Dutch Lion’s 2022 Pro Football Spectacular
* I know we’re already four games into the ’22 NFL season, but it took us awhile ‘cuz we’ve been busy. Oh well, please gimme a break. *
Like our recent 2022 College Football Spectacular, we’re a week (or four) late with our Pro Football Spectacular. Nonetheless, we’re happy to be back for another season on the gridiron.
In last year’s Spectacular, we correctly predicted the Super Bowl champion as well as the CFL’s Grey Cup Champion. Along with our correct prognostication of Ohio State winning college football’s CFP National Championship, we’re aiming for more perfection in ’22.
As for the NFL, In ’21 we correctly went with the L.A. Rams. In ’22 our pick is…..
Dutch Lion’s 2022 NFL Predictions
- Buffalo Bills (14-3) – This year’s selection for our Super Bowl Champion is the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo has it all. Their offense is exciting. Their defense is physical. Their coaching is solid. They have a big, young superstar quarterback in Josh Allen. They have an excellent pass rush. Most of all, Buffalo will have a chip on it’s shoulder to get back to the Playoffs AND then dominate after losing the way they did in last year’s AFC Divisional Playoff game at Kansas City. Remember the ridiculous way that game ended? First, Buffalo blew the lead with only 13 seconds left! Then, as the game went to overtime, Kansas City won the toss and never gave the ball back to Josh Allen and the Bills. It was the kind of ending that will give you nightmares. However, in this case the Bills will use it as jet fuel. They will ride this all the way to earning the Lombardi Trophy next February 12 in State Farm Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
- Miami Dolphins (11-6) – Miami is improving. The trade with the Chiefs for wide receiver Tyreek Hill should really help young quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Along with Jaylen Waddle, the potential exists for an explosive passing attack.
- New England Patriots (7-10) – Maybe Bill Belichick is past his prime? With only 7 wins in 2020 and 10 wins last year, the Patriots have been rebuilding. Or is it really just that Tom Brady is gone and without him, they stink? It’s hard to say it’s definitely one thing or the other. However, the bottom line is that New England hasn’t been good since Brady left. Can Mac Jones become the “man” in Boston?
- New York Jets (5-12) – “J-E-T-S, Jets! Jets! Jets!” You gotta love those New York football fans. It’s too bad the Jets have been really bad for so long.
- Baltimore Ravens (12-5) – I’m a big fan of Lamar Jackson. I love watching this dude play ball. He’s one of the most amazing athletes in the league. He has Michael Vick type skills. He can run like the wind. He has power too, at 6’2″ 212. His arm strength and “flick of the wrist” throwing skill is reminiscent of the great Vick also. TE Mark Andrews is one of the best in the business, as is HC John Harbaugh. I foresee another division title for the Ravens, after having bad luck with injuries last year which essentially ended their hopes. They ended up at 8-9. This year, they’ll go 12-5.
- Cincinnati Bengals (9-8) – As much fun as the Bengals were last year on their Super Bowl runner-up season, they weren’t as good throughout the regular season as you might have remembered. They only went 10-7 in the regular season. I’m calling for a disappointing 9-8 season, despite continued growth by QB Joe Burrow and their young receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.
- Pittsburgh Steelers (8-9)
- Cleveland Browns (7-10) – The Browns are really hard to predict this year because of the uncertainty over new quarterback Deshaun Watson. What we know right now is that Watson is suspended for the first eleven games of the season. That’s roughly two-thirds of the year. Even if Watson comes back and lights it up, at most they could win those last six games. Meanwhile, journeyman Jacoby Brissett is under center. Let’s say he leads Cleveland to a 4-7 record in those first 11 games? Then in total the Browns “could” go 10-7. That’s a big “could”. I’d be willing to bet the Browns have a bad year, a last-place kind of year but the Browns management sells it as a rebuilding, throwaway-type-of-season since Watson was suspended.
- Tennessee Titans (10-7)
- Indianapolis Colts (9-8)
- Houston Texans (5-12)
- Jacksonville Jaguars (4-13)
- Kansas City Chiefs (13-4)
- Los Angeles Chargers (12-5)
- Denver Broncos (10-7)
- Las Vegas Raiders (6-11)
AFC Playoff Seeds & Projected Matchups
- Buffalo – BYE
- Kansas City
- Los Angeles Chargers
AFC First Round:
#2 Kansas City over #7 Denver
#3 Baltimore over #6 Miami
#5 Los Angeles Chargers over #4 Tennessee
AFC Divisional Round:
#1 Buffalo over #5 L.A. Chargers
#2 Kansas City over #3 Baltimore
#1 Buffalo over #2 Kansas City
- Philadelphia Eagles (11-6)
- Dallas Cowboys (10-7) – Let’s be honest. I was going to pick the Cowboys to win this division but now that we saw Dak Prescott break his thumb I’m dropping them in the standings. He’ll be out perhaps 6-8 weeks. Meanwhile, backup Cooper Rush has done a swell job in his stead. In the long run, will it be enough to help Dallas get to the NFC Playoffs and WIN a game or three?
- Washington Commanders (8-9)
- New York Giants (5-12)
- Minnesota Vikings (12-5)
- Green Bay Packers (11-6)
- Detroit Lions (7-10)
- Chicago Bears (4-13) – This is one of the worst Bears teams I can remember, and there have seemingly been a ton of them in my forty plus years. PS I have a friendly bet with my mother than the Bears will win 5 games or less while she has the over, meaning she has 6 plus wins. So far, Chicago is 2-2. One win was over Houston, maybe the only team in the NFL worse than the Bears. The only other win was a fluke win over San Francisco in a monsoon in Soldier Field in Opening week. I still like the under on 5.5 wins.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-5)
- New Orleans Saints (10-7)
- Carolina Panthers (8-9)
- Atlanta Falcons (5-12)
- San Francisco 49ers (13-4)
- Los Angeles Rams (11-6) – Something is a little off with the defending Super Bowl Champions. As Paul pointed out the other day in his weekly NFL column, the Rams seem too reliant on superstar WR Cooper Kupp. I agree with the “Captain” Paul. Los Angeles needs to diversify their offense a little bit. It might help to run the ball once in awhile with RB’s Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson.
- Arizona Cardinals (9-8)
- Seattle Seahawks (7-10)
NFC Playoff Seeds & Projected Matchups
- San Francisco – BYE
- Tampa Bay
- Los Angeles Rams
- Green Bay
NFC First Round:
#2 Tampa Bay over #7 Dallas
#3 Minnesota over #6 Green Bay
#5 Los Angeles Rams over #4 Philadelphia
NFC Divisional Round:
#1 San Francisco over #5 L.A. Rams
#2 Tampa Bay over #3 Minnesota
#1 San Francisco over #2 Tampa Bay
Super Bowl LVII (57) – February 12, 2023 – State Farm Stadium – Glendale, AZ
Buffalo Bills over San Francisco 49ers – MVP: Josh Allen/QB/Buffalo – This is the year of the buffalo. That’s what my good friend Comanche Chief Slow Running Water Lil’Dripdrip told me the other day. (None of that is true. I made it up. Call it an exploration into fiction writing.) Nonetheless, whether it’s the year of the buffalo or year of the bison (more likely), or even butterflies or mosquitoes, I am standing firmly behind my commitment of picking the Bills to win it all. I’m so confident that I even bought a Buffalo Bills hat this year to back up my selection. C’mon Bills! Don’t let me down.
Dutch Lion’s 2022 NFL All-Pro Team
QB Josh Allen/Buffalo
RB Jonathan Taylor/Indianapolis
RB Nick Chubb/Cleveland
FB Kyle Jusczyk/San Francisco
WR Cooper Kupp/Los Angeles Rams
WR Justin Jefferson/Minnesota
WR Tyreek Hill/Miami – The greatest athlete in the world right now? Who else would you pick to win a decathlon?
AP Deebo Samuel/San Francisco
TE Mark Andrews/Baltimore
LT Trent Williams/San Francisco
LG Quenton Nelson/Indianapolis
C Jason Kelce/Philadelphia
RG Zack Martin/Dallas
RT Tristan Wirfs/Tampa Bay
EDGE T.J. Watt/Pittsburgh
DT Aaron Donald/Los Angeles Rams
DT Chris Jones/Kansas City
EDGE Nick Bosa/San Francisco
OLB Micah Parsons/Dallas
ILB Roquan Smith/Chicago
ILB Fred Warner/San Francisco
OLB Lavonte David/Tampa Bay
CB Jalen Ramsey/Los Angeles Rams
CB Darius Slay/Philadelphia
SS Derwin James/Los Angeles Chargers
FS Minkah Fitzpatrick/Pittsburgh
PK Justin Tucker/Baltimore
P Tommy Townsend/Kansas City
Head Coach – Sean McVay/Los Angeles Rams
Dutch Lion’s CFL Predictions
- Winnipeg Blue Bombers *
- Calgary Stampeders
- BC Lions *
- Saskatchewan Roughriders * (Crossover Wild Card)
- Edmonton Elks
- Toronto Argonauts *
- Montreal Alouettes *
- Hamilton Tiger-Cats
- Ottawa Redblacks
Western Regular Season Champion: #1 Winnipeg (BYE)
Western Division Semifinal: #2 Calgary over #3 B.C. – Before B.C.’s superstar quarterback Nathan Rourke was injured, we were going to pick the Lions to win the Grey Cup this year. Unfortunately, Rourke has been out for so long that they Lions lost their momentum. It’s possible Rourke comes back and leads B.C. all the way to the Grey Cup, but now we highly doubt it. Meanwhile, Calgary has gotten hot.
Western Final: #2 Calgary over #1 Winnipeg – It’s so hard to repeat in sports. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers won last year’s Grey Cup and while we still think they’re a great team, we are predicting a new CFL Champion this year. We’re taking Calgary over Winnipeg in a huge upset in the Western Final.
Eastern Regular Season Champion: #1 Toronto (BYE)
Eastern Division Semifinal: #3 Saskatchewan over #2 Montreal – We’re picking Saskatchewan to become a Crossover team. Thus, even though they will finish in 4th place in the West, they will have a better record than the 3rd place team in the East, thereby ousting Eastern #3 Hamilton from the Playoffs. Not only will Roughriders surprising get IN the Playoffs, we’re taking them to win a road game at Montreal.
Eastern Final: #1 Toronto over #3 Saskatchewan – The dream ends for the ‘Riders in the Eastern Final in Toronto.
109th Grey Cup – Sunday, November 20, 2022 – 6pm Eastern – Mosaic Stadium, Regina, Saskatchewan
Calgary Stampeders over Toronto Argonauts – Led by two quarterbacks, Bo Levi Mitchell and Jake Maier, RB Ka’Deem Carey, and WR Malik Henry, we’re picking a “longshot” to win this year’s Grey Cup. The Stampeders have won five of their last seven games since Maier took over from Mitchell in mid-August. Whether it’s Maier or Mitchell at the helm as we go down the homestretch, we think the Stamps will ride former Chicago Bears RB Ka’Deem Carey to this year’s Championship. This will be Calgary’s 9th Grey Cup Championship all-time, which will move them into 4th place all-time in most Grey Cups won, behind only Toronto (17), Edmonton (14), and Winnipeg (12). Go Calgary! Go Stampeders!
To recap our Predictions over the last two seasons:
2021 NCAA Champion: Georgia Bulldogs – CORRECT
2021 NFL Super Bowl Champion: Los Angeles Rams – CORRECT
2021 CFL Grey Cup Champion: Winnipeg Blue Bombers – CORRECT
2022 NCAA Champion: Ohio State Buckeyes
2022 NFL Super Bowl Champion: Buffalo Bills
2022 CFL Grey Cup Champion: Calgary Stampeders