Welcome to the Friday the 13th edition of the Pick Six newsletter!
I’m not sure if everyone’s heard yet, but the NFL SCHEDULE WAS RELEASED LAST NIGHT. If you’re wondering why I’m writing in all caps, it’s because I haven’t slept in 31 hours, I’ve had nine cups of coffee since last night and my brain is so fried that I’m not even sure what’s real or how a keyboard works anymore. Also, I have watched the Chargers schedule release video more times than I care to admit. If you haven’t watched it yet, you can click here to see it. It has nearly 160,000 likes on Twitter, which I’m not sure if that says more about the video or the people on Twitter.
Anyway, I’m guessing you already know what we’re going to be covering today and if you guessed the NFL schedule, then you are correct. We’re going to cover the schedule release, the schedule release and more schedule release.
As always, here’s your weekly reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. All you have to do is click here and then share the link. Alright, let’s get to the rundown.
PS: if you missed the schedule release, you can see.
1. Today’s show: Instant reaction to the 2022 NFL schedule
I wasn’t the host of today’s episode of the Pick Six Podcast, which was probably for the best, because if I had been hosting, I would have demanded that we go over every single game on the schedule, which probably would have taken roughly 11 hours.
Instead of me as host, Will Brinson was in charge of things today and the two of us broke down the release of the 2022 NFL schedule. Although we didn’t go through every team’s schedule, we did cover the big stuff. First, we went through some of the biggest games in Week 1 and even made a few picks. For instance, Brinson and I both think the Broncos are going to destroy the Seahawks in the opening Monday night game. Does that mean you should fade us and bet Seattle? Probably.
After that, we went through the holiday games, which don’t: The NFL also put THREE Christmas games on the schedule (Packers at Dolphins, Broncos at Rams, Buccaneers at Cardinals). With Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and the defending Super Bowl champs all playing on Dec. 25, it seems like the NFL’s plan on Christmas is to make everyone forget that the NBA exists.
After talking about the holiday games, we went through and ranked our favorite prime-time games. The one thing I will say is that Brinson REFUSED to put any Titans games in his rankings. The Titans play both the Packers and Cowboys on a Thursday and neither of them cracked Brinson’s list of best Thursday games. STOP WITH THE TITANS SLANDER, BRINSON. There I go, typing in all caps again. I’m clearly cranky. I need a nap.
Anyway, if you want to hear everything we had to say about the schedule, then make sure to listen to today’s podcast, which you can do by clicking here. You can also watch today’s episode on YouTube by clicking here.
2. 2022 NFL schedule: Best game each week
There are 272 games on the NFL schedule this year, and although I would like to talk about each one individually in this newsletter, I’ve been told that’s not realistic, so instead, we’re going to go through each week of the schedule and pick out the best game.
With the addition of the 17th game, that means there are 18 weeks during the regular season this year and our Jared Dubin went through each week to find the best game. With that in mind, let’s check out Dubin’s take on what the best game is for each week of the season.
- Week 1: Bills at Rams. “This is an awesome kickoff game for the season. We’ve got the defending champs hosting one of the top contenders, on a field that will be absolutely loaded with stars on both sides of the ball. Plus, there’s a bit of an edge with Von Miller playing against the team he just left in free agency.”
- Week 2: Chargers at Chiefs. “These two teams played two electric games last season, and considering the talent on hand (particularly at the quarterback position), it seems like that tradition should continue far into the future.”
- Week 7: Browns at Ravens. “The AFC North looks like one of the strongest divisions in the league this season, and the Browns and Ravens should both be heavily in the mix at or near the top.”
- Week 10: Cowboys at Packers. “Dallas and Green Bay have played so many memorable games in the past, but this one will be the first that pits the teams against each other with Mike McCarthy coaching the cowboys instead of the Packers.”
- Week 13: Broncos at Ravens. “Russell Wilson against Lamar Jackson in a matchup of two teams likely to be vying for a playoff late spot in the season? I’m into it!”
- Week 14: Buccaneers at 49ers. “Tom Brady traveling to Northern California to take on his boyhood favorite team is always a treat. We’re sure to get a whole lot of nostalgia thrown our way for this one. Plus, it should be a fantastic matchup of two terrific teams. “
- Week 17: Bills at Bengals. “Josh Allen, Josh Burrow, Stefon Diggs, Ja’Marr Chase, Gabriel Davis, Tee Higgins … this game might explode with points. That is, of course, unless the likes of Von Miller and Tre’Davious White and Trey Hendrickson and Jessie Bates and more have something to say about it.”
We covered seven of the 18 weeks here and if you want to check out Dubin’s full list,.
If you’re still hungry for more schedule stuff, don’t worry, we have you covered. If you want to see who the winners and losers were on the schedule,. We also made list of the five best revenge games on the schedule and . Finally, because it’s never too early to make Week 1 picks, we made some picks and you .
We also came up with one good thing and one bad thing about each team’s schedule and.
3. Ranking the 10 must-watch games on the NFL schedule
If you read this newsletter regularly, then you probably know that we love to rank things here, so obviously, we had to rank the best games on the schedule.
By the way, we hired a new NFL writer last week (Shanna McCarriston), which I’m only noting right now because Shanna is the one who put this list together.
Here are the top-five games on Shanna’s list:
- Chiefs at Buccaneers (Week 4): “Tom Brady? Patrick Mahomes? A Super Bowl LV rematch? Sign me up. It’s the old GOAT vs. the young superstar and if this game does not entertain it will be the shock of the season.”
- Packers at Buccaneers (Week 3): “Maybe I should’ve just done a Tom Brady section. Brady facing off against Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will be a must-see game this season, so put it on your calendars now.”
- Patriots at Raiders (Week 15): “This matchup will be Patriots head coach Bill Belichick against his former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who is now the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders.”
- Bills at Rams (Week 1): “This is a great AFC vs. NFC battle in the opener and dare I say it could be a possible Super Bowl preview?”
- Packers at Bills (Week 8): “Well, what do we have here… ANOTHER possible Super Bowl preview?! Yes, that is what we have. How exciting for us. These are two of the top teams in their conference and with Allen and Rodgers running these offenses we should be in for a treat.”
If you want to see the rest of Shanna’s list of.
4. Quirks on the 2022 NFL schedule
After the schedule comes out each year, my favorite thing to do is comb through all 32 schedules to see if I can find any quirks. Sure, that means I’m up for 17 straight hours going through each schedule after they come out, but the good news is that I found quite a few quirks, so it was time well spent, but also, I need another cup of coffee already.
So what kind of quirks are we talking about here? Let’s find out.
- Bears will be spending December at home. The Bears got an especially unique scheduling quirk: They don’t play a SINGLE road game during the month of December, marking the first time that’s happened to the Bears since 1964. The Bears will play a home game against the Packers in Week 13 (Dec. 4). They have a bye in Week 14 (Dec. 11) and then they follow that up with a home game in Weeks 15 (Dec. 18) and 16 (Dec. 24). Although they do play a road game in Week 17, that game falls on Jan. 1, which means they have ZERO road games in December.
- Chiefs get handed killer opening schedule. With their 2022 schedule, the Chiefs will become the first team in NFL history to open a season with eight straight games against teams that finished above .500 the prior season (Via Elias Sports Bureau). The stretch starts in Week 1 when they travel to Arizona and then continues to Week 9. Here’s a look at their brutal opening eight-game gauntlet: at Cardinals, Chargers, at Colts, at Buccaneers, Raiders, Bills, at 49ers, bye, Titans.
- Jets and Ravens with bizarre start to schedule. The Jets will start the season by playing every team in the AFC North over the first four weeks marking the first time since the 1970 merger that the Jets have played four straight games against the same division at any point in a season. On the Ravens’ end, they’ll be starting the season with four straight games against the AFC East, marking the first time they’ve opened the season against four teams from the same division.
- Commanders go back to back. The Commanders have an especially unique quirk on their…