3 WORST GAMES ON THE NFL’S 2022 WEEK ONE SCHEDULE

BY ADAM GREENE

While we’re all rightly excited about the pomp and celebration surrounding the NFL’s official schedule release and the great games populating it, like pretty much every team in the AFC South, they can’t all be winners.

After taking a solid gander at the opening week schedule, I was surprised to find they kept the stinkers to a minimum. In fact, there are some sneaky interesting games on this schedule that kept me from rounding this list out to the preferred “5 Worst Games.” There weren’t five to be had.

But there were three. Oh yes, there were three and, try as they might, the NFL can only do so much to hide them in the 1 p.m. window.

BALTIMORE RAVENS AT NEW YORK JETS

Current odds: Ravens -5, O/U: 45

It’s a mismatch of the ages as the Ravens, a legitimate Super Bowl contender, travel up the coast to face a Jets team that will pick in the Top Five again in 2023. That’s not to say New York didn’t improve itself with a solid draft and some offseason acquisitions. But there’s not a universe in the Multiverse of Madness where this game stays competitive after the first quarter.

It’s not just the possibility of Lamar Jackson lighting up the Jets defense, but also Baltimore’s D-Unit absolutely crushing New York in everything it tries to do. I feel like Ravens -5 is low and certainly by gameday, that’ll move to -7.5.

CLEVELAND BROWNS AT CAROLINA PANTHERS

Current odds: Browns -4.5, O/U: 43.5

In the aforementioned Multiverse, there’s a version of this game where a non-suspended Deshaun Watson faces off against a Panthers team quarterbacked by Baker Mayfield. We do not live in that universe.

While the NFL has not handed down any punishments to Watson yet, it’s probably only a matter of time. Mayfield has stated he doesn’t want to play for Carolina and when the Browns cut him (which they’ll have to do), he’s free to sign wherever he wants. It won’t be with the Panthers.

So get all your apologies prepped ahead of time Scott Hansen, because we’re getting another classic Jacoby Brissett vs Sam Darnold QB duel.

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AT HOUSTON TEXANS

Current odds: Colts -8, O/U: 44

If you’re noticing a trend, I can only feel like the NFL did it on purpose. They specifically put these garbage games in the weaker opponents’ home stadium. So while Colts fans are rightly excited to see Matt Ryan taking snaps for their team that I think is a legit Super Bowl contender, they’ll be doing it in their man caves because this show opens on the road.

Like the Ravens and Jets, I can’t imagine this game remaining interesting past the first quarter. Now, for daily fantasy players, there should be tons of interest here (and with Ravens-Jets). Your only concern with this game is that Frank Reich might pull his starters in the fourth quarter when they’re up 35-3 and the defense just picked off a Davis Mills pass.

Follow Adam Greene on Twitter @TheFirstMan.

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