Anticipation was palpable for the NFL to release the full 2022 schedule on May 12.
Belichick and McDaniels
Belichick and McDaniels
The New England Patriots are building in quarterback Mac Jones' second season under center and with an NFL Draft haul of 10 rookies. With the Patriots heavily involved with the craziest offseason in league history, there will be a lot to watch when New England takes the field this season.
A reunion game that is must-watch; the Week 15 matchup between the Las Vegas Raiders and new coach Josh McDaniels against his former team, the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick. Mark your calendars for Sunday, Dec. 18 at 8:20 p.m.
Both teams will probably say all the polite things leading up the to game, but all the dynamics and drama are ever-present. Does the person who is reunited against a former team always care more than the franchise? Possibly.
Reportedly there is no bad blood between Belichick and McDaniels, even though the former offensive coordinator took three New England Patriots assistants with him to Las Vegas.
McDaniels spent a total of 18 years on Belichick's staff in Foxboro. McDaniels took out a full-page ad in The Boston Globe, both reflecting on his time in New England and expressing his gratitude for those who helped make his time with the Pats memorable.
Within his statement, McDaniels also acknowledged the tutelage, mentorship and support provided him by Belichick; crediting him second only to his father for cultivating his love for the game of football.
Mac Jones, Kendrick Bourne
Mac Jones takes it to the line, himself
Patriots QB Mac Jones
The coaching shakeup leaves Belichick and New England with some hiring to do. The Patriots, who tied with the Miami Dolphins with the second-best odds (+400) to win the the AFC East, look to usurp the Buffalo Bills as division champions. The big question will be with McDaniels now in Las Vegas, can Jones excel in New England working with his second offensive coaching regime in as many years?
Other notable reunion games to be played in 2022 include: Washington Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz playing the Eagles in Philadelphia, Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson vs. the Texans in Houston and Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson vs. the Seahawks in Seattle.
Of the Patriots' 17 games, a reunion with McDaniels on the field will be must-see.