We’re almost halfway through the 2022 NFL regular season, and so far, we’ve seen a lot of surprises – few people would have imagined that the Philadelphia Eagles would lead the NFC and that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be struggling after Tom Brady’s return from retirement.
While the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to endure perplexing defeats, the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets, and New York Giants (both New York teams are currently ranked in the league’s top 10 for the first time since 1986) continue to triumph. It certainly makes for an interesting list of Super Bowl hopefuls, albeit being unexpected.
Even when they are not playing – both teams were on bye on Week 7 – the Eagles and Bills are still the best. The Chiefs’ convincing win in San Francisco strengthened their position as one of the Big Three. Dak Prescott helped the Cowboys win, thankfully keeping the top four stable.
According to sportsbooks and media analysts, the Buffalo Bills remain the odds-on favorites to win Super Bowl LVII, at +270 odds to win the ring at the end of the season. The Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs round up the top 3, at +550 and +650 odds respectively. The San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers complete the list of the favorites to claim the title, but football fans can visit Betminded.com to check the full list of odds for each team, as well as the odds for the 2023 NFL awards.
Buffalo Bills at the top
There are numerous ways to explain the Bills’ early-season success, but point differential best captures their style of play. The Philadelphia Eagles, who are unbeaten, are the next closest team in the standings with a plus-56 point differential, 39 points less than the Bills.
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Bills have seen excellent success despite having the sixth-hardest strength of schedule. The Bills are 4-0 and have an average victory margin of 23.5 points over teams that made the playoffs the previous season.
Josh Allen enters the NFL MVP race as a serious contender and possibly the early frontrunner after the Week 7 bye. The crucial conference matchup at Arrowhead against the Chiefs featured Allen in a commanding performance as he threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns in a 24-20 victory. In the first six weeks of the season, he was the only quarterback to have three games with 300 yards and at least three passing touchdowns.
The upcoming Bills schedule is challenging. In Week 8, the Packers play the Bills as a huge underdog, but they are no pushover. After that, the Bills play the Jets, and regardless of the Jets’ past struggles, they are 5-2. Afterwards, they host the 5-1 Vikings before a few smoother matchups (Browns, Lions). After those three games, which should be difficult but definitely winnable, they will be 8-1 and other teams won’t have much of a chance to stop them.
Philadelphia Eagles rising through the ranks
With games against the Commanders, Texans, and Steelers remaining, the Eagles are undefeated so far. Although there are undoubtedly trap games tucked away along this route, Philadelphia is more talented and has a better quarterback than any of these opponents.
GM Howie Roseman could receive the greatest praise if the Eagles win another Super Bowl, much thanks to the late-summer deal for cornerback C.J. Gardner-Johnson. Gardner-Johnson has been a major playmaker of the team’s secondary and one of their outspoken and charismatic leaders since being acquired from the Saints on roster cutdown day in exchange for Day 3 draft picks.
In the Week 6 victory over the Cowboys, Gardner-Johnson recorded a pair of interceptions against Cooper Rush, sending Philadelphia into its bye as the only unbeaten team in the league.
With a turnover differential of plus-12, the Eagles are far ahead of the competition, with the Cowboys coming in second at plus-6. The fact that Jalen Hurts and the offense have only committed two turnovers in six games illustrates how proficient the defense has been at producing takeaways (they are tied for the league lead with 14). Philadelphia has attempted to run the ball 225 times, which is the third-highest number, without losing a turnover.
Patrick Mahomes leading the Chiefs to another great season
When Patrick Mahomes is your quarterback, a game is never over. In a 44-23 thrashing of the 49ers on Sunday, Mahomes overcame a double-digit hole, providing the most recent proof that no lead is secure against the Chiefs. Since 2019, Mahomes has gone 12-5 when down by 10 points or more (including playoffs). No other quarterback has at least a winning record in those games.
On offense, the Chiefs are doing a lot of good things, but that is nothing new. With 19 sacks, the defense is now tied for sixth place in the league, which is a new record. All of last season, the Chiefs only recorded 31 sacks. Frank Clark had his most productive game of the season against the 49ers with 1.5 sacks, but Chris Jones continues to lead the team with five sacks.
Many of the Chiefs’ defensive backs and linebackers, particularly cornerback L’Jarius Sneed and linebacker Nick Bolton, are also providing effective pass rushes.