There is one game left to play in the 2022 NFL season: the showdown between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday in Super Bowl LVII. But before we see which team hoists the Lombardi Trophy in Arizona, let's take a look back at some of the games that got us to this point.
Here is every NFC team's best win and worst loss of the 2022 NFL season. (Click here for Nick Shook's AFC rundown.)
Best win: 42-34 over New Orleans Saints (Week 7)
DeAndre Hopkins' return from suspension provided some hope that the Cardinals could stabilize themselves after a dismal start to the season. The star wideout put up 103 yards in his first game as Kyler Murray force-fed him the ball. The Cards' ground attack popped up, too, with two TDs. And the defense forced three turnovers, including two pick-sixes late in the first half to give the Cards a big lead they'd hold.
Worst loss: 27-13 to New England Patriots (Week 14)
The prime-time loss hurt. Watching Murray go down in pain with a season-ending knee injury made it worse. The defeat showed warts for which Kliff Kingsbury's club had no answers. The offensive line couldn't block, particularly without Murry's run threat. The defense got pushed over by a mediocre Patriots offense that was mostly without its top two running backs. But it's Murray's injury that makes this loss much worse than the 12 others this season. The highly paid QB with talent but a ton of questions now might not be ready for the start of the next season. It's a defeat that threatens to reverberate into the 2023 campaign.
Best win: 28-14 over San Francisco (Week 6)
It happened so early in the season that it's hard to remember this Falcons club beat the mighty Niners. It was an Arthur Smith fever dream. The run game churned out 168 yards, a TD and 10 first downs, bullying the Nick Bosa-less 49ers front. Marcus Mariota played a clean if unspectacular game, tossing two touchdowns and avoiding turnovers. And the defense forced a fumble and picked off Jimmy Garoppolo twice.
Worst loss: 25-15 to Carolina Panthers (Week 10)
After seesawing around .500 early in the season, Atlanta showed signs of bottoming out in Week 10. The defense couldn't stop the Panthers' ground attack, allowing 232 rush yards to the P.J. Walker-led Carolina offense. Mariota took five sacks and made several atrocious decisions and throws. The QB was lucky to have just one interception. It was the first clear-cut sign that the Falcons would move away from Mariota eventually during the 2022 campaign.
Best win: 30-24 over Seattle Seahawks (Week 14)
Winning in Seattle is never easy, but the Steve Wilks-led Panthers bullied the Seahawks in their own building. Carolina churned out 223 rush yards and two TDs as the Panthers rushed out to a big lead and added insurance late. The defense forced Geno Smith into one of his worst games of the season, picking off the QB twice, while holding the Seahawks' rushing attack to just 46 total yards.
Worst loss: 26-16 to Arizona Cardinals (Week 4)
Matt Rhule wouldn't be fired for another week, but the early-season loss to Arizona signaled his tenure was likely coming to a close. If not for an early pick-six by Frankie Luvu, this game would have been even more lopsided. The Panthers' offense was a mess with Baker Mayfield under center; they were unable to run the ball, while the QB threw two picks. It took a 74-yard garbage-time drive for the offense to find the end zone and get over the 150-yard mark.
Best win: 33-14 over New England Patriots (Week 7)
In the Bears' most complete game of the season, Justin Fields flashed promise with his legs and through the air. The QB had more electric games on the ground, but on this night, he displayed the ability to stabilize the position in the Windy City. The defense put up its best game, allowing 12 first downs and 260 total yards in one last hurrah before key veterans were traded away in preparation for the 2023 reboot. The Bears hope for more games like this one from Fields in the future.
Worst loss: 41-10 to Detroit Lions (Week 17)
After a promising first drive, the Bears got boat-raced on the road, giving up 34 unanswered points. The defense got mowed, and Fields threw for just 75 yards, taking seven sacks in his final game of the season. In a campaign full of losses, this one, against a rising NFC North rival, stuck out as the worst.
Best win: 40-3 over Minnesota Vikings (Week 11)
Dallas looked like world-beaters on this afternoon. The Cowboys scored on their first seven possessions, with Dak Prescott getting whatever he wanted against the Vikings' secondary. The defense manhandled Minnesota's offensive line to the tune of seven sacks, including two from Micah Parsons (five QB hits). The Cowboys so thoroughly thrashed the Vikings that they were able to sit starters in the fourth quarter.
Worst loss: 26-6 to Washington Commanders (Week 18)
What an awful way to head into the postseason. Prescott played horribly, tossing a pick-six and missing a host of throws badly en route to a 37.8 completion percentage and 128 yards. The offense put up a measly 182 yards on the day. The defense couldn't overcome the offensive issues, getting pounded by Washington backups, and made rookie Sam Howell look good in his first start.
Best win: 20-16 over Green Bay Packers (Week 18)
Though the Lions were eliminated from the postseason earlier in the day, Dan Campbell's crew didn't roll over. Instead, Detroit bested the Packers on the road to eliminate their division rivals from the playoffs. The offense churned the ball on the ground, and Jared Goff played perhaps his best game in cold weather. The defense forced two turnovers and pestered Aaron Rodgers all game. The victory will propel the Lions' offseason hype train as we traverse to the 2023 season.
Worst loss: 37-23 to Carolina Panthers (Week 16)
This loss ultimately cost the Lions a postseason bid. The defense got bullied all afternoon with a woeful tackling performance, giving up 320 yards on the ground. Things spiraled following Goff's fumble in the red zone on the second possession, and the offense went three-and-out on the next four drives, leading to a big deficit. In a game with significant playoff implications, the young Lions laid an egg on the road.
Best win: 31-28 (OT) over Dallas Cowboys (Week 10)
The Packers surged in December, but the Week 10 overtime victory over Dallas was perhaps their most complete game. Christian Watson splashed onto the scene, catching three Aaron Rodgers TD passes, including a 58-yard bomb early in the contest, and put up his first 100-plus yard performance of the season. The defense generated two key interceptions in the second quarter and didn't allow Dallas any points in the fourth quarter or overtime, securing the victory.
Worst loss: 15-9 to Detroit Lions (Week 9)
The Week 18 loss to the Lions might sting more, but the one at Ford Field was more disappointing. The Packers out-gained Detroit 389-254 yards on the afternoon, but three Rodgers interceptions in scoring range -- two inside the 5-yard-line -- thwarted Green Bay's chances. It's a game Green Bay should have won. The defeat marked the Packers' fifth-consecutive L and put them in a must-win position down the stretch.
Best win: 17-16 over Las Vegas Raiders (Week 14)
The incredible nature of the win makes it the best of Sean McVay's first losing season. Baker Mayfield leading a 98-yard, game-winning drive with 1:45 on the clock and zero timeouts less than 48 hours after joining the team is something we'd laugh at if it were written in a Disney script. But it happened. In real life. Inconceivable.
Worst loss: 31-10 to Buffalo Bills (Week 1)
The Super Bowl champs got their teeth kicked in right out of the gate. Despite a 10-10 halftime score, the matchup never felt close, as the Bills got out of their own way after first-half turnovers and scored on three straight drives to blow the doors open in the second half. Matthew Stafford threw three INTs, and the offense looked out of sync all game. The offensive-line issues (seven sacks allowed) were a harbinger of things to come. This dismal outing came before all the injuries completely sideswiped L.A.'s season.
Best win: 39-36 (OT) over Indianapolis Colts (Week 15)
In a season of high-wire acts by the NFC North champs, the historic come-from-behind victory on Indy sits as the most memorable. Who rebounds from a 33-0 deficit at halftime? Kirk Cousins threw for 460 yards and four TDs as the Vikings overcame the first-half miscues that dug the hole. Minnesota outscored a floundering Colts squad 36-3 in the second half to set up Greg Joseph's game-winning field goal in overtime to clinch the division title.
Worst loss: 41-17 to Green Bay Packers (Week 17)
Sure, the Vikes already had the division wrapped up, but they were still battling for seeding. It was an all-around dismal performance from Minnesota. Cousins tossed three INTs while the ground game never got going and the defense was plowed over. It was a loss that foreshadowed the Vikings' swift playoff exit.
Best win: 24-0 over Las Vegas Raiders (Week 8)
For a week, Dennis Allen's club looked like the team New Orleans' brass expected entering the season. The defense was impenetrable, allowing just 183 yards and holding Davante Adams to a single catch for 3 yards. Andy Dalton played stellar ball, and the Saints got Alvin Kamara involved a lot -- 27 touches for 158 scrimmage yards and three scores. It ended up a blip in an up-and-down season, but on this day, the Saints looked superb.
Worst loss: 17-16 to Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Week 13)
The previous week's shutout loss in San Francisco was a contender for this spot, but the late collapse to the Bucs took the king cake. Though New Orleans led 16-3 midway through the fourth quarter, a comedy of errors and poor game management by Allen cost the Saints a realistic chance at the division title. The offense couldn't manage a first down or drain any clock late, going three-and-out on back-to-back drives to let Tampa back in the game. The defense got ripped up by Tom Brady on the final two drives, allowing the Bucs to score two TDs in the blink of an eye to steal the win.
Best win: 31-24 over Minnesota Vikings (Super Wild Card Weekend)
Big Blue mastered the dramatic win in Brian Daboll's first season, with the biggest coming in the postseason. Daniel Jones played fantastic football, tossing for 301 yards and two TDs without a turnover and leading the Giants with 78 rushing yards. New York took it to a limp Vikings defense, scoring on four of their first five possessions. Despite being out-gunned, Wink Martindale's defense made big stops late, including hurrying Kirk Cousins into a poor decision on the game's final play.
Worst loss: 31-18 to Detroit Lions (Week 11)
Getting thumped by their division rival in the Divisional Round might be the more depressing loss, but the Week 11 bout between two growing clubs showed that Big Blue is still relatively early in its rebuild. Jones threw two massive interceptions, and Saquon Barkley was bottled up (1.5 YPA on 15 carries). The defense couldn't get a stop, allowing 160 rushing yards and netting zero sacks. In a proverbial measuring-stick game, the Giants got beat handily at home by another upstart club.
Best win: 48-22 over New York Giants (Week 14)
In a season of blowout wins, this one stood out for just how dominant Philly looked on both sides of the ball. The O-line blew open massive holes as the Eagles rushed for a whopping 253 yards and four TDs. When he had to throw, Jalen Hurts dropped dimes, including two passes of 30-plus yards. And the defense overwhelmed the undermanned Giants, generating seven sacks. It was the type of script that has propelled Philly to the Super Bowl.
Worst loss: 32-21 to Washington Commanders (Week 10)
This was the only loss with Hurts in the lineup this season. The turnover luck that had been on the Eagles' side all season flipped. Hurts threw an INT and Philly lost three fumbles, allowing the Commanders to run away with the game late. On defense, the Eagles got gashed on the ground, allowing Washington 152 rushing yards. The run D struggles were the Eagles' biggest weakness, and they showed up in this prime-time affair.
Best win: 33-17 over Miami Dolphins (Week 13)
There were several dominant performances to choose from here, particularly during the Niners' late-season surge. This one is most notable, because Kyle Shanahan's club didn't miss a beat after the early exit of Jimmy Garoppolo, with seventh-round rookie Brock Purdy entering in relief. The QB immediately led the Niners on a TD drive and played well, despite having few practice reps and working with a game plan not tailored to his strengths. The defense mostly kept the high-flying Dolphins' attack in check, holding Tua Tagovailoa to a 54.5 percent completion rate and just one big play in the second half. Purdy's entrance gave the Niners new life down the stretch and opened up the offense, until he was injured in the postseason.
Worst loss: 11-10 to Denver Broncos (Week 3)
I don't blame you if you've blocked this atrocious prime-time affair from your memory banks. It was an abysmal game to watch for everyone involved. Garoppolo and the offense were particularly appalling. The QB led an offense that converted one of 10 third-down tries. He threw an INT and fumbled. He also famously stepped out of the end zone against a blitz for a safety. If not for the Broncos' own offensive ineptitude, it could (should) have been a blowout, given how Jimmy G and the Niners' offense performed.
Best win: 37-23 over Los Angeles Chargers (Week 7)
After early-season struggles, Pete Carroll's team finally began putting it together in L.A. The offense found success on the ground, gashing a dismal Chargers run D for 213 yards, punctuated by Kenneth Walker III's 74-yard TD to seal the win. Geno Smith overcame a first-drive interception to toss two TDs and made several big-time throws to open the game up in the first half. Carroll's defense, which had been shredded early in the season, stepped up, forcing a turnover on downs, an INT and a fumble to start the game. They also forced five straight punts as the Seahawks surged to an insurmountable lead on the road.
Worst loss: 30-24 to Carolina Panthers (Week 14)
Geno Smith tossing an INT on his first pass foreshadowed a day in which the Seahawks couldn't get things right. The defense got mauled, allowing the Panthers to move up and down the field and score on their first three drives. Smith also threw a second interception in the first half. The QB got the Seahawks back in the game, but the lack of run game, sans Walker, led to an uneven performance and three straight punts in the second half as the Panthers put the game out of reach.
Best win: 30-24 over Carolina Panthers (Week 17)
Someone had to win the NFC South, and the Bucs did so by rallying back against Carolina. After the offense continued its season-long struggle early, Tom Brady finally found his connection with Mike Evans. The duo combined for three deep TDs on the day, including two in the fourth quarter to snag the lead. Brady threw for a season-high 432 yards and three TDs in the throwback performance that gave Tampa some minor hope heading into the postseason.
Worst loss: 35-7 to San Francisco 49ers (Week 14)
In his return to the Bay Area, the G.O.A.T. put up a horrific performance. The Niners picked off the future Hall of Famer twice, and Tampa didn't score a point until it was already 35-0. The Bucs allowed seventh-round rookie Brock Purdy -- who was making his first career start -- to dice them up; he threw for two TDs and compiled a 134.0 passer rating. The contest showed the Niners and Bucs were playing in two different weight classes.
Best win: 32-21 over Philadelphia Eagles (Week 10)
One team's worst loss is another's biggest win. Washington knocked off the previously undefeated Eagles on the road to push its way into the playoff picture. Terry McLaurin shined, racking up 128 yards, including several ridiculous catches. The defense gave up just 264 yards and generated four turnovers. It was a day that showed Washington has potential if it can put it together -- particularly at the QB position.
Worst loss: 24-10 to Cleveland Browns (Week 17)
This game will be remembered for Ron Rivera appearing not to know his team could be eliminated from the playoffs with a loss. The actual play on the field was worse. The decision to start Carson Wentz backfired off the bat, with the QB throwing an INT on the first drive. It was one of three he'd toss on the dismal day. The defense couldn't cover Amari Cooper and allowed the Browns to drive up and down the field early in the second half. Wentz's inability to get McLaurin involved in his starts came to roost in what should go down as the quarterback's final game in Washington.