Watch To Watch During 2022 NFL Season

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image via NFL

With the preseason finally behind us, the 2022 NFL season is about to commence. This will be the second straight season that the league plays an 18-game regular season. As it begins, all eyes are on the Rams, who open the season on Thursday night as the reigning Super Bowl champs. But let’s check out everything else you need to know about the 2022 NFL season before it begins.

The Fascinating Five

Outside of a handful of teams expected to be duds this 2022 NFL season, most of the NFL’s teams are worth watching carefully this year. First, here are the five more fascinating teams heading into the season.

  • Broncos: Denver’s defense was one of the best in the league last year, and now the Broncos have a proven quarterback in Russell Wilson to lead a young group of playmakers.
  • Buccaneers: Tom Brady had a brief retirement but is back at age 45 to lead a team that’s just two years removed from a Super Bowl win.
  • Colts: Carson Wentz wasn’t the answer last year but will the aging Matt Ryan prove to be Indy’s answer at quarterback while giving the veteran a chance to chase another Super Bowl appearance?
  • Eagles: They got to the playoffs with Jalen Hurts last year, so can the Eagles be a Super Bowl sleeper after adding A.J. Brown to their supporting cast?
  • Packers: After winning 13 games in three consecutive seasons, Aaron Rodgers and company are once again among the favorites in the NFC. But can they put their recent playoff struggles behind them with the two-time reigning MVP leading the way?

Cleveland’s Newest Problem

There’s always some kind of trouble brewing in Cleveland, but the Browns may have outdone themselves. They ostracized Baker Mayfield, who played most of last season through a series of injuries, and then used three first-round picks to trade for Deshaun Watson. With Watson, they have a player who sat out the entire 2021 season, is the scorn of fans throughout the league because of over 20 allegations of assault, and will be suspended for the first 11 games of the season.

It’s now up to Jacoby Brissett to keep the Browns afloat for the first 11 games with the hope that Watson will somehow come back sharp for the final six games. On the surface, it looks like an equation for another disastrous season in Cleveland. Of course, the kicker is that the Browns will begin the season facing Mayfield and his new team as they travel to Carolina in Week 1 to play the Panthers.

Rookie Impact

The 2022 quarterback class looks a little underwhelming, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t intriguing rookies this year. The Jets have two on their offense with wide receiver Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall. The Falcons are also a young team to watch with wide receiver Drake London and quarterback Desmond Ridder, who impressed during the preseason and could get a chance sooner rather than later. On the defensive side of the ball, look out for George Karlaftis of the Chiefs, as he has a chance to immediately impact a Kansas City defense that could use the help.

It’s All A Little Bit of (Recent) History Repeating

Of course, the biggest question is what team will win the Super Bowl. The Rams have many of the same ingredients they had last season, including an NFC that’s not nearly as deep as the AFC, creating an easier path back to the Super Bowl. However, Brady’s Bucs and Rodgers’ Packers will have a say in that.

Elsewhere, the Bills look to be gearing up toward a championship run behind Josh Allen. But the Chiefs still have Patrick Mahomes, even if his supporting cast looks slightly different. However, Joe Burrow and the Bengals shouldn’t be forgotten, nor should the Ravens if Lamar Jackson can stay healthy. There’s also an argument that every team in the AFC West (not just the Chiefs) has Super Bowl potential, which should make for a wild and unpredictable season, especially in the AFC.