NFL projections and unit grades for 2022: Mike Clay's best, worst offenses and defenses, plus ranking all 32 teams, X factors

Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season is just around the corner. What better way to raise (or temper) expectations than a complete breakdown of predictions and projections for how the upcoming season will play out?

Below is a guide of what to expect once the season kicks off Thursday when the Buffalo Bills visit the Los Angeles Rams. It includes my own power rankings, teams that will probably score the most points, defenses that will likely allow the fewest and the toughest and easiest schedules, along with predictions for the playoffs and, of course, Super Bowl LVI. Plus, I broke down 10 X factors for this season. Get up to speed and prep for Sundays this fall.

I used to kick this thing off with a look at the best and worst positional units across the league, but I did an expanded version of that in August, so be sure to check that out too. Let's get started with what I consider the biggest storyline of the season: How will the loaded AFC West play out? Here's what you need to know for 2022.