the NFL returns to action after more than 200 days off, and Week 1 brings a jam-packed roster from Thursday to Monday. The programmers were kind enough to match several playoff contenders against each other and schedule several Pro Bowl players to debut against their previous teams.
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Whether because of early-season uncertainty or competitive matchups, seven games have lines of one field goal or fewer. Some might get ugly, even a masochist wouldn’t put Jaguar-Commanders on this list, but there are plenty of intriguing contests to choose from.
While no games on the early Sunday roster ultimately made the cut, divisional games between the Patriots and Dolphins, as well as the Steelers and Bengals, will have big playoff implications. Also, don’t sleep at Raiders-Chargers during a late afternoon loaded slate.
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(Note: all games listed on ET)
Top 5 Games of Week 1
5. Broncos vs. Seahawks, Monday at 8:15 p.m.
Baker Mayfield may be saltier about playing for his former team, but Russell Wilson’s homecoming against the only team he played for until 2022 should be a better game. Seattle’s defense knows him well and, at almost 34 years old, he has been on the decline in recent seasons. But Russ isn’t really going to lose in his first game in Seattle, is he?
4. Packers vs. Vikings, Sunday at 4:25 p.m.
Aaron Rodgers will have to figure out how to live without Davante Adams, and this new era will begin against the only team that can prevent him from winning his fourth straight NFC North title. Green Bay may be leaning more on the run this season, while Minnesota, under new head coach Kevin O’Connell, is poised to spend more than ever. The Black and Blue Division has great potential to start this season strong.
3.Chiefs vs. Cardinals, Sunday at 4:25 p.m.
Two of the best young quarterbacks in the league — and their combined $680.5 million contracts — go head-to-head, with their teams having high hopes after losing to the eventual conference champions in last season’s playoffs. . And both quarterbacks will be without their best receivers from last year, since Tyreek Hill is in Miami and DeAndre Hopkins is suspended by PED.
2. Buccaneers vs. Cowboys, Sunday at 8:20 p.m.
Tom Brady was out for the Bucs for 11 days during training camp, and now he has to face the reigning NFC East champions. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy is on the bench, and an inaugural-season win against Tampa Bay could go a long way toward giving him job security. If nothing else, this should be a high scoring affair.
1. Bills vs. Rams, Thursday at 8:20 p.m.
There is nothing better than the first game of the season. The Super Bowl champions take on the Super Bowl favorites. Josh Allen vs. Matthew Stafford. Cooper Kupp vs. Stefon Diggs. We’ll even get two of the best defensive players of this generation in Aaron Donald and Von Miller, who’s going up against his old team. Impeccable option to open the season.