NFL schedule 2022: Rest, travel, overall opponent strength and most difficult stretches
Amid the NFL’s efforts to expand interest in the game and showcase the league’s best -selling stars, convenience for club members and players is often lost on the crowd. There’s always a big difference between cumulative travel distances for some teams, like the Raiders in 2018 and ’19, which is so badly hosed that the league’s broadcasting leader offers almost a apologize as we see from the NFL. .
In 2018, Oakland traveled more air miles than three other teams combined. In ’19, its final season before moving to Las Vegas, the Raiders went from Sept. 22 to Nov. 3 who did not play at their home stadium. And in time that the whole month stretch, they log more miles of air than almost the entire NFL. Compared to the comfortable business travel of their colleagues, Jon Gruden is an Eudoxus of Cyzicus.
See AFC North this year, for example. The geographically tight division is almost always enjoyed by convenient, short travel. This year, the Steelers will travel less than 6,500 miles. If they don’t like flying to Atlanta, they can take a bus all season. They do not cross time zones. It’s an immeasurable advantage for a rookie quarterback’s offense to turn his head around. Kenny Pickett could be stretched out with a Winnebago filling his gas tank hours before most of his kickoffs and still making it plenty of time to come for the Instagram outfit to be revealed.
While this post isn’t just based on travel issues, everything needs to be considered: rest time, overall opponent’s strength, number of difficult games in a row. Starting the NFL season with a gauntlet is like taking on a cross-country jaunt promoted by a led balloon. Let’s also examine what seems to be the politics behind prime-time games and where that leaves some franchises.
We’ll start with the six teams that can best make a case for hosed on schedule makers this season.
1. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks won the Most-Traveled Franchise of the Year award, with 29,446 air miles, thanks to their home state and their date in Munich (Week 10, Nov. 13) against the Buccaneers. While their stability on the schedule (based on last year’s winning percentage) is a relatively manageable 11th most difficult, and their opening slate of games will be saved (Broncos, 49ers, Falcons , Lions, Saints and Cardinals during DeAndre Hopkins ’suspension), their post-Munich bye week length of the game gets downright unforgivable. The Seahawks will rest a week after Germany before playing with the Raiders, Rams, 49ers and Chiefs for five weeks, with a game against the Panthers serving as their only rest. The Seahawks aren’t too bad from a resting point, with a six-day rest period between Week 1 and Week 2, and a short week shift between Sunday’s game and Thursday Night Football, which will take place on Dec. 11–15. Overall, the international game (which, since this is the first time Germany has hosted an NFL game, has added complications), along with four important cross- country (Tampa Bay, Kansas City, Detroit and New Orleans) make it an unobtrusive way to start the post-Russell Wilson era.
2. Cleveland Browns
To be clear, the Browns chose it. We’re not saying they’re hosed, per se, but we’re pointing out a clear difference in prime-time games for Cleveland against other teams making similarly important roster moves today. offseason. The Browns are scheduled for two matchups: a Week 3 Thursday game against the Steelers and a Halloween home tilt against the Bengals in Monday Night Football. While the NFL hasn’t released any information about a potential suspension of Deshaun Watson, one has to wonder if the idea is to sweep the Browns ’prime-time games early in the season — if Watson is likely to lose time — so that announcers would not have to spend three hours discussing the troublesome details of Watson’s allegations, a task some commentators have tackled in the past.
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The Broncos, for example, have played five prime-time games and one featured game in London, which is also in the alternative time slot. Matt Ryan and the Colts have three prime-time games. I think we can say, with confidence, that placing the Browns — almost exclusively on the 1 pm CBS slot — is an attempt to avoid prolonged criticism to league television colleagues for a perceived incompetence in handling a sensitive topic. If you’re a player who enjoys prime time, or a Browns staff coach hoping that extra television time will help your candidacy for a head-coaching opportunity in 2023, it’s not good to have just one network prime-time game and a streaming prime-time opportunity in 2022. The vision of positions is important.
From a scheduling point of view, there will be a completely brutal period in Cleveland’s schedule from Week 5 to Week 12 (Chargers, Patriots, Ravens, Bengals, Dolphins, Bills and Buccaneers).
3. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals ’schedule is bad front and back full, with the only recognizable soft spot coming in late September, early October season. Arizona opened the home season against the Chiefs and then traveled to Las Vegas for the Raiders ’home opener under Josh McDaniels. After that? Hosts defending Super Bowl champion Rams. The Cardinals followed a short hammock break (Oct. 16–20 in games against the Seahawks and Saints, respectively) with a tough stretch that included a Minnesota game, a trip to Los Angeles to face the Rams, an eight -day break. before the 49ers played on the fierce, high-altitude Mexico City tilt, which was then followed by a short, six-day break to host the Chargers at home. After the Charger game on November 27th? These are the Patriots, Broncos and Buccaneers. Best of luck to Kliff Kingsbury and Co., who arrived this season because they knew they had the second toughest energy on the schedule. While the Cardinals ’short break games are fairly balanced, they, unlike other international teams, have no bye after leaving the country. I’m interested to hear the NFL side of it. Yes, the Phoenix to Mexico City is only about a 3 ½ hour flight, but it’s a trip to unforgiving land, which is 2,000 feet higher above sea level than Denver. Also, according to the rest metrics provided by NFL Stats and Information, the Cardinals have one of the least resting advantages so far in short league breakdowns this year.
4. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are tied for the fastest pace on the NFL schedule this coming year, which means we have no obligation to pity them. As such, the way to open their schedule is difficult, with only one clearly winnable game between the start of the season and Halloween. Dallas started the season with home games against Tampa Bay and Cincinnati, followed by a couple of division games against the Giants (Monday Night Football) and a short break game against the Commanders. After facing a talented line of defense in Washington, the Cowboys travel to Los Angeles to face the reigning champions, then skate back across the country for a division game against the better. the Philadelphia Eagles, a 1,200-mile flight followed by a 1,300-mile. flying. A Mike McCarthy rivalry game against the Packers came not far after an disappointing development. It’s worth pointing out that the preseason intensity of the schedule tells us there’s nothing about the future when non -conference games are put on in a relatively difficult way. Often, for example, NFC East teams are likely to play their intra-divisional opponents and lose games when they don’t need to.
5. Saints in New Orleans
I’m always interested to hear what the teams think about the need for a week after international travel. The Saints, who crossed the second -most time zone in the NFL this year (30), did not bye after returning from their Vikings matchup at Tottenham. In fact, they went from England to a home game against the Seahawks, to a home game against the Bengals, to a four -day turnaround Thursday night’s affair against the Arizona Cardinals. That’s prickly from a logistical standpoint, but some coaches prefer to keep playing if their perceived momentum is heading in the right direction. I think there is one expectation to rest after international travel, but whether it is complained or not depends directly on the recent performance. The Saints didn’t have their bye week until early December. I think coaches with veteran quarterbacks prefer a late bye for injury maintenance late in the season, but with Jameis Winston, I don’t want to wait that long for a moment. self-scout a famous bad passer, especially without Sean Payton on board.
6. Green Bay Packers
The award for the least useful rest schedule goes to … the Packers. According to the NFL’s data science department, Green Bay has the most recent rest days earned compared to the rest days lost to all NFL teams. It’s worth a look because Aaron Rodgers, in the past, has expressed his frustration with how the Packers have approached some travel logistics. To make up for some of those lost days of recovery, the Packers had to be smart about certain periods, such as their first season traveling to London, which were preceded and immediately followed by home games. The Packers ’schedule is also heavily backloaded, and there will be a end-of-season game against the Lions, which could be crucial given Detroit’s emergence as a single playoff pick this year. The Lions have the most profitable breakout of any NFL team this year.
Additional coverage of the NFL schedule:
• How the NFL Built (and Rebuild) the 2022 Schedule
• Ranking of the 10 Best Games of the Year
• Analyze Each Network’s Prime-Time Game
• Five Best Game Bets