Brad’s 2022 NFL Preview: NFC Regular Season Analysis and Predictions

Now that I have thoroughly analyzed the upcoming college football season, it is time for me to publish my third annual NFL preseason football guide. Much like my college preview, I have gone through and analyzed every NFL team’s regular season and postseason, as well as selected my disappointment and surprise teams and upsets to watch out for.

The records below include all regular season games but do not include playoff games, which will be analyzed in a later entry. The teams marked in bold font are the ones predicted to make the 2022 NFL playoffs. Without further ado, here are my NFC regular season predictions, with analysis, for the 2022 NFL season.

NFC East

1Philadelphia (13-4)

Positional Strength: Offensive Line

Positional Weakness: Quarterback

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. Green Bay (November 27)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Washington (September 25)

Bottom Line: Yeah I know the Eagles are a trendy Super Bowl pick in 2022, and while I am not going to pick them to go that far (spoiler for my playoff predictions in my next entry), I think they will win this division and likely have the best record in the NFC. Now that they have added some additional weapons on the outside for Hurts to throw to (A.J. Brown and Zach Pascal), this squad is maybe the most complete teams in the NFL. In fact, their biggest weakness is likely their quarterback who is still one of the best 3 or 4 dual threat QBs in the league!

2Dallas (11-6)

Positional Strength: Quarterback

Positional Weakness: Defensive Line

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. Tampa Bay (September 11)- they almost got the Bucs last year in the opener and that was the road. I think they finish the job at home this season.

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Jacksonville (December 18)- the Jags are good for one big upset win a year and the Cowboys are due for one huge letdown loss each season. The game is a match made in heaven that will fulfill both of these requirements.

Bottom Line: In 2022, I am predicting the Cowboys to do what they always seem to do. They will a win a few big games; they will lose a few games they shouldn’t; and then they ultimately suffer a disappointing playoff loss to end their season.

T-3NY Giants (7-10)

Positional Strength: Defensive Line

Positional Weakness: Quarterback

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. Green Bay (October 9)- wild things always happen in the overseas games!

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: vs. Chicago (October 2)

Bottom Line: I have said from day one that Daniel Jones had no business being a starting NFL quarterback, and while he has miraculously managed to keep that title for four seasons now with the Giants, this team has a clear ceiling with him at quarterback. Nevertheless, there is enough young talent around him in 2022, for the G-men to show some improvement.

T-3Washington (7-10)

Positional Strength: Linebacker

Positional Weakness: Seconard

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: at Western Michigan (November 25)- de facto MAC West title game!

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Northern Illinois (October 8)

Bottom Line: The Commanders/Redskins have won exactly 7 games in four of the past five seasons. Why not make it five out of six?

NFC North

1Green Bay (10-7)

Positional Strength: Quarterback (see photo above)

Positional Weakness: Wide Receiver

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: at Tampa Bay (September 25)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: vs. NY Giants (October 9)- beware of the overseas upset!

Bottom Line: The Packers lost a lot in the offseason, especially at receiver and offensive line, but this is still very a weak division that the Pack are capable of dominating. I actually think that entering this year’s playoffs with a lower seed might take some of the pressure off Rodgers and the boys and might make them more likely to make that deep run that they have been looking for the past few years (see playoff predictions article that follows this one).

2Detroit (8-9)

Positional Strength: Offensive Line (maybe the best offensive front in the entire NFL!)

Positional Weakness: Linebacker

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. Green Bay (November 6)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Carolina (December 24)

Bottom Line: The Lions have lost a lot of close games the past couple of seasons so assuming that this team has better end of game fortune, stays healthy, and develops its young talent, they should be much improved in 2022. With that being said, I still think they are a year or two away from a playoff berth (sorry Sean!).

T-3Chicago (7-10)

Positional Strength: Running Back

Positional Weakness: Offensive Line

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: at Dallas (October 30)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: vs. Washington (October 13)

Bottom Line: The verdict is still out on Justin Fields as a starting NFL quarterback, but right now, this squad just doesn’t have enough weapons around him to get into playoff contention, no matter how well he plays this season.

T-3Minnesota (7-10)

Positional Strength: Wide Receiver

Positional Weakness: Defensive Line

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. Green Bay (September 11)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Chicago (January 8)

Bottom Line: Kirk Cousins has overachieved for several seasons now, and I am predicting this is the season we finally see some regression from him. And while Jefferson and Cook are capable of carrying much of the load offensively, the Vikings defense leaves much to be desired.

NFC South

1Tampa Bay (11-6)

Positional Strength: Quarterback (the ageless wonder pictured above keeps performing at an elite level, year in and year out)

Positional Weakness: Defensive live

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. Kansas City (October 2)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Atlanta (January 8)

Bottom Line: Much like Michael Jordan did in basketball, Tom Brady attracts top notch free agents that want to spend the last few years of their careers playing with the GOAT. Julio Jones and Russell Gage join the mix in 2022, and while the loss of both Gronk and Howard at tight end will be huge, this team is talented enough on both sides of the ball to win another division title. 

2New Orleans (11-6)

Positional Strength: Defensive Line

Positional Weakness: Linebacker

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. Tampa Bay (September 18)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: vs. Atlanta (December 18)

Bottom Line: If Winston, Kamara, and Thomas can all stay healthy in 2022, this offense should be one of the most explosive in the NFC and surprise a lot of people this season.

3Carolina (6-11)

Positional Strength: Secondary

Positional Weakness: Linebacker

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. Denver (November 27)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at NY Giants (September 18)

Bottom Line: If Baker, McCaffrey, and most importantly the offensive line get a clean bill of health all season, the Panthers will surprise some folks in 2022. With that being said, their schedule is just too tough (inter-divisional games against San Francisco, LA Rams, Cincinnati Bengals, Baltimore Ravens, and Denver Broncos) for the Panthers to get into the playoff hunt and save coach Matt Rhule’s Job.

4Atlanta (5-12)

Positional Strength: Wide Receiver

Positional Weakness: Quarterback

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: at Western Michigan (November 25)- de facto MAC West title game!

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Northern Illinois (October 8)

Bottom Line: Talk about a franchise in a downturn, the Falcons are on a downward trajectory with Marcus Mariota now starting at quarterback and a defense that seems to get worse every season.

NFC West

1San Francisco (11-6)

Positional Strength: Defensive Line

Positional Weakness: Secondary

Biggest Predicted Wins of the Year: vs. LA Rams (October 3), vs. Tampa Bay (December 11)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Seattle (December 15)- tough to go on the road on a short week after a huge game against Tampa

Bottom Line: I am still not completely sold on Trey Lance as an elite NFL starter, but there is enough talent around him on this squad now that this team can win a lot of football games with a merely functional QB, which either Lance or Jimmy G should definitely be.

2LA Rams (10-7)

Positional Strength: Defensive Line

Positional Weakness: Running Back

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. Buffalo (September 8)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: vs. Las Vegas (December 8)

Bottom Line: The Rams will still be very good in 2022, but defending an NFL title is very difficult, and this team’s brutal schedule will lead to more losses than last season.

3Arizona (10-7)

Positional Strength: Wide Receiver

Positional Weakness: Defensive Line

Biggest Predicted Wins of the Year: vs. Kansas City (September 11), vs. LA Rams (September 25)

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: at Seattle (October 16)

Bottom Line: The Cardinals lost a lot on defense but dynamic offense should still fuel winning season.

4Seattle (5-12)

Positional Strength: Wide Receiver

Positional Weakness: Quarterback

Biggest Predicted Win of the Year: vs. San Francisco (December 15)- this might be Pete Carroll’s last career victory!

Worst Predicted Loss of the Year: vs. NY Jets (January 1)

Bottom Line: This franchise has been in a gradual decline over the past half decade or so which began with major personnel losses on defense and then culminated with the departure of Russell Wilson this past offseason. The Seahawks now have major questions marks all across the roster (especially at QB), as fans are bracing for what should be the Hawks’ worst season since their final year under Mike Holmgren in 2008.

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