Ranking the 10 best games of the 2022 NFL regular season (2024)

The NFL released its 2022 schedule Thursday night, so we went through to identify the 10 best games.

Note that this is a completely objective exercise, so if you don’t see a game that you think should be on here, it’s because you are wrong, and I am right. Now let’s get to it.

1. Week 6: Bills at Chiefs (Sunday, Oct. 16, 4:25 p.m. ET)

Prediction: At some point in the near future, we’ll start talking about last year’s playoff meeting between these two teams as “the game that changed the modern NFL as we know it.”

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Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes exchanged blows in one of the most entertaining games we’ve seen in recent years. The level of quarterback play was so high that there had to be teams watching who thought: “Could our guy compete in a game like that?”

If you played last season out 100 times, there’s a strong argument that the Bills and Chiefs win the Super Bowl as often as any other team. Of course, that’s not how it works. The Bills were left with nightmares about the last 13 seconds of regulation and the coin flip in overtime. The Chiefs lost to the Bengals in the AFC Championship. Now they’re both on the short list of Super Bowl favorites once again.

If we’re talking purely about quality of play — and specifically, quarterback play — this game has the highest ceiling on the 2022 slate.

2. Week 12: Rams at Chiefs (Sunday, Nov. 27, 4:25 p.m. ET)

Andy Reid and Sean McVay often have the same solution for solving problems: score more points.

When these two teams met in 2018, it produced one of the best games of the decade. They combined for 105 points, 1,001 yards, 14 touchdowns and 56 first downs. Mahomes and Jared Goff combined to throw for 891 yards, and the game featured four fourth-quarter lead changes with the Rams eventually landing a 54-51 victory.

Goff has been replaced by Matthew Stafford. And among the Chiefs’ four leading pass-catchers from that game, only Travis Kelce remains. But Reid and McVay are still calling the shots, and offensive fireworks are likely.

3. Week 1: Broncos at Seahawks (Monday, Sept. 12, 8:15 p.m. ET)

On one hand, I’m stunned that the NFL decided to open the season with the “Russell Wilson returns to Seattle” game. On the other hand, the Seahawks’ over/under for wins, per BetMGM, is 5.5. So perhaps the league was worried that the Seahawks would have no juice if they scheduled it later in the season.

The best part about this storyline is that we can let it play out and eventually get an answer about who was right. The Seahawks felt like they were maximizing Wilson’s strengths and hiding his weaknesses with Pete Carroll’s preferred offensive approach. Wilson believes that if he has more control in a pass-first offense, he can be as good as any quarterback in the NFL. So which is it? With Wilson landing on a competitive roster in Denver, we’ll find out.

Most Seahawks games are weird, regardless of who they’re playing. This one feels like guaranteed drama.

4. Week 3: Packers at Buccaneers (Sunday, Sept. 25, 4:25 p.m. ET)

Best-case scenario for the Packers: They beat the Bucs here to improve to 3-0. Aaron Rodgers looks like someone capable of putting the offense on his back and winning a third consecutive MVP, despite having lost Davante Adams.

Worst-case scenario for the Packers: They get walloped here and fall to 1-2. Their wide receivers get smothered by Todd Bowles’ defense, and Rodgers throws for 127 yards. After the game, he announces he’s retiring to join Amazon as its lead analyst on a 10-year, $500 million deal.

Brady sees the news after the game and tweets out the eyes emoji. He goes on to lead the Bucs to a 13-4 record and wins his eighth Super Bowl.

5. Week 13: Chiefs at Bengals (Sunday, Dec. 4, 4:25 p.m. ET)

They’re not booing. They’re saying “Louuuuuuu!” Lou Anarumo was one of the most inconspicuous defensive coordinators in the NFL for a while. Then he delivered an absolute gem in the AFC Championship, adjusting and dropping eight into coverage against Mahomes, Reid and the Chiefs. Kansas City’s four second-half possessions resulted in two punts (both three-and-outs), a field goal and an interception. Anarumo’s strategy was a huge reason why the Bengals got to the Super Bowl.

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The Bengals should lean into the Anarumo love for this game. May I suggest a section called “Anarumo’s Army” where fans hold giant Anarumo heads in front of their faces whenever the Chiefs try to kick a field goal?

Who’s with me? Anyone? Hello?

Ranking the 10 best games of the 2022 NFL regular season (1)

(Rich Barnes / USA Today)

6. Week 18: Patriots at Bills (Jan. 7 or 8, TBD)

Some say styles make fights. I say takes make games. And last December’s three-pass game between these two teams produced some of the wildest takes we saw all season. Did Bill Belichick’s game plan belong in Canton? Should Sean McDermott have resigned on the spot? WOULD THE SPORT EVER BE THE SAME??

The Bills ended up being just fine. They beat the Patriots in Week 16 and then put on a show during a 47-17 playoff win in which they scored on all seven true possessions. It was the type of performance we’ve never seen before against a Belichick-coached team.

The Bills added Von Miller this offseason and are Super Bowl favorites, according to sportsbooks. The Patriots did some roster tinkering but have flown mostly under the radar this offseason.

The stakes should be high for this one. Maybe the Patriots are battling for a playoff berth? Maybe the Bills are playing for the top seed? Maybe the AFC East is still up for grabs? As long as Allen’s quarterbacking the Bills and Belichick’s coaching the Patriots, these matchups are going to be must-see.

7. Week 4: Bills at Ravens (Sunday, Oct. 2, 1 p.m. ET)

As mentioned above, the Bills are Super Bowl favorites. The Ravens, meanwhile, will likely become a trendy sleeper pick by the time September rolls around. They were the most-injured team in the NFL last year, according to Football Outsiders. And they’re 37-12 in the regular season with Lamar Jackson as their starter. With a little injury regression, the Ravens are positioned to bounce back nicely in 2022.

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Allen vs. Jackson is always going to be fun. Both guys can run for 100 and/or throw for 300. And with a little luck, maybe we get an unexpected controversy like the time everyone tried to figure out if Jackson left a game against the Browns because he had to go potty. A man can dream.

8. Week 14: Buccaneers at 49ers (Sunday, Dec. 11, 4:25 p.m. ET)

We have no idea what Brady will be doing in Week 1 of the 2023 season. He could be quarterbacking the Bucs again. Or maybe he gets started on his broadcasting career. Of course, there is a door No. 3: He’s playing for another team.

Unlike this past offseason, Brady will be a free agent. Maybe things don’t go well for the Bucs in 2022, but he still plays well. Maybe things don’t go great for Trey Lance and the 49ers in 2022. Could Brady be drawn to the idea of finishing out his career for his hometown team? That angle could certainly pick up some juice during the week leading up to this game, depending on how both teams are performing.

The other possibility is that Lance plays well in his first full season as a starter and we get a fun matchup between two of the top teams in the NFC.

9. Week 1: Raiders at Chargers (Sunday, Sept. 11, 4:25 p.m. ET)

Brandon Staley has a lot of regrets about how last year’s Week 18 matchup between these two teams played out. He wishes he would have just played for the tie. And this time around, Staley’s not taking any chances.

Sure, it’s Week 1. But the AFC West is going to be competitive. And the difference between a tie and a loss could be significant when all is said and done. Staley texts Josh McDaniels to meet him in Baker, Calif., at 3 a.m. the morning of this game. The two coaches talk it out and decide that if the game is tied at any point in the fourth quarter, the offenses will just trade kneeldowns until time expires.

With just more than a minute left and the score tied at 24, the Raiders take a knee. On second down, they do it again. Staley takes off his headset. A tie it is. Just as they discussed.

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But McDaniels studied under Belichick for all those years for a reason. Win at all costs, he decides. It’s time to go rogue. The Raiders set up for a third kneeldown, but instead Derek Carr drops back and finds a wide open Adams down the right sideline. He jogs into the end zone as time expires, and the Raiders win.

When the end of the season comes around, the result of this game proves to be enormous. The Raiders make the playoffs. The Chargers miss out. Staley realizes they both would have gotten in had McDaniels stuck to the script and played for the tie. He spends the entire offseason plotting revenge on his new rival.

10. Week 16: Eagles at Cowboys (Sunday, Dec. 24, 4:25 p.m. ET)

This matchup at this point in the season is mostly interesting because of the wide range of outcomes. The Eagles have the second-easiest schedule in the NFL, according to projected win totals. It doesn’t seem outlandish to think they could win 10 or 11 games and take control of the NFC East with a win here. On the other hand, if Jalen Hurts doesn’t progress, given that the Eagles go into 2023 with two first-round picks, they would become one of the most interesting teams of the 2023 offseason.

As for the Cowboys, they’re still the division favorites, and they still have the best quarterback in the NFC East. But it’s hard to get too excited about their offseason. If things go south for them and they lose here, how hot is Mike McCarthy’s seat going to be? Will a deal with Sean Payton already be finalized?

One way or another, it feels like there’s going to be a lot riding on this game.

(Top photo: William Purnell / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Alright, let's dive into the NFL schedule breakdown. This article highlights some intriguing matchups for the 2022 season, and I can certainly break down the concepts mentioned.

  1. Week 6: Bills at Chiefs (Sunday, Oct. 16, 4:25 p.m. ET):

    • Recap of the playoff meeting between the Bills and Chiefs.
    • Emphasis on the impact of quarterback play, particularly Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes.
    • Speculation on the game's potential influence on the modern NFL.
  2. Week 12: Rams at Chiefs (Sunday, Nov. 27, 4:25 p.m. ET):

    • Comparison to the 2018 game between the Rams and Chiefs, one of the best games of the decade.
    • Changes in personnel, with Matthew Stafford replacing Jared Goff.
    • Anticipation of another high-scoring, entertaining game.
  3. Week 1: Broncos at Seahawks (Monday, Sept. 12, 8:15 p.m. ET):

    • Highlighting the storyline of Russell Wilson's return to Seattle.
    • Speculation on Wilson's preferred offensive approach and its impact on the game.
    • Predictions on the competitive nature and potential drama of the matchup.
  4. Week 3: Packers at Buccaneers (Sunday, Sept. 25, 4:25 p.m. ET):

    • Scenario analysis for the Packers, including best and worst-case outcomes.
    • Mention of Aaron Rodgers' capability and potential retirement speculation.
    • Tom Brady's role and potential success with the Buccaneers.
  5. Week 13: Chiefs at Bengals (Sunday, Dec. 4, 4:25 p.m. ET):

    • Acknowledgment of Lou Anarumo's defensive strategy in the AFC Championship.
    • Playful suggestion of a fan section called "Anarumo's Army" for the game.
    • Humorous tone and engagement with the audience.
  6. Week 18: Patriots at Bills (Jan. 7 or 8, TBD):

    • Reflection on the memorable matchups and narratives from the previous season.
    • Emphasis on the impact of coaching styles, specifically Bill Belichick and Sean McDermott.
    • Speculation on the stakes and potential scenarios for both teams.
  7. Week 4: Bills at Ravens (Sunday, Oct. 2, 1 p.m. ET):

    • Acknowledgment of the Bills as Super Bowl favorites.
    • Optimistic view of the Ravens' potential comeback in the 2022 season.
    • Expectation of an entertaining matchup between Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson.
  8. Week 14: Buccaneers at 49ers (Sunday, Dec. 11, 4:25 p.m. ET):

    • Uncertainty surrounding Tom Brady's status in the 2023 season.
    • Speculation on potential storylines, including Brady's team choice and performance.
    • Anticipation of a competitive matchup between two top NFC teams.
  9. Week 1: Raiders at Chargers (Sunday, Sept. 11, 4:25 p.m. ET):

    • Recall of the previous season's Week 18 matchup and Brandon Staley's regrets.
    • Creative scenario involving a strategic discussion between coaches for a tied game.
    • Speculation on the potential impact of the game on playoff outcomes.
  10. Week 16: Eagles at Cowboys (Sunday, Dec. 24, 4:25 p.m. ET):

    • Emphasis on the wide range of possible outcomes for both the Eagles and Cowboys.
    • Consideration of Jalen Hurts' progression and its impact on the Eagles' season.
    • Speculation on the Cowboys' offseason and potential implications for Mike McCarthy's coaching position.

These analyses provide a comprehensive overview of the highlighted matchups, combining historical context, player dynamics, and hypothetical scenarios to engage readers in the excitement of the upcoming NFL season.

Ranking the 10 best games of the 2022 NFL regular season (2024)

FAQs

What are the top 10 NFL games of 2022? ›

A look at the Top 10 games to watch in 2022.
  • Week 4 — Chiefs at Buccaneers. ...
  • Week 6 — Bills at Chiefs. ...
  • Week 8 — Packers at Bills. ...
  • Week 9 — Rams at Buccaneers. ...
  • Week 10 — Cowboys at Packers. Sunday, Nov. ...
  • Week 15 — Patriots at Raiders. Sunday, Dec. ...
  • Week 17 — Rams at Chargers. Sunday, Jan. ...
  • Week 18 — Ravens at Bengals. Sunday, Jan.
Sep 5, 2022

What was the most-watched NFL game of 2022 season? ›

The most-watched game in 2022 was the opener between the Los Angeles Chargers and Chiefs (13.0 million).

What was the top NFL of the 2022 season? ›

Final NFL Power Rankings of the 2022 Season. The champion Chiefs proved worthy of the top spot, and the Eagles sit a 27-yard field goal away in second place.

What was the highest scoring game of the 2022 NFL season? ›

93 points (Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions, 2022)

What is the best football game in 2022? ›

Best college football games of 2022 season
  • Pitt 37, UCLA 35 (Dec. Pat Narduzzi's 9-4 season at Pitt began and ended with wild wins. ...
  • James Madison 32, Appalachian State 28 (Sept. From the very start of the season, FBS newcomer James Madison signaled that it was ready for the jump. ...
  • Penn State 35, Purdue 31 (Sept.
Jan 17, 2023

What team is number 1 in NFL? ›

NFL Power Rankings, 2024:
Power RankTeamChange
149ers0
2Chiefs0
3Lions+2
4Ravens0
28 more rows
Apr 3, 2024

What is the most viewed NFL game ever? ›

Record-Setting Viewership

Super Bowl LVIII is the most-watched program ever, averaging 123.4 million viewers across all platforms, up +7% versus last year's Super Bowl which was the previous record (115.1 million).

What's the most watched NFL game? ›

The 2024 Super Bowl becomes the most watched NFL championship in history About 123 million people tuned in across platforms, including CBS, Paramount+, Univision and Nickelodeon.

What NFL team has the highest TV ratings in 2022? ›

Average 2022 NFL National TV Ratings
Team RecordDMA RankingHH Rating
New York Giants (9-7-1)110.6
Dallas Cowboys (12-5)512.1
Green Bay Packers (8-9)6911.4
Minnesota Vikings (13-4)1410.3
28 more rows
Jan 13, 2023

Who was the worst NFL team this year? ›

It's hard to have a worse season than the 2023 Carolina Panthers did, as they not only finished with the worst record in football, but they can't even fall back on having the first overall pick in the draft thanks to their trade-up to that position last year in order to select Bryce Young.

Who is going to the Super Bowl 2024? ›

Kansas City Chiefs' tight end #87 Travis Kelce and Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback #15 Patrick Mahomes hug after winning Super Bowl LVIII against the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 11, 2024. The Kansas City Chiefs win the 2024 Super Bowl, 25-22!

Who has the worst record in the NFL? ›

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the lowest win–loss percentage (. 406) in the NFL regular season. The following is a listing of all 32 current National Football League (NFL) teams ranked by their regular season win–loss record percentage, accurate as of the end of week 18 of the 2023 NFL season. Pct.

Has there ever been a 3 0 NFL game? ›

It was the first 3-0 game since Pittsburgh beat Miami on Nov. 26, 2007, the third in the past 40 years and the seventh in the Super Bowl era. The last game that ended regulation scoreless was a 0-0 tie between the New York Giants and Detroit Lions on Nov. 7, 1943.

What was the lowest scoring NFL game 2022? ›

4 teams were tied for the fewest points in a game in 2022, with 0 points. The first three are the New Orleans Saints on November 27, 2022, the Las Vegas Raiders on October 30, 2022 and the Detroit Lions on October 9, 2022.

What is the highest winning score in NFL history? ›

Washington Redskins vs. New York Giants (November 27, 1966): This game holds the record for the highest combined score in NFL history, with the Redskins defeating the Giants 72-41, leading to a total of 113 points.

What are the top 5 NFL teams 2022? ›

NFL Team Rankings
1Dallas Cowboys
2Miami Dolphins
3San Francisco 49ers
4Baltimore Ravens
5Detroit Lions
27 more rows

What are the ratings for the NFL game in 2022? ›

In 2022, the average viewership of NFL games at primetime in the United States sank to 4.5 million. This continued the trend of decline in primetime viewership that began in 2002 and was constant except for the years 2006, 2008, and 2013, when there were slight increases in the number of viewers.

What is the best NFL game played? ›

The 1958 NFL Championship Game between the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants was the first ever NFL playoff game to go into sudden-death overtime and is widely known as "The Greatest Game Ever Played."

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