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BUFFALO BILLS ARE PETER KING’S NO. 1 TEAM IN THIS WEEK’S “FMIA” COLUMN

King Ranks All NFL Teams 1-32

“I don’t know that you can say the Bills are overwhelming favorites to get to their first Super Bowl in 29 years…But they’re the favorites for sure.” – King on ranking the Bills at No. 1

“As long as Patrick Mahomes is healthy and dealing, Kansas City’s going to be a Super Bowl contender. That’s how I look at this edition of this team.” – King on ranking the Chiefs at No. 3

“I just don’t take for granted that 45-year-old [Tom] Brady will just pick up where he left off. The Bucs will be seriously challenged by the Saints.” – King on the Buccaneers at No. 6 and the Saints at No. 11

“On their best day, the Cowboys can play with everyone except maybe Buffalo. Problem is, they don’t have enough best days.” – King on the Cowboys at No. 15

STAMFORD, Conn. – May 23, 2022 – Peter King shares his 2022 NFL power rankings with the Buffalo Bills in the top spot in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King breaks down each team from 1-32, including the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 2, the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 3, the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams at No. 4, and Green Bay Packers at No. 5. Other rankings include Tampa Bay at No. 6 the defending AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals at No. 7, Dallas at No. 15, and New England at No. 17. King also discusses the NFL’s Coach and Front-Office Accelerator program.

For more NFL coverage, Peacock offers daily programming on the NBC Sports channel for free, including Pro Football Talk at 7 a.m. ET every weekday, Chris Simms Unbuttoned, The Peter King Podcast, The Rich Eisen Show, Brother from Another, and The Dan Patrick Show. To learn more about the NBC Sports on Peacock channel and how to sign up, click here.

The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:

PETER KING’S 2022 NFL POWER RANKINGS

1) Buffalo Bills17) New England Patriots
2) Los Angeles Chargers18) Cleveland Browns
3) Kansas City Chiefs19) Minnesota Vikings
4) Los Angeles Rams20) Detroit Lions
5) Green Bay Packers21) Indianapolis Colts
6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers22) Arizona Cardinals
7) Cincinnati Bengals23) Pittsburgh Steelers
8) Baltimore Ravens24) New York Giants
9) Philadelphia Eagles25) Seattle Seahawks
10) San Francisco 49ers26) Washington Commanders
11) New Orleans Saints27) New York Jets
12) Tennessee Titans28) Chicago Bears
13) Las Vegas Raiders29) Jacksonville Jaguars
14) Denver Broncos30) Atlanta Falcons
15) Dallas Cowboys31) Carolina Panthers
16) Miami Dolphins32) Houston Texans

King on his offseason power rankings: “The whole idea is to try to pick three or five risers and a couple of fallers, with the understanding that virtually every year there are three or four teams that surprise people. I only have one stunner this year, but a few things should raise ire.”

King on the Bills at No. 1: “I don’t know that you can say the Bills are overwhelming favorites to get to their first Super Bowl in 29 years, what with road games against both Super Bowl teams, home games with both conference top seeds, and a roadie with nemesis Kansas City; KC’s won three of four Mahomes-Allen duels. But they’re the favorites for sure.”

King on the Bills: “I think GM Brandon Beane has done a good job worrying about today while prepping for tomorrow. Beane understands the vital thing is to surround a top-tier franchise quarterback with enough weapons to survive a 17-games-plus-postseason minefield. And Josh Allen definitely has enough to win…A team that obliterated New England and got the overtime coin-flip rule changed in the playoffs is better today than it was in January.”

King on the Chargers at No. 2: “I thought [GM Tom Telesco] won this offseason…Trading for Khalil Mack, though a bit of a health gamble, gives L.A. as good a 1-2 pass-rush tandem with Joey Bosa as any team in football. In the secondary, the Chargers added the best corner in free agency, J.C. Jackson. And [Justin] Herbert should be better if the defense is better, because he won’t have to score 30 every week to win.”

King on the Chiefs at No. 3: “As long as Patrick Mahomes is healthy and dealing, and as long as [head coach] Andy Reid/[GM] Brett Veach have a competitive roster, Kansas City’s going to be a Super Bowl contender. Annually. That’s how I look at this edition of this team. For Kansas City, this offseason has been as much about 2024 as 2022. It’ll be up to Mahomes to win some games with his golden arm to prove this is not a gap year. I think he can do it.”

King on the Rams at No. 4: “The four biggest player drivers to a championship are back and should be as good as ever: Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey. And do not underestimate the force that is [head coach] Sean McVay in moving this team forward. Some coaches coach the team. McVay coaches the team, sets the organizational tone, and gives the team a fervor during the week and certainly on Sundays.”

King on the Packers at No. 5: “They have Aaron Rodgers, coming off two straight MVP seasons. They have a very good running game. They have what should be a top-three NFL defense by Dec. 1. They have a top cornerback, Jaire Alexander. That gives the Packers probably the best chance of any NFC team to win home-field for the third straight year.”

King on the Buccaneers at No. 6: “I just don’t take for granted that 45-year-old [Tom] Brady will just pick up where he left off. Even with bottom-feeders Carolina and Atlanta to get fat off, the Bucs will be seriously challenged by the Saints…I doubt the coaching change to Todd Bowles will be much of a factor. The schedule might be the biggest factor of all.”

King on the Bengals at No. 7: “I like Cincinnati to edge Baltimore for the division title, but a deep run will be tough with a first-place schedule…The Bengals are a team on the rise, without question. I don’t think they can beat Buffalo this year, but in the long haul, I love their prospects to contend in the [Joe] Burrow years.”

King on the Cowboys at No. 15: “I picked the Eagles ahead of Dallas because the Eagles got significantly better this offseason and Dallas (got) worse, with the subtraction of two key contributors (Amari Cooper and Randy Gregory) and the addition of none. On their best day, the Cowboys can play with everyone except maybe Buffalo. Problem is, they don’t have enough best days.”

King on the Lions at No. 20: “Consider how hard they played in a disastrous rookie year of coach Dan Campbell, and how, despite winning only three games, they were 11-6 against the spread, indicative of a team outperforming expectations. Of course, it’s [Jared] Goff who has to be more productive for the Lions to play meaningful December football. This is one of the most interesting teams in football.”

King on the Cardinals at No. 22: “Something doesn’t feel right about the 2022 Cards. Part of it’s the pointed dissatisfaction of quarterback Kyler Murray and his agent over a new contract. Part is the six-game suspension of the best player on the offense, DeAndre Hopkins, to start the season. It’s an odd vibe around the team, and the attitude in negotiations with Murray this summer will tell a lot about the chemistry of the locker room coming training camp.”

NEWS & NOTES

King on the Coach and Front-Office Accelerator program: “The meeting is in response to the slow pace of minority hiring of NFL coaches and GMs…The glacier broke apart a bit recently, with four Black GMs hired over the last 17 months and three minority coaches hired this year. But in the coaching ranks, where the lack of minority hires has been acute, only three Black coaches were hired in the four hiring cycles from 2018 to 2021.”

NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent on the Coach and Front-Office Accelerator program: “Is this the answer? No. Is it part of a solution? It may be. This is a new day. It’s not about forcing anyone to hire anyone. It’s about exposing good coaches to those who make the calls.”

King: “The NFL can’t look for results next year, and maybe not even in 2024. This has to be a long-term commitment. This kind of exposure - owners encountering Black candidates they’ve never met - has to continue every year in some form.”

Vincent: “My hope is that some owners and decision-makers will come back from this meeting and say, ‘I met some people I did not know, and who I was very impressed with.’ They go back to their team and say, ‘I want to get these people on our radar when we might have a decision to make.’ That’s why these kinds of meetings are important.”

King on the Bills: “I think kudos are in order for the Buffalo Bills, taking half-a-day to go en masse to the site of the Tops supermarket shooting that left 10 local citizens dead. What a great comfort to those in the community to see the Bills show up in support of grieving and heartbroken people.”

Read the full FMIA column here and catch the weekly Peter King Podcast here.

The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:




    • PFT Live with NBC Sports’ Mike Florio and Mike Golic (Mondays) and Florio and Chris Simms (Tuesday-Thursday) streams on Peacock from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. ET on weekdays & is available on-demand. The Dan Patrick Show streams at 9 a.m. ET, The Rich Eisen Show at Noon ET, Brother From Another at 3 p.m. ET, PFT PM at 5 p.m. ET. At 6 p.m. ET, Chris Simms Unbuttoned streams Tuesday-Friday.
    • ProFootballTalk.com continues to provide the latest news and updates.
    • NBC Sports EDGE’s A Good Football Show continues the NFL discussion and Bet The Edge Podcast provides daily betting insights.

A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May 2019 that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.

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