The Pittsburgh Steelers enjoyed a week off to reflect on their tough start to the season and to get healthy for their final 9 games. As fans, we’re hoping for the well-documented return of some key contributors on defense, and some level of improvement for an offense that has been nothing short of a disaster through eight games.
Even with the ugly start, I am excited for the return of Steelers football. A lot of questions will be answered about this team, some as early as Week 10 at home against the New Orleans Saints. Can Kenny Pickett show some real improvement in Matt Canada’s offense? Is the return of T.J. Watt to the defense enough to give the Steelers a chance every week? Is the team just a few pieces away, or are we looking at a full-on rebuild starting in 2023? We’re about to find out.
Despite not getting to watch my favorite team play in Week 9, there was plenty of action to keep up with across the NFL, as close games and huge individual performances made for a high-flying weekend of football. It got me thinking about teams and players I enjoy watching when the Steelers aren’t playing. For me, a lot has to do with former prospects and storylines that I enjoy, but every season brings with it surprises that capture the attention of NFL fans no matter the color of their glasses.
For this edition of the NFL Power Rankings, I will be looking at the top 10 most watchable teams and the 10 least watchable teams moving forward in 2022. Note that the Steelers will not be included in this exercise. Let’s get into it:
TOP 10 MOST WATCHABLE TEAMS IN 2022:
Jalen Hurts is on an MVP tear and the A.J. Brown trade is the best WR deal since Stefan Diggs to the Bills. On Defense, former Steeler Javon Hargrave is having an All-Pro type season for Pittsburgh’s east-side neighbors.
The Dolphins offense is working on another level of efficiency in the passing game, with Tyreek Hill on pace for 2,000+ receiving yards, and teammate Jaylen Waddle not far behind.
Geno Smith is throwing the football like a top 5 QB in the league. His ball placement on the move is especially good, and the rise of Kenneth Walker at RB is making this offense a fun watch every week. On defense, Tariq Woolen is the best Rookie CB this side of Sauce Gardner.
Patrick Mahomes is always a treat to watch, but another former Steeler, JuJu Smith-Schuster, is enjoying what should be an unsurprising rebound with elite QB play behind him. Also, Travis Kelce is incredible.
The defense is just as good as the offense, but Josh Allen’s elite rushing ability and deep-ball prowess leaves viewers picking up their jaws off the floor at least 2-3 times a game.
NOTE: At the time of this writing, Josh Allen’s injury status is up in the air.
Talk about a defense worth watching! Micah Parsons has been the leagues best and most consistent defender through 9 weeks and should continue a DPOY run as the season progresses. If the offense can build off of Week 8’s drubbing of the Bears, you’re looking at the only team in the NFC that can run toe-to-toe with the Eagles.
This is all about Justin Fields, who is proving to be one of the most dynamic athletes we’ve ever seen at the QB position. His ability to throw accurately on the run has been highlighted nicely by the Bears offensive coaching staff. Fields is coming off the best single-game rushing performance EVER by a QB. The former OSU Buckeye is just getting started and boy, is it fun to watch!
The Falcons run the football with extreme gusto, and the rise of Cordarrelle Patterson in the ATL is one of the coolest storylines in football. The fact that this highly flawed team is tied for the division lead in the NFC South behind a grinding rushing attack is 2022 NFL football in a nutshell. I love it!
This young Jets team just pulled off an incredible upset win over the highly favored Bills in Week 9, and it’s because they’ve hit on their high draft picks the last couple years. Sauce is THE boss, Garrett Wilson is a legit WR1, and on the DL Quennin Williams is living up to expectations for the spunky Jets.
10. BALTIMORE RAVENS
I hate putting the Ravens on this list, but Lamar Jackson is must-watch TV for the ankle-breaking runs and big-time throws as well as the almost weekly game-altering mistakes in the fourth quarter. If a Ravens game is on, grab some popcorn ‘cuz you’re in for a show.
10 LEAST WATCHABLE TEAMS IN 2022
Mac Jones has regressed like many, including myself, had predicted could happen, and who isn’t tired of seeing the Patriots win just because Bill Belichick is smarter than everyone else?
9. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
The offense is a turnover machine, and the defense rarely plays to the level it should on paper. Not so fun.
I have to admit, it’s kinda fun to watch Aaron Rodgers so out of whack. However, there’s not much to enjoy watching this team plod along in the run game and fail weekly on defense to create much of any splash.
Turn and handoff to Chubb. Play action pass. Talk up Myles Garrett all week and then watch the defense underwhelm again. Boring.
The dysfunctional mess that is the Arizona Cardinals was good for a laugh at first, but the sheer amount of mental mistakes and poor execution makes the Cards a tough watch.
If I never have to watch Brady throw 5 yard outs in the dirt or fall into the fetal position before a sack again it’ll be too soon.
We thought this team could be a Super Bowl contender. In reality, Russell Wilson looks like what we thought Geno Smith would be, and injuries at RB and WR have taken their toll. It’s just hard to sit through offense this bad. (We should know, huh, Steelers Nation?)
Dameon Pierce is fun. That’s it. That makes for a minimum of 21 other reasons to not watch the Texans.
It’s rough for the team from my home state. No more McCaffrey. The QBs are the worst in football. The defense is uninspiring to say the least. Rough stuff. By the way, you’d think tickets to the Steelers/Panthers matchup in Charlotte would be dirt cheap. They’re not.
Hey Babe, what was that Hallmark flick you were wanting to watch?
Which teams or players do you find most interesting to watch? Who’s making you change the channel? Let me know in the comment section below.