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My 2022 NFL Power Index Week 6

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Rich has a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Penn State. WE ARE!!!

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2022 NFL Power Index Week 6

We are a third of the way through the season and, frankly, most things seem upside-down. Some teams look like they may not be as good as we thought (Looking at you Green Bay and Tampa Bay). Some teams might be better than we thought (Looking at you New York. Both teams). In a season where seemingly anyone can beat anyone, it makes it a bit more fun to watch. It makes these rankings a bit more difficult to hash out, but that’s my problem. Not yours. Here’s how I see the league at the moment.

1. Buffalo Bills (5-1) ~ In a rematch of one of the wildest playoff games I can remember from last year, Buffalo got their revenge. The Bills upended the Chiefs in Arrowhead and didn’t see the game go to overtime. Patrick Mahomes did have the ball at the end of the game with a chance to take the lead, but the Bills picked him off to seal the victory. It may not have had the same offensive fireworks as that playoff game, but it sure was fun to watch. Here’s hoping this isn’t the only time these two square off this season. (Last Week’s Ranking 1)

2. Philadelphia Eagles (6-0) ~ The Eagles are 6-0 for the third time in franchise history. They are still undefeated and that will continue for at least another week as they enjoy their bye. It comes at a pretty good time since star tackle Lane Johnson suffered a concussion in Sunday night’s win over Dallas. The rest of the offensive line could also use the extra time to heal up from their nagging injuries. Undefeated and it feels so good. (LWR 2)

3. Minnesota Vikings (5-1) ~ Four straight wins for the Vikings since they were roughed up in Philadelphia back in week two. They were all close wins, with none by more than eight points, but they are wins nonetheless. Minnesota has a two game lead over Green Bay in the NFC North and already has a head-to-head victory over the Packers. Is this the year the North belongs to the Vikings? (LWR 4)

4. Kansas City Chiefs (4-2) ~ Harrison Butker returned to the lineup after suffering an ankle injury in the opener. All he did was boot an Arrowhead record 62-yard field goal right before halftime. That broke the 59-yard record set by Matthew Wright, Butker’s replacement, just a week ago. The Chiefs did have some kicking woes while Butker was out (two missed field goals and two missed extra points), so getting him back in the lineup bodes well for one of the better teams in the league. (LWR 3)

5. Los Angeles Chargers (4-2) ~ Before last night’s game I logged into my Draft Kings app to see if I wanted to place any bets. There was an odds boost for Justin Herbert to throw a touchdown pass from -800 to +100. During his career, Herbert has thrown at least one touchdown pass in every game except for one back on 12-6-20 when the Chargers were shut out. Needless to say, I jumped at that boost. Last night Herbert was held without a touchdown pass. Suffice it to say, me and Justin are not on speaking terms right now. (LWR 10)

6. New York Giants (5-1) ~ Make that three double-digit comebacks for the Giants this season. That is tied for the most in franchise history. I have no idea how they are doing this, but the Giants are deserving of a top-10 ranking. This one’s for you Scat. (LWR 12)

7. Dallas Cowboys (4-2) ~ Before Sunday night’s game in Philly, Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence said of Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts “he hasn’t played the Cowboys yet, so we don’t know how good he is.” That didn’t age well. And for those Dallas apologists who will say things like, oh, well, we had our backup quarterback playing so that loss doesn’t count. If the loss doesn’t count, neither do the four straight wins with Cooper Rush under center. Can’t have it both ways. (LWR 6)

8. Baltimore Ravens (3-3) ~ J.K. Dobbins had just 15 yards rushing in the first half and didn’t see the field after halftime. With Dobbins on the bench, backup Kenyan Drake made the most of his opportunity finishing with 10 carries for 119 yards and a score. Dobbins was in my fantasy lineup. Drake was not. I hate the Drake. (LWR 5)

9. Cincinnati Bengals (3-3) ~ They’re back in the win column and seem to be finding their offensive identity from last year’s run to the Super Bowl. Up next is a more than manageable part of the schedule with games against Atlanta, Cleveland, Carolina and Pittsburgh. To me that looks like Cincy can easily get to 6-4 if not 7-3. The AFC North is wide open even though two of the Bengals losses are within the division. (LWR 14)

10. Los Angeles Rams (3-3) ~ The final score looks good, but the Rams were trailing at the half, at home, to woeful Carolina. This team still has a few things to figure out including whatever is going on with running back Cam Akers. He was a healthy scratch and appears to be on his was out of L.A. It’s almost unthinkable as he was drafted in the second round just two years ago. The Rams seem to trade away all their draft picks instead of using them, so maybe now they want to shed themselves of the players they did actually draft. (LWR 13)

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-3) ~ That was an ugly loss. The Bucs settled for field goals on three of their four trips inside the red zone. This against a depleted Pittsburgh secondary and one that doesn’t have the same pass rush since T.J. Watt went down in the opener. But you don’t need to take my word for it that the Bucs played like crap. Here’s Tom Brady on the sideline talking to his offensive linemen. Of course I’m using “talking to” loosely here. (LWR 9)

12. San Francisco 49ers (3-3) ~ Injuries happen to every team. That said, it feels like they happen to the 49ers more than any other team. San Fran was essentially down half of their starters when they lost Sunday in Atlanta. This team dealt with a rash of injuries last season and wound up in the NFC Championship game. I’ll still give them the benefit of the doubt. For now. (LWR 11)

13. Green Bay Packers (3-3) ~ What is wrong with the Packers? The state of New York (or New Jersey if you want to get technical) has handed Green Bay back-to-back losses for the first time since Matt LeFleur took over as head coach in 2019. Aaron Rodgers has told us all to relax before, but I’m thinking it’s time to start pushing that panic button up in the land of the cheeseheads. (LWR 8)

14. Miami Dolphins (3-3) ~ Last week I thought Tua Tagovailoa would be back under center. I was wrong. It was rookie Skylar Thompson who made the start a week after subbing for Tagovailoa’s sub Teddy Bridgewater who left last week’s game with an injury. This week Bridgewater replaced Thompson who suffered a thumb injury. Did you get all that? I have no idea who will be under center next week. Hell, I bet the Dolphins aren’t even sure at this point. (LWR 7)

15. Tennessee Titans (3-2) ~ Fresh off the bye, the Titans have a chance to take control of the AFC South when they host the Indianapolis Colts. They’ve already bested the Colts once this year and can secure the tie-breaker with a season sweep. (LWR 15)

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16. New York Jets (4-2) ~ Zach Wilson hasn’t thrown a touchdown in either of his last two games, but he hasn’t thrown an interception either. The Jets won them both. I can’t tell who is the darling of New York right now, but let’s leave that between them. (LWR 24)

17. Indianapolis Colts (3-2-1) ~ OK, so, last week I called out Matt Ryan for having a terrible year. Let’s dive a bit deeper because there are a lot of ways you can look at it. Ryan’s 1,765 passing yards are second in the NFL. That’s good! Ryan is also second in the NFL in interceptions with seven. That’s bad! His passer rating of 86.2 is 20th in the league. That’s, um mediocre? He’s also been sacked 21 times which is tied with Joe Burrow for fourth and we have all heard the talk about Burrow and sack issues. All of that aside, I hope my waiver claim goes through to add him as a fantasy streamer while I deal with Hurts on a bye week. (LWR 21)

18. New England Patriots (3-3) ~ Rookie Bailey Zappe is now 2-0 as a starter and has four touchdowns with just one interception in nearly three games. Mac Jones is close to returning. There won’t, and shouldn’t, be a quarterback controversy in New England. Bill Belichick is too smart for that. (LWR 22)

19. Seattle Seahawks (3-3) ~ Ken Walker had 110 total yards and scored the game’s only touchdown in Seattle’s win over Arizona. This was the rookie’s first career start since taking over for the injured Rashaad Penny. Before the season started, many people thought Walker had a chance to take that lead role from Penny. Now he has a clear lane to prove he could be the starter for the next few years. (LWR 23)

20. New Orleans Saints (2-4) ~ Early candidate for name of the year goes to Rashid Shaheed who took his first ever NFL touch 44 yards for a score. Naturally, the Saints did not give him another look the rest of the game. Welcome to the NFL kid. (LWR 16)

21. Cleveland Browns (2-4) ~ A strip sack of Bailey Zappe made Myles Garrett the franchise leader in sacks with 62.5. While Garrett is having a solid season, Cleveland’s defense as a whole has struggled. They are allowing 27.2 points per game which is better than only Detroit. The season isn’t lost yet, but if they can’t beat the Ravens this weekend, Browns fans might be looking towards Deshaun Watson returning to the lineup to get a glimpse of what the team might look like next year. (LWR 17)

22. Atlanta Falcons (3-3) ~ Kyle Pitts scored a touchdown! It was just the second touchdown in 22 career games for the tight end. It blows my mind that the Falcons can’t get him the ball more often. Rookie Drake London looks good, but who else do they really have out there? Get. Pitts. The. Ball. (LWR 26)

23. Arizona Cardinals (2-4) ~ DeAndre Hopkins returns this week from a six-game suspension. He won’t be the only new face in the receiver room as the Cardinals acquired Robbie Anderson from Carolina yesterday. While those additions certainly help the offense, there is also a big subtraction as Marquise Brown is dealing with a foot injury that could cost him the rest of the season. (LWR 18)

24. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-4) ~ Travis Etienne Jr. has come alive. Over the past two games Etienne has rushed for 157 yards after totaling just 144 across his first four contests. He is splitting time with James Robinson, but it appears the Jags have themselves quite the two-headed threat in the backfield. A solid run game will only aide the progression of Trevor Lawrence. (LWR 19)

25. Denver Broncos (2-4) ~ Is Russell Wilson blind? Asking for a friend. (LWR 20)

26. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-4) ~ The Kenny Pickett era in Pittsburgh may be on pause. The first round rookie exited Sunday’s victory over Tampa Bay with a concussion. No word yet on if he will be able to make his next start Sunday at Miami. Considering we have no idea who will be under center for either team, that might be one to stay away from in the betting arena. (LWR 27)

27. Las Vegas Raiders (1-4) ~ The Raiders were off last week, so, I don’t really have much to say about them. I will say that my better half has a work conference in Vegas next year. Looks like I might just have to stow away on that one. (LWR 25)

28. Detroit Lions (1-4) ~ The Lions have allowed 170 points so far this season which is the most in the NFL. The Lions have played one fewer game that nearly every other team and they’ve still allowed more points than anyone else. How very lions-y of them. (LWR 28)

29. Washington Commanders (2-4) ~ Carson Wentz is having surgery on his broken finger and could miss roughly a month. Taylor Heinicke will take his place and, dare I say it, might just be better than Wentz. I wonder how Head Coach Ron Rivera feels about this a week after blasting Wentz and saying the team needed a frontline starting quarterback. (LWR 31)

30. Chicago Bears (2-4) ~ In a game in which Chicago lost by five points, once has to point to the fact that they had three possessions inside their opponents 10-yard line and did not have a single point to show for any of them. (LWR 29)

31. Houston Texans (1-3-1) ~ Rookie running back Dameon Pierce has been a bright spot in Houston. His 412 rushing yards and three touchdowns lead all rookies and he is fifth overall in the NFL in rushing. That production has helped Houston improve from dead last in the NFL in rushing yards per game last season to 22nd this year. While 22nd may not seem like a huge jump, it really means there are now 10 teams worse than them. That’s a third of the league. It’s more impressive than it looks. (LWR 30)

32. Carolina Panthers (1-5) ~ Robbie Anderson was ejected from the game. By his own coach. Interim head coach Steve Wilks tossed Anderson in the middle of the game, and, a day later, he was shipped off to Arizona. This team is a hot, hot mess right now. #FreeChristianMcCaffrey. Let's get it trending. (LWR 32)

And that is that. That's all I've got this week. You're now free to go about the rest of your day. Or night. Whatever it may be. If you want more of me, leave a comment below or follow me on social media via the link in my bio.

© 2022 Rich

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