The fact that the NFL is back is something to be celebrated. This league always brings lots of excitement, intrigue and incident to the table, which is why we love it.
Fans pass the time during the off season with other activities, including multiplayer video games like the PS5 NFL game Madden NFL 22, but it is no substitute for the real thing. Will the Buffalo Bills live up to their pre-season billing and take the Super Bowl title from the LA Rams, or will Tom Brady have a late career fling with Tampa Bay?
These are among the many things we may see by the end of this year’s NFL.
1. Brady to Compete One More Time
This must be Tom Brady’s final season in the NFL, but then again, last year was supposed to be that. The league has never seen a 45-year-old who could still not only play at the highest level, but compete for the top trophy before, but Brady has been setting his own standards from the start of his career.
He will lead a Tampa Bay side that has retained other top talents like Carlton Davis III at cornerback, Ryan Jensen at center and running backs Giovani Bernard and Leonard Fournette. The Buccaneers have also drafted well, in Shaq Mason and Russell Gage.
Of course, what looks good on paper does not always end up so great on the field. However, when you see the NFL lines putting Tampa close to favorite status you know that a lot of people think Brady could yet win Super Bowl number eight.
2. Mike McCarthy to go before the season ends
If there is one NFL coach whose position looks particularly uncertain right now it is Mike McCarthy of the Dallas Cowboys. His two seasons as coach have produced a not exactly stellar record of 18-15 and there are clear signs that Jerry Jones is growing impatient.
Jones has publicly stated that he views current defense coordinator Dan Quinn as a future head coach and went out of his way to tie him up on a long-term deal. He is also rumored to favor Sean Payton, but the compensation he would have to pay might keep that as just a whisper.
McCarthy badly needs a good start, post-season qualification and better results in the post-season than last year to avoid the sack.
3. Allen vs. Rodgers for MVP
Aaron Rodgers won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award again last year, for an impressive fourth time. If he wins this year, it will be three triumphs in a row, a feat only previously achieved by Brett Favre.
There is a chance that he can do it, although Green Bay losing both Marquez Valdes-Scantling and top-class receiver Davante Adams will hinder any shot at the Super Bowl. The bookmakers’ favorite for MVP is Josh Allen, the quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, but if the Bowl is out of reach Rodgers will at least want to try and set that personal record.
4. The Rams to Defend Their Crown
No side has won back-to-back Super Bowls since the legendary Patriots team of the mid-2000s. The LA Rams are rated behind Tampa Bay and Buffalo in the odds for the Vince Lombardi Trophy but that does not mean it cannot happen.
The Rams did lose a lot of the star players that helped them win it last year, with Darious Williams, Robert Woods, Von Miller and Odell Beckham Jr. all exiting, but they have done well in replacing them. Allen Robinson has the potential to be an upgrade on Woods, and Troy Hill is definitely as good a cornerback as Williams.
Cooper Kupp is still on board and if he produces the sort of form at wide receiver that he did last year, a Rams double could be something to watch for.
5. Tua Tagovailoa to Finally Break Out
After an impressive college career with Alabama Crimson Tide, Tagovailoa has found it tough since being brought to the NFL by Miami Dolphins in the 2020 Draft. There have been glimpses of what he could offer Miami at quarterback, but a frustrating lack of consistency.
He has received particular criticism for his decision making in heavy pass rush situations. Miami have backed him, bringing in a coach in Mike McDaniels who is more motivated by offense and surrounding him with talent like Raheem Mostert, Sony Michel, Tyreek Hill and Chase Edmonds.
That means this could be a make or break season for the 24-year-old. We think he is a star to keep an eye on this year.
These are some of the events we expect the 2022 NFL season to bring, but we will have to wait and see.
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