It’s here, NFL fans. It’s finally here. Not just [preseason] football. Not just the official start of the opening week either. The first meaningful contest of the 2022 NFL regular season is finally upon us.
This afternoon, the Super Bowl champion L.A. Rams will host the Buffalo Bills to kickoff the season and give fans everywhere a big taste of that football burger they’ve been craving. It’s all going down in a matter of minutes, but before that’s officially underway, let’s start this beautiful night of football with predictions.
I’ll lay out one bold prediction for each team, one not-so-bold prediction, and of course, I’ll finish this prediction cake off with a final score on top. Enough talking about the incoming predictions, let’s get to them already.
Predicting things to come in the first contest of the 2022 NFL regular season
The Buffalo Bills are no joke. Spearheaded by star quarterback Josh Allen, the Bills took Kansas City to the final seconds in the playoffs. No, literally – Allen gave the Bills a 3-point lead with 13 seconds left in the game, but 13 seconds is all former MVP Patrick Mahomes needed to get downfield and tie it up. With the score now tied, the showdown would go into overtime, and Chiefs would emerge victorious after getting the ball first and punching it in the end zone.
Here are my predictions for the scary Buffalo team against the defending Super Bowl Champions.
Not-so-bold prediction: Josh Allen starts the year exactly where he left off in the playoffs.
Yes, the Chiefs bested Buffalo in the playoffs, but it was no fault of Josh Allen. The Bill’s star quarterback completed 27 passes on 37 attempts, totaling 4 touchdowns and 0 turnovers. Allen was three yards away from totaling 400 scrimmage yards.
Allen now has back-to-back seasons north of 4,400 passing yards and 35 passing touchdowns. Add that to the 1,184 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground in this timeframe, and you get a dual threat monster that opposing defensive coordinators despise.
Is it bold to predict Josh Allen continuing his dominant pace? I don’t think so, and that’s why this is a not-so-bold prediction.
Bold prediction: Devin Singletary finds his stride
Singletary might’ve only logged 870 yards and 7 scores on the ground in ’21, but it’s the end of the season that should open eyes. Only one time in the final-five contests of 2021 did Singletary rush for less than 50 yards, with 3-of-5 times being north of 85. Oh ya, the 25-year-old managed to find the end zone 6 times in this timeframe. Similar to Allen, I’ll walk the path where Singletary picks up where he left off.
Los Angeles Rams
Your Super Bowl champions. There’s no tougher first opponent than the Rams, and judging by last year, Buffalo isn’t too far behind.
Not-so-bold prediction: Aaron Donald is a force of nature
There’s a lot I can say about Aaron Donald. 7x first-team All-Pro with all 7 coming consecutively – the latter being a feat not even Jerry Rice achieved. 3x Defensive Player of the Year winner who’s received DPOTY votes during seven different seasons – the latter being a feat not even Lawrence Taylor achieved. Now, after being the man who made the play that ended Super Bowl LVI, he is a Super Bowl champion.
There’s no word you can use to accurately describe Donald’s dominance. This prediction is probably the least bold one I could make all year. Aaron Donald will dominate tonight.
Bold prediction: Allen Robinson is the star of the Rams’ offense tonight
My not-so-bold prediction for the Rams was extremely not bold. That in mind, it’s only fair the bold prediction here is pretty darn bold.
Allen Robinson, who’s coming off of a downright disastrous season with 410 yards through the air and one single touchdown will outshine the reigning Offensive Player of the Year, Cooper Kupp, who was 53 receiving yards short of 2,000 in 2021.
Robinson hasn’t even played a game yet as a Ram. To a point, this isn’t bold; it’s downright ridiculous. It just feels right, though.
The disastrous ’21 season of Allen Robinson is exactly what I think will catapult him to an incredible opening night in Los Angeles. Robinson is eager to get back out there and prove his latest outing was a fluke, and no one believes it was a fluke more than the Rams’ organization. After all, the team didn’t shell out $46.5 million over three-years because they had little faith in their new wideout.
Robinson has a lot to prove, and if my gut feeling means anything, he’ll do just that tonight.
Final score: 34-28, Rams.
The Bills’ defense is fierce, but is it enough to stop the Super Bowl champions who added more offensive talent this offseason? Perhaps, but I’m going with no. Rams fend off Buffalo in a shootout.