Once the NFL trickled out some of the games before its full schedule release, it became clear who the Los Angeles Rams would host in the opening game of the 2022 NFL regular season.
The Denver Broncos with new quarterback Russell Wilson were an option for the Rams’ opener, but the NFL said the Broncos would face the Rams on Christmas Day. The NFL usually steers clear of divisional games in the traditional Thursday night opener. That narrowed the probable list to one juicy, marquee matchup for Sept. 8 at SoFi Stadium: The reigning Super Bowl champion Rams hosting the Buffalo Bills, one of the top contenders for the crown in the NFL’s upcoming season.
Bills at Rams is a great way to kick off the season and one of the highlights of the NFL’s schedule release on Thursday. The release of the NFL’s schedule has become one of the big events of the NFL offseason. NFL Network scheduled a three-hour show around the schedule release on Thursday evening.
The NFL usually starts the season with the defending Super Bowl champion at home on the Thursday night of Week 1, often against another marquee opponent. The Rams are the first team from California to host the opener since the NFL started that tradition.
This is the second season with 18 weeks. The season was expanded to 17 games for each team, with one bye week, last season.
The NFL had already released some games before the full schedule was announced on Thursday. It set Los Angeles Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs for the Thursday night game of Week 2 (Amazon Prime Video’s first broadcast), and a Week 2 “Monday Night Football” doubleheader of Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Eagles.
The international games were set as well:
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints in Week 4 at London
New York Giants vs. Green Bay Packers in Week 5 at London
Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Denver Broncos in Week 8 at London
Seattle Seahawks vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10 at Munich
Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers in Week 11 at Mexico City.
Other games announced long before the full schedule was released: Broncos at Rams on Christmas Day, Chiefs at Buccaneers in Week 4, Dallas Cowboys at Packers in Week 10. Other games were leaked through various reporters.
A couple hours before the full schedule release, the NFL released all 32 teams’ home openers, so the Week 1 schedule was easy to piece together:
Included in the opening weekend are a few good divisional rivalries (Saints at Falcons, Steelers at Bengals, Patriots at Dolphins, Packers at Vikings, Raiders at Chargers) before a fantastic Sunday night game between the Cowboys and Buccaneers. The Monday night game features Wilson’s return to Seattle to face the Seahawks, the team he led as quarterback for 10 years.
The NFL puts many of its best matchups on Sunday night, and NBC’s slate of games this season is a great one.
There are some great highlights in the 2022 NFL schedule. Less than four months until the season kicks off.