By Bill Seals - Fred Altieri
Sports Reporters - PFWA Members 

2022 NFL Power Rankings – Week 17

Chargers #8, Rams #24


December 29, 2022

Travis Ellison - LA Rams

Kicker Matt Gay has converted 24 of 26 field goals for Rams this season

1. Philadelphia Eagles (13-2): The Eagles just need to beat the Saints at home on Sunday to clinch the NFC East, earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC, get the wild-card playoff round bye and gain homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Next: -5.5 vs New Orleans Saints – Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 42 (ATS: 8-7 – O/U: 10-5)

2. Buffalo Bills (12-3): The Bills clinched their third consecutive AFC East title with a 35-13 beating of the Bears in Chicago. Remember when the Patriots use to dominate the AFC East? The Bills are currently the No. 1 seed in the AFC and will try to hold onto that spot-on Monday Night Football in the top matchup of Week 17. Next: -1 at Cincinnati Bengals - Mon, Jan. 2 – O/U: 49.5 (ATS: 7-7-1 – O/U: 5-10)

3. Kansas City Chiefs (12-3): The Chiefs had three offensive line man named to the AFC Pro Bowl, a sign of the strength of their offensive unit. Left tackle Orlando Brown Jr., center Creed Humphrey, and right guard Joe Thuney all made the team, along with tight end Travis Kelce and quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Next: -12.5 vs Denver Broncos - Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 45 (ATS: 5-9-1 – O/U: 7-8)

4. San Francisco 49ers (11-4): The 49ers defense leads the NFC points allowed per game, rushing yardage allowed per game, average yards per carry and total yardage per game. Edge rusher Nick Bosa leads the NFL in sacks with 17.5. There does not appear to be a weakness in the 49ers defense. Next: -10 at Las Vegas Raiders – Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 41.5 (ATS: 10-5 – O/U: 7-8)

5. Cincinnati Bengals (11-4): Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week after completing 40 of 52 passes for 375 yards and three touchdowns in a 22-18 win over the Pats. Next: +1 vs Buffalo Bills – Mon, Jan. 2 – O/U 49.5 (ATS: 12-3 – O/U: 5-9-1)

6. Minnesota Vikings (12-3): The Vikings are 11-0 in games decided by one score or less, which is a record. They just find a way to win, even in games that they looked like they deserved to lose. This past weekend, the beat the Giants 27-24 on a 61-yard field goal with no time left. Next: +3.5 at Green Bay Packers – Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 48 (ATS: 6-8-1 – O/U: 10-5)

7. Dallas Cowboys (11-4): The Cowboys came from behind to defeat the Eagles, 40-34 in an NFC East matchup. While the Cowboys should be excited for their win over the Eagles, they also gave up 355 passing yards to backup quarterback Gardner Minshew. Where was the pass defense? Next: -13 at Tennessee Titans - Thu, Dec. 29 – O/U: 40 (ATS: 9-6 – O/U: 9-6)

8. Los Angeles Chargers (9-6): The Chargers are in the playoff after a 20-3 win over the Colts in Indianapolis. The Chargers are flying under the radar as far as Super Bowl favorites go, but if they get linebacker Joey Bosa and left tackle Rashawn Slater back for the playoffs, they will be a tough team to beat. The Chargers need to find a consistent running attack for the playoffs. Next: -6.5 vs Los Angeles Rams - Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 42.5 (ATS: 9-5-1 – O/U: 5-9-1)

9. Baltimore Ravens (10-5): Where is quarterback Lamar Jackson? He has missed the past three games to a knee injury, and he is not expected to play in Week 16. The question is, will he be ready for the playoffs and how serious is the knee injury? Next: -2.5 vs Pittsburgh Steelers – Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U 35 (ATS: 6-8-1 – O/U: 4-11)

10. Miami Dolphins (8-7): The Dolphins are on a four-game losing streak after their stunning loss to the Packers. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw three fourth quarter interceptions and now is in the concussion protocol for Week 17. Things are falling apart in Miami. Next: +3 at New England Patriots - Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 41.5 (ATS: 7-8 – O/U: 7-8)

11. New York Giants (8-6-1): The Giants fell to the Vikings in a heartbreaking loss, 27-24 on a 61-yard field goal with no time left. The Giants get the floundering Colts at home this weekend and a win against the Colts gets them into the playoffs. Next: -6 vs Indianapolis Colts – Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 38.5 (ATS: 11-4 – O/U: 6-8-1)

12. Detroit Lions (7-8): The Lions put together a disappointing performance on Sunday against the Panthers, losing 37-23. The defense allowed 570 total yards in offense, with the Panthers getting 320 yards on the ground. Against the Panthers? Next: -6 vs Chicago Bears – Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 52 (ATS: 10-5 – O/U: 10-5)

13. Washington Commanders (7-7-1): As expected, the Commanders got rolled in the "City by the Bay," losing to the 49ers 37-20. The Commanders need a quarterback to be a legitimate playoff team. Maybe Derek Carr is the answer? Next: -2 vs Cleveland Browns – Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 40 (ATS: 7-7-1 – O/U: 5-9-1)

14. Seattle Seahawks (7-8): The Seahawks still own the #3 pick in the 2023 NFL draft courtesy of the Broncos via the Russell Wilson trade. Quarterback Geno Smith was named to the Pro Bowl. Despite their 24-10 loss to the Chiefs, the Seahawks still have a shot at the playoffs and a winning record. Next: +1.5 vs New York Jets - Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 42.5 (ATS: 6-9 – O/U: 8-7)

15. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-8): The Jaguars control their own destiny. They are in first place in the AFC South. They have a game at Houston this weekend and a game at home against the Titans at home in the season finale. It just does not get any easier than that. Next: -4 at Houston Texans - Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 43.5 (ATS: 7-8 – O/U: 8-7)

16. Green Bay Packers (7-8): The Packers are still amazingly alive. If they win their final two games against the Vikings and Lions, and the Commanders lose one of their final two games, the Packers are in the playoffs. From 4-8 to 9-8 and a playoff berth would be amazing for the Packers this season. Next: -3.5 vs Minnesota Vikings - Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 48 (ATS: 7-8 – O/U: 7-8)

17. New England Patriots (7-8): The Patriots lost another close game and just do not look like a playoff team. Their offense is ranked 24th in the NFL and there is no one on the offensive side of the ball that scares you. Next: -3 vs Miami Dolphins – Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 41.5 (ATS: 7-7-1 – O/U: 6-9)

18. New York Jets (7-8): A Jets will have quarterback Mike White back this weekend for a critical matchup against the Seahawks. The bad news is quarterback Zach Wilson, the #2 pick in the 2021 NFL draft, looks like he is done in New York. A huge mistake in the draft. Next: -1 at Seattle Seahawks - Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 42.5 (ATS: 8-7 – O/U: 5-10)

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-8): The Buccaneers look like playoff roadkill if they make the playoffs. The Bucs cannot run the ball. They are last in rushing yardage per game at 77 yards per game and are last in average yards per carry at 3.4. Without a running game, everything falls on the shoulders of their 45-year-old quarterback to carry the team. Good luck with that. Next: -3 vs Carolina Panthers - Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 40.5 (ATS: 3-11-1 – O/U: 4-11)

20. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8): The Steelers are still alive in the playoffs after defeating the hapless Raiders at home, 13-10. There is hope for the future in the "Steel City" with rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett, rookie wide receiver George Pickens and second year running back Najee Harris. Next: +2.5 at Baltimore Ravens – Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 35 (ATS: 8-6-1 – O/U: 6-9)

21. Tennessee Titans (7-8): The Titans have lost five straight games and are circling the drain after their latest loss. The Titans were beaten in Nashville by the lowly Texans, 19-14. Rookie Quarterback Malik Willis threw for 99 yards and had two interceptions, proving that he is nowhere near ready to start in the NFL. Next: +13 vs Dallas Cowboys - Thu, Dec. 29 – O/U: 40 (ATS: 8-6-1 – O/U: 5-10)

22. Carolina Panthers (6-9): Running back D'Onta Foreman was named the NFC Offensive Player of Week 16. Foreman rushed for 165 yards and one touchdown in leading a Panther offensive attack that gained 570 yards in total offensive yardage in defeating the Lions, 37-23. Next: +3 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 40.5 (ATS: 8-7 – O/U: 7-8)

23. Cleveland Browns (6-9): The Browns and the Broncos win the award for the worst off-season trades of the year. The trade for quarterback DeShaun Watson looks like a heist. The Browns gave up first round draft picks in the 2022, 2023, and 2024 draft for Watson, as well as a third-round pick in 2023 and fourth round picks in 2022 and 2024. The Browns have scored three offensive touchdowns in four games with Watson. Oh, and let's not forget the $230 million dollar guaranteed contract and off-field issues. Next: +2 at Washington Commanders – Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 40 (ATS: 7-8 – O/U: 7-7-1)

24. Los Angeles Rams (5-10): The Rams have won 2 out of 3 since Baker Mayfield took over at quarterback. Mayfield has proven that he can be an effective starter under in the NFL with the right team and coach. Could that be the Raiders? Next: +6.5 at Los Angeles Chargers – Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 42.5 (ATS: 5-8-2 – O/U: 6-9)

25. New Orleans Saints (6-9): The Saints still have a shot at the playoffs a 17-10 win over the Browns. Head coach Dennis Allen was the Raiders head coach when Derek Carr was drafted. Carr might be a good fit for the Saints, who need a quarterback and do not have a first-round draft pick. Next: +5.5 at Philadelphia Eagles - Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 42 (ATS: 6-9 – O/U: 6-9)

26. Las Vegas Raiders (6-9): The Raiders have benched quarterback Derek Carr after three second half interceptions in a 13-10 loss to the Steelers. Carr has taken a leave of absence from the team. The Raiders went 10-7 last season and made the playoffs but decided to fire their head coach and hire a new head coach, a decision of the owner, Mark Davis. A fish rots from the head down. Next: +10 vs San Francisco 49ers - Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 41.5 (ATS: 7-8 – O/U: 7-7-1)

27. Atlanta Falcons (5-10): The Falcons would have the worst passing attack in the NFL if it were not for the Bears. Some teams run the ball because they have a dominate running game, the Falcons run the ball because they have a terrible passing attack. Next: -3 vs Arizona Cardinals – Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 42 (ATS: 8-7 – O/U: 6-9)

28. Arizona Cardinals (4-11): Defensive end J.J. Watt has announced his retirement at the end of the season. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year leads the Cardinals in sacks with 9.5 sacks. He is a first ballot Hall-of-Famer. Another blow for the flailing Cardinals organization. Next: +3 at Atlanta Falcons - Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 42 (ATS: 7-8 – O/U: 7-6-2)

29. Indianapolis Colts (4-10-1): The Colts need a quarterback. That has been obvious all season and was painfully obvious in their 20-3 loss to the Chargers. The Colts currently have the 5th pick in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Kentucky quarterback Will Levis could be a good fit for the Colts. Next: +6 at New York Giants – Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 38.5 (ATS: 6-9 – O/U: 5-10)

30. Chicago Bears (3-12): The Bears have thrown for a league-low 2,048 yards this season. As a comparison, Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs has thrown for 4,720 yards this season. The Bears have done a nice job of developing Justin Fields as a running quarterback, but quarterbacks need to develop as passers. Next: +6 at Detroit Lions - Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 52 (ATS: 5-9-1 – O/U: 10-5)

Mike Nowak - LA Chargers

Kicker Cameron Dicker has converted 16 of 17 field goals for Chargers this season

31. Houston Texans (2-12-1): The Texans defeated the Titans 19-14 in Nashville to end a nine-game losing streak. We will not call it an upset because the Texans looked like the better team. Our advice to Alabama quarterback Bryce Young would be to start looking at real estate in the Houston area and make sure the air conditioning system is top notch. Next: +4 vs Jacksonville Jaguars – Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U 43.5 (ATS: 7-7-1 – O/U: 6-9)

32. Denver Broncos (4-11): The Broncos fired head coach Nathaniel Hackett after they were boat raced in Los Angeles by the Rams, 51-14. They would like to fire quarterback Russell Wilson, but they are stuck with him. The Broncos paid him a $50 million dollar signing bonus and still owe him $104 million in guaranteed salary. Next: +12.5 at Kansas City Chiefs - Sun, Jan. 1 – O/U: 45 (ATS: 6-9 – O/U: 4-11)


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