NFL Power Rankings: Way Too Early Edition
Power rankings are mostly for fun—they’re also a great way to get you guys to click on this article (cha-ching) and start a great conversation about why your favorite team is better than we think they’ll be.
Honestly, it’s like poking a hornet’s nest and it’s a lot of fun for us writers.
So, without delaying this any longer, here are The Draft Scout’s initial NFL Power Rankings.
Please direct all complaints to @Mello on Twitter.
1. Buffalo Bills (11-6 last season) — Take Josh Allen’s ability to score points and add what should be a much better defense with Von Miller and Kaiir Elam entering the fray and the Bills have a recipe for a Super Bowl berth. From top to bottom, this is the deepest roster in the NFL and the one with the most talent at key positions.
2. Los Angeles Rams (12-5, Super Bowl Champions) — Some folks might think losing Odell Beckham and Von Miller are too hard to overcome, but adding Allen Robinson and Bobby Wagner arguably fill the actual holes on the roster better. Oh, and the Rams still have Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. If the offensive line can gel in replacing Andrew Whitworth, the Rams will be a-okay.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (12-5) — Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes are still here, which means the Chiefs are still in position to win a Super Bowl. Losing Tyreek Hill is a bigger impact than losing Tyrann Mathieu, but the offense might actually be better with a more balanced attack. The defense needs rookie Trent McDuffie to play like big boy football right away.
4. Denver Broncos (7-10) — The Broncos have legit “worst-to-first” potential with Russell Wilson at quarterback, a damn good defense, and a healthy supporting cast on offense. If Wilson plays like he did to start the 2021 season for all 17 weeks, the Broncos could be the AFC’s best team. They’re that good.
5. Green Bay Packers (13-4) — Even accounting for the loss of Davante Adams, this roster is good enough with Aaron Rodgers under center to still win a weak NFC North. With the power balance of the league shifting to the AFC—the Packers have a pathway to the No. 1 seed in the NFC again.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-4) — The Bucs were one last minute miracle from repeating as NFC champs. The team largely returns in tact but will need youngsters to step up on the offensive line. As long as Tom Brady is here—even with Bruce Arians gone—they’re a legitimate contender.
7. Los Angeles Chargers (9-8) — The Chargers are a popular pick to win the AFC West, but we’re not quite there yet. The defense should be better with Khalil Mack and JC Jackson coming to town, but the pressure is on head coach Brandon Staley to make the right calls to win games in the league’s best division.
8. Cleveland Browns (8-9) — No one knows what to expect from Deshaun Watson this year, but the last time we saw him play he was a top three quarterback. If he’s able to play 17 games, the Browns should be considered a Super Bowl candidate. The talent is there on both sides of the ball for this team to be great if they have Watson.
9. Cincinnati Bengals (10-7) — Yes, we know all about Super Bowl hangovers but this is still the best quarterback-wide receiver combo in the NFL (sorry, Denver) with emerging talents on defense that will keep Cincinnati competitive even as the division and conference around them should be much better in 2022.
10. Tennessee Titans (12-5) — This feels like a year in which the Titans take a step back. The wide receiver corps is unproven with Robert Woods coming back from injury and Treylon Burks a rookie; and with Ryan Tannehill struggling down the stretch last year this feels like a team that will struggle to put teams away. They’re still a playoff contender and can still make noise thanks to a great coaching staff, but this isn’t the most talented Titans team we’ve seen.