2022 NFL schedule: Analysis and a bold prediction for all 32 teams

NFL

The 2022 NFL schedule was launched on Thursday.

Can quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams repeat as champs?

Stafford and the Rams will kick off the NFL season Thursday, Sept. 8, by internet hosting the Buffalo Bills. ESPN’s Monday Night time Soccer opener is Sept. 12 and can function Russell Wilson‘s debut with the Denver Broncos internet hosting his former workforce, the Seattle Seahawks.

Primarily based on power of schedule — which is decided by opponents’ information in 2021 — the Rams have the hardest schedule of the 2022 season and the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Commanders tie for the best.

The NFL expanded to 17 regular-season video games final season. The ultimate regular-season video games for the 2022 season can be performed Jan. 8, 2023. The playoffs start Jan. 14, 2023, and proceed via Tremendous Bowl LVII on Feb. 12, 2023, in Glendale, Arizona.

This is a daring prediction for each workforce following the schedule launch. Click on on the hyperlinks to see the complete schedule and extra evaluation.

AFC EAST

The Payments profitable the AFC East for a 3rd straight yr just isn’t a daring prediction. That is a development. As an alternative, look to the powerful begin of the season. The primary seven video games function 5 playoff groups from final yr and the Ravens and Dolphins on the highway. No simple feat, however Buffalo will get via that stretch going not less than 5-2 which units up effectively for the remainder of the slate. Read more from Alaina Getzenberg


The Dolphins will begin the season 8-2 via their first 10 video games. That aforementioned stretch to begin the season can be troublesome nevertheless it’s additionally affected by winnable video games. If coach Josh McDaniel’s system works and Miami clicks early, it will possibly begin the season on a scorching scorching observe. Read more from Marcel Louis-Jacques


The Patriots might want to beat the Payments within the regular-season finale to safe a playoff berth, and it is going to be intriguing to see the way it unfolds if Buffalo has already solidified its personal playoff seeding. The Patriots’ 2021 season led to embarrassing vogue at Buffalo in a 47-17 playoff loss, and on this state of affairs, they might have an opportunity to jot down a special story a yr later. Read more from Mike Reiss


The Jets will end 7-10, not ok to be a severe contender, however vital enchancment from final season. Quarterback Zach Wilson will battle out of the gate towards the completely different defensive kinds of the AFC North, however he’ll discover his footing over the second half of the season when the schedule softens. Read more from Rich Cimini

AFC NORTH

The Ravens win the AFC North to grow to be the NFL’s newest workforce to go from final place to first. This has occurred in 17 of the previous 19 seasons, and the Ravens are in an awesome place to proceed this development. Baltimore will get again six starters who suffered season-ending accidents final yr, together with a wholesome and motivated Lamar Jackson, who’s taking part in on the fifth-year possibility of his rookie deal. That is a significant increase to a Ravens workforce that misplaced 5 video games by three factors or fewer final season, together with a one-point defeat to the eventual Tremendous Bowl champion Rams. Read more from Jamison Hensley


It is troublesome to forecast Cleveland’s season with out figuring out whether or not quarterback Deshaun Watson can be suspended. But when he is not, the Browns win their first division title since 1989. Read more from Jake Trotter


The Steelers can have three wins on the bye week. Not solely are the primary 5 video games powerful, however each recreation earlier than the bye can be troublesome for a brand new quarterback to navigate. The Steelers have a stout protection, however they will be dealing with the formidable offenses of Tampa Bay, Buffalo, Miami and Cincinnati. The Browns, Patriots and Eagles aren’t a stroll within the park, both. Read more from Brooke Pryor

AFC SOUTH

The Texans will enter their Week 6 bye at 2-3. Houston has three of these 5 video games on the highway however may win on the Chicago Bears and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Read more from Sarah Barshop


The Colts will get their first victory over New England coach Invoice Belichick at Gillette Stadium for the primary time since 2006 in Week 9. The Colts have misplaced six straight to the Patriots at their house stadium by a median of 19.6 factors a recreation in that span. Read more from Mike Wells


The Jaguars, who’ve gained 4 video games the previous two seasons mixed, will finish two lengthy dropping streaks by beating Washington on the highway within the season opener. They’ve misplaced 17 consecutive highway video games courting again to a victory in Oakland on Dec. 15, 2019, and 16 consecutive video games towards NFC groups courting again to beating the Giants within the 2018 season opener. Read more from Michael DiRocco


Robust matchups with the Eagles on the highway and at Nissan Stadium towards the Dallas Cowboys may damage their probabilities. However the Titans will sweep the NFC East although the Washington Commanders and New York Giants have made slight enhancements from final season. Read more from Turron Davenport

AFC WEST

The Chiefs will go 5-1 in AFC West video games. They will break up with the Chargers — every workforce profitable on its house area — however will sweep the Broncos — making it 15 straight wins within the sequence — and the Raiders. Read more from Adam Teicher


Quarterback Derek Carr silences his haters — actual and imagined. Buoyed by the presence of receiver Davante Adams, Carr performs just like the elder statesman he’s amongst AFC West quarterbacks and excels in coach Josh McDaniels’ system to hold the Raiders to a second straight playoff look. Carr beats Kansas Metropolis within the flexed-to-prime-time finale and, for the primary time since 2015, a workforce apart from the Chiefs wins the AFC West. Hey, you wished daring. Read more from Paul Gutierrez


The Chargers open up 2-0, get a giant soar on the remainder of the AFC West and at last reside as much as preseason expectations by ending the Chiefs’ six-year reign as division champs. Read more from Paul Gutierrez

NFC EAST

The Cowboys break the NFC East jinx and win the division in back-to-back years. The final time the identical workforce gained the NFC East in consecutive years was when Philadelphia did it in 2003-04. The Cowboys haven’t gone to the playoffs in back-to-back years since 2006-07. Read more from Todd Archer


The Giants will win twice as many video games after the bye as earlier than their break in Week 9. In order that’s two wins of their first eight video games and 4 of their remaining 9. It is a byproduct of the powerful early schedule, the better post-bye matchups (starting with house contests towards the Houston Texans and Detroit Lions) and the time it takes to get acclimated to a brand new teaching employees. Read more from Jordan Raanan


Washington wins 10 video games and makes the playoffs. The Commanders bolstered their offense with Wentz and first-round receiver Jahan Dotson. Defensively, this can matter: In 2021, they confronted six quarterbacks who completed within the prime 10 in complete QBR and 9 of the highest 14. This season they face two who have been within the prime 10 and solely 5 within the prime 14. Read more from John Keim

NFC NORTH

Chicago will avenge its 2021 loss to San Francisco by beating the 49ers of their season opener. Read more from Courtney Cronin


Detroit will win not less than seven video games. Though the Lions have been 3-13-1 final season, anybody who watched them intently is aware of they have been aggressive. If the Lions play as arduous as they did for coach Dan Campbell throughout his first season — and might keep wholesome — they may get not less than seven wins for the primary time since 2017, once they went 9-7. For Detroit, that will be a victory as they proceed to construct a basis for the longer term. Read more from Eric Woodyard


The Packers will not match coach Matt LaFleur’s win totals in every of his first three seasons; they are going to exceed it. The NFC North is rebuilding, whereas the video games towards the 2 New York groups, Philly and Washington should not be too powerful. That is already 10 wins. All they need to do is go 4-3 of their remaining video games. Read more from Rob Demovsky


The Vikings are making the playoffs in coach Kevin O’Connell’s first season. They will not beat out the Packers for the NFC North title, however O’Connell has inherited a gifted offense and can carry with him a scheme that helped win Tremendous Bowl LVI when he was Rams offensive coordinator. Read more from Kevin Seifert

NFC SOUTH

Falcons coach Arthur Smith will as soon as once more present he can get probably the most out of a roster, however the Falcons will battle towards this schedule. Rookie Desmond Ridder will begin a number of video games this season with Atlanta ending with a top-five choose within the 2023 NFL draft. Read more from Michael Rothstein


Sam Darnold can be changed because the beginning quarterback after a 1-4 begin, giving method to rookie Matt Corral earlier than an Oct. 16 journey to Los Angeles to face the defending Tremendous Bowl champion Rams. The way in which to have a look at it: no strain, since Corral and Carolina will not be anticipated to win. Read more from David Newton


The Saints will begin 3-1. They usually’ll end 3-1 down the stretch — profiting from a uncommon December bye to heal up and peak on the proper time whereas incomes their means again into the playoffs. Read more from Mike Triplett


Quarterback Tom Brady‘s by no means began the primary 4 video games of the common season under .500 (he is began out 2-2 seven instances in his profession). Might that change in 2022 in what could also be his farewell tour? If there’s a silver lining available in that brutal opening stretch, it is that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has traditionally struggled within the state of Florida and will not have star wideout Davante Adams after he was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders within the offseason. Read more from Jenna Laine

NFC WEST

A yr after the Cardinals gained 11 video games and went to the playoffs, they will not win greater than seven and can miss the postseason. Read more from Josh Weinfuss


The Rams win not less than 5 of their first six video games. 4 of that stretch are at house and two are towards the Falcons and Panthers. Read more from Sarah Barshop


That 49ers put up one of the best report in NFC West division video games, going 5-1 and sweeping Arizona and Seattle. Assume that is not daring? Contemplating the Niners are 5-15 mixed towards the Seahawks and Cardinals since coach Kyle Shanahan took over in 2017, it could be a giant step ahead towards their divisional counterparts. That sort of efficiency within the division would go a great distance towards a return to the playoffs however you will need to pay further for that sort of prediction right here. Read more from Nick Wagoner

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