Winners and losers of the 2022 NFL schedule: Vikings, Eagles benefit while Falcons, Raiders have a tough slate

Mark your calendars, because the Complete 2022 NFL schedule has arrived. Starting from a drama filled week 1 To a full slate of special holiday matchups, each month of the 18-week recap of the regular season promises unmissable television. However, it’s safe to say that some teams are celebrating Thursday’s long-awaited announcements more than others. Let’s break down some of the clearest winners and losers from the calendar release, projecting which clubs were most helped and hurt by the order of games:

Looking to resurface in the NFC North as Aaron Rodgers and the Packers adjust to life without Davante Adams, Minnesota faces none other than A-Rod and Green Bay early on, but at least they get the home crowd behind them during the season. week. 1. The 3-6 weeks leading up to your break are more than tolerable: vs. Lions, at Saints on neutral London ground, vs. Bears, at Dolphins. And then, after a tough midseason stretch, they host the Patriots on Thanksgiving to kick off a friendly home stretch: vs. Jets after a long week, at Lions, vs. Giants, at Bears. That smells like a wild card recipe.

And you thought their list would doom them? Fasten your seat belts. They have a brutal initial streak: vs. Saints, at Rams, at Seahawks, vs. Browns, at Buccaneers, vs. 49ers, at Bengals. It’s not unthinkable that they could be 1-6 or even 0-7 midway through Arthur Smith’s second season. On top of that, they don’t get a bye until Week 14. Whether it’s Marcus Mariota or Desmond Ridder at center, it doesn’t get any easier at the end either. His last four: at Saints, at Ravens, vs. Cardinals vs. Buccaneers. The saving grace could be if Baltimore and Tampa Bay start at rest. Even then… ouch.

They were already set up nicely with an NFC East schedule, but they’re off to a pretty sweet start: After visiting the Lions, they host the Vikings for their home debut on “Monday Night Football” (translation: the Linc will be squeezed). , then go to Washington, vs. Jaguars, to Cardinals, vs. Cowboys in prime time before the goodbye. It’s not hard to imagine a potential 4-2 start. They have some tough opponents there, but the final five-game roster is promising: vs. Titans, vs. Giants, vs. Bears, vs. Cowboys, vs. Saints, vs. Giants. In a close NFC East, a strong performance down the stretch could put them back in the playoffs in 2021.

Sorry to spoil the Las Vegas hype, but just because Derek Carr and Davante Adams are fun to watch this year doesn’t mean they have an easy path back to the postseason. Take a look at this start of five games: in Chargers, vs. Cardinals, at Titans, vs. Broncos, at Chiefs. It’s good that they have a bye from Week 6 to recover; while LA and KC are electric, the Broncos and Titans may well wear them down physically. Down the stretch, when the NFL turns up the attention in prime time, things get even tougher. Starting in week 11: at Broncos, Seahawks, Chargers, Rams on a short week, Patriots, Steelers, 49ers, Chiefs. They better get MVP Derek Carr and not season finale Derek Carr here!

Winner: Giants

Who knows if Brian Daboll can win consistently with Daniel Jones, but the schedule at least invites a comeback for this franchise. Four of their first six games fall at home, with one of two away games in that span coming at a neutral ground in London. They play back-to-back home games three different times. And after their well-placed Week 9 bye, they get the Texans and Lions before a seven-game stretch that includes five division games. They could be the Eagles of 2022: a young holdover quarterback with a new offensive coach taking advantage of a weak schedule to surprise in the East.

Loser: Cardinals

You know how Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury tend to get off to a good start before falling behind late? They might have a hard time reaching a mountain to fall from this year. After starting against the Chiefs, at the Raiders, against the Rams, they still have three games without DeAndre Hopkins, two of which are on the road. Then from weeks 8 to 12, they have this: on Vikings, vs. Seahawks, at Rams, vs. 49ers in Mexico vs. Chargers in a short week. After a late Week 13 bye, three of their last four have been road games, and four of their last five opponents are the Broncos, Buccaneers, 49ers and Patriots. That’s not even mentioning his likely tight division run.

Winner: Seahawks

Sure, Russell Wilson could put an immediate damper on his year by returning to Seattle in Week 1, but they may benefit more from the early meeting than the Broncos, who are still acclimating to the new QB. His elite opponents are relatively spread out. They have a goodbye after their trip to Germany, where at least they have the Buccaneers on a neutral field. And then five of their last seven fall at home. Who knows who will be the Seahawks’ quarterback, but Pete Carroll could help them play the spoiler. Loser:

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