2022 NFL schedule’s biggest mistakes include prime-time selections, Thanksgiving Day games, and more

In the case of the 2022 NFL regular-season schedule, there are a few quirks, including less than desirable prime-time games, that jump out.

Not every football game is created equal. And not every schedule leaves everyone satisfied. How could it? In the case of the 2022 rendition of the NFL regular-season schedule, there are a few quirks, including less than desirable prime-time games, that jump out. Is this an aberration? Hardly. This happens every year. Here are a few that jump out immediately as the biggest mistakes of the 2022 NFL schedule, and others upon further examination.

Biggest mistakes of the 2022 NFL Schedule

Dallas Cowboys overload?

Is there such a thing as too much of America’s Team? Or Cowboys favoritism?

The Dallas Cowboys are tied for the easiest strength of schedule based on last year’s records. They face the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears at home in Weeks 7 and 8, respectively. On Thanksgiving, they have a gimme against the New York Giants. In Week 14, Dallas squares off against the Houston Texans before taking on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 15.

The schedule starts off tough with matchups against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, and Philadelphia Eagles during the first six weeks, but it should get easier after that.

And the Cowboys, despite being booted from the playoffs last season by the San Francisco 49ers, have 11 national game appearances, including late Sunday afternoon games, prime-time appearances, and Thanksgiving.

That’s a lot of Cowboys, even for a team that has an intense national following. If you’re looking to be a part of the action like, you can buy your Dallas Cowboys home game tickets here

Chicago Bears vs. Washington Commanders (Week 6)

The Bears are regarded as one of the worst teams in the NFL despite the efforts of new general manager Ryan Poles. There’s not much appeal about them unless Justin Fields has a breakthrough season.

A nationally televised Thursday night home game against the Washington Commanders doesn’t figure to move the meter.

Washington Commanders vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Week 10)

This Carson Wentz revenge game probably only has regional appeal. The storyline of Wentz against the team that gave up on him and traded him to the Indianapolis Colts where he failed badly enough he was shipped off to the Commanders just doesn’t resonate.

Nonetheless, Monday Night Football at Philadelphia on Nov. 14, and Wentz and his angst-filled return to the City of Brotherly Love awaits.

Prime-time favoritism

A dozen NFL teams got the maximum five prime-time games, including the Cowboys, Buffalo Bills, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Rams, Denver Broncos, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Los Angeles Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, and San Francisco 49ers. An argument can be made that some of these teams belong in terms of star power, national appeal, and/or contender status.

It’s harder to think, though, that the Eagles, Chargers, and Broncos belong in this category. It feels like a stretch.

Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Arizona Cardinals have four prime-time games. The Steelers — without Ben Roethlisberger — don’t seem like a fit for this many national games.

Thanksgiving turkeys

The Thanksgiving tradition always includes some obvious mismatches. For instance, it’s a pretty glaring difference in talent between the AFC East champion Bills and the Lions, a fixture on Thanksgiving.

Likewise, it’s a fairly large gap in the second Thanksgiving Day game between the Giants and Cowboys. Only the third and final game of the day — the Patriots vs. the Minnesota Vikings — seems evenly matched and relevant.

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Aaron Wilson is the NFL Insider for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL.