Five takeaways from the NFL’s schedule release

Five takeaways from the NFL’s schedule release

Kudos to the NFL. It sure knows how to sell its product. Not only did the league turn the combine and draft into a massive spectacle, but they also managed to make the release of the full schedule a major event.

Opponents and locations have been known for months. Leaks confirming data trickled in all morning. Still, the NFL was able to turn its release of the prime-time schedule into a lively, anticipated event. The entire production was a great asset to the content (like this blog post you’re reading right now), the NFL and the team’s social media managers did their best ambitious (and impressive) swings and the networks that broadcast games:

Everyone wins—except for the sports fan whose appetite doesn’t sate basketball, hockey, soccer, or baseball. Those ravenous fans will have to wait until September 8, when the defending champion Rams hosts betting favorites Bills to open the new season with a potential Super Bowl preview. In the meantime, here are five takeaways from the 2022 schedule release:

In week 1, prepare for awkward encounters.

One of the most important pieces of content from the NFL offseason is Danny Heifetz’s QB Commitment Index. That year, Heifetz described the Broncos’ and Russell Wilson’s pairing as “hot and heavy.” For the opening Monday night soccer As Game of the Season, Wilson and the Broncos will debut their partnership before dumped lovers the Seattle Seahawks… in Seattle! As Steven Ruiz recently detailed, the Seahawks are entering a post-Wilson rebound period that will see Drew Lock and Geno Smith battling for the starting spot. It will be strange to see Wilson on the opposite sideline from Seattle. In prime time, we’ll learn if Wilson or the Seahawks have any hard feelings.

This is a bit of a prediction, but the Browns will face the Panthers in Week 1. Cleveland is still fielding Baker Mayfield, the Carolina allegedly does not have “100 [percent] closed” the door when trading for. There’s still a chance Mayfield could be granted a preseason trade and end up with Carolina, which would lead directly to another rematch game.

There are also a few other smaller grudge matches to open the season. The Rams will be welcomed by Miller, who signed with Buffalo after winning a Super Bowl with LA last season. Commanders QB Carson Wentz also faces the Jaguars, who knocked Wentz and the Colts out of the playoffs last season.

Christmas football? Christmas football!

The NFL is once again destroying its Christmas traditions with a triple header of matchups in warm climates: The Bucs will visit the Cardinals; the packers will visit the dolphins; and the Broncos visit the Rams in a game that will air on Nickelodeon.

The NFL is effectively doing its best to overtake or join the NBA’s annual rotations Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer. Last year the Shield comfortably dominated its sporty contemporaries; Browns-Packers (28.59 million viewers) and Colts-Cardinals (12.62 million) were neck and neck ahead of the NBA’s quadruple matchups.

The Chiefs and Rams face steep climbs back to the Super Bowl.

Based on projected overall wins, the Chiefs and Rams have the toughest schedules going into 2022:

Let’s start with the Chiefs. Kansas City is a perennial favorite with Patrick Mahomes and company having achieved the AFC championship in each of the last four seasons, including two Super Bowl appearances and a championship. But with the AFC West shaping up to be the most exciting — and difficult — division in football, the Chiefs’ path has been tarnished. Add in competitions against playoff teams like the Colts, Bucs, Bills, Titans, Rams and Bengals and it’s easy to see why Kansas City’s schedule is rated as very difficult.

On paper, defending champion Rams has it just a little easier. The NFC West may not be as tough as it was a few years ago, but Los Angeles will also face the Bills (season opener), Packers, Broncos and Chargers (weeks 15-17 each). If the Rams want to repeat themselves, they have to overcome a tough regular-season table.

Germany gets the GOAT.

One of the first teams that comes to mind when thinking of the NFL in London is the Jaguars, who have won two (2) seasons since the league began in 2007. when the team played in twos hometown games in London. And while fans across the pond didn’t protest, it’s easy to argue that London-based NFL fans shouldn’t be given a double dose of a one-win team.

When the NFL first considered expanding its overseas presence into Germany, you might have thought that a low-level East Coast franchise like the Jets or Giants (sorry, y’all) would have been the choices. Instead, the NFL is sending their greatest player of all time in Tom Brady, who will lead a good Bucs roster against a decent opponent in the Seahawks.

And, Of courseWith Brady’s visit to Munich, history is at stake. The 44-year-old could become the first QB to win a game in four different countries, having previously won in the United States, Mexico and England. As if he didn’t already have enough records – on and off the field.

New broadcast crews are given ample opportunity to warm up.

This offseason, broadcast teams have seen almost as much turnover as NFL teams. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman have joined ESPN from Fox to become the new faces of Monday night soccer. Kevin Burkhardt will replace Buck as number one. 1 play-by-play vote at Fox, although it’s unclear who will join him in the dressing room. NBC has elevated Mike Tirico to the play-by-play voice of Football on Sunday night. Tirico replaces broadcast legend Al Michaels, who will now do Amazon Prime Video play-by-play alongside longtime college football voice Kirk Herbstreit.

That’s a lot of change, and it may take some time to get used to. Amazon breaks into this area as the owner of the weekly newspaper TNF Play and broadcast all 15 competitions in the league during the weekday regular season. Fans of the Giants, Vikings and Lions are the only ones who won’t need to find access to Amazon Prime at some point this season; The other 29 teams play at least one game that will be broadcast on the streaming service.

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