Ranking the 7 most talented teams in the NFL entering the 2022 season | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats & Rumors
0 out of 7
Josh Allen leads a very talented Buffalo Bills team. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
It’s the goal of the NFL’s 32 franchises to assemble the most talented roster, but there’s no denying that some have done a better job than others.
It takes more than talent to hoist a Lombardi Trophy, but the overall talent level on a roster determines the franchise cap.
There are many things the league is doing to encourage parity. From the operation of the salary cap to the order of the draft and compensatory picks, measures are in place to minimize the talent disparity.
Still, there are definitely rosters that have a lot more talent than others.
Let’s take a look at the top and bottom most talented rosters in the league right now. Place value was considered. A talented quarterback means a lot more in today’s league than a running back, for example.
But these teams have talent all over the pitch with few weaknesses.
1 of 7
Jordan Mailata and an elite offensive line lead the way for the Eagles in 2022. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
No matter how happy the league gets to pass, the ability to control the line of scrimmage is a foundation that can sustain a successful team.
This is the main reason the Eagles currently have one of the best rosters in the league.
Philadelphia offensive line finished fourth in PFF final offensive line standings in 2021. They open the season as highest ranked unit by the site for 2022. A big part of that is the tackle tandem of Jordan Mailata (left) and Lane Johnson (right).
The Eagles’ ability to intimidate people up front negates the need for elite full-backs. The stable of Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott enjoys the league lead in meters before contact (3.3).
Improvements to the receiver give the offense a serious advantage if Jalen Hurts can take the next step as a passer. Trading for AJ Brown gives the Eagles an exciting young tandem with Brown and Smith.
The defense has also received serious reinforcements this offseason. Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean should make an immediate impact in their rookie season. Pairing former Pro Bowler James Bradberry with fellow Pro Bowler Darius Slay gives them a good tandem of corner coverage.
The biggest defensive addition might just be Haason Reddick, though. He adds some bite to a passing rush that only had 29 sacks last year.
Much still depends on Hurts’ development, but the pieces are there for the Eagles to get back to the playoffs.
2 out of 7
Cooper Kupp brought out the best in Matthew Stafford. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Sean McVay has key parts that will need to be replaced, but the core talent is still there for the Los Angeles Rams to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
We’ve seen what Matthew Stafford can do in a McVay offense. He looked like a reborn quarterback in 2021, tying a career-high in passing touchdowns (41) he set in 2011 as a 23-year-old sniper for the Lions.
Of course, having elite talent in Cooper Kupp helps. His historic 2021 season in which he led the NFL in receiving, yards and touchdowns was a big reason for Stafford’s rejuvenation.
After Kupp, the receiving body will be different. Robert Woods is not returning and Odell Beckham Jr. remains unsigned, however, signing Allen Robinson should help. He had a down year last season, but moving from Matt Nagy to McVay is reason enough to believe he can regain his form.
The most important piece to replace in attack, however, will be Andrew Whitworth. Even at 40, he’s only given up five sacks and won a 86.1 rating of Pro Football Focus last season.
In defense Aaron Donald is a unique force inside, they added Bobby Wagner in the middle and Jalen Ramsey leads a talented secondary.
There are reasons to be concerned around the edges, however. With Von Miller coming to Buffalo, they’re going to have to find a productive running mate for Leonard Floyd.
3 out of 7
Justin Herbert has everything he needs to take the Chargers to the playoffs in 2022. (AP Photo/Ringo HW Chiu)
The Chargers are the only team on this list to miss the playoffs in 2021. If Brandon Staley can’t get this group to the playoffs, something has seriously gone wrong.
The franchise took full advantage of Justin Herbert’s rookie contract. Boasting an abundance of heading space, they added JC Jackson and Khalil Mack, giving the defense a serious boost at two of the game’s most valuable positions.
It’s safe to say that with Joey Bosa and Mack coming off the edge and Jackson locking in the opposing WR1, the Chargers will see a boost in their pass defense. They finished 16th in passer rating allowed last season but could easily crack the top five if key players remain healthy.
This is great news for an offense that finished fourth in ESPN’s Offensive Effectiveness and bring all the key pieces back to that side of the ball.
The only important question is the right side of the offensive line. Rookie Zion Johnson appears to be the starter at guard, while Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times reported that all indications are that Trey Pipkins III will beat Storm Norton for the right tackle.
Both are relative unknowns who will face a lot of pressure not to sink an offense that has huge potential.
4 out of 7
Rashan Gary and the Packers defense could be top five units in 2022. (Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
How the Green Bay Packers will replace Davante Adams is the only serious question they’re going to have to answer this season. They have solutions in virtually every other place on the pitch.
The loss of the high-volume wide receiver leaves the roster with a single glaring hole. They have plenty of candidates to replace his production, but not all have proven themselves (rookies Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs) or been just actors (Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Sammy Watkins).
We’re guessing Matt LaFleur and Aaron Rodgers are going to make those pass catchers at least usable, and you could argue for any other positional unit to be ranked in the top five.
Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon had 2,306 scrimmage yards and 17 touchdowns. The offensive line should recover David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins and finish 14th in PFF Ranking despite losing both for significant parts of 2021.
In defense, Rashan Gary offers them a formidable pass-rush duo with Preston Smith. Jaire Alexander gives them a locking corner, and De’Vondre Campbell is coming off a Pro Bowl season at center linebacker.
Even though the Packers offense takes a while to gel, the defense is good enough to keep them competitive every week.
5 out of 7
Joe Mixon, Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins are among the best offensive lines in the league. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
The scariest thing about the Cincinnati Bengals’ run to the Super Bowl is that it probably came a year earlier than it should have.
The Bengals still had a fatal flaw last year in the offensive line. However, the combination of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd with Joe Mixon was enough to make up for lackluster protection and a lack of physicality in the running game.
That is until the Rams reveal the Super Bowl weakness. They fired Joe Burrow seven times and the Bengals only lost 23-20.
Now that the offensive line has been addressed – the team has signed Ted Karras, La’el Collins and Alex Cappa for a combined annual average value of $21.8 million – the Bengals are even more dangerous on paper.
Lost in the hype of Burrow, Chase and the high-flying offense is a defense that pairs well. The Bengals finished eighth authorized points per trip. Free Agent Additions Chidobe Awuzie (5.4 yards allowed per target) and Trey Hendrickson (sixth in total pressures) were key in helping the defense take the next step.
The Bengals may have exceeded expectations for a 10-7 team in the playoffs. However, they are actually better suited to run a race this season.
6 out of 7
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin lead a talented receiving corps. (Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
Tom Brady wouldn’t have agreed to come back for another season at age 45 unless he had a good chance of winning another Super Bowl.
That’s exactly what the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster is designed for.
There is playmaking talent all over the offense. Both Mike Evans and Chris Godwin would be considered WR1 for most league teams. In Tampa, it’s 1A and 1B. Now add Russell Gage, who led all wide receivers in Atlanta targets last year, and Julio Jones.
Despite his age, Brady is still one of the game’s elite quarterbacks. He finished second in the league in Total QBRright behind MVP Aaron Rodgers.
The defense is equally stacked at all three levels.
On the defensive line, Shaquil Barrett is still one of the best quarterback rushers. He finished 12th in total pressures last season. They swapped Ndamukong Suh for Akiem Hicks inside.
At linebacker, Devin White is one of the most effective blitzers in the league. He led all inside linebackers in pressures.
The secondary is also among the best in the league. Corners Jamel Dean and Carlton Davis finished 20th and 21st respectively in PFF Rankingwhile safety Antoine WInfield Jr. finished second among all safeties.
Age and injuries are the only things holding the Bucs back from first place here. According spotrac, the Buccaneers are the second-oldest team in the league. They will need significant contributions from Brady, Jones, Hicks and Lavonte David, all of whom are 30 or older.
Much of the roster that won the Super Bowl two years ago is still in Tampa, and they’re going to be great once again in 2022.
7 out of 7
Von Miller could be the missing piece for the Buffalo Bills defense. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)
No one tours the wagons — or collects talent — like the Buffalo Bills.
General manager Brandon Beane and the Bills front office have done an incredible job of putting a team around Josh Allen. The quarterback has become a superstar over the past few seasons, in part because he was given the tools to succeed.
They have an elite receiver in Stefon Diggs who is at his peak. They’ve replenished the receiving corps with younger, more exciting options. Gabe Davis showed what he can do in the Divisional Round against the Kansas City Chiefs, as he had eight catches for 201 yards and four touchdowns.
The bills were 13 seconds to win that game and meet the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game. We’ll never know what that game would have been like, but Von Miller coming off the edge could have been the difference against the Chiefs.
The veteran defensive end was a playoff terror for the Rams as he had four tackles for loss, four sacks and six postseason quarterback hits to help Los Angeles win the title.
Now he joins a defense at Buffalo that already has two All-Pro talents in the secondary in Jordan Poyer and Tre’Davious White.
2022 really is a Super Bowl or off season at Orchard Park.