There is obviously a lot of football left to be played in the 2022 season, but we’ve already seen a lot from the preseason AFC favorites. The Buffalo Bills dismantled the Super Bowl champs last Thursday, the Cincinnati Bengals stumbled over the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Kansas City Chiefs edged the Los Angeles Chargers in an AFC West battle on Thursday Night Football. So who is the best team in the AFC?
Alan Saunders, Nick Farabaugh, Cale Berger and Hunter Homistek broke down the top contenders. Our power rankings were compiled with each first-place vote getting 10 points and so on and so forth.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
Behind the arm of Josh Allen and the sweet routes of Stefon Diggs, the Bills appear to be better than ever offensively. That is not a surprise given the bevy of weapons around the two anchors of the offense, either, including Gabriel Davis, Dawson Knox, and Devin Singletary. The scary part? The Bills have an extremely legitimate claim to have the best defense in football. Von Miller finally gives them the top-flight pass rusher that teams need to respect, and their secondary is as solid as they come. Oh, and Tre’Davious White is still not back from an ACL injury. Right now, they have to be the top team in the AFC. — Farabaugh
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
The reports of the Kansas City Chiefs have been greatly exaggerated. Patrick Mahomes is still Patrick Mahomes. Andy Reid’s scheme made Tyreek Hill, not the other way around. The Chiefs defense is better than most think, and Arrowhead might be the toughest place to play in the country. The just beat the Chargers and are solidly in the driver’s seat to win the AFC West again. We should see the sea of red in January. — Saunders
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
A Thursday night, shootout loss to the Chiefs does not change the reality that the Chargers are one of the most talented teams in the entire league. Justin Herbert displayed again why he is regarded as one of the top quarterbacks in football with 334 yards and three touchdown passes. While his rib injury could be something to keep and eye, the return of Keenan Allen should make Herbert and the offense even more explosive. The big time offseason additions of Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson should prove to be the missing pieces that get the defense to match the offense as the season progresses. — Berger
The Cincinnati Bengals won the AFC in 2022, and one weird-as-all-hell home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers isn’t going to take them out of the top five just yet. The Bengals brought back nearly their entire Super Bowl team, improved their offensive line and have a very underrated defense. I feel very confident in predicting that Joe Burrow is not going to turn the ball over five times very often this season. The Bengals will be back and we’ll be talking about them in the playoffs, though the tiebreaker pain from that loss to the Steelers may come back to hurt them later on. — Saunders
The Dolphins ended their 2021 season on an 8-1 run. Then they stomped the Patriots to start their 2022 campaign. They’re on fire, and they’re not getting enough credit for it. Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill form arguably the most dangerous receiving duo in the league. Their defense is tricky and intricate. They just. keep. winning. It’s finally time for us to stop sleeping on the Dolphins. — Homistek