It’s so close you can almost feel it. The 2022 NFL season is just a little over a week away from commencing. The preseason is finally over, and teams are now forming their final rosters. Although the exhibition games have been a nice appetizer, I think I speak for all football fans when I say we are ready for the main course.
With the preseason coming to a close, I thought it would be the best time to drop my first power rankings of the new season. It’s actually the first power rankings I’ve ever done on this site. I’m excited to share this with you and hopefully keep updating it throughout the season.
All opinions in this article are my completely unfiltered thoughts. I stand by every take, even if it may sound crazy to others. I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts, so make sure to share your opinions in the comment section!
Without further delay, let’s jump right into the 2022 Kilimos Power Rankings 1.0.
32. Houston Texans
The reality is this team is a number of years away from relevance. They have officially entered the Post-Deshaun Watson Era, and it will take a while to recover. The Texans have what is easily the least talented roster in the NFL.
Not all is bad though. QB Davis Mills impressed a lot of people last season. It’s yet to be seen if he is the guy for Houston, but he could possibly be. They also have a nice collection of draft picks thanks to the Watson trade. With a loaded draft class coming up in 2023, the Texans are in prime position to add some serious talent.
It’ll take time, but they have the tools to build something good here in Houston. For now though, they are going to be pretty bad.
31. Chicago Bears
What a mess in the Windy City. The previous regime did this franchise no favors whatsoever. In just a few short years, the Bears went from hopeful contender to full fledged rebuild. What a waste of talent.
What’s left over is not all the exciting. The once dominant defense has lost a lot of it’s luster. Most of the key pieces from their 2016 and 2018 runs to the postseason are gone. Their best player, Roquan Smith, wants out.
The offense is an even worse nightmare. Injuries have taken what was a bad receiving corps and turned it into a historically bad receiving corps. WR Darnell Mooney is really all they have. The offensive line is bad. RB David Montgomery has flashed brilliance, but struggled with injury last season.
Asking QB Justin Fields to grow and develop in this offense should be a crime. Hang in there buddy, this season is going to be rough, kind of like Soldier Field.
30. New York Giants
Some people may think I’m being too harsh on the G-Men here. I however don’t think so. This team is a circus, and has been just that for the last six years. Even with new coach Brian Daboll taking over, the same nonsense is still going on in New York. This team is not going to be good.
The sad thing is, this team does have a solid roster. They’ve done a good job building a young and energetic defense, as well as boost the offensive line. The problem is Daniel Jones is still the signal caller. As long as he is the leading man, I cannot buy this team’s stock.
He’s flashed brilliance before, but very rarely do we ever see it. He has been overshadowed by his constant mistakes. He’s a bust, end of story. The Giants must agree, as they declined his fifth year option. This is the end of the road for Danny Dimes in the Big Apple, as it should be.
29. New York Jets
New York football just can’t catch a break. The Giants are bad, and the Jets are right with them. The brightside for the Jets is I actually thing they are trending in the right direction. Robert Saleh fought to change the culture of the team last season, and it kind of worked.
The Jets were frisky last year, even with all the injuries they went through. They shocked a lot of people with some surprise upsets of playoff teams like the Titans and Bengals. There were high hopes coming into the season amongst the Jets fandom.
Unfortunately for them their favorite football team is the Jets, a factory of sadness. We aren’t even to Week 1 yet, and the injury gods are already cursing them. Mekhi Becton is out for the year, and Zach Wilson just had knee surgery.
The big problem here is we still don’t know what we’re getting with Wilson. Is he good, is he bad? No one really knows, mainly because he hasn’t been able to be on the field. Due to that unknown, despite a solid offseason from gang green, I can’t put them any higher on the list.
28. Seattle Seahawks
Seattle was definitely one of the toughest teams to sort out in my rankings. On one hand, they lost franchise stalwarts Russell Wilson and Bobby Wagner in the offseason. Losing guys like that usually doesn’t bode well for your team. On the other hand, the Seahawks still have a ton of talent despite losing those face of the franchise guys.
I mean this offense is actually kind of loaded. D.K. Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Noah Fant, Kenneth Walker, Rashaad Penny. This team has weapons that other teams would kill for.
Unfortunately, the guy utilizing those weapons is going to be either Drew Lock or Geno Smith. Even weapons like those can’t make these two look like studs. The offensive line is still quite bad as well. Not to mention the offensive schemes that heald Wilson back in years past are still in use.
Seattle has a decent roster, but this team should really consider blowing it all up and starting from scratch. Bryce Young would look good in those Seahawks uniforms.
27. Atlanta Falcons
Not dissimilar to the Seahawks, the Falcons do have some nice pieces. Rookie Drake London and last year’s first round pick Kyle Pitts are quite the duo. Cordarrelle Patterson broke out as a star last season. There are things to like here.
However, there is simply more bad than good. Marcus Mariota is the starter, and he’ll serve as a nice bridge QB. That being said, there’s a reason he hasn’t been a consistent starter since 2018. His inability to stay healthy and limitations in his game put a cap on his potential output.
This offensive line is also quite bad, and their defense is mediocre at best. Atlanta has the potential to be a fun bad team this season, with an emphasis on bad.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars
I’ve seen many people hyping the Jaguars up in the preseason. Many people believe the Jags could surprise NFL pundits with how good they’ll be. That’s what bringing in a Super Bowl winning coach and multiple positional upgrades will do for you.
I expect the Jaguars will be better, but they’ll still be closer to the bottom of the league. They’re in a deep rebuild, one that looks pretty good early on. The Jags still need a lot more time though before they can be taken seriously.
I expect Trevor Lawrence to make a big leap under new coach Doug Pederson and an upgraded offense. That leap just won’t be large enough to lift the Jaguars out of the NFL’s basement just yet. Give it time Duval, you’re on the right track.
25. Detroit Lions
I have to say, I absolutely LOVE the culture that coach Dan Campbell has built in Detroit. This team was the definition of scrappy last season. They didn’t win many games, but that’s because they lacked the talent necessary to do so.
That was the primary goal this past offseason was to add talent, and they did quite a good job. Adding names like Aidan Hutchinson, Jameson Williams, and D.J. Chark should go a long way in making this team even more competitive.
The Lions are taking the slow and steady approach, which is definitely working. They managed to add talent without spending too big or sacrificing the future. It’s going to take some more time, but Detroit is 100% on the right path. I am most definitely excited to see where this rebuild goes.
24. Carolina Panthers
It honestly pains me to put Carolina here. They have a lot of nice pieces. They have the framework of a playoff team, just missing a few pieces here and there. I would not call the Panthers a bad team by any means.
I would call them average though, because that’s what they look to be. The defense is young and improving, but not exactly where it needs to be.
The team has struggled to figure out the QB spot ever since Cam Newton injured his shoulder back in 2018. Last season the team traded for Sam Darnold, hoping he would be the answer. A year later, they again traded for another QB they hope will be the answer. That man is Baker Mayfield.
I’m not a Baker fan at all, but I’ll acknowledge he can be a decent game manager. The problem is the team needs more than just a game manager. Baker offers a short term upgrade, but only slightly.
This team screams seven wins, which will probably result in coach Matt Rhule getting fired. It’s looking like a pretty mediocre season for the Panthers.
23. Tennessee Titans
This is the take I’m expecting to get a ton of pushback on. Many will call me crazy or exit out of the blog after seeing this. Please don’t. Allow me to explain.
I think the Titans are just incredibly mid. Aside from Derrick Henry, there is nothing this team posseses that excites me or intrigues me. The truth is Henry makes this entire team, without him they’d be a basement dweller. He IS the Tennessee Titans right now.
That normally is okay, except last season he showed his first sign of being human. Henry was injured and missed a large chunk of time. For a running back increasing in age with a lot of touches, that can be a red flag.
QB Ryan Tannehill got absolutely exposed last season, and I think he’ll be even worse this year. Robert Woods (coming off a major achilles injury) and rookie Treylon Burks being your top receivers is not a good sign. I could be wrong here, but I’m expecting the Titans to take a gigantic step back this season.
22. New England Patriots
I am not having fun writing this section. It really sucks to have to put New England this low. A lot of Patriot fans probably going to hate me for this one. I’m sorry Pats Nation, but we have to face the truth here.
This team is a mess right now. The decision to go with no offensive coordinator looks quite dumb. Matt Patricia and Joe Judge splitting time calling the offense sounds like a horrible idea. Bill doesn’t share that sentiment, for reasons completely unknown.
This team will not be bad, not as long as they are coached by Bill. They’ll still win a good chunk of games, and will be a tough out for any team not named the Bills. There are just too many question marks on both defense and offense to put my full faith in here. Expect a step back from the Patriots in 2022.
21. Minnesota Vikings
The Mike Zimmer Era is over in Minnesota. As great a coach as he was, he just could not get this team to the promised land. Considering the talent he possessed, it was definitely a dissapointing result.
Now the Vikings bring in former Rams’ coordinator Kevin O’Connell to lead the team. He’s an offensive minded coach who’s going to look to maximize QB Kirk Cousins‘ talent. Believe it or not, I think this could work.
Cousins has definitely shrunk in big moments, but he is nowhere near a bad quarterback. Considering he’s spent his entire Minnesota tenure with a defensive minded coach who never really trusted him, he’s been solid. I think O’Connell could unlock something here.
20. Washington Commanders
I might be too high on the Commanders here. After all, this team REALLY dissapointed last season. I however just really like this team on paper.
Say what you want about Carson Wentz, but he can be good. Even though most people would view last season in Indianapolis a failure, he still finished with 27 touchdowns and under 10 interceptions.
Pairing him with coach Ron Rivera, a really solid offense, and a potential top ten defense, this could be a surprise recipe for success. It does help that the NFC East is once again a huge mess (shocking, I know).
19. Cleveland Browns
Admittedly, this team should be much higher. If Deshaun Watson wasn’t suspended eleven games, I’d probably have this team in the top ten. We don’t live in a world like that however, and Watson is going to miss more than half the season.
Even without Watson, this team is extremely talented. I just can’t with good faith buy the Jacoby Brissett stock. I always root for my former New England guys, and I’d like to see him succeed. I’ve seen enough of Brissett over the years though to know he is not exactly a franchise signal caller.
Irregardless, the Browns should still be decent. They are going to lean heavy into the run until Watson returns, which should keep them at least around .500 by the season’s end.
18. Dallas Cowboys
Sorry Cowboys fans. I know y’all want it to be “the year” badly, but it just ain’t. This team did not have the best offseason, and the injuries have already started piling up in the preseason. Tyron Smith is out (again), as well as new receiver James Washington.
Michael Gallup is still out, and they lost both Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson in the offseason. Dak Prescott is going to have to really heavily on CeeDee Lamb and the run game, at least early on. Not super enticing when you consider Ezekiel Elliott has been consistently declining.
I just don’t trust Mike McCarthy with this core. They’ll be competitive, but the playoffs may not be attainable.
17. Baltimore Ravens
Another shocker for most. I know they’re healthier, and I know Lamar Jackson is an athletic freak. My problem is, he’s sort of a sub par thrower of the football, and he has no receivers. The only one worth mentioning, Hollywood Brown, is now currently in Arizona.
Injuries obviously slowed this team down last year, but I’m just not high on them. They have a tough division and the AFC is loaded this year. Similar to Dallas, they’ll be competitive and flirt with the playoffs, but I don’t think they’ll get there
16. Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger is officially gone. It was probably two or three years too late, but regardless the Steeler legend has retired. What he left behind is actually a pretty strong roster, aside from a shaky offensive line.
The biggest question here is obviously quarterback. The Steelers drafted Pitt star Kenny Pickett in the first round, and signed Mitchell Trubisky in free agency. Coach Mike Tomlin has yet to name a starter, a decision that will ultimately determine the direction of the team this season.
Trubisky offers some veteran experience and has lead his team to the playoffs twice as a starter. With Trubisky, this team could make a playoff push. With Pickett, there will be a lot more mistakes and growing pains. If the Steelers want to make the playoffs again, they should run with Mitch.
15. Indianapolis Colts
The Colts for years have felt so close but yet so far from being a contender. They have a solid roster all around. They possess a top ten defense and the best running back in the league. Their offensive line is consistently superb.
They unfortunately haven’t been able to get the QB right. For the fourth year in a row, the Colts will open the season with a new starting QB. This time around it’s vet Matt Ryan.
Ryan to me is maybe a slight improvement over Carson Wentz, but he alone will not be enough to carry this team over the hump. Head Coach Frank Reich may face some heat this season in Indy.
14. Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders were the Cinderella team of last season. Everything that could go wrong went wrong, and yet they still snuck into the playoffs. They even took the eventual AFC champion Bengals down to the wire in the first round.
They did not sit back on their success either. The Raiders made headline moves this offseason with the additions of Davante Adams and Chandler Jones.
You may be wondering how a 2021 playoff team who added two star players, and kept virtually everyone else, is ranked so low.
Let me say, it’s not an indictment on this team. If they were in the NFC they’d probably be a playoff team. Unfortunately, not only are they in the AFC, but the AFC West. Playing in possibly the toughest division in league history will make life difficult in the desert.
The Raiders will be good and will probably finish above .500, but I currently have them as the fourth team in the West. Sorry Raider Nation, no playoffs this year.
13. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins over the Raiders?? Yes, the Dolphins over the Raiders. You can hate on Tua Tagovailoa all you want, but I certainly won’t. He’s been an average QB up to date, but I believe he’ll take a big leap this season with the addition of Tyreek Hill and an improved O-Line.
This offense is loaded now, and the defense, especially the secondary, is still pretty good. Add Mike McDaniels into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a playoff recipe.
I believe Tua is the most disrespected quarterback in the NFL, but that will hopefully change after this season. Watch out for the Phins in 2022.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay is having a rough go of it lately. A rough offseason has only gotten worse as we get closer to the start of the season. A coaching change, the loss of some veteran pieces, and a slew of injuries have not done this team any good.
The injuries are a MAJOR concern, especially because they have mostly been on the offensive line. It’s just one thing after another for the Bucs. To make matters worse, Tom Brady seems distracted. He just took 11 days off for personal reasons, and doesn’t seem as locked in as he usually does.
At the end of the day, this team does still possess a lot of talent. I’ve also learned in this life to never bet against Brady. That being said, I just don’t think highly of this team in 2022.
11. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles were another surprise playoff team in 2021. I personally thought they’d be terrible, but they found an identity and rode it into a Wild Card berth.
They then doubled down on that great run, having arguably the best offseason of any team. They managed to add names like AJ Brown, Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean, and CJ Gardner-Johnson. These additions on top of an already solid roster makes this team a threat in the NFC.
The biggest question is QB Jalen Hurts. If he can progress in year three, the Eagles could have legit contender status. He will be the key to the Eagles having a very successful season.
10. Arizona Cardinals
The gap between Arizona and Philadelphia is tight. The Eagles overall might have a better roster. The Cardinals have Kyler Murray though, and that’s what moves them into the top ten for me.
Even without DeAndre Hopkins for the first six weeks, this offense should be very explosive. When he does return, Murray having Hopkins, Hollywood Brown, AJ Green, Rondale Moore, and Zach Ertz to throw to feels unfair.
I have questions about the defense, but it should be decent enough. The real question here is can the Cardinals avoid another late season collapse. Under Kingsbury this team starts off strong and always seems to lose steam after about Week 10. Keeping the foot on the gas will be pivotal for this team.
9. Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are another team who didn’t have the kindest offseason. Davante Adams was the focal point of this offense for years, and he is now gone. So to is Marquez Valdes-Scantling. This receiving corps is heavily depleted, relying on rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs to step up.
Rodgers already seems frustrated with the young receivers, which is not a good sign. This offensive line is also declining by each year, even with the return of David Bakhtiari. A good defense and a poor division will keep them steady, but not for long.
Last year really felt like Green Bay’s best chance to win it all. They’re still a good team in 2022, but definitely will take a step back.
8. New Orleans Saints
My dark horse of 2022. Don’t be so quick to throw me in the looney bin. This roster is solid all around on paper. They very well could have the best defense in football, definitely top five.
Jameis Winston catches a lot of flack, but he is a solid thrower of the pigskin. In seven starts with the Saints last year, he went 5-2 with 1,170 yards, 14 TDs and only 3 INTs. Had it not been for a torn ACL that ended his season, Winston would have probably lead the Saints to the playoffs.
He’ll be back this year and with a lot more weapons at his disposal. The return of Michael Thomas, and the additions of Jarvis Landry and rookie Chris Olave should give him plenty of firepower. Alvin Kamara is also back, meaning this offense is sneakily one of the best.
I think this team wins the NFC South in 2022, and will turn some heads come playoff time.
7. San Francisco 49ers
This team was right on the doorsteps of the Super Bowl last season. They blew their chance, but being so close should give them hope in 2022. They were able to maintain most of the core, so you’re really getting a lot of the same in 2022.
The truth is, this is a Super Bowl caliber roster. This is also a Super Bowl caliber coaching staff. The problem is, I don’t belive this is a Super Bowl caliber QB. At least, not yet.
Trey Lance may very well become a star. He certainly has the potential. In the short term though, his mistakes and lack of experience could hold this team back.
A win now team handing the keys to a 22 year old QB is a bold move Cotton, we’ll see how it pays off for them.
6. Kansas City Chiefs
The NFL world really needs to relax on the Chiefs. I’ve seen a number of top analysts putting Kansas City as third or fourth in the AFC West. Some even have them missing the playoffs.
The loss of Tyreek Hill is big, and there will be tough times initially adjusting to the loss. Not enough tough times though that Kansas City will drop that low in the AFC standings. By all accounts, I actually think the Chiefs got slightly better in the offseason.
Sure they lost Hill, but this is the deepest receiving corps Patrick Mahomes has had. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marques Valdez-Scantling, Skyy Moore, and Mecole Hardman is a group that offers a lot of speed and versatility.
The Chiefs are going no where anytime soon. They will surely be contenders again in 2022.
5. Denver Broncos
The Broncos quietly had been building a solid roster over the past few seasons. What they had been missing all that time was a reliable QB running the show. In enters Russell Wilson.
You really can’t go wrong upgrading to Russ. He is leaps and bounds better than anything they have had since Peyton Manning. This move actually gives me huge Manning-to-Denver vibes. That Broncos team was also just a QB away, then Manning came in and lead them to two Super Bowl appearances and one title.
I’m not saying Russ will have that exact same success, but the ingredients are all there. This is the best team Russ has had since the “Legion of Boom” days. That should certainly scare people.
4. Los Angeles Chargers
Let’s make one thing clear: the Chargers were done dirty by referees on a number of occasions last season. Specifically in that season finale against the Raiders, that first half featured some severely questionable calls.
Irregardless, the team was still a work in progress. Justin Herbert is insanely good, but the team’s defense just wasn’t good enough last season. The offense was consistently asked to do too much.
Their answer was to add two of the best defenders at their respective positions in J.C. Jackson and Khalil Mack. They also added Super Bowl champion Sebastian Joseph-Day for good measure. The Chargers defense went from 0 to 100 seemingly overnight, which has transformed them into legit contenders.
3. Cincinnati Bengals
The defending AFC champs did what few defending champs are capable of doing: getting better. The Bengals one weakness, the thing that killed them in the Super Bowl, was their offensive line. After adding guys like La’el Collins and Alex Cappa, needless to say that is no longer an issue.
The Bengals placement at three is really more about how good the two teams in front of them are. Cincinnati is very good, and will definitely be in the Super Bowl conversation again this season. It’s hard to find really any weaknesses now.
2. Los Angeles Rams
The defending champs look to be quite dominant again in 2022.
It really is crazy how the Rams operate. They have no early draft picks, lose premier talent, and still find ways to either improve or stay consistent. They lose Von Miller, Robert Woods, and Odell Beckham Jr.? No worries, in comes Allen Robinson II and Bobby Wagner.
The rich just stay getting richer. Their division will be tough (aside from Seattle), but they have the talent to navigate a tough schedule. Matthew Stafford could be even better for the Rams in year two than he was in year one. LA will also have the benefit of a healthy Cam Akers all season.
The Rams should once again be the favorite to come out of the NFC in 2022.
1. Buffalo Bills
Yes, the Bills over the Rams. Sacrilege I know. It’s just really tough not to love this team. They are solid across every facet of the game. It helps to possess the best QB in the NFL right now, Josh Allen. That’s right, he’s the best hands down.
Realistically this team was a miracle 13 second drive by the Chiefs away from the AFC Title Game in 2021. Had they heald on against Kansas City, I believe they would have beaten Cincinnati. That’s all theory of course, but the Bills were good enough last year to go the distance.
With the addition of Hall of Famer Von Miller, the team should be even better now. Buffalo is my pick to win the Super Bowl this season, as it just feels like everything has come together at the perfect time.
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