NFL 2022 season schedule to be released on May 12, with London games a week earlier

NFL UK fans to find out this year's games on May 4 before full NFL schedule and LA Rams' kick-off opponents revealed on May 12.

The eagerly-awaited NFL schedule for the upcoming 2022 season will be released on Thursday May 12, but we'll know the names of the teams playing the NFL International games a week earlier.

It may be a while to wait until the Los Angeles Rams start the defence of their Super Bowl title in September, but the excitement in NFL circles is already starting to build.

The league is adopting a drip-feed approach this season to try and squeeze out even more excitement as it will stagger the release of certain fixtures.

For example, the first Thursday Night Football game of the season, to be staged in Week Two and shown on Amazon Prime, will be released during the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday April 28.

International fans will also get an early burst of excitement as the five games to be played in London, Mexico and Munich will be announced on Wednesday May 4.

Certain other big games will be released during the week of May 9.

When will the new NFL season start and who will play in the opening night game?

As is traditional, the defending Super Bowl champions will kick-off the new season so the Los Angeles Rams will start the 103rd NFL campaign.

Sean McVay's side will host the opening game at SoFi Stadium, where they won the Super Bowl, on Thursday September 8.

The first NFL Sunday of the regular season will then take place on September 11 and conclude on January 8, 2023, with the playoffs getting underway on January 14.

It all leads up to Super Bowl LVII, which is being held at State Farm Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals, in Glendale on Sunday February 12, 2023.

As for who the Rams will play in the season opener, they have nine home games on their schedule, as they will face the Seahawks, 49ers, Cardinals, Panthers, Falcons, Cowboys, Raiders, Broncos and Bills.

There has only been two divisional games to start the season since the kick-off game started in 2002, and none since 2008, so that should rule out the 49ers, Seahawks and Cardinals.

As 18 of the 21 kick-off games have been same conference games, that would also, in theory, rule out the Raiders, Broncos and Bills.

Buffalo are also one of the big Super Bowl favourites so that game is also likely pinned for a big primetime slot later in the season.

It leaves the Dallas Cowboys as obvious favourites to play in the opener for the second year running, after they kicked-off with a thriller against Tampa Bay last season, with the Panthers and Falcons pretty dull options.

The only sticking point could be the NFL not wanting to have Dallas in back-to-back games, or wanting to save that big NFC match-up, which could open the door for the Las Vegas Raiders or Denver Broncos.

The Raiders are the Raiders and have several big-name new signings, including Davante Adams, to attract a bit audience, while Denver have signed Russell Wilson which could also make them a draw.

It's likely to be between those three.

Who will play in the NFL International games?

We already know who the five host teams will be in the three different cities to be staging NFL International games this season.

The Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints will play at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, while the Jacksonville Jaguars take up their regular spot at Wembley.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play in Munich at Bayern's Allianz Arenz, while the Arizona Cardinals head to Mexico and the famous Azteca Stadium.

As for who will be their opponents, we'll know for sure on May 4, but it's quite safe to say the champion Los Angeles Rams are likely to be going international this season.

The Rams are set to face the Bucs, Packers and Saints on the road this season, with the Saints the favourite of those three as the other two seem too big a game to take international.

The champs could well head to Mexico though to face the Cardinals, with both sides holding marketing rights in the country and the Rams having a previous game against the Chiefs in Mexico moved because of the condition of the pitch.

Tom Brady will be the draw for fans in Germany so despite marquee match-ups against the Rams, Packers, Chiefs, Ravens and Bengals those games are unlikely to be played in Munich.

It's more likely to be a divisional tilt against the Carolina Panthers for the Bucs.

Which NFL teams could be playing in London in 2022?

The New Orleans Saints are rumoured to be going up against the Minnesota Vikings in both teams' third appearance in London.

The Raiders and Seahawks are also possible opponents for the Saints.

Green Bay will become the final team to play an international game and the Packers could be facing a team from New York with the Giants and Jets both on their home schedule.

Home games against the Rams, Cowboys and Patriots won't be moved from Lambeau Field, leaving the likes of the Giants, Jets and Titans.

The Giants also appear on the Jacksonville Jaguars' home fixture list so they could well head to Wembley with the Jets possibly playing at Tottenham for the second year running.

READ MORE: Full 2022 NFL fixture list for all 32 teams

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