I took a crack at predicting the 2022 season after Super Bowl 56. Let’s see how things have changed with the draft and free agency now in the rearview.
Jarrod Thurman @JarrodChiefsFCS Chiefs Focus @Chiefsfocus
Shortly after the Super Bowl, I wrote an article predicting the 2022 season with a mock offseason. I had the Chiefs beating the Rams in the Super Bowl. Now that the main waves of free agency and the draft are over, let’s redo it.
To start with, we’re going to look at who the number overall draft pick will be. There’s a team who is in rebuilding mode right now and just traded their long-time quarterback. That is the Seahawks. Sure they still have DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, but who’s going throw to them? Drew Lock and Geno Smith are former starters that have become backups. Pete Carroll is an amazing coach, but I don’t think he can turn this around. His only hope is a trade for a quarterback like Baker Mayfield. I also have the Seahawks as being the last winless team, not getting their first victory until week 14 over the Panthers. I’ve them finishing 1-16.
The team I have taking the biggest step back is going to be the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger retired and Juju is gone. Similar to the Seahawks, they have a great coach but this team does not have much to work with this year. Mitchell Tribusky and Kenny Pickett neither one are the answer at quarterback for the Steelers. I have them finishing 2-15.
I have a 4-way tie for best record. The Chiefs, Bills, Bucs, and Rams I have finishing 15-2. These teams are definitely the best teams in the NFL. As long as Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen are the quarterbacks of their teams, the Chiefs and Bills will be good. The Rams took an already good defense and added a future Hall of Famer in Bobby Wagner. The Bucs with Tom Brady potentially lucking for one more final run are definitely going to be a team hard to beat next season despite what they lost. I have the Chiefs being the last undefeated team left losing their first game against the Chargers in week 11.
I predicted the Dolphins and Jaguars would take big steps forward in my last prediction article. The Jaguars I don’t think will take a massive step forward anymore, but I do think the Dolphins will. They traded for Tyreek Hill. The combination of Hill and Jaylen Waddle will allow Tua Tagovailoa to take a huge step forward. I’ve got the Dolphins finishing 11-6 however, they, unfortunately, miss the playoffs thanks to tiebreakers.
My prediction for the most overhyped team coming into the season is the Raiders. Yes, Davante Adams is a good receiver, but I do not think it will make as big of a difference as everyone else does. Derek Carr is probably the most overrated quarterback in the NFL right now. He rarely wins big games. The Raiders have too hard of a start to the season and I think they finish 7-10.
As crazy and rare as this actually is to happen, I think all 8 division champions repeat. I’ve got the Chiefs, Bills, Bengals, and Titans winning in the AFC. All division champs are still good teams. I’ve got the Buccaneers, Rams, Packers, and Cowboys winning the NFC division titles. The order I named the teams is the seeding order predictions I have as well.
My Wildcard predictions (in seeding order) are Broncos, Chargers, and Colts for the AFC, and for the NFC I have Cardinals, Eagles, and 49ers.
So we’re on to the playoffs. With my predictions, the first round goes as follows: Broncos over Titans, Bengals over Chargers, Bills over Colts, Cowboys over Cardinals, Packers over Eagles, and Rams over 49ers. In the Divisional round, I’ve got Bills over Bengals, Chiefs over Chargers, Rams over Packers, and Buccaneers over Cowboys.
The conference title matchups are epic matchups. We have a rematch of last year’s epic Divisional Round Matchup in the AFC Championship where the Chiefs yet again take down the Bills in another epic playoff matchup. Over in the NFC, the Rams will defeat the Buccaneers in another epic playoff matchup.
Super Bowl LVII will be played in Glendale, Arizona at State Farm Stadium where the Chiefs play in week 1. Though this time the Chiefs will be playing the Rams instead of the Cardinals. The Chiefs will also play against a team they defeated in the regular season as well. This time it’s another epic matchup. A back and forth high scoring affair. The Chiefs win on a last-second field goal to capture their 3rd Lombardi and 2nd under Andy Reid. Final score: 34-31, Patrick Mahomes MVP.
You could call me biased having the Chiefs win the Super Bowl, but the last time the Chiefs lost an AFC Championship game in heartbreaking fashion at home, they won it all the next year. Here’s to hoping history repeats itself. Additionally, this year more so than any year, I feel the gap between the best teams and the worst teams is the largest it has ever been. Below are my predictions for the full divisional standings.
West: Chiefs 15-2, Broncos 12-5, Chargers 12-5, Raiders 7-10
East: Bills 15-2, Dolphins 11-6, Patriots 7-10, Jets 2-15
North: Bengals 12-5, Browns 10-7, Ravens 10-7, Steelers 2-15
South: Titans 11-6, Colts 11-6, Jaguars 6-11, Texans 1-16
South: Bucs 15-2, Saints 6-11, Panthers 5-12, Falcons 4-13
West: Rams 15-2, Cardinals 12-5, 49ers 9-8, Seahawks 1-16
North: Packers 14-3, Vikings 7-10, Bears 6-11, Lions 2-15
East: Cowboys 12-5, Eagles 11-6, Commanders 6-11, Giants 3-14