NFL Season: a review
The NFL season is just around the corner, which means it is a time of hope, optimism and excitement for those who call themselves fans.
While 16 total games will be played week one, certain matchups should bring additional intrigue to the football fan.
One intriguing matchup will also serve as the kick off for the season, Thursday, Sept. 8, when the Buffalo Bills face the defending Super Bowl champions Los Angeles Rams.
While last season for the Bills ended in heart-breaking fashion with an overtime loss in the Divisional Round to the Kansas City Chiefs, the city of Buffalo remains hopeful to see its team reach the Super Bowl for the first time since 1994.
However, in this specific matchup, the Rams currently stand as slight favorite to win, according to ESPN’s football power index.
Another matchup to keep an eye on is Sunday Night Football between the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a rematch of 2021’s season-opener when the Buccaneers narrowly won 31-29.
This offseason was a tumultuous one for Tom Brady and the Bucs, with Brady originally announcing his plans to retire from football Feb. 1 only to unretire 40 days later on March 13.
And if that weren’t enough to shake things up in Tampa, Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians announced his plans to step down and move to a front office role just 17 days after Brady unretired.
Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles was promoted to head coach after Arians’s abrupt exit, and it has been anything but smooth-sailing for the team since, with Brady taking an 11-day leave of absence Aug. 11-21 to tend to “personal matters.”
With all the turmoil surrounding the Buccaneers, the Cowboys are favorites to claim victory, with their odds sitting at 61.9%, according to ESPN’s football power index.
Monday Night Football, however, could bring the greatest matchup of week 1 when Russell Wilson and the new-look Denver Broncos travel to Seattle to take on the Seahawks.
Wilson, who was traded to Denver March 8 after 10 seasons in Seattle, is the Seahawks all-time leader in passing yards (37,059), passing touchdowns (292) and quarterback wins (104).
Expectations will be high for the Broncos this season after acquiring Wilson, who has made the Pro Bowl nine times.
While it might be emotional facing Wilson in week one, Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll is treating it just like any other game.
“I won’t make it one bit different. I won’t talk one bit different,” Carroll told ESPN. “It’s no different than any other game we play.”
The Broncos are road favorites over Seattle, with ESPN’s football power index giving them a 57.3% chance to win.
Football season is finally here, and 2022 should make for an exciting one indeed.
Mccusker is the asst. sports editor for the Liberty Champion. Follow him on Twitter