Football fans will rejoice as we edge ever closer to the new NFL season. This year, the action begins on Thursday 8 September 2022.
It’s expected that the Los Angeles Rams will play host to the first match of the season. Traditionally, the winners of the last season’s Super Bowl kick off proceedings with a home game.
Each team will play 17 games in the season, before the Super Bowl in Arizona next year. Creating the schedule is a complex affair, taking into account the following:
- Each team must play each other at least once in four years
- Other events taking place near stadiums
- The best late season match-ups
- The logistics of playing the game on certain dates
It takes six executives and a pretty technical computer program to offer thousands of options. However, each team already knows who their opponents will be, just not when they will play them.
Who Will Play Who?
There’s some exciting prospects on the calendar later this year, including:
- The Patriots playing the Jets at home
- The Ravens against the Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium
- The Titans visiting the Packers
And several more that are bound to be compelling viewing.
Before the schedule release and the season, there’s the draft, which will take place from 28 April – 30 April. This gives teams the chance to add some new talent to their line-up. Aidan Hutchinson is being tipped to be the first draft pick in the NFL Draft odds.
The current rules allow each team one pick in each of the seven rounds of the draft. Excluding club to club trades, each round begins with the team that finished last season with the worst record.
The first round will take place at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday 28 April. Each team has 10 minutes to make a pick.
On Friday 29 April, there will be second and third rounds, while the remaining will take place on Saturday. The time limits are reduced though:
- In the second round, they have seven minutes
- In the third – sixth, they get five minutes
- In the seventh, they have just four minutes
Teams can use this time strategically. They can choose a player to trade him to improve their status in another round.
Players become draft eligible after their college eligibility has run out. Some players can request that this is granted early, if they haven’t used up their college time.
Predictions for the Draft
Teams have already got busy doing trades for first-round picks. The New York Jets and the New York Giants are both predicted to have two top-ten picks.
While it looks like the Eagles will have three picks in the first round, as a result of the deals. These came about after talks with the Indianapolis Colts and the Miami Dolphins.
Of course, the draft is also about opportunity costs and positional analysis. This year’s draft looks to be strong for offensive tackles and receivers, however it’s weak for quarterbacks and tight ends.
Edge defenders will be some of the top picks this year, rather than interior defensive linemen.
Some of the top predictions by scouts this year include:
- Edge Aidan Hutchinson of Michigan picked by Jacksonville Jaguars
- Quarterback Malik Willis of Liberty as a big pick for Detroit Lions
- Edge Travon Walker from Georgia to Houston Texans
- New York Jets picking Offensive Tackle Evan Neal of Alabama
Football fans are eager for news of the NFL all year round, which is why eager eyes seek predictions.
The AFC looks most competitive this year, with 13 teams boasting elite players. In contrast, the NFC looks weaker for this season.
Buffalo Bills look strong coming into the season, and have been ranked top seed for AFC. Having signed Von Miller and Roger Saffold, their season could be very exciting.
It’s fully expected that the Cincinnati Bengals will rise from their loss against the Rams at the Super Bowl. They have Joe Burrow on a rookie contract, and Ted Karras and Alex Cappa on offensive, before the draft.
In the NFC, way too early predictions have been made too, with some surprises emerging.
Some experts say the Falcons and Commanders have a shot at playoffs. The Rams are favorites as champions again next year, but it’s all to play for.
Making your predictions early can certainly get some great odds, and give you anticipation before the season begins. However, it will be interesting to see what happens between here and September.