The latest 2022 NFL power rankings include quick thoughts on all 32 teams ahead of a full week of action beginning on Thanksgiving Day.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (8-2) | Last week: 1
Patrick Mahomes has erased any concerns about the interceptions on three straight potential game-winning drives early this year and dating back to last season’s AFC title game. Mahomes to Travis Kelce is basically automatic when the All-Pro tight end is given single coverage.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (9-1) | Last week: 2
After a slow start for the defense, new additions Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh were excellent in stopping the run for the Eagles last week. That’ll be huge if they can help plug perhaps their lone weakness (since Jordan Davis has been out of the lineup).
3. Buffalo Bills (7-3) | Last week: 4 (+1)
It looked like the Bills were still in their funk to begin their “home” game in Detroit against Cleveland, but Josh Allen and company eventually got going to look more like the team we’ve seen for most of 2022. Buffalo returns to Detroit for a Thanksgiving Day matchup tomorrow.
4. Dallas Cowboys (7-3) | Last week: 5 (+1)
The Cowboys also got back on track, totally demolishing the Vikings—led by strong efforts by Tony Pollard, Ezekiel Elliott, and the defense. Dak Prescott and the receivers can win games, but a top rushing attack and defense is the best formula for Dallas.
5. Tennessee Titans (7-3) | Last week: 7 (+2)
Mike Vrabel just finds a way to get the most out of his team every week, and they are not the team you want to run into—particularly with the weather continuing to turn and Derrick Henry becoming even more of a force than usual.
6. San Francisco 49ers (6-4) | Last week: 8 (+2)
They do it differently, but the 49ers feel like the Titans in the other conference—a super tough team that can overpower the opposition. With the way Jimmy Garoppolo has played this season, San Francisco is an incredibly difficult team to beat.
7. Minnesota Vikings (8-2) | Last week: 3 (-4)
I think it’s good that the Vikings have no choice but to quickly move past their ugly home showing against the Cowboys, as they host the Patriots on Thanksgiving Night. But not having star left tackle Christian Darrisaw (concussion) is a huge loss to overcome while facing arguably the NFL’s top defense.
8. Baltimore Ravens (7-3) | Last week: 6 (-2)
Baltimore’s win over Carolina wasn’t pretty, but I don’t think John Harbaugh and company mind winning a defensive matchup like that. Looking at the upcoming schedule (at Jacksonville, vs. Denver, at Pittsburgh, at Cleveland), the Ravens might be in more of those types of games coming up.
9. Miami Dolphins (7-3) | Last week: 9
We’ll see what first-year head coach Mike McDaniel was able to draw up during the bye week, which also gave pass rusher Bradley Chubb more time to get comfortable in the defense.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5) | Last week: 10
The Bucs were quietly getting it going entering their bye week, so that momentum is something they’ll look to carry through the time off to this week versus the Browns. Look for a healthier Chris Godwin and Julio Jones to be major factors over the final seven games.
11. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) | Last week: 12 (+1)
The Bengals were able to weather the storm—and get a tough win at Pittsburgh for a little redemption from the Week 1 loss—without Ja’Marr Chase, who it looks like might be back from his hip injury this Sunday at Tennessee. The Titans sacked Joe Burrow nine times last postseason, and the improving Cincinnati offensive line will be tested.
12. New England Patriots (6-4) | Last week: 14 (+2)
Marcus Jones had Gillette in a frenzy. 🔥 @Patriots pic.twitter.com/KcsD7Js1uJ
— NFL (@NFL) November 20, 2022
The 10-3 victory over the Jets—via rookie Marcus Jones’ punt return touchdown with a few seconds remaining—had to be among many favorites from Bill Belichick’s legendary career. New England is getting a ton from their defense, which has arguably been the best in football through 11 weeks.
13. New York Giants (7-3) | Last week: 11 (-2)
Belichick has said that the real season doesn’t start until Thanksgiving. Following an awesome start to the season, we’ll see what the Giants are made of starting tomorrow at Dallas. New York ran into a hot Detroit team perhaps with an eye toward Thanksgiving, so bouncing back would be big in getting to 8-3 to front run in a crowded conference. Rookie receiver Wan’Dale Robinson (torn ACL) was showing some good things, so he’s another difficult loss to the Giants receiving group.
14. Seattle Seahawks (6-4) | Last week: 13 (-1)
The Seahawks return from the bye also looking to build on a first half that exceeded expectations. But the schedule on paper looks good, starting this Sunday at home versus the Raiders.
15. New York Jets (6-4) | Last week: 15
.@Connor_J_Hughes: "Do you feel like you let the defense down at all?"
Zach Wilson: "No." pic.twitter.com/tiJiTSrFPE
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) November 20, 2022
As a quarterback you are basically required to take responsibility for team failures even when it is not on you, so this was a problem from Zach Wilson, who did not play well in the loss at Foxboro, after the game. But taking the other side of the discussion with everyone piling on Wilson, I will say that the Jets have basically put shackles on the second-year quarterback by telling him not to lose games for them—he’s more of a creative gunslinger type but is being forced to rein that in almost completely like the flip of a switch. While the Pats had a couple of dropped interceptions, it was a 3-3 game then the special teams let New York down; so I would think that’s Wilson’s perspective.
16. Los Angeles Chargers (5-5) | Last week: 17 (+1)
I think the Chargers have seen enough of Travis Kelce catching game-winning touchdowns against them, which also happened in overtime last year. Losing receiver Mike Williams early to a re-aggravation of his high-ankle sprain was potentially a big factor in the tight loss for LA considering his dominance against the Chiefs throughout his career.
17. Washington Commanders (6-5) | Last week: 19 (+2)
Not only did the Commanders stay hot and avoid at letdown on the road, but they also completely dominated at Houston—particularly on defense, starting with a pick-six by Kendall Fuller:
📺: #WASvsHOU on FOX
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/xtSPJ10JPU pic.twitter.com/qOKeyEMbQr
— NFL (@NFL) November 20, 2022
And former No. 2 pick Chase Young is set to return soon at defensive end.
18. Detroit Lions (4-6) | Last week: 22 (+4)
Again, the Lions are hot right now, climbing to 4-6 and squarely in contention for a wild-card spot in the NFC, and head coach Dan Campbell is confident in his squad:
Dan Campbell on Thursday: "If we play good, clean football, I like our odds."
— Pride of Detroit (@PrideOfDetroit) November 22, 2022
The Detroit defense continues to impress since their bye week, and a win over Josh Allen and the Bills on a big stage would really keep the Lions on the map.
19. Atlanta Falcons (5-6) | Last week: 20 (+1)
Marcus Mariota and the offense were clutch to take the lead over the Bears, and the Falcons defense secured the victory with an interception to get to 5-6. Atlanta is just a game back in the win column for a wild-card spot (and half a game back in the division), but they’ll be without second-year tight end Kyle Pitts for at least four weeks due to an MCL injury.
20. Indianapolis Colts (4-6-1) | Last week: 18 (-2)
I thought the Colts had a shot to run all over the Eagles with the way the game started, but the Eagles tightened up and eventually came back from a 13-3 deficit to hand Indy a crushing home loss. Still, the early returns on Jeff Saturday remain very promising.
21. Green Bay Packers (4-7) | Last week: 16 (-5)
The Packers have not put many complete games together this season, and last Thursday night it was surprisingly Aaron Rodgers—missing a couple of key throws—and the Green Bay pass defense that came up short. Green Bay still has time to go on a run, but it will be a massive task looking to begin that in Philadelphia on Sunday night.
22. Arizona Cardinals (4-7) | Last week: 21 (-1)
The Cardinals were looking pretty solid to me on Hard Knocks, but they’ve suddenly had a bunch of issues pop up and were blown out by the Niners in Mexico City. The offense should have an easier time facing the Chargers this Sunday, but Kyler Murray (hamstring) is expected to be held out through the Week 13 bye.
23. New Orleans Saints (4-7) | Last week: 29 (+6)
The Saints’ decision to stick with Andy Dalton paid off against the Rams, with Dalton going 21/25 for 260 yards and three touchdowns—and they finally got Taysom Hill more involved, with three pass attempts along with nine carries and a reception. They’ll face a bigger challenge at San Francisco on Sunday.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-7) | Last week: 23 (-1)
The Steelers held a 20-17 halftime lead over the Bengals, but they ultimately didn’t have the offensive experience or firepower to keep up in the second half of the 37-30 loss. Over the past two games, the play of a healthier Najee Harris has been encouraging.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7) | Last week: 26 (+1)
Trevor Lawrence was playing well before the bye week, so I’m anxious to see how he looks over the final seven games after also showing improvement at the end of his rookie campaign.
26. Los Angeles Rams (3-7) | Last week: 24 (-2)
The Rams unfortunately lost Matthew Stafford to another concussion, so his status is in major doubt moving forward. But even with that aside, the Rams have basically been a disaster. The defense is nowhere close to their standard—and, again, Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Donald have not played to their superstar levels.
27. Carolina Panthers (3-7) | Last week: 30 (+3)
It feels like Steve Wilks has a shot to keep the Panthers’ head coaching job after the season; Carolina played Baltimore to a 3-3 game until the Ravens had a ten-point fourth quarter, and they’re at least playing tough (though they also played hard under Matt Rhule). Sam Darnold will make his first start of 2022 this week against the Broncos.
28. Las Vegas Raiders (3-7) | Last week: 31 (+3)
Davante Adams scored his 3rd career overtime TD, tied with @ProFootballHOF LaDainian Tomlinson for the most in NFL history. #RaiderNation @Raiders https://t.co/1lEBdD5t7t
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) November 21, 2022
The Raiders rode a balanced offensive attack, with Derek Carr going over 300 yards and Josh Jacobs hitting the century mark as a rusher—while Maxx Crosby contributed two sacks and his usual hustle on defense—to get on the board with their third win of 2022. Vegas has had a difficult year and really needed a win like that.
29. Denver Broncos (3-7) | Last week: 25 (-4)
The Denver defense is a bright spot—but maybe too much is being asked of them in trying to hold up every week to give the team a shot. The two touchdowns allowed to Adams were not good—and they allowed the one guy that they shouldn’t let beat them in the passing game do it in a major way.
30. Cleveland Browns (3-7) | Last week: 28 (-2)
The passing game played well in the comeback effort against the Bills, but Buffalo shut down the engine of their offense in Nick Chubb. Overall, the Cleveland defense has been a pretty big disappointment through ten games.
31. Chicago Bears (3-8) | Last week: 27 (-4)
You could see Justin Fields was in a ton of pain at the end of the Week 11 loss at Atlanta, and he might not be able to play through the left shoulder issue—though if it’s up to him I would think he’ll certainly do what he can to be out there. It was awesome to hear this about the second-year quarterback, who is at least acting as a tremendous leader early in his NFL career—which hopefully means a work ethic that can lead to improvement as a passer:
Little nugget I picked up: Bears QB Justin Fields apologized to his teammates after Chicago's loss to the Falcons in the locker room postgame. Told them the defense gave the offense a chance, and the offense didn't get it done.
Went a long way with guys, after he'd played hurt.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 22, 2022
32. Houston Texans (1-8-1) | Last week: 32
With his top receiver Brandin Cooks not wanting to be in Houston, Davis Mills is not in an easy spot. But he tossed a couple of interceptions against the Commanders, and it sounds like Houston is strongly considering a quarterback switch to Kyle Allen to spark things. The Texans are the only team in the league without at least three wins—and they only have one.