2022 National Football League season
Regular season
DurationSeptember 8, 2022 (2022-09-08) – January 8, 2023 (2023-01-08)
Playoffs
Start dateJanuary 14, 2023
Super Bowl LVII
DateFebruary 12, 2023
SiteState Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
Pro Bowl
DateFebruary 5, 2023
SiteAllegiant Stadium, Paradise, Nevada
2022 NFL season is located in the United States
Patriots
Patriots
Bills
Bills
Dolphins
Dolphins
Jets
Jets
Bengals
Bengals
Ravens
Ravens
Steelers
Steelers
Browns
Browns
Colts
Colts
Titans
Titans
Jaguars
Jaguars
Texans
Texans
Broncos
Broncos
Chiefs
Chiefs
Raiders
Raiders
Chargers
Chargers
AFC teams:
Yellow ffff00 pog.svg
West,
Blue pog.svg
North,
Red pog.svg
South,
White pog.svg
East
2022 NFL season is located in the United States
Cowboys
Cowboys
Giants
Giants
Eagles
Eagles
Commanders
Commanders
Bears
Bears
Lions
Lions
Packers
Packers
Vikings
Vikings
Falcons
Falcons
Panthers
Panthers
Saints
Saints
Buccaneers
Buccaneers
Cardinals
Cardinals
Rams
Rams
Seahawks
Seahawks
49ers
49ers
NFC teams:
Yellow ffff00 pog.svg
West,
Blue pog.svg
North,
Red pog.svg
South,
White pog.svg
East

The 2022 NFL season is the 103rd season of the National Football League (NFL). The season began on September 8, 2022, with the defending Super Bowl LVI champion Los Angeles Rams falling to Buffalo in the NFL Kickoff Game, and will end on January 8, 2023. The playoffs are scheduled to start on January 14 and will conclude with Super Bowl LVII, the league's championship game, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on February 12.[1]

The former Washington Redskins, after two seasons of using the placeholder name Washington Football Team, were renamed the Washington Commanders prior to the start of the season.[2]

Player movement

The 2022 NFL league year and trading period began on March 16. On March 14, teams were allowed to exercise options for 2022 on players with option clauses in their contracts, submit qualifying offers to their pending restricted free agents, and submit a Minimum Salary Tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2021 contracts and fewer than three accrued seasons of free agent credit. Teams were required to be under the salary cap using the "top 51" definition (in which the 51 highest paid-players on the team's payroll must have a combined salary cap). On March 16, clubs were allowed to contact and begin contract negotiations with players whose contracts had expired and thus became unrestricted free agents.

Positions key
C Center CB Cornerback DB Defensive back DE Defensive end
DL Defensive lineman DT Defensive tackle FB Fullback FS Free safety
G Guard[a] K Kicker[b] KR Kickoff returner LB Linebacker
LS Long snapper OT Offensive tackle OL Offensive lineman NT Nose tackle
P Punter PR Punt returner QB Quarterback RB Running back
S Safety SS Strong safety TE Tight end WR Wide receiver
  1. ^ Also known as Offensive guard (OG)
  2. ^ Also known as Placekicker (PK)

Free agency

Free agency began on March 16. Notable players to change teams included:

Trades

The following notable trades were made during the 2022 league year:

Retirements

Notable retirements

Other retirements

Draft

The 2022 NFL Draft was held in Las Vegas, Nevada from April 28–30.[95] Jacksonville, by virtue of having the worst record in 2021, held the first overall selection and selected pass rusher Travon Walker out of Georgia.

Rule changes

The NFL Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee announced the following policy changes on March 28:[96]

The following rule changes were approved at the NFL Owner's Meeting on March 28:[97]

The following changes to roster management were made on May 25:[98]

The following change to the concussion protocol was made on October 8, following Tua Tagovailoa's injury in week 3:[99]

The following enhancements and updates to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts was announced at the NFL Fall League Meeting on October 18:[100]

2022 deaths

Pro Football Hall of Fame Members

Len Dawson
Dawson played 19 seasons in the NFL and AFL as a quarterback with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, and Dallas Texans / Kansas City Chiefs, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987. He was a one-time Pro Bowler and six-time AFL All-Star, four-time All-AFL (two first-team, two second-team), three-time AFL champion (1962, 1966, and 1969), and Super Bowl IV champion and MVP. He died on August 24, age 87.[101]
Ray Guy
Guy played 14 seasons in the NFL as a punter with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014. He was a seven-time Pro Bowler, eight-time All-Pro (six first-team, two second-team), and three-time Super Bowl champion (XI, XV, and XVIII). He died on November 3, age 72.[102]
Don Maynard
Maynard played 15 seasons in the NFL and AFL as a wide receiver with the New York Giants, the New York Jets, and the St. Louis Cardinals, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987. He was a four-time Pro Bowler, four-time All-Pro (two first-team, two second-team), and Super Bowl III champion. He died on January 10, age 86.[103]
Hugh McElhenny
McElhenny played 13 seasons in the NFL as a halfback with the San Francisco 49ers, the Minnesota Vikings, the New York Giants, and the Detroit Lions, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1970. He was a six-time Pro Bowler and five-time first-team All-Pro. He died on June 17, age 93.[104]
Charley Taylor
Taylor played 14 seasons in the NFL as a wide receiver/halfback with the Washington Redskins, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984. He was an eight-time Pro Bowler and six-time All-Pro (one first-team, five second-team). He died on February 19, age 80.[105]
Charley Trippi
Trippi played nine seasons in the NFL as a halfback/quarterback with the Chicago Cardinals, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1968. He was a two-time Pro Bowler, two-time All-Pro (one first-team, one second-team) and 1947 NFL Champion. He died on October 19, age 100.[106]
Rayfield Wright
Wright played 13 seasons in the NFL as an offensive tackle with the Dallas Cowboys, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006. He was a six-time Pro Bowler, six-time All-Pro (three first-team, three second-team), and two-time Super Bowl champion (VI and XII). He died on April 7, age 76.[107]

Others

Preseason

The majority of training camps began on July 27. The preseason began on August 4 with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, in which Las Vegas (represented in the Hall of Fame Class of 2022 by Richard Seymour and Cliff Branch) defeated Jacksonville (represented by Tony Boselli).[108]

In March, the league passed a resolution to require the use of "Guardian Caps," oversized outer layers of padding placed on the helmet, from the start of training camp through the second preseason game for offensive linemen, defensive linemen, linebackers, and tight ends.[109] A guardian cap is a soft-shell padding aimed to decrease forces sustained during head-to-head contact and limit head injuries that may come with such contact.[110]

Regular season

The NFL released the 2022 regular season schedule on May 12, with select games announced in advance of the full schedule release.[111]

The season is planned to be played over an 18-week schedule beginning on September 8. Each of the league's 32 teams plays 17 games, with one bye week for each team. The regular season is scheduled to end on January 8, 2023; all games during the final weekend will be intra-division games, as it has been since 2010.

Each team plays the other three teams in its own division twice, one game against each of the four teams from a division in its own conference, one game against each of the four teams from a division in the other conference, one game against each of the remaining two teams in its conference that finished in the same position in their respective divisions the previous season (e.g., the team that finished fourth in its division would play all three other teams in its conference that also finished fourth in their divisions), and one game against a team in another division in the other conference that also finished in the same position in their respective division the previous season.

The division pairings for 2022 are as follows:[112]

Four intra-conference games
AFC East vs AFC North
AFC South vs AFC West
NFC East vs NFC North
NFC South vs NFC West

Four interconference games
AFC East vs NFC North
AFC North vs NFC South
AFC South vs NFC East
AFC West vs NFC West

Interconference game by 2021 position
AFC North at NFC East
AFC South at NFC North
AFC West at NFC South
AFC East at NFC West

Highlights of the 2022 season include:

Scheduling changes

Week 11:

Week 14: The Miami–Los Angeles Chargers game, originally scheduled for 4:05 p.m. ET on CBS, was flexed into NBC Sunday Night Football at 8:20 p.m. ET, replacing the originally scheduled Kansas City–Denver game, which was moved to 4:05 p.m. ET on CBS.[121]

Week 15: Five games have been set aside to potentially be moved into an NFL Network tripleheader on Saturday, December 17 (with game times to be announced at the conclusion of Week 13):[122] AtlantaNew Orleans, BaltimoreCleveland, IndianapolisMinnesota, MiamiBuffalo, and New York GiantsWashington. Of these games, three will be selected to play on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 8:15 p.m. ET, while the remaining two will be scheduled as Sunday games.[123]

Week 18: All games during the final week of the regular season were initially listed as "TBD" instead of having tentative start times on Sunday afternoon of either 1:00 p.m. or 4:25 p.m. ET like in previous seasons.[124] Two games with playoff implications will be moved to Saturday, January 7, at 4:30 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. ET, both airing on ESPN, ABC, and ESPN+. A third game with playoff implications will be moved into NBC Sunday Night Football at 8:20 p.m. ET. The rest will be scheduled as Sunday afternoon games on CBS or Fox.[125]

Regular season standings

Division

Conference

# Team Division W L T PCT DIV CONF SOS SOV STK
Division leaders
1[a] Buffalo Bills East 9 3 0 .750 1–2 6–2 .538 .486 W3
2[a] Kansas City Chiefs West 9 3 0 .750 3–0 5–3 .486 .449 L1
3[b] Baltimore Ravens North 8 4 0 .667 2–0 5–3 .493 .442 W1
4 Tennessee Titans South 7 5 0 .583 3–0 5–3 .517 .360 L2
Wild cards
5[b][c] Cincinnati Bengals North 8 4 0 .667 1–3 5–3 .521 .505 W4
6[c] Miami Dolphins East 8 4 0 .667 2–1 6–2 .521 .438 L1
7 New York Jets East 7 5 0 .583 2–2 5–4 .521 .442 L1
In the hunt
8[d] New England Patriots East 6 6 0 .500 2–2 5–3 .524 .465 L2
9[d] Los Angeles Chargers West 6 6 0 .500 2–3 4–4 .452 .322 L1
10[e] Las Vegas Raiders West 5 7 0 .417 3–2 4–5 .410 .342 W3
11[e][f] Cleveland Browns North 5 7 0 .417 2–1 3–6 .503 .398 W2
12[f] Pittsburgh Steelers North 5 7 0 .417 1–2 2–6 .559 .442 W2
13 Indianapolis Colts South 4 7 1 .375 1–3–1 4–5–1 .483 .438 L2
14 Jacksonville Jaguars South 4 8 0 .333 1–2 4–4 .500 .490 L1
15 Denver Broncos West 3 9 0 .250 0–3 2–7 .465 .375 L4
Eliminated from postseason contention
16 Houston Texans South 1 10 1 .125 1–1–1 1–6–1 .490 .333 L7
Tiebreakers[g]
  1. ^ a b Buffalo wins tie break over Kansas City based on head-to-head victory.
  2. ^ a b Baltimore wins tie break over Cincinnati based on head-to-head victory.
  3. ^ a b Cincinnati wins tie break over Miami based on head-to-head victory.
  4. ^ a b New England wins tie break over LA Chargers based on conference record.
  5. ^ a b Las Vegas wins tie break over Cleveland based on conference record. Division tie break was initially used to eliminate Pittsburgh (see below).
  6. ^ a b Cleveland wins tie break over Pittsburgh based on head-to-head victory.
  7. ^ When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.
Legend
w — Clinched wild card
x — Clinched playoff berth
y — Clinched division
z — Clinched first-round bye and home-field advantage
# Team Division W L T PCT DIV CONF SOS SOV STK
Division leaders
1 Philadelphia Eagles East 11 1 0 .917 2–1 6–1 .473 .462 W3
2 Minnesota Vikings North 10 2 0 .833 3–0 6–2 .531 .476 W2
3 San Francisco 49ers West 8 4 0 .667 4–0 6–2 .404 .406 W5
4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers South 5 6 0 .455 2–1 5–2 .474 .450 L1
Wild cards
5 Dallas Cowboys East 8 3 0 .727 3–1 7–3 .541 .526 W2
6 New York Giants East 7 4 1 .625 0–2–1 3–4–1 .469 .378 T1
7 Seattle Seahawks West 7 5 0 .583 3–1 5–4 .413 .387 W1
In the hunt
8 Washington Commanders East 7 5 1 .577 1–2–1 4–4–1 .522 .391 T1
9 Detroit Lions North 5 7 0 .417 2–1 4–4 .589 .429 W1
10[a] Atlanta Falcons South 5 8 0 .385 1–3 4–5 .443 .443 L2
11[a] Green Bay Packers North 5 8 0 .385 2–2 4–5 .567 .417 W1
12[b] Arizona Cardinals West 4 8 0 .333 1–4 3–6 .535 .333 L2
13[b][c] Carolina Panthers South 4 8 0 .333 3–1 3–5 .452 .354 W1
14[c] New Orleans Saints South 4 8 0 .333 1–2 3–4 .500 .408 L1
15 Los Angeles Rams West 3 9 0 .250 1–4 3–7 .524 .351 L6
Eliminated from postseason contention
16 Chicago Bears North 3 10 0 .231 0–4 1–8 .525 .431 L6
Tiebreakers[d]
  1. ^ a b Atlanta wins tie break over Green Bay based on strength of victory.
  2. ^ a b Arizona wins tie break over Carolina based on head-to-head victory. Division tie break was initially used to eliminate New Orleans (see below).
  3. ^ a b Carolina wins tie break over New Orleans based on head-to-head victory.
  4. ^ When breaking ties for three or more teams under the NFL's rules, they are first broken within divisions, then comparing only the highest ranked remaining team from each division.
Legend
w — Clinched wild card
x — Clinched playoff berth
y — Clinched division
z — Clinched first-round bye and home-field advantage

Postseason

The 2022 playoffs are scheduled to begin with the wild-card round, with three wild-card games played in each conference. Wild Card Weekend is planned for January 14–16, 2023. In the Divisional round scheduled for January 21–22, the top seed in the conference will play the lowest remaining seed and the other two remaining teams will play each other. The winners of those games will advance to the Conference Championship games scheduled for January 29. Super Bowl LVII is scheduled for February 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.[126]

Records, milestones, and notable statistics

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Week 9

Week 10

Week 11

Week 12

Awards

Players of the week/month

The following were named the top performers during the 2022 season:

Week/
Month
Offensive
Player of the Week/Month
Defensive
Player of the Week/Month
Special Teams
Player of the Week/Month
AFC NFC AFC NFC AFC NFC
1[167] Patrick Mahomes QB
(Kansas City)
Saquon Barkley RB
(New York Giants)
Minkah Fitzpatrick S
(Pittsburgh)
Uchenna Nwosu LB
(Seattle)
Cade York K
(Cleveland)
Zech McPhearson CB
(Philadelphia)
2[168] Tua Tagovailoa QB
(Miami)
Amon-Ra St. Brown WR
(Detroit)
Jaylen Watson CB
(Kansas City)
Darius Slay CB
(Philadelphia)
Braden Mann P
(New York Jets)
Graham Gano K
(New York Giants)
3[169] Trevor Lawrence QB
(Jacksonville)
Cordarrelle Patterson RB
(Atlanta)
Trey Hendrickson DE
(Cincinnati)
Brandon Graham DE
(Philadelphia)
Corliss Waitman P
(Denver)
Pat O'Donnell P
(Green Bay)
Sept.[170] Lamar Jackson QB
(Baltimore)
Jalen Hurts QB
(Philadelphia)
Melvin Ingram LB
(Miami)
Devin White LB
(Tampa Bay)
Tommy Townsend P
(Kansas City)
Mitch Wishnowsky P
(San Francisco)
4[171] Patrick Mahomes QB
(Kansas City)
Geno Smith QB
(Seattle)
Jordan Poyer S
(Buffalo)
Haason Reddick LB
(Philadelphia)
Evan McPherson K
(Cincinnati)
Greg Joseph K
(Minnesota)
5[172] Josh Allen QB
(Buffalo)
Taysom Hill TE
(New Orleans)
Matt Judon LB
(New England)
Micah Parsons LB
(Dallas)
Chase McLaughlin K
(Indianapolis)
Cameron Dicker K
(Philadelphia)
6[173] Josh Allen QB
(Buffalo)
Marcus Mariota QB
(Atlanta)
Quinnen Williams DT
(New York Jets)
Tariq Woolen CB
(Seattle)
Dustin Hopkins K
(Los Angeles Chargers)
Ryan Wright P
(Minnesota)
7[174] Joe Burrow QB
(Cincinnati)
Daniel Jones QB
(New York Giants)
Sauce Gardner CB
(New York Jets)
Marco Wilson CB
(Arizona)
Randy Bullock K
(Tennessee)
Cairo Santos K
(Chicago)
8[175] Derrick Henry RB
(Tennessee)
Christian McCaffrey RB
(San Francisco)
Dre'Mont Jones DE
(Denver)
Za'Darius Smith LB
(Minnesota)
Nick Folk K
(New England)
Will Dissly TE
(Seattle)
Oct.[176] Derrick Henry RB
(Tennessee)
Geno Smith QB
(Seattle)
Quinnen Williams DT
(New York Jets)
Za'Darius Smith LB
(Minnesota)
Ryan Stonehouse P
(Tennessee)
Tress Way P
(Washington)
9[177] Joe Mixon RB
(Cincinnati)
Justin Fields QB
(Chicago)
Justin Houston LB
(Baltimore)
Kerby Joseph CB
(Detroit)
Cameron Dicker K
(Los Angeles Chargers)
Jake Camarda P
(Tampa Bay)
10[178] Jonathan Taylor RB
(Indianapolis)
Justin Jefferson WR
(Minnesota)
Alex Highsmith LB
(Pittsburgh)
Devin White LB
(Tampa Bay)
Ryan Stonehouse P
(Tennessee)
Joey Slye K
(Washington)
11[179] Travis Kelce TE
(Kansas City)
Tony Pollard RB
(Dallas)
Matt Milano LB
(Buffalo)
Aidan Hutchinson DE
(Detroit)
Marcus Jones PR
(New England)
Cordarrelle Patterson KR
(Atlanta)
12[180] Josh Jacobs RB
(Las Vegas)
Jalen Hurts QB
(Philadelphia)
Ed Oliver DT
(Buffalo)
Brian Burns DE
(Carolina)
J. K. Scott P
(Los Angeles Chargers)
Kene Nwangwu RB
(Minnesota)
Nov.[181] Patrick Mahomes QB
(Kansas City)
Justin Jefferson WR
(Minnesota)
Derwin James S
(Los Angeles Chargers)
Nick Bosa DE
(San Francisco)
Tyler Bass K
(Buffalo)
Joey Slye K
(Washington)
Week FedEx Air
Player of the Week[182]
FedEx Ground
Player of the Week[182]
Pepsi Zero Sugar
Rookie of the Week[183]
1 Patrick Mahomes
(Kansas City)
Jonathan Taylor
(Indianapolis)
Jahan Dotson WR
(Washington)
2 Tua Tagovailoa
(Miami)
Aaron Jones
(Green Bay)
Garrett Wilson WR
(New York Jets)
3 Jalen Hurts
(Philadelphia)
Khalil Herbert
(Chicago)
Romeo Doubs WR
(Green Bay)
4 Jared Goff
(Detroit)
Rashaad Penny
(Seattle)
Breece Hall RB
(New York Jets)
5 Josh Allen
(Buffalo)
Taysom Hill
(New Orleans)
Sauce Gardner CB
(New York Jets)
6 Joe Burrow
(Cincinnati)
Breece Hall
(New York Jets)
Breece Hall RB
(New York Jets)
7 Joe Burrow
(Cincinnati)
Kenneth Walker III
(Seattle)
Sauce Gardner CB
(New York Jets)
8 Tua Tagovailoa
(Miami)
Tony Pollard
(Dallas)
Garrett Wilson WR
(New York Jets)
9 Tua Tagovailoa
(Miami)
Joe Mixon
(Cincinnati)
Sauce Gardner CB
(New York Jets)
10 Tua Tagovailoa
(Miami)
Justin Fields
(Chicago)
Christian Watson WR
(Green Bay)
11 Joe Burrow
(Cincinnati)
Jamaal Williams
(Detroit)
Aidan Hutchinson DE
(Detroit)
12 Mike White
(New York Jets)
Josh Jacobs
(Las Vegas)
Garrett Wilson WR
(New York Jets)
13
Month Rookie of the Month
Offensive Defensive
Sept.[170] Chris Olave WR
(New Orleans)
Devin Lloyd LB
(Jacksonville)
Oct.[176] Kenneth Walker III RB
(Seattle)
Tariq Woolen CB
(Seattle)
Nov.[181] Christian Watson WR
(Green Bay)
Aidan Hutchinson DE
(Detroit)

Notable events

Brian Flores' discrimination lawsuit

See also: Brian Flores § Lawsuit against NFL and teams

On February 1, former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores sued the NFL, the Dolphins, the New York Giants, and the Denver Broncos, alleging racism, violations of federal employment law, and that his interviews were a sham meant solely to fulfill the Rooney Rule.[184] The lawsuit also alleges that during Flores' tenure with the Dolphins, team owner Stephen M. Ross pressured him to deliberately lose games, offering him $100,000 for each game he lost in order for the Dolphins to get better draft picks for the following season and that Ross fired Flores after he refused to comply with this pressure.[185] The lawsuit seeks damages and injunctive relief in the form of changes to hiring, retention, termination, and pay transparency practices for coaching and executive positions in the NFL.[186]

On April 6, former Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks and former assistant coach Ray Horton joined the lawsuit with similar allegations against the league, the Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, and Tennessee Titans.[187]

Deshaun Watson sexual assault allegations

In March and April 2021, then-Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson was accused by 22 massage therapists of sexual misconduct.[188]

On March 11, 2022, a grand jury declined to indict Watson on criminal charges related to "harassment and sexual misconduct." On that date he still faced 22 civil lawsuits, many alleging sexual misconduct and assault.[189] After being cleared of criminal charges, Watson was traded to the Cleveland Browns and agreed to a new, fully guaranteed, five-year, $230 million contract with the Browns, the most guaranteed money in NFL history.[190]

After two more accusers joined the lawsuit in June 2022, Watson settled 23 of the 24 lawsuits in July and August.[191]

On August 1, as a result of these allegations, Watson was suspended for six regular season games to start the 2022 season by judge Sue Lewis Robinson.[192] Two days later, the NFL appealed the suspension, seeking to extend the suspension to at least a full season as well as seeking a fine and establishing a requirement for Watson to seek treatment for his conduct.[193] The appeal was reviewed by former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey.[194][195]

On August 18, after the NFL and the NFLPA reached a settlement, Watson was suspended for the first 11 games of the season and was fined $5 million.[196]

Miami Dolphins tampering

On August 2, it was announced that following a six-month independent investigation by Mary Jo White and a team of lawyers, the Miami Dolphins would forfeit their 2023 first-round draft pick and a 2024 third-round pick for violating the league's anti-tampering policy on three occasions from 2019 to 2022 by engaging in impermissible conversations with quarterback Tom Brady and coach Sean Payton, both of whom were under contract with other teams. Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross was also fined $1.5 million and suspended through October 17, and was prohibited from being at the Dolphins' facility or representing the team at any event until then. He was also prohibited from attending any league meeting before the annual meeting in 2023 and was removed from all league committees indefinitely.[197] Vice chairman/limited partner Bruce Beal was fined $500,000 and will not be permitted to attend any league meetings for the rest of the 2022 season.[198]

Denver Broncos sale

On August 9, the league owners unanimously approved the sale of the Denver Broncos from the Pat Bowlen Trust to the Walton-Penner Family Ownership Group, led by Greg Penner, for a price of $4.65 billion. The new owners were formally introduced the next day.[199][200]

Washington Commanders potential sale

On November 2, it was announced that Commanders' Owner Dan Snyder and his wife had engaged Bank of America Securities to facilitate the potential sale of the team. Any potential transaction would have to be presented to the NFL Finance Committee for review and require an affirmative vote by 75% of the owners (24 of 32). The team is currently valued at $5.6 billion, according to Forbes.[201]

Head coaching and front office changes

Head coaches

Off-season

Team Departing coach Interim coach Incoming coach Reason for leaving Notes
Chicago Bears Matt Nagy Matt Eberflus Fired Nagy was fired on January 10 after four seasons with the Bears. During his tenure, the Bears were 34–31 (.523) with one NFC North division title in two overall playoff appearances, both ending with first round losses.[202]

Eberflus, who spent the previous four seasons as the Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator, was hired on January 27. This is his first head coaching position.[203]

Denver Broncos Vic Fangio Nathaniel Hackett Fangio was fired on January 9 after three seasons with the Broncos. During his tenure, the Broncos were 19–30 (.388) with no playoff appearances.[204]

Hackett, who spent the previous three seasons as the Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator, was hired on January 27. This is his first head coaching position.[205]

Houston Texans David Culley Lovie Smith Culley was fired on January 13 after one season with the Texans, finishing with a 4–13 (.235) record and missing the playoffs.[206]

Smith, who spent the previous season as Houston's defensive coordinator and associate head coach, was hired on February 7. This will be his third head coaching position in the NFL. As the head coach of the Chicago Bears from 20042012, the team's overall record was 81–63 (.563), with three playoff appearances, three NFC North division titles, an appearance in Super Bowl XLI, and a 3–3 (.500) playoff record. He also won AP NFL Coach of the Year Award in 2005. As the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 20142015, the team was 8–24 (.250), with no playoff appearances.[207]

Jacksonville Jaguars Urban Meyer Darrell Bevell Doug Pederson Meyer was fired on December 16, 2021, due to a season full of on- and off-the-field issues. During Meyer's single partial season in Jacksonville, the Jaguars were 2–11 (.154).[208][209]

Bevell, the team's offensive coordinator since 2021, was promoted to interim head coach. This is his second head coaching position, after serving as interim head coach for the Detroit Lions in 2020, where he obtained a record of 1–4 (.200). He finished out the 2021 season with a 1–3 (.250) record.[208]

Pederson was hired on February 3. He was the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles from 2016 to 2020 with a record of 42–37–1 (.531), three playoff appearances with a record of 4–2 (.667), two NFC East division titles, and the Super Bowl LII championship.[210]

Las Vegas Raiders Jon Gruden Rich Bisaccia Josh McDaniels Resigned Gruden resigned on October 11, 2021, due to the publication of controversial emails prior to becoming the Raiders head coach. In Gruden's 3+ seasons during his second stint with Oakland/Las Vegas, the Raiders were 22–31 (.415) with no playoff appearances.[211][212]

Bisaccia, the team's special teams coordinator and assistant head coach since 2018, was promoted to interim head coach. This was his first head coaching position after 20 years as an assistant coach in the NFL. He finished out the 2021 regular season with a 7–5 (.583) record, leading the Raiders to a Wild Card playoff appearance.[213]

McDaniels, who spent the previous 10 seasons as the New England Patriots offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach (and a total of 18 seasons as an assistant coach with New England in two stints), was hired on January 31. He was the head coach of the Denver Broncos from 20092010 with a record of 11–17 (.393) and no playoff appearances.[214]

Miami Dolphins Brian Flores Mike McDaniel Fired Flores was fired on January 10 after three seasons with the Dolphins. During his tenure, the Dolphins were 24–25 (.490) with no playoff appearances.[215]

McDaniel, who spent the previous five seasons as the San Francisco 49ers offensive and run game coordinator, was hired on February 6. This is his first head coaching position.[216]

Minnesota Vikings Mike Zimmer Kevin O'Connell Zimmer was fired on January 10 after eight seasons with the Vikings. During his tenure, the Vikings were 72–56–1 (.562) with two NFC North division titles in three overall playoff appearances, one NFC Championship Game appearance, and a playoff record of 2–3 (.400).[217]

O'Connell, who spent the previous two seasons as the Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator, was hired on February 16. This is his first head coaching position.[218]

New Orleans Saints Sean Payton Dennis Allen Retired Payton retired on January 25 after 15 seasons with the Saints. His overall record was 152–89 (.631), with nine playoff appearances including seven NFC South titles, the Super Bowl XLIV title, and a playoff record of 9–8 (.529). He also won AP NFL Coach of the Year Award in 2006.[219][220][221]

Allen, who spent the previous seven seasons as the Saints defensive coordinator (and a total of 12 seasons as an assistant coach with New Orleans in two stints), was hired on February 8. This is his second head coaching position; he had previously served as head coach of the Oakland Raiders from 20122014, with a record of 8–28 (.222) and no playoff appearances.[222]

New York Giants Joe Judge Brian Daboll Fired Judge was fired on January 11 after two seasons with the Giants. During his tenure, the Giants were 10–23 (.303) with no playoff appearances.[223]

Daboll, who spent the previous four seasons as the Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator, was hired on January 28. This is his first head coaching position.[224]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Bruce Arians Todd Bowles Retired Arians announced his retirement on March 30 after three seasons with the Buccaneers. During his tenure, the Buccaneers were 31–18 (.633) with two playoff appearances including one NFC South title, the Super Bowl LV title, and a playoff record of 5–1 (.833). Arians had previously retired following the 2017 season after five seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, spending one year as a commentator for CBS before returning to coaching.

Bowles, who spent the previous three seasons as the Buccaneers' defensive coordinator, was promoted the same day. This is his third head coaching position; he had previously served as interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins for the last three weeks of the 2011 season, and as head coach of the New York Jets from 20152018, with a combined record of 26–41 (.388) and no playoff appearances.[225]

In-season

Team Departing coach Reason for leaving Interim replacement Notes
Carolina Panthers Matt Rhule Fired Steve Wilks After a 1–4 start, Rhule was fired October 10 after 2+ seasons with the team. During his tenure, the Panthers were 11–27 (.289) with no playoff appearances.

Wilks, the team’s defensive pass game coordinator and secondary coach, took over as interim coach. This is his second NFL head coaching position, having previously been the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 2018, with a record of 3–13 (.188) and no playoff appearances.[226]

Indianapolis Colts Frank Reich Jeff Saturday Reich was fired on November 7 after starting the season 3–5–1 (.389). In 5+ seasons with the Colts, Reich was 40–33–1 (.547), with 2 playoff appearances and a playoff record of 1–2 (.333).[227]

Saturday, a 6-time Pro Bowler who played 14 seasons as a center in the NFL (13 with the Colts), and current consultant for the team, was named interim head coach. His only previous coaching experience at any level was for Hebron Christian Academy in Dacula, Georgia.[228] He is the first coach hired with no prior coaching experience either in the NFL or college since Norm Van Brocklin in 1961.[229]

Front office personnel

Off-season

Team Position Departing office holder Incoming office holder Reason for leaving Notes
Baltimore Ravens President Dick Cass Sashi Brown Retired

Cass retired on February 4 after 18 years with the team, during which the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII.

Brown was hired the same day, effective April 1. He was previously the Cleveland Browns' GM from 2016–2017.[230]

Denver Broncos Joe Ellis Damani Leech Resigned

Ellis stepped down from his position as president and CEO on August 9 after the sale of the team. He had served with the Broncos for 27 years, the last eight as CEO.[231]

Leech was hired on August 11. He was the COO of NFL International from 2019 until the hiring.[232]

Las Vegas Raiders Dan Ventrelle Sandra Douglass Morgan Fired

After about 19 years with the Raiders including one season as president, Ventrelle was fired on May 6. Ventrelle alleged he was fired for reporting a hostile work environment.[233]

Douglass Morgan was hired on July 7. She previously served as chairwoman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board from 2019 to 2020. She is the first black female president in NFL history.[234]

Chicago Bears General manager Ryan Pace Ryan Poles Fired After seven years with the Bears, Pace was fired on January 10.[202]

Poles was hired on January 25. He previously served for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2009 to 2021 in various executive roles and in the final year as the executive director of player personnel.[235]

Las Vegas Raiders Mike Mayock Dave Ziegler After three years with the Raiders, Mayock was fired on January 17.[236]

Ziegler was hired on January 30. He previously served for the New England Patriots from 2013 to 2021 in various executive roles and in the final year as the director of player personnel.[237]

Minnesota Vikings Rick Spielman Kwesi Adofo-Mensah After sixteen years with the Vikings and ten years as the GM, Spielman was fired on January 10.[217]

Adofo-Mensah was hired on January 26. He previously served as the vice president of football operations for the Cleveland Browns from 2020 to 2021 and also served for the San Francisco 49ers in football research and development.[238]

New York Giants Dave Gettleman Joe Schoen Retired After four years as the Giants GM and fourteen years total over two tenures with the team, Gettleman announced his retirement on January 10.[239]

Schoen was hired on January 21. He previously served as the assistant GM for the Buffalo Bills from 2017 to 2021 and also served for the Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins in various executive roles.[240]

Pittsburgh Steelers Kevin Colbert Omar Khan After eleven years as the Steelers GM, six years additionally as vice president, and 22 years total with the team in various executive roles, Colbert retired after the 2022 NFL Draft.[241]

Khan was hired on May 25. He has served in various roles with the Steelers for 21 years, most recently as the vice president of football and business administration since 2016.[242]

Stadiums

Uniforms

Uniform changes

Alternate helmets

In June 2021, the NFL approved a rule that would allow teams to wear alternate helmets for the 2022 season, repealing a one-helmet rule put in place in 2013. Alternate helmets are required to be accompanied with alternate uniforms.[266]

Patches

Diversity initiative

During Weeks 4 and 5, players, executives, and coaches wore patches and decals of international flags to represent their national heritage. Over 50 countries and territories were represented, with over 200 individuals participating.[286][287][288]

Media

Television

This is the ninth and final season under the current broadcast contracts with CBS, Fox, and NBC, before new 11-year contracts for all three networks begin in 2023.[289] This includes "cross-flexing" (switching) Sunday afternoon games between CBS and Fox before or during the season, regardless of the conference of the visiting team. Super Bowl LVII will be televised by Fox.

Following the expiration of their eight-year contract, ESPN and ABC agreed to a one-year bridge contract. As with the previous season, ESPN will hold rights to a Saturday doubleheader during the final week of the season, simulcast with ABC. Also this year, ABC aired its first exclusive game since 2005 on September 19, as part of a doubleheader with ESPN. ESPN will begin a new 11-year contract in 2023.[290]

NFL Network will continue to televise select regular season games, including three International Series games.[291][290]

Fox Deportes will air Spanish-language coverage of Fox games. ESPN Deportes will do the same for ESPN, ABC, and CBS games. Universo and Telemundo Deportes (select games) will do the same for NBC games.

ESPN2's Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli was renewed for an additional season, taking it through the 2024 NFL season.[292] CBS will continue to produce alternative, youth-oriented telecasts of selected games on sister channel Nickelodeon; the channel will simulcast CBS's Christmas Day game, marking its first regular-season broadcast.[118]

DirecTV signed a multi-year deal with Amazon Prime Video to allow Thursday Night Football to be shown on DirecTV's packages for business customers. This agreement is independent of DirecTV's expiring NFL Sunday Ticket deal, primarily to allow bars, restaurants, casinos, and other venues to continue offering the games without reconfiguring their systems to accommodate a streaming-only platform.[293]

Streaming

The Chargers and Chiefs playing in the first Thursday Night Football game broadcast exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.
The Chargers and Chiefs playing in the first Thursday Night Football game broadcast exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

This is the first year in which Thursday Night Football exclusively streams on Amazon Prime Video and Twitch.[294] Fox and NFL Network opted out of their final season of the 2018–2022 TNF deal, allowing Amazon to take over one season before its 2023–2033 TNF agreement was to go into effect.[295]

This will also be the first year in which ESPN+ exclusively streams one International Series game per year along with simulcasts of all ABC games.[296]

Paramount+ will continue to simulcast all CBS games and Peacock will simulcast all NBC games.

This is the final season under DirecTV's deal for exclusive rights to the NFL Sunday Ticket out-of-market sports package. DirecTV has held exclusive rights since the package's launch in 1994. DirecTV executives have questioned the current value of NFL Sunday Ticket after losing money over the past few years. In September 2021, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suggested that NFL Sunday Ticket could be more attractive on a digital platform.[297] In June, it was reported that Disney, Apple, and Amazon submitted bids. In July, Google submitted a bid.[298][299] In October, it was reported that Apple wants flexible and unrestricted global streaming rights, something that the NFL cannot offer due its existing deals with its other broadcasters.[300]

The NFL's mobile streaming contract with Verizon expired following the 2021 season (which included mobile streaming of live local and nationally televised games along with cellular streaming of NFL Network); it was reported that the league was preparing to move these rights behind a paywall of an in-house subscription service.[301][302] In July, the NFL announced that NFL Game Pass would be replaced in the United States by NFL+, which will stream in-market games and the NFL Network on mobile devices only, radio broadcasts for all games, and most out-of-market preseason games. The on-demand full, condensed, and "All 22" bird's-eye view game replays offered by NFL Game Pass will now be under a premium tier of NFL+.[303][304][305]

Radio

In March, the NFL renewed its national radio contract with Westwood One, maintaining its package of radio rights to all primetime, marquee, and playoff games, while adding audio coverage of other events such as the NFL Draft and NFL Honors. It also greatly expands the ability for its broadcasts to be distributed for free via digital platforms, including via local affiliates' "primary digital platforms", and via the NFL app.[306] Compass Media, ESPN Radio and Sports USA will continue to broadcast select Sunday afternoon games nationally on radio.

Personnel changes

With Brian Griese leaving ESPN for a coaching job with San Francisco,[307][308] on March 16, ESPN signed Joe Buck and Troy Aikman — who were Fox's lead commentary team for 20 seasons — to a multi-year deal to become the new lead commentators of Monday Night Football.[309][310] ESPN's previous MNF broadcasters Steve Levy and Louis Riddick continue as ESPN's secondary NFL broadcast team, with Dan Orlovsky replacing Griese.[311]

On March 23, Amazon announced that longtime NBC play-by-play announcer Al Michaels and ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit would serve as its lead broadcast team for Thursday Night Football.[312][313] Amazon later added ABC News reporter Kaylee Hartung as its sideline reporter. Mike Tirico—who had been NBC's secondary play-by-play announcer and Michaels' designated fill-in since joining the network in 2016[314][315]—will succeed Michaels as the lead commentator for Sunday Night Football, with Maria Taylor succeeding him as lead studio host[316] and Jason Garrett replacing Drew Brees on the Football Night in America panel.[317] Melissa Stark is also replacing Michele Tafoya (who departed after Super Bowl LVI to pursue a political career) as sideline reporter.[318] Amazon's studio panel will be led by Fox’s Charissa Thompson, with analysts Tony Gonzalez, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Richard Sherman, and Andrew Whitworth. Bleacher Report and Turner SportsTaylor Rooks and NBC’s Michael Smith also make contributions.[319]

With Buck and Aikman's departure, Fox's number-2 commentary team of Kevin Burkhardt and Greg Olsen were promoted to the network's top pairing.[320] Replacing Burkhardt and Olsen are Joe Davis, who is also Buck’s replacement for Fox’s MLB coverage, and Daryl Johnston, starting his third stint as Fox’s number 2 analyst. Kristina Pink, who was one of Fox’s two TNF reporters from 2018–2021, returns to Sunday reporting duties to join the team of Adam Amin and Mark Schlereth. Robert Smith also transfers from Fox’s college football coverage to join Chris Myers.

Most watched regular season games

Rank Date Matchup Network(s) Viewers (millions) TV rating[321] Window Significance
1 November 24, 4:30 ET New York Giants 20–28 Dallas Cowboys Fox/Fox Deportes 42.1 12.7 Thanksgiving Cowboys–Giants rivalry, most watched regular-season game in NFL history [322]
2 November 24, 12:30 ET Buffalo Bills 28–25 Detroit Lions CBS/Paramount+ 31.8 11.8 Thanksgiving
3 November 13, 4:25 ET Dallas Cowboys 28–31 Green Bay Packers Fox 29.2 14.9 Late DH[a] Cowboys–Packers rivalry, Mike McCarthy's return to Green Bay
4 November 20, 4:25 ET Dallas Cowboys 40–3 Minnesota Vikings CBS/Paramount+ 27.5 13.7 Late DH[b] Cowboys–Vikings rivalry
5 September 18, 4:25 ET Cincinnati Bengals 17–20 Dallas Cowboys 27.4 14.1 Late DH[c]
6 September 25, 4:25 ET Green Bay Packers 14–12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fox 26.4 13.4 Late DH[d] 2020 NFC Championship rematch
7 October 16, 4:25 ET Buffalo Bills 24–20 Kansas City Chiefs CBS/Paramount+ 25.4 13.2 Late DH[e] 2021 AFC Divisional Round rematch
8 November 24, 8:20 ET New England Patriots 26–33 Minnesota Vikings NBC/Peacock/Telemundo 25.3 9.7 Thanksgiving
9 October 30, 4:25 ET San Francisco 49ers 31–14 Los Angeles Rams Fox 24.9 12.6 Late DH[f] 2021 NFC Championship rematch
49ers–Rams rivalry
10 October 2, 4:25 ET New England Patriots 24–27 (OT) Green Bay Packers CBS/Paramount+ 24.6 12.7 Late DH[g]

*Note – All single and DH matchups listed in table are the matchups that were viewed to the largest percentage of the market.

  1. ^ DAL/GB was shown in 92% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
  2. ^ DAL/MIN was shown in 90% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of CBS coverage.
  3. ^ CIN/DAL was shown in 81% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of CBS coverage.
  4. ^ GB/TB was shown in 83% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
  5. ^ BUF/KC was shown nationally during the late doubleheader time slot of CBS coverage.
  6. ^ SF/LAR was shown in 47% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of Fox coverage.
  7. ^ NE/GB was shown in 77% of the markets during the late doubleheader time slot of CBS coverage.

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