The 2022 NFL schedule is upon us, and now we march in the direction of fall. With the draft within the rear view mirror, and coaching camp forward of us, we wait to see how rosters across the league will settle earlier than the beginning of the league yr.
This yr provides us some really fascinating matchups, and these are the video games I’m circling on the calendar as can’t-miss. No matter who your favourite staff is, anybody who likes soccer ought to be ready for these.
Payments vs. Chiefs — Week 6
Hell yeah I’ll take a rematch of the AFC Divisional Playoff recreation between these two, which was certainly the very best recreation of the yr.
Whereas that recreation solely came about in January, the complexion of this matchup seems solely totally different. The Chiefs had some main retooling to do after buying and selling away Tyreek Hill, whereas the Payments are kind of the identical staff that pushed Kansas Metropolis to the restrict earlier this yr.
This may very well be a severe litmus check within the AFC to see if the Payments are able to win all of it and head to the Tremendous Bowl, or whether or not they’re nonetheless struggling to recover from that hump.
Dolphins vs. 49ers — Week 13
I’m a sucker for matchups between coaches, and no recreation this yr will probably be as fascinating from a coach vs. coach perspective than this one. You might have Kyle Shanahan main the 49ers, now with Trey Lance on the helm — taking up his protege in Mike McDaniel, getting into his first yr as Dolphins head coach.
These two have spent years collectively. They know one another intently. McDaniel orchestrated San Francisco’s offense, and is aware of each participant on that staff, whereas Shanahan understands McDaniel’s tendencies. It’s going to be fascinating to see how the Dolphins look, how the Niners play with Lance main them, and watch the jousting match between the 2 coaches.
Browns vs. Texans — Week 13
This one wants no rationalization, however naturally it’s all about Deshaun Watson. The Browns are satisfied that Watson will get them over the hump and into the Tremendous Bowl, whereas the Texans are rebuilding.
That mentioned, Houston might need been dangerous in 2021, however they have been extra aggressive that individuals anticipated. There’s each likelihood they might take an enormous step ahead in 2022, particularly if Davis Mills finally ends up being what the staff hopes he might be.
In the meantime, assuming Watson isn’t suspended by the NFL, this recreation is a litmus check for Cleveland’s possibilities to make a run. They’ll wish to win, and win large.
Bengals vs. Buccaneers — Week 15
I just like the age matchup right here, not dissimilar to the Tremendous Bowl between the Bengals and Rams. I do know Cincinnati’s look within the large recreation was seen as an outlier, however I believe it may grow to be a staple of this franchise because it strikes ahead.
This recreation will take strides to deciding that. If the younger Bengals can grasp with Tom Brady and the Bucs it would go a protracted option to make folks imagine they’re right here to remain.
Chiefs vs. Broncos — Week 14
The strain is on Russell Wilson to show he can get Denver to the purpose it may grasp with the AFC West’s greatest. It’s unfair to have the expectation that the Broncos can win the division instantly and make a deep playoff run, in any case Peyton Manning misplaced early within the playoffs throughout his first season in Denver.
Nevertheless, there’s the assumption, not less than from followers, that this staff was a top-tier quarterback away, not simply from a playoff run, however difficult for the AFC Championship. None of that occurs with out getting by means of the Chiefs, and will probably be on Wilson to show he’s the distinction maker the staff believed him to be once they made their large commerce.
Rams vs. Chiefs — Week 12
These two groups are the measuring stick by which their respective divisions are measured — even now. Each are thought of Tremendous Bowl contenders, and we’ll get a terrific sense of the place the facility lies within the NFL when these groups meet.
Moreover, the relative power of this matchup holds significance for different groups within the NFC and AFC. How every of those groups seems may assist us work out whether or not the facility nonetheless lies in these groups, or if its shifted to the Payments, Buccaneers, or one other staff we’re not anticipating.