The NFL announced its 18-week, 272-game regular-season schedule for 2022, which kicks off on Thursday night, September 8, in Los Angeles and concludes with 16 division games in Week 18 – two on Saturday, January 7, and 14 on Sunday, January 8.
The 2022 NFL schedule, powered by AWS, will feature each team playing 17 regular-season games and three preseason games for the second consecutive year.
The 17th game will feature teams from opposing conferences that finished in the same standing within their respective divisions the previous season. The NFC will be the home conference for the 17th game in 2022. For how opponents were determined for the 2022 season, click here.
The NFL’s 103rd season begins with the league’s annual primetime kick-off game, as the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams host the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium on Thursday, September 8 (8:20 PM ET, NBC).
Week 1 continues Sunday, September 11, with a double-doubleheader featuring four Sunday afternoon games in every market, highlighted by reigning division winners and a rematch of last year’s regular-season finale. On CBS at 4:25 PM ET, two 2021 playoff teams meet as Kansas City visits Arizona while Las Vegas travels to Los Angeles to face the Chargers in a rematch of last year’s Week 18 overtime thriller. On FOX at 4:25 PM ET, the two No. 1 seeds from last year’s postseason will be in action, as Green Bay visits Minnesota and Tennessee hosts the New York Giants.
Later that day, NBC’s Sunday Night Football begins with the Dallas Cowboys hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8:20 PM ET) at AT&T Stadium, in a rematch of last year’s exciting kickoff game.
Kickoff Weekend concludes on Monday, September 12, with ESPN/ABC’s Monday Night Football, featuring Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos traveling to Seattle to face the Seahawks (8:15 PM ET), where Wilson spent the first 10 years of his career and helped the Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII. He can become the fifth quarterback in NFL history to win at least 100 games with one franchise and face that team later in his career.
ESPN will televise one game each Monday night in Weeks 1-17 and will be simulcast on ABC in Weeks 1, 3, 15 and 17. In Week 2, there will be two games on Monday night as Buffalo hosts Tennessee on ESPN (7:15 PM ET) while Minnesota visits Philadelphia on ABC (8:30 PM ET). There will be no Monday night game on the final regular-season weekend (Week 18) to provide more flexibility for the scheduling of the opening weekend of the NFL playoffs.
Additionally, ESPN/ABC will air two games with playoff implications on the Saturday of Week 18, January 7. These games will be selected following the conclusion of Week 17.
Thursday Night Football will air exclusively on Prime Video, kicking off its slate in Week 2 as the Kansas City Chiefs host the Los Angeles Chargers (8:15 PM ET). Prime Video will broadcast 15 Thursday Night Football games between Weeks 2-17 (excluding Thanksgiving night).
Thursday, Saturday and Monday night games will kick off at 8:15 PM ET. Sunday night games will kick at 8:20 PM ET. Once again this season, all 32 clubs will have at least one nationally televised game.
A select number of games will be “cross-flexed,” moving between CBS and FOX to bring potentially under-distributed games to wider audiences. Some of those contests were announced today and other “cross-flexed” games will be decided during the season.
NFL Network will exclusively televise seven games (three international games, three games in Week 15 on Saturday, December 17 and the Las Vegas Raiders visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday, December 24 [8:15 PM ET]).
The NFL schedule features five international regular-season games – three in the UK, the first-ever NFL regular-season game in Germany and one in Mexico. Last year, as part of the League’s expansion of the regular season to 17 games, it was determined that, beginning with the 2022 season, up to four of the teams from the conference whose teams were eligible for a ninth regular-season home game would instead be designated to play a neutral-site international game each year.
The international series kicks off with games on back-to-back weekends at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, as New Orleans and Minnesota meet in Week 4 (9:30 AM ET, NFL Network) followed by Green Bay and the New York Giants in Week 5 (9:30 AM ET, NFL Network). The first international game on the 2022 schedule will mark the 100th game in league history (preseason and regular-season combined) played outside the United States.
In Week 8 (9:30 AM ET, ESPN+), the London action shifts to Wembley Stadium, where the Jacksonville Jaguars will face the Denver Broncos. In Week 10 (9:30 AM ET, NFL Network), the first-ever regular-season NFL game in Germany will take place at Allianz Arena – Home of FC Bayern Munich between Tampa Bay and Seattle. The 2022 international slate wraps up with a return to Mexico City in Week 11 on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN) with a matchup between NFC West rivals San Francisco and Arizona at Estadio Azteca.
Thanksgiving will feature a tripleheader on Thursday, November 24. The first game will feature the Buffalo Bills traveling to Detroit to face the Lions (12:30 PM ET, CBS). The late afternoon game will match two NFC East rivals, as the New York Giants visit the Dallas Cowboys (4:30 PM ET, FOX). The Thanksgiving Day festivities conclude with an interconference matchup as the Patriots travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings on NBC (8:20 PM ET).
Week 16 begins with Thursday Night Football on December 22, followed by 11 games on Saturday, December 24, the first-ever Christmas tripleheader on Sunday, December 25, and finishes with Monday Night Football on December 26. The Christmas Day tripleheader features Green Bay at Miami at 1:00 PM ET (FOX), Denver at the Los Angeles Rams at 4:30 PM ET (CBS/Nickelodeon) and Tampa Bay at Arizona at 8:20 PM ET (NBC).
The regular season will conclude with Week 18 on Saturday, January 7, and Sunday, January 8. For the 13th consecutive year, all 16 games scheduled for the final week of the season are division contests, enhancing the potential for more games with playoff ramifications.
For the second time ever, the NFL’s 32 teams will each play 17 games over 18 weeks. Byes will begin in Week 6 and end in Week 14.
The NFL will honor two historic anniversaries during the 2022 season:
- In Week 7 on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC), the Dolphins welcome the Steelers and will honor the 50th anniversary of their undefeated 1972 season, when they went a perfect 17-0, including a victory over Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship game en route to the Super Bowl VII title.
- In Week 16 on Saturday, December 24 (8:15 PM ET, NFL Network), the Steelers host the Raiders, 50 years after the “Immaculate Reception” occurred during the AFC Divisional playoffs on December 23, 1972.
Additional 2022 schedule notes:
- Twelve games will be Super Bowl rematches, including two of the past three Super Bowls: Kansas City at Tampa Bay (Week 4, Super Bowl LV) and Kansas City at San Francisco (Week 7, Super Bowl LIV).
- Ten 2022 games are rematches of the 2021 playoffs, including the Kansas City Chiefs visiting the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 13 (4:25 PM ET, CBS), a rematch of the AFC Championship Game.
- In Week 17 on Sunday Night Football (8:20 PM ET, NBC), the Chargers will play host to the Rams in the first regular-season meeting between the two clubs at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
- The top two picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, Travon Walker and Aidan Hutchinson, are scheduled to meet in Week 13 when the Jacksonville Jaguars travel to play the Detroit Lions (1:00 PM ET, FOX).
This season, “Flexible scheduling” for Sunday night may be used twice between Weeks 5-10, and during Weeks 11-15 and Week 17. In weeks of the season eligible for “flexible scheduling,” the games listed for the Sunday night window are tentative and subject to change. Only Sunday afternoon games are eligible to be moved to Sunday night, in which case the tentatively scheduled Sunday night game would be moved to a Sunday afternoon.
In Week 15, three of five designated matchups will be played on Saturday with the remainder to be played on Sunday. Specific dates and start times for the designated Week 15 matchups will be determined and announced at a later date during the season.
In Week 18, two games will be played on Saturday (4:30 PM ET and 8:15 PM ET) with the remainder to be played on Sunday afternoon (1:00 PM ET and 4:25 PM ET) and one matchup to be played on Sunday night (8:20 PM ET). Specific dates, start times, and networks for Week 18 matchups will be determined and announced following the conclusion of Week 17.
Introduced in 2020 and continuing for a third-consecutive year, a total of 14 teams – seven each in the American and National Football Conferences – will make the postseason. The No. 1 seed in each conference will receive a bye in the Wild Card round. The remaining division champions in each conference with the best records will be seeded 2, 3, and 4, followed by the next three teams per conference with the best records seeded 5, 6, and 7.
Since 1990 – a streak of 32 consecutive seasons – at least four new teams have qualified for the playoffs that missed the postseason the year before, including seven of the 14 playoff teams in 2021.
AFC and NFC Wild Card games will feature the 2 seed hosting the 7 seed, the 3 seed hosting the 6 seed and the 4 seed hosting the 5 seed.
Super Wild Card Weekend for the 2022 season will feature six games, starting on Saturday, January 14.
Wild Card winners join the top seeds in each conference in the Divisional Playoffs on Saturday and Sunday, January 21-22. The AFC and NFC Championship Games will be played on Sunday, January 29. The winners meet two weeks later on Sunday, February 12, in Super Bowl LVII at Arizona’s State Farm Stadium (FOX), marking the first time the league’s final game is played in Arizona since Super Bowl XLIX following the 2014 season.
The NFL is the only sports league that presents all regular-season and postseason games on free, over-the-air television in local markets. All postseason games are televised nationally.
Westwood One will broadcast on radio all NFL primetime games, the three Thanksgiving Day games and the entire NFL playoffs. SiriusXM subscribers will have access to every live NFL game, as well as exclusive 24/7 talk channel coverage on SXM NFL Radio.
Photo copyright: Adrian Kraus / Associated Press