May 25, 2022

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Way too early NFL Power Rankings: Post-Super Bowl…

4 min read
Way too early NFL Power Rankings: Post-Super Bowl...


Is it football season yet?

Sure, the Los Angeles Rams just won Super Bowl 2022, but let’s look ahead to the 2022 NFL season. Also known Year 1 ATB (After Tom Brady).

The Buccaneers and the Ben Roethlisberger-less Steelers will have new quarterbacks, but so could the Packers, 49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks, Broncos, Colts, Texans and more because of the uncertainty around Aaron Rodgers, Jimmy Garoppolo, Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson for one reason or another.

Taking into account current rosters and potential franchise-altering assets like salary-cap space, premium draft picks and free agency, here are The Post’s way-too-early power rankings for 2022:

Patrick Mahomes
The Chiefs’ need to build up their secondary to earn another Super Bowl ring.
AP

1. Kansas City Chiefs

Only one Super Bowl ring to show for four straight trips to the conference championship game is a major disappointment. Then again, head coach Andy Reid once had zero to show for four straight strips with the Eagles. The Chiefs need to revamp their secondary the same way they revamped the offensive line last offseason, but they still have Patrick Mahomes.

2. Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen led two go-ahead touchdown drives in the final two minutes of a playoff game and still lost to Mahomes. The Bills must have been sick seeing the Bengals (not the Chiefs) in the Super Bowl. Not much to tweak on either side of the ball here, but the loss of new Giants head coach Brian Daboll — the only offensive coordinator Allen has played for — shouldn’t be discounted.

Aaron Rodgers
The Packers are basing a franchise rebuild around getting one more ring out of Aaron Rodgers.
AP

3. Green Bay Packers

The Packers reportedly will adopt an all-in roster-building and salary-cap philosophy to win another ring around Rodgers. It’s about time. Start by locking up Davante Adams and adding more playmakers. Rodgers sounded happier with Packers management just last week as he accepted his fourth MVP award. Head coach Matt LaFleur has three straight 13-win seasons to start his tenure.

4. Los Angeles Rams

The Super Bowl champions are losing Eric Weddle to retirement. Maybe Aaron Donald, Andrew Whitworth and even head coach Sean McVay, too. That’s a lot of uncertainty at major spots. Von Miller and the injured Odell Beckham Jr. are free agents. The Rams don’t have a first-round pick until 2024. All-in to win worked. Now what?

Joe Burrow
The Bengals need to surround Joe Burrow with high-powered free agents next season.
AP

5. Cincinnati Bengals

Time for the Bengals to prove their playoff run — even their division title — wasn’t a fluke. The smart-drafting Bengals have an all-world young quarterback. Are they willing to break their mold and be big players in free agency and trades to surround him with talent?

6. Tennessee Titans

Until upgrading at quarterback and pass rush, the Titans are going to have a difficult time winning in the playoffs. But they are built for regular-season success as long as Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry and Mike Vrabel are imposing their will to out-physical opponents.

Dak Prescott
It’s likely that Dak Prescott will be the top quarterback in the NFC next season.
AP

7. Dallas Cowboys

Against all odds, the Cowboys kept coordinators Kellen Moore and Dan Quinn. All the pressure is on head coach Mike McCarthy with this star-studded roster. Imagine if Rodgers, Wilson and even Murray somehow join Brady in clearing out of the NFC to make room for Dak Prescott at the top?

8. Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers were in line for a playoff berth until the final play of the NFL regular season. With $48 million of salary-cap space available (only the Dolphins have more, according to overthecap.com), resources are in place to upgrade weaknesses, especially the rushing defense.

9. San Francisco 49ers

A 10-point fourth-quarter lead disappeared on the 49ers in the NFC Championship game. They are expected to take a huge gamble by replacing winning quarterback Garoppolo with Trey Lance, who played sparingly as a rookie. If Lance is the next immediate-impact Mahomes, it’s a home run. If not, uh-oh.

10. Baltimore Ravens

How different would the AFC playoff picture have looked if former MVP Lamar Jackson stayed healthy and the Ravens didn’t lose six straight (four without Jackson) after starting 8-3? Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale took the fall and landed with the Giants. The Ravens were a couple failed two-point conversions away from winning the division instead of the Bengals. 

11. New England Patriots

12. Arizona Cardinals

13. Philadelphia Eagles

14. Minnesota Vikings

15. Cleveland Browns

16. Seattle Seahawks

17. Las Vegas Raiders

18. Denver Broncos

19. Indianapolis Colts

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

21. Pittsburgh Steelers

22. Miami Dolphins

23. Washington Commanders

24. New Orleans Saints

25. Chicago Bears

26. Atlanta Falcons

Daniel Jones
With a new head coach and a new offensive coordinator, Daniel Jones’ Giants future is at stake in 2022.
AP

27. New York Giants

Another restart for the Giants, who have a new general manager, new head coach and two new coordinators. Big decisions must be made on the futures of quarterback Daniel Jones and running back Saquon Barkley. The Giants roster could get worse (a goal is clearing $40 million in salary-cap space) before it gets better. Offensive line and pass rush are needed. Two top-10 draft picks will help.

28. Jacksonville Jaguars

29. New York Jets

Can the Jets attract top free agents without overpaying? If not, $35 million in cap space could disappear fast. The other part of the plan to finally accelerate this rebuild is to use five top-70 draft picks, including two in the top 10. Zach Wilson needs to make the traditional Year 2 jump. So does offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur.

30. Carolina Panthers

31. Detroit Lions

32. Houston Texans

https://nypost.com/2022/02/14/way-too-early-nfl-power-rankings-post-super-bowl-standings/