By Adam Thompson | | 4 mins
NFL Schedule Release Date: Who Will Play In 2022 Kickoff Game?
We don’t know yet who will play in the opening game of the 2022 NFL season. But we can speculate.
The 2022 NFL schedule will be released on Thursday, May 12. The highlight of the announcement is the matchup of the NFL Kickoff Game, which officially gets the regular season underway. It’s usually on the Thursday following Labor Day and usually features the defending Super Bowl champion at home.
2022 NFL Kickoff Game Odds
|Cowboys at Rams||+150|
|Broncos at Rams||+300|
|Bills at Rams||+325|
|Raiders at Rams||+650|
|Falcons at Rams||+800|
Odds are projected for entertainment purposes only and do not reflect odds that may be available on legal betting apps.
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LA Rams Set To Host NFL Kickoff Game
First, we’ll all but confirm the date and the home team. The game will be played Thursday, Sept. 8, and it will be at SoFi Stadium and feature the Los Angeles Rams as they begin their defense of their Super Bowl championship.
The NFL Kickoff Game has featured the defending champion at home in all but two seasons since the plan was implemented in 2004. In 2013, the Ravens couldn’t play at home because it conflicted with an Orioles home game that evening. In 2019, the Patriots were skipped so the NFL could begin its 100th season with a clash between the Bears and Packers.
There is no way the NFL isn’t going to make this game in L.A. at SoFi Stadium. The Rams are hosting somebody. Who will they play? We can limit the number of teams on the sports betting board by looking at past matchups.
Who Could The Rams Face In 2022 Kickoff Game?
Here are the 2022 home opponents for the L.A. Rams: San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills.
First, we can all but eliminate the 49ers, Cardinals and Seahawks. Since the game started in 2002, it’s featured divisional rivals just two times, and zero times since 2008.
The games have, more often than not, featured a team that went to the playoffs the year before. That gives a leg up to the Cowboys, Raiders and Bills. But one more big trend emerges. A whopping 18 of the 21 matchups all-time have featured opponents from the same conference.
When it comes to the NFC, a playoff opponent and a marquee matchup, the Cowboys are the only team that checks all the boxes. The only blight against picking Dallas is that it played in the 2021 NFL Kickoff, losing a thriller to Tom Brady’s Buccaneers.
Because of that, it’s possible one of the AFC opponents could buck the trend. The Bills are the favorites to win the Super Bowl in most NFL futures markets, Russell Wilson makes his debut for the Broncos and the Raiders are the Raiders. All three are solid options.
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NFL Schedule Release Date Information
The NFL schedule will be officially confirmed on NFL Network on Thursday, May 12 at 8 p.m. ET. It will also be available on NFL.com and the NFL app. A few select games will be announced before that date. They are:
- First Thursday Night Football game on Prime Video (Week 2, Sept. 15) - announced Thursday, April 28 during First Round of 2022 NFL Draft
- International Games - announced Wednesday, May 4
- Select games - announced Week of May 9
- Clubs to announce their first home game opponent - Thursday, May 12 at 6 p.m. ET