10 Super Bowl matchups we want to see in the 2022 NFL season

NFL, Patrick Mahomes. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
NFL, Patrick Mahomes. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
4 of 10
NFL, Baker Mayfield. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

7. Carolina Panthers vs. Cleveland Browns

This one might not be very likely, but then again, the Bengals making it last year would have seemed laughable considering they were just 4-11-1 the year prior. So maybe seeing a Carolina Panthers team that went 5-12 and a Cleveland Browns team that was 8-9 making a run in 2022 isn’t so unlikely.

But the story here, should this somehow come to fruition, wouldn’t be the turnarounds for each franchise. Instead, it would be all about the quarterback showdown.

Baker Mayfield was the former No. 1 overall pick for Cleveland in 2018 and helped them go from a 1-31 team in the two years prior to his arrival to a playoff team in his third season. They took a step backward in 2021 and Cleveland decided to move on — giving up three first-round picks for Deshaun Watson.

Mayfield was then sent to Carolina, and the early returns have been encouraging. Should he be healthy after offseason shoulder surgery, and if Christian McCaffrey could stay on the field, they might be a surprise team in the NFC.

For Cleveland, they will be without Watson for the first 11 games due to a league suspension. If Jacoby Brissett could keep them treading water, Watson would have six games to try and position them in a Wild Card spot. From there, anything can happen.

It would take a lot for this to happen, but it would be fun to see this showdown on the big stage. Although admittedly, we will probably have to settle for their Week 1 matchup for now.