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September 08, 2022

2022 NFL season predictions: Playoffs, Super Bowl, draft order, and individual awards

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The 2022 NFL season begins tonight, so it's time to lay out our predictions on who will be good, who will be bad, who will win the Super Bowl, and which individual players will shine. Oh, and check out our 10 Eagles-specific predictions here.

Let's start with playoff seeding.

NFC playoff seeds


1) Packers: Nobody doubts Aaron Rodgers' ability to win regular season games

2) Buccaneers: The Bucs have some concerning flaws, but they play in a bad division.

3) Rams: The reigning champs have the conference's most difficult schedule and they'll have a target on their back, but it's still a very talented roster and Sean McVay has a 55-26 career record.

4) Eagles: This will be the 18th consecutive season that the NFC East does not have a repeat champion.

5) 49ers: The Niners could be a tough out in the playoffs if the coaching staff is patient with Trey Lance and he improves as the season progresses.

6) Cowboys: There are all kinds of reasons to believe the Cowboys will regress in 2022, but they're still better than most of the NFC and like the rest of the NFC East, they have an easy schedule.

7) Vikings: 8 wins could be enough to get a wildcard in the NFC this season.

AFC playoff seeds


1) Bills: The Bills are the consensus Super Bowl favorite in 2022.

2) Ravens: Baltimore was the most injury-plagued team in the NFL last season, by a mile. They were 8-3 before they had to start guys like Tyler Huntley and Josh Johnson, losing their final six.

3) Chiefs: Andy and Mahomes are all the Chiefs need to continue to rack up 12-plus win seasons.

4) Colts: Matt Ryan > Carson Wentz.

5) Chargers: The Chargers loaded up for a run this offseason. They'd be the favorite to make the Super Bowl if they played in the NFC. In the AFC, they're just a wildcard team. 

6) Bengals: I still have concerns about that O-line.

7) Broncos: The upgrade from Teddy Bridgewater to Russell Wilson is worth at least 3 wins.

NFL Playoffs


A rematch of the Chiefs and Bucs in the Super Bowl would excite almost nobody, but they employ the quarterbacks that I trust most in big games, and Mahomes gets his revenge in the end.

2023 draft order


The individual awards

MVP: Josh Allen, QB, Bills: Allen is an elite quarterback, obviously, but it feels a lot like media types can't wait to vote this guy in as an MVP. If it's close between Allen and someone else, Allen is going to win. Why do so many media folks suck up to Bills fans? It's weird.

Offensive Player of the Year: Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Bengals: Chase had 1,455 receiving yards and 13 TDs as a rookie, and he's only going to get better.

Defensive Player of the Year: Aaron Donald, DT, Rams: Yes, I'm aware this is a boring choice.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Treylon Burks, WR, Titans: This is my guy from the draft, and I'm going down with the ship sticking with him.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Lions: Size-athleticism freak of nature, who already knows how to play.

Comeback Player of the Year: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers: I picked McCaffrey last year, too, but then he got hurt again. I figure he'll win this award eventually, if he's ever able to survive a season.

Coach of the Year: Nathaniel Hackett: Russell Wilson will get the Broncos back in the playoffs after a six-year hiatus, and Hackett will be the awards beneficiary.

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