It is time for the NFL’s annual schedule release week! A time of the year when the NBA and NHL Playoffs are going strong and the MLB is in full swing, yet the NFL does what they do best and steals the headlines. The NFL will not release the schedule until Thursday, May 12th, but we should see games trickling in over the next few days leading up to the big reveal. That being said, here are the most anticipated matchups of 2022!
Honorable Mention: The AFC West
The AFC West may be the most talent-logged division in NFL history. Each of the four teams is built like a Pro Bowl roster and their matchups will be phenomenal. The Chiefs have the best QB-Head Coach combo in the NFL, the Chargers have the best set of edge rushers, the Broncos have the best overall defense, and the Raiders are stocked with weapons for Derek Carr. Each of these matchups could be featured on primetime this year as they will all be must-see TV.
The AFC West is LOADED at QB 🤯 pic.twitter.com/Cd2wGcVU5D — PFF (@PFF) March 8, 2022
Five: Baltimore Ravens V. Buffalo Bills
The AFC is going to be a dog fight all year long and what better way to epitomize it than a Josh Allen-Lamar Jackson bout? The two best QBs taken in the 2018 NFL Draft will square up this year in the Charm City. These two QBs have a somewhat similar play style, they can beat you with the deep ball while also being a constant threat on the ground. The linebackers for the Ravens and Bills will have their work cut out for them in this one.
The last time we saw these two teams matchup, Josh Allen and the Bills dispatched the Ravens to the tune of 17-3 in the 2020 AFC Divisional round. A healthy Lamar Jackson should make this an interesting one.
Four: Los Angeles Chargers V. Los Angeles Rams
The Battle of Los Angeles! The Chargers and Rams tout two high-powered offenses and have defenses that are not short on star-power either. The Hollywood (technically Inglewood) vibes will be felt in this matchup, there is no doubt about that. This will be the first time the Chargers and Rams have played since SoFi Stadium opened its doors in 2020.
Ultimate bragging rights will be had with whoever wins this one and it will no doubt earn a primetime slot when the NFL releases the schedule later this week. Herbert V. Stafford. Kupp & Robinson V. Allen & Williams. Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, & Bobby Wagner against Khalil Mack, Joey Bosa, & Derwin James. What’s not to love about this one?
Three: Kansas City Chiefs V. Los Angeles Rams
Talk about a heavyweight fight. One of the best games I have ever seen was when these two teams met up in the 2018 regular season and put on an absolute show on Monday Night Football. The instant-classic saw two teams score 50+ for the first and only time in NFL history.
On this day in 2018, the Rams and Chiefs gave us the 3rd highest scoring game in NFL history, a 54-51 Rams win! In the loss, Mahomes had a career high 478 pass yards and 6 TDs!#BovadaSportsHistory pic.twitter.com/pfsM66MIqP — Bovada (@BovadaOfficial) November 19, 2021
This time around, it will be Matthew Stafford at QB instead of Jared Goff, and it will be in Arrowhead stadium. Another candidate for a primetime slot, this game is sure to create sparks and could potentially be a preview for Super Bowl LVII. The matchup we should have had in 2018! This AFC-NFC matchup will dazzle.
Two: Tampa Bay Buccaneers V. Green Bay Packers
Rodgers. Brady. What more could you ask for? Since Brady joined the Buccaneers in 2020, the NFC has been a two horse race for QB supremacy. In the short time Brady has been in Tampa, the Packers and Buccaneers have met up twice with Rodgers & Co. losing both affairs. The Packers were dominated in the regular season by the Bucs and embarrassed in the NFC Championship, a game they should have won.
This year, we see the NFL’s two most seasoned QBs take each other on in Raymond James Stadium. This could be Brady’s final season, so it is only fitting that he gets to enjoy one last regular season battle with Aaron Rodgers. We could see them duke it out in another NFC Championship game next year, but this could have some one-seed implications in the NFC.
One: Tampa Bay Buccaneers V. Kansas City Chiefs
Finally, the most anticipated matchup has to be the Mahomes-Brady showdown. The young GOAT against the greatest to play the position. There is nothing more exciting than Patrick Mahomes against Tom Brady. The two have played each other five times, with Tom taking the edge, 3-2, including wins in Super Bowl LV and the 2018 AFC Championship game.
There was some speculation that this game might be taking place in Munich, but those were put to rest with the announcement of the NFL International Series. Both Mahomes and Brady will be working to make it back to the Super Bowl this year after missing the chance to rematch in 2021. With QBs this good, there is no way this matchup isn’t number one. Will Mahomes even the series or will Brady further assert his dominance?