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Two dozen are set
Bob Self/Florida Times-Union
While the NFL playoffs head into the divisional round, many of the teams and fans are already looking ahead to the 2022 NFL draft — and beyond that, a hopeful future where each will still be part of the Super Bowl conversation.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the latest Tanking Rankings now that much of the draft order has been set…
(Thanks as always to Tankathon.com for the information and stats.)
24. Dallas Cowboys (12-5, strength of schedule: .488)
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The Cowboys could have used an extra second or two, or a different play call at the end of their game with San Francisco 49ers. That isn’t what running out the clock is supposed to mean. Now, it’s back to the drawing board — with the same head coach?
23. Arizona Cardinals (11-6, strength of schedule: .490)
Michael Chow-Arizona Republic
Arizona came up empty in its first playoff appearance under Kliff Kingsbury. A weak effort. Will an 11-win season earn the Cardinals head coach another season, or is it time for a change?
22. Las Vegas Raiders (10-7, strength of schedule: .510)
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Mayock is out as GM. Rich Bisaccia has done a nice job for the Raiders, but they could be looking for a big name as the head coach and GM. Would they hire one person for both or will they look for two people?
21. New England Patriots (10-7, strength of schedule: .481)
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
The Patriots’ turnaround should not be lost in what was a clobbering by the Buffalo Bills. Mac Jones delivered as a rookie and everyone should remember how difficult it is to rebuild in a season. Bill Belichick did just that with the Pats.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7-1, strength of schedule: .521)
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
The Steelers gave Ben Roethlisberger the last hurrah. And it would have been nice if the final play was a touchdown rather than coming up about five yards short. Will there be a quarterback available at 20?
19. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7, strength of schedule: .469)
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Sirianni had a good first season. The playoff effort against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers isn’t going to help Jalen Hurts’ cause, but one game should not dictate a season’s worth of work. Philly definitely is a team worth keeping an eye on this offseason.
18. New Orleans Saints (9-8, strength of schedule: .512)
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
The fact Sean Payton got this team to finish over .500 is a miracle. The Saints would have actually been in the playoffs had the Rams downed the Niners in Week 18.
17. Los Angeles Chargers (9-8, strength of schedule: .510)
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Talk about the most painful way to wind up in the Tanking Rankings. The Bolts were jolted in OT.
16. Philadelphia Eagles via Indianapolis Colts (9-8, strength of schedule: .495)
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The Philly fans will be busy as they are currently slotted to pick back-to-back with the selections the team acquired.
15. Philadelphia Eagles via Miami Dolphins (9-8, strength of schedule: .464)
The Eagles had hoped this pick would soar up the draft ladder in the first half of the season. However, the Dolphins got it together big time and this selection sits far deeper than Philly had expected.
14. Baltimore (8-9, strength of schedule: .531)
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
The Baltimore Ravens are not used to a place in the Tanking Rankings. This team was ravaged by injuries and illness, though, and lost close game after close game. Tough season.
13. Cleveland Browns (8-9, strength of schedule: .514)
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
There were many years when an eight-win season would have been cause for celebration in Cleveland. Not anymore, sorry.
12. Minnesota Vikings (8-9, strength of schedule: .507)
Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports
Why do the Vikings feel so much worse than a team that finished one game below .500? Probably because of the way they played all season and then fired their coach and GM. The Vikes will have a new regime in 2022, so this team will be one to keep an eye on as the draft nears.
11. Washington Football Team (7-10, strength of schedule: .529)
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
A win to end the season over a terrible New York Giants team proves nothing. Washington needs a quarterback that it can bank on for the present and future. The current guys on the roster are nice stories but not going to get you to the playoffs or Super Bowl.
10. New York Jets via Seattle Seahawks (7-10, strength of schedule: .519)
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Certain the Jets weren’t happy to see the Seahawks get it together in their final couple of games. It cost them a few spots. The Jamal Adams trade remains a stroke of genius — in the way it turned out for Gang Green.
9. Denver Broncos (7-10, strength of schedule: .484)
The Broncos cut ties with Vic Fangio quickly after their season ended with another loss and no playoff berth. The next coach has a big task in front of him, starting with finding a quarterback.
8. Atlanta Falcons (7-10, strength of schedule: .472)
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Falcons wind up picking eighth, which is pretty good considering they won seven games in Arthur Smith’s first season.
7. New York Giants via Chicago Bears (6-11, strength of schedule: .524)
Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports
The Bears put a scare into the Giants by jumping out 14-0 over the Vikings… before running the deep fade pattern. That helps New York’s draft prospects.
6. Carolina Panthers (5-12, strengfh of schedule: .509)
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
You win your first three games and wind up playing for draft position throughout the second half of the season. Pretty horrible.
5. New York Giants (4-13, strength of schedule .536)
The Giants lost and the Bears lost—so the season ended well for a team that was awful. Then their GM “retired,” Dave Gettleman, and subsequently fired coach Joe Judge. Chaos exists in the Big Blue Nation.
4. New York Jets (4-13, strength of schedule: .512)
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Another year, another new coach, another double-digit loss season. Someone needs to figure out how to change his rotten script.
3. Houston Texans (4-13, strength of schedule: .498)
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
The Texans were another team that lost a lot of games but never seemed to lose their spirit. Then, they went ahead and did something predictable for a team that is in total disorder, firing David Culley after one season. Talk about not giving a guy a fair chance.
2. Detroit Lions (3-13-1, strength of schedule: .528)
The Lions fought until the end of the season, winning their final game against Green Bay. There is a lot of work to be done but Dan Campbell has built a healthy attitude.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-14, strength of schedule: .512)
Dec 12, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars punter Logan Cooke (9) punts the ball during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
The Jaguars somehow didn’t mess up their second straight No. 1 overall pick when they won their final game of the season. Now, one immediate question looms: Which new head coach will help make that selection?