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Week 1 predictions for the 2022 NFL season

New York Jets v Kansas City Chiefs
New York Jets v Kansas City Chiefs

It's been a very long offseason, but at long last the NFL season is finally here. Yes, it's still over a week away, but it's here. After months of preparation, pondering, rumors and speculation, it's time to see what every team is made of. What looks good on paper doesn't always translate to the field of play, all that glitters isn't gold. It's time to look at the opening week of the season. Here are the predictions for Week 1 of the 2022 NFL regular season:

Buffalo Bills @ Los Angeles Rams

Los Angeles Rams v Buffalo Bills
Los Angeles Rams v Buffalo Bills

The 2022 NFL season is set to kick-off on Thursday, September 8. The Buffalo Bills travel across the country to take on defending Super Bowl champions the Los Angeles Rams. It should be a great start to the season, as the Bills are the popular favorites to win the AFC, and many people predict the Rams will repeat in the NFC.

The Rams will find it hard to repeat because it would be impossible to sneak up on anybody and every week they will have a target on their back. The NFL has not had repeat champions since the New England Patriots won it all back in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

Prediction: Buffalo Bills 27:24 Los Angeles Rams

Philadelphia Eagles @ Detroit Lions

Philadelphia Eagles v Detroit Lions
Philadelphia Eagles v Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions only won three games last NFL season, but a lot of those were of the last-minute, heart-breaking variety. Still, one has to wonder if losing is just embedded into the Lions mindset and they will always, somehow, find a way to lose. Nothing will change until they reverse that trend and prove they can win. The Philadelphia Eagles are a dark horse in the upcoming NFL campaign and after a very good offseason, will probably have too much for the Lions.

Prediction: Philadelphia Eagles 30:28 Detroit Lions

San Francisco 49ers @ Chicago Bears

San Francisco 49ers v Chicago Bears
San Francisco 49ers v Chicago Bears

This is a match-up between two next-generation quarterbacks in Trey Lance and Justin Fields. The San Francisco 49ers have some question marks, but they are certainly better than the Chicago Bears. Fields has too much on his shoulders in his sophomore campaign and the Bears seem to have done the minimum to help him in this NFL campaign. Even if Lance has a rocky start to the game, Chicago just don't look good on offense. It could be that everyone underestimates the Bears, but then again, maybe not.

Prediction: San Francisco 49ers 24:10 Chicago Bears

"We have a lot of hidden pieces in our offense that a lot of people underestimate so that's fine with us being underestimated." - Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields told @CourtneyRCronin on ESPN

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals' Super Bowl run was a surprise last NFL season, but quarterback Joe Burrow has shown that he's a star. The Pittsburgh Steelers are turning to Mitch Trubisky to replace long-time quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers have the least money invested in offense in the entire NFL and the Bengals are an offensive powerhouse. If Pittsburgh can't move the ball, this will get out of control early, just as it did last season.

Prediction: Cincinnati Bengals 28:10 Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh #Steelers had ten drops against the Cincinnati #Bengals, including three in a row on their final possession. #SteelersNation #HereWeGo #Touchdown #NFL #Football https://t.co/EHHzFOwCIs

New England Patriots @ Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins

Seasons may change, players may change, but one thing remains consistent - the New England Patriots always struggle in Miami. They haven't won in their last two visits to the Miami Dolphins and may struggle against the explosive offense that Miami have put together.

Prediction: Miami Dolphins 21:17 New England Patriots

Cleveland Browns @Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns v Carolina Panthers
Cleveland Browns v Carolina Panthers

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey isn't hurt yet, so I'm going to back the Panthers in this revenge game for Baker Mayfield. Mayfield will know the Cleveland Browns' weaknesses, having spent the last four NFL campaigns with them. He has the motivation and the ability to punish them, though it will be close. The Browns won't be helped by the constant offseason distractions and upheavals caused by Deshaun Watson.

Prediction: Carolina Panthers 23:21 Cleveland Browns

Baker Mayfield getting comfortable in Carolina 🤩 (via @NFL)https://t.co/fQTPKDsHe9

Indianapolis Colts @ Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts v Houston Texans

The Indianapolis Colts have a great offensive line, a great running back and a rising star at wide receiver. They will show what they can do with veteran Matt Ryan leading the team, who is certainly an upgrade over Carson Wentz. The Houston Texans on the other hand, had a quiet offseason and no one seems to be expecting much from them. They're either going to surprise everyone or lose a lot of games.

Prediction: Indianapolis Colts 37:17 Houston Texans

New Orleans Saints @ Atlanta Falcons

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons
New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons

These games are always close and entertaining when these two teams match up. I admit, I flipped a coin. The New Orleans Saints get the nod mainly because they swept the NFC South last year and have many big names returning from injury. The Atlanta Falcons are a bit of a mystery coming into this NFL campaign.

Prediction: New Orleans Saints 34:30 Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens @ New York Jets

New York Jets v Baltimore Ravens
New York Jets v Baltimore Ravens

New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson has not been officially ruled out for Week 1 yet, but all signs suggest that he will not play. That means quarterback Joe Flacco will get to face his old team and it won't be a happy reunion for him.

The Baltimore Ravens are fully healthy, fully loaded and determined to prove to the NFL world that they mean business. This could get messy and be over fairly early.

Jets’ QB Zach Wilson has a bone bruise and a meniscus tear and is expected to miss 2-4 weeks, as @BrianCoz also reported. Wilson will undergo arthroscopic surgery to address and correct the injury. Jets consider it fortunate news.

Prediction: Baltimore Ravens 27:10 New York Jets

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Washington Commanders

Washington Redskins v Jacksonville Jaguars
Washington Redskins v Jacksonville Jaguars

A very difficult game to predict. The Washington Commanders have Carson Wentz under center, which could be good or could be bad, who knows? The Jacksonville Jaguars are under new management with head coach Doug Pederson and will doubtless be a much meaner outfit than last season. They are not looking for three consecutive first-overall NFL draft selections. In a game where anything can happen, the likelihood is that defenses will stand tall. Jacksonville probably has the more talented offense and can put together a game-winning drive.

Prediction: Jacksonville Jaguars 17:14 Washington Commanders

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers

It'll be interesting to see how Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers manages without Davante Adams. He'll still put up MVP numbers and the Packers are still better than the Vikings. Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, is one of the best in the NFL. As is their entire offense. This looks to be a real grind of high-powered run games, mixed with some flamoyant catches and missed field goals.

The NFL top 100 list ranked Justin Jefferson too low vikingswire.usatoday.com/2022/08/28/jus…

Prediction: Green Bay Packers 20:17 Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants @ Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans v New York Giants
Tennessee Titans v New York Giants

The New York Giants have a lot to prove, but this isn't the game they prove it. This game looks to be a big mismatch. Derrick Henry is back for the Tennessee Titans and this could be a masterclass in how to run the football. The Giants have their own running game which could be on full display, but if the Titans take an early lead this will turn into a demoralizing 60-minute grind.

Prediction: Tennessee Titans 30:10 New York Giants

Las Vegas Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders
Los Angeles Chargers v Las Vegas Raiders

The Bills and Rams may be the best game of Week 1, but this should be the best game on Sunday. These two teams seem evenly matched. Two division rivals that don't like each other. Absolutely anything can happen. Any result is possible with two high-flying offenses and tough defenses. What more do you want? Primetime, perhaps? This will likely come down to the last two minutes and game management. The Los Angeles Chargers will take the win, though the Las Vegas Raiders will push them the entire way.

Prediction: Los Angeles Chargers 28:27 Las Vegas Raiders

Kansas City Chiefs @ Arizona Cardinals

Kansas City Chiefs v Arizona Cardinals
Kansas City Chiefs v Arizona Cardinals

How will the Kansas City Chiefs function without star wide receiver Tyreek Hill? They will be fine as long as they still have quarterback Patrick Mahomes and coach Andy Reid. The Arizona Cardinals start every season well and finish badly, perhaps they will reverse that trend in the 2022 NFL season.

Prediction: Kansas City Chiefs 30:20 Arizona Cardinals

Tampa Bay Bucanneers @ Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dallas Cowboys v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Father Time will catch up with Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady someday. But this will not be the day. The Dallas Cowboys are talented and will come close in this one, but they don't have the nous of the Buccaneers. Game management could be the deciding factor.

Prediction: Tampa Bay Bucanneers 27:24 Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks

Denver Broncos v Seattle Seahawks
Denver Broncos v Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson gets to face the Seattle Seahawks in his first NFL fixture since leaving the franchise. He should get a good reception after leading the Seahawks to two Super Bowl appearances. The Denver Broncos look good on paper this season, something that can't be said about the Seahawks. Though you can never tell, it would be bold and brave to pick Seattle here.

Prediction: Denver Broncos 24:10 Seattle Seahawks

Poll : Who do you think is going to win the season opener?

Buffalo Bills

Los Angeles Rams

64 votes

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Edited by John Maxwell
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