We don’t care what temperature it’s served — revenge is sweet. And the NFL 2022 schedule provides us with a triple-scoop of payback sundae. Here are the top 10 revenge games that will have a bit of extra sauce thanks to recent history.
Top 10 revenge games of the 2022 NFL schedule
Divisional games are always fun. Divisional games when the teams just met in the postseason? Chef’s kiss. We have three of those in 2022, plus showdowns between star quarterbacks and the teams they just forced to trade them. (All times are Eastern.)
Las Vegas Raiders vs. Los Angeles Chargers | Sept. 11, 4:25 p.m.
As if the Chargers and Raiders needed any more reason to loathe one another, the men in silver and black threw another log on the raging fire in the last game of the entire 2021 NFL regular season.
Both teams would have made the playoffs with a tie, and when the Sunday Night affair was tied late in overtime, that bizarre scenario looked like it would become reality. But instead of kneeling out the clock in the final moments, the Raiders decided to kick a 46-yard field goal to bounce their bitter rivals. The second of two annual meetings is in Week 13, with another trip to the postseason potentially on the line.
Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks | Sept. 12, 8:15 p.m.
The league wasted no time in giving us this gem — on national TV, no less.
We’re a bit curious about how Seahawks fans will receive Russell Wilson in his return to Seattle. On the one hand, he coerced his way out of town, leaving the ‘Hawks with the likes of Drew Lock and Geno Smith under center. On the flip side, he won them a Super Bowl and is one of the five greatest players ever to put on a Seahawks uniform.
Wilson will be magnanimous publicly, but you can be sure he wants a bit of payback after the Seahawks’ management team threw him under the bus on the way out.
Los Angeles Rams vs. Arizona Cardinals | Sept. 25, 4:25 p.m.
Another divisional showdown with a bit of extra juice. Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford boat-raced Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray in the 2021 Wild Card Round, which was Los Angeles’ 10th win over Arizona in the teams’ last 11 meetings.
So at least the first of these teams’ two games will mean more for the Cardinals than the Rams, who will get teams’ best shot every week.
Los Angeles Rams vs. San Francisco 49ers | Oct. 3, 8:15 p.m.
If familiarity truly breeds contempt, the hate meter will be off the charts when these teams meet for the fourth and fifth times in the span of 15 months.
The Niners and Rams have met 146 times during the rivalry’s 72-year history, but you can count on just one hand when the stakes were as high as their clash in the NFC Championship Game back in January. San Fran will be out for payback after losing at the gun.
Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs | Oct. 16, 4:25 p.m.
Arrowhead Stadium is where Bills Mafia dreams go to die.
The Chiefs have snuffed out Buffalo’s Super Bowl hopes twice in as many years, beating the Bills 38-24 in the 2020 AFC Championship Game and then stunning the Bills 42-36 in overtime in the Divisional Round back in January.
The Bills loaded up in the offseason to beat the Chiefs — signing pass rushers Von Miller and drafting Kaiir Elam in the first round. If they don’t get it done this year — particularly against a diminished K.C. roster — they may never will.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Miami Dolphins | Oct. 23, 8:20 p.m.
It’s the Brian Flores Bowl. Let’s just say we don’t expect any warm embraces between Flores and either Stephen Ross or Chris Grier before the game.
The blood is bad on both sides. Flores surely is holding a grudge that Ross fired him after back-to-back winning seasons. And Ross has spent the last few months calling Flores a liar after his former HC accused him of offering bribes to lose games in a federal racial discrimination lawsuit that has rocked the NFL.
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Tennessee Titans | Nov. 27, 1 p.m.
Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill needed a very long time to process the ending of these teams’ last meeting.
Tannehill threw three interceptions — the last of which came on Tennessee’s final offensive snap of the season — to guarantee a home 19-16 Divisional Round loss. Tannehill’s bad 2022 got even worse when the Titans took Malik Willis in April’s NFL Draft.
Cleveland Browns vs. Houston Texans | Dec. 4, 1 p.m.
This one might mean more to the fans than the teams. Deshaun Watson got what he wanted. And in the end, the Texans did too.
Watson escaped Houston and away from owner Cal McNair. And the Texans got a treasure trove of draft picks they have and will continue to use to rebuild a terrible roster.
But for Texans fans, it’ll be their Super Bowl. The boos for Watson (assuming he’s cleared to play) will carry all the way to El Paso.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals | Dec. 4, 4:25 p.m.
This might just be the league’s best new rivalry. Two young superstar quarterbacks in Joe Burrow and Patrick Mahomes. Explosive offenses. Passionate fan bases. And wildly entertaining games.
The Bengals swept the season series in 2021, beating the two-time defending AFC champs 34-31 in Week 17 to clinch a playoff berth and then again four weeks later in the conference title game.
New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills | Jan. 7 or 8, TBD
Bill Belichick has surely been stewing on the 30-point playoff beatdown the Bills handed him for months, and he has months to go before he gets a crack at payback.
It was the second time in 12 and a half months that Josh Allen stomped his division rivals (the Bills also crushed New England 38-9 late in the 2020 season), handing Belichick two of his worst losses in his Patriots career. These teams meet twice in the last six weeks, including in Western New York in the final game of the season.
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