Our NFL consultants predict how the 2022 season will unfold
The 2022 NFL season is about to kickoff however why not predict the way it all ends. Our NFL consultants share their picks for the largest shock group, disappointment, MVP and Tremendous Bowl.
NFL energy rankings getting into 2022 common season (previous rank in parentheses):
1. Rams (1): Fairly uncommon to see reigning Tremendous Bowl champs open as underdogs at residence. But when there’s extra chunk than bark in QB Matthew Stafford’s elbow, LA has a stable likelihood to be the primary group to repeat for the reason that 2004 Patriots.
2. Payments (2): A franchise that prides itself on a tradition allegedly cultivated with nice care one way or the other allowed that status to be undermined by a rookie punter. TBD if there are lasting repercussions for a group many imagine to be on a Tremendous Bowl arc.
3. Bengals (3): The final time a group returned to the Tremendous Bowl the 12 months after shedding it? New England in 2018, and the Pats received. Piece of cake, Joey B.
4. Packers (4): Per coach Matt LaFleur, RBs Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon are, “1A and 1A … they’ll do something.” Two huge causes, together with an underappreciated protection, that Aaron Rodgers and Co. shall be high-quality with out WR Davante Adams. Perhaps even Lombardi high-quality.
5. Buccaneers (7): Former HC Bruce Arians lately advised Heavy.com that this Tampa Bay version boasts, “essentially the most gifted roster we’ve had.” Then certainly they’re going to be Lombardi high-quality, whatever the revamped inside O-line defending statuary Tom Brady?
6. Chiefs (5): Fairly clearly Lombardi high-quality, even after their divorce from game-breaking WR Tyreek Hill. In any case, Okay.C. has already issued jersey No. 10, previously worn by Hill, to rookie RB Isiah Pacheco – and his explosive potential was the speak of coaching camp.
7. Ravens (6): Attention-grabbing schedule quirk, Baltimore’s first 4 video games coming in opposition to the whole lot of the AFC East. Perhaps that is why QB Lamar Jackson does not need to discuss a contract after Week 1 … although perhaps he ought to given he’ll face the Jets and 2021’s worst protection within the opener.
8. Chargers (8): QB Justin Herbert’s trajectory suggests he’ll be a top-three MVP candidate by season’s finish. The Bolts’ historical past of snakebites makes one fear if he’ll be on injured reserve by Week 3.
9. Eagles (9): The league’s No. 1 speeding group in 2021 did not have one 1,000-yard receiver. Former Titans WR A.J. Brown may make the largest influence of any participant to modify groups in 2022.
10. 49ers (11): Sensible decision – for now – of Jimmy Garoppolo’s situation given league’s greatest QB2 is a golden insurance coverage coverage behind Trey Lance … and now a way more fiscally enticing fallback elsewhere proper as much as November’s commerce deadline.
NFL 2022 SEASON PREDICTIONS: Super Bowl 57, playoffs, MVP and other awards
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11. Colts (10): Your fantasy draft might be over … but when rookie WR Alec Pierce slipped into your league’s free-agent pool, think about making a declare.
12. Saints (13): Talking of scheduling quirks, very odd nowadays for a group to open its marketing campaign with back-to-back-to-back divisional matchups. However New Orleans does, together with a Week 2 alternative to pillage the Bucs (once more) on the Superdome, and may make a really early case that reclamation of the NFC South throne is coming.
13. Patriots (12): After going 2-7 in his final 9 video games at Onerous Rock Stadium, Invoice Belichick determined to take his group right down to Miami 5 days forward of Sunday’s opener. Good time to invoke that previous quote, allegedly from Albert Einstein: “The definition of madness is doing the identical factor again and again and anticipating totally different outcomes.” Method to swap issues up, BB.
14. Raiders (14): Assuming none of their trio of 2019 first-rounders are re-signed after this season – fifth-year choices for DE Clelin Ferrell, RB Josh Jacobs and S Johnathan Abram have already been declined – this membership will not have one participant former GM Mike Mayock took in Spherical 1 on the roster in 2023.
15. Cowboys (15): If it appeared like they may be catching the Bucs on the proper time in Week 1 – Tampa breaking in three new starters on the O-line – welp, now it seems Dallas has a 60% turnover up entrance itself following the hamstring harm that will keep LT Tyron Smith out for months.
16. Dolphins (16): A group that quietly had 48 sacks final season ought to rack them up once more with Emmanuel Ogbah, Jaelan Phillips, Trey Flowers and Melvin Ingram forming the heart of what must be a scary move rush.
17. Vikings (17): In the meantime, up in Minnesota, the Vikes paced the NFC with 51 sacks in 2021 though present beginning OLBs Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith (a Packer last year) mixed for simply six. If that duo is wholesome, look out.
18. Broncos (18): They hope to be the third group in three seasons to win the Tremendous Bowl after bringing in a star quarterback in the course of the previous offseason … however nah.
19. Cardinals (22): They hope to be the third group in three seasons to win the Tremendous Bowl on their residence area … however nah.
20. Steelers (19): Job’s yours Mitch Trubisky … get pleasure from dealing with 5 playoff groups earlier than Halloween in your bid to carry off rookie Kenny Pickett.
21. Panthers (24): How quiet was the 2022 preseason? QB Baker Mayfield’s obvious want to precise revenge from Cleveland in Week 1 – “leaked” by NFL Media – certified as a saucy story.
22. Titans (20): The loss of OLB Harold Landry III to a season-ending knee injury is the newest signal Tennessee might should reboot earlier than later.
23. Lions (21): We’ve not completed “Hard Knocks” but, however nonetheless questioning … did Detroit ever give any indication it had a beginning quarterback?
24. Browns (25): Perhaps tacking on 5 video games to QB Deshaun Watson’s suspension feels inadequate to many. However given these contests are in opposition to Baltimore, Cincinnati, Miami, Buffalo and Tampa Bay, that doubtless means an 0-5 penalty for Cleveland.
25. Jaguars (27): Must be enjoyable to see former Clemson teammates Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne, who missed his rookie 12 months with a Lisfranc harm, lastly teaming up as execs.
26. Commanders (23): Even when Washington does not rake in a ton of wins this season, the primary has already been secured given rookie RB Brian Robinson escaped serious injury after getting shot in an obvious carjacking.
27. Jets (26): It is official, QB Zach Wilson is out for Week 1 as his restoration from knee surgical procedure continues. (Unofficially, who does not need to see Joe Flacco get his first crack on the Ravens anyway?)
28. Seahawks (28): QB Russell Wilson shall be in Lumen Discipline on Monday night time – simply sporting a Denver jersey. Cannot wait to see how the overcaffeinated 12s obtain Russ … and Geno Smith.
29. Giants (29): WR Kenny Golladay’s subsequent TD for Huge Blue shall be his first … among the many many points dealing with this offense.
30. Bears (30): Probably the most dramatic NFL storyline in Chicago this season might be the continued hypothesis concerning whether or not this group will wind up beneath a Soldier Discipline roof or move to the Windy City suburbs in the near future.
31. Falcons (32): Rookie QB Desmond Ridder’s preseason efficiency – and the state of this roster – recommend he might be beneath middle by Thanksgiving.
32. Texans (31): Do not count on a lot from Houston on the sector, however fairly cool to see them – HC Lovie Smith and LBs Kamu Grugier-Hill and Christian Kirksey particularly – head to Uvalde, Texas, to supply a still-grieving neighborhood some extra love.
Comply with USA TODAY Sports activities’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.