Vendetta Roundtable: Our Hot Takes for 2022 NFL Season
With the NFL season rapidly approaching, everyone is busy predicting who is going to win their divisions, be the favorites for individual awards, potential Super Bowl candidates this year, and much more. But arguably my favorite part of the build-up to an NFL season, aside from fantasy football, is all the hot takes I hear. Well, what better place to have your hot takes than to put together a roundtable of Vendetta writers and get their hot takes? I will be checking in halfway through the season and at the end of the season to see how all of our hot takes are doing. I have several folks’ takes, so let’s go ahead and get started.
#1) The Detroit Lions Will Make the Playoffs
Let’s start off these NFL Hot Takes spicy, shall we? I rode with the Lions last season as I thought they were being massively slept on. Well, a 3-13-1 record doesn’t exactly SCREAM slept on. But when you consider that they lost six games last year by one possession, and a tie they should have won, their season could have turned out much different. The Lions had a very solid offseason, and with development from some of their young guys and rookies stepping up, I believe that the Lions have a chance to actually surprise some folks this year.
#2) Najee Harris Will Lead the NFL in Rushing
My next NFL hot take isn’t as spicy. Najee Harris finished fourth in the NFL last season in rushing yards behind a makeshift offensive line and a decrepit Ben Roethlisberger. Now, with the offensive line getting better and an upgrade at QB, expect to see an even better version of Harris this season.
#1) Daniel Jones becomes a pro bowler with a much-improved offensive line/play calling.
#2) The Eagles surprise everyone and beat out one of Tampa/LA/GB for a top-three seed in the NFC.
#1) Dolphins win 10+ games this season
#2) Chargers finish last in the AFC West
#1) Raiders win the AFC West
Let’s get my biased take out of the way already, the AFC West is loaded, and a lot of people are counting the Raiders out. I’ll take the opposite side of the spectrum and take the Raiders to win the division. Am I right? Who knows, I hope I am though obviously.
#2) Panthers Trade a QB at the deadline
There’s no way the Panthers roll with Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, and Matt Corral the whole year, right? Sam Darnold is the most likely candidate to be traded. To where is to be determined, could be an injury to a team’s QB, or a team that’s not satisfied with their QB production.
#1) Steelers Have a Top Five Receiving Corps by End of Season
I think the Steelers will have a possible top-five wide receiver corps by the end of the season. Diontae Johnson was a pro bowler last year and he will continue to get better. Chase Claypool will bounce back with more yards and touchdowns than last year. He will see a lot of deep targets, the area where Claypool shines, now that Roethlisberger is not at QB. Also, Pickens will have a great rookie season and show that he has some real high-level talent.
#2) The Cincinnati Bengals Miss the Playoffs
Another bold prediction is that the Cincinnati Bengals will miss the playoffs this year. I think they had an awesome run last year but will not deliver on expectations of a deep playoff run or even make the playoffs this season. They did improve their offensive line, but I don’t know if their offense can play at such a high level for multiple games down the stretch like last year. Also, the Bengals stayed relatively completely healthy last year which will be hard to replicate, and their defense totally over-achieved last season, and I expect a regression as a result. Finally, they have a tough schedule, and the AFC West is stacked.
#1) Every Team from the AFC West Makes the Playoffs
Chiefs get last place but everyone from the AFC West makes the playoffs. After losing Tyreek Hill, Patrick Mahomes has now lost his No. 1 WR. They’re trying fill the gap and who do they turn to? Is it JuJu? No, I don’t think he can fill that spot, and it sure won’t be any new players like Daurice Fountain or Mecole Hardman. The Chiefs failed to add a strong WR1, and their offense will definitely have adjustments to make. Losing Tyreek truly meant THAT much to the team. Another good indication to boost the credibility of this hot take is the level of competition in the AFC West. After all of the blockbuster trades, crazy signings, and new coaching fronts, the division is as competitive and deep as ever. That being said, losing Hill puts the Chiefs behind the three other teams in the AFC West. They’ll still make the playoffs, but as the 7-seed.
I’m not sure what constitutes as a hot take anymore with the internet. I’ve seen everything and anything under the sun thanks to Twitter. Instead, call these off the top of the dome predictions — some of these are maybe bolder than others. JK Dobbins leads the league in rushing; the Falcons will be beyond terrible; George Pickens is way better than Drake London; Washington wins the NFC East; Eric Stokes is the best year-two player you’re not talking about; Denver will be really good; Trevor Lawrence is ready to explode, Carolina is better than you think; Dallas misses the playoffs; Mitch Trubisky obviously fails in Pittsburgh; and the Bills win the Super Bowl.
Check back with us midway through the year to see how we did!
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