Posted on November 9, 2022
What makes it so special you may ask?
Was it the Chiefs’ win over the Titans on Sunday Night Football? Was it the Chargers’ last-second game-winning field goal over the Falcons? What about the Seahawks’ big division win over the Cardinals?
Actually, the real reason is partly to do with all three of those outcomes. The real reason is that for the first time this season, these power rankings remain unchanged from last week.
Yes, you heard that correctly. All eight teams find themselves in the same spots as the last time they were ranked.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to add this week. The games were still played, meaning that there is enough new information about the teams, save for the ones on bye.
So, even though you may already know the order of the teams if you read the power rankings last week, here are this week’s edition of the power rankings.
1. Kansas City Chiefs (6-2-0)The Chiefs won’t fall from this spot without suffering a loss and even then it may not be enough.
Kansas City looked incredibly dangerous on Sunday, even though they just narrowly eked out a 20-17 overtime victory over the Titans.
The Chiefs still have some flaws. The run game is virtually non-existent and the defense still struggles against the run. But at this point, the strengths of this team far outweigh the weaknesses.
The biggest strength was on full display against the Titans. That would be quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who is still in possession of the best player in the league title.
Mahomes threw for 446 yards in the victory, while also rushing for a career-high 63 yards. He made game-breaking plays all over the field and was even able to overcome some uncharacteristic drops from tight end Travis Kelce.
After beating a Titans team on Sunday that has been very competitive this year, and will probably make the playoffs, it is clear that the Chiefs are back to their old ways of being atop the AFC.
It’s not impossible to beat the Chiefs, but it is very difficult. And until a team does that convincingly, Kansas City will occupy the number one spot on this power ranking.
2. Seattle Seahawks (6-3-0)It seems like the Seahawks are a bit unstoppable right now. They just notched their fourth-straight win and looked great doing so.
Seattle beat Arizona 31-21 to finish out the season sweep over the division rival.
Quarterback Geno Smith once again led the way, overcoming a pick-six to throw for 275 yards and two touchdowns.
But the real story of the game, and possibly even becoming the story of the whole season, was rookie running back Kenneth Walker.
He rushed for 109 yards and two touchdowns, both of which came in the fourth quarter. He is emerging as one of the most explosive backs in the league and has also been closing out games for the Seahawks with his knack for fourth-quarter scores.
Unlocking the running game has elevated this team to a whole new level and has given them one of the most efficient offenses in the league.
And when you pair that offense with a defense that also looked good on Sunday—five sacks and one fumble recovery—the Seahawks are starting to look like a complete team.
They have proven throughout this winning streak that they belong near the top of these rankings.
There is still time for them to fall down the list, especially if Smith is unable to keep up this level of play, but right now they are firmly the second-best team in the west.
3. San Francisco 49ers (4-4-0)The 49ers were on their bye this past week, so they were unable to make any moves up the ranking.
But with the rest of the west teams underneath them not really making a case to move past them, the 49ers stand pat at number three.
San Francisco looks like the only team that can realistically challenge Seattle for the NFC West crown right now, which it absolutely should be able to do if it plays up to its potential.
The 49ers demonstrated how good they could be last weekend when they soundly beat the Rams behind a great performance from the newly acquired running back Christian McCaffrey.
Their ceiling is perhaps higher than any other team in the west besides Kansas City, thanks in large part to a suffocating defense.
But the 49ers have played closer to their floor than their ceiling at times, which is par for the course with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback.
The bye week should have given the 49ers the chance to get healthy and prepare for the rest of the season. If we see the best version of them going forward, then they won’t be here at number three for very long.
4. Los Angeles Chargers (5-3-0)There are two ways to view the Chargers’ 20-17 win over the Falcons depending on whether you are a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty kind of person.
On one hand, it took a last-second field goal for the Chargers to beat a Falcons team that came into the season with one of the most underwhelming rosters in the league.
On the other hand, those same Falcons have demonstrated a knack for playing close games and came into the week in first place in the NFC South.
Either way, Los Angeles got a win, which, at this point, can’t be overlooked. The Chargers were able to overcome their flaws and earn the win, which counts for something.
They withstood their wide receiver injuries, with quarterback Justin Herbert having a solid day with wide receiver Joshua Palmer as his top target.
They also withstood a porous run defense that allowed 201 yards and two scores on the ground and were able to hold the Falcons to just 17 points.
It was more of the same for Los Angeles this week, but it is unclear whether that is a good or a bad thing.
The Chargers continue to demonstrate both promise and concern at the same time. It is clear that they are on the right path but also need to make some changes.
They may not have time to figure it all out in the remaining weeks of this season, but if they do they could be very dangerous.
5. Los Angeles Rams (3-5-0)If NFL games were only 59 minutes long the Rams might have moved up a spot this week.
Because with one minute left in the game against the Buccaneers, the Rams held a lead. But then they decided to play prevent defense against the best quarterback of all time and ultimately lost 16-13.
It was a frustrating game for Los Angeles because it did just about everything it had the win all but locked up but managed to give it away.
The story of the game would be much different in the Rams did get the victory, but since they didn’t, the negatives are once again going to take center stage.
Quarterback Matthew Stafford is still struggling big-time behind the bad offensive line. He was sacked four times, completed 48 percent of his passes, and had just 38 passing yards to players not named Cooper Kupp.
The Rams absolutely squandered a golden opportunity from the defense, who played great up until that last drive.
They allowed just one touchdown but unfortunately, their offense could only manage a single score as well.
The Rams continue to be held back by their underperforming offense, particularly the offensive line.
It is not a good look for a team that came into the season hoping to repeat as Super Bowl champs.
At this point, the playoffs look too unreasonable, and Los Angeles may struggle to even get to a winning record.v
6. Arizona Cardinals (3-6-0)The one bit of good news to come out of the Cardinals’ 31-21 loss to the Seahawks is that they were at least more competitive this time around.
The buck has sailed on the Cardinals being a good team this year and now they just have to worry about not imploding in front of our eyes on national television.
There were concerns about the dynamic between quarterback Kyler Murray and head coach Kliff Kingsbury heading into the season, and it turns out all of those concerns were warranted.
Murray played a solid game, throwing for 175 yards and two touchdowns, but getting outplayed by Geno Smith for the second time is not what the Cardinals are paying millions and millions of dollars for.
The hope for Arizona coming into the game was that the presence of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins would make a difference in this matchup since he was unavailable for the last one.
It looked like that would be the case when he scored the opening touchdown, but he ended up with just four catches for 36 yards.
The Cardinals’ placement at number six on this list is more reflective of a pair of bad teams in the AFC West than their own performance this season.
This is far from where the organization was hoping they would be at this point in the season.
The Cardinals are 3-6 and have legitimate concerns about whether the team can be successful, which is not where you want to be just one season removed from making the playoffs.
7. Denver Broncos (3-5-0)The Broncos have now gone two weeks without losing for the second time this season. Now, this time around it includes a bye week but it still counts.
There isn’t much to say about Denver that hasn’t been said already, as this team has been one of the biggest talking points of the season.
But it is safe to say that the Broncos were expecting to be in a much different place coming out of the bye week when they orchestrated the massive trade for quarterback Russell Wilson.
But instead, the Broncos have traded away one of their best young stars on defense and are essentially all but out of the playoff race just halfway through the season.
This team is now playing for something different.
Wilson is playing to keep the city of Denver from launching a full-scale rebellion against him.
Guys such as cornerback Patrick Surtain and outside linebacker Baron Browning are playing to cement themselves as future stars of the franchise.
And other guys such as wide receiver Jerry Jeudy are playing to prove that they belong to stick around on the team.
Meanwhile, head coach Nathaniel Hackett is probably coaching for his job.
This is probably about as drastically wrong as the season could have gone for the Broncos.
So really all they can do is try to set themselves up for success next year and, more importantly, try to avoid finishing the season eighth on this power ranking.
8. Las Vegas Raiders (2-6-0)The Raiders were not shut out this week, which is an improvement, but somehow their loss may have been even more embarrassing.
Las Vegas came out looking like a completely different team at the start of their game against Jacksonville.
It was actually using star wide receiver Davante Adams, who finished with 146 yards and two scores, and got out to a 17-0 lead in the second quarter.
But then, as the 27-20 final score indicates, the Raiders collapsed and lost the game.
They allowed a Jaguars team that hasn’t exactly been fantastic this year, to outscore them 27-3 the rest of the way, including 17-0 in the second half.
That is unacceptable, especially for a team that came into the season with hopes of being a winning squad.
The Raiders five second-half drives amounted to 65 yards on 25 plays and resulted in three punts, one turnover on downs, and one fumble.
If there was any doubt that the Raiders were bad this year, this game surely cleared that up.
Now, head coach Josh McDaniels may be coaching for his job despite being heralded as one of the best hires of the offseason.
This has been an incredibly disappointing season for Las Vegas and the only way it could possibly get any better is if they can escape the eighth spot on this ranking.
—More from Cody Schoeler—
- Cody Schoeler’s 2023 Remaining NFL West Free-Agent Deals
- Cody Schoeler’s 2023 NFL West Day 3 Free-Agent Tracker
- Cody Schoeler’s 2023 NFL West Day 2 Free-Agent Tracker
- Cody Schoeler’s 2023 NFL West Day 1 Free-Agent Tracker
- Cody Schoeler’s Los Angeles Chargers Free Agency Preview
- Cody Schoeler’s Las Vegas Raiders Free Agency Preview
- Cody Schoeler’s Kansas City Chiefs Free Agency Preview
- Cody Schoeler’s Denver Broncos Free Agency Preview
- Cody Schoeler’s 2023 Seattle Seahawks Free Agency Preview
- Cody Schoeler’s San Francisco 49ers Free Agency Preview
- Cody Schoeler’s Los Angeles Rams Free Agency Preview
- Cody Schoeler’s Arizona Cardinals Free Agency Preview
- Cody Schoeler’s NFL Super Bowl LVII Offenses Preview
- Cody Schoeler’s NFL Super Bowl LVII Defenses Preview
- Cody Schoeler’s NFL West Conf. Championship Previews
Cody Schoeler’s 2023 Remaining NFL West Free-Agent DealsCommentary and analysis on the the top deals for NFC West and AFC West teams - March 19, 2023
Cody Schoeler’s 2023 NFL West Day 3 Free-Agent TrackerCommentary and analysis on the the top deals for NFC West and AFC West teams - March 16, 2023
Cody Schoeler’s 2023 NFL West Day 2 Free-Agent TrackerCommentary and analysis on the the top deals for NFC West and AFC West teams - March 15, 2023