The 2022 NFL regular season has come to an end. And yet, the fun has only just begun.
The quest for the Lombardi Trophy starts in earnest this week, with 14 teams vying for a chance to win Super Bowl 57. But before we dig too much into Wild Card Weekend, we have some year-end accounting to do for all 32 franchises.
Which teams defied their preseason expectations? And which teams have plenty of questions to answer as we get set for a gruelingly long offseason?
As always, I’ll break down this week’s top risers and fallers in what will be my final update before Super Bowl 57. Here are my NFL power rankings at the conclusion of the 2022 NFL regular season.
Please note that all 2022 NFL futures odds are courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook and are current as of Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 10:30 a.m. ET.
2022 NFL Power Rankings
32. Chicago Bears (3-14) ↔️
A 10th consecutive loss, coupled with a Texans victory over the Colts, gave the Bears the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Chicago hasn’t had the No. 1 pick since 1947 when they selected Bob Fenimore, who went on to play just 10 career games due to injury.
Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself and the Bears get Justin Fields some help.
31. Indianapolis Colts (4-12-1) ↔️
After winning his first game in charge, interim coach Jeff Saturday couldn’t guide the Colts to a victory in any of their final seven games.
Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay has plenty of decisions to make this offseason, with head coach and quarterback among the most important.
30. Arizona Cardinals (4-13) ⬇️ 1
Arizona also ended the season on a seven-game losing streak, which landed the Cardinals the third overall pick in April’s Draft. The Cardinals have plenty of holes to fill on their roster and will also be in search of a new GM and head coach after Kliff Kingsbury got the boot on Monday.
At least J.J. Watt waltzed into retirement with a two-sack effort against the 49ers.
Sportsbook Play of the Day
New sign-ups at FanDuel Sportsbook can capitalize on the fantastic No Sweat First Bet up to $3,000.
To activate the offer just , create a FanDuel account, make your first deposit of $10+, and place your first real money bet on any market in the FanDuel Sportsbook.
If your first bet loses, get your stake back in bonus bets, up to $3,000.
[toplist type="sport" state="" items="1" include="381"]
29. Houston Texans (3-13-1) ⬆️ 1
The Texans can’t even tank properly.
Davis Mills connected with Jordan Akins on a late fourth-quarter touchdown and again on the game-winning two-point conversion to knock off Indianapolis and move Houston up to the No. 2 slot. The win wasn’t enough to save Lovie Smith‘s job, as the Texans fired their head coach after one season for the second straight year.
- See where the Texans select in our 2023 NFL Mock Draft
On the bright side, the result shouldn’t do too much harm to Houston’s pursuit of a quarterback as Chicago should look elsewhere with Fields in tow.
28. Denver Broncos (5-12) ⬆️ 1
A brutal season for the Broncos came mercifully to an end with a victory over the rival Chargers.
With head coach Nathaniel Hackett already out the door, Denver begins a crucial offseason on the lookout for its next leader. Someone who can restore Russell Wilson to his former self would be preferable.
27. Los Angeles Rams (5-12) ↔️
An overtime loss to the rival Seahawks in Seattle essentially sums up the disappointment of this season for the reigning Super Bowl champs. Still, there were some positives to take away from this late-season stretch, notably the three consecutive 100-plus yard rushing performances from Cam Akers.
At full strength, the Rams will be back among the NFC’s contenders next season.
26. New York Jets (7-10) ⬇️ 1
Remember when the Jets were 7-4 and looked like a playoff team? Yeah, me too.
Now, New York braces itself for a long offseason of questions about their late-season collapse and inability to find/develop a franchise quarterback. Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh have some big decisions to make.
At least Jets fans have the Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year award announcements to look forward to.
25. Atlanta Falcons (7-10) ⬆️ 1
The Falcons ended the year with back-to-back victories to finish 7-10 for the second straight season, although I’m not sure we can take a lot from a meaningless Week 18 win over the Buccaneers’ backups.
Year 3 will be pivotal for Arthur Smith, whose future will likely be tied to the progression of quarterback Desmond Ridder.
24. Cleveland Browns (7-10) ⬇️ 1
Has the trade for Deshaun Watson been worth it? So far, the answer is undeniably no.
Cleveland enters the offseason without a first-round draft pick, but with plenty of doubts about its franchise quarterback, who didn’t come close to reaching his previous level after a lengthy layoff.
If things don’t improve next season, that fully guaranteed contract is going to look worse than it already did.
23. Tennessee Titans (7-10) ⬇️ 2
Joshua Dobbs and the Titans gave it all they had on Saturday night, but this roster was just too decimated by injuries to compete down the stretch.
Losing seven straight games to end the season will hurt, but it’s hard not to look back at their offseason moves and wonder what Tennessee was thinking. The A.J. Brown trade was a disaster and Malik Willis looks rough.
Finding the right general manager to lead this franchise forward will be key, especially since I believe Mike Vrabel is one of the NFL’s better coaches.
22. Las Vegas Raiders (6-11) ↔️
Jarrett Stidham didn’t quite live up to the hype in his NFL encore, but there’s certainly some potential there. And based on the decision to bench Derek Carr because of his upcoming cap hit, it’s pretty clear the Raiders will be moving on at quarterback.
Las Vegas has some big decisions to make this offseason, as NFL rushing leader Josh Jacobs is also set to be a free agent.
21. New Orleans Saints (7-10) ⬇️ 2
Finishing 7-10 with the bevy of injuries to key players New Orleans had to endure all season seems like a win. Head coach Dennis Allen is expected to return next year, but who will be playing quarterback for the Saints?
At this point, it’s hard to imagine Andy Dalton or Jameis Winston starting the season as QB1.
20. Carolina Panthers (7-10) ⬆️ 4
A Week 18 win in New Orleans may not have meant much in the grand scheme of things, but for interim coach Steve Wilks, a sixth win in 12 games was more than his predecessor Matt Rhule managed in the previous two seasons.
Carolina owner David Tepper would be silly to not give Wilks the chance to lead this team moving forward, especially given the lack of talent he has had to work with.
19. New England Patriots (8-9) ⬇️ 2
New England’s run without a playoff victory will reach four years after the Patriots couldn’t take advantage of a win-and-in scenario in Buffalo.
That game was always going to be tough considering the circumstances, but it’s not often you see a Bill Belichick-coached team severely outplayed on special teams.
Belichick has confirmed he will return next season, though we’ll have to wait on the futures of offensive coaches Matt Patricia and Joe Judge.
18. Washington Commanders (8-8-1) ⬆️ 2
Hello, Sam Howell.
The 2022 fifth-round pick looked pretty comfortable against an elite Dallas defense in his first NFL action, throwing for 169 yards and a touchdown and rushing for another.
Maybe Washington had its long-term answer at quarterback all along.
17. Miami Dolphins (9-8) ⬆️ 1
What a roller coaster this season has been for the Dolphins. Somehow, Miami is in the playoffs after outlasting the Jets 11-6 in Week 18.
It’s pretty clear this team isn’t the same without Tua Tagovailoa (concussion) and we have no idea as to his status for the Dolphins’ wild-card matchup against the Bills.
Based on how this team has been trending, I’m expecting Miami to be one and done with either Skylar Thompson or Teddy Bridgewater under center.
16. Green Bay Packers (8-9) ⬇️ 4
A home win over the Lions was all Green Bay needed to reach the postseason, but a disappointing year came to a fitting end with a 20-16 defeat to Detroit on Sunday Night Football.
Another offseason spent speculating on the future of quarterback Aaron Rodgers awaits.
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9) ⬆️ 1
The Buccaneers may have lost their season finale in Atlanta, but they won the first half during which Tom Brady completed 13 of 17 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown.
It’s still hard to have a lot of faith in a sub-.500 team heading into the playoffs, but we’ve seen bad division champions win playoff games before.
The Buccaneers should give the Cowboys a game.
14. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-8) ⬆️ 1
You thought Mike Tomlin was going to finish the season with a sub-.500 record, didn’t you?
Although it wasn’t enough to sneak into the postseason, the Steelers won their final four games to keep their head coach’s record of finishing .500 or better every year intact.
Kenny Pickett and George Pickens give this offense a solid foundation moving forward.
13. Seattle Seahawks (9-8) ⬆️ 1
Predicted by many to be one of the worst teams in the NFL this season, Seattle’s surprising ascent to the playoffs is one of the league’s best stories. It was also sweet to see Seahawks fans donating to the Lions’ charity for helping them clinch their spot.
Let’s see what Geno Smith has in store for his first postseason run.
12. Baltimore Ravens (10-7) ⬇️ 1
The Ravens decided to rest some starters for their Week 18 matchup with Cincinnati, which was smart since they’ll visit the Bengals again in the wild-card round.
The lingering question that remains is whether Lamar Jackson (knee) will suit up for that game or at all again this season. Without him, Baltimore’s defense will have to carry this team like it did at the turn of the century.
11. Minnesota Vikings (13-4) ⬆️ 2
The NFC North champions ended the season with a negative point differential (-3) despite winning more than 75% of their games. That’s pretty hard to do.
We’ll see if Minnesota can keep riding its luck in the postseason. The pressure is on Kirk Cousins to deliver.
10. New York Giants (9-7-1) ↔️
I might have had something in my eye, but I’m pretty sure I saw Kenny Golladay catch a touchdown pass on Sunday. Talk about a Week 18 miracle.
The Giants rested the majority of their starters for Week 18 and still gave a full-strength Eagles team some trouble. That’s an encouraging sign for Brian Daboll heading into the postseason.
9. Los Angeles Chargers (10-7) ⬇️ 1
I can only imagine what Chargers fans were feeling on Sunday afternoon because even I was calling for head coach Brandon Staley to pull Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, and the rest of the starters from their meaningless Week 18 loss to Denver.
Los Angeles will be hoping for good injury news when it comes to wideout Mike Williams (back) and star pass-rusher Joey Bosa (groin) ahead of their wild-card matchup with the Jaguars.
8. Detroit Lions (9-8) ⬆️ 1
If I played in the NFL, I’d want to play for Dan Campbell.
The Lions found out they were eliminated from the postseason shortly before taking the field in Green Bay and still brought it to the Packers on Sunday night. Detroit deserves a lot of credit for not folding in both that situation and on the season after a 1-6 start.
I fully expect this team to be the NFL’s offseason darlings once again.
7. Dallas Cowboys (12-5) ⬇️ 1
Does anyone else feel like the Cowboys are heading toward another postseason disappointment?
Dallas mustered just six points against Washington in Week 18 and that was with the first-team offense playing the majority of the game. Dak Prescott continues to make untimely mistakes and this offense can’t operate without the threat of the running game.
The pressure is on Mike McCarthy‘s team to make a run, starting with Monday night’s wild-card showdown against the Buccaneers.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8) ⬆️ 2
The Jaguars are champions of the AFC South after rallying past the Titans on Saturday night. Trevor Lawrence missed some easy throws, but his defense made the game-changing play as Josh Allen‘s fourth-quarter scoop-and-score proved to be decisive.
With a Super Bowl-winning coach leading the way in Doug Pederson, Jacksonville feels like a team you don’t want to face in the postseason, especially on the back of five straight wins to end the year.
5. Philadelphia Eagles (14-3) ↔️
Philadelphia finally wrapped up the division title and the NFC’s No. 1 seed with a Week 18 win over the Giants in Jalen Hurts‘ return to the lineup. The Eagles quarterback didn’t look quite like his usual self, throwing a red-zone interception and hesitating at times to run.
- See where the Eagles rank in our Super Bowl 57 Odds.
How Philadelphia performs after the first-round bye will be interesting, but giving Hurts and Lane Johnson more time to heal will probably only help.
4. Kansas City Chiefs (14-3) ⬆️ 1
A win over the Raiders on Saturday afternoon gave the Chiefs the No. 1 seed in the AFC, which is good for at least a bye into the divisional round. However, home-field advantage in the AFC Championship Game is not yet assured, as that game could be played at a neutral site if Kansas City faces Buffalo.
For now, Andy Reid‘s team will have time to rest and refocus on the task at hand, advancing to that stage for the fifth consecutive season.
3. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4) ↔️
With a victory over the rival Ravens, the Bengals conquered the AFC North for the second straight season.
After the game, Joe Burrow, who never seems to be short on confidence, announced that Cincinnati’s Super Bowl window will be open for his entire career.
The third-year quarterback will now be tasked with one-upping his postseason accomplishments from a year ago and delivering the Bengals their first Lombardi Trophy.
2. San Francisco 49ers (13-4) ↔️
The Niners finished the season with the NFL’s best point differential (+173) and won a league-high 10 straight games to end the regular season.
This defense continues to deliver standout performances and Brock Purdy has answered every question asked of him thus far. Things will only get tougher from here, but I think the rookie will hold up pretty well.
Kyle Shanahan‘s team is built for playoff football and deserves to be amongst the favorites to win the NFC.
1. Buffalo Bills (13-3) ↔️
Wow. Just wow.
I don’t know if that was divine intervention or what, but watching Nyheim Hines take the opening kickoff back for a touchdown on Sunday against the Patriots was just unbelievable after the week the Bills endured. And to see him do it again later in the game was just icing on the cake.
However, the best news of the week was that Buffalo safety Damar Hamlin has made progress in his recovery after suffering a cardiac arrest and was able to be transported to a local hospital after staying in Cincinnati for a few days.
That is way more important than anything the Bills go on to do during the postseason.
Bet Tip: Bills Win Super Bowl 57 (+400) at Caesars
I can’t help but see this as a team of destiny, and Josh Allen showed signs of MVP-level play on Sunday against the Patriots. He has an elite group of playmakers on offense and this defense has some talent.
Buffalo has been the Super Bowl favorite for most of the season, and despite winding up with the No. 2 seed in a loaded AFC, there’s no reason the Bills should be behind the Chiefs with a potential AFC Championship Game being played at a neutral site.
Plus, if you don’t have a team in the race, it’s hard not to pull for this group to overcome all the adversity it has faced and years, if not decades, of postseason heartbreak.