NFL teams with the toughest 2022 schedule
The 2022 NFL The regular season schedule has been released and fans around the world have now had plenty of time to mark the best must-watch games on their calendars.
Thanks to the rotation of the NFL schedule and the addition of a 17th game in 2021, the 2022 campaign is absolutely loaded with contests not to be missed. For example, NFC West will play against AFC North. Expect lots of fireworks at these inclines. Plus, we get Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes at least once more because of Game 17.
That said, let’s dive into the 10 teams that have the toughest schedules for the 2022 season.
ten New England Patriots
The Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins both finished above .500 in 2020 and 2021. Including the playoffs, New England went 1-4 against those two clubs last season.
Bill Belichick’s squad have a brutal four-game streak to open the season: at Miami in Week 1, at Pittsburgh in Week 2, against Baltimore in Week 3 and at Green Bay in Week 4. Their final six games will be against teams with 2022 winning records, including a Week 18 home tilt with Buffalo.
9 Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers would have missed the playoffs last season if the Ravens and Cleveland Browns hadn’t had their seasons derailed by injuries. Both of these clubs will improve dramatically in 2022, so Pittsburgh shouldn’t expect a season playoff sweep from either club this time around. That’s before mentioning the two annual games with the mighty Cincinnati Bengals.
On top of that, the Steelers have to face the Patriots, Buccaneers, Eagles, Saints, Colts and Raiders. Good luck with this calendar.
8 Las Vegas Raiders
Patrick Mahomes owns the Raiders, so we won’t blame Las Vegas fans who choose to cut guaranteed losses in Weeks 5 and 18. The Chargers and Broncos aren’t players in the division anymore, either.
Las Vegas must also play the entire NFC West division, the Saints, Colts, Patriots, Titans and Steelers. It’s hard to find an outright victory on this schedule.
seven New Orleans Saints
Luckily the Saints brought Chris Olave, Jarvis Landry, Trevor Penning and Tyrann Mathieu into a roster that won nine games with four different starting quarterbacks last season. With a busy schedule, Dennis Allen’s band will need all the help they can get.
For starters, the Saints have to face the dangerous Buccaneers twice. The Saints will also face the NFC West, a division that included three playoff teams in 2021, AFC North and two other postseason 2021 clubs in the Eagles and Raiders.
6 San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers finished third in the NFC West, but that didn’t stop them from reaching the NFC Championship Game last year. Impressive and all, but the Rams and Cardinals will do their best to delay another deep playoff run for Kyle Shanahan’s group.
San Francisco also faces the Chiefs, Chargers, Raiders, Broncos, Dolphins, Saints and Buccaneers. Ten of their games will be against teams that boasted record breaking last year.
5 Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals are absolutely going to have to earn the always tough repeat of the AFC North.
They will face 10 teams that finished with winning records last year. And that’s before we mention rivals Ravens and Browns, who both finished 8-9 largely due to injuries to key players. Both of these teams should be in contention for the division this season, which means the Bengals basically have 14 games against very competitive teams.
Only Atlanta and Carolina should be marked as guaranteed wins. You can’t even include the Week 3 tilt with the Jets because New York actually stunned them in Week 8 of last season.
4 Arizona Cardinals
Playing in arguably the toughest division in football doesn’t help matters. That means four games alone against the 49ers and Rams. But the Cardinals must also play all of AFC West which includes the Chiefs and three other playoff prospects in the Raiders, Broncos and Chargers.
The Buccaneers, Saints, Eagles and Patriots also loom on Arizona’s 2022 schedule. Looking at their roster of games, only the contests with Atlanta and Carolina look like gimme games. The Seahawks, even without Russell Wilson, are capable of giving Kyle Murray and company a hard time.
3 Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City’s 2022 opponents combined for a .533 winning percentage, but their schedule is actually much tougher than that. The division-rival Chargers, Broncos and Raiders have all taken significant steps to improve. This won’t be the year the Chiefs run away with four, five or even six easy division wins.
Patrick Mahomes and company also face the defending AFC champion Bengals and two top teams in the Bills and Buccaneers. The ever-stingy Titans and the self-improvement Colts won’t be easy opponents either. And we bring it all up before reminding you that Kansas City must play the entire NFC West division.
2 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers can at least score four easy wins over the NFC South rivals Panthers and Falcons. Their game against Seattle in Munich, Germany also looks like a lopsided win.
But the rest of the program? Yeah. They open the season against the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium and then have to visit the Saints, who are 4-1 against Tom Brady during his Buccaneer tenure. Tampa will then head home for games against Aaron Rodgers’ Packers and Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs.
And we haven’t mentioned yet that the Bucs have to play all of AFC North, which includes two real Super Bowl contenders (Baltimore and Cincinnati) as well as two other playoff hopefuls in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Not to mention they also have to face the entire NFC West (Rams, 49ers, Cardinals and Seahawks) and the Saints at home.
1 Los Angeles Rams
If the Rams don’t repeat as Super Bowl champions in 2022, you can probably blame the incredibly tough schedule they face.
Their 2021 opponents combined for a .567 winning percentage. The addition of Game 17 means they must face Josh Allen and the mighty Bills to kick off their season. In all, 10 of the Rams’ 17 regular season games will be against teams that made the playoffs in 2021. They also face the Saints (9-8 last season), Chargers (also 9-8) and the Broncos, which features to compete for a playoff spot with Russell Wilson in the fold.
Buffalo, Tampa Bay, Dallas, Kansas City, Green Bay plus the two games with San Francisco and Arizona make this one of the most incredibly ruthless schedules in league history. A lot of things will have to go right for Sean McVay’s side to repeat themselves.