Jan 23, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) takes the snap before running back Leonard Fournette (7) (not pictured) scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Rams during the NFC Divisional playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Ten most intriguing NFL games of 2022

Bit by bit, the National Football League has been teasing its 2022 schedule. But what had been a trickle of information turned into a flood Thursday night.

In the latest line of non-events that the NFL has manufactured into a made-for-television production, the league released its complete 18-week regular-season schedule.

We have known the opponents each team will face since the end of last season. The league also previously announced its five International Series games, which should all be yawners.

The league even gave us a peak into its Christmas Day lineup by announcing earlier this week that the Denver Broncos will face the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams.

Now that every date is set, let’s take a look at the 10 most intriguing games on the 2022 schedule:

10. Broncos at Rams, Dec. 25 (CBS/Nickelodeon)

This game is getting a lot of hype because the Rams are the champions and quarterback Russell Wilson joined the Broncos in the biggest move of the offseason. But let’s see how important this game is by December. A lot of people are assuming Wilson will come in and win a Super Bowl like Peyton Manning did. Guess what? Wilson is not Manning.

9. Patriots at Raiders, Dec. 18 (NBC)

This game takes on special meaning not due to “Sunday Night Football” but because it matches Las Vegas coach Josh McDaniels against his mentor, Bill Belichick. McDaniels was a shooting star on Belichick’s staff before getting a chance to be a head coach in Denver. After another stint under Belichick, McDaniels might approach things differently.

8. Broncos at Seahawks, Sept. 12 (ESPN)

Just like the Christmas Day game, this contest will receive too much hype. That’s all because of Wilson, and it happens Week 1. He spent 10 seasons in Seattle before forcing the Seahawks to trade him in the offseason. That has made him an unpopular figure in Seattle, but it’s hard to imagine fans falling in love with Drew Lock or Geno Smith.

7. Bengals at Browns, Oct. 31 (ESPN)

Admit it, you thought you never would see this matchup on a top 10 list. But it is. That’s because Joe Burrow is the “in” thing in Cincinnati, Baker Mayfield is on the verge of being out in Cleveland and Deshaun Watson will be trying to resurrect his career and make the Browns into a playoff contender.

6. Bengals at Ravens, Oct. 9 (NBC)

Burrow is the big story in the AFC North, and he should be after leading the Bengals to the Super Bowl. But let’s not forget about Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson. He still is one of the most dangerous players in the league.

5. Rams at Buccaneers, Nov. 6 (CBS)

To say the schedule makers had to scramble when Tom Brady announced he was unretiring would be an understatement. This game initially had Sunday at 1 p.m. ET written all over it. But any game in which Brady is on the field is a big game and this is a matchup of the last two Super Bowl champions.

4. Packers at Bills, Oct. 30 (NBC)

This is football the way it was meant to be played — outdoors in late fall, between two teams quite familiar with cold temperatures. Plus, it could mark a passing of the torch. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers has won two straight Most Valuable Player awards, but Buffalo’s Josh Allen is in the next generation of great quarterbacks.

3. Chiefs at Buccaneers, Oct. 2 (NBC)

This is a rematch of Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium. In that game, Brady and the Bucs dominated the Chiefs on the way to a 31-9 win. But Brady has to give up his throne at some point (doesn’t he?) and Patrick Mahomes looks like he’s next in line.

2. Bills at Chiefs, Oct. 16 (CBS)

A flip of the coin is really all that separated these two teams in last year’s postseason. That was so controversial that it prompted the NFL to change its postseason overtime rules. There’s a very good chance that whoever wins this game will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

1. Bills at Rams, Sept. 8 (NBC)

At least on paper and at the moment, these are the two best teams in the NFL. If that’s true, the first game of the NFL season could serve as a Super Bowl preview. Back-to-back championships with the Rams would make people forget Matthew Stafford was ever with Detroit. Getting the Bills to the Super Bowl, where they haven’t been since the 1993 season, firmly would establish Allen as one of the league’s best quarterbacks.

–By Pat Yasinskas, Field Level Media

Sep 25, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds radio announcer Marty Brennaman (left) and his son Thom Brennaman (right) broadcast from a temporary radio booth in the seating bowl at the beginning of a game between the Milwaukee Brewers an the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

FOX Sports takes Brennaman off NFL broadcasts

Thom Brennaman will no longer broadcast NFL games on FOX Sports after he used a homophobic slur on the air while calling a baseball game, the network announced Thursday.

Brennaman, 56, was suspended as the Cincinnati Reds’ play-by-play voice after he made a comment on Fox Sports Ohio while apparently thinking his microphone was off. The Reds were playing the first game of a doubleheader in Kansas City, which he described as “one of the (expletive) capitals of the world” as a camera spanned the field before the top of the seventh inning.

“FOX Sports is extremely disappointed with Thom’s remarks during Wednesday’s Cincinnati Reds telecast,” the network said in a statement. “The language used was abhorrent, unacceptable, and not representative of the values of FOX Sports. As it relates to Brennaman’s FOX NFL role, we are moving forward with our NFL schedule which will not include him.”

The clip of Brennaman’s comment quickly went viral on social media. Brennaman remained on the broadcast for the remainder of Game 1 of the doubleheader and the start of Game 2, but he apologized in the top of the fifth inning of the second game before being replaced by Jim Day, who typically works as the broadcast team’s on-field reporter.

“I made a comment earlier tonight, that, I guess, went out over the air, that I am deeply ashamed of,” Brennaman said. “If I have hurt anyone out there, I can’t tell you how much I say from the bottom of my heart, I’m so very, very sorry. I pride myself and think of myself as a man of faith. …

“I don’t know if I’m going to be putting on this headset again. I don’t if it’s going to be for the Reds, I don’t know if it’s going to be for my bosses at FOX. I’m going to apologize to the people who sign my paycheck, for the Reds, for Fox Sports Ohio, for the people I work with, for anybody that I’ve offended here tonight.

“I can’t begin to tell you how deeply sorry I am. That is not who I am. It never has been. And I’d like to think maybe I could have some people who could back that up. I am very, very sorry, and I beg for your forgiveness.”

The son of legendary broadcaster Marty Brennaman, Thom has called Major League Baseball games for 33 years and has been with FOX Sports for the past 27.

–Field Level Media

How to Stream NFL Games This Season, All of the Popular Options

From network to Amazon to everything in between, these are the most popular options that allow streaming of football games. All providers offer a minimum of a 7-day free trial but do require proof of payment (e.g. credit card). This list was curated by ExpressVPN.

FREE? The only legal free options are streaming via Twitch or the Verizon/Yahoo apps with limitations: Twitch only carries 11 games, all on Thursdays, and Verizon/Yahoo limits the user to watching on a phone, showing only local, in-market games of national broadcasts on Thursday, Sunday and Monday nights. There are some less-than-legal streaming options but I won’t be linking them here. Google is your friend, just make sure you keep your adblocker on.

CBS All Access (U.S.)

$5.99 USD/month with limited commercials (One-week free trial available)

$9.99 USD/month with no commercials (One-week free trial available)

NFL Game Pass (U.S. and International)

$239.99 USD/year – season pass with all games live (7-day free trial available)

$154.99 USD/year – all games for one team live

$99.99 USD/year – live preseason, a replay of every NFL game on demand

DirecTV (U.S.)

$40 USD/month – CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and NFL Network. Games on CBS and Fox on Sunday afternoons, Sunday Night Football on NBC, Monday Night Football on ESPN and Thursday Night Football on Fox. (7-day free trial available)

Sling TV (U.S.)

$40 USD/month – Thursday and Sunday games on Fox, NBC and the NFL Network. Monday night games on ESPN. No CBS. (7-day free trial available)

Hulu (U.S.)

$40 USD/month – CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN but not NFL Network. Games for Sunday afternoon (CBS and Fox), Sunday night (NBC), Monday night (ESPN) and 11 Thursday night games (Fox). (7-day free trial available)

YouTube TV (U.S.)

$40 USD/month – CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN but not NFL Network. (7-day free trial available)

PlayStation Vue (U.S.)

$50 USD/month – CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and NFL Network. (7-day free trial available)

DAZN (Canada)

$20 CAD/month or $150 CAD/year – NFL Game Pass, RedZone, and Network (30-days free)

Amazon (U.S.)

Amazon Prime users ($119 USD/year or $12.99 USD/month) get all Thursday Night Football games free. (30-day free trial available)

Twitch (U.S.)

Free – Twitch users will get 11 Thursday Night Football games free, no need to use Amazon Prime.

NFL App and Yahoo Sports app (U.S.)

Free – limited to watching on your phone, only local, in-market games and the national broadcasts on Thursday, Sunday and Monday nights.