NFL 2022 Week 1 Prequel

NFL 2022 Week 1 Prequel

The agony is over. The waiting is over. The dreadful 7 month stretch of misery known as the offseason is over. Football is back. Here is the NFL 2022 Week 1 Prequel, with point spreads provided by the Sporting News and all times Eastern.

Thursday, September 8, 2022, 8pm

Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams BUF -2.5 — Both teams are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. The Bills were 13 seconds away from the AFC Title Game. The Rams may or may not run it back, but at home in front of a jacked up crowd, emotion will carry the day. Having the Bills as favorites is insane under these conditions. Upset special, Rams win outright.

Sunday, September 11, 1pm

Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers CAR -2.5 — Both teams are a mess. The Browns are without Deshaun Watson for 11 weeks and have no competent backup. Sam Darnold may not be the answer, but a healthy Christian McCaffrey still knows how to run a football. The Browns have the better coach but give the Panthers one chance at home to show they have anything to be proud of this season. Panthers cover.

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins MIA -3 — Why are the Dolphins favored? The organization is a mess, the coach was fired, the owner was accused of tanking, and Tua Tagovailoa has not proven anything. Despite a miserable first layoff game, Mac Jones got the Patriots to the playoffs. Bill Belichick has not forgotten how to coach. Upset special, Patriots win outright.

Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions PHI -4 — The Eagles started 2-5 and made the playoffs. The Lions were miserable most of the year but showed a ton of heart down the stretch. Dan Campbell’s fiery speeches did not result in wins. Jared Goff has one more chance to prove he is the answer at quarterback. On paper the Eagles are the better team, but give the Lions one chance at home to show they are not worthless. Eagles win but fail to cover.

Baltimore Ravens at New York Jets BAL -7 — The Ravens were cruising toward the playoffs with an 8-3 record last year. When Lamar Jackson went out injured, the Ravens lost their last 6 games. Action Jackson is back. John Harbaugh is a proven winner. The Ravens have a tough running game, a tough defense, and perhaps the greatest kicker of all time in Justin Tucker. Zach Wilson might not be healthy, and Robert Saleh has yet to prove himself. The Ravens just have too much depth. Expect Jackson to run and throw at will. Ravens cover.

San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears SF -7 — Trey Lance gets the start as Jimmy Garoppolo remains the Rodney Dangerfield of the NFL. The Bears are good at very little, and Justin Fields has yet to show he is the answer. Kyle Shanahan only struggles in the NFC Title Game and Super Bowls. In the regular season, he is a play-calling wizard. With Deebo Samuel happy and George Kittle himself, the 49ers have enough firepower to crush the Bears. 49ers cover.

Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans IND -7 — It may be totally unfair to blame Carson Wentz for last season, but Matt Ryan seems to be an upgrade. The Texans are a dumpster fire. The Colts are expected to make the playoffs. This is one of those weird division rivalry games where records often do not matter. The Colts should win, but if the Texans defense can get any pressure on Ryan, the game could be closer than expected. Jonathan Taylor is all world, but a give up touchdown late could beat the spread. Colts win but fail to cover.

Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Commanders WSH -2.5 — The Jaguars got rid of Urban Meyer and have a real leader in Doug Pederson. Trevor Lawrence will show that it was proper to make him the top pick. Pederson is a West Coast Offense Andy Reid guy, but who is more willing to pound the rock rather than dink and dunk. Ron Rivera is a proven winner, and the artists formerly known as Redskins and then No-Names have a respectable defense. Carson Wentz is desperate to revive his career and it’s way too early to give up on either of these quarterbacks. Go with the home field and experience on this one. Commanders cover.

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons NO -5.5 — This is a fascinating division matchup because change has come after years of stability. Sean Payton, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan are all elsewhere. Can Marcus Mariota play? He has raw talent but has not stayed healthy over the years. Jameis Winston finally reduced his interceptions in Tampa, but Bruce Arians was an offensive guru. Dennis Allen excels on the defensive side of the ball. This could be a defensive game in a rivalry where home field rarely matters. Winston and Mariota were the top 2 picks a few years back, so whoever makes the least mistakes will win ugly. Saints win but fail to cover.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals CIN -6.5 — The Bengals finally have their quarterback. The Steelers finally do not. Yes, the Bengals are the defense ding AFC champions. Yet nobody gets more out of a team than Mike Tomlin. It is hard to like Mitch Trubisky, but the Steelers will try to pound the ball and play defense. The Bengals are the better team, but the Steelers have heart. Bengals win but fail to cover.


Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals KAN -6 — Patrick Mahomes is a super-human freak of nature. Kyler Murray has raw talent but refuses to work at his craft. Andy Reid is the maestro of play-callers. Even without Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs just have so many weapons. The Cardinals started last year 10-2 but faded 1-4 down the stretch before getting blown out in the playoffs. The Chiefs have been to the AFC Title Game 4 straight years, all on their home field. The Chiefs are proven winners. The Cardinals are not. The trend is your friend, but the Cardinals have a decent enough defense to make things interesting. Chiefs win but fail to cover.

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings GB -1.5 — This used to be a series where the home team usually won. The Vikings are in flux. Mike Zimmer is gone. The stone age philosophy of winning with hard-nosed running and tough defense often works. Last year in Minnesota, the team regressed. The Packers keep winning in the regular season. Aaron Rodgers is coming off of consecutive MVP awards. He is still angry. The loss of Davante Adams will not hurt the Packers because the Vikings are in rebuilding mode. Packers cover.

Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers LA -3 — The 2022 regular season finale became an instant NFL classic. The Raiders needed 5 complete quarters to win 35-32 and knock the Chargers out of the playoffs. Home field means nothing, since the Raider Nation still exist in Los Angeles. Derek Carr and Justin Herbert are both studs. Josh Jacobs wants a fat contract and needs a great year to get one. He runs with intensity. The coaches are fascinating Brandon Staley gambles on 4th and 1 from his own 29. Josh McDaniels started 6-0 in Denver and then flamed out in less than 2 years. The Raiders defense is good off the edge with Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones. The Chargers have former Raider Khalil Mack. The Raiders have a stud kicker. This game is basically a coin flip. The Chargers will be burning for revenge, a powerful motive. If the Raiders can withstand getting blown out in the first quarter, they have a shot. Go with the revenge factor. Chargers cover.

New York Giants at Tennessee Titans TEN -5.5 — The Titans are clearly the better team. Ryan Tannehill is seen as the weak link, but handing off to Derrick Henry is not complicated. The Tennessee defense sacked Joe Burrow 9 times in their playoff loss. Daniel Jones fumbles frequently. An experienced smash-mouth coach in Mike Vrabel with a top defense vs a rookie head coach with a shaky signal-caller. Do the math. Titans cover.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys TB -2.5 — Last year the Cowboys lost on the final play when the kicker choked. The Buccaneers have Tom Brady, but they also have an offensive line that is not healthy. The wide receiving corps is less spectacular than in the last two years. The Buccaneers were whipped at home in the playoffs by the Rams and only came back when the Rams tried to give the game away. The Cowboys have a good defense under Dan Quinn but Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have not held up their highly paid end of the bargain. Nobody knows if Todd Bowles can coach. He failed with the Jets, but does pretty much everyone else. In a close game, trust Brady over Prescott until proven otherwise. Buccaneers cover.

Monday, September 12, 8pm

Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks DEN -6.5 — Russell Wilson attempts for revenge against the team he won a Super Bowl with. Ironically, he is now with the team he defeated in that game. The Broncos under fired coach Vic Fangio had a good defense but were missing a quarterback. Now they have one. The Seahawks are stuck with Geno Smith and Drew Lock, who flamed out in Denver. The 12th man will be rocking to capacity on the Richter scale. The Seahawks have the proven winner in Pete Carroll. The Broncos seem like the better team on paper, but it takes time to develop a rapport with a new team. Even Peyton Manning struggled early on leading the Broncos. Pete Carroll is a defensive wizard who will have a few wrinkles for his former quarterback. Do not underestimate the crowd, especially early on. At home, trust that crowd and proven head coach. Upset special, Seahawks win outright.


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