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NFL: Buffalo Bills @ Los Angeles Rams season opener among the 20 must-watch games of 2022


Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes will meet for the first time since Super Bowl LV in Week Four

The start of the NFL season is almost within our grasp, with a mouth-watering matchup to kick us off on Thursday night between the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams and the Buffalo Bills – but what other games make for must-see appointment viewing in 2022?

We have decided to pick out 20 of the best-looking fixtures the schedule has thrown up this year, though to help us narrow it down, division games are not included – as they are always worth tuning into.

The games included on this list are ones you simply won’t want to miss – and we begin with a collection of Week One classics to kick the season off in style…

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September 9, 2022, 1:10am

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Week One

Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams – Friday, 1.20am
San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears – Sunday, 6pm
Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers – Sunday, 6pm
Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks – Tuesday, 1.15am

Russell Wilson's first game in his new Denver Broncos' jersey will come against his former team, the Seattle Seahawks

Russell Wilson’s first game in his new Denver Broncos’ jersey will come against his former team, the Seattle Seahawks

The list of tempting ties here is long. First of all, every game is exciting as we get our first look at each and every team and what they have put together over the summer. That said, there are some clear standouts.

Josh Allen’s Bills travelling to face the Super Bowl champs in LA to start the season will be fascinating. Many people thought this would and should have been the matchup in Super Bowl LVI, and the Bills will no doubt have a point to prove.

Russell Wilson’s first game as a Denver Bronco will be in Seattle against the team he put on his back for 10 years, and you can bet he will want to show the Seahawks what they are missing. Baker Mayfield only spent four years in Cleveland, but he also begins his stint as a Panther against his former team, with a chip on his shoulder.

Don’t overlook the game in Chicago. Trey Lance, third overall pick in 2021, versus Justin Fields, 11th overall pick in 2021, could be a battle of sophomore breakouts. Expectations are high for both, with good reason.

Week Three

Green Bay Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sunday, September 25, 9.25pm

Highlights from the 2020/21 NFC Championship game where Tom Brady's Bucs marched to victory in Green Bay

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Highlights from the 2020/21 NFC Championship game where Tom Brady’s Bucs marched to victory in Green Bay

Highlights from the 2020/21 NFC Championship game where Tom Brady’s Bucs marched to victory in Green Bay

Despite their ages and longevity in the league, Aaron Rodgers (38, entering 18th season) and Tom Brady (45, entering his 23rd) have only faced each other four times. This could very well be the last, so it is something to enjoy while we can. Brady’s teams have come out on top in the last three meetings, including a win in Green Bay to reach Super Bowl LV – when they went on to lift the Lombardi Trophy.

Week Four

Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals – Friday, September 30, 1.20am
Jacksonville Jaguars at Philadelphia Eagles – Sunday, October 2, 6pm
Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens – Sunday, October 2, 6pm
Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Monday, October 3, 1.20am

Doug Pederson returns to Philadelphia as an opposing head coach after helping them with the Super Bowl

Doug Pederson returns to Philadelphia as an opposing head coach after helping them with the Super Bowl

There are two clear marquee quarterback matchups as Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady meet for the first time since the Buccaneers dominated the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV two seasons ago, while Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson will face off in an electrifying QB duel. We will witness some elite quarterback play.

Meanwhile, you have arguably the two best wide receiver tandems in the league – Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle of Miami and Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins of Cincinnati – aiming to outscore each other in a fascinating AFC game.

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Over in Philadelphia, the man who brought the city its first Super Bowl win – Doug Pederson – returns as head coach of the Jaguars. How will Philly look in year two under Nick Sirianni? And what kind of second-year leap will we see from Jacksonville’s 2021 No 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence?

Week Five

Green Bay Packers at New York Giants (London) – Sunday, October 9, 2.30pm
Detroit Lions at New England Patriots – Sunday, October 9, 6pm
Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams – Sunday, October 9, 9.25pm

Aaron Rodgers is coming to London

Aaron Rodgers is coming to London

Finally, the Green Bay Packers are coming to London! There is no doubt it will be a packed house at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and a sea of green and gold. Will Aaron Rodgers put on a show?

Elsewhere, we will get a real gauge of where the Cowboys are this season as they meet the Super Bowl champs. Last year’s NFC East winners had a disappointing Wild Card exit in the postseason, but are a favourite to get back to the playoffs again this year.

In New England, Dan Campbell’s Lions will get a chance to exact some revenge on Patriots’ assistant coach Matt Patricia, who in three years in Detroit, ran the roster – and culture – into the ground.

Week Six

Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs – Sunday, October 16, 9.25pm

Buffalo and Kansas City played out one of the greatest games in recent history last postseason

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Buffalo and Kansas City played out one of the greatest games in recent history last postseason

Buffalo and Kansas City played out one of the greatest games in recent history last postseason

This one doesn’t need much elaboration. Last year’s playoff matchup gave us one of the greatest games in recent NFL history. Let’s hope for another!

Week Eight

Washington Commanders at Indianapolis Colts – Sunday, October 30, 8.25pm

The enigma that is Carson Wentz starts for his third team in three seasons, while the Colts have made Matt Ryan their fifth starting quarterback in five seasons. Will either of these players elevate their teams to compete for a title?

Week 10

Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers – Sunday, November 13, 9.25pm

In his last three games against the Cowboys, Aaron Rodgers has helped the Packers to three wins and 103 points. He seems to love facing them. What makes this game extremely interesting is head coach Mike McCarthy’s return to Green Bay after 13 seasons with the team. His relationship with Rodgers has been described as ‘ugly’, ‘toxic’ and much worse – now they will face off for the first time.

Week 12

Los Angeles Rams at Kansas City Chiefs – Sunday, November 27, 9.25pm

There were 105 combined points scored when the Chiefs and Rams last met in 2018

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There were 105 combined points scored when the Chiefs and Rams last met in 2018

There were 105 combined points scored when the Chiefs and Rams last met in 2018

Like many of the Chiefs’ selections on this list, it doesn’t need further explaining… but remember when these two teams last played? This will be well worth your time.

Week 13

Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals – Sunday, December 4, 9.25pm

It’s back-to-back Super Bowl opponents for Kansas City, as they face last year’s AFC champions straight after the NFC-winning Rams. In the playoffs, Joe Burrow and company shocked the Chiefs by coming back from 21-3 down to win in overtime – after already beating them in the regular season. Can Mahomes and company put things right this time?

Week 15

Cincinnati Bengals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Sunday, December 18, 9.25pm
New England Patriots at Las Vegas Raiders – Monday, December 19, 1.20am

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels talks to New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick before their preseason game

Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels talks to New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick before their preseason game

In Week 15, we will be talking playoff seedings and Super Bowl potential. Both the Patriots and Raiders were wild card teams and had first-round exits from the playoffs in 2021, and appear likely to be in similar spots this season. The interest comes with how Josh McDaniels will do in his first year as head coach in Las Vegas, and if his mentor Bill Belichick can get the Patriots back to Super Bowl contenders with Mac Jones as his QB. This could feel like a playoff game.

In Tampa Bay, Joe Burrow and Tom Brady will play each other for the first – and what could be only – time. You won’t want to miss it.

Week 17

Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Chargers – Monday, January 2, 1.20am

Since we end the regular season in Week 18 with in-division games only, how about this all-LA matchup on New Year’s day? This one should be great – as should Buffalo at Cincinnati on Monday night!

Don’t miss a second of the 2022 NFL season with Sky Sports NFL – join us for all the live action, starting with Buffalo Bills at Los Angeles Rams from 1.20am on Friday, September 9.



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