Whether it be a rivalry game, a rematch of a recent fixture, or sports news hyping up fans about a player returning to their old home, the NFL schedule is littered with inevitably great matchups.
Below are the games that you need to set aside time to watch because they’re going to be epic as another NFL season creeps closer to reality.
Early Season Entrees
The Week One kickoff game on Thursday, September 8th at 8:20 pm ET will be one of the best opening matchups to begin an NFL season we’ve ever seen. The LA Rams will be celebrating last year’s Super Bowl win at their home in SoFi Stadium while the visiting Buffalo Bills will be looking to show everyone that they deserved to win the title last year.
Josh Allen will be on a mission to avenge last year’s overtime playoff loss to Kansas City, which evoked a rule change. Meanwhile, Matt Stafford and company will be looking to energize their fanbase on the road to back-to-back titles.
The second Thursday Night Football game in Week 2 will be another fantastic game. Division rivals Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will face off against Justin Herbert and the new-look Chargers. The Chargers made some big moves in the offseason, and we’ll see if those moves have the potential to lift them over the perennial AFC West champion Chiefs.
In one of the late afternoon games Week 3, we’ll see Brady’s Bucs host Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in what could be a preview of the NFC Championship Game, with the winner grabbing early bragging rights.
Sunday Night Football will be enticing in Week 4 as Mahomes travels to Tampa Bay to face Brady in what may be the final matchup between the GOAT and his possible successor.
Week 5’s Cowboys/Rams game will be another chance for Dak Prescott to show everyone that his Dallas team is legit this year. The division should be theirs to grab, but as always, the Cowboys goal is to win a Super Bowl.
Week 6’s 4:25 pm ET game between the Bills and the Chiefs is the rematch between the two teams who played in one of the league’s all time great games last postseason. In the game, Mahomes and crew came out with the win after scoring on their first drive in the extra period.
As the season begins to take shape, division games become even more important, meaning the Week 7, 1 pm ET start game between Cleveland and Baltimore will be electric.
Week 8’s Monday Night Battle of Ohio between Deshaun Watson and Joe Burrow should be intriguing as well.
The Rams will face off against Brady’s Bucs in Week 9 in the late afternoon at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
A Week 10 divisional matchup will see the Rams take on the Kyler Murray-led Arizona Cardinals, who will have DeAndre Hopkins back from suspension by then.
Browns vs Bills Week 11 at 1 pm ET should be a very close game.
Week 12’s possible Super Bowl foreshadowing matchup between the favorites, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the title defenders, the LA Rams, can’t be missed.
Week 13 features both Deshaun Watson’s return to Houston as well as a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game between the Bengals and the Chiefs.
Week 14 spots a top-tier Thursday Night matchup where Derek Carr’s Raiders will be visiting the defending Super Bowl Champs.
Week 15 sends the Rams to Lambeau Field to face off against Aaron Rodgers in the frigid cold of mid-December.
Week 16’s Christmas Day evening game between Tom Brady and the Arizona Cardinals could have massive implications on the NFC’s playoff outlook.
Week 17’s Monday Night game in Cincinnati between the hometown Bengals and the visiting Buffalo Bills may turn the AFC’s playoff outlook upside down.
The game to watch in the final week of the season will be Baltimore visiting Cincinnati in a game that could very well be flexed to Sunday Night. The two teams will be competing for the division crown and/or a playoff place, meaning the game could be the most important matchup of any two teams in Week 18.