NFL Season Preview

National Stories

QB-needy NFL teams have finally learned from their mistakes – but that discipline likely won’t last

NFL owners and the people they employ did something totally out of character this past draft cycle. They showed restraint. But will that discipline last in a league that places a premium on quarterbacks?

Pass rush vs. coverage: Coverage is king, but pass rushers hold the crown

The argument over whether pass rush or coverage is more important ravages the streets of football debate. It's endlessly complex, and that complexity leads to a never-ending debate as the game evolves.

How the AFC West became the Wild Wild West in one offseason

Like in the times of old, the NFL is about to enter a new frontier. With the AFC gearing up for an all-out brawl, the AFC West has quickly settled in as a territory that would rival the boomtowns of yesteryear.

In new NFL reality, Super Bowl titles are just one (veteran) QB away

Each of the last two Super Bowl champions had star quarterbacks that changed teams the previous offseason. And based on the seismic shifts of the last six months, don’t be surprised if the streak runs to three.

‘The Rise of the Fullback’: Why teams are making the once-forgotten position relevant again

Despite the NFL’s fixation on becoming a full-fledged passing league, there’s still a place for a position that at one point seemed to be going the way of the dinosaurs -- the fullback position.

Top 10 NFL rookies that will make an immediate impact

Which NFL rookies could make an immediate impact? While most first-round picks should make a significant contribution in their opening season, not all of them will.

AFC East

Why Bills QB Josh Allen should be just fine without Brian Daboll

As the Buffalo Bills' quarterback enters Year 5 of his NFL career, it's hard to say who has more at stake -- Allen, the seventh pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, or the new guy calling plays for him.

Why Mike McDaniel just might be the perfect coach for Tua Tagovailoa

The biggest way new Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel is different than former HC Brian Flores? He won't kneecap Tua Tagovailoa.

Is Jets quarterback Zach Wilson the next Josh Allen — or Daniel Jones?

Zach Wilson was always going to be a project. Yet, even the most cynical Jets fans had to have been surprised by just how much he struggled as a rookie.

Why Patriots’ OC intrigue should have minimal impact on Mac Jones’ development and performance in 2022

New England Patriots Bill Belichick has grown more -- shall we say -- quirky as the years go on. He's always been a bit grumpy...

AFC West

Even with Russell Wilson aboard, defense is key to Denver Broncos’ chances in 2022

The Broncos are a contender now with Russell Wilson under center at the quarterback position. But can they win the ridiculously talented AFC West? Yes, they very well could, but they'll need more than just Wilson to help.

Los Angeles Chargers learned the right lessons from Super Bowl 56

Super Bowl 56 provided not one but two blueprints for success for the Chargers. Bolts GM Tom Telesco has spent the months since trying to meld those two approaches into a vision that fits his franchise. Did he get it right? Stay tuned. But there's certainly reason for optimism.

With a diminished WR room, are the Chiefs still the best of the West?

For as long as Patrick Mahomes is throwing passes and Andy Reid is patrolling the sideline, the Kansas City Chiefs will be competitive in the AFC West. But can they win the division without Tyreek Hill and others?

Las Vegas Raiders’ boffo offseason makes the AFC West a four-team race

The Las Vegas Raiders needed to ramp up drastically to keep up in the division -- and they did just that, both on the field and on the sidelines. Now, it's a four-team race in the AFC West.

AFC North

Does Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski have what it takes to win a Super Bowl?

With great expectations come great scrutiny. And if this high-stakes gamble on Deshaun Watson backfires, Browns HC Kevin Stefanksi will likely pay the price for not meeting expectations -- whether Watson is on the field or not.

Cincinnati Bengals won’t suffer a Super Bowl hangover because it doesn’t exist

The Bengals very likely will regress in 2022. And that regression will have absolutely nothing to do with a "Super Bowl slump" – because that phenomenon is actually a myth.

Why Baltimore Ravens, Lamar Jackson are at delicate and potentially pivotal moment

Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens are at a pivotal moment with a contract extension on the table -- so why hasn't he signed one just yet?

Pittsburgh Steelers don’t need to – and shouldn’t – rush rookie QB Kenny Pickett

While Kenny Pickett might be the most “NFL-ready” of the rookie QB class, it would behoove the Steelers to not mistake a high floor for a sure thing, especially out of the gate, when they have two other reasonable options.

AFC South

Matt Ryan is the ultimate cure for the Colts’ Carson Wentz blues

After weeks of running Carson Wentz’s reputation through the mud publicly and privately, and trading the flawed QB to the Washington Commanders, the Indianapolis Colts somehow stumbled into an upgrade in every sense of the word.

Jacksonville Jaguars need Doug Pederson to wash away the stink left by Urban Meyer

Doug Pederson thrived with the Eagles when he focused on the locker room, not himself. And now, he's promised to make his redemption tour about his players, not his ego.

Houston Texans 2.0 should take step forward in 2022 so long as Davis Mills does as well

The architect of a massive rebuilding project, Nick Caserio has dramatically overhauled the roster since his arrival through a series of short-term contracts, restructured contracts, and trades.

After years of ‘almost,’ can Titans finally bust through in much-improved AFC?

In the NFL, it’s no fun to straddle the line between competing and rebuilding. It’s even more challenging when you’re coming off a season in which you finished as the No. 1 seed in the AFC. But that’s where the Tennessee Titans find themselves in 2022.

NFC East

The Commanders believe in Carson Wentz and his career depends on proving them right

The Washington Commanders know what everyone else is thinking, and they don’t care. And that, of course, has everything to do with Carson Wentz and the QB position. Can he right his wrongs in Washington and lead the Commanders to the playoffs?

Loaded Dallas Cowboys defense could hit another gear in 2022

Few, if any, believed the Dallas Cowboys' season in 2021 would unfold the way it did. The conventional wisdom heading into the year was that Dallas could compete for a conference championship if the defense could be average. It ended up being a top-three defense.

Eagles have done their part – now it’s on Jalen Hurts to take the next step

Jalen Hurts has been here before. He knows what it’s like to be tested, or even doubted, after leading his team to the postseason. And now, he's going to have to prove he's the Eagles' franchise QB with his play on the field in 2022.

Giants made the right decision to put a timer on Daniel Jones’ rookie contract

The Giants have challenged QB Daniel Jones by declining his fifth-year option. As a competitor, Jones should have added motivation this season. Will it be enough to show the Giants that he can be their franchise quarterback of the future?

NFC West

The Arizona Cardinals aren’t building for the future (even if they should be)

As the final seconds ticked off in the Arizona Cardinals’ Wild Card loss to the Los Angeles Rams, change seemed likely. And yet, as the 2022 campaign approaches, the Cardinals are set to field largely the same roster that disappointed a season ago.

Lance or Garoppolo? Quarterback intrigue won’t go away in San Francisco

Trey Lance still doesn’t have the 49ers' QB room to himself. Garoppolo’s trade market has been quiet largely due to his shoulder procedure. And there’s a sense the 49ers are also hedging their bets in case Lance falters.

Encore? Why the Rams are better this offseason than this time last year

The Los Angeles Rams’ all-in approach paid off with a Super Bowl title last season. But do they have enough talent – and luck – to do it again? There's an argument that their offense is even better than last year.

Rebuild or remodeling? How Pete Carroll can take advantage of the post-Wilson era

With Russell Wilson in Denver, the Seattle Seahawks are set to embark on a reload in the image of Pete Carroll, the oldest head coach in the NFL (70). Will they be successful or will it be the end of the road for this regime?

NFC North

Justin Fields is taking (another) redshirt in 2022

The most valuable asset in professional sports is a quarterback on a rookie contract. Justin Fields, the No. 11 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, will average just $4.7 million annually over the first four years of his rookie deal. Can the Chicago Bears take advantage?

After a complete teardown, Lions must find their long-term identity in Year 2 of Dan Campbell era

The Lions tore down everything built by the previous regime last year. This offseason was the time for them to plant their flag and build a team that could regularly contend in a rough-and-tumble division. Now, can they rise from the ashes?

Life without Davante Adams: How the Packers have mitigated a major crisis for Aaron Rodgers

Davante Adams’ outstretched hands hauling in pinpoint spirals from Aaron Rodgers. Clutch touchdowns. Playoff victories. Now, that's all in the past. How will Rodgers and the offense move forward without Adams?

Who exactly is Kevin O’Connell, the latest branch of the McVay coaching tree?

A former New England Patriots third-round draft pick out of San Diego State, Kevin O'Connell was an understudy to legendary quarterback Tom Brady and learned more about the game from one of the top strategists in the history of the NFL: Bill Belichick.

NFC South

Thanks to Tampa Bay’s succession plan, Todd Bowles has finally been set up to succeed

In theory and in practice, succession plans can work. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are banking on proving that to be true in their own way. While Bruce Arians remains a resource as a senior football consultant, this is now Todd Bowles' show to run.

Why the Atlanta Falcons’ roster woes are ‘by design’ and could pay off in the long run

There are several ways to rebuild a roster, and the Atlanta Falcons have taken the radical approach. Instead of building upon the positive remains of the previous regime, GM Terry Fontenot and head coach Arthur Smith have chosen to strip the depth chart from its foundation during their first two offseasons together.

Matt Rhule’s future in Carolina depends on doing something no one else has

Seven years, $60 million, with another $10 million available via incentives, plus a $15+ million buyout. That’s what the Carolina Panthers paid to hire Matt Rhule as their head coach in 2020. Through two seasons, what do they have to show for it?

Saints under Dennis Allen could surprise people – if Winston, Thomas can find old form

There's a real chance that the 2022 Saints team -- now coached by long-time Payton lieutenant Dennis Allen -- will be better than the one from the year before, and perhaps substantially so.

National Stories
PFN PASS

QB-needy NFL teams have finally learned from their mistakes – but that discipline likely won’t last

NFL owners and the people they employ did something totally out of character this past draft cycle. They showed restraint. But will that discipline last in a league that places a premium on quarterbacks?

Pass rush vs. coverage: Coverage is king, but pass rushers hold the crown

The argument over whether pass rush or coverage is more important ravages the streets of football debate. It's endlessly complex, and that complexity leads to a never-ending debate as the game evolves.

How the AFC West became the Wild Wild West in one offseason

Like in the times of old, the NFL is about to enter a new frontier. With the AFC gearing up for an all-out brawl, the AFC West has quickly settled in as a territory that would rival the boomtowns of yesteryear.

In new NFL reality, Super Bowl titles are just one (veteran) QB away

Each of the last two Super Bowl champions had star quarterbacks that changed teams the previous offseason. And based on the seismic shifts of the last six months, don’t be surprised if the streak runs to three.

‘The Rise of the Fullback’: Why teams are making the once-forgotten position relevant again

Despite the NFL’s fixation on becoming a full-fledged passing league, there’s still a place for a position that at one point seemed to be going the way of the dinosaurs -- the fullback position.

Top 10 NFL rookies that will make an immediate impact

Which NFL rookies could make an immediate impact? While most first-round picks should make a significant contribution in their opening season, not all of them will.

AFC East
PFN PASS

Why Bills QB Josh Allen should be just fine without Brian Daboll

As the Buffalo Bills' quarterback enters Year 5 of his NFL career, it's hard to say who has more at stake -- Allen, the seventh pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, or the new guy calling plays for him.

Why Mike McDaniel just might be the perfect coach for Tua Tagovailoa

The biggest way new Dolphins HC Mike McDaniel is different than former HC Brian Flores? He won't kneecap Tua Tagovailoa.

Is Jets quarterback Zach Wilson the next Josh Allen — or Daniel Jones?

Zach Wilson was always going to be a project. Yet, even the most cynical Jets fans had to have been surprised by just how much he struggled as a rookie.

Why Patriots’ OC intrigue should have minimal impact on Mac Jones’ development and performance in 2022

New England Patriots Bill Belichick has grown more -- shall we say -- quirky as the years go on. He's always been a bit grumpy when questioned. But now, in his eighth decade on this planet, Belichick is not going to explain, and certainly not going to apologize for, his...

AFC West
PFN PASS

Even with Russell Wilson aboard, defense is key to Denver Broncos’ chances in 2022

The Broncos are a contender now with Russell Wilson under center at the quarterback position. But can they win the ridiculously talented AFC West? Yes, they very well could, but they'll need more than just Wilson to help.

Los Angeles Chargers learned the right lessons from Super Bowl 56

Super Bowl 56 provided not one but two blueprints for success for the Chargers. Bolts GM Tom Telesco has spent the months since trying to meld those two approaches into a vision that fits his franchise. Did he get it right? Stay tuned. But there's certainly reason for optimism.

With a diminished WR room, are the Chiefs still the best of the West?

For as long as Patrick Mahomes is throwing passes and Andy Reid is patrolling the sideline, the Kansas City Chiefs will be competitive in the AFC West. But can they win the division without Tyreek Hill and others?

Las Vegas Raiders’ boffo offseason makes the AFC West a four-team race

The Las Vegas Raiders needed to ramp up drastically to keep up in the division -- and they did just that, both on the field and on the sidelines. Now, it's a four-team race in the AFC West.

AFC North
PFN PASS

Does Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski have what it takes to win a Super Bowl?

With great expectations come great scrutiny. And if this high-stakes gamble on Deshaun Watson backfires, Browns HC Kevin Stefanksi will likely pay the price for not meeting expectations -- whether Watson is on the field or not.

Cincinnati Bengals won’t suffer a Super Bowl hangover because it doesn’t exist

The Bengals very likely will regress in 2022. And that regression will have absolutely nothing to do with a "Super Bowl slump" – because that phenomenon is actually a myth.

Why Baltimore Ravens, Lamar Jackson are at delicate and potentially pivotal moment

Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens are at a pivotal moment with a contract extension on the table -- so why hasn't he signed one just yet?

Pittsburgh Steelers don’t need to – and shouldn’t – rush rookie QB Kenny Pickett

While Kenny Pickett might be the most “NFL-ready” of the rookie QB class, it would behoove the Steelers to not mistake a high floor for a sure thing, especially out of the gate, when they have two other reasonable options.

AFC South
PFN PASS

Matt Ryan is the ultimate cure for the Colts’ Carson Wentz blues

After weeks of running Carson Wentz’s reputation through the mud publicly and privately, and trading the flawed QB to the Washington Commanders, the Indianapolis Colts somehow stumbled into an upgrade in every sense of the word.

Jacksonville Jaguars need Doug Pederson to wash away the stink left by Urban Meyer

Doug Pederson thrived with the Eagles when he focused on the locker room, not himself. And now, he's promised to make his redemption tour about his players, not his ego.

Houston Texans 2.0 should take step forward in 2022 so long as Davis Mills does as well

The architect of a massive rebuilding project, Nick Caserio has dramatically overhauled the roster since his arrival through a series of short-term contracts, restructured contracts, and trades.

After years of ‘almost,’ can Titans finally bust through in much-improved AFC?

In the NFL, it’s no fun to straddle the line between competing and rebuilding. It’s even more challenging when you’re coming off a season in which you finished as the No. 1 seed in the AFC. But that’s where the Tennessee Titans find themselves in 2022.

NFC East
PFN PASS

The Commanders believe in Carson Wentz and his career depends on proving them right

The Washington Commanders know what everyone else is thinking, and they don’t care. And that, of course, has everything to do with Carson Wentz and the QB position. Can he right his wrongs in Washington and lead the Commanders to the playoffs?

Loaded Dallas Cowboys defense could hit another gear in 2022

Few, if any, believed the Dallas Cowboys' season in 2021 would unfold the way it did. The conventional wisdom heading into the year was that Dallas could compete for a conference championship if the defense could be average. It ended up being a top-three defense.

Eagles have done their part – now it’s on Jalen Hurts to take the next step

Jalen Hurts has been here before. He knows what it’s like to be tested, or even doubted, after leading his team to the postseason. And now, he's going to have to prove he's the Eagles' franchise QB with his play on the field in 2022.

Giants made the right decision to put a timer on Daniel Jones’ rookie contract

The Giants have challenged QB Daniel Jones by declining his fifth-year option. As a competitor, Jones should have added motivation this season. Will it be enough to show the Giants that he can be their franchise quarterback of the future?

NFC West
PFN PASS

The Arizona Cardinals aren’t building for the future (even if they should be)

As the final seconds ticked off in the Arizona Cardinals’ Wild Card loss to the Los Angeles Rams, change seemed likely. And yet, as the 2022 campaign approaches, the Cardinals are set to field largely the same roster that disappointed a season ago.

Lance or Garoppolo? Quarterback intrigue won’t go away in San Francisco

Trey Lance still doesn’t have the 49ers' QB room to himself. Garoppolo’s trade market has been quiet largely due to his shoulder procedure. And there’s a sense the 49ers are also hedging their bets in case Lance falters.

Encore? Why the Rams are better this offseason than this time last year

The Los Angeles Rams’ all-in approach paid off with a Super Bowl title last season. But do they have enough talent – and luck – to do it again? There's an argument that their offense is even better than last year.

Rebuild or remodeling? How Pete Carroll can take advantage of the post-Wilson era

With Russell Wilson in Denver, the Seattle Seahawks are set to embark on a reload in the image of Pete Carroll, the oldest head coach in the NFL (70). Will they be successful or will it be the end of the road for this regime?

NFC North
PFN PASS

Justin Fields is taking (another) redshirt in 2022

The most valuable asset in professional sports is a quarterback on a rookie contract. Justin Fields, the No. 11 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, will average just $4.7 million annually over the first four years of his rookie deal. Can the Chicago Bears take advantage?

After a complete teardown, Lions must find their long-term identity in Year 2 of Dan Campbell era

The Lions tore down everything built by the previous regime last year. This offseason was the time for them to plant their flag and build a team that could regularly contend in a rough-and-tumble division. Now, can they rise from the ashes?

Life without Davante Adams: How the Packers have mitigated a major crisis for Aaron Rodgers

Davante Adams’ outstretched hands hauling in pinpoint spirals from Aaron Rodgers. Clutch touchdowns. Playoff victories. Now, that's all in the past. How will Rodgers and the offense move forward without Adams?

Who exactly is Kevin O’Connell, the latest branch of the McVay coaching tree?

A former New England Patriots third-round draft pick out of San Diego State, Kevin O'Connell was an understudy to legendary quarterback Tom Brady and learned more about the game from one of the top strategists in the history of the NFL: Bill Belichick.

NFC South
PFN PASS

Thanks to Tampa Bay’s succession plan, Todd Bowles has finally been set up to succeed

In theory and in practice, succession plans can work. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are banking on proving that to be true in their own way. While Bruce Arians remains a resource as a senior football consultant, this is now Todd Bowles' show to run.

Why the Atlanta Falcons’ roster woes are ‘by design’ and could pay off in the long run

There are several ways to rebuild a roster, and the Atlanta Falcons have taken the radical approach. Instead of building upon the positive remains of the previous regime, GM Terry Fontenot and head coach Arthur Smith have chosen to strip the depth chart from its foundation during their first two offseasons together.

Matt Rhule’s future in Carolina depends on doing something no one else has

Seven years, $60 million, with another $10 million available via incentives, plus a $15+ million buyout. That’s what the Carolina Panthers paid to hire Matt Rhule as their head coach in 2020. Through two seasons, what do they have to show for it?

Saints under Dennis Allen could surprise people – if Winston, Thomas can find old form

There's a real chance that the 2022 Saints team -- now coached by long-time Payton lieutenant Dennis Allen -- will be better than the one from the year before, and perhaps substantially so.

More from PFN Pass
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Fantasy Football Draft Kit

PFN’s Fantasy Football Draft Kit provides fantasy managers of every skill level with the actionable insights and personalized approach they need to finally start winning their fantasy leagues. 

PFN Productions

PFN Productions will not only keep you entertained, but provide a behind the scenes look at the people, the strategies, and the fans themselves, who all make the game go!

PFN Discord Community

We’re fantasy competitors, and also a fantasy community. Be part of a robust exchange among managers who care about winning just as much as you.

More from PFN Pass
PFN PASS

Fantasy Football Draft Kit

PFN’s Fantasy Football Draft Kit provides fantasy managers of every skill level with the actionable insights and personalized approach they need to finally start winning their fantasy leagues. 

PFN Productions

PFN Productions will not only keep you entertained, but provide a behind the scenes look at the people, the strategies, and the fans themselves, who all make the game go!

PFN Discord Community

We’re fantasy competitors, and also a fantasy community. Be part of a robust exchange among managers who care about winning just as much as you.