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PFT’s Week One 2022 NFL power rankings

Mike Florio and Chris Simms debate whether or not the Buffalo Bills are ready to meet the challenge to contend for the Super Bowl after falling short in the playoffs last season.

1. Rams: Good news, the defending champs always start on top. Bad news, there’s only one direction to go.

2. Buccaneers: It feels like Tom Brady’s last ride. And it has always felt as if he’s destined to walk away with a trophy under his arm.

3. Bills: They’re carrying the target of a Super Bowl winner without getting to the game in nearly 30 years.

4. Chiefs: How are they not more widely regarded to be ready to get right back to where they’ve been for four straight years?

5. Packers: With a depleted receiver room, the Cheeseheads soon may pivot to ayahuasca.

6. Bengals: Will 80-percent turnover make the offensive line better? It can’t really be much worse than it was in the postseason.

7. 49ers: If they can get adequate performance from the quarterback position and avoid a rash of key injuries, they could make it back to the Super Bowl.

8. Titans: Is this Ryan Tannehill’s last chance to take the Titans to the next level?

9. Eagles: Five years after winning a Super Bowl, they’re ready to contend again.

10. Cowboys: Can they win in the playoffs this year? First, they have to get back there.

11. Colts: At a time when everyone is wondering whether Russell Wilson will join the Tom Brady/Matthew Stafford parade from new team to NFL title, Matt Ryan may be in a better position to actually pull that off.

12. Ravens: In a tightly-packed AFC, they’re as capable as anyone to get to the postseason and win more than one game there.

13. Cardinals: They’ll be fine in September and October. The pressure will be on in November and December, especially with the Hard Knocks in-season cameras and microphones there.

14. Raiders: The offense should be fine. Can the defense slow down the other three offenses in the division?

15. Chargers: Is it already playoffs or bust for second-year coach Brandon Staley?

16. Steelers: Write them off at your own peril.

17. Patriots: How many years of post-Tom Brady struggles before Brady gets more credit than Bill Belichick for the Super Bowls?

18. Dolphins: If Tua can get it done, the Dolphins can get to the round of eight, and maybe even to the AFC Championship.

19. Broncos: The bar is higher than it should be for a team that has undergone many changes over the past two years. Especially since they have to compete with the Chiefs, Raiders, and Chargers.

20. Saints: The departure of Sean Payton is being met with a surprising degree of nonchalance. It’s a huge void, and it’s still not clear whether anyone still on the coaching staff will be able to fill it.

21. Browns: If they eventually win a Super Bowl with Deshaun Watson, the bizarre journey of 2022 presumably will have been worth it. For anything less than that, it won’t be.

22. Vikings: Ding dong the Zim is dead. That alone could be enough to get the Vikings to the playoffs.

23. Panthers: They’ve got the talent to contend. Which will only make the seat even hotter for the coaching staff.

24. Washington: This is Carson Wentz’s last chance to be an NFL starter. Will that be enough to get him to stop being reckless with the ball?

25. Seahawks: The presence of Pete Carroll forces us to take them more seriously. Even then, it feels like they’ll have a hard time -- especially in a tough division.

26. Falcons: Matt Ryan was the cornerstone of the franchise since 2008. How will they not take a step back without him?

27. Giants: It’s going to take more than a year to fumigate the roster.

28. Lions: Can they climb the ladder? Absolutely. Will they? We’ll see.

29. Jaguars: If they were in the NFC, they’d be a fringe playoff contender. In the AFC, there are just too many good teams.

30. Bears: They’re tearing it down to build it up. It may take a while to build it up.

31. Jets: Hopefully, ownership will give the current regime enough time to get the most out of their current roster.

32. Texans: Bad news, they’ve earned this spot. Good news, there’s only one direction to go.