How far do the Bears have to travel in the 2022 NFL season? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Each NFL team has long known where they would be playing their games for the 2022 season. Soon, they will know when.
The NFL schedule release is set for Thursday night, presenting teams with their full roadmap for the 2022 season. A handful of games have already been announced, including the first Thursday Night Football game, one of the Christmas contests and all five international games. But Thursday’s release will offer every team its entire slate.
With the 17-game schedule implemented for the 2021 season, NFL teams now have an unequal number of home and away games. Teams that had nine home and eight road games last season will have nine road and eight home games during the 2022 regular season. Teams that had an extra road game in 2021 will get an extra home game in 2022, as well.
Between the 17th game and some teams having to travel outside the U.S., there will be lots of travel during the 2022 campaign. Here’s a look at which ones will be flying the furthest, along with which ones will be staying close to home:
Which NFL team has to travel the most in 2022?
That comes as a bit of a surprise considering they only have eight road games and four are in the Pacific time zone. Three of those are divisional contests against the San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams, along with a second trip to SoFi Stadium to face the Los Angeles Chargers.
Two of their games will be in the Central time zone, as they will be visitors against the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs. The Seahawks’ road matchup against the Detroit Lions is the only one in the Eastern time zone all season.
So how did they land at the top of the list? Well, they have to travel over 5,000 miles to make history in Munich. The Seahawks will play their “road” matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Allianz Arena on Nov. 13 for the NFL’s first ever regular season game in Germany.
In total, the Seahawks are set to travel 29,446 miles and cross a league-high 34 time zones during the 2022 season.
Here’s how Seattle compares to the top-five teams listed by total travel miles for the coming season:
1. Seattle Seahawks: 29,446 miles, 34 time zones
2. Denver Broncos: 27,398 miles, 32 time zones
3. Jacksonville Jaguars: 25,534 miles, 22 time zones
5. New Orleans Saints: 24,976 miles, 30 time zones
The Dolphins are the only team in the top five that will not play an international game in 2022.
Which NFL team has to travel the least in 2022?
Jet lag should not be a problem for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season.
The Steelers have the lowest mileage total at 6,442 and will not have to travel out of the Eastern time zone once during the regular season. Unlike the Seahawks, the Steelers actually have an extra road game on their schedule, too.
Pittsburgh is within 300 miles of all of its AFC North foes, so road games against the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns don’t add much to the team’s total. They also have an in-state road matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. Their remaining road games are against the Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons.
Here’s a look at the five teams that will travel the least in 2022:
29. Cleveland Browns: 9,986 miles, 2 time zones
30. Baltimore Ravens: 9,500 miles, 2 time zones
31. Detroit Lions: 8,348 miles, 8 time zones
32. Pittsburgh Steelers: 6,442 miles, 0 time zones
The Bears will not have to head to the Mountain or Pacific time zones in 2022.
The team has three road games out east against the New York Giants, New York Jets and New England Patriots. Depending on how the schedule shapes out, there is potential that the Bears will be able to stay in the area during the week between two of those games. Their two furthest trips south are for contests against the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons.
Aside from that, all that’s left are the Bears’ three road NFC North games against the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings.