NFL Teams to Surprise, Disappoint in 2022
Not too many people had the Cincinnati Bengals advancing to the Super Bowl, or the Cleveland Browns and Miami Dolphins falling short of lofty predictions during the 2021 season.
While the rosters could still change with some key free agents still unsigned and the NFL Draft coming up, this seems like a good time to look at the teams that could defy the odds one way or the other in the NFL over/under win totals in 2022.
AFC East: No Cakewalk for Bills
It would not be a surprise to see the Buffalo Bills make another run deep into the playoffs with quarterback Josh Allen only figuring to get better and an already talented defense adding Von Miller.
However, with the Miami Dolphins adding All-Pro receiver Tyreek Hill and a top-notch offensive tackle in Terron Armstead, and the New England Patriots also figuring prominently into the 2022 playoff picture, the AFC East could be absolutely nasty.
Buffalo has road games at Baltimore, Cincinnati, Kansas City and the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams along with a home matchup vs. the Green Bay Packers.
The Bills will be among the top teams in the NFL betting picks to challenge for the AFC title, but there could be a bumpy road during the regular season to get to that point.
NFL Over/Under pick: Under 11½ wins
Cardinals Could Soar in 2022
Life is not easy for the reigning Super Bowl champions, especially when the Los Angeles Rams are division winners . The schedule tends to be easier to deal with for a second-place team like the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC West.
Crossing over to play the NFC South will mean a challenging home game with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but also contests with New Orleans, Atlanta and Carolina, who all have quarterback questions.
The Cardinals did suffer some losses in free agency, including receiver Christian Kirk. There are some rumblings of discontent with quarterback Kyler Murray, but until that turns into a situation where he heads elsewhere, the assumption is that the former No. 1 overall draft pick will be under center for Arizona.
A double-digit win season seems more likely than not for Arizona, which should be a favorite for those pondering the NFL betting odds coming into the 2022 season.
NFL Over/Under pick: Over 9½ wins
Bengals Ready for Another Super Bowl Run?
The good news is that AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals are taking steps to improve their offensive line so that franchise quarterback Joe Burrow isn’t running for his life year again.
The Bengals signed former Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle La’el Collins, former Tampa Bay guard Alex Cappa and ex-New England center Ted Karras to bolster the protection for Burrow and create even more running room for Joe Mixon.
The 2022 schedule will not be an easy one. Cincinnati faces Buffalo, New England, Miami, Kansas City, Tennessee, Tampa Bay and Dallas in addition to the two meetings with the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers. Still, this is a team that has made steps to solve its greatest weakness and another Super Bowl run isn’t out of the question.
NFL Over/Under pick: Over 9½ wins.
Raiders: Time to Just Win, Baby
The Las Vegas Raiders are coming off a 10-win season with Bryan Edwards and Hunter Renfroe joining tight end Darren Waller as top receiving targets. Now the Raiders have all-everything receiver Davante Adams in the fold, which should make the offense all that more explosive.
Chandler Jones brings another pass rusher to a team that already has Maxx Crosby, so Las Vegas should be improved on both sides of the ball after coming off a 10-win season. The jury is still out on Josh McDaniels as a head coach, but the pieces are there for the Raiders to be better than they were a season ago.
NFL Over/Under pick: Over 8½ wins
Will Giants Live up to Name?
It is pretty hard to figure out what the master plan for the New York Giants.
If Daniel Jones could hold onto the ball and his receivers stay healthy, maybe the Giants could have a solid offense, especially if Saquon Barkley bounces back from a frustrating 2021 season.
While the other NFC East teams are making an attempt to improve, it might be hard to say the same about the Giants. Tight end Evan Engram, offensive guard Will Hernandez and safety Jabrill Peppers have all departed. The biggest splash the Giants made in free agency would either be backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor or offensive lineman Max Glowinski.
The Giants do have two top-10 picks in the upcoming draft but there are so many questions on both sides of the ball. Plus, the recent draft history of the team hasn’t been great so let’s see how much of an impact the draftees have in 2022.
NFL Over/Under pick: Under 7.0 wins