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NFL schedule release winners, losers: Who got toughest breaks on 2022 slate?

NFL schedule release winners, losers: Who got toughest breaks on 2022 slate?

The highly effective AFC West is an enormous winner for the 2022 season, with 19 appearances in prime-time video games. However the Seahawks and Santa Claus land among the many losers.


Dropping its annual regular-season schedule is the most recent facet of the NFL calendar that the league has managed to show into an occasion – together with 5 hours of reside programming on NFL Community and a two-hour present on ESPN2 (competing instantly in opposition to an NBA playoff doubleheader on ESPN). All of it follows a week-plus when parts of the slate have been steadily leaked while team social media departments geared up for a day when so many shine.

Given all the hassle invested – to roll out a schedule of all issues – it is solely becoming that we reply in variety by anointing the winners and declaring the losers of this yr’s large reveal:


The opener: What a three-game stretch of house video games at SoFi Stadium for the Los Angeles Rams. First, a win within the NFC championship recreation over the 49ers, adopted by that Tremendous Bowl 56 triumph in opposition to the Bengals. Subsequent? Fairly presumably a Tremendous Bowl 57 preview in opposition to the Buffalo Payments on Thursday, Sept. 8, because the NFL begins its 103rd season. Positively must-see TV on NBC.

AFC West: The NFL’s new energy division will make 19 appearances in prime-time video games, second most for one division in any season within the Tremendous Bowl period (since 1966).

Civic pleasure: For the primary time, the Rams and Chargers will meet in a regular-season tilt at SoFi, their shared venue. It can even be on NBC, a Sunday evening affair on Jan. 1 with the Bolts serving as the house workforce. Cannot wait to see who’s working Tinseltown by the tip of Week 17. However that is not all. In different uncommon inter-state showdowns, the Steelers will play at Philadelphia on Oct. 30, and the Cowboys will host the Texans on Dec. 11.

MIKE JONES: 10 of the most intriguing matchups of the 2022 season

THE BEST GAME: For every week of the 2022 NFL regular season

2022 SCHEDULE: All 18 weeks and 272 games

Browns: We’re nonetheless ready to study if (and the way lengthy) Cleveland QB Deshaun Watson might be suspended. Nonetheless, his new workforce seems set as much as climate the early portion of the season with the Panthers, Jets and Falcons – all non-playoff groups in 2021 and decisively so – among the many Browns’ first 4 opponents. Even with the archrival Steelers visiting for a Thursday evening date on Sept. 22, it appears Cleveland has an excellent probability to a minimum of break even by means of 4 weeks.

Mike North: The NFL vice chairman of broadcasting, who drives the very advanced development of the 272-game schedule just about from the second the Tremendous Bowl ends – with loads of work devoted even earlier than that – will lastly get some sleep … however not earlier than my mom and godmother – individually – instructed me to look at a CBS Mornings feature detailing how North and Co. make the sausage. I have not watched it but, however I’ve checked in with Mike, who’s already taught me quite a bit about what goes right into a surprisingly arduous course of.

Who dey vs. Who dat: Bengals-Saints, Oct. 16 in New Orleans. Let’s settle this.

Seahawks’ frequent flier miles: Nicely, the gamers do not actually get miles for going to work. But when they did … Seattle’s roster can be racking them up, set to journey 29,446 miles and cross 34 time zones, per’s Invoice Speros. (Conversely, barring a postseason journey out west, the Pittsburgh Steelers will not go away the Jap time zone this season.)

Seahawks’ social media division: Merciless – however humorous – to punk your players with a faux schedule.

Seahawks enjoying in Germany: Sticking with the Seattle theme, the primary regular-season contest staged in Deutschland will happen Nov. 13 between the ‘Hawks and Buccaneers. Munich’s latitude and climate is fairly similar to Seattle’s. Benefit: Seahawks.

Troy Aikman and Joe Buck: ESPN’s new “Monday Night time Soccer” broadcast duo arrives simply in time for a historic season for the Worldwide Chief. Aikman and Buck will debut for his or her new employer with a showcase Week 1 recreation as Russell Wilson returns to Seattle, the place he performed for a decade, to make his Broncos debut in opposition to the Seahawks. Buck and Aikman will name the majority of ESPN’s 23-game menu – a file quantity for the community, which features a wild-card recreation and the Professional Bowl. The MNF rundown will embody all eight division champions from 2021, all 14 of final season’s playoff golf equipment, a Week 2 doubleheader cut up with ABC and each league MVP going again to the 2016 marketing campaign. Among the many choicest matchups: Rams-49ers on Oct. 3 in that NFC title recreation rematch, Saints-Buccaneers on Dec. 5 and Rams-Packers on Dec. 19.

Lambeau Area trustworthy: In the event you’re a Packers season ticketholder, you are in for fairly a deal with with the Patriots, Cowboys, Rams, Titans and even new-look Jets headed to Wisconsin this season as a part of Inexperienced Bay’s non-divisional schedule. Dealing with LA will mark the thirtieth consecutive season the Pack will seem on “Monday Night time Soccer.”


Lambeau Area trustworthy: In the event you’re a Packers season ticketholder, you are slightly bit bummed since – for the primary time – your workforce will play a recreation in London and on the expense of a house date. Worse, it is the New York Giants, a historic rival of the Pack, who will not be making the pilgrimage to Inexperienced Bay in 2022.

Troy Aikman and Joe Buck: Nonetheless unsure you guys can efficiently go toe-to-toe with the ManningCast, Peyton and Eli scheduled to shoot the (bleep) for 10 video games this season as an “MNF” various.

Seahawks enjoying in Germany: The primary regular-season contest staged in Deutschland will happen Nov. 13 between the ‘Hawks and Buccaneers. The time distinction between Munich and Seattle is 9 hours. Benefit: Bucs.

NBA: Such is trendy life for “The Affiliation.” First, that ESPN viewers for a pair of convention semifinal Sport 6s (Warmth-76ers and Suns-Mavericks) was a minimum of partially cannibalized by the NFL’s schedule launch … which arrived with a Christmas Day tripleheader, traditionally a day the NBA has tried to personal. Good luck with that this yr, hoopers: Aaron Rodgers’ Packers (vs. Dolphins), Wilson’s annual go to to LA to play the Rams – although this time because the Broncos’ QB1 – and a Christmas Night time current of Tom Brady’s Buccaneers headed to the desert to face Kyler Murray and the Cardinals means a trio of treats positive to relegate the NBA to stocking stuffer standing.

Santa Claus: Three video games on Christmas? How is Saint Nick alleged to publish for greater than 10 hours of soccer after flying everywhere in the world the earlier evening? Fairly merciless, Goodell – particularly that 1 p.m. ET kickoff with the North Pole’s official workforce, the Packers, enjoying at Miami.

Chiefs: Kansas Metropolis’s first eight video games are in opposition to groups that had successful data in 2021. Oof.

Buccaneers, Colts, Patriots: The playoff aspirants all open with consecutive street video games – although, fortunately for them, North ensures no workforce kicks off its season with three straight roadies. Nonetheless, not essentially best … even when it is price noting TB12 has by no means began a season 0-2. 

Non-cord cutters: If you have not accepted streaming … welp. Prime Video has turn out to be the unique area of the league’s Thursday evening package deal – a 15-game haul – and ESPN+ will carry the Broncos-Jaguars recreation in London on Oct. 30. If you have not embraced the longer term but – or refuse to subscribe for each streaming service on the market – be ready to overlook a great chunk of reside soccer.


Observe USA TODAY Sports activities’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.

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