2022 NFL win total projections, NFC: Bucs, Rams, Packers lead conference; Eagles dethrone Cowboys

With the release of the 2022 NFL schedule, we can now project win totals for every team in the league.

As I did for the AFC, I've used projected 53-man rosters to simulate all 272 regular-season games 75,000 times, yielding the projected win totals for every team in the NFC. (I went into greater detail about my methodology in the AFC file.) The top seven teams below are my projected playoff participants in the NFC.

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The lines below provided by Caesars are current as of 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 12 unless otherwise noted below.

Wins
11.7
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC SOUTH CHAMPIONS
  • Win Total: over 11.5 (+100)
  • Make Playoffs: -650
  • Win Division: -350
  • Win Conference: +350
  • Win Super Bowl: +800


Of the Buccaneers' first four games (at Dallas, at New Orleans, vs. Green Bay, vs. Kansas City), only the Saints game has Tampa Bay with a win projection of more than 54 percent -- and just barely at that (54.3). Since joining the Bucs, Tom Brady is 0-4 in the regular season against the Saints.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers' complete 2022 NFL schedule

Wins
11.5
Los Angeles Rams
NFC WEST CHAMPIONS
  • Win Total: over 10.5 (-120)
  • Make Playoffs: -280
  • Win Division: +135
  • Win Conference: +500
  • Win Super Bowl: +1200


If you look only at their opponents' combined win percentage from last season (.567), it appears the Rams have it the hardest in 2022. But after adjusting for personnel change, such as Russell Wilson leaving the division, L.A. has a bit more relief than it initially seems. The defending champs also have the benefit of a 10-day break between Weeks 14 (TNF vs. Raiders) and 15 (MNF at Packers), which essentially gives the team a late-season mini-bye on top of its official Week 7 bye.


Los Angeles Rams' complete 2022 NFL schedule

Wins
11.1
Green Bay Packers
NFC NORTH CHAMPIONS
  • Win Total: over 11.0 (-120)
  • Make Playoffs: -475
  • Win Division: -170
  • Win Conference: +475
  • Win Super Bowl: +1100


The Packers' win total increased by 0.2 wins after the schedule release. Their three most-challenging opponents -- the Buccaneers in Week 3, Bills in Week 8 and Rams in Week 15 -- almost couldn’t be spread out more perfectly, with the game against L.A. at Lambeau following Green Bay's Week 14 bye. There is a chance that after the preseason -- once we have some more information about the team's pass catchers -- the Packers could overtake the Bucs for the highest win total in the NFC, and possibly overall. The Pack's 17-game slate has upside in droves. In a fun new model I'm working on, which has a bit more risk, Green Bay's win total goes all the way up to 11.8! That same model decreases the Bucs' win total by 0.2 wins as a result of them having a harder schedule.


Green Bay Packers' complete 2022 NFL schedule

Wins
9.8
Philadelphia Eagles
NFC EAST CHAMPIONS
  • Win Total: over 9.0 (-105)
  • Make Playoffs: -110
  • Win Division: +250
  • Win Conference: +1800
  • Win Super Bowl: +4000


The Eagles have my model’s most favorable schedule. And on top of that, the order creates the optimal time for new receiver A.J. Brown to establish a rapport with his new QB, Jalen Hurts. No team’s win total increased more based on the schedule release than the Eagles', who added 0.6 wins! Their hardest stretch is from Weeks 11 through 13, when they'll play the only two teams my model currently favors by more than 2 percentage points (Colts and Packers), before facing the Titans in what projects to be a close game due to it occurring immediately after Philly plays Green Bay.


Philadelphia Eagles' complete 2022 NFL schedule

Wins
9.6
Dallas Cowboys
WILD CARD
  • Win Total: under 10.5 (-120)
  • Make Playoffs: -280
  • Win Division: -110
  • Win Conference: +750
  • Win Super Bowl: +1800


The Cowboys have a pretty nightmarish start to their season, hosting the Bucs and Bengals over the first two weeks. The game I have circled on their schedule, however, is Week 10's trip to Lambeau. Dallas immediately follows up its Week 9 bye with a homecoming of sorts for coach Mike McCarthy, who faces his old team and QB for the first time since joining the Cowboys.


Dallas Cowboys' complete 2022 NFL schedule

Wins
9.5
San Francisco 49ers
  • Win Total: under 10.0 (-105)
  • Make Playoffs: -220
  • Win Division: +190
  • Win Conference: +700
  • Win Super Bowl: +1500


As the start of the season nears, circle San Francisco as one of the top contenders for longest unbeaten team. Depending on who is actually on the field for the 49ers (Deebo Samuel? Trey Lance? ... Jimmy G?), their schedule is very manageable. And when I assume they'll have their full roster, they have six games in a row with no less than a 46 percent win probability. The Chiefs in Week 7 are their first opponent to cause a win-probability dip below 46 percent.


San Francisco 49ers' complete 2022 NFL schedule

Wins
8.9
Minnesota Vikings
  • Win Total: under 9.0 (-115)
  • Make Playoffs: +105
  • Win Division: +260
  • Win Conference: +1800
  • Win Super Bowl: +4000


Minnesota is one of my favorite teams that we aren’t talking enough about as a postseason contender. That said, the Vikings have two separate three-game stretches that my models suggest could make their road to the playoffs difficult. The first is a bit surprising and a function of their travel schedule, as they do not have a bye after facing the Saints in England in Week 4. They return from overseas to host the Bears in Week 5, then travel to Miami in Week 6 before their Week 7 bye. The Vikes' second rough patch starts at Buffalo in Week 10 (the second of back-to-back road games), which is followed by home games against Dallas and New England, with the latter coming on a short week Thanksgiving night.


Minnesota Vikings' complete 2022 NFL schedule

  • Win Total: under 9.0 (-130)
  • Make Playoffs: +105
  • Win Division: +300
  • Win Conference: +1300
  • Win Super Bowl: +3000


Missing DeAndre Hopkins for the first six games of the season (suspension) creates some trouble for a team whose head coach has historically gotten off to fast starts. The Chiefs in Week 1, Raiders in Week 2, Rams in Week 3 and Eagles in Week 5 benefit the most from this. The Cardinals' Week 7 matchup with New Orleans on Thursday Night Football also tips a bit more in the Saints' favor, as their defense poses a difficult challenge for Arizona in Hopkins' first game back -- on a short week, no less.


Arizona Cardinals' complete 2022 NFL schedule

  • Win Total: over 7.5 (-140)
  • Make Playoffs: +170
  • Win Division: +500
  • Win Conference: +2000
  • Win Super Bowl: +5000


The Saints have a better team than this win total might suggest. But their toughest non-divisional matchups (Bengals, Raiders, Ravens, Rams and 49ers) all occur between Weeks 6 and 12, a stretch that begins a mere two weeks after their Week 4 trip to England (vs. the Vikings) that isn’t followed by a bye. New Orleans' bye doesn't come until Week 14.


New Orleans Saints' complete 2022 NFL schedule

  • Win Total: over 7.5 (+105)
  • Make Playoffs: +210
  • Win Division: +500
  • Win Conference: +3500
  • Win Super Bowl: +7000


The Commanders enjoy one of the most favorable schedules by every metric. Their uncertainty lies in if/when Carson Wentz is able to execute at a level where their offense complements their defense. Washington and Minnesota square off in Week 9, in what could very well be a game with eventual playoff consequences.


Washington Commanders' complete 2022 NFL schedule

  • Win Total: over 6.0 (-110)
  • Make Playoffs: +475
  • Win Division: +1200
  • Win Conference: +7000
  • Win Super Bowl: +15000


I code with as much care as possible to ensure bias isn’t a part of my input or interpretation of the data. Once it comes out, and I see which team is which, sometimes it surprises me. This one made this Okemos kid pretty happy. The Lions have a 45 percent or higher win probability in five of their final six games, with their season finale at Green Bay the only one outside of that range. Their Week 6 bye, while on the early side, helps them prepare for their hardest stretch of the season (at Cowboys, Week 7; vs. Dolphins, Week 8; vs. Packers, Week 9).


Detroit Lions' complete 2022 NFL schedule

  • Win Total: under 7.0 (-125)
  • Make Playoffs: +250
  • Win Division: +800
  • Win Conference: +5000
  • Win Super Bowl: +10000


Three of the Giants' first four games (at Titans, vs. Panthers, vs. Cowboys, vs. Bears) yield 2.4 of their forecasted 6.5 wins. Unfortunately, the two tilts that follow -- in England against the Packers and at home vs. the Ravens (with no bye in between) -- create one of the most challenging stretches. With five of their last seven games coming against divisional opponents, the Giants figure to play a major part in deciding how the NFC East plays out down the stretch.


New York Giants' complete 2022 NFL schedule

  • Win Total: under 6.5 (+105)
  • Make Playoffs: +310
  • Win Division: +900
  • Win Conference: +5000
  • Win Super Bowl: +10000


While my models suggest the Bears won't be overly punished for not adequately addressing their O-line issues this offseason, they have other questions marks (receiver, pass rusher) that could impact their ability to take full advantage of having a top-five schedule in terms of favorability. Fun fact: Two of their games -- Week 6 (Thursday) vs. Washington and Week 7 at New England (Monday) -- are tipping-point contests for their opponents' chances of making the playoffs.


Chicago Bears' complete 2022 NFL schedule

  • Win Total: under 6.0 (-115)
  • Make Playoffs: +360
  • Win Division: +1400
  • Win Conference: +4000
  • Win Super Bowl: +8000


The beginning of October is sneaky-tougher for the Seahawks than it seems: back-to-back road trips in Weeks 4 (Detroit) and 5 (New Orleans), with the latter now tipping more in favor of the Saints after factoring in Seattle's early-season schedule. The 'Hawks follow up that unexpectedly difficult phase with another challenging back-to-back sequence, having to take on Kyler Murray's Cardinals in Week 6 before heading to L.A. to face Justin Herbert's Chargers in Week 7. The difference in the two QBs' playing styles, and the fact that the Bolts are a less frequently played opponent, could spell trouble for Pete Carroll's crew.


Seattle Seahawks' complete 2022 NFL schedule

  • Win Total: Push
  • Make Playoffs: +550
  • Win Division: +1800
  • Win Conference: +4000
  • Win Super Bowl: +10000


My models put the Falcons ahead of the Panthers by season's end due to higher projected QB production. Three of the Falcons' four hardest non-divisional opponents are on the road but well-spaced out (Rams, Week 2; Bengals, Week 7; Ravens, Week 16), with their home tilt against the Chargers in Week 9 sandwiched between games against Carolina.


Atlanta Falcons' complete 2022 NFL schedule

  • Win Total: under 6.0 (-110)
  • Make Playoffs: +450
  • Win Division: +1000
  • Win Conference: +5000
  • Win Super Bowl: +10000


The toughest stretch on the Panthers' schedule comes in Week 6 through Week 9: at Rams, vs. Bucs, at Falcons, at Bengals. They follow that up with games at Baltimore and at home against Denver before finally hitting their Week 13 bye. As a whole, the Panthers have a tough campaign to navigate in 2022. However, they do benefit from a Week 1 matchup with the Browns, who will almost certainly be rolling with a new QB under center to start the season. That could come with a learning curve, which might allow Carolina to surprise.


Carolina Panthers' complete 2022 NFL schedule

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