The Buffalo Bills have reached the playoffs for three consecutive seasons, and they open the 2022 campaign with the shortest odds to win the Super Bowl.
Coming into a new season, any team can harbor hopes for a competitive year, but the teams that are legitimate Super Bowl contenders out of the gate are there because they have high-end quarterbacks. As the NFL has become even more pass focused, having a star quarterback can make a massive difference.
Here is a preseason edition of the NFL Power Rankings, where quarterbacks are king.
1. Buffalo Bills
The Bills have been Super Bowl favorites for most of the offseason, with expectations sky-high for QB Josh Allen after back-to-back seasons with more than 4,000 yards passing and 35 touchdowns.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
QB Tom Brady returned but, at least for now, TE Rob Gronkowski did not. Brady is taking a break in the middle of camp, which is unusual, but presuming Brady is good to go, that's reason enough to expect the Bucs to be Super Bowl contenders yet again.
3. Los Angeles Chargers
Even though the Chargers did not make the playoffs last year, they are considered contenders this year, in large part because QB Justin Herbert has shown elite passing skills through his first two seasons. Bringing in veteran pass rusher Khalil Mack to pair with Joey Bosa helps the Chargers' defense, too.
4. Los Angeles Rams
The defending Super Bowl champions are still great, but there has been some concern regarding the health of QB Matthew Stafford, whose elbow tendinitis has flared up during training camp. The Rams have upgraded in spots, too, bringing in WR Allen Robinson and ILB Bobby Wagner.
5. Kansas City Chiefs
The loss of WR Tyreek Hill will present more of a challenge for QB Patrick Mahomes, who has thrown 151 touchdowns in the past four seasons – but he has proven to be a superstar no matter who is catching his passes.
6. Cincinnati Bengals
Last year’s Super Bowl finalists had a glaring need on the offensive line, and they addressed it by signing C Ted Karras, G Alex Cappa, and T La’el Collins. If they can protect QB Joe Burrow, then the Bengals should be even more dangerous than they were last season.
7. Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles hope that QB Jalen Hurts can continue to improve in his third NFL season; the acquisition of WR A.J. Brown should give Hurts another big-play threat in the passing game. Will that be enough for the Eagles to rise to the top of the NFC East?