The Jaguars had a season to forget in 2021. The Urban Meyer hire blew up in the franchise’s face and they once again stumbled into the No. 1 overall pick as the worst team in the league. That said, there is room for optimism now that Doug Pederson is at the helm and the team spent big in free agency to continue to bolster the roster around Trevor Lawrence.
As Jacksonville gears up for what they hope to be a more productive season, we’ll be taking a look at their opponents in 2022 along with rolling out a rundown of the 18-week regular-season schedule (once announced):
Cowboys: Dallas is the favorite to come out of the NFC East yet again. This offseason, they did trade Amari Cooper to the Browns, but still have a strong collection of weapons offensively for quarterback Dak Prescott. The best piece of this Cowboys club, however, is the defense. Micah Parsons was dominant in his rookie season and should help lead this defense to be among the top units in the NFL.
Giants: New York has a new leader in head coach Brian Daboll. The former Bills OC should raise the ceiling for the Giants offense and the team hopes he’ll have a similar impact to Daniel Jones as he did Josh Allen in Buffalo. New York is also coming off a strong showing at the NFL Draft where they took pass rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux and offensive tackle Evan Neal in the first round.
Ravens: The biggest thing for Baltimore is health. They were shattered by injuries last season and missed the playoffs because of it. Now, the secondary is back to full strength as is Lamar Jackson, so they should return to being among the top contenders in the AFC, especially after a stellar draft.
Broncos: Denver finally has itself a top-tier quarterback after trading for Russell Wilson this offseason. This blockbuster has them as one of the better teams in the conference but will be duking it out in a wildly competitive AFC West. On top of Wilson raising the ceiling of the offense, Denver’s defense is an up-and-coming unit led by second-year cornerback Patrick Surtain II.
Raiders: Las Vegas has a new head coach in Josh McDaniels and he’ll have quite the roster to work with as he head into his first season. This offseason, the Raiders didn’t hold back on making some seismic moves to the roster, including the mega-trade for receiver Davante Adams and the signing of pass-rusher Chandler Jones. While the AFC West will be a gauntlet, the Raiders could surprise some teams in 2022.
Texans: Houston finally was able to trade Deshaun Watson this offseason and the franchise is set to enter its latest chapter under new head coach Lovie Smith. While the Texans are likely looking at another rebuilding year, Davis Mills showed enough flashes in his rookie campaign to make him an interesting quarterback to follow next season.
Colts: The Colts may be the biggest Super Bowl sleeper in the NFL. They already had a top-10 defense last year and added pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue and cornerback Stephon Gilmore this offseason. Not only that, but they swapped out Carson Wentz for Matt Ryan, giving them a massive upgrade at quarterback. They are the favorites to win the AFC South and may be among the top teams in the conference by midseason.
Titans: Tennessee is in an interesting spot entering 2022. They were the No. 1 seed a year ago, but poor play from Ryan Tannehill proved to be their demise in the postseason. This offseason, they traded away star receiver A.J. Brown after failing to extend him and drafted quarterback Malik Willis in the third round. If the Titans get off to a slow start in 2022, it’ll be fascinating to see if Willis finds his way onto the field at some point.
Commanders: The Commanders have a new name and a new quarterback. Washington traded for Carson Wentz and is slated to be the Week 1 starter. While they may have a new face under center, Wentz doesn’t exactly instill a ton of confidence that the Commanders will suddenly contend in the NFC East, despite some strong pieces around him on both sides of the ball.
Jets: The Jets are putting together an extremely solid foundation as GM Joe Douglas continues the team’s rebuild. They came up aces at the NFL Draft, selecting the likes of corner “Sauce” Gardner, wideout Garrett Wilson, pass-rusher Jermaine Johnson, and running back Breece Hall. They will all be key pieces for Robert Saleh’s club, but the development of quarterback Zach Wilson as he enters Year 2 will be the biggest storyline to follow with Gang Green.
Lions: They may have finished 3-13-1 last year, but the Lions were a hard-nosed team that proved to be a tough out every week. As Dan Campbell steps into his second year as head coach, Detroit has added some blue-chip pieces at the draft by taking pass-rusher Aidan Hutchinson and wide receiver Jameson Williams at No. 2 and No. 12 overall, respectfully.
Chiefs: Kansas City moved on from safety Tryann Mathieu and wide receiver Tyreek Hill this offseason. They replaced those two with the likes of safety Justin Reid along with pass-catchers JuJu Smith-Schuster and rookie Skyy Moore. Despite those big-name departures, the Chiefs are still among the betting favorites to win the Super Bowl in 2022 thanks to Patrick Mahomes still lining up under center and Andy Reid manning the sidelines.
Chargers: L.A. made some big improvements to the defense this offseason, trading for linebacker Khalil Mack and signing corner J.C. Jackson in free agency. Getting high-level play from the defense will make life easier for quarterback Justin Herbert on the offensive side as the Chargers look to compete in a highly competitive division.
Eagles: Philadelphia sent shockwaves across the NFL when they traded for A.J. Brown at the draft. Not only did they improve the offense around quarterback Jalen Hurts with that trade, but they also improved the defense by selecting defensive tackle Jordan Davis in the first round. If this Eagles roster reaches its ceiling, they could find themselves atop the division when the season is said and done.
Full 2022 scheduleWeekOpponentDateTimeTV
vs. Broncos (in London)
Oct. 309:30 a.m. ETESPN+