The 2022 NFL season kicks off on Thursday, September 8th, as the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Los Angeles Rams, take on the Buffalo Bills at the SoFi Stadium, in Inglewood, California.
After an explosive off-season that saw Tom Brady retire and then change his mind, Bob Roethlisberger definitely retire, and Aaron Rodgers decide to stay with Green Bay, it promises to be yet another thrilling year of football.
With every team shuffling their packs and the season getting closer, which teams have a chance of going all the way to Arizona, and the State Farm Stadium for Super Bowl LVII.
Who’s going to the Super Bowl?
Every season throws up a surprise package and a team that no one thought had a chance goes and outperforms expectations.
The Philadelphia Eagles surprised everyone by turning around a 4–11–1 record to make the play-offs in their first season under head coach Nick Sirianni. More impressively, they did it without the services of QB Carson Wentz who was traded to the Colts. So, here’s our round up of the teams whose NFL lines you need to check out.
The Bills are going to be the team to beat and the reigning champions had a good draft, taking first-round pick Kaiir Elam, while second-round pick James Cook comes in to add some extra power to the running backs, while wide receiver Jamison Crowder comes in to create a nicely balanced roster that looks like it has all the tools to repeat last year’s victory.
With 26-year-old QB Josh Allen only going to get better, the big concern when it comes to the Bills is, can they put last year’s defeat behind them and go one better? Four final appearances and still no Super Bowl championship to their name is a weight that hangs around their necks. Can Buffalo finally break their curse and lift the Vince Lombardi trophy?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The good news for the Buccaneers is that Tom Brady will be lining up for them once more come the start of the season, after reversing his retirement decision. The bad news is that the team is more than $50 million over next year’s salary cap, so it’s now or never for the Buc’s.
Most of their key players have been retained however, and Logan Hall and Luke Goedeke are among the replacements brought in to replace those who have gone, meaning Tampa still have one of the best rosters out there and remain a threat. With Brady’s retirement looking likely at the end of the season, are we going to see Super Bowl number 8 for the best QB of all time?
Los Angeles Rams
The reigning Super Bowl champions are going to be a threat once again this season even though they became only the second ever team since 2009, to not make a selection in the first 100 draft picks.
They have lost some key players on the fringes of their roster, but Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and more importantly, Cooper Kupp, are all fit and raring to go. The experienced Matthew Stafford will be a key factor and there’s no doubt coach Sean McVay will not let his team’s standards drop just because they’ve got a Super Bowl ring on their fingers.
Perhaps the biggest threat to the Rams this year is the curse of the non-repeat. Only seven teams have ever won back-to-back Super Bowl championships, and the only franchise to reach more than three straight title games was Buffalo, losing four straight Super Bowls between 1990 and 1993.
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas used their two first-round draft picks to fill holes on defense with Trent McDuffie and George Karlaftis, while round two saw them address wideout with Skyy Moore. Marques Valdes-Scantling and JuJu Smith-Schuster as the two other additions hoping to replace the skills of wide Receiver Tyreek Mill, who left for Miami.
Last season the Chiefs started badly, losing 4 of their first 7, before rallying to a 12-5 record. If it hadn’t been for a narrow overtime defeat in the AFC championship to the Bengals, few would have been surprised to see them repeat their 2019 Super Bowl victory.
Any team with Patrick Mahomes in it has a chance to go all the way, and if Kansas can start well, expect them to mount a serious challenge.
Los Angeles Chargers
Zion Johnson, J T Woods and Isaiah Spiller were all drafted and free agency saw improvements to their defense with Khalil Mack, J. C. Jackson and Sebastian Joseph-Day. Re-signing receiver Mike Williams was also huge.
Are the Chargers the winners of the off-season? Results will tell. But second-year quarterback Justin Herbert is one of the best young players in the NFL and expectations for a super bowl run have never been higher. Inspired by the success of the Rams, don’t be surprised to see the Chargers in the mix post-season.
No matter what happens, one thing is guaranteed, the 2022-2023 NFL season is going to be bigger and better than ever.