NFL Weekly Recap, Storylines around the NFL

Three takeaways from each NFL week one game (of 2022):

Week one of the 2022 season is in the books and there’s a lot to talk about. Once again, I wanted to come up with three statements/discussion points for all 16 games. However, I didn’t just write about the stuff I picked up whilst seeing some plays pop up, but rather due my excitement for the NFL being back, I committed myself to really digging into the tape and statistics of every contests. That’s why this is only coming out on the day week two is already about to start again, even if I wanted it to be published earlier.

Now, week one can be a giant liar and we have to take everything with a grain of salt in the grand scheme of things, but I feel pretty strongly about some of these takeaways and believe they can paint a good picture on the league’s current landscape. I’ll talk about individual players, position groups and teams as a whole, trying to understand what we saw in this first slate of games and what it means going forward.

Let’s dive into these games:

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NFL Predictions

Predicting the entire 2022 NFL season:

Less than a week away from the 2022 NFL season kickoff game between the Bills and Rams, it’s time for me to once again predict the entire year, going through every single award, presenting my playoff picture and projecting forward who will square off in Super Bowl LVII.

As far as the awards are concerned, I will go through my top three candidates for each honor, explaining why I believe they will receive votes, along with just listing a couple of honorable mentions at the end of each paragraph.

To determine playoff seeding, I actually had to go a step further and yet again predict all 272 games, work through tiebreakers to figure out how exactly these teams stack up and then put them in order, so I could ultimately pick my winners for each matchup, leading up the eventual NFC and AFC representatives in the big game at the end of the season in Arizona.

(I added the Excel sheet with ever single game picked at the very bottom, if you’re interested.)

Here’s how I believe things will shake out:

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NFL Power Rankings, Power Rankings

Pre-2022 NFL season power rankings:

We’ve nearly made it through the preseason and once again it’s time to put out my first power rankings of the year, before the Bills and Rams kick off the regular season.

To do so, not only did I rank all teams from numbers one to 32, but I also grouped them into six tiers. Each of those consists of four to six teams, other than what I labelled as the “second tier”, which is loaded with AFC teams in particular, who I believe all have the talent to make real noise this season.

As always, I know many people will hate how low their team is and sometimes the number in front of it may look worse than it actually is, which is why I’d like to consider the individual tiers, which is what I believe is more representative of how I look at the NFL landscape heading into 2022.

Let’s get into the list:

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Fantasy Football, NFL Predictions

Fantasy diamonds for 2022:

It’s that time of the year! Fantasy football drafts are fast approaching and everybody’s putting together their personal lists. So I wanted to give you some players at each position that I’ll be targeting based on their current average draft positions (ADPs).

Timestamps are in the video description for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight-ends and defenses!

NFL Top 100

My top 100 NFL players of 2022:

It’s that time of the year again! How the NFL’s official “Top 100 Players of 2022” list is being revealed has been as unclear as ever, in terms of initial release date and the frequency of episodes. Yet, we do finally know it’s coming out this Sunday and so as I do every year, I wanted to provide my own version of the list.

As always, the process of putting this together is very challenging and unlike the inherently flawed system of presenting players their own list of top-20 to fill out, which invites bias for teammates and gives us players towards the end of the countdown that shouldn’t be up in that top-20 stratosphere for any person. It’s also rarely clarified that this is a ranking of players for the upcoming (2022) season, rather than a look back at what happened last year.

Either way, having to actually put this whole thing together and explain it all does leave you dissatisfied, because there are so many guys you want to get on there, but you have to just make that cut-off. Once again, this is not a question of player value and we’re working under the assumption that each player would be in a neutral situation, rather than taking the pieces around him into account. There will always be a projection factor, but generally I tried to judge where players are currently, based on evidence we already have on them.

Two parameters to consider here – the players actually have to be by all likelihood available for the full 2022 NFL season, which excludes DeAndre Hopkins and by all accounts Deshaun Watson due to suspension, along with a few other names, who are expected to not be available for the start of the season based on injury, such as Chris Godwin. And everybody must have played at least ten games across the past two seasons, which disqualifies guys like Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas, Ronnie Stanley,and I also grouped David Bakhtiari with them, since he’s closer to that ten-game mark than full health it appears.

Let’s dive into the list:

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Player Rankings

Most over- and underrated players in Madden 23:

NFL Predictions, Storylines around the NFL

Second- and third-year breakout players for the 2022 NFL season – Defense edition:

After breaking down seven offensive breakout candidates for this upcoming NFL season, we’re switching over to the defensive side of the ball and identifying seven more names, who I believe are due for taking a big step forward heading into year two or three.

Once again, these guys must have at least played to some degree in the NFL and not made the list last year already. Players don’t qualify for a breakout, if they’ve once reached double-digit tackles for loss, sacks, at least five interceptions, received a Pro Bowl or All-Pro selection, as well as if they’re just considered one of the best players at their respective position already.

And for the purpose of this being original content, there won’t be any repeat candidates from my list last year, which included Alex Highsmith, who I named a day before the Steelers signed Melvin Ingram to push him back on the depth chart, and Javon Kinlaw, who needed season-ending knee surgery after struggling through it for a while. The rest of the list actually pretty much all hit in a major way.

So now let’s get to seven new names, that I’m excited about for 2022:

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NFL Predictions, Storylines around the NFL

Second- and third-year breakout players for the 2022 NFL season – Offense edition:

We’ve talked so much about the roster building process, with a bevy of big-time trades, an interesting free agency period and maybe the deepest draft we have ever seen, thanks to the effects of the COVID-shorted 2020 college football season. Two weeks we started shifting our focus ahead to this fall, with my ranking of the teams most likely to go from worst to first inside each division, before I did a longer video on the most intriguing training camp battles, that I’ll have my eyes on. Now it’s time to analyze specific players, who I believe will reach new heights this year.

As has become an annual tradition, this list is focused on players about to enter their second or third season. They must have at least played to some degree in the NFL and not made the list last year already. Players don’t qualify for a breakout, if they’ve once reached 1000 rushing or receiving yards, were selected to a Pro Bowl or All-Pro team, as well as just being considered one of the best players at their respective position already.

For the purpose of this being original content, there won’t be any repeat candidates from my list last year, which included J.K. Dobbins, Irv Smith Jr. and Mekhi Becton among others, who all missed basically the entire season (Becton was the only one to at least play one game)

Somehow, I ended up with seven players on either side of the ball, which may be an odd number, but that’s what I came up with when deciding to dive deeper into the tape and statistics of these players. So here’s my list on offense:

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NFL Offseason, Storylines around the NFL

Most intriguing 2022 NFL training camp battles:

With the majority of NFL training camps starting in about a week and depth charts starting to be formed, I wanted to highlight some of the more intriguing battles for (mostly) starting positions and certain roles around the league. I tried to address every position at least once and cover a bunch of teams, discussing their options at those positions.

NFL Power Rankings, Storylines around the NFL

NFL teams most likely to go from worst to first in 2022:

After spending months on evaluating college prospects, talking about what each team did in the draft and their overall roster building process, it’s time to discuss some of the tangible effects we may witness this upcoming season. So I wanted to look at all eight teams, who finished last inside their division in 2021, and rank them based on likelihood of ascending to the top of those groups.

I had a lot of fun with this exercise, because while I enjoy creating excitement for one franchise – and I was able to still do so for the teams in question – it’s also good to do think contrarily, try to poke holes in rosters/coaching staffs and lay out a path for why groups may underachieve. Therefore, I ultimately put together a short intro on the baseline situation, gave the other three teams a paragraph each to break down certain concerns they may have, and then finally got to the franchises in question here.

We spend so much time hyping up the established squads and neglect those closer to the bottom of the league – at least in terms of positives they may have going on for themselves – that this was supposed to be a change-up to a lot of the content out there.

(I have no idea how it happened, since the Jaguars obviously selected first overall in the draft, but somehow I ended up listing the Texans for the AFC South. Since they have a lower projected win total this season, that actually makes it a slightly bigger challenge anyway though.)

So let’s get into the breakdown:

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