The preseason is finally over and the 2022 NFL campaign is set to kick off on Thursday, September 8th with the Buffalo Bills visiting the Los Angeles Rams. The campaign will wind up next January 8th with the playoffs getting underway on January 14th and concluding with Super Bowl LVII (57) at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on February 12th. In addition, the popular Pro Bowl game will take place on February 5th at Allegiant Stadium in Paradise, Nevada.
This will be the 103rd NFL campaign and the Los Angeles Rams enter it as the defending Super Bowl champions.
The regular season will be played over 18 weeks with each of the league’s 32 clubs playing 17 games and receiving one bye week. Each team will meet the three other clubs in their own division twice with the rest of the games coming outside of the division. There will also be a few games held on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day this season.
In addition, the NFL International Series will continue in 2022 as three games will be held in London, England in October. There will also be a game in Germany in November as well as one in Mexico the same month.
The playoffs will kick off with three wild-card games in each conference and will be followed the next weekend by the divisional round. The top-seeded team in the conference will face the lowest remaining seed while the other two remaining clubs square off against each other. The winners advance to the Conference Championships on January 29th with the Super Bowl taking place two weeks later.
As usual, there were plenty of NFL headlines in the offseason such as the former Washington Redskins franchise being renamed the Washington Commanders after using the Washington Football Team moniker for the past two years.
Head coaching changes have also become an offseason tradition in the NFL and there are several to report as the Chicago Bears hired Matt Ebberflus as their head coach to take over from Matt Nagy. The Denver Broncos replaced Vic Fangio with Nathaniel Hackett and the Houston Texans let David Culley go and hired Lovie Smith. The Jacksonville Jaguars replaced interim coach Darrell Bevell with Doug Pederson while the Las Vegas Raiders hired Josh McDaniels to take over from interim coach Rich Bisaccia. The Miami Dolphins replaced Brian Flores with Mike McDaniel. The Minnesota Vikings let coach Mike Zimmer loose and hired Kevin O’Connell while Sean Payton retired from the New Orleans Saints and was replaced by Dennis Allen. Finally, the New York Giants replaced Joe Judge with Brian Daboll and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers replaced the retired Bruce Arians with Todd Bowles.
There were some notable free agency signings during the offseason including quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky leaving Buffalo for Pittsburgh and Marcus Mariota joining Atlanta from Las Vegas.
Several big trades took place during the spring and summer as well such as Seattle swapping quarterback Russell Wilson to Denver for quarterback Drew Lock, tight-end Noah Fant and defensive-end Shelby Harris as well as several draft picks. Quarterback Carson Wentz was traded from Indianapolis along with a draft pick to Washington for draft picks. Dallas sent wide receiver Amari Cooper and a draft choice to Cleveland for draft picks while Green Bay swapped wide-receiver Davante Adams to Las Vegas for draft choices. Houston sent quarterback Deshaun Watson and a draft pick to Cleveland for draft choices and Indianapolis picked up quarterback Matt Ryan from Atlanta for a draft pick.
The NFL will be without several of its former star players this season due to retirements during the offseason. Some of the most notable names to hang up their cleats were running-back Frank Gore, tight-end Rob Gronkowski, guard Richie Incognito, strong safety Malcolm Jenkins, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, center Alex Mack, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz, free safety Eric Weddle and offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth.
Of course, with players retiring there will definitely be some new blood in the league in 2022, most notably the first-overall draft pick Travon Walker, a pass rusher who was selected by Jacksonville.
It should be noted that the NFL has implemented a rule change for 2022 which will guarantee that both teams will have a possession during postseason playoff games even when a club scores a touchdown with the first possession of extra time.
Heading into the 2022 NFL season, the oddsmakers at bet365 have the Buffalo Bills listed as the favorites to hoist the Super Bowl at +600 followed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at +700 and the Kansas City Chiefs at +1000. Last year’s champions the Los Angeles Rams are +1100 while the underdogs include the Houston Texans at +17500, the New York Jets at +12500 and the Atlanta Falcons also at +12500.
Remember, there are several popular wagers to be made on individual NFL games and the entire season at bet365. These include the point spread, totals betting, the moneyline, NFL futures, player and game props, parlays, teasers and live betting.