Surprising players, teams, and storylines unfold during each NFL season.
Some defender has a breakthrough in the first half. An unexpected team remains undefeated in September. The perceived challenger falls on his face.
With that in mind, Colin Cowherd makes five bold predictions for 2022 in Friday’s edition of The Herd.
Rams win SB LVII, Cowboys miss playoffs in Colin’s bold NFL predictions
Colin Cowherd reveals his bold predictions for the 2022 NFL season.
1. Minnesota Vikings win the NFC North
Colin’s thoughts: “They were targeting an offensive line coach who would back up Kirk Cousins. Between Dalvin Cook, Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen and certainly a working offensive line, I like their roster. This is a volatile division. Kirk Cousins, like Tua, finally has a coach that supports him. I think it matters when one of us has a boss who trusts us, respects us. I think Minnesota will jump out.
“No team that won eight close games the following year duplicated that, and no team that lost eight close games — including two overtime losses — duplicated that. I think the Vikings win the NFC North. I think they beat the Packers early, and they’re starting to pull away from Thanksgiving.”
2. Dallas Cowboys miss the playoffs
Colin’s thoughts: “Many areas worry me. I didn’t land Von Miller and I lost Randy Gregory. I don’t have world class passes. This means you can double Micah Parsons more often. They had significant losses on the offensive line, aging offensive lineman La’el Collins [and] Connor Williams [left]and Tyron Smith is a Hall of Famer but can’t stay healthy.
“The wide receiver corps is not as dynamic. CeeDee Lamb is moving toward one, but Cedric Wilson is gone, Amari Cooper is gone and Michael Gallup is out with a torn ACL. And the truth is, I don’t think they have an elite coach, and I think as the game has become more complex, it’s not a luxury anymore, it’s a necessity.”
3. Bill Belichick retired after the season
Colin’s thoughts: “He has not named coordinators. He has children on staff. The reality is that Bob Kraft and Belichick have always had a bit of a rocky relationship. Kraft was close to [Tom] Brady. In every book you read about New England, Kraft has tolerated much of Belichick’s gloom. They were 28th in the rankings. DeVante Parker helps a little. I don’t think they are close to Buffalo. Belichick doesn’t necessarily like what’s happened in the league where the players have more power and the defense isn’t as important,” Cowherd said.
“I think Belichick retires as the greatest coach of all time after another 9-8 years,” he later concluded.
4. Russell Wilson wins NFL MVP
Colin’s thoughts: “I think between Brady and Tampa [Matthew] Stafford for the Rams, when you come to a team and all they need is a catalyst, there’s a certain energy you bring to the team with hope. And let’s be honest, Aaron Rodgers won back-to-back MVPs, played his best football with Nathaniel Hackett, who is now Russell Wilson’s coach. Now [the Broncos] have five prime-time games and seven games on national television. I actually think it helps them. Creates urgency, energy around the program. I think they have the perfect mix of youth between their coach and some of their defensive and offensive linemen and solid veterans,” Cowherd said.
“I think [Wilson] puts up big numbers and wins MVP because he’s the best story,” he concluded.
Melvin Gordon on Russell Wilson: ‘He’s locked in’
Colin Cowherd asks Melvin Gordon about his impression of Russell Wilson joining Denver after being traded from the Seattle Seahawks. Broncos RB describes Pro Bowl QB as “all about football.” The two also talk about expectations for the team and whether Gordon thinks they are strong contenders in the AFC West.
5. The Los Angeles Rams repeat as Super Bowl champions
Colin’s thoughts: “There is also room for improvement. The games were close in the playoffs — San Francisco and Tampa Bay and the Cincinnati Super Bowl — and Stafford led the NFL in interceptions. There is room for improvement. The division is weaker, they upgraded at wide receiver with Allen Robinson, they upgraded at quarterback and leadership with Bobby Wagner, and let’s just be honest: The NFC isn’t that good, it’s not that deep,” Cowherd said.
“The NFC has some good teams at the top, but it’s not like the AFC where you have to go through the Bills and the Chiefs and the Bengals and the Ravens and the Broncos,” he said later.
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