Buffalo Bills wide receiver John Brown (16) celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Josh Allen (17) during the second half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 8, 2023, in Orchard Park. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

Four months later, our NFL Power Rankings are back to where they started — with the Bills on top as football’s best team.

Buffalo returned to No. 1 two weeks ago after Jalen Hurts’ shoulder injury slowed the momentum of the Eagles. The Bills, the preseason title favorite, have slipped to No. 2 behind Kansas City on most Super Bowl odds lists, but for the purpose of our rankings, the regular-season resume of Sean McDermott’s club — No. 2 offense, No. 6 defense, Week 6 win in K.C., etc. — is the strongest of the 32 clubs.

It’s award season, so before we get to the final rankings of the 2022 season, let’s hand out some hardware. Envelopes, please.

Most Valuable Player: Jalen Hurts, QB, Eagles. He threw for 3,701 yards, ran for 760 yards and had 35 total touchdowns (22 passing, 13 rushing) as the steady hand that guided the turnaround from 9-8 last season to an NFC-best 14-3 this season. The recent two-game losing streak without Hurts underscored just how much he has meant to this team’s success. Of course, a strong MVP case can be made for Patrick Mahomes, but some of Hurts’ passing numbers — TD/interception ratio (22/6), passer rating (101.6), yards per attempt (8.0) — match Mahomes (41/12, 105.2, 8.1).

Offensive Player of the Year: Justin Jefferson, WR, Vikings. He was perhaps the singular, most-dominant force on offense this season, and the numbers back it up — league-leading 128 receptions and 1,809 receiving yards to go with eight touchdowns and a catch that defied physics.

Defensive Player of the Year: Nick Bosa, Edge, 49ers. The identity of the Niners is their top-ranked defense, and the face of the most dominating unit in the NFL is San Francisco’s most-feared game-wrecker — Nick Bosa, who recorded a league-best 18.5 sacks and was tied for second with 19 tackles for loss. DeMeco Ryans’ defense allowed the fewest yards (300.6 per game) and the fewest points (16.3 per game), and it all starts with Bosa creating havoc up front.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Kenneth Walker, RB, Seahawks. Jets wideout Garrett Wilson has the numbers to win it — 83 receptions and 1,103 yards, both tops among rookies — but Walker’s impact on a playoff-bound Seattle squad after Rashaad Penny’s season-ending injury is too important to ignore. The second-round pick stepped in as the starter in Week 6, averaging 4.4 yards per carry and 82.1 yards per game while scoring eight of his nine rushing TDs in 11 starts.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Sauce Gardner, CB, Jets. The No. 4 overall pick didn’t take long to earn the respect of opposing offenses. Twelve of his league-leading 20 passes defended came in the first seven games while keying the Jets’ 5-2 start. Lions DE Aidan Hutchinson made a late run, but the most impressive rookie on defense all season long has been Gardner.

Comeback Player of the Year: Christian McCaffrey, RB, 49ers. Coming back from an injury (McCaffrey, Derrick Henry, Saquon Barkley) takes precedence over bouncing back from mediocrity (Jared Goff, Geno Smith). So the pick here is McCaffrey, who proved, after two injury-ravaged seasons, he can still flourish as one of the NFL’s most versatile backs in amassing 1,139 rushing yards, 85 catches for 741 yards and 13 total TDs (including one passing).

Coach of the Year: Doug Pederson, Jaguars. Brian Daboll has been the favorite since midseason, and he likely locked up the honor when the Giants clinched their first playoff berth since the 2016 season. But Pederson is just as deserving. Inheriting the mess left by Urban Meyer, he overcame a five-game losing streak and a 2-6 start to steer Jacksonville to the AFC South title and its first trip to the playoffs since 2018. Most importantly, Pederson restored the confidence of 2021 top pick Trevor Lawrence.

And now, the final rankings of the 2022 NFL season.

NFL Power Rankings

1. Buffalo Bills (13-3, Last week: 1): As stated above, they have the season-long resume of a worthy No. 1.

2. Cincinnati Bengals (12-4, LW: 2): The reigning AFC champions carry the longest win streak into the postseason at eight consecutive victories.

3. Kansas City Chiefs (14-3, LW: 3): Tyreek Hill’s departure was supposed to test the offense. The Chiefs responded by scoring the most points in the NFL (496).

4. San Francisco 49ers (13-4, LW: 4): The defense is Super Bowl-caliber and so are the playmakers on offense. Their playoff fate will be determined by rookie QB Brock Purdy.

5. Philadelphia Eagles (14-3, LW: 6): Jalen Hurts returned from a shoulder injury to ensure that the NFC’s road to the Super Bowl goes through Philly.

6. Dallas Cowboys (12-5, LW: 5): Yes, Cowboys fans should be concerned about the unintended generosity of Dak Prescott, who has thrown interceptions in seven-straight games and finished with a league-high 15 INTs (tied with Houston’s Davis Mills).

7. Minnesota Vikings (13-4, LW: 7): They scored the seventh-most points (424) but allowed the fifth-most points (427).

8. Detroit Lions (9-8, LW: 9): Their season was as much of an emotional roller-coaster — and genuinely entertaining — as Jamaal Williams’ epic postgame interview after Sunday night’s win in Green Bay.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8, LW: 14): The defense forced 11 turnovers during the season-ending five-game win streak to finish plus-5 for the season (tied for seventh in the NFL).

10. Los Angeles Chargers (10-7, LW: 8): Brandon Staley bucks all coaching norms, including resting starters in meaningless season finales.

11. New York Giants (9-7-1, LW: 10): Their success aligns with the breakout season of QB Daniel Jones, who produced career highs in passing yards (3,205), completion percentage (67.2) and passer rating (92.5) to go with a career-low five interceptions.

12. Baltimore Ravens (10-7, LW: 11): Their whole operation comes to a screeching halt without Lamar Jackson on the field.

13. Miami Dolphins (9-8, LW: 16): Somehow, they clinched a playoff berth with Skylar Thompson at quarterback.

14. Seattle Seahawks (9-8, LW: 17): Geno Smith has been a money player all season, meeting contract incentive goals to bag an extra $3.5 million.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-8, LW: 18): Their late playoff push fell short, but the foundation for future success was laid with rookie QB Kenny Pickett, who was 7-5 as the starter and made key plays during a season-ending four-game win streak.

16. Washington Commanders (8-8-1, LW: 21): Sam Howell’s winning NFL debut ended the season and kicked off next season’s QB competition.

17. Green Bay Packers (8-9, LW: 12): The disappointing home loss to the Lions felt like the end of the Aaron Rodgers era, but are the Packers really ready to move on? We shall see.

18. New England Patriots (8-9, LW: 13): In the end, putting Matt Patricia and Joe Judge in charge of the offense was as terrible of an idea as it sounded.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-9, LW: 15): The loss in Atlanta didn’t change anything — the Bucs were already locked in as the NFC’s No. 4 seed — but a sub-.500 record is still unsightly.

20. New Orleans Saints (7-10, LW: 19): The blame game can begin for who’s responsible for finishing third in a winnable NFC South.

21. Cleveland Browns (7-10, LW: 20): Six games weren’t enough, so Deshaun Watson intends to get on the same page with coach Kevin Stefanski this offseason.

22. New York Jets (7-10, LW: 22): They’ve collected the pieces for a potential playoff team. They just need a reliable QB to complete the puzzle.

23. Tennessee Titans (7-10, LW: 23): Mike Vrabel succinctly summed up their late-season slide — “We just got on a (crappy) streak we couldn’t get off.”

24. Los Angeles Rams (5-12, LW: 24): When their superstars are healthy again next season, will a contemplative Sean McVay be around to coach them?

25. Carolina Panthers (7-10, LW: 25): Will ownership really ignore the players’ overwhelming support for Steve Wilks and not name him the permanent head coach?

26. Atlanta Falcons (7-10, LW: 27): At least they saw signs of promise from QB Desmond Ridder, who went 2-2 as a rookie starter and improved in every game.

27. Indianapolis Colts (4-12-1, LW: 28): Jeff Saturday went 1-7 as interim head coach, the lone victory coming against the train-wreck Raiders.

28. Las Vegas Raiders (6-11, LW: 26): An embarrassing season fittingly ended with the Raiders' biggest rival playing ring-around-the-rosey to taunt them on their home field in a blowout loss.

29. Denver Broncos (5-12, LW: 29): Revitalizing Russell Wilson might be too tall of a task even for Sean Payton and Jim Harbaugh, who’ve both been linked to Denver’s coaching vacancy.

30. Arizona Cardinals (4-13, LW: 30): Last March, Kliff Kingsbury and Steve Keim got contract extensions. Ten months later, the head coach and general manager got pink slips.

31. Chicago Bears (3-14, LW: 31): They celebrated a major victory in their 10th consecutive defeat — winning the draft’s No. 1 overall pick — thanks to Houston’s victory over Indy.

32. Houston Texans (3-13-1, LW: 32): You can’t blame Lovie Smith, with his impending firing looming, for not caring about the team’s draft plans.

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