Nick Shook uses the eye test and Next Gen Stats to assemble his personal 2022 All-Pro Team. Below, he presents his offense.
When you break the single-season record for offensive yards, it's pretty easy to explain why you're an All-Pro. Mahomes passed Drew Brees for the most all-time with 5,614 yards, reaching the total with 5,250 passing yards, 358 rushing yards and 6 receiving yards (via a completion to himself). So Mahomes didn't shatter the passing mark; this record will do. At this point, there are only two things that could keep Mahomes from taking this award annually: an injury, or a memorable season from another signal-caller. I could dive deeper into the numbers -- Mahomes finished with the best Next Gen Stats passer score (93) -- but it's not necessary.
This one was essentially a toss-up between Chubb and Josh Jacobs. Both scored 12 rushing touchdowns and broke 1,500 rushing yards in 2022, with nearly identical averages (Chubb bested Jacobs by 0.1 yards per carry). Turning to Next Gen Stats makes Chubb the easy choice. Since Next Gen introduced rushing yards over expected, Chubb has been a perennial star in the category, and 2022 was no different. Chubb led all running backs in total RYOE (+389), averaging 1.3 rush yards over expected per carry. He also dominated first downs gained over expected with +14.
Chubb is a powerful, shifty back who rarely goes down on first contact, frequently sending defenders pinballing off him before finishing long runs with deceptive top-end speed. Many Browns fans agonized over the fact Kevin Stefanski didn't feed Chubb at the level of backs like Jacobs and Derrick Henry, and when looking at the numbers, they have a legitimate argument, with Henry (21.8) and Jacobs (20) easily eclipsing Chubb (17.8) in attempts per game. No back made more out of less than Chubb, which he's done for the majority of his career. So what if he didn't win the rushing title? An All-Pro nod would certainly be good enough.
Jefferson's accomplishments in his first three NFL seasons are truly astounding, and based on what we've seen in 2022, his ceiling may not exist. Jefferson reset his career-high mark in receiving yards with 1,809, leading the NFL in that department, and he bested his previous single-season high in receptions by 20 additional catches. Of those 1,809 receiving yards, 413 came via receiving yards over expected, the most among all receivers. His catch rate over expected was plus-5.7, and he helped quarterbacks targeting him post a passer rating of 104.2. Jefferson is about as reliable as it gets, and the sheer volume of production makes him a shoo-in for All-Pro.
We learned in 2022 that Hill didn't need Mahomes to continue playing at an elite level. The ex-Chief finished second in the NFL in receiving yards in 2022 with 1,710 and scored seven times through the air -- and he did all that despite playing less than a full season with starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Hill also was occasionally forced to double back for an underthrown pass (or three). Tagovailoa's performance dropped off late in the season before the QB was placed in the concussion protocol on Dec. 26, but Hill's output didn't suffer much. He still managed to post a catch rate over expected of plus-4.4, finish with 187 receiving yards over expected and help the Dolphins sneak into the playoffs. That's a solid first year with a new team.
This was a tough call between Adams and A.J. Brown. The latter certainly met expectations in his first season with the Eagles, resetting the franchise's single-season receiving yards record, but I'm going with Adams because of his overall production. Adams didn't push the Raiders to the playoffs, but he was still as good as he's always been, finishing third in the NFL in receiving yards with 1,516, just 37 yards shy of matching his career high. His 14 touchdown catches led all players, and it's fair to wonder what more Adams might have been able to do statistically if the Raiders had been able to put together four quarters of quality offensive football on a weekly basis. Adams' season didn't generate a ton of headlines, but the numbers do not lie.
Have the folks in Canton started measuring Kelce for his gold jacket yet? This generation's best tight end celebrated his 33rd birthday in October, but Kelce has shown no signs of slowing down, breaking 1,000 receiving yards for a seventh consecutive season and reaching a new career high for receiving touchdowns (12) in his first season played without Hill in the Chiefs' huddle. Kelce was as important as ever to Kansas City's offense this season, with his 110 receptions serving as proof. He dominated the Next Gen Stats metrics, finishing with +155 yards after catch over expected. The months pass, and still, Kelce remains the same game-changing tight end he's been for much of the last decade.
Williams missed three games with a high ankle sprain, but I'm keeping him here because of the important role he played for the 49ers while they navigated a revolving door at quarterback in the wake of planned starter Trey Lance's season-ending injury. Because of Williams' elite play, both Jimmy Garoppolo and Brock Purdy were able to thrive in San Francisco's offense, so much that Garoppolo will again be a hot name in free agency and Purdy is making folks reevaluate San Francisco's long-term plan. Oh, the 49ers are also looking rather strong entering the playoffs -- and we haven't even mentioned how Christian McCaffrey has succeeded with San Francisco following his in-season trade from Carolina. The NFL's best left tackle deserves this honor, even if he missed a few games.
If one is seeking proof of how valuable Johnson is to the Eagles, look no further than their offensive struggles without him. Johnson remains the game's best right tackle, surrendering zero sacks for a second straight season, per Pro Football Focus, and he was one-fifth of an offensive line that powered the NFL's No. 3 offense. With Jalen Hurts and Johnson in the lineup, Philadelphia was incredibly explosive, capable of attacking opposing defenses in every fashion imaginable. In the games Johnson played, the Eagles averaged 397.3 yards and 29.7 points; in the two he missed with an abdominal injury, they averaged 327.5 yards and 16 points. The Eagles will hope to get him back for their highly anticipated playoff run.
At this point, one of the Browns' two guards (either Bitonio or Wyatt Teller) is deserving of consideration for All-Pro honors on an annual basis. This year, Bitonio is the one garnering the recognition. The 31-year-old veteran played in all 17 games and allowed just one sack on the season, proving to again be among the most reliable interior linemen in the entire NFL. His PFF grade wasn't quite as good as last season, but it was still enough to rank behind only Lindstrom among all guards. He's as good as it gets at the position.
The Cowboys' Zack Martin is at the point in his career where he should be a perennial All-Pro, provided he's healthy, but let's tip our caps to Lindstrom. Because of a lack of confidence in its quarterback, Atlanta disproportionately committed to the run in 2022, putting even more responsibility on its offensive line to clear lanes for a stable of largely unknown runners. Instead of crumbling under this added pressure, Lindstrom proved to be a rock. He surrendered just two sacks all season and posted the best PFF grade of his career, which was also the best guard grade in the NFL. The Falcons still have a ways to go to get back to the playoffs, but they certainly have a quality guard in Lindstrom.
Memo to Nick Sirianni: Those two beer kegs you had delivered to Kelce's house were worth it. Kelce was coerced into returning for a potential run at a Super Bowl in 2022 and has to be glad he did so, because he can certainly still play. Kelce ranked second to Kansas City's Creed Humphrey in PFF grade, but the Eagles' success in every notable offensive category -- fifth in rushing, ninth in passing, third in scoring and third overall -- can be attributed at least in part to the leadership, experience and consistent excellence of Kelce. He's the heartbeat of an Eagles team that transformed itself into a contender in a short amount of time -- oh, and he can sing, too.
It's rare that Justin Tucker doesn't command this spot, but with the Ravens' stalwart missing six field-goal tries, it's time for a change. Myers led all kickers in scoring with 143 points, besting Tucker by one point while also making 34 of 37 field-goal attempts and 41 of 42 extra-point tries. Myers nailed all six of his 50-plus-yard attempts and converted 4 of 6 attempts between 40 and 49 yards. His miss at the end of regulation in Week 18 nearly cost the Seahawks a playoff berth, but he redeemed himself by drilling a second attempt in overtime. That's how you cap off an All-Pro season.
Entering Week 18, Marcus Jones (or Kene Nwangwu) stood as the most likely choice for returner, although his return touchdown came on a punt, not a kickoff. Then the Bills took the field less than a week after their game was cancelled in Cincinnati. With Damar Hamlin on their minds, the Bills began the season finale with an incredible statement thanks to Hines, an in-season acquisition who took the opening kickoff back for a touchdown. The good vibes didn't end there, though: Hines took another kick back for a touchdown in the second half.
He's not a kick returner by trade -- Hines had just 13 kick returns in his career prior to joining Buffalo -- but the Bills had a need at returner and put one of their most explosive runners in the right spot at the right time. Rising to the occasion in a key moment like Sunday was enough to convince me he's deserving of this spot.