Updated: Oct 7, 2022
What a wild and unpredictable start to the 2022 NFL Season! From games down to the wire and players exceeding expectations, to a shake-up in the power rankings and potential season award winners, this year has delivered in a strong way early on. Today, we'll recap the first four weeks by taking a look at my updated Power Rankings, review some top performers, and who is most likely to take home some hardware at the end of the year. Let's get into it!
Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Week 5 Power Rankings
This week's power ranking changes are based on where these teams ranked at the beginning of the season. You'll notice there are some teams who are 1-3 who are ranked ahead of teams with a better record. This is due to those "worse" teams playing a tougher schedule, while also showing a stronger quality of football than the teams ranked below them. There has been plenty of movement, and we'll discuss some of them below.
Minnesota Vikings (+19)
Miami Dolphins (+17)
Jacksonville Jaguars (+15)
Vikings: With their only loss coming against the Eagles, who are currently ranked #1, and all of their wins coming against teams that ranked well ahead of them in the pre-season, it's no shock the Vikes are the biggest mover, let alone a top 5 team at the moment.
Key Players - Justin Jefferson, Dalvin Tomlinson, Christian Darrisaw
Dolphins: In my season preview, I said this team's success rests in the balance of Tua's development. Needless to say, he's played like an MVP candidate, led one of the biggest comebacks in Dolphins history, and has completely changed the outlook the majority of NFL fans have of him.
Key Players - Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, Christian Wilkins
(Fun fact: the Dolphins currently have 9 players who rank in the top 10 at their positions
Jaguars: Similar to the Dolphins, Trevor Lawrence's improvement in play and the culture shift introduced by Doug Pederson has given the Jags a legit chance to make the playoffs this year. Pair that with outstanding defensive performances from Devin Lloyd and Josh Allen, it's looking like a strong team forming in Duval.
Key Players - Christian Kirk, James Robinson, Josh Allen
Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images
Denver Broncos (-20)
Las Vegas Raiders (-12)
Tennessee Titans (-10)
Broncos: Nathanial Hackett wasn't the strongest hire, but it looks even worse now than it did in the offseason. Between lackluster offensive production, poor utilization of players, and a team that doesn't look motivated, this hire is seemingly backfiring early.
Underwhelming Players - Russell Wilson, Melvin Gordon, Dre'Mont Jones
Raiders: The Raiders have been competitive in every game this year, with a point differential of just -13 combined in their three losses. Derek Carr needs to find a better way to utilize Davante Adams, and this run game needs to keep trending upwards as it has so far this season, in order for this team to be a threat later on.
Underwhelming Players - Derek Carr, Chandler Jones, Rock Ya-Sin
Titans: It doesn't help when both of your losses came against a bottom 3 team and a top 3 team, and you're only two wins were determined by one possession. This offense looks lost without a legit top tier receiving threat, and the defense isn't much better.
Underwhelming Players - Austin Hooper, Bud Dupree, Caleb Farley
Photo: RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post
Early Season Award Winners: Jordan's Top Players Weeks 1-4
AFC Offensive MVP: Patrick Mahomes
AFC Defensive MVP: Minkah Fitzpatrick
AFC Rookie MVP: Devin Lloyd
AFC Special Teams MVP: Daniel Carlson
NFC Offensive MVP: Jalen Hurts
NFC Defensive MVP: Nick Bosa
NFC Rookie MVP: Tariq Woolen
NFC Special Teams MVP: Brett Maher
Award Winners to Note
Minkah Fitzpatrick - I've slandered Minkah more than enough over the past 3 seasons, and he's not only proving me wrong, he's proving himself right as one of the best safeties so far this season. With 3 INTs, 19 tackles, a passer rating allowed of 34.7, and only 1 missed tackle, he's been a menace on the fields all year long
Jalen Hurts - After a solid 2021 campaign, 2022 is a make or break year for Hurts, and so far he is making the most of every opportunity. He has been a top tier passer and rusher so far, as he's passed for over 1100 yards and rushed for 200 as well. Add in 4 passing and 4 rushing touchdowns, he's played out of his mind so far this season
Tariq Woolen - The speedy rookie has been turning heads all season long, as he's taken over the CB1 spot in Seattle in a few short weeks. On 17 targets, he's recorded 2 INTs, allowed just under a 53% completion rate, and allowed a low passer rating of 40.4. He's been dominant since Week 1, and hopefully will keep this play up throughout the season
Offensive Players to Watch: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Dameon Pierce, David Njoku
Defensive Players to Watch: Talanoa Hufanga, TJ Edwards, Gregory Rousseau
Photo: Nic Antaya/Getty Images
It's early, but there is a lot to be excited about so far this season. Some teams to note are the Steelers, as Kenny Pickett takes over the reins, the Giants, as they sit at 3-1 while not playing the best football they could be, and the Seahawks, who have been exceeding all expectations so far this season.
Come back next week as we start our Weekly NFL Recaps!