Awkward reunions, like Deshaun Watson vs. Texans, highlight 2022 NFL season's best grudge matches

The NFL launched its complete 2022 regular-season schedule on Thursday night without any scarcity of appealing matches.

Recent championship game rematches and star-studded quarterback faceoffs — Patrick Mahomes vs. 45-year-old Tom Brady, anybody? — pack drama into the 18 regular-season weeks. So do some, well, intriguing reunions of gamers, coaches and previous groups in this unmatched period of hit NFL trades. New Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, for instance, won’t wait long prior to the league sends him to bet his previous group, the Seahawks.

Whether you’re called into draft-day issues, free-agency crazes, postseason concepts or just the league’s most interesting stars, U.S.A. TODAY Sports ranked the top-10 most attractive animosity matches of the 2022 season.

Behold, NFL fans’ road-to-revenge guide:

Week 10, Nov. 13 at 4:05 p.m., CBS

Josh McDaniels takes the Raiders head post after 10 seasons as New England Patriots offending organizer. But it was the Indianapolis Colts, simply 4 years prior, who believed McDaniels was concerning assist their franchise. Instead, McDaniels withdrew from an arrangement to coach Indy, leaving the Colts “surprised and disappointed,” the group stated in a declaration at the time. McDaniels has actually taken on versus the Colts and head coach Frank Reich — whom they employed from Philadelphia after McDaniels backed out — two times as offending organizer because. But hosting the Colts for the very first time calling the shots handles a brand-new level of gravity. The Vegas glamour will be a fitting background for a drama-laden program.

Week 16, Dec. 4 at 4:25 p.m., CBS

The Bengals’ overtime win at Arrowhead Stadium in the AFC champion included enjoyment from each group that stated: The competition in between Joe Burrow and Patrick Mahomes’ teams is simply starting. The Chiefs’ very first half was excellent prior to their attack progressively unwinded to enable 21 unanswered second-half points followed by a scoring drive off a Mahomes interception in overtime. Will the Bengals’ zero-to-100 team take the next action to win a Super Bowl in Burrow’s 3rd season as the Chiefs carried out in Year 3 of Mahomes? Or will Mahomes, with brand-new offending obstacles sans receiver Tyreek Hill, increase to the celebration to reveal Burrow and Co. he’s refrained from doing running the conference yet? Keep an eye throughout this match on Bengals stud kicker Evan McPherson, who was 4-of-4 on basket efforts, consisting of a 52-yarder, in the Bengals’ championship game success at Kansas City.

Week 9, Nov. 6, 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS

Since Tom Brady bolted to the NFC 2 years earlier, he has yet to beat the protecting Super Bowl champ Los Angeles Rams. The Rams thrived 34-24 the very first time Brady the Bucs faced them. Even more memorably, the Rams knocked the Buccaneers out of last season’s playoffs — regardless of the Bucs scoring 24 unanswered points in the 2nd half, consisting of on a 55-yard goal from the 15-time Pro Bowler, to connect the video game in the last minute. The Rams’ champion, and Brady’s quick retirement, followed in brief order. Now, Brady will once again require to fend off a defense with stars like protective deal with Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Matthew Stafford will require to safeguard Los Angeles’ attack from the second-half collapse that nearly showed deadly in January. Don’t be shocked if this Week 9 match is a sneak peek of NFC postseason play.

Week 13, Dec. 4 at 1 p.m., CBS

The Texans granted Deshaun Watson a four-year, $160 million agreement in September 2020 just for Watson to … require a trade after one season, irritated with franchise management choices consisting of gamer trades and front workplace employs. Watson remained the totality of 2021 while awaiting a trade, legal fights likewise continuous as 22 ladies implicated him of impropriety throughout massage sessions. The franchise handled simply 4 wins last season without its quarterback, and Watson’s disappointment festered as trade talks stalled. Will Watson, who led the NFL with 4,823 passing lawns his last active season, advise the Texans of the quality of skill they lost when he shows up back in Houston rocking Browns equipment and a $230 million fully-guaranteed offer? Or will the Texans parlay a growing collection of skill they got thanks to his trade haul to annoy Watson yet once again? A couple of groups might have bones to choose with Watson this season, consisting of the Atlanta Falcons in Week 4. Watson’s home town group believed it had actually sealed the deal to get the gifted 26-year-old and rather now brings $40 million in dead cash after trading previous QB Matt Ryan. The Falcons have factor to wish to spite Watson, though possibly insufficient skill.

6. Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans

Week 12, Nov. 27, 1 p.m. on CBS

Any playoff loss injures. But the AFC’s top-seeded Titans suffered intense sting when novice kicker Evan McPherson kicked a 52-yard basket as time ended to bounce Tennessee in the divisional round. Count quarterback Ryan Tannehill amongst the most hurt, his three-interception playoff exit sending him to a “dark place” with a “deep scar,” the quarterback informed press reporters this month. Tannehill stated he had a hard time to sleep prior to overcoming the discomfort by means of techniques consisting of treatment. Tannehill and Co. will have another possibility to exorcise satanic forces — with a much healthier running back Derrick Henry this time, they hope — when the Bengals go back to Nissan Stadium.

5. Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week 4, Oct. 2 8:20 p.m. SNF on NBC

Any match of quarterback GOATs like Mahomes and Brady is must-see television, as the schedulers appropriately kept in mind when granting “Sunday Night Football” billing. Add in the groups’ very first faceoff because the Buccaneers’ 31-9 trouncing in Super Bowl 55, and the stakes just increase. Will the Chiefs’ offending line continue the assistance that it has offered Mahomes because that two-interception, three-sack Super Bowl efficiency have the ability to fend off Tampa’s nasty pass rushes? Will Brady’s offense, without Bruce Arians at the helm any longer, be jelling by Week 4 after the 44-year-old (he’ll be a casual 45 prior to kickoff) emerged from a short retirement with what he stated was the fire to still complete? Losses of Arians on Tampa’s sideline and receiver Tyreek Hill for Kansas City modify the vengeance vibrant possibly a little. But the chance to see conference title competitors take on for what might extremely well be the last time in Brady’s profession more than brings back any radiance lost.

4. Washington Commanders at Philadelphia Eagles

Week 10, Nov. 14 8:15 p.m. MNF on ESPN

Sure, this will technically be Wentz’s 2nd NFC East video game versus the Eagles, who take a trip Sept. 25 to play Wentz’s brand-new team at Washington. But Wentz’s nationally telecasted very first journey back to the Linc — with its rowdy, egg-throwing fan base — makes certain to bring drama. Will the Eagles have picked Wentz follower Jalen Hurt’s long-lasting capacity already? Will Wentz have settled into the Commanders’ offense and discovered a much better rhythm than his 2021 Colts project that ended with an interception-and-fumble efficiency in a loss to the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars? Philadelphia fans aren’t shy when they have something to state, and Wentz’s go back to Eagles area ought to show no exception.

3. Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers

Week 10, Nov. 13, 4:25 p.m. on Fox

Some NFL fans may be old adequate to keep in mind when Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers won the Super Bowl together following the 2010 season. But relationship in between coach and quarterback strained strongly in the years that followed, and Rodgers has actually revealed no scarcity of capability to impose an animosity. For the very first time because he was fired Dec. 2, 2018, McCarthy will go back to Lambeau Field. Will Rodgers be deep into a defense of his MVP project already, or will McCarthy’s 3rd Cowboys year be rounding into leading kind to play their finest football in November and December, as McCarthy frequently encourages? Rodgers has actually won 6 of his last 7 contests versus the Cowboys, though an upstart 2016 Cowboys group with then-rookies Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott won the last match at Lambeau Field. Can Dak and Zeke stay unbeaten in Green Bay, McCarthy leveraging 13 years’ worth of within understanding to beat Rodgers? Or will Rodgers’ already-MVP video game burn even brighter versus his previous coach?

Mike McCarthy leaves Packers QB Aaron Rodgers in a 2016 video game versus Minnesota. McCarthy’s Cowboys travel to Green Bay this season.

2. Denver Broncos at Seattle Seahawks

Week 1, Sept. 12, 8:15 p.m. MNF on ESPN

Your eyes don’t trick you if you believe you see Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson opening his season in Seattle. Even the NFL couldn’t wait to see the nine-time Pro Bowl passer go back to deal with the franchise he won a Super Bowl with — the only franchise, till this really video game, that Wilson will have bet throughout his years as a pro. Wilson and the Seahawks’ front workplace spun clashing stories about the divorce, and the Seahawks’ public declarations that Wilson wished to leave likely just fuels the quarterback more. Will Wilson thump his first group to start his project to end up being the league’s next seasonal Pro Bowler to win a Super Bowl in Act 2 in Denver? Or will Pete Carroll and Seattle’s appearing restore emerge far quicker than a fanbase looking for a quarterback to love anticipates? The Week 1 nationwide billing is due.

1. Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs

Week 6, Oct. 16 4:25 p.m. on CBS

The Bills had the Chiefs right where they desired them with 13 seconds to play in guideline of the AFC divisional video game. Josh Allen had actually simply discovered Gabriel Davis for the receiver’s 4th goal of the day, Buffalo taking a three-point lead with 13 seconds to dip into Arrowhead Stadium. But in some way, some method, Mahomes moved magic downfield to send out the video game to overtime. Kansas City won the coin toss, Mahomes discovered Travis Kelce for a goal on the very first drive, and a gifted Bills group’s season ended suddenly. The confluence of occasions triggered a lot protest over NFL overtime guidelines that the league has actually because altered procedure to enable each group an overtime belongings in the postseason and ideally prevent stars like Allen undergoing the impulse of a coin. But regular-season overtime guidelines stay the exact same, so Allen and Co. best install their lead in guideline throughout Week 6. The match of 2 gifted AFC quarterback stalwarts guarantees home entertainment, additional intrigue called for by the Bills’ addition of pass rush Von Miller to torture quarterbacks like Mahomes, who will likewise be contending without rapid wideout Tyreek Hill for the very first project of his profession. Perhaps the 2022 rematch won’t reach traditional status like Kansas City’s 42-36 win in January, however sound and well-coached lineups however provide an alluring match.

Honorable points out

Eagles receiver A.J. Brown deals with the Titans team that traded him on draft weekend throughout a Week 13 match in Philadelphia. … Saints coach Dennis Allen hosts the Raiders, whom he coached from 2012-14, Week 8 on Oct. 30. … Top 2022 draft choice Travon Walker’s Jaguars travel to the Detroit Lions and No. 2 general choice Aidan Hutchinson in Week 13, Dec. 4. … The 2021 leading 2 draft choices, quarterbacks instead of the 2022 protectors, likewise take on once again: No. 1 choice Trevor Lawrence’s Jaguars check out the New York Jets and Zach Wilson on Thursday, Dec. 22 for a Week 16 video game broadcast specifically on Amazon Prime. … Brady’s Bucs might have beat the Saints when it mattered most, in the playoffs en path to their Super Bowl LV success. But he’s 0-4 in the department versus New Orleans, with possibilities to fix that imperfection Week 2 in New Orleans and Week 13 — on “Monday Night Football” — in Tampa.

Follow U.S.A. TODAY Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein.

This post initially appeared on U.S.A. TODAY: Top 10 finest grudge-match video games for 2022 NFL season



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