The pillows vibrate. Sprinklers are being sprayed. Training camp is here. With that, we look at the 10 most important numbers for the 2022 NFL season in no particular order.
1) Trey Lance, quarterback, San Francisco 49ers
It’s Lance time in San Francisco. Everyone loves the idea of a young midfielder watching and learning from the sidelines, taking his time and developing his craft away from the spotlight and pressure. But at some point, it’s time to go.
The Niners embrace the uncertainty. Lance was designed to solve a specific schematic puzzle that Jimmy Garoppolo couldn’t. Garoppolo was part of a team that came within one drive of the Super Bowl and returned to the NFC championship game. But its flaws were consistently exposed. He may not be as consistent as Lance Garoppolo, but he raises the team’s ceiling.
No team in the league has more upside in 2022 than the Niners. Sitting here in early August, you can convince yourself they’re going to win it all thanks to the mix of Kyle Shanahan’s revamped offense. stacked defensive line, reshaped middle and Lance. It’s also conceivable that they won six games: This Lance is not ready; defensive line regression to the middle level. The most deciding factor between the two: the new starter.
2) Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner
There are two important things about Goodell’s start to the season. He will file a chief appeal for Deshaun Watson’s pending appeal. Included in the latest CBA fine print is the ability of the commissioner or his designee to challenge any decision by the league’s newly appointed disciplinary officer, who handed down the six-game suspension Monday.
Then there’s the small matter of Daniel Snyder and the Washington Commanders. As the league’s most cartoonishly villainous owner, Snyder continues to drag the Washington franchise and the league into a quagmire of his own making. Snyder finally answered the questions by swearing in to the House oversight committee last Thursday. A congressional committee continues to investigate the Washington franchise and allegations that Snyder presided over a toxic workplace culture.
Other owners are reportedly fed up with Snyder’s actions, perhaps enough to force him out of the league. Snyder is a notorious brawler, which has served as a shield for him and the franchise. But as accusations mount, including that he provided a series of fraudulent books to league partners, Goodell may be forced to take action to oust the owner.
3) Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
A second-half upset in the AFC championship game gave the Chiefs a chance to win their second title last season. Now Kansas City has a new look: Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu, the mainstays of the team’s recent success, are out. Hill was a once-in-a-lifetime quarterback, which made life easier for his quarterback and the pass rushers next to him. He imbued the entire offense with the sense that there was no insurmountable disadvantage.
Mahomes will need to create an instant connection with his new supporting cast to lead his next postseason push. He had a blessed life early in his career – an ideal coach, franchise and supporting cast. The Chiefs’ roster remains one of the most talented in the league, but it’s now up to Mahomes to raise the level of those around him.
4) Sean McVay, head coach, LA Rams
McVay is looking to become the first coach since Bill Belichick in 2003-04 to lead a team to back-to-back Super Bowl titles. He’s also set to become the highest-paid coach in the league, with his new contract reportedly surpassing Belichick’s.
While the Rams would like to lock McVey up for the long haul, whispers persist that McVey would be happy to walk away from the Rams for another job or TV job after his offense over the last few years. start reaching out to the team.
5) Dr. Alex Steinforth, NFL Germany
The NFL has entered a new phase of international expansion. While it used to be heavily focused on London (with an emphasis on games in Canada and Mexico), the league is now going global. The NFL has awarded Exclusive International Home Market Areas to 18 teams in 26 markets in eight countries. Since the NFL carries the broadcast rights under their umbrella, they focus on bringing as much attention to the games as possible, regardless of location. Eyeballs are the pupils of the eyes; a dollar is a dollar.
Next major border: Germany. The NFL is taking a regular season game to Munich for the first time. More than three million people lined up to secure tickets to the Bucs-Seahawks game in November. Demand for tickets for the first leg will inevitably lead to a second leg in 2023, with the prospect of further games in various German markets – Frankfurt, Dusseldorf – in the coming years.
6) Aaron Rodgers, quarterback, Green Bay Packers
The Packers were finally able to put an end to the Aaron Rodgers saga throughout the offseason. Rogers signed a massive 3-year, $151 million contract. Does that mean Rodgers will play all three years? Who knows? Does that mean he is happy? Pfff.
What we know: Rodgers’ new contract has hampered the Packers’ offseason development. The team was able to find enough money behind the couch to keep most of its core intact. But the cap crisis meant Green Bay had to say goodbye to valuable contributors. Biggest loss: Davante Adams, a one-man offense masquerading as a receiver.
The Packers are still one of the most talented teams in the NFL, but it’s hard to point to more than one area where they’ve decidedly improved this offseason. Rodgers is still at the height of his powers, vying for his third straight MVP award, but it’s proven that he can’t single-handedly lead a team to a championship.
7) Jerry Jones, owner, Dallas Cowboys
Jones has already talked about the warmth of his head coach’s chair. Mike McCarthy has no problem, he says. But Jones does would like to point out that there are options. Jones will help determine if the Cowboys can make a serious championship push — which could mean making an in-season change from McCarthy to one of their willing coordinators.
As one of the league’s powerhouses, Jones will also be heavily involved in any decision regarding Daniel Snyder’s ownership of the Chiefs and the approval of the Walton family’s takeover of the Broncos.
8) Josh McDaniels, head coach, Las Vegas Raiders
Drop the Raiders into any other division in the NFL and they’ll be a surefire contender. Most of the time, they would be preseason favorites. Put them in the AFC West, however, and you’re looking at a team that could finish first or last.
In his second stint as a head coach, McDaniels enters a team with perhaps the best talent pool in all of football. It has the best receiver in the game in Adams. In Darren Waller, he has one of the top tight ends. Hunter Renfrow has the extreme third banana of the duo. Signing Derek Carr to a new contract provides the Raiders with a quarterback that continues to improve.
Raiders should do be well. Other AFC West teams look more complete. McDaniels et al. they will likely have to act as spoilers: Stop the Charger’s momentum; Making life uncomfortable for Mahomes and the Chiefs; Beginning of the Walton-Wilson-Hackett era in Denver.
9) Ken Dorsey, offensive coordinator, Buffalo Bills
There are no obvious flaws in the bills. They have the deepest and most talented roster in the NFL. They have an elite quarterback. They have players all over the pitch. They have a good offensive line. Their defensive front is full. Their secondary features the best safety tandem in the league. They are deep in the corner. The only reasonable cause for concern: The move from Brian Daboll to Ken Dorsey as offensive coordinator. Daboll worked out a special system with Allen. And even if Dorsey tries to replicate that success, it’s possible (though highly unlikely) to have bite problems.
10) Tom Brady, quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brady’s retirement-retirement was the main story of the season. One trip to Salford and Brady decided he wasn’t ready to give up the whole football thing. Whether or not this It’s his last season before taking on a lucrative job at FOX. Although he is still 44 years old, he is at the peak of his powers. At this point, another MVP-caliber season is more of an expectation than a prediction. With reinforcements throughout the offense — on the line and at the skill positions — the Bucs enter the Super Bowl as neck-and-neck favorites with the Rams to represent the NFC.