NFL 2022 Predictions
Rams Hope to Defend Super Bowl Title
DraftInsiders.com – NFL 2022 Predictions
The 2022 NFL season is here with huge changes across the league giving fans hope their team can get the elusive SB ring. Yes, we did predict the Rams would win the Super Bowl last season. The Rams will be hard pressed to duplicate that in 2022 with only marginal roster improvement this offseason. In addition, star QB Matthew Stafford is struggling with elbow problems which could turn out to be chronic and limit his future production.
Parity reigns across the league with both the AFC West and NFC West looking like powerhouse divisions which could provide three playoff teams each. New upstarts like the Bills, Bengals and Chargers could all play a huge role in the AFC playoff races while established clubs like Bucs, Packers and Rams are primed to return to the NFC postseason behind star veteran QBs.
MVP Award – QB Josh Allen – Bills
Offensive Player of the Year – QB Aaron Rodgers – Packers
Defensive Player of the Year – Nick Bosa – 49ers
Comeback Player of the Year – RB Saquan Barkley – Giants
Rookies of the Year
Offense – TE Trey McBride – Cardinals
Defense – LB Kavon Thibodeaux – Giants
Offensive Player of the Year – QB Josh Allen – Bills
Defensive Player of the Year – Darius Leonard – Colts
Comeback Player of the Year – QB Matt Ryan – Colts
Rookies of the Year
Offense – WR Skyy Moore – Chiefs
Defense – S Kyle Hamilton – Ravens
Dallas Cowboys – 10-7
Cowboys hope to defend their NFC East title behind QB Dak Prescott who has emerged as a top flight performer. Their ground game relies on runners Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard with above average results. Their receiving corps is currently thin with injuries and losses limiting big play potential. Their once dominant line starts season without LT Tyson Smith and added vet Jason Peters. Their defense has improved significantly with big play defenders, LB Micah Parsons and corner Trevon Diggs setting the pack. Boys will be pressed to hold off the Eagles and must prove their can win a big late game.
Philadelphia Eagles – 9-8
Eagles earned a wild card appearance last season behind young QB Jalen Hurts. Their veteran line performed well producing the NFL’s top ground game. Their receiving corps underwent huge changes and added veteran AJ Brown to couple with emerging young playmaker DeVonta Smith. Their average defense needs to step up and looks to top pick DT Jordon Davis to couple with vet Fletcher Cox to improve their struggling pass rush. This club can win the division, but only if Hurts takes the next step and the defense makes more turnovers.
New York Giants – 7-10
Giants hope to improve with a fully healthy tailback Saquan Barkley to balance an offense directed by young talented Daniel Jones. Their offensive line made major changes and holds the key. Their defense disappointed last season and must improve. They look to top pick Kayvon Thibodeaux to become a difference maker to compensate for some secondary coverage issues. Club is improved and possible .500 area, though probably a year away from playoff contention.
Washington Redskins – 6-11
Skins traded for vet QB Carson Wentz hoping he recaptures his prior level of play. He works behind an average line. He does have a potent receiving corps led by vet Terry McLaurin along with healthy vet Curtis Samuel and top pick Jahan Dotson who can provide a spark here. Their defense lost DE Chase Young with a knee injury. Former top pick Mike backer Jamin Davis needs to step up and become a playmaker here. Too many questions for this club to get to the .500 mark.
Green Bay Packers -12-5 –
Aaron Rodgers heads this talented club looking for their 4th consecutive North title. New receiving corps must prove themselves, though Rodgers has developed many unknown players. LT David Bathtiari returns to form dominant side with guard Elgton Jenkins. Packers’ defense ranks in the top 2-3 in the NFC. This club is judged by their postseason success and nothing less than a SB title will satisfy the doubters.
Detroit Lions – 8-9 –
Lions actually turned the page behind HC Dan Campbell despite only a 3-3-1 record. They lost five games by four points or less. They need more scoring power from QB Jared Goff with an improved ground game vital. Their defense looks for impact from #1 pick DE Aidan Hutchinson on a tough improving unit. Look for improvement here, though only if their offensive scoring improves.
Minnesota Vikings – 7-10 –
QB Kirk Cousin and runner Dalvin Cook keeps this offense at playoff levels, but only a revitalized defense will decide any postseason appearance. Wideouts Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen form an awesome tandem. The defense gives up too many big plays despite good overall pressure. Their secondary may have major turnover this season after being smoked in the red zone.
Chicago Bears – 6-11 –
Bears look to QB Justin Fields to take a major step up in his 2nd season. He paid his dues in 2021 as the offense ranked among the worst in the league in every category. They lack firepower other than wideout Darnell Mooney. Their average rushing attack must step up. Their defense relies on edge defender Robert Quinn and Mike LB Roquan Smith. This club comes up short on talent and experience to challenge for the playoffs.
Tampa Bay Bucs – 11-6 –
The Bucs had key roster turnovers along with changing from HC Bruce Ariens to Todd Bowles. QB Tom Brady unretired and returns in what probably is his final season. Offensive line features a few new starters. Veteran talented defense lost JPP and Nda Suh and look to LBers White and Barrett to maintain a high level for this unit. Bucs are not a given this season with both the Panthers and Saints eyeing the top spot.
Carolina Panthers – 9-8 –
Panthers added new vet QB Baker Mayfield to direct their struggling attack. He plays with a chip on his shoulder this season. Returning playmaker Christian McCaffrey can make a difference here behind a much-improved line. Their talented underrated young defense should continue to improve. This club could be the surprise team of the season and capable of winning this division.
New Orleans Saints – 9-8 –
The Saints begin the post Sean Payton era behind QB Jameis Winston, who has not established himself as a reliable starter. Backup Andy Dalton could get the call if their 32nd ranked passing game does not improve. Wideout Michael Thomas returns and top pick Chris Olave can stretch the field. Runner Kamara is still one of the best all-around playmakers in the game. Saints’ defense is a top five unit who keeps them in the postseason chase.
Atlanta Falcons – 6-11 –
Falcons traded vet QB Matt Ryan after their 4th consecutive sub .500 finish. They look to journeyman Marcus Mariota to direct an attack that struggled in most areas. Their poor ground game needs to improve. Defense ranks with the worst in the league. A tough first half schedule may put them strong contention for the first pick in the NFL Draft 2023.
Los Angeles Rams – 12-5 –
Rams look to defend their SB title behind star QB Matthew Stafford who is battling elbow issues entering the season. He relies on young back Cam Akers to continue his strong postseason performance. Wideout Cooper Kupp is the best in the game coming off a generational performance. HC Sean McVay directs this potent attack exceptionally well. Their premier defense relies on DT Aaron Donald and corner Jalen Ramsey to provide big plays. Strong SB contender again in a tough division which could provide three playoff clubs.
San Francisco 49ers – 11-6–
The 49ers past the leadership to former top pick Trey Lance with veteran Jimmy Garoppolo moving to the backup role. Runners Elijah Mitchell and Jeff Wilson form a potent pair. Wideout Deebo Samuel ranks with any playmaker in the game. Edge defender Nick Bosa may be the best pass rusher in the league. LB Fred Warner is primed for a strong performance. New FA corner Charvarius Ward is an emerging cover man. 49ers will challenge for the West title, though the offense must score more points to rank with the elite clubs in the NFC.
Arizona Cardinals – 9-8 –
Cards were embarrassed in the playoffs by Rams. QB Kyler Murray played poorly in that game after the best season of his career. They have a talented group of playmakers with new vet Marquise Brown a top deep threat. DE JJ Watt hopes to recapture his former glory. He must be a leader and playmaker on this average unit. Cardinals may struggle to return to the postseason with several NFC clubs capable of earning a playoff berth.
Seattle Seahawks – 6-11 –
Seahawks turn the page from the Russell Wilson era. They missed the playoffs last season and the offense failed in many big situations. The once renowned defense was only a shell of prior units and faces wholesale changes this season. They open the season with questionable QB Geno Smith the announced starter. He plays behind a line which will start two new tackles. Their once dominant defense has slipped noticeable especially in the front seven. This club is starting a major rebuilding process that may include a key trade like DK Metcalf if they fall out of contention by midseason.
Cowboys, Packers, Bucs and Rams
Wild Card Clubs
Eagles & 49ers
Packers beat Rams in NFC title game.
Buffalo Bills – 12-5 –
Bills are coming off back-to-back East titles behind star QB Josh Allen. They can take the next step to the SB with an improved ground game which looks to rookie James Cook to give Allen another big play weapon. Receivers Diggs and Gabriel along with TE Knox form an outstanding trio. The league’s top #1 defense will be tested with new corners initially. Maturing club with vital experience in big games and ready to go to the show.
Miami Dolphins – 10-7 –
Dolphins were aggressive in the offseason and added big play specialist WR Tyreek Hill for young QB Tua Tagovailoa. Hill joins WR Waddle to form a dangerous pair. Tua needs to step up in big spots for the Dolphins to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Their bend but don’t break defense needs to make more big plays vs playoff clubs to make the postseason. Early tough schedule might define this season.
New England Patriots – 9-8 –
Pats returned to the postseason behind rookie QB Mac Jones who performed very well with an average supporting cast. He will miss OC Josh McDaniels. Runner Damien Harris emerged as a tough inside force especially as a goal line weapon. Bill Belichick is a master schemer who utilizes his veteran defense exceptionally well where the whole is always better than the parts. Pats are always in the playoff hunt despite their current average roster.
New York Jets – 6-11 –
Jets will start the season with starting former top pick QB Zach Wilson out for the first month. Vet Joe Flacco directs this offense with many new starters. They will field a club with at least ten new starters who must adjust quickly with a very difficult first half schedule. Improved roster probably can not convert to victories this season as their 11-year playoff drought continues.
Cincinnati Bengals – 12-5 –
True grit young QB Joe Burrow is a difference maker here after carrying this club to the SB despite horrible pass protection. The line will have three new starters and a major improvement. Wideouts Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins both produced 1000-yard performances. RB Mixon is a top-quality feature back. TE Hurst can surprise here and provide an excellent option. Their defense needs to improve in coverage and look to a few rookies to contribute. Burrow can carry this club again especially if the line provides better protection. Bengals are team to beat in North and capable again of deep playoff run.
Baltimore Ravens – 10-7 –
The Ravens look to QB Lamar Jackson to improve off an average type 2021 performance. The ground game can only improve after a host of injuries. The offensive line welcomes LT Ronnie Stanley after a two-year absence. WR Rashod Bateman and TE Mark Andrews are fine targets. They sustained major injuries in the secondary and look to the return of CB Marcus Peters and new safeties Marcus Williams and top pick Kyle Hamilton to stabilize this struggling unit. Ravens will push to return to postseason, though need a big effort from Jackson.
Pittsburgh Steelers – 9-8 –
Steelers turn the page from the Big Ben era. Veteran QB Mitchell Trubisky gets the starting call initially with rookie top pick Kenny Pickett waiting in the wings. Runner Najee Harris probably gets another 300-carry season. The offensive line may determine their success with a new interior trio of starters. The Steel defense slipped noticeably especially vs the running game. Edge TJ Watt is a dominant rusher who sets the pace here. This club is only a borderline contender and needs offensive line and secondary to perform well to challenge for postseason.
Cleveland Browns – 6-11 –
Browns made a hug deal for vet QB Deshaun Watson who is suspended for the first 11 games. Backup Jacoby Brissett has had average results over his 37 starts. They added vet WR Amari Cooper as their feature receiver. Back Nick Chubb is a workhorse and will get special attention. Their highly rated defense will have to excel to compensate for an average offense. Browns miss the playoffs again with an eye to the future with Watson returning for the final 6 games.
Indianapolis Colts – 11-6 –
The trade to add vet QB Matt Ryan can change the makeup of the South division. Ryan and HC Frank Reich are an ideal fit which can pay huge dividends this fall. Coupled with stud runner Jon Taylor and an improved receiving corps especially rookie Alec Pierce which should help their scoring significantly. Their young defense added edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue and look for second year Kwitty Paye to become factors to help DT Buckner and LB Leonard. This club can win the South outright with Ryan directing a potent Reich offense.
Tennessee Titans – 10-7 –
The Titans look to win their 3rd consecutive South title. They need both QB Ryan Tannehill and premier back Derrick Henry to return to 2020 form. Their OL must improve after surrendering too many sacks. Their defense can rush the passer, though their young corners must prove up to the call vs playoff caliber clubs. Gritty team will slug it out with anyone, but limited playmakers on both sides of the ball must step up.
Jacksonville Jaguars – 6-11 –
Jaguars look to former top pick QB Trevor Lawrence to take a major step up working with new HC Doug Pederson. Lawrence paid his dues as a rookie with a marginal supporting cast and weak front line. He will benefit from new weapons WR Kirk and TE Ingram along with the return of runner Travis Etienne. Their young defense is loaded with talent with rookies, edge Travon Walker and Mike LB Devin Lloyd counted on to elevate this unit. This club can take a nice step up, though must show it can win marginal matchups.
Houston Texans – 4-13 –
You actually need a roster to figure out this club. They have a huge number of first- and second-year players. QB David Mills actually performed well with limited supporting cast. Their defense may be the worst in the league and equally inept vs the pass and run. Massive roster turnover over recent seasons makes this a major rebuilding project which will take a few seasons.
Kansas City Chiefs – 12-5 –
Chiefs look for their 7th consecutive West title behind star QB Patrick Mahomes. Their masterfully rebuilt offensive line was outstanding in 2021. New weapons, receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling hope to minimize the loss of Tyreek Hill. Look for rookie Skyy Moore to provide impact from the slot. Their defense added rookies CB McDuffie and edge rusher Karlaftis and both are counted on to become fixtures here. Veterans, DT Chris Jones and LB Nick Bolton set the pace for this changing defense. Annual SB contender plays in the toughest division and will be pushed to the fullest with every team capable of West title.
San Diego Chargers – 11-6 –
The Chargers look to young QB Justin Herbert to lead this potent offense to the playoffs after missing the past three seasons. Herbert was outstanding again and the league’s only 5000-yard passer besides Tom Brady. The line improved further with the addition of Zion Johnson. Two 1000-yard vet receivers Allen and Williams give them a potent tandem. They can surprise for the West title, though need huge improvement on their young defense adding vets, LB Mack and corner Jackson to join LB Joey Bosa and safety Darwin James. Favorable first half schedule can give them strong momentum for the playoff run.
Denver Broncos – 10-7 –
Broncos missed the playoffs the past six seasons leading to the blockbuster trade for vet QB Russell Wilson. He could be the missing piece here that has seen only mediocre production since the Peyton Manning retirement in 2015. Wilson has quality receivers in Sutton, Judy and Patrick along with emerging back Javonte Williams. Their highly regarded defense looks to improve in run defense. They rely on edge rushers, Bradley Chubb and new vet Randy Gregory to provide big play ability. Excited team looking to put it together behind savvy vet Wilson to win key AFC matchups.
Oakland Raiders – 9-8 –
Somebody has to finish last. Raiders talented QB Derek Car comes off a strong 2021 season and added his former college teammate Davante Adams to the offense. TE Waller gives Car a dangerous middle zone receiver. Edge rusher Maxx Crosby is a difference maker who needs new vet Chandler Jones to provide additional outside pressure. Their secondary allowed too many big plays and must improve vs the potent West passing games.
Bills, Bengals, Colts and Chiefs
Wild Card Clubs
Chargers & Ravens
Bills beat the Chiefs
Super Bowl Matchup
Packers over Bills
Packers win a wild Super Bowl showdown with Bills.
Frank Coyle was scouted NFL teams for over 30 years from mini-camps through training camps, season and postseason games. He has extensive contact with NFL coaches, General Managers, coordinators and scouts.