Image Credit: (Robert Hanashiro/USA Today Sports)
Written by: Nicholas Mullick Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholas-mullick-354076184/
We are a day way before the kickoff of the 2022 NFL Season. I am excited and hyped for regular season football to be back. During the hype I always love to predict the division winners along with the win total odds being over or under for each NFL Team. So Like I did last year I will now do the NFC and give my win total predictions and division winners. But for 2022 I think I want to add to it by giving my prediction of who will be in the playoffs for the NFC.
Now before we look at the 2022 season, I want to go back and see how I did in my 2021 Schedule prediction. For win totals for teams in the NFC I went 7-8-1, which is not great as I had more bad picks then good ones, but I at least got the Division Winners mostly right, excluding the NFC East.
Best Prediction 2021: New Orleans Saints
I'm giving this one bonus points as I said that the Saints were going to win 9 games exactly and I was correct. While spreadwise it turned into a push, but I'm glad I nailed the amount of wins this team was going to win.
Worst Prediction 2021: Washington Football Team
Has to be Washington as I predicted them to win this division number 1 and Number 2 I very underestimated how bad the offense performed excluding Gibson and McLaurin. There were many choices I could have made, but I saw this clearly as my worst pick last year.
Dallas Cowboys (Win Total Odd: 10.5) I don’t hate the Cowboys and there are some great pieces on offense and defense. With how bad this division could be, the Cowboys could potentially win it. However, there are two things that worry me about the Cowboys. The first is Tyron Smith’s injury likely taking him out the season. Without Tyron Smith on the field this offense just does not run well. They signed Jason Peters who is a great tackle, but he is 40 years old and he was not great in Chicago. Second is of course Mike McCarthy as it is clear that this team has yet again another terrible head coach. I don’t care if he won a Superbowl as the game has McCarthey by and he has reduced to adapt or change. I do see Dallas as a playoff team, but 11 wins to me is just too rich for me. I will take the under 10.5 here.
New York Giants (Win Total Odd: 7.5)
I am not going to go long here with the Giants, but I got to say, this spread is way too high. There is no way the Giants win total odds should be 7.5. I mean give me a break this team made questionable cuts including LB Blake Martinez, which still boggles my mind. As for Kenny Golladay he is done here, and the main reason why he is still a Giant is due to how awful his contract is. This is Daniel Jones last chance and if he does not impress he is going to play for another team next season. I like how the Daboll is going to have Mike Kafka calling the plays for the New York Giants, which is a smart move in my opinion. Hopefully that can work out, but I just don’t see how Giants get close to this win total. This is another rebuilding year for the Giants so give me the under.
Philadelphia Eagles (Win Total Odd: 9.5)
I really am high on the Philadelphia Eagles this season. The Eagles made a ton of additions to this team both on offense and defense. The Eagles even made a trade for S Chauncey C.J. Gardner-Johnson and they got him next to nothing. As of the first season Nick Sirianni looked solid as a head coach. They should take the next step, but it all falls on QB Jalen Hurts. Hurts made excellent plays last season, but in moments made some bad throws and decisions. I am a pro Hurts guy and will be excited to see him throw to WR A.J. Brown. Worse for worse if he struggles the Eagles have a good backup in Gardner Minshew and I think he would perform well as well. The Eagles are also in a bad division in the NFC East, give me the over here for the Eagles.
Washington Commanders (Win Total Odd: 7.5)
I will keep saying this, but I care more about what is going to happen to the Commanders off the field, then on the field. Especially with almost everybody testifying about that “damn good’’ culture. Now Bruce Allen the GM of this damn good culture is about to testify to congress and it could get interesting. There is literally no reason for me to get excited about Washington this season. They brought in Carson Wentz, but do you really expect him to do well in Washington? Is he really an upgrade over Taylor Heinicke? I mean this defense is good, once Chase Young is healthy from his injuries in a few weeks. At least Terry McLauren was extended, that is a plus. I am going to go with the under here for Washington.
NFC East Division Winner: Philadelphia Eagles
Its either Dallas or Philadelphia that is going to win this division. I don’t see the Giants being ready for getting close to the division and Washington is a bg question mark both on and off the field. I am leaning towards giving this division to the Philadelphia Eagles cause I think they are overall the better team excluding QB and have the more competent coach.
Chicago Bears (Win Total Odd: 6.5)
If you have not seen my rant on how this team is failing QB Justin Fields in the NFC North podcast, I strongly recommend you watch that. As this team is absolutely garbage. The wide receiver core is terrible excluding Darnel Mooney. The offensive line is probably the worst in football and I don’t care if they added Alex Leatherwood as he was a liability on the Raiders last season. They blew it up in the offseason and this defense while having 2 players on defense that are good, there are a lot of unknowns here. I really am not a big fan of the Eberflus hiring either, but man the offensive coordinator they brought in Luke Getsy the QB coach in Green Bay is not a great move either. Like I said if he was a brilliant offensive mind at QB, then wouldn’t Jordan Love be starting at QB right now. Honestly, I have the Chicago Bears picking 1st overall once the season is over. That is how bad this team is. Take the under and I am absolutely betting this win total odd.
Detroit Lions (Win Total Odd: 6.5)
I am very high on the Detroit Lions this season. I have never been more hyped in a Lions season since the Jim Caldwell years. Detroit for being a horrendous team last season had games where they should have won and fought games hard. I like what the Lions did in the NFL Draft as well as Aidan Hutchinson is an upgrade at pass rusher. The Lions are going to take that next step in their rebuild and unless injuries occur I would be shocked if they did not hit this win total. Give me the over here and I mean their schedule is pretty easy as well which makes me more confident in this pick.
Green Bay Packers (Win Total Odd: 10.5)
I think this one is pretty simple. As long as Aaron Rodgers is the quarterback and he is healthy, just take the over win total for the Packers. That's my motto every time I do a win total odds choice. It has worked most of the time for the Green Bay Packers and I am going to do it yet again as they are the best team in this division and it is not even close. It would not shock me if they are the Number 1 seed yet again this season.
Minnesota Vikings (Win Total Odd: 9.5)
Out of everyone in this division I really don’t know what to think about the Vikings this season. I think that a change of coaching was absolutely necessary coaching wise. But I am still confused why Kirk Cousins was given yet another fully guaranteed contract with the Vikings. The Vikings are not a terrible team, but are more on the mediocre side. I am not going to bet this win total, but I am leaning towards the under here.
NFC North Division Winner: Green Bay Packers
Is Aaron Rodgers still the QB? Yes, well then this division is going to the Green Bay Packers. I don’t see Chicago even being close to a division/playoff spot. I am very high on the Detroit Lions, but I am not that high to label them as a Division Winner. Minnesota, I still have no clue what to think of them, but I feel there is more of a mediocre team. So yeah Green Bay is my choice.
Atlanta Falcons (Win Total Odd: 4.5)
The tanks are already in effect for the Atlanta Falcons right now. This should have been done years ago, but could not due to the many awful contracts on this team. But despite this team tanking there are intriguing pieces like LB Rahsaan Evans, CB A.J. Terrell, CB Casey Hayward, TE Kyle Pitts, RB Cordrrelle Patterson, and WR Drake London. The Falcons have some talented players, but I am a pro Arthur Smith guy. I think they can get to the 5 win total so I will go with the over here.
Carolina Panthers (Win Total Odd: 6.5)
The Carolina Panthers are a strange team this season. There are parts of this team that I really like about this team including acquiring Baker Mayfield, their defense is underrated, and they invested on the offensive line. However there are parts of this team I am not a fan of including the durability concerns throughout there offense, the receiving core being a question mark, and the coaching is horrendous. Baker Mayfield is an upgrade over Sam Darnold and P.J. Walker, but I really wonder if his shoulder will hold up. I mean look at how a serious shoulder injury has affected Cam Newton’s career. The receiving room excluding DJ Moore is a question mark as who knows if Robbie Anderson will want to keep playing as he contemplated retirement, Laviska Shenault was acquired could he live, and Terrance Marshall needs to show something. Hopefully Christian McCaffery can stay healthy as well. I got to say though Matt Rhule is my pick to be the first coach fired as he needs to get this team to the playoffs and if they are bad straight from the start, I can see Carolina letting him go. This is fair odds as I see Carolina having 5, 6 maybe 7 wins,I am more confident in going the slight under for Carolina.
New Orleans Saints (Win Total Odd: 8.5)
The Saints are an intriguing team in this division as they on paper should be more healthy especially at wide receiver. In fact I could see Michael Thomas being comeback player of the year. The defense is still pretty good and with how this team is handling the cap crunch is still impressive. But to be honest, with Dennis Allen as the head coach and Jameis Wiston at QB, I am really not confident in this team. Also they traded S Chauncey C.J. Gardner-Johnson for pennies on the dollar which still is a questionable move if you don’t ignore the cap crunch this team is in. I think the win total is about right, but if I had to make a choice I am going to go with under 8.5 wins. This win total is a no bet for the Saints.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Win Total Odd: 11.5)
I got to say if this was a few weeks ago I probably would have easily gone with the Over here. But man I am not so sure that the buccaneers will get more than 12 wins this season. They have the talent to do it, but a downgrade at head coach, an injured interior offensive line, and whatever is going on with Tom Brady off the field. Look he is going to play Week 1, but you can tell watching his latest press conferences that he looks rough. I think it is mainly stress related and it is clear whatever is going on in his life, it is getting to him. But I think he will be fine once he gets in the mindset we are all used to seeing. I will go with the slight under as I see Tampa having 10 maybe 11 wins, but we will see.
NFC South Division Winner: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Despite all the issues on the interior o-line, potential problems with coaching, and whatever is going on with Tom Brady, I still think it is their division to lose. Atlanta is clearly tanking this season and I just can’t trust Carolina yet. New Orleans on paper is talented, but I can't trust this team when Jameis Winston is the QB and I really am not sure about Dennis Allen either as the head coach. So I am sticking with Tampa Bay winning this division.
Arizona Cardinals (Win Total Odd: 8.5)
It has been a few weeks for me to think and I got to say I really don’t know what to think of the Cardinals. I still am unsure about the move extending Kliff Kingsbury and Steve Keim. But at least Arizona extended Kyler Murray which is one less thing for the team to worry about. There o-line is terrible and their defense is pretty mediocre. This is a mediocre football team and there going to be without WR DeAndre Hopkins. This is a fair win total for me, but I am going to take the under for Arizona.
Los Angeles Rams (Win Total Odd: 10.5)
Ok let's get one thing out of the way. The only reason why this win total is this low is because of Staffords elbow having bad tendonitis. Here is the thing though, Stafford will likely be fine for two reasons. First is that Stafford is one of the toughest QBs I have ever seen and he can play through any injury. Second is that Stafford dealt with this injury last season as I remembered going back to my notes, Stafford was on the injury list with an elbow injury. I firmly believe he played last season with that tendonitis. Stafford should be fine and the Rams offense is very good and I will take over for the Rams win total.
San Francisco 49ers (Win Total Odd: 9.5)
Look I get it, the question mark on if Trey Lance is the guy at quarterback, but come on with how talented that team is unless injuries occur they should make the playoffs. Worse for worse they still have Jimmy Garoppolo now that his contract is restructured and it is unlikely he is going anywhere. This team was one interception away from making the NFC Championship. Give me the over here and I would be shocked if they don't get less than 10 wins.
Seattle Seahawks (Win Total Odd: 5.5)
This one is an easy one to me, give me the under. The Seahawks are the worst team in the NFL not named the Chicago Bears. This team got rid of the two main captains of that superbowl squad in QB Russell Wilson and LB Bobby Wagner, now gone. Their running game is in shambles now that RB Chris Carson is out for the season, Rashaad Penny stinks and Kenneth Walker already hurt. I am just surprised that Pete Carroll is still here as the head coach and let's face facts here, Caroll is not coming back as the head coach next season. There two QB’s on there team are terrible as both Geno Smith and Drew Lock are scrubs. Again I am going under and I will be betting this win total.
NFC West Division Winner: Los Angeles Rams
This division will either be the 49ers or Rams. Seattle is tanking this season and even if they are not Geno Smith along with Drew Lock stink. I have no clue what Arizona’s game plan is and I can’t trust Kingsbury as the head coach.The 49ers on paper are a great team, but at QB there is a big question mark on if Lance is the guy or not. Yes I know Stafford as well is a question mark with his elbow, but he is one of the toughest QBs to play the game and he kind of dealt with this issue last season and was fine.
As for my Playoff Predictions seed wise I have them listed down below.
1. Green Bay Packers
2. Los Angeles Rams
3. Philadelphia Eagles
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
5. San Francisco 49ers
6. Dallas Cowboys
7. Detroit Lions
Who will represent the NFC in the Superbowl?
This one is tougher than in the AFC side and it honestly could be anyone in the NFC. I got to say unless Stafford’s elbow injury is so severe later in the season and he can’t throw, I just don’t see how the Rams don’t have yet another deep run. Which is Why the Rams will be my pick to yet again represent the NFC in the Superbowl.