Vendetta Sports Media Preseason 2022 NFL Power Rankings
With the NFL season kicking off this week, Vendetta Sports Media brings you our preseason NFL 2022 Power Rankings! Five of our writers (myself, Alex Chick, James Herrick, Colson Valby and Trey Daubert) came together to rank all 32 teams heading into the season. These rankings began with each writer constructing an individual hierarchy of all the teams in the NFL from 1 to 32, and the average ranking was used to determine how each team placed in our Vendetta Rankings. I give a brief explanation for each team’s ranking and our other voters give input on select teams as well.
32. Houston Texans (Scott 32, Alex 31, James 30, Colson 30, Trey 28. Average 30.2)
In the basement of our 2022 NFL Power Rankings, the Texans have done a lot to set themselves up for the future, but not so much in the present. Plus, I still don’t believe Davis Mills is the answer at quarterback and they lack immediate impact players. The Texans do, however, have a bright future, especially with Derek Stingley.
31. Seattle Seahawks (Scott 29, Alex 29, James 32, Colson 28, Trey 32. Average 30)
Seattle is basically in a tie for last place here. Without inspiring quarterback options, an offensive line that looks to be more of a factor in the future, and a defense that lacks impact players outside of Jordyn Brooks and Jamal Adams, the Seahawks will be looking toward the future.
30. New York Giants (Scott 31, Alex 27, James 28, Colson 31, Trey 31. Average 29.6)
The Giants are in a transition year, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Tyrod Taylor starts a handful of games for this team. The offensive line is still a huge question mark, and the team has a very tight salary cap situation. Look at 2022 as a house cleaning type of season for New York, trying to scrub away the stains of the last regime.
29. Chicago Bears (Scott 30, Alex 32, James 29, Colson 27, Trey 29. Average 29.4)
“The Chicago Bears made massive changes in the offseason, headlined by cleaning out the front office and coaching staff. They also moved on from veterans like edge rusher Khalil Mack and interior defensive lineman Eddie Goldman. In 2022, the Bears will look for second-year quarterback Justin Fields to make improvements. Weapons like Darnell Mooney and David Montgomery can help him find the end zone. However, the offensive line has holes and may struggle to protect the group. The defensive is led by linebacker Roquan Smith and defensive end Robert Quinn. Despite having a solid core on defense, the group is underwhelming as a whole.” – James
28. Atlanta Falcons (Scott 27, Alex 30, James 29, Colson 27, Trey 30. Average 28.8)
We’re still very much in the “Is it the draft yet?” tier of the power rankings. The Falcons have some promise, but without a clear path at quarterback, and a group of weapons that won’t help anyone, it’s tough to see this team even sniffing .500.
27. New York Jets (Scott 26, Alex 28, James 27, Colson 32, Trey 26. Average 27.8)
The Zach Wilson injury doesn’t help the ranking for the New York Jets. Overall, they have a pretty decent roster, but Wilson looked completely overwhelmed last season and with him being hurt, Joe Flacco just isn’t very inspiring. I’m hoping the Jets can eventually turn something around but given their history, I doubt that’ll happen this season.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars (Scott 28, Alex 23, James 26, Colson 29, Trey 20. Average 25.2)
This is just me speaking but the Jaguars have plenty of question marks and not a lot of answers. Lawrence didn’t play well last season, their group of weapons is questionable, the defense needs work and the only optimism I have for Doug Pederson is that he’s not Urban Meyer. Pederson’s last season in Philadelphia was incredibly concerning, especially considering the team’s apparent lack of preparation. I hope Pederson figured that out during his year off, otherwise, the Jaguars won’t see much improvement.
25. Detroit Lions (Scott 25, Alex 24, James 25, Colson 24, Trey 27. Average: 25)
“The Detroit Lions finished the 2021 season with a 3-13-1 record, making them one of the worst teams in the NFL. In 2022, they are not expected to be in the playoff hunt, but they should see improvements. They have a solid offensive line that, if healthy, can be one of the best units in the league. They also have solid weapons like D’Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown, T.J. Hockenson, and D.J. Chark. Rookie receiver Jameson Williams should also contribute once he returns from his ACL injury. Quarterback Jared Goff will need to be better if the Lions look to utilize those weapons. On the defensive side of the ball, the Lions have a handful of solid pieces. In the secondary, corner Amani Oruwariye and safety Tracy Walker III have proven to be reliable pieces. Rookie defensive end Aidan Hutchinson should help bolster the defensive line, too. Outside of that small group of players, the Lions lack talent and depth.” – James
24. Washington Commanders (Scott 24, Alex 18, James 23, Colson 22, Trey 25. Average 22.4)
Sorry Karl, your team isn’t looking too hot this year. Major questions at quarterback, an offensive line that hasn’t improved from last season, and a defense that has talent but couldn’t put anything together last year spell the end of the “Is it draft time yet?” tier of our 2022 NFL Power Rankings. This team will go only as far as Carson Wentz takes them — and that doesn’t look to be too far.
23. Carolina Panthers (Scott 23, Alex 25, James 24, Colson 18, Trey 19. Average 21.8)
We have now entered the ”potential playoff party crashers” section of these power rankings. I think the Panthers have a great chance to make the playoffs given their schedule and the fact that the NFC is nowhere near as stacked as the AFC. The Panthers have two tackles they can rely on for years to come, an offensive weapon in Christian McCaffrey, a young defense, and a clear upgrade at the quarterback position. Unfortunately, I don’t believe in Matt Rhule that much, and we’ve seen what happens to Baker Mayfield in a poor coaching environment.
22. Cleveland Browns (Scott 20, Alex 22, James 20, Colson 23, Trey 23. Average 21.6)
Excellent roster but they’re without a true starting quarterback for the majority of their season and there doesn’t seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel. Cleveland’s season relies on Jacoby Brissett keeping them alive until Watson returns after being over a year and a half removed from playing in a regular season game. Better luck next year Cleveland.
21. New England Patriots (Scott 19, Alex 26, James 22, Colson 15, Trey 24. Average 21.2)
There are major problems in New England. There’s a battle for who’s going to call offensive plays, they lack weapons, and it seems like Belichick is consistently trying to make this roster significantly worse with each passing offseason. I trust Belichick as a coach, but not as a general manager, and the latter version of the 70-year-old is responsible for this low ranking.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers (Scott 22, Alex 16, James 21, Colson 21, Trey 15. Average 19)
I’m low on the Steelers for a number of reasons: Depth, the offensive line, and the defense outside of the front four/five. The offensive line just isn’t good, there’s no way to sugarcoat it. I can’t find many reasons for optimism on this line outside of the fact that it’s a very young position group with room to grow. The linebackers leave a lot to be desired. Myles Jack played well in the preseason but it’s the preseason, Devin Bush Jr. hasn’t been the same after his injury, and I love Robert Spillane, but he’s limited. The secondary outside of Minkah Fitzpatrick leaves a lot to be desired. They lack a true No. 1 corner, which in this conference is a necessity. I never thought I’d be the lowest on Pittsburgh in our 2022 NFL Power Rankings, but here we are.
19. Dallas Cowboys (Scott 12, Alex 19, James 17, Colson 25, Trey 22. Average 19)
The tiebreaker I decided to use was which team had the highest individual ranking. I see the talent in this team, and also why everyone else is so low. The offensive line is looking rough without Tyron Smith, and until Michael Gallup comes back from injury, the weapons leave a lot to be desired, but I really like this defense and specifically Micah Parsons and the versatility he brings. He can rush the passer and play as a true linebacker. Trevon Diggs leaves a lot to be desired, but he has great ball skills, even though he will have turnover regression and just won’t get as many interceptions in 2022. Mike McCarthy is not a good coach, but a positive is that he’s taking more of a CEO approach and letting the coordinators take care of the offense, defense, and special teams.
18. Minnesota Vikings (Scott 17, Alex 15, James 16, Colson 19, Trey 18. Average 17)
This team has true talent and an offensive coach who’s able to unlock it. Kirk Cousins is a top-12 quarterback who has elite weapons around him. He’s proven he can play very well in this environment, even though he makes some hilarious mistakes at times that just make you wonder ”What was he thinking?” The defense has talent in good spots, Danielle Hunter coming off the edge, Eric Kendricks at linebacker, and Harrison Smith in the secondary. Their corner group has me concerned, as does their offensive line but that’s why I have them as more of an average roster and team overall with a shot to make the playoffs despite a low rank in our 2022 NFL Power Rankings.
17. Tennessee Titans (Scott 18, Alex 21, James 19, Colson 10, Trey 17. Average 17)
I don’t really see the hype with this team. You have a solid quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, but a clear lack of weapons and an offensive line that’s going to be worse this year but will be around the middle of the pack. They lost Harold Landry for the season and have a questionable secondary. They can definitely make the playoffs as a division winner, but it’s unlikely. The main bright spot is Mike Vrabel — that man can coach.
16. Miami Dolphins (Scott 21, Alex 13, James 18, Colson 16, Trey 7. Average 15)
“I’m drinking the Dolphins Kool-Aid. I’ve been impressed with everything Mike McDaniel brings to the table. I genuinely believe Tua will have a good year despite the fact that it’s kind of concerning his arm strength appears worse post hip injury. Miami should be a playoff team after fixing left tackle, adding Tyreek Hill, and actually being invested in a modern offense. If the defense remains competent, I think the Dolphins are a real playoff team.” – Trey
15. Indianapolis Colts (Scott 14, Alex 20, James 13, Colson 7, Trey 21. Average 15)
The Colts look to be dominant in their division with really only one team in their way. Unfortunately, if they were in any other AFC division, they wouldn’t sniff the playoffs in my eyes. The rushing attack can be a nice security blanket for Matt Ryan who can still play at a good level, although his days as an elite quarterback are well behind him. Pair that with a very good defense, and they come out just north of the middle of the pack in our 2022 NFL Power Rankings.
14. New Orleans Saints (Scott 15, Alex 17, James 14, Colson 17, Trey 11. Average 14.8)
The Saints continue to treat the salary cap like a credit card and refuse to let it come back to bite them. They have an excellent offensive line even though Trevor Penning is a liability in pass protection. Overall, they have a great defense and a top-10 secondary in the league at the very least, they have a good defensive line and linebacking group so I can see the optimism here. They just need Jameis Winston to NOT throw games away for them.
13. Arizona Cardinals (Scott 16, Alex 5, James 15, Colson 20, Trey 12. Average 13.6)
The Arizona Cardinals are a team that has been consistently improving year-to-year when you look at the big-picture scale. The problem is, every season has started out great and then they collapse. Their defense is much worse without Chandler Jones and they’re betting on youth to win on the edge. Their offensive line is a weakness, and without DeAndre Hopkins for the early parts of the season, it’s hard to be optimistic about them. Regardless, the group feels that they are in the top half of the league.
12. Philadelphia Eagles (Scott 13, Alex 14, James 12, Colson 12, Trey 16. Average 13.4)
“Call me crazy, but I think the Eagles are a slept-on team this year. The offseason acquisitions of AJ Brown, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Jordan Davis, and Nakobe Dean have given the fans some promise. I think they have a good shot to win the division and make a run come playoff time. As long as Hurts can get the ball into his target’s hands, they will make plays. I think there is a significant help on the defensive side of the ball, with Cox and Davis up the middle. Also, Dean’s athleticism can help run down the RB and TE’s. DeVonta Smith had a great year last year and can only build on it. I think Miles Sanders has a bounce-back season and the Eagles will get back to their winning ways. Howie Roseman made the necessary moves, now it’s time to execute.” – Colson
11. Las Vegas Raiders (Scott 11, Alex 7, James 10, Colson 11, Trey 14. Average 10.6).
Let the record show that Scott was not the lowest on the Raiders.
“My bias and fandom are coming out on cue whenever we have to rank the Raiders. I, of course, will be higher on them than anyone else at the site. Even for me though, seven was a high rank for me. I’m not sure where the rest of the site has them, but I expect people to be lower on them than they should. Just call me Newton’s Third Law. The Raiders made the playoffs last year despite the scandals and turmoil surrounding the franchise. They’ve added key pieces in Davante Adams and Chandler Jones to the team, while also having a better head coach and play caller. I don’t see how the Raiders will progress backward.” – Alex
10. Baltimore Ravens (Scott 10, Alex 9, James 11, Colson 6, Trey 13. Average 9.8)
“As many of you know, I hate my own team (Ravens). As soon as Lamar is gone, I’ll happily root for them again. Despite the pessimism, I do believe Baltimore will be better. The Ravens invested heavy resources into their offensive line, and they were shattered by injuries. With J.K. Dobbins healthy again, their ability to run the ball will keep them relevant but there are no championship aspirations here.” – Trey
9. San Francisco 49ers. (Scott 9, Alex 11, James 9, Colson 14, Trey 5. Average 9.6)
We have entered the elite tier of our 2022 NFL Power Rankings, and the 49ers have a fantastic roster, it may be the best one in the NFL excluding the quarterback position. Nick Bosa is elite, Fred Warner is one of the three best linebackers in the NFL and their coaching staff is the best in the NFL for my money. This team hinges on Trey Lance. If he plays above average this team can waltz into the playoffs, but they brought Jimmy Garoppolo back to be insurance, so I have no doubts about this team.
8. Denver Broncos (Scott 8, Alex 10, James 7, Colson 13, Trey 6. Average 8.8)
The Broncos have had a great roster for years and were always just a quarterback away, now they finally have that quarterback. I believe Russell Wilson will be significantly better this season because he isn’t rushing back from a finger injury on his throwing hand and won’t HAVE to play hero ball even though he still can. They have weapons, an offensive line that can protect Wilson, and a promising young defense. The only concern here would be chemistry and Wilson adjusting to his new team, but I do not feel too concerned about that.
7. Green Bay Packers (Scott 4, Alex 12, James 6, Colson 5, Trey 10. Average 7.4)
Aaron Rodgers is my highest ranked quarterback going into the season. It shouldn’t be controversial to rank the back-to-back MVP of the league as the best quarterback in the league. They have a great defense, the most underrated player in the NFL in Rashan Gary, and a top three secondary in the league as well as an elite coach. The only concern about this team is weapons, where I have them ranked at 31st in the league — only the Bears are worse in my eyes. Rodgers is still that dude, and this is still an elite team.
6. Los Angeles Chargers (Scott 7, Alex 4, James 8, Colson 8, Trey 8. Average 7)
This is a team loaded with talent, which is why they appear so high in these power rankings. My main concern is the coaching staff. Justin Herbert is great; their weapons are great and the offensive line outside of right tackle is a great unit as well. They have talent on defense with Joey Bosa, Khalil Mack, Derwin James, and their entire secondary, but aren’t promising at linebacker or on the interior of their defensive line. I’m also concerned about the coaching, Staley is a defensive coach, but their defense stunk last year, and that worries me a lot. I didn’t like the hire at the time, and season one didn’t inspire me to change my perspective.
5. Cincinnati Bengals (Scott 6, Alex 3, James 5, Colson 9, Trey 4. Average 5.4)
This is a team that caught lightning in a bottle and made it to the Super Bowl last season. They addressed their offensive line and I like what I see heading into the season. Joe Burow is an elite quarterback; their group of weapons is fantastic as well. The Cincinnati defense looks to improve this season as well, so what’s holding them back? Well, I see Zac Taylor as a fraudulent coach, I do not believe in him at all and see him as what Mike McCarthy was to the Green Bay Packers. That’s why I’m so hesitant in believing in the Bengals, and why they are significantly behind the next four teams in our 2022 NFL Power Rankings.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Scott 1, Alex 6, James 4, Colson 3, Trey 9. Average 4.6)
So, here’s where my rankings do not stack up well to consensus. I have the Buccaneers ranked as the best team in the NFL. There is not a single flaw on this team outside of the offensive line being shaky due to their injuries at center. As far as I know, they have not given details about Ryan Jensen’s injury, but I believe the team can overcome Jensen’s potential absence. Tampa Bay is four and five deep at wide receiver, the defense is still elite, and they have a great coaching staff. I see this team as almost the clear best team in the NFL but everyone else says otherwise.
3. Kansas City Chiefs (Scott 2, Alex 8, James 3, Colson 4, Trey 3. Average 4)
Mahomes is my second-best quarterback in the NFL due to his streakiness, but this team is still elite. Their group of weapons have complementary skill sets, and then Travis Kelce is the best tight end in the NFL. I also like their defense as well with the young talent they have, and I won’t bet against Andy Reid with Mahomes as they have shown the ability to overcome great levels of adversity.
2. Los Angeles Rams (Scott 5, Alex 2, James 2, Colson 2, Trey 2. Average 2.6)
The lack of depth on this team scares me, they were abnormally healthy last season. They lost Andrew Whitworth to retirement, and although they have great players like Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, they need to stay healthy. Bobby Wagner isn’t what he used to be and although he will be an impact player he’s limited athletically, and the Rams don’t have an elite group of weapons. I get they won the Super Bowl, but I don’t see how they improved overall.
1. Buffalo Bills (Scott 3, Alex 1, James 1, Colson 1, Trey 1. Average 1.4)
To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Buffalo Bills are the kings of our 2022 NFL Power Rankings, but my individual ranking of them may come as a huge surprise. I think the Bills are a great team, but I just don’t see them as the best team in the NFL. Josh Allen had probably the greatest two-game stretch ever in the playoffs, but he was worse in 2021 than he was in 2020 as a whole. He had some VERY bad games. Their offensive line is average for me, and their defense is a good unit with a very good head coach. I can see the hype, and why everyone ranked them as the best team in the NFL, but I just see the Chiefs and Buccaneers as better teams at the moment.
Do you agree with how we ranked these teams? Let us know on Twitter! Every month we will have a new edition of the Vendetta Sports Media 2022 NFL Power Rankings!