game but have a good defense that should keep them in Super Bowl contention.
- Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert will be an MVP contender in year three, and his talent can’t be overstated. Austin Ekeler is what Christian McCaffrey should be as both a pass catcher out of the backfield and a run game number 1 in the Charger up-tempo spread attack. Mike Williams, Kenan Allen, and Gerald Everett make a solid three-headed monster for Hebert to throw the ball around to. The defense added Khalil Mack to help Joey Bosa in the pass-rush, and JC Jackson,
Derwin James and rookie Asante Samuel Jr will keep the ball out of the hands of opposing receivers.
- Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens will look to retake the AFC North crown after the Bengals won due to a very injured Ravens roster. Baltimore will rely heavily on Mark Andrews to carry the load as a safety blanket for Lamar Jackson with a very young receiving core. The Ravens’ defense will shoulder the load like any good Baltimore Ravens squad. This season should hopefully be the season Lamar Jackson and Co. get over the hump and win a playoff game after missing last season.
- Denver Broncos
Initially a puzzling choice, but reviewing the Broncos roster and offseason moves this team has set themselves up for success. Russell Wilson is always going to be on the field and playing well regardless of circumstances. Instead of the aging weapons he had in Seattle, Wilson now has Courtland Sutton and, as long as he stays out of trouble, Jerry Jeudy. Defensively, the Broncos have the best back line in football. Ronald Darby, Patrick Surtain II, Justin Simmons, and Kareem Jackson will dominate the AFC west even with the competition in their division.
- Indianapolis Colts
The Colts bolstered their offense with the signing of Matt Ryan, and we should expect a career resurgence from Ryan. Frank Reich is still one of the best offensive minds in the game and Michael Pittman and Jonathan Taylor will continue to put up numbers. The Colts also have one of the best pass rush attacks in the league as DeForest Buckner, formerly Darius now Shaquille Leonard, and Yannick Ngakoue will terrorize backfields if they stay healthy. Add in Stephon Gilmore and the Colts are now in Super Bowl talks for the first time since the Peyton Manning days.
- Green Bay Packers
Although he is a bit of a strange bird now, Aaron Rodgers is still a fantastic NFL quarterback. Similarly to Russell Wilson, Rodgers always puts up numbers despite circumstances. Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon provide a 1-2 punch in the run game. The biggest question for the Packers is the defense. A decent pass rush lost Za’darius Smith to the Vikings this offseason leaving Rashard Gary to carry most of that weight. Couple that with a mediocre secondary and this could be a boom-or-bust season in Green Bay.
- San Francisco 49ers
A surprise playoff team last year, the 49ers are hoping to develop Trey Lance into the franchise quarterback he was picked to be. Deebo Samuel’s swiss army knife type of play will certainly help. Nick Bosa will anchor the pass rush however some questions are raised about his health. Similar to Green Bay, a lot of questions for the Niners in a make-or-break season.
- Cincinnati Bengals
A surprise Super Bowl run isn’t going to help the Bengals here. Joe Burrow had a great season but was still showing some rust after a brutal knee injury 2 seasons ago. This year, with the help of Joe Mixon, Tee Higgins, and Jamar Chase, he should really be in MVP talks. The defense of the Bengals is solid but they still employ Eli Apple after he basically lost the Super Bowl last year. The signing of La’el Collins will help bolster the O-Line and keep Burrow upright to put up MVP numbers.
- Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are tough to get a read on. Their team on paper is really good, especially their defense. However, it’s the Cowboys who are famously inconsistent. Dak Prescott puts up numbers but does not wins. The defense should be really good even with losing Randy Gregory, as the linebacking core of Micah Parsons, a healthy Leighton Vander Esch, and a healthy Anthony Barr should hold down the defense enough to keep the Cowboys in contention in the atrocious NFC East.
- Philadelphia Eagles
The first year that the Eagles need to see some progress after their short rebuild. The Eagles need Jalen Hurts to pass the ball around better to his weapons in Devonta Smith and off-season pickup AJ Brown. The Eagles have a bend-don’t-break defensive approach, and while it keeps them in contention, it’s skeptical how they play in November and December.
- Las Vegas Raiders
Despite a season of turmoil (Henry Ruggs, Gruden’s Emails, etc), the Raiders still finished 10-7 and are in striking distance of a playoff spot. Derek Carr has the best lineup to throw to this year, with Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller, Josh Jacobs, and Davante Adams all looking to contribute to a top-flight offense. The 2 biggest challenges for the Raiders are their defense and their divisional competition. The defense has been terrible since Khalil Mack was traded almost 5 years ago, and the Raiders are in the best division in football. Everything needs to break right in Vegas for these guys to sneak into the playoffs.
- Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings are kind of in the same category as the Raiders (hence the ranking). A top-flight offense with the best receiver in the game (Justin Jefferson) and a top-10 running back (Dalvin Cook) has been squandered by poor defense and mediocre quarterback play. Kirk Cousins isn’t going to be a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback. The defense picked up some solid names in Za’Darius Smith, Harrison Phillips, and Jordan Hicks for the pass rush, and their draft was focused on the secondary. With an improved defense, the Vikings should be really good, however, the average play at quarterback and young guys having to shoulder the load do raise some questions for the upcoming season.
- Tennessee Titans
The Titans are in a weird spot right now. They still are contenders in the mediocre AFC South yet they traded their best receiver for draft picks. Derrick Henry will keep the Titans’ offense afloat, but being a running back it’s only a matter of time before he starts to break down. Ryan Tannehill is basically Kirk Cousins at quarterback: painfully average. They will probably still win the AFC South however because their division competition is incredibly weak.
- Cleveland Browns
Even without Deshaun Watson for 11 games, the Browns still have a very balanced roster with the best running game in football.
- Miami Dolphins
Like most teams, the Dolphins’ success relies on the quarterback’s play. Tua Tagovailoa has the best weapons of his career, as the Dolphins broke the bank for Tyreek Hill and still have Jallen Waddle. The Dolphins would be higher, but the inexplicable firing of Brian Flores after 3 years of progress in a decade-long rebuild definitely bumps them down. The Dolphins have a pretty solid backline and in the AFC South, they should be able to compete with the Titans.
- Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals are in purgatory. They locked up Kyler Murray this offseason but that warrants a massive risk. DeAndre Hopkins is out at least 6 weeks with a PED suspension and I doubt an aging AJ Green is going to put up D-Hop numbers. The defense has some guys who really need to break out this season (Isiah Simmons and Marco Wilson in particular) and the pass rush of oft-injured J.J Watt isn’t going to do much in what could be the twilight of Watt’s career.
- New Orleans Saints
The Saints are teetering on a season collapse into a rebuild. Jameis Winston isn’t going to put up efficient numbers and Michael Thomas is coming back from 2 seasons of injuries and inconsistent play. The Saints’ defense is aging and it’s only a matter of time before guys like Tyrann Mathieu and Cameron Jordan begin to break down. Just prepare for the basement of the NFL New Orleans.
- New England Patriots
Now usually you aren’t supposed to doubt Bill Belicheck but this Patriots team is certainly one of his weakest. The AFC East is gearing up to be a very tough division race and it’s doubtful the Patriots would be able to keep up. The Pats’ defense is mostly old guys and average young players at best. However, it’s still the Patriots so they probably will make the AFC title game off of luck and referee favoritism.
- Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers lost Ben Roethlisberger due to retirement and are currently having an open quarterback competition between Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky. Even with a very weak quarterback and offensive line, Pittsburgh has a great defense that will be able to keep them floating around a .500 record.
- Detroit Lions
Are the Lions going to be good? Absolutely not. Will they be fun to watch? Absolutely. Dan Campbell is a guy who would make reading a phonebook interesting, and his gritty motivational style should help improve the Lions in year 2. Aidan Hutchinson and Jeff Okudah are two young guys who will be fun to watch develop. Expect some improvement in Detroit, but nothing special.
- Jacksonville Jaguars
After the firing of club-loving Urban Meyer, Jacksonville looks to continue its rebuild with Trevor Lawrence and college backfield mate Travis Etienne. First overall pick Travion Walker will be fun to watch on the defensive side.
- Washington Commanders
New name, same terrible results. Daniel Snyder, please sell the team.
- New York Jets
If you’ve kept up with the Jets, then you know that Zach Wilson got that dog in him. For real Zach Wilson needs to improve in year 2 and he’s got some guys to throw the ball to now (Garrett Wilson, Elijah Moore, and the veteran Corey Davis.) The new best name in football Sauce Gardner will be completed in the secondary by Lamarcus Joyner. Another rebuilding year for the Jets.
- New York Giants
Daniel Jones somehow has another year to prove himself as the Giants’ franchise quarterback. While he has squandered every past opportunity, the Giants still somehow believe in him to turn their success around this season. The Giants have too many holes in their roster to compete for any sort of playoff spot this season.
- Carolina Panthers
One of the more interesting quarterback battles in the NFL. Baker Mayfield vs Sam Darnold is like a battle between a sloth in quicksand and a turtle in cement: neither is leading the Panthers anywhere. Christian McCaffrey is probably hurt by week 4. The Panthers are kind of like the Cardinals: they can’t decide if they should compete or rebuild. Anyways Carolina fans it’s going to be a rough season for you whether you’re a South Carolina, North Carolina, Carolina Panthers, or Eastern Carolina fan.
- Chicago Bears
The Bears are like the Jets. Every once and a while they will grind out a 12-4, 13-3 record and make the playoffs look like the best team on earth. Then they will double-doink their way out of the playoffs (or if you’re a Jets fan, butt fumble your way out). Chicago isn’t going to be good for a LONG time and they are going to ruin Justin Fields if they don’t get some decent O-Line guys. Let’s face it, the Bears are worse than the Lions. Let that sink in.
- Seattle Seahawks
Although it’s been almost 25 years since Seattle was projected to be this bad, the Seahawks’ days of contending are coming to a slow and agonizing end. Last year instead of rebuilding once the final remnants of the Legion of Boom left, they still tried to compete with Geno Smith (who will probably start for them this year). Is the rain in Seattle actually rain or is it just Mariners and Seahawks fans’ tears? Expect it to be bad and bandwagon.
- Atlanta Falcons
Even with the signing of Marcus Mariota, Kyle Pitts and AJ Terrell are the only playmakers on this roster. They will likely be involved in the Bryce Young/CJ Stroud lottery.
- Houston Texans
The Texans have gone into full rebuild mode after trading Deshaun Watson in exchange for a large number of draft picks. While Davis Mills seems to have some upside, Houston may be in a position to have a shot at landing Bryce Young or CJ Stroud in next year’s draft. Draft picks are the only thing to be excited about for this team.