By Bill Seals - Fred Altieri
Sports Reporters - PFWA Members 

2022 NFL Power Rankings – Week 1

Rams, Chargers in the Top 5


September 8, 2022

Aaron Donald - Defensive Tackle - Los Angeles Rams - 98 sacks in 8 seasons

1. Los Angeles Rams (0-0): The Rams added eight-time All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner to their defense in the offseason and wide receiver Allen Robinson, a legitimate No. 1-type receiver to their offense. The Rams will be tough to beat. Next: +2.5 vs Buffalo Bills - Thu, Sep. 8 – O/U 52.5 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

2. Buffalo Bills (0-0): The Bills added linebacker Von Miller from the Rams to make a good defense even better. They had the No. 1 ranked defense in the NFL in 2021. They also have quarterback Josh Allen. Next: -2.5 at Los Angeles Rams - Thu, Sep. 8 – O/U 52.5 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

3. Kansas City Chiefs (0-0): As long as the Chiefs have quarterback Patrick Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid, they will be contenders for the AFC Championship. Tight end Travis Kelce is not bad, either Next: -6 at Arizona Cardinals - Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 53.5 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

4. Green Bay Packers (0-0): The Packers still have a good defensive team, a good offensive unit and four-time MVP quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, Plus, being in the NFC North does not hurt, either. Next: -1.5 at Minnesota Vikings - Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 47 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

5. Los Angeles Chargers (0-0): The two most important positions on offense are quarterback and left tackle, and the Chargers are set for the next decade with 24-year-old quarterback Justin Herbert and 23-year-old left tackle Rashawn Slater, both starters on last season's AFC Pro Bowl team. Next: -3 vs Las Vegas Raiders, Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 52 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-0): Quarterback Tom Brady is 45 years of age and still humming, but the loss of his pro bowl center Ryan Jensen and the retirement of tight end Rob Gronkowski will make another Super Bowl appearance challenging. Next: -2.5 at Dallas Cowboys - Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 51 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

7. San Francisco 49ers (0-0): Moving Trey Lance into a starting role at quarterback will make the 49ers a more athletic unit on offense and a dangerous team in the playoffs. The 49ers have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL, led by wide receiver Deebo Samuel, tight end George Kittle, and defensive end Nick Bosa. Next: -7 at Chicago Bears – Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 41 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

8. Cincinnati Bengals (0-0): Quarterback Joe Burrow had a terrific playoff run last season and looked to be a possible Super Bowl champion until he ran into Aaron Donald. Next: -6.5 vs Pittsburgh Steelers - Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 44.5 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

9. Tennessee Titans (0-0): The Titans have stud running back Derrick Henry and the AFC South is a weak division. That is enough to get them to the playoffs, if they can get past the Colts. Next: -5.5 vs New York Giants - Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 43.5 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

10. Las Vegas Raiders (0-0): The trade to acquire All-Pro wide receiver Devante Adams and the free agent signing of defensive end Chandler Jones has made this Raider team a win-now team. Next: +3 vs Los Angeles Chargers - Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 52 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

11. New Orleans Saints (0-0): The defense is good, and the Saints can run the ball with running backs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. The questions are in the passing game, with the inconsistent Jameis Winston and journeyman Andy Dalton at quarterback. Next: -5.5 at Atlanta Falcons – Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 42.5 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

12. Arizona Cardinals (0-0): Quarterback Kyler Murray was rewarded with a $230 million dollar contract in the offseason and now the expectations are really going to be raised for the 25-year-old quarterback. Next: +6 vs Kansas City Chiefs - Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 53.5 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

13. Baltimore Ravens (0-0): Former NFL MVP Lamar Jackson is playing on the last year of his rookie contract, and it appears that he will be betting on his ability to have a good season and stay healthy. He will be a free agent at the end of the season unless he signs this week. Next: -7 at New York Jets – Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 44.5 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

14. Denver Broncos (0-0): The Broncos added nine-time pro bowl quarterback Russell Wilson via a trade, which should make the Broncos a better offensive unit. The question is, will they be as good a defensive unit without former head coach Vic Fangio? Next: -6.5 at Seattle Seahawks - Mon, Sep. 12 – O/U 44 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

15. Indianapolis Colts (0-0): The Colts also have a stud running back in Johnathan Taylor and are also in the AFC South. They just need to get past the Titans to win the division. Next: -7 at Houston Texans – Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 46 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

16. Philadelphia Eagles (0-0): The Eagles have enough talent to win the NFC East division. The Eagles led the NFL in rushing yardage per game in 2021 (159.7) and with dual threat quarterback Jalen Hurts in the lineup, there is no reason to believe that will not continue. Next: -4 at Detroit Lions – Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 48.5 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

17. Dallas Cowboys (0-0): Quarterback Dak Prescott needs to have a good season if this Cowboys team is going to live up to their traditionally heightened preseason expectations. Next: +2.5 vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Sat, Sep. 11 – O/U 51 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

18. Miami Dolphins (0-0): When your receiving targets are Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Cedric Wilson, and Mike Gesicki, there are no more acceptable excuses for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. He must have a good season in 2022. Next: -3.5 vs New England Patriots - Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 46.5 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

19. Minnesota Vikings (0-0): The Vikings always seem to have good talent and always seem to find a way to play at an inconsistent or mediocre level. Former San Diego State quarterback Kevin O'Connell is the new head coach in charge of finding some consistency. Next: +1.5 vs Green Bay Packers – Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 47 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

20. Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0): Quarterback Mitch Trubiskey is the starter for the opener at Cincinnati against the Bengals. The former first round pick has running back Najee Harris and a good defense that should help him, He just needs to eliminate or limit the mistakes Next: +6.5 at Cincinnati Bengals – Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 44.5 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

21. Cleveland Browns (0-0): The Browns are deep at running back and have a good offensive line, which will be critical for them until quarterback Deshaun Watson arrives off suspension. Jacoby Brissett beat out two other journeyman quarterbacks for the starting job until Watson is free. Next: +2.5 at Carolina Cougars – Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 41.5 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

22. New England Patriots (0-0): Long time Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has left to become the Raiders head coach, leaving a large hole at that key coaching position. The Patriots have not filled the position officially and this looks like an offensive coordinator by committee job at this time.Next: +3.5 at Miami Dolphins – Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 46.5 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

23. Detroit Lions (0-0): The Lions are slowly putting together a good football team, with first round talent throughout the roster. They just need time and a bit of luck to become a winning football team. First round pick defensive end Aidan Hutchinson has looked good in training camp. Next: +4 vs Philadelphia Eagles – Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 48.5 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

24. Chicago Bears (0-0): Quarterback Justin Fields and linebacker Roquan Smith will lead the Bears into battle this fall. They are clearly the best players on the team, and they will need to play like stars for a team that clearly lacks stars. Next: +7 vs San Francisco 49ers – Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 41 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-0): Quarterback Trevor Lawrence will need the defense and the running game for support if the Jags are to have any success this season. The talent at wide receiver and tight end is just average. Next: +2.5 at Washington Commanders - Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 44 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

26. Carolina Panthers (0-0): Running back Christian McCaffrey is back and quarterback Baker Mayfield has landed on his feet in Charlotte. Head coach Matt Rhule will need both to stay healthy to have a chance to win some games and keep his job. Next: -2.5 vs Cleveland Browns - Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 41.5 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

27. Washington Commanders (0-0): The Commanders need quarterback Carson Wentz to find himself and become the player he once was before his knee injury with the Eagles. Next: -2.5 vs Jacksonville Jaguars – Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 44 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

28. New York Giants (0-0): Brian Daboll is the latest new head coach for the New York Giants, who really need running back Saquon Barkley to become the player that they expected when he was drafted No. 2 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft.Next: +5.5 at Tennessee Titans – Sun, Sep. 11 - O/U 43.5

29. New York Jets (0-0): The Jets will start Joe Flacco at quarterback until Zach Wilson recovers from his knee injury. Running backs Michael Carter and Breece Hall should give the Jets an effective 1-2 punch and rookie wide receiver Garret Wilson is explosive and can stretch defenses. Next: +7 vs Baltimore Ravens - Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 44.5 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

Joey Bosa - Defensive End - Los Angeles Chargers - 58 sacks in 6 seasons

30. Seattle Seahawks (0-0): The Seahawks are starting Geno Smith at quarterback, mainly because his backup is Drew Lock. The Seahawks have two good starting wide receivers in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but can the quarterback get the ball to them?. Next: +6.5 vs Denver Broncos - Mon, Sep. 12 – O/U 44 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

31. Atlanta Falcons (0-0): The Falcons could be interesting on offense this season with rookie wide receiver Drake London and second year tight end Kyle Pitts. Quarterback Marcus Mariota is our pick for Comeback Player of the Year if he can stay healthy. He will be running a lot. Next: +5.5 vs New Orleans Saints – Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 42.5 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)

32. Houston Texans (0-0): Former Stanford quarterback Davis Mills is the starter and he looked good as a rookie last season. Unfortunately, the Texans are rebuilding and no matter how well Mills plays, there just is not enough talent around him to help win many games. Next: +7 vs Indianapolis Colts – Sun, Sep. 11 – O/U 46 (ATS: 0-0 – O/U: 0-0)


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