NFL 2022 Season Record Predictions

by Quinn Gray

AFC North

*Baltimore Ravens
2021 record: 9-8
Projected 2022 record: 12-5
Notable additions: S Marcus Williams, S Kyle Hamilton [R], C Tyler Linderbaum [R], OT Morgan Moses, NT Michael Pierce
Notable departures: WR Marquise Brown, WR Sammy Watkins, OT Alejandro Villanueva, IOL Bradley Bozeman
The Ravens were ravaged by injuries last year, losing key starters on offense and defense. The team possessed the No. 1 seed in the AFC until QB Lamar Jackson suffered a season-ending injury, and following his loss, the team fell out of the playoffs. Although the Ravens’ WR room has gotten worse, the offensive line has significantly improved, which will provide a needed boost to the Ravens’ run game. The defense is also set to have another great year with the return of Marcus Peters as well as the revamping of their safety room.

^Cincinnati Bengals
2021 record: 10-7 (lost super bowl)
Projected 2022 record: 11-6
Notable additions: OT La’el Collins, IOL Alex Cappa, S Dax Hill [R], TE Hayden Hurst
Notable departures: TE C.J. Uzomah, DT Larry Ogunjobi, OT Riley Reiff
After a surprising run to the Super Bowl where the Bengals narrowly lost to the Los Angeles Rams, it’s time for the Bengals to pick things up where they left off. With their improved offensive line, the offense can only keep getting better, as Joe Burrow’s and Joe Mixon’s lives will get much easier. The truth is, the Bengals were very lucky to be in the Super Bowl. It took a lot of surprising breakout seasons from multiple key players. If their key players can recreate or improve from their production, the Bengals have a good chance to do better than the prediction. This team will be good no matter what.

Pittsburgh Steelers
2021 record: 9-7-1
Projected 2022 record: 7-10
Notable additions: LB Myles Jack, QB Kenny Pickett [R], WR George Pickens [R], QB Mitchell Trubisky, OG James Daniels
Notable departures: QB Ben Roethlisberger, OG Trai Turner, DE Stephon Tuitt, LB Joe Schobert
The Big Ben era is over in Pittsburgh. To fill the gap that he left, the Steelers brought in veteran Mitch Trubisky and drafted Kenny Pickett in the first round to hopefully become their franchise quarterback. The offensive line was an area of huge weakness, and the Steelers took steps to improve it this season in order to build around the run game with sophomore RB Najee Harris. The defense will stay around the same level, but the addition of former Jaguar Myles Jack will be a huge boost to the linebacker corps. The team is solid but will not be able to compete with their formidable AFC opponents.

Cleveland Browns
2021 record: 8-9
Projected 2022 record: 6-11
Notable additions: QB Deshaun Watson, WR Amari Cooper, QB Jacoby Brissett, EDGE Chase Winovich
Notable departures: QB Baker Mayfield, TE Austin Hooper, WR Jarvis Landry, CB Troy Hill, LB Mack Wilson
The Browns had all kinds of hype for 2021 (even I was sold on them) but failed to meet expectations after an injury-induced regression from Baker Mayfield. The team chose to move on from Mayfield, their first overall pick in the 2018 draft, and make a trade for disgraced quarterback Deshaun Watson. Watson will be suspended for 11 games, including many key games against multiple playoff contenders, in which the team will likely start Jacoby Brissett. The Browns will be a decent team, but without Watson, they will not be able to contend.

NFC North

*Minnesota Vikings
2021 record: 8-9
Projected 2022 record: 11-6 (win by tiebreaker)
Notable additions: EDGE Za’Darius Smith, S Lewis Cine [R], LB Jordan Hicks
Notable departures: LB Anthony Barr, NT Michael Pierce, TE Tyler Conklin
The Vikings’ usually solid defense took a step back last season, prompting the team to fire long-time head coach Mike Zimmer and bring in Kevin O’Connell, the Rams OC who helped Cooper Kupp turn in one of the best WR seasons in NFL history. Justin Jefferson will look to build further off of his first two elite seasons in the Vikings’ new scheme. With the boost to the pass rush brought by Smith, edge rusher Danielle Hunter is primed to have a much better season than he has with the team hoping he will return to 2019 form after two seasons lost to injury. With the regression of the Packers, the Vikings are in a prime spot to take the NFC North.

^Green Bay Packers
2021 record: 13-4
Projected 2022 record: 11-6
Notable additions: DT Jarran Reed, WR Sammy Watkins, DT Devonte Wyatt [R], LB Quay Walker [R] Notable departures: WR Davante Adams, EDGE Za’Darius Smith, OG Billy Turner, LB Whitney Mercilus, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers’ favorite target, is gone. The Packers worked to rebuild the group for Rodgers, but the truth is, unless something crazy happens, the impact Adams had on the team will not be replaceable. The defense will significantly improve with the additions the team made in the first round of the draft. The Packers are still contenders, but with the losses the team has suffered and the improvement of the Vikings and Lions, the Packers will lose their division title this year.

Detroit Lions
2021 record: 3-13-1
Projected 2022 record: 5-12
Notable additions: EDGE Aidan Hutchinson [R], WR Jameson Williams [R], WR D.J. Chark, CB Mike Hughes
Notable departures: EDGE Trey Flowers
The Lions are making significant steps toward becoming a legitimate contender in the NFC. Hutchinson and Williams will be key pieces for years to come on the team. With a revitalized and much improved skill position group including Williams, Chark, sophomore sensation Amon-Ra St. Brown, TE T.J. Hockenson, and the RB duo of D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams, quarterback Jared Goff’s job will be much easier. That being said, the defense will still need to take steps if the team is to truly compete. The Lions’ time is near, but it’s not now.

Chicago Bears
2021 record: 6-11
Projected 2022 record: 4-13
Notable additions: EDGE Al-Quadin Muhammad, DT Justin Jones, WR N’Keal Harry, S Jaquan Brisker [R], OT Riley Reiff
Notable departures: LB Khalil Mack, WR Allen Robinson II, IOL James Daniels, DT Bilal Nichols, DT Eddie Goldman, QB Nick Foles
Matt Nagy is out after a disastrous last few years as the Bears head coach. With the entrance of the new regime, the Bears chose to let many star veterans go, trading away Khalil Mack and letting Allen Robinson sign away with the Rams. QB Justin Fields is entering his second season after a brutal rookie season where he endured lots of sacks (Fields was sacked on 11.8% of his pass attempts) and had bad passing statistics (7 TDs, 10 INTs). If Fields improves, the team will improve. Unfortunately, due to the lack of star power around him, it will be difficult, and the Bears will be one of the worst teams in the league.

AFC East

*Buffalo Bills
2021 record: 11-6
Projected 2022 record: 13-4
Notable additions: EDGE Von Miller, OG Rodger Saffold, DT Tim Settle, TE O.J. Howard, WR Jameson Crowder, CB Kaiir Elam [R] Notable departures: WR Cole Beasley, OT Daryl Williams, CB Levi Wallace, WR Emmanuel Sanders, DT Harrison Phillips
The Bills narrowly lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in one of the greatest playoff games of all time during the AFC Divisional round. The Bills knew they would need to make some major additions if they wanted to make it over the hump and chase the Super Bowl they have been so close to for the last two years. To do this, the Bills made a huge play for future Hall of Famer Von Miller, bringing him in to add a boost to their pass rush and improve their already powerful defense. QB Josh Allen is one of the best in the league and is my preseason favorite to win MVP. It will be surprising if this team is not in the Super Bowl this season.

^Miami Dolphins
2021 record: 9-8
Projected 2022 record: 11-6
Notable additions: WR Tyreek Hill, RB Chase Edmonds, EDGE Melvin Ingram, OT Terron Armstead, WR Cedrick Wilson, LB Channing Tindall [R], IOL Connor Williams, RB Raheem Mostert, RB Sony Michel
Notable departures: DB Jason McCourty, WR DeVante Parker, OT Jesse Davis, WR Will Fuller V
The Dolphins had a horrible start to the season. They started out 1-7 and looked like one of the worst teams in the league. However, something clicked, and the team won seven straight games, splitting their last two to finish with a winning record and barely missing the playoffs. The team made lots of moves during the offseason to help QB Tua Tagovailoa have a better season. Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle will form one of the fastest WR corps in the league and help create the “Legion of Zoom” that the Fins are trying to form. The AFC is difficult, but the Dolphins will be able to compete and make the wild card.

New England Patriots
2021 record: 10-7
Projected 2022 record: 7-10
Notable additions: OG Cole Strange [R], WR DeVante Parker, CB Terrance Mitchell, LB Mack Wilson, S Jabrill Peppers
Notable departures: CB J.C. Jackson, OG Shaq Mason, IOL Ted Karras, LB Kyle Van Noy, WR N’Keal Harry, RB James White, EDGE Chase Winovich
After a surprise appearance in the playoffs, the Patriots lost many key pieces on both sides of the ball. Star corner J.C. Jackson, a master of making plays on defense, departed for the Chargers. Although the team made some decent free agent signings, it’s not enough to keep up with their AFC opponents and to fill the holes on their team with better players. The Patriots will remain a decent team but not good enough to compete in the AFC.

New York Jets
2021 record: 4-13
Projected 2022 record: 6-11
Notable additions: OT Duane Brown, CB “Sauce” Gardner [R], OG Laken Tomlinson, WR Garrett Wilson [R], EDGE Jermaine Johnson [R], TE C.J. Uzomah, DB D.J. Reed
Notable departures: OT Morgan Moses, S Marcus Maye, DT Foley Fatukasi, WR Keelan Cole, IOL Greg Van Roten
The Jets absolutely killed the draft. They managed to get the best corner in the draft, the best receiver in the draft and the third best edge rusher in the draft, all in round 1, not to mention Breece Hall, the best running back in the draft in round 2. This injection of talent will greatly help the Jets get closer to competing. QB Zach Wilson must improve off of his rookie season if this team is to be good in the future. The team will still be at the bottom of the AFC East, but trending in the right direction.

NFC East

*Philadelphia Eagles
2021 record: 9-8
Projected 2022 record: 10-7
Notable additions: WR A.J. Brown, CB James Bradberry IV, EDGE Haason Reddick, LB Kyzir White, DT Jordan Davis [R], WR Zach Pascal
Notable departures: CB Steven Nelson, OG Brandon Brooks, LB Alex Singleton
After a season full of ups and downs, the Eagles narrowly made the playoffs, only to be destroyed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team needed a true No. 1 wideout for third year QB Jalen Hurts, so the team traded away one of its first round picks for Brown to form a powerful receiving duo along with DeVonta Smith. The defense looks to make huge strides with high profile free agent signings as well as the drafting of the massive Jordan Davis from Georgia. The Eagles have made significant improvements across the board and figure to be a force in the NFC.

Dallas Cowboys
2021 record: 12-5
Projected 2022 record: 9-8
Notable additions: LB Anthony Barr, EDGE Dante Fowler Jr., WR Jalen Tolbert [R], OT Tyler Smith [R], WR James Washington
Notable departures: WR Amari Cooper, OL Connor Williams, WR Cedrick Wilson, EDGE Randy Gregory, OT La’el Collins, S/LB Keanu Neal, TE Blake Jarwin
The Cowboys lost in the NFC Wild Card round after forgetting how short 13 seconds are. Unfortunately for them, many key players left in free agency, and the team had to trade Amari Cooper due to contract reasons. They signed some cheap free agents to boost their team, but the loss to their receiving corps and offensive line will prove to be impactful. The Cowboys are still a good team, but the improvement of other teams and their loss of talent will prevent them from winning the NFC East this year.

Washington Commanders
2021 record: 7-10
Projected 2022 record: 7-10
Notable additions: QB Carson Wentz, OG Andrew Norwell, OG Trai Turner, WR Jahan Dotson [R] Notable departures: OG Brandon Scherff, OG Ereck Flowers, DE Matthew Ioannidis, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, DT Tim Settle
New name, same record. The Commanders traded for former Eagles and Colts quarterback Carson Wentz, a player whose career the team hopes to revive, if it’s even possible to. After a disappointing season last year, the team knew the WR corps needed a boost and drafted Jahan Dotson to give WR Terry McLaurin a solid counterpart. This team’s success is very based on the defense, which must improve off of last season. The offense is not strong enough to be able to compete, and the Commanders will remain a weak team in the NFC.

New York Giants
2021 record: 4-13
Projected 2022 record: 4-13
Notable additions: EDGE Kayvon Thibodeaux [R], OT Evan Neal [R], OG Mark Glowinski, QB Tyrod Taylor, WR Wan’Dale Robinson [R] Notable departures: CB James Bradberry IV, OG Will Hernandez, DT Austin Johnson, EDGE Lorenzo Carter, TE Evan Engram, S Jabrill Peppers, CB/S Logan Ryan
The good news: The Giants now have a competent head coach in Brian Daboll. The bad news: Daniel Jones is their QB, and the team lost lots of talent in free agency. Thankfully, the Giants had a great draft, adding two of the best rookies in the draft in the first round in Thibodeaux and Neal, as well as getting a new WR3 in Robinson, who should start. Tyrod Taylor is a veteran presence who will either push Jones to be better or take his job once Jones plays as he usually does. The Giants are far from competing in the NFC, and it will not be surprising if we see a QB end up going their way in the 2023 draft.

AFC South

*Indianapolis Colts
2021 record: 9-8
Projected 2022 record: 10-7 (win by tiebreaker)
Notable additions: QB Matt Ryan, EDGE Yannick Ngakoue, CB Stephon Gilmore, S Rodney McLeod, WR Alec Pierce [R] Notable departures: QB Carson Wentz, EDGE Al-Quadin Muhammad, CB Rock Ya-Sin, TE Jack Doyle, RB Marlon Mack
The Colts tried (and failed) to revive Carson Wentz’s career, and after trading him away, acquired former Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan. Ryan should provide much more stability at the position than Wentz, whose sometimes baffling plays cost the Colts many games. Rushing yards leader Jonathan Taylor will look to lead the Colts offense on the ground once again. With key additions to their defense and a weakening of the Titans, look for the Colts to finally make it over the hump this year. Luckily for them, they don’t play the Jaguars in Week 18.

Tennessee Titans
2021 record: 12-5
Projected 2022 record: 10-7
Notable additions: WR Treylon Burks [R], WR Robert Woods, TE Austin Hooper
Notable departures: WR A.J. Brown, OG Rodger Saffold, LB Rashaan Evans, WR Julio Jones
A.J. Brown, one of the many notable wide receivers from the 2019 draft, is out of Tennessee after making it clear that he needed a new contract, which the Titans could not pay, prompting a trade to the Eagles. To replace him, the Titans drafted Burks and traded for Woods, who will be solid replacements for Brown. QB Ryan Tannehill is more of a game manager than a playmaker, and the decline that we saw in his production will likely continue into this season. The offense runs off of Derrick Henry, who is
returning from a foot injury that cost him most of his season. The Titans remain a good team, but like other teams in the AFC, they have not done enough to keep up with the competition.

Jacksonville Jaguars
2021 record: 3-14
Projected 2022 record: 7-10
Notable additions: LB Devin Lloyd [R], EDGE Travon Walker [R], LB Foye Oluokun, OG Brandon Scherff, WR Christian Kirk, CB Darious Williams, DT Foley Fatukasi, DE Arden Key, WR Zay Jones, TE Evan Engram
Notable departures: LB Myles Jack, C Brandon Linder, WR D.J. Chark, OG Andrew Norwell, DT Malcom Brown, OG A.J. Cann
After a lost 2021 season due to former head coach Urban Meyer’s inept coaching, the Jaguars went on a free agency spending spree to fill the extreme holes on the team. Doug Pederson, the Super Bowl-winning head coach formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles, looks to bring not only a fresh new system into town but also a good culture, something Meyer failed to do. QB Trevor Lawrence is entering his sophomore season, and with a head coach who knows what he’s doing, will undoubtedly improve off of
his rookie season. RB Travis Etienne will finally be able to play in the regular season, after suffering a Lisfranc injury last season that caused him to miss the year. His contributions, as well as the improvement in the pass catching department, should help Lawrence out greatly this season. The
defense has clearly improved by leaps and bounds, as is clear in preseason games. The Jaguars are trending upward, and don’t be surprised if their final record is even higher than my prediction.

Houston Texans
2021 record: 4-13
Projected 2022 record: 4-13
Notable additions: CB Derek Stingley Jr. [R], OL Kenyon Green [R], EDGE Jerry Hughes, CB Steven Nelson, RB Marlon Mack, OG A.J. Cann
Notable departures: QB Deshaun Watson, S Justin Reid, OT Marcus Cannon, CB Terrance Mitchell
The Texans were able to unload the beleaguered quarterback Deshaun Watson onto the Browns in exchange for a bounty of draft picks, exactly what they needed to begin their extensive rebuild. The team has not made many significant improvements and will in no way be competitive this season. QB Davis Mills enters a pivotal year, as a solid performance will likely grant him the starting job for the next few years. An uninspiring performance will result in his successor being drafted in the deep 2023 QB
class. It’s a long, but promising road ahead for the Texans.

NFC South

*Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2021 record: 13-4
Projected 2022 record: 12-5
Notable additions: OG Shaq Mason, WR Russell Gage, DB Logan Ryan, LB/S Keanu Neal, DL Logan Hall [R], OL Luke Goedeke [R], TE Kyle Rudolph, WR Julio Jones
Notable departures: OG Ali Marpet, OG Alex Cappa, TE Rob Gronkowski, EDGE Jason Pierre-Paul, S Jordan Whitehead, DT Ndamukong Suh, QB Tom Brady
Legendary quarterback Tom Brady finally retired, ending a 22-year career with seven super bowl wins, three MVP awards and 15 pro bowls…then he changed his mind after a few weeks, returning to the Bucs for one last ride. The Bucs know this may be their last year in contention for a Super Bowl, as once Brady re-retires, the QB position becomes up in the air with promising, yet unproven second year QB Kyle Trask. Other than that, the rest of the team has undergone some changes with the WR corps becoming even more of a nightmare with Gage and the aging Julio Jones joining Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The O-line has taken some serious hits with Marpet retiring and Cappa signing away with the Bengals in
free agency, as well as starting center Ryan Jensen suffering a most likely season-ending injury and starting guard Aaron Stinnie suffering a torn ACL. The defense will likely continue to be elite, and will no doubt be a major part of the Bucs’ Super Bowl run. The Buccaneers should be a favorite to win the NFC in Brady’s (likely) final year.

^New Orleans Saints
2021 record: 9-8
Projected 2022 record: 10-7
Notable additions: S Tyrann Mathieu, WR Chris Olave [R], WR Jarvis Landry, OT Trevor Penning [R], S Marcus Maye
Notable departures: S Marcus Williams, OT Terron Armstead, S Malcolm Jenkins, LB Kwon Alexander
The Saints were very close to the playoffs last season but barely missed. And that was with a depleted WR corps and Jameis Winston out for the season. Now, WR Michael Thomas is returning, with Landry and Olave joining him to create a top-10 WR corps in the league. Mathieu and Maye are a cheaper, yet more talented safety group than Williams and Jenkins. The only major place of regression on the team is the left tackle position with the stalwart Armstead being replaced with the rookie Penning, who can’t pass-block to save his life. If Winston continues the performance that he showed last season before injury, this team will go places.

Carolina Panthers
2021 record: 5-12
Projected 2022 record: 7-10
Notable additions: QB Baker Mayfield, OT Ikem Ekwonu [R], DL Matthew Ioannidis, LB Cory Littleton, OL Bradley Bozeman, OL Austin Corbett
Notable departures: EDGE Haason Reddick, CB Stephon Gilmore, C Matt Paradis, CB A.J. Bouye
Disgruntled former Browns QB Baker Mayfield is now a Panther, looking to revitalize his career after a brutal season with the Browns in 2021 involving injury and poor play. Reddick and Gilmore will be hard to replace on defense, but the unit will remain decent. The offensive line will likely improve, a place of weakness last season that contributed greatly to their poor performance. The Panthers are a decent team but are miles behind the Bucs and Saints and clearly in the bottom half of the NFC.

Atlanta Falcons
2021 record: 7-10
Projected 2022 record: 3-14
Notable additions: QB Marcus Mariota, WR Drake London [R], WR Bryan Edwards, CB Casey Hayward, EDGE Lorenzo Carter, LB Rashaan Evans
Notable departures: QB Matt Ryan, LB Foye Oluokun, WR Russell Gage, RB Mike Davis, EDGE Dante Fowler Jr., CB Fabian Moreau (WR Calvin Ridley is also suspended for the season due to gambling)
The Falcons have officially begun a major rebuild after realizing it was finally time to move on from Matt Ryan. To replace his loss, the team signed Marcus Mariota to either prove himself as a starter or mentor rookie QB Desmond Ridder, depending on Mariota’s performance. The WR corps have taken a huge hit, as has the linebacker corps with the departure of Oluokun. The Falcons are in a major transition period, and it appears the only thing they will be contending for is the first overall pick.

AFC West

*Los Angeles Chargers
2021 record: 9-8
Projected 2022 record: 12-5
Notable additions: CB J.C. Jackson, EDGE Khalil Mack, OL Zion Johnson [R], CB Bryce Callahan, LB Kyle Van Noy, TE Gerald Everett, DT Austin Johnson, DT Sebastian Joseph-Day
Notable departures: OT Bryan Bulaga, CB Chris Harris Jr., TE Jared Cook, LB Kyler Fackrell, DT Linval Joseph, LB Uchenna Nwosu, DT Justin Jones
The Chargers were so close to the playoffs last season and would have made it if not for an ill-timed timeout. It was clear to the front office that if they were to finally make it over the hump and become the contender that they have the potential to be, led by star QB Justin Herbert, they had to elevate the defense. And that they did, bringing in countless top players, especially Jackson and Mack, to provide a huge boost to the secondary and the pass rush. The Chargers are a clear Super Bowl contender this year, and out of all the stacked AFC West teams, it seems they have done the most to be a top AFC team.

^Kansas City Chiefs
2021 record: 12-5
Projected 2022 record: 10-7
Notable additions: CB Trent McDuffie [R], EDGE George Karlaftis [R], S Justin Reid, WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling
Notable departures: WR Tyreek Hill, S Tyrann Mathieu, CB Charvarius Ward, DT Jarran Reed, LB Anthony Hitchens, EDGE Melvin Ingram
Even without speedster Tyreek Hill, it’s hard to bet against superstar QB Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs were forced to trade the receiver to the Dolphins after being unable to meet contract demands. The Chiefs replaced him with Smith-Schuster and Valdes-Scantling, who will pair with Travis Kelce and Mecole Hardman to form Mahomes’ new pass catching group. The defense should continue to be solid, and Karlaftis has looked good so far in preseason. The Chiefs will remain strong, but the improvements of rivals around them will undoubtedly result in a worse record than years prior.

Las Vegas Raiders
2021 record: 10-7
Projected 2022 record: 9-8
Notable additions: WR Davante Adams, EDGE Chandler Jones, CB Rock Ya-Sin, DT Bilal Nichols, OG Dylan Parham [R] Notable departures: EDGE Yannick Ngakoue, CB Casey Hayward, WR Zay Jones, LB K.J. Wright, LB Cory Littleton
QB Derek Carr and his best friend from Fresno State, Davante Adams, are reunited at last. Adams is the best WR in the league and will join WR Hunter Renfrow and TE Darren Waller to form a very strong group of pass catchers for Carr. The offensive line has made minor improvements but remains a huge question mark for the team. Chandler Jones will team up with DE Maxx Crosby and form a powerful pass rush. The linebacker corps is underrated, led by Denzel Perryman, as well as the secondary, with the up-and-coming Tre’von Moehrig and Nate Hobbs looking to build off their rookie seasons. Like many teams in the AFC, the Raiders have improved, but due to the high amount of talent on teams around them, Las
Vegas will not be able to advance to the postseason.

Denver Broncos
2021 record: 7-10
Projected 2022 record: 9-8
Notable additions: QB Russell Wilson, EDGE Randy Gregory, DT D.J. Jones, LB Joe Schobert, LB Alex Singleton, LB Nik Bonitto [R] Notable departures: TE Noah Fant, DT Shelby Harris, CB Kyle Fuller, QB Drew Lock, CB Bryce Callahan
The Broncos were a QB away from being a better team, so they pulled the plug on a trade for future Hall of Famer Russell Wilson. The defense is improving, but a full season without Von Miller will be new territory (he was traded at mid-season). If Randy Gregory can stay on the field all season, he will be a major boost to the pass rush. The linebacker corps will receive a small boost with the signings the team made for depth. The team is good enough to challenge the rest of the division, but unfortunately for the
Broncos, they did not do enough to make it out of the dangerous AFC West.

NFC West

*Los Angeles Rams
2021 record: 12-5 (won Super Bowl)
Projected 2022 record: 12-5
Notable additions: WR Allen Robinson II, LB Bobby Wagner, CB Troy Hill, CB Decobie Durant [R] Notable departures: OT Andrew Whitworth, LB Von Miller, CB Darious Williams, WR Robert Woods, DT Sebastian Joseph-Day, RB Sony Michel, OG Austin Corbett
The Rams defeated the Bengals to bring home the Lombardi for Super Bowl LVI. The team lost many key players over the offseason but were able to bring in future Hall of Famer Bobby Wagner to provide a huge boost to the linebacker corps, and Allen Robinson to pair up with WR Cooper Kupp and provide QB Matt Stafford with a powerful pass catching duo. The Rams might not be as powerful as they were last season but will still be a top team in the NFC to beat.

^San Francisco 49ers
2021 record: 10-7
Projected 2022 record: 10-7
Notable additions: CB Charvarius Ward, DE Drake Jackson [R], S George Odum, CB Samuel Womack [R] Notable departures: OG Laken Tomlinson, C Alex Mack, DE Arden Key, DT D.J. Jones, EDGE Dee Ford, S Jaquiski Tartt
The “Trey Area” is ready for sophomore QB Trey Lance to take the reins from QB Jimmy Garoppolo and become the new starting quarterback of the 49ers. The team thankfully kept star WR Deebo Samuel, who wanted a trade for most of the offseason until he was re-signed by the Niners. Samuel and Lance will provide a dangerous combo, as their speed and versatility will be tough to scheme around for opposing offenses. The defense will remain a top unit in the league and be a major part of their success. The 49ers will undoubtedly be a fun team to watch this season.

Arizona Cardinals
2021 record: 11-6
Projected 2022 record: 9-8
Notable additions: WR Marquise Brown, TE Trey McBride [R], OG Will Hernandez, RB Darrel Williams
Notable departures: EDGE Chandler Jones, WR Christian Kirk, LB Jordan Hicks, RB Chase Edmonds
Kyler Murray’s interesting offseason ended with a fat, $230 million contract to calm the star quarterback and keep him around in the valley for five more years. Superstar WR DeAndre Hopkins will be suspended for the first six games of the season for supposed PED use, which will be a huge hit to the team. Marquise Brown and Murray were college teammates and should have an immediate connection to help alleviate the loss of Hopkins in the early season. The team will greatly miss Chandler Jones, although they double-dipped on edge rushers in round three of the draft in Myjai Sanders and Cameron Thomas to attempt to replace the perennial Pro Bowler. The Cardinals remain a good team, but they are behind the rest of the competition and will barely miss out on the playoffs after a still solid season.

Seattle Seahawks
2021 record: 7-10
Projected 2022 record: 4-13
Notable additions: OT Charles Cross [R], TE Noah Fant, DT Shelby Harris, QB Drew Lock, LB Uchenna Nwosu
Notable departures: QB Russell Wilson, LB Bobby Wagner, RB Chris Carson, DE Kerry Hyder, TE Gerald Everett, CB D.J. Reed
It’s time for a rebuild in Seattle as two of the team’s greatest players of all time are gone in Wilson and Wagner. The Seahawks are not expected to go anywhere this season except for to the top of the drafting order, as the losses they have suffered are major. Thankfully, the team is armed with draft picks to target a top quarterback in the upcoming draft class in order to restore top QB play in Seattle. The offensive line, once a huge weakness, is beginning to become an area of strength with the addition of Cross and strong play from fellow rookie Abe Lucas, not to mention the return of guards Damien Lewis and Gabe Jackson. The Seahawks are hoping for a quick turnaround, but this will be a difficult year for

AFC Wild Card
7 MIA vs. 2 LAC
6 KC vs. 3 BAL
5 CIN vs. 4 IND

NFC Wild Card
7 NO vs. 2 LAR
6 SF vs. 3 MIN
5 GB vs. 4 PHI

AFC Divisional
5 CIN vs. 1 BUF
3 BAL vs. 2 LAC

NFC Divisional
6 SF vs. 1 TB
5 GB vs. 2 LAR

Championship Weekend
2 LAC vs. 1 BUF
2 LAR vs. 1 TB

Super Bowl LVII
1 BUF vs. 1 TB
Super Bowl Champion
Buffalo Bills, AFC