After four weeks of NFL football we still don't know exactly who's who and what's what! I mean we have teams like the Giants who are (3 -1) and the Raiders with a record of (1 - 3). The Eagles are the last remaining unbeaten team. Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen are all in the MVP race along with surprise contender Jalen Hurts. The Steelers are going to their rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett to try and save the season before it's too late. We were supposed to see the emergence of Trey Lance in San Francisco but due to season ending surgery, Jimmy G is getting another crack at it.
courtesy of Sport League Maps
We've seen a lot but there's a lot more to see with three quarters of the season still left to play as some teams are still seeking their identity. The Broncos are (2 - 2) but could easily be (0 - 4). The Lions can score points with anyone. However "anyone" scores more points on them. They need to learn to close out games! Are the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals a contender again or did they catch lighting in a bottle last season? Are the Colts too predictable! The Jaguars are a good team and not a fluke under Doug Pederson. Even the defending Super Bowl champion L.A. Rams are struggling to find their identity. So far it's been the Cooper Kupp show but can that formula last all season long?
Do the new look offense of the Packers still own the North or are the Vikings prepared to pillage Green Bay and finally beat the beast? Will the Dolphins play well enough until Tua returns? Is Bill Belichick showing that he's still the best coach in football despite a (1 - 3) record? Will Cleveland win enough games and stay in contention before DeShaun Watson takes his first snap as a Brown? Should the Chargers just fire Brandon Staley already and stop delaying the inevitable? Did Denver make a mistake going with an unproven guy in Nathanial Hackett just because his father Paul was a long time solid football coach. Is there a quarterback controversy in Big D? If Cooper Rush has the hot hand do you want to mess with that chemistry? Can the Bucs overcome all these weekly injuries? Will the Saints pick it up on offense? Is Geno Smith helping to make the Seahawks relevant? All things to keep in mind as the season goes on.
Here are my week 5 power rankings in the NFL. This list will most certainly be fluid as the year goes along. In my power rankings I factor in what's happened and what's likely to happen based off what I've seen so far. Keep that in mind as I go from 1 - 32 for the first power rankings list of the 2022 season. I will give some explanation for the first 15 teams on the list.
Philadelphia Eagles - Strong offensive and defensive lines with a confident dual threat quarterback. One of the top rushing offenses in football. Play makers on both sides of the ball. They also protect the football very well. This team is playing with conviction and showed that if they get outscored early, they don't have to panic and won't abandon the run game. Not to mention Jalen Hurts has been incredibly accurate and versatile.
Buffalo Bills - The have one of the best QB's in football. On 3rd and 3 there's no other QB you want with the ball than Josh Allen as he can run it or throw for it with extreme power. A top tier WR in Diggs. They have an aggressive defense that causes sacks and turnovers. Von Miller has been the perfect fit on the Bills defense and is leading them to success on that side of the ball. The Bills are only allowing 14.5 points per game which is phenomenal considering they played the Rams, Titans, Dolphins and Ravens. They're also great in the two minute drill and have playoff experience now!
Kansas City Chiefs - Patrick Mahomes is the best QB in the league. That combo with head coach Andy Reid makes them a contender every season. Travis Kelce is showing he's still the best pass catching TE in football. Even Clyde Edwards-Helaire has stepped up playing the Brian Westbrook role from Reid's days in Philly. When you have #15 you have a shot. The defense needs to improve however and odds are they will much like last year midway through the season.
Green Bay Packers - Rodgers has been improving upon his chemistry with all his new receivers and it's beginning to show. Also the one-two punch of A.J. Dillon and Aaron Jones is arguably the best backfield in the NFL. But the biggest reason the Pack rank #4 is their defense. They play tough in the secondary, they get to the quarterback and they cause turnovers. It may not be the same look Packers but it's the same old Packers when it comes to winning football games.
Miami Dolphins - With Tua under center and all the wonderful new toys he has at his disposal, has made the Dolphins one of the best teams in football. Correlate that with how great the defense has played so far and we're talking a true contender here. Hopefully Tua comes back healthy at 100% and if he does soon enough then Miami is a sure shot playoff team. Mike McDaniel has shown he is a football coach after many questions from doubters. So far he's an early candidate for coach of the year.
Baltimore Ravens - If not for their defense I'd rank the Ravens even higher. The Ravens issues in their secondary are glaring and teams are taking advantage of that. If not for the magic of Lamar Jackson and players like Duvernay and Bateman complimenting All Pro Mark Andrews, this team would be under .500 this season. Baltimore is a solid organization with a great head coach and top tier quarterback. We should see this team playing meaningful football in January.
Tampa Bay Bucs - The Bucs still have plenty of potential. When healthy the Bucs have as lethal an offense as any other team in the league. They can pass and run the ball successfully. The defense has been the bright spot for the 2022 Buccaneers but then the Chiefs hung up 41 points against them. Was that a fabrication, K.C. just being that good or does Tampa Bay have some work to do on the defensive side of the ball? They better find out!
San Francisco 49ers - This may be the best defense in the NFL and that goes a long way when you compliment that with a solid running game. They set plays for #19 because when Deebo gets the ball great things happen. He's one of the best play makers in the game. Jimmy G is not the guy who's supposed to be under center right now but the Niners were lucky enough to NOT pull off a trade as Garoppolo steps right in and picked up where he left off. If Jimmy can keep the turnovers down and just play within Kyle Shanahan's offense, then the defense will take care of the rest. This defense has only given up a total of 46 points in 4 games! They haven't allowed more than 19 points scored against them so far this season. In this day and age of a modernized pass happy, point scoring league, the Niners defense is on a historic pace.
Los Angeles Rams - The defending champions don't really look like it so far this year. They lost the season opener at home. They almost allowed the Falcons to make a huge comeback in week 2 and week 3 Mathew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and the crew only scored 20 points against that cruddy Cardinals defense! They're okay defensively and could really use a pass rusher to compliment Aaron Donald's unique skill set. There's holes in the defense and the offense is too reliant on Cooper Kupp. If the Rams don't get a consistent run game going then expect Stafford to lead the league in interceptions again.
Minnesota Vikings - I'm still not sure what this team is all about. They have the weapons especially with the unreal talent of Justin Jefferson. Dalvin Cook should be doing better in my opinion but he's already getting banged up early in the season, again. They beat up on the Packers in week 1. Got beat up by the Eagles in week 2. Needed to overcome a 10 point 4th quarter deficit in Detroit. Then week 4 against an undermanned Saints team missing their starting QB, RB and WR, only won by a field goal and if not for Will Lutz's doink off the crossbar, this game goes to overtime and who knows what happens!
Dallas Cowboys - How bout them Cowboys coming in at #11. That defense led by #11 sophomore Micah Parsons has been a big surprise so far this season. Not Parson as he's already one of the best defensive players in football, but the rest of the defense who are overachieving. Yet it seems D-Coordinator Dan Quinn has got his guys buying into his system with success. They're tops in a bunch of elite defensive categories constantly getting pressure on the quarterback and causing turnovers. Offensively it hasn't been eye popping but they're getting the job done with Cooper Rush. Sound football and not turning it over is a pretty sweet recipe for success. Mike McCarthy looks like a head coach again!
Los Angeles Chargers - This team should be in the top 5 but Brandon Staley is holding this team back. The story goes all the way back to last season with one terrible coaching decision after another. He was brought in to help the defense and that has not happened. They still get run on consistently and allow inferior teams to take control of the game. If not for Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler and Mike Williams this team would be lost. One thing that isn't Brandon Failey's fault are all the injuries amounting for the Bolts. The latest is that Pro Bowl DE Joey Bosa will miss 8 - 10 weeks. They have talent up and down the roster but it isn't being used properly.
Cincinnati Bengals - The Bengals seem to be getting back on track a bit here. After on (0 - 2) start Cincy has won their last two games against the Jets and Dolphins. Right now their biggest problem is the same as last years. Despite the name changes on the back of the offensive lineman's jerseys, nothing has changed as far as protecting Joe Burrow and not getting enough push off the line for Joe Mixon to make moves. But this is a quick striking team where any play from any yard line could be a TD. Burrow has quickly become one of the leagues best QB's and has weapons like Chase and Higgins on the outside along with an athletic TE in Hayden Hurst. While the Bengals have started somewhat slow, they have a much higher ceiling than most other teams.
New York Giants - Hey look they're (3 - 1) and while they haven't had a staple win, they play the teams on their schedule and have beaten the Bears, Panthers and Titans. The one loss came to the red hot Cowboys on Monday Night Football by a touchdown. Saquon Barkley is back and looking like he did in his rookie season. The offensive line has been playing better and giving Daniel Jones more time to throw but nobody is open downfield. The Giants have metaphorical midgets in their wide receiving group. Unless the Giants find a passing game without Sterling Shepard in the lineup they'll find themselves out of the top 15 real quick!
Cleveland Browns - The biggest reason I have the Browns ranked higher than most is because they have the ingredients for a winning formula. When healthy they are stout on both the offensive and defensive lines. They have a two-headed monster at RB with Chubb and Hunt. Cooper, Peoples-Jones and Njoku are legitimate threats to catch the ball. They also have a nice secondary that can grab interceptions and change the game. Jacoby Brissett may not be the best quarterback in the NFL but he isn't the worst and has done a good job keeping the Browns in every game they played this season with a (2 - 2) record. The two games they lost were by a combined 4 points. Cleveland is a good football team.
New Orleans Saints
Las Vegas Raiders
New York Jets
New England Patriots
by: Jason Feirman aka The Sports Prophet