Which week one NFL game are you most excited for? Which week one matchup will be the most watched?
The NFL season is just two days away folks and the hype is real. The Buffalo Bills and defending champion Los Angeles Rams open the 2022-23 season. The Rams host the Bills and the champs will do their banner ceremony before kickoff.
Then we get 14 games on Sunday to fully begin the season with nine games kicking off at noon, four games kicking off at 3:25 PM, and Sunday Night Football featuring the Dallas Cowboys hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The final game of week one ends with Monday Night Football featuring the Russell Wilson-led Broncos against his former team the Seattle Seahawks.
Week one is chock-full of must-watch games but which ones stand out the most? From Russ’s return to Seattle to Baker Mayfield’s return to Cleveland, there is plenty to pick from. That being said, let’s discuss what five games are going to be “must-watch TV” here in week one.
1.) Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams, Thursday Night Football
No better game to kick off this list than the season opener right? This game features a hungry Bills team looking to make a Super Bowl and the defending champion Rams. The Bills lost no one on their already elite team but went out and added Von Miller to boost an already stout defense.
The Rams might have lost Von Miller, Andrew Whitworth, and Robert Woods but they did add Allen Robinson and Bobby Wagner. The Rams also do not have Odell Beckham Jr on their roster as he is still a free agent. This Rams roster might have lost a few big names but they did well in reloading with other superstar players.
This will be must-watch football because both teams are good enough to win a Super Bowl. However, the Rams must deal with the “champions hangover” that accompanies most defending champs. The Bills might be more motivated than ever after losing in the divisional round last year to the Chiefs in heartbreaking fashion. Usually, a motivated team knows how to beat out their competition even if it’s the defending champs in LA. If you are at home Thursday night and need something to watch, pop some popcorn, kick back and watch the beginning of the NFL season with this high-powered matchup.
Score Prediction: Bills 35, Rams 28
2.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys, Sunday Night Football
Next up, we have the final Sunday game between the Bucs and the Cowboys. This was last year’s Thursday Night Football matchup/kickoff game of the season that saw Tom Brady lead the Bucs to a game-winning field goal in Tampa. Fast forward to 2022, the Bucs and Cowboys meet again for a big rematch this time on Sunday Night Football.
What is the difference between the two? Well, the Bucs lost a few big pieces on the offensive line making Brady’s protection line a little weak. The Cowboys lost just as many pieces if not more so they are in the same boat as the Bucs. With no Tyron Smith, Michael Gallup, or James Washington, this offense is losing some playmakers.
However, both the Cowboys and Bucs are led by solid quarterbacks that can make nothing into something. Mike Evans and CeeDee Lamb are going to be big playmakers and Zeke Elliott is back to 100 percent which will help Dallas. The defense on both sides will have to step up but the offensive side of the ball will shine again like last year’s 31-29 thriller. I think the Cowboys get their revenge and beat the Bucs and make this a must-watch Sunday Night Football game for the ages.
Score Prediction: Cowboys 28, Buccaneers 24
3.) Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks, Monday Night Football
Next, we have yet another primetime game on the list, this one being the Monday night matchup of the Broncos visiting the Seahawks. So why is this game going to be a must-watch? Well, this is the return of Russell Wilson to Seattle for the first time since being traded to the Broncos this offseason. Wilson just signed a five-year extension worth $245 million. What better way to ruffle some feathers than have him return to Seattle in week one right?
The Seahawks are not going to be a very good team in 2022. They lost Russell Wilson and replaced him with Drew Lock. Sure they have D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett but the guy throwing the ball has to still be good. I am sorry for all the Drew Lock hate but comparing him to Russell Wilson is worlds different. Seattle also lost their All-Pro Bobby Wagner to free agency and Chris Carson to retirement from the NFL. This team has a lot to work on and playing Russ in week one might be bad news.
The Broncos on the other hand have a receiving core that is perfect for Russ. However, they lost Tim Patrick to a torn ACL in camp. This Broncos defense is young and full of talent and that will be helpful for Denver in week one. Sure this will be a solid NFL team versus a struggling one but hey it is a return of a superstar, that is must-watch NFL TV.
Score Prediction: Broncos 28, Seahawks 14
4.) Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers, 12 PM Kickoff Sunday
Next, we have another reunion/return of a player. The Carolina Panthers host the Cleveland Browns in week one and boy will it be spicy. Baker Mayfield is now the quarterback for the Panthers and he gets his shot to beat the Browns immediately. The Browns will not have Deshaun Watson at quarterback so this will be a different game for sure.
The Browns still have plenty of talent on offense and Jacoby Brissett is a solid backup to lead this team. Cleveland brought in Amari Cooper to boost the receiving core which takes some relief off of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to run the ball more. They also added Jadeveon Clowney back into the mix giving this defense more life.
The Panthers added Mayfield which gives them a better quarterback instantly. They get Christian McCaffrey back from injury and they already have solid receivers in DJ Moore and Robby Anderson. This is a Panthers team capable of more but has not yet found the formula. Getting Baker that revenge game against Cleveland might be the best way to kick off their 2022 season.
Score Prediction: Browns 28, Panthers 21
5.) Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers, 3:25 PM Kickoff Sunday
Finally, we have one of the afternoon games for week one. The Raiders go on the road to play the LA Chargers in SoFi Stadium. Both teams beefed up their rosters in the offseason and this could be a big-time matchup in the NFL in just week one. The last time these teams saw each other, the Raiders won with a field goal in OT. Two division rivals getting to face off in week one is a beautiful thing for the NFL schedule.
The Raiders made a few big splashes this off-season. First, they managed to bring in Davante Adams to give Derek Carr major help. Then, they went and added Chandler Jones to boost the defensive line. They have a new head coach Josh McDaniels and a general manager in Dave Ziegler. This team is trying to get back to the playoffs and put the past behind them with a new and improved team.
The Chargers already had a lineup on the cusp of being really good. They then went out and added Khalil Mack and J.C. Jackson to boost their defense. They also re-signed Mike Williams to keep their offensive unit together. The Chargers have the pieces now they just have to execute and win. What a great way to prove you have better off-season moves than to play a division rival who also made huge off-season moves.
Score Prediction: Chargers 35, Raiders 31
Which NFL team will improve the most in 2022? Comment below and join the discussion!
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