Schedule's Out: Rams Host Bills in Kickoff Game

L.A. Rams DT Aaron Donald and Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen
L.A. Rams DT Aaron Donald and Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Offseason - The NFL has released its 2022 schedule. The season kicks off with the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams hosting the AFC favorite Buffalo Bills on Thursday night, September 8, in a rematch of a wild game from 2020. The last time these two teams played, the Bills went up 28-3, fell behind 32-28, and rallied to win 35-32, all in regulation.

Other notable Week 1 games include the L.A. Chargers hosting the Las Vegas Raiders in a rematch of last year's win-and-in game from Week 18; the Cincinnati Bengals opening defense of their AFC championship at home against the division-rival Pittsburgh Steelers; a shootout in the desert as Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City visit Kyler Murray and Arizona; the Dallas Cowboys at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night; and finally, Russell Wilson leading the Denver Broncos into Seattle to defeat face the Seahawks on Monday Night Football. 

Highlights from later in the season:

  • Week 2: The Cowboys, who open against Tampa Bay, must then host Cincinnati. They then travel to L.A. to face the Rams in a brutal start to their schedule.
  • Week 3: Green Bay at Tampa Bay. Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady ... for the last time?
  • Week 3: Arizona hosts the Rams, hoping to redeem themselves after last year's humiliating playoff defeat.
  • Week 6: Kansas City hosts Buffalo in a rematch of last year's all-time classic playoff game.
  • Week 8: Denver vs. Jacksonville in London, England.
  • Week 10: Tampa Bay vs. Seattle in Munich, Germany.
  • Week 12: Thanksgiving tripleheader: Bills at Lions, Giants at Cowboys, Patriots at Vikings.
  • Week 13: Cincinnati hosts Kansas City in a rematch of the AFC Championship Game.
  • Week 16: Christmas Day tripleheader: Green Bay at Miami, Denver at L.A. Rams, Tampa Bay at Arizona.
  • Week 17: Rams "at" Chargers in the battle for Los Angeles (not to be confused with PWG's annual Battle for Los Angeles). 
  • Week 18: Tampa Bay at Atlanta, and maybe THIS will be Tom Brady's regular-season finale.

UPDATE: We had to include the Chargers' schedule announcement. It's magnificent.

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Comments

16 comments, Last at 15 May 2022, 10:44pm

1 That Chargers release video…

That Chargers release video is hysterical, and I'm legitimately disappointed Buffalo isn't on their schedule. I would have loved to see what they came up with.

2 I enjoyed it a ton and yeah…

I enjoyed it a ton and yeah would have liked to have seen the Bills too because there's a lot of fun things you could have done with that! I'm actually more curious what they would done for the Bills than for my Packers.

3 Not a huge fan of weeks 7, 8…

Not a huge fan of weeks 7, 8, and 9 all being on the road but at least it's only one really tough opponent since it's Commanders, Bills, Lions. Though to be fair the Lions can at times cause the Packers grief in that dome.

Still NFC East and AFC East makes the whole schedule feel a lot nicer than NFC West and AFC North was last season regardless of order.

15 I looked at it more and…

I looked at it more and again this schedule is just easier than last year (which rated at a -0.1% average DVOA). I think folks might have to prepare for another round of the Packers record not reflecting in DVOA, though schedule strength is likely to explain a lot of it because I don't expect this schedule to suddenly look a lot stronger so it might be a lot easier to explain (I'm expecting something that ends up being like a -3.5% DVOA if not worse). I'm still curious if there is something DVOA doesn't capture with run heavier teams that are very successful on a drive by drive metric like GB but not as much on the play by play (because passing >>> running per play). This is the modern super passing friendly NFL, but I still wonder since it's not just GB. While this season should provide more data controlling for schedule will be even more important if I want to keep picking at it.

Anyway to break it down
6-0 against the division is not crazy, 4-2 like last year feels very safe especially since week 18 vs DET could be another game they don't care about again.
5-0 against the Jets, Giants, Commanders, Dolphins, and Eagles doesn't seem crazy, 4-1 feels very safe.
3-3 against Tampa Bay, New England, Buffalo, Dallas, Tennessee, and LA Rams doesn't seem crazy. 2-4 against that feels safe.

So yeah 10-7 feels like the floor even without Adams and 14-3 as the ceiling. The Eagles and Patriots (I never look past a BB team) could be significantly better than last season, but the Titans could also be significantly weaker.

If they beat Tampa Bay I'll be amazed. Rodgers has a history of playing like crap (post 4) against Tampa and you can add the NO game last year and just make it early season games in Florida if you like. I also don't like their chances in Buffalo. But beating Dallas and the Rams at home would not be surprising at all. So there are really only 2 games I'm really down another 2 toss-ups, 3 or 4 that feel like they should be 60/40 at worst and then 9 or 10 that feel like 70% or better win chances. Heck Jordan Love should be able to get 7 wins against that schedule based on how he played against KC and DET last year (and he didn't play great, he also wasn't the worst thing I've seen at QB).

The London game against the Giants followed up by the Jets at home feels about as nice as you can get for a team playing in London that declined getting the bye after that game.

Now the DET rebuild could move faster than expected and maybe something will actually happen in Chicago. MIN has been their toughest division opponent basically since Favre took over as starter and I never look past them. But this division is like the Packers are the Brady Pats against the rest of the AFC East. It's just a lot of free wins and the Packers may have gone backwards a bit on offense but they also may have gone forward a bit on defense. Even if the rest of the division has taken 2 steps forward and the Packers took 1 step back they are still at worst even (50/50 games) and most likely still a step or 2 ahead.

5 Would seem cooler

if the champs capped off the week instead of starting it. Do we reeeeealllly need to see Drew Lock...anytime...but especially primetime?

And quirky anime won't win me over this time because they posted that cringey poptart thread again.

6 Attention to detail

Family
Trust
Respect

Fuck
The
Raiders

 

Chargers social media as ever knocking it out of the park errr... stadium

11 They took big swings at…

In reply to by HitchikersPie

They took big swings at everybody: The Raiders in a dumpster with Antonio Brown's old helmet and a Chucky Doll, the Falcons having a 28% discount on 3 waffles, a gravestone for "Mina Kimes' Hope's and Dreams" (she responded to that one lol), Pat McAfee running the Colts carousel, the Broncos stadium fire, Andy Reid with a cheeseburger in his mech cockpit, there are so so many

7 Attention to detail

Family
Trust
Respect

Fuck
The
Raiders

 

Chargers social media as ever knocking it out of the park errr... stadium

9 Any truth to the rumor that…

Any truth to the rumor that the Bengals released their schedule on a broken blackboard scrawn in hand using a piece of old chalk?

How far in advance do teams know? Given the various presentations, there must have been some amount of lead time.

10 Every team knows the…

Every team knows the opponents they will play immediately after the end of the prior regular season -- that is set well in advance. The only question is the order.

12 I know that's true for 16 of the 17 games

Each team knows in advance they will play 6 intra-division games, they will play 4 games against another division in their conference (and that rotates so they always know each year which division it will, they will play), 4 games against another division in the other conference (again, it rotates so known in advance), and 2 intra-conference games against the other divisions in the conference based on where they finished the year before (so 1s play 1s, 2s play 2s, etc.).

But the new 17th game, isn't that just random or is their some logic to that as well? I know it will always be a 5th inter-conference game, but I'm not sure if the matchups are pre-determined by anything or not.

13 It's a bit complicated, but…

It's a bit complicated, but seems to be an interconference game.

https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/nfl-17-game-schedule-heres-how-the-complicated-scheduling-formula-will-work-with-the-extra-game/

So they get 1 game vs the division they faced 2 years ago based on last years standings.  So...the packers get the Titans bc the NFC North played the AFC South in 2020 and they both won their divisions last year. I think that's how it works.