According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Buffalo Bills are the team to beat in 2022.
Seth Walder shared the updated offseason rankings for all 32 teams. Buffalo topped the leaderboard with a +9.4 rating, meaning they’re predicted to be 9.4 points better than the average NFL team on a neutral field.
Although they fell short to the Kansas City Chiefs in a thrilling second-round shootout, the Bills are drawing considerable buzz as an early Super Bowl favorite.
They went 11-6 with the NFL’s highest point differential (+194) last season and are bringing back most of last year’s anchors along with adding Von Miller.
Buffalo can quickly validate this top positioning, as the Bills open the season on the road against the Los Angeles Rams. The defending Super Bowl champions rank third (+7.7) behind the Green Bay Packers (8.8), who face the Bills in Week 7 and the Rams in Week 15.
Kansas City (7.6), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7.4), and the Dallas Cowboys (7.2) are next up after each respectively winning their division in 2021. Although they missed the playoffs last year, the Los Angeles Chargers (+6.2) and Indianapolis Colts (+4.2) are projected to improve after busy offseasons.
While the top teams aren’t too shocking, some fanbases may have a gripe with ESPN’s formula.
The Cincinnati Bengals are predicted to narrowly be an above-average team (+1.1) in their AFC title defense. Last year’s No. 1 seed, the Tennessee Titans, trails them as the 17th-ranked squad.
ESPN’s FPI also foresees a massive downfall for the San Francisco 49ers, who place behind the New York Giants and Detroit Lions after reaching the NFC Championship Game.