The 2022 NFL season is in the books, with the Chiefs claiming their second championship in four seasons. The final power rankings for the season look ahead at all 32 teams entering the offseason.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (17-3)
Patrick Mahomes is awesome, but Andy Reid was cooking in the second half of Super Bowl LVII and does not get nearly enough credit for how masterful he is on offense. Looking ahead, it’s a positive for Mahomes—who admitted himself that he did not play well in his first two Super Bowls—to have a great second half to be more confident in potential Big Game appearances moving forward. Linebacker Nick Bolton gets a nod for leading the defense to some key plays—including the fumble returned for a touchdown in the first half to help keep things close.
2. Philadelphia Eagles (16-4)
Including the questionable (bad, in my opinion) holding call to basically seal the win for the Chiefs, it doesn’t get much more heartbreaking than the Eagles’ Super Bowl loss. They become the first team in Super Bowl history to score 35 points and lose, and—while I always like to give credit to the team that makes the plays to win (like the classic Super Bowl XLIX, which people always blame on the Seahawks while not wanting to give the Patriots credit for playing the clock and everything perfectly) and give Reid and company a lot of love for the way the lit it up in the second half—the Philly defense was highly disappointing with how they let guys run wide open and couldn’t get a second-half stop. One major positive is the way quarterback Jalen Hurts played on the biggest stage. From the jump, you could see in his face he was not nervous whatsoever and would play like he did all year—and he came through with his best game, which is saying something considering he was my MVP pick.
3. Cincinnati Bengals (14-4)
Already trade rumors are starting to surround wide receiver Tee Higgins, but I think that is mostly just outside talk and that the Bengals will find a way to keep the band together long-term—which might include Joe Burrow taking a little less on a contract extension. Cincinnati was able to retain defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo, who was a finalist for the Cardinals’ head coaching job. They’ll now have the same head coach, offensive coordinator, and defensive coordinator for the fifth consecutive season—which is a big deal, especially with the success Anarumo has had.
4. San Francisco 49ers (15-5)
It’s not 100 precent locked in yet, but the hope and expectation is that Brock Purdy will be ready to go for training camp if all goes well with his elbow surgery—if things go different than expected, there’s a chance he’s out for 2023. Either way, quarterback is the big question mark for the 49ers this offseason, with Jimmy Garoppolo hitting free agency and both Trey Lance and Purdy coming off injuries. It remains to be seen whether it’ll be a quarterback competition this summer or if Lance is dealt to another team in search of a quarterback.
5. Buffalo Bills (14-4)
Not having Von Miller (knee) was a serious blow to Buffalo’s title chances this season, so he’ll be a tremendous boost whenever he returns in 2023. However, the Bills are still entering a critical offseason if they want to keep pace with the Chiefs, Bengals, and any other emerging AFC squads in my opinion. They must get better play from the offensive line and probably need to add more juice on both sides of the ball. Too much is asked of Josh Allen at times, which isn’t ideal no matter how great of a quarterback you are.
6. Dallas Cowboys (13-6)
The Cowboys made a big move in parting ways with offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, with head coach Mike McCarthy set to call the plays for Dallas next season. I’m not sure why, but McCarthy gets a lot of hate from fans and the media; I think he’ll do a great job calling the offense, while the defense was again able to keep defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to lead a high-upside unit. Congratulations to Dak Prescott for winning the Walter Payton Man of the Year.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (10-9)
There were some odd doubters for the better part of the past two seasons, but the Jaguars have shown they have a stud franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence—with a top head coach in Doug Pederson at his hip. The addition of former Falcons receiver Calvin Ridley is very exciting, and we’ll see if the Jags can retain tight end Evan Engram.
8. Los Angeles Chargers (10-8)
The Chargers were able to quickly add Kellen Moore as their OC after the Cowboys went in another direction. Moore has shown he can help a unit lead the league in offense, and there’s plenty of talent to work with in Los Angeles—the key will be players staying healthy, which was not the case for most of 2022. Defensively, I would think Brandon Staley’s unit is going to have a chip on their shoulder all offseason after the Wild Card Round collapse.
9. Miami Dolphins (9-9)
The Dolphins actually had the same regular season record as the previous season under Brian Flores, but Mike McDaniel’s first season at the helm still felt like a positive foundation to build on. And adding veteran defensive coordinator Vic Fangio (assuming the contract is official and he doesn’t end up coordinating the Eagles instead) could be a big boost to help complement the high-flying offense. Running back will be a position to watch for Miami during free agency and the draft.
10. Baltimore Ravens (10-8)
The status of former league MVP Lamar Jackson is one of the biggest storylines this offseason, and it feels like the most likely scenario at this point is he’s franchise tagged for a second consecutive year but traded this time around. I don’t think Baltimore wants to deal with a situation where Jackson doesn’t feel secure enough to play through injuries, as some indicated was the case this season. The Ravens getting Todd Monken as the offensive coordinator is intriguing and indicates the passing attack will be opened up no matter who is at quarterback.
11. New York Giants (10-8-1)
Brian Daboll was named the NFL’s Coach of the Year, and I believe he deserved that recognition for the job he did in his first year with the Giants. The expectation was that they might be able to seriously compete in 2023, and now general manager Joe Schoen and New York must take advantage and build on the foundation set with a strong offseason.
12. Minnesota Vikings (13-5)
Again, the Vikings just didn’t feel for real to me and many others all season. Taking a step forward under new defensive coordinator Brian Flores would help Minnesota seem like more legit contenders. This should help, too:
Vikings’ Pro-Bowl RB Dalvin Cook, who is second in the NFL in total yards since 2019, underwent surgery today to fix the broken shoulder he suffered in that same year, 2019. “Dalvin has been absolutely dominant and we cannot wait until September,” said his agency @LAASportsEnt.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 14, 2023
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-10)
Truly grateful on this day. Thank you 🙏🏻❤️ pic.twitter.com/j2s2sezvSS
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) February 1, 2023
I was a bit shocked Tom Brady decided to retire (it certainly seems like for good, but a return would not be totally surprising considering how much he loves the game). It appears clear this time that the Buccaneers should make plans to move forward. Top order of business for Tampa should be to make sure the offensive line is much better, as that was the crux of their issues in 2022.
14. Seattle Seahawks (9-9)
I would think the Seahawks will keep Geno Smith after he led the NFL in completion percentage and was one of the most accurate passers in the league while helping the Seahawks surpass outside expectations and make the playoffs. Running back Ken Walker III is a foundational piece on offense along with DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett at receiver, and the exciting young defense should take a leap in 2023.
15. Detroit Lions (9-8)
It’s hard not to love the direction the Lions are headed under head coach Dan Campbell and underrated general manager Brad Holmes. I am right with them on their support of Jared Goff at quarterback, and Detroit just needs to keep building up the roster—adding more pieces to the defense in particular.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-8)
After playing without T.J. Watt for much of the year and going with rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett early—and still having a winning record—serving as the latest example, it looks like Mike Tomlin’s squads will always find a way to remain competitive and in the playoff mix. Next year, the defense should be more consistent with a healthy Watt, and the offense has young pieces like Pickett and George Pickens to take a step forward.
17. New England Patriots (8-9)
Bringing back Bill O’Brien as the offensive coordinator was one of the key moves of the early offseason for any team—he coached Mac Jones at Alabama and should help the offense show wide improvement in Jones’ third NFL season after a step back in 2022. Bill Belichick showed he can get his defenses to continue to play at an elite level, and New England can certainly make noise next season if the offense gets back to form.
18. Green Bay Packers (8-9)
Aaron Rodgers told Pat McAfee that his “darkness retreat” will begin late this week, and the four-time NFL MVP is expected to have an answer about his future soon after he emerges from the four-day experience. Right now, it almost feels like the Packers might want to give Jordan Love a shot, but they’ll probably stick with Rodgers if he wants to continue playing in Green Bay.
19. Tennessee Titans (7-10)
Beefing up the offensive line should be the biggest point of emphasis for the Titans. They can keep Derrick Henry as the driving force for the offense and team—and better play up front will make things easier for Ryan Tannehill or whoever is at quarterback for Tennessee. I’m confident in Mike Vrabel getting the most out of his team, and first-year general manager Ran Carthon must complement him with a good offseason. The A.J. Brown trade by Jon Robinson during the first round last spring still seems crazy.
20. Washington Commanders (8-8-1)
Washington’s NFL franchise will presumably get new ownership in the coming weeks (and things can change, but it does not sound like it will be Jeff Bezos), so Ron Rivera and the current regime is naturally entering a make-or-break type of year with the likely new owners wanting to bring in their own staff. That said, I think the Commanders have a prime opportunity to have a great offseason, and I love some of the core pieces including Jahan Dotson and Brian Robinson Jr. after promising rookie campaigns.
21. New York Jets (7-10)
It’s obvious the Jets are going after a veteran quarterback, with Aaron Rodgers seen to be at the top of that list. If and when the Jets do add a veteran signal caller, the status of former No. 2 pick Zach Wilson will be something to keep an eye on considering how highly thought of he was around the league coming out of BYU. Sitting and watching behind Rodgers might be a best-case scenario.
22. New Orleans Saints (7-10)
Veteran quarterback Derek Carr is now free to find a new team, and he already visited the Saints and has a relationship with head coach Dennis Allen from their brief time in Oakland together when Carr was a rookie. With Tom Brady now out of the division, New Orleans probably feels like they can run things.
23. Carolina Panthers (7-10)
The Panthers might be quietly lurking as a team that can come out of almost nowhere and compete next season under head coach Frank Reich. The pieces are already there on defense under new coordinator Ejiro Evero, and the offensive line is an emerging group on the other side of the ball. Quarterback is the question for Carolina; they might also be interested in Carr if they want to go the veteran route, but they do have a top-ten pick.
24. Atlanta Falcons (7-10)
It sounds like the Falcons might want to give 2022 third-round pick Desmond Ridder an opportunity as the starting quarterback after he started the final quarter of the season. A positive for the Falcons is that they have an identity under head coach Arthur Smith, who wants to run the ball to set everything up and take pressure off a not-so-talented roster compared to other teams in the league. Atlanta lost some close games, and a few breaks here and there could’ve made them a Giants-like story after Smith got a lot out of the roster.
25. Las Vegas Raiders (7-10)
Longtime quarterback Derek Carr was officially released yesterday, ending a whirlwind that started with Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler giving Carr a contract extension less than a year ago. It’ll be intriguing to follow who McDaniels believes is a fit for his system, whether it’s a rookie, a veteran, or both. Jimmy Garoppolo is an obvious name to watch.
26. Cleveland Browns (7-10)
Tired of watching
— Nick Chubb (@NickChubb) February 13, 2023
This could be taken as Nick Chubb wanting to have a better team around him to be able to play in championship games, but trade rumors quickly started based off his tweet. If I was a team like the Bills, I would think about trying to acquire Chubb. I’m not high on Cleveland after their actions the past year.
27. Los Angeles Rams (5-12)
A year removed from their Super Bowl, the Rams are looking to reload with a healthier bunch headlined by injury-plagued Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, and Aaron Donald from 2022. Like many of the teams that struggled this past season, LA must improve the offensive line to get back into contention.
28. Denver Broncos (5-12)
The process looked a bit hectic from the outside looking in, but the Broncos were able to pull off an exciting hire in former Super Bowl winner Sean Payton. The relationship between Payton and quarterback Russell Wilson will be one of the big things to watch all 2023.
29. Houston Texans (3-13-1)
I am very high on the Texans hiring former 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, as his leadership has been evident for years as both a player and a coach. Now, Houston must use their promising draft capital to hit on picks and build this thing up—and quarterback is the key.
30. Indianapolis Colts (4-12-1)
Both Houston and Indy figure to be trying to move up in the draft to select Alabama quarterback Bryce Young at No. 1 overall, and Colts owner Jim Irsay couldn’t really hide the team’s potential infatuation with the former Heisman Trophy winner. New head coach Shane Steichen did a great job coordinating the Eagles offense the past two years and has worked with a few stellar quarterbacks in the past, and I’d be excited if I was a Colts fan.
31. Arizona Cardinals (4-13)
New Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort apparently went with someone he already had a good relationship with in Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon as Arizona’s head coach, which is a controversial hire after Philly’s defensive performance in the Super Bowl. However, Gannon is highly thought of around the NFL. Maybe the organization shouldn’t have messed up with how they previously utilized former first-round pick Haason Reddick (who Gannon was able to coach in Philadelphia) and they’d be in a better spot right now. I feel like there’s a lot of work to do with the Cardinals.
32. Chicago Bears (3-14)
The Bears are poised to get a king’s ransom for the No. 1 overall pick, and the likely assets will be used to surround Justin Fields with more support as well as boosting the defensive personnel for Matt Eberflus. Fields was impressive with his leadership and the ability to run around and make things happen in 2022, so he can be really scary if he progresses as a passer.