Saturday, June 25, 2022

2022 NFL schedule release: Bears opponents, previews, full list of teams on regular-season schedule

The big waves of free agency are over. The draft is complete. Now, all eyes are on the upcoming NFL season. Few teams carry as many question marks as the Bears, who are kicking off a new regime with a promising young quarterback in Justin Fields, but not necessarily an abundance of talent around him. Is it possible Chicago could rebound sooner rather than later under Matt Eberflus?

First, they’ll have to make it through their 2022 opponents. Below, find a complete look at the teams set to square off with Chicago this year, as well as a rundown of their 18-week regular-season schedule (once announced):

2022 opponents

Bills: If they’re not AFC favorites, they’re close. Josh Allen and Co. are fresh off an AFC Championship bid, and now they’ve got added reinforcements at pass rusher (Von Miller) and cornerback (Kaiir Elam). They should be a consistently tough out.

Commanders: They’ve been scrappy at times, and Carson Wentz and Jahan Dotson should give them more offensive upside. Still, this is a volatile organization with question marks at key spots. They shouldn’t be pushovers, but they look beatable, too.

Cowboys: A year after squandering a division title with a one-and-done playoff bid, Mike McCarthy may or may not be on the hot seat. Even without Amari Cooper, they’ve got a lot of play-makers. But can their line hold up to help Dak Prescott make a leap?

Dolphins: Quietly one of the most intriguing teams in the NFL after their hire of Mike McDaniel and splashy play for Tyreek Hill, their threat level boils down to Tua Tagovailoa’s development under center. They could easily be challengers.

Eagles: While QB Jalen Hurts must still improve as a passer, they added plenty of pieces to build off their wild-card run. They can run, play physical and now have added reinforcements on defense after the draft. They should be scrappy at the very least.

Falcons: It’s a total tear-down in Atlanta, where Marcus Mariota and rookie Desmond Ridder will compete to replace Matt Ryan. Their new pieces, including Drake London, have potential. But this team seems at least another year away from making noise.

49ers: They’ve either been totally in or out of the mix under Kyle Shanahan, largely dependent on the health of the roster. If Deebo Samuel leaves, their offense might look a lot different. And who knows what Trey Lance brings at QB?

Giants: Onto the next regime after the Joe Judge era came to a screeching halt, they’re banking on Brian Daboll turning Daniel Jones into a reliable QB. The talent has certainly improved, largely through the draft, but they remain in transition.

Jets: The draft alone (Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson, Jermaine Johnson II) could enable them to take a big leap from their 4-13 finish a year ago. QB Zach Wilson remains a question mark, but his supporting cast on both sides of the ball is much improved.

LionsIs Jared Goff still the QB? As of now, yes, which means, despite the speed additions of D.J. Chark and Jameson Williams, their offensive ceiling is limited. But they were scrappy under Dan Campbell, and that should remain the case.

Packers: They lost a huge play-maker in Davante Adams, but as long as Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur are in town, they’ll remain easy NFC North favorites. Their defense also got an injection of youth through the draft, keeping them formidable.

Patriots: If you can count on one thing, it’s Bill Belichick guiding a feisty defensive team. No one’s sure what their ceiling is, with Mac Jones still growing at QB, but they’re never not a tough opponent out of the AFC East.

Texans: The defense should be at least mildly improved under Lovie Smith, but what do they have in QB Davis Mills, who’s all but a lock to get a full audition? Talent-wise, they still feel much closer to rebuilding than competing.

VikingsMost of the key pieces are still in place (QB Kirk Cousins, RB Dalvin Cook, WR Justin Jefferson), and their defense is restocked. It remains to be seen what kind of strategy new coach Kevin O’Connell has up his sleeve.

Full 2022 schedule

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