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AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper

2022 NFL Power Rankings: Week 15

The top five remains steady in the 2022 Week 15 NFL power rankings.


1. Philadelphia Eagles (12-1) | Last week: 1

There are still four weeks to go, but Jalen Hurts has clearly asserted himself as the MVP frontrunner in my opinion (which I think he was for a while now anyway). Hurts is leading a stacked team, but he does it all in the Eagles offense and again showcased last week how he’s become pinpoint with exquisite timing on his passes to all areas of the field. Philadelphia is difficult to beat with Hurts playing the way he has.


2. Buffalo Bills (10-3) | Last week: 2

The Bills didn’t totally light it up against the Jets, and it wasn’t a pretty win, but Sean McDermott and company will certainly take it to get a little redemption from their loss to New York earlier this season. The defense will look to stay hot when hosting the Dolphins—a team they also lost to in the first matchup—in a potential snowy Buffalo on Saturday night.


3. Kansas City Chiefs (10-3) | Last week: 3

Similarly, the Chiefs didn’t get a particularly pretty win, with Patrick Mahomes throwing an uncommon three interceptions. But Mahomes also made multiple crazy plays, and the Kansas City defense got a pick six from Willie Gay Jr. in the win at Denver. The Chiefs are heavily favored to get to 11-3 versus the Texans this week.


4. Dallas Cowboys (10-3) | Last week: 4

It took a clutch drive from Dak Prescott and the offense late, but the Cowboys survived at home against the Texans in Week 14. Ultimately, a win is a win, and a close call when facing the NFL’s worst team should ensure Dallas is focused for a road trip to face a Jacksonville squad that’s playing well.


5. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4) | Last week: 5

The Bengals seemingly got over their woes against the division rival Browns despite Tee Higgins (hamstring) playing one snap and Tyler Boyd leaving early due to a hand injury—but the underrated defense was a huge factor in the win by limiting a surprisingly pass-happy passing attack.


6. San Francisco 49ers (9-4) | Last week: 7 (+1)

Receiving a ton of hype from his teammates entering his first career start, rookie quarterback Brock Purdy lived up to it, going an efficient 16/21 for 185 yards and two touchdowns along with a score on the ground in a rout of the Bucs. Even without Deebo Samuel for a few weeks, San Francisco is loaded enough on offense and defense that Purdy doesn’t have to do too much and can keep playing like that.


7. Minnesota Vikings (10-3) | Last week: 6 (-1)

To some extent, despite an excellent season through 14 weeks, it’s almost felt like we’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop for the Vikings. Minnesota will be in the playoffs, but all three losses have been by multiple possessions and ugly at times. The defense didn’t have answers for Jared Goff and Detroit last week.


8. Baltimore Ravens (9-4) | Last week: 8

The Ravens finally got over the hump against the Steelers, turning the tables to win a familiar close, low-scoring game (their first win over Pittsburgh in the 2020s after losing the first four). Baltimore is a somewhat quiet 9-4 right now, and hopefully Tyler Huntley can get cleared in time for Saturday’s matchup with the Browns.


9. New England Patriots (7-6) | Last week: 13 (+4)

This might be too high for the next two teams, but I like the way the Patriots are playing right now, particularly on defense. New England is 4-2 in their past six games, with the Thanksgiving Night loss to Minnesota coming with very questionable officiating. Josh Uche has an insane ten sacks in his past five games, forming an extremely formidable pass rush duo with Matthew Judon, who called it that Uche was maybe the best rusher for the Pats before a lot of people saw it.


10. Los Angeles Chargers (7-6) | Last week: 14 (+4)

I’ve been critical of Chargers head coach Brandon Staley for his analytics usage, but he and his defense deserve a ton of credit for the way they played the Dolphins on Sunday night, essentially taking away the middle of the field for the quick in-breaking throws Tua Tagovailoa has been so deadly on. And Justin Herbert has looked much healthier as of late—and it helps to have Mike Williams back.


11. Tennessee Titans (7-6) | Last week: 10 (-1)

The Titans are obviously in a major slump right now, losing two straight in blowout fashion to the Eagles and the Jaguars. This is typically the time of year Derrick Henry takes over and controls games, but too much is going wrong with Tennessee for that to happen. I still think they can flip the switch and can play tough against anyone, but I wouldn’t be so quick to pencil them into winning the AFC South.


12. Miami Dolphins (8-5) | Last week: 11 (-1)

The Dolphins are also in a slump, with the offense struggling to get much going the past two games—and it won’t get easy going to frigid Buffalo in primetime this Saturday. I’d like to see Miami get its run game going more to open things up for Tua and the pass game. Overall, the upside is massive, but the Dolphins are in a dangerous spot right now with the teams behind them in the AFC wild-card race.


13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7) | Last week: 9 (-4)

Perhaps we should’ve seen it coming that the Bucs might have a major letdown after their emotional comeback win over the Saints a couple of weeks ago. Tampa Bay has simply been too inconsistent—on both sides of the ball—in 2022, and the NFC South is no lock with the Panthers and Falcons right behind them.


14. Seattle Seahawks (7-6) | Last week: 12 (-2)

More is being put on his plate with the run game being unable to do much of anything, but Geno Smith has thrown an interception in three consecutive games. Smith knows he must change that for his team to have a shot, but just as important is figuring out how to run the ball more effectively and to do a much better job of stopping the run.


15. New York Jets (7-6) | Last week: 16 (+1)

Mike White took a beating from the Bills defense last week, but he kept coming back and undoubtedly gained a ton of respect from his teammates. The New York defense continues to be among the league’s best, and Robert Saleh set the tone moving forward by declaring that they’ll see the Bills in the playoffs.



16. Detroit Lions (6-7) | Last week: 18 (+2)

I had admittedly given up on my preseason prediction of the Lions grabbing a wild-card spot in the NFC after the slow start, but Dan Campbell’s squad is on a run and I’m liking their chances to get in. Jameson Williams scored his first career touchdown on a 40-yard deep ball among Jared Goff’s 330 yards and three scores, and the Detroit defense has been flying around since their Week 6 bye.


17. Washington Commanders (7-5-1) | Last week: 17

The Commanders were off last week with the late bye, but the time off was good for them with both the Seahawks and Giants losing. Now they need to come out recharged and ready to go for a rare home Sunday Night Football game against the Giants.


18. New York Giants (7-5-1) | Last week: 15 (-3)

As stated often, the Giants have arguably “overachieved” this season, and last week’s blowout loss to the Eagles was a good example of that. Roster wise, New York just isn’t on the same level as top teams like Philly. But despite the decline in play after a fast start, the Giants will be playing in a big game in mid-December with their playoff fate in their hands.


19. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-8) | Last week: 24 (+5)

I mentioned last week the Jaguars having a positive response to getting beaten badly by the Lions, with a determined mindset heading into Week 14. However, it was tough to envision a dominant performance like the one put on by the Jags with the way they handled the Titans. Trevor Lawrence remains on fire; and while I think the AFC South is in play, I’m already anxious to see how the Jacksonville offense looks in Year 2 under Doug Pederson with Lawrence at quarterback.


20. Carolina Panthers (5-8) | Last week: 26 (+6)

The mixture of the Bucs’ loss and an upset win at Seattle lifts the Panthers six spots in this week’s power rankings and into the top 20. The run-heavy approach for Carolina has worked well, and Steve Wilks is unquestionable making a case to keep the head coach job after the year. The Panthers are 3-1 in their past four games.


21. Green Bay Packers (5-8) | Last week: 22 (+1)

It feels like the Packers (and other Week 14 bye teams) haven’t played in forever. But remember, Green Bay got some encouraging things going over their previous four games, with 28 points in three of those outings—thanks in large part to rookie receiver Christian Watson scoring eight touchdowns in that span. I think Green Bay can go on a run, get to 9-8, and see what happens.


22. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-8) | Last week: 19 (-3)

These next two teams had highly disappointing losses in Week 14, with the Steelers unable to overcome a few turnovers by Mitchell Trubisky, who I believe was simply trying to do too much when he came into the game for Kenny Pickett (concussion protocol)—which is understandable given that Trubisky lost his starting gig and was trying to make something happen when he got back on the field. Pittsburgh is in must-win territory this week at Carolina.


23. Las Vegas Raiders (5-8) | Last week: 20 (-3)

The Raiders have blown plenty of losses this season, but—after looking like they were getting things going and might make a wild-card push—they might have hit rock bottom after allowing Baker Mayfield (after joining the Rams two days earlier) to go the length of the field to complete a 16-3 comeback on Thursday night. We need to see more targets for Davante Adams over the final four games, and potentially getting Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow back in the lineup would be huge.


24. Atlanta Falcons (5-8) | Last week: 23 (-1)

The Falcons are going with rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder as the starter moving forward (Marcus Mariota was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury, but head coach Arthur Smith says it was a performance-based decision). I was a little surprised by the move with the Falcons just a game back in the NFC South, but Smith probably knows this team isn’t quite good enough to make a serious Super Bowl run and wants to see what he has in Ridder coming off the bye.


25. Cleveland Browns (5-8) | Last week: 21 (-4)

The Browns offense has not looked good with Deshaun Watson under center, and I can’t say I won’t be happy if that continues after they traded for him and gave him a ridiculous contract. Cleveland simply must feed Nick Chubb the ball to have a shot at making some type of run.


26. Indianapolis Colts (4-8-1) | Last week: 27 (+1)

We’ll see how Jeff Saturday gets his team ready in his first bye week, but I’d expect it includes a heavy dose of Jonathan Taylor while looking to upset the Vikings on Saturday. I want to see more usage for Taylor as a receiver.


27. Arizona Cardinals (4-9) | Last week: 25 (-2)

Kyler Murray is done for the season with a torn ACL, another massive blow during a disappointing campaign for the Cardinals. The team showed fight in their home loss to the Pats on Monday night, and I expect Kliff Kingsbury to get his guys to keep playing hard over the final four games.


28. Los Angeles Rams (4-9) | Last week: 29 (+1)

I’m not sure we’ll ever see something like what Baker Mayfield and the Rams pulled off last week. My hope was that Mayfield would provide at least some entertainment for a bad LA team over Weeks 14-16 with the Rams in standalone windows, so we’re one-for-one there. Mayfield has a great opportunity to rebuild himself with Sean McVay.


29. New Orleans Saints (4-9) | Last week: 28 (-1)

Andy Dalton remains the starting quarterback for the Saints after the bye week, and Dennis Allen simply feels Dalton gives the team the best chance to win games. Not that there would be anyway, but there will be no thought of “tanking” with the Eagles in possession of New Orleans’ first-round pick.


30. Chicago Bears (3-10) | Last week: 30

The bye week gave Justin Fields extra time to get closer to 100% while dealing with his left shoulder injury, and I’m interested to see how the second-year quarterback fares against the Eagles this week. I think Hurts was more advanced as a passer when entering the league, but there have been some hopeful comparisons between Fields’ potential path and Hurts’ rise as an MVP candidate.


31. Denver Broncos (3-10) | Last week: 31

Russell Wilson unfortunately left last week due to a concussion, but he was playing one of his best games of the season and gave something for Broncos fans to be encouraged about beyond this season. Still, Denver hast lost five straight games and needs to get on the board with another victory over the next four weeks. I was not high on the Broncos entering this season, but I did not at all expect a 3-10 start to the Wilson era.


32. Houston Texans (1-11-1) | Last week: 32

The Texans utilized more of Jeff Driskel on offense to cause some issues for the Cowboys, and the Houston defense, led by Tremon Smith’s two interceptions, played hard all game. Rookie running back Dameon Pierce is now dealing with a high-ankle injury and is reportedly set to miss at least a few games, so there’s a chance his very strong rookie year has come to an end with 939 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.