The NFL released its 2020 schedule on Thursday, and that means we know what Monday Night Football matchups we should look forward to watching. Some exciting games are bound to happen in this primetime spot, but there will also be some duds. We break down the best and worst of this year’s MNF slate here.
Week 3: Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens
It’s easy to see why this matchup is so exciting. The league’s last two MVP winners will be facing off. Patrick Mahomes is bringing a talented offense that features Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Sammy Watkins. The Chiefs have also added LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who is expected to be a valuable contributor as a rookie.
Lamar Jackson has a lot to prove after failing to win his first playoff game last year. His dynamic playing style helped the Ravens field the NFL’s most explosive scoring offense in 2019, and now he’s added a zone read specialist in J.K. Dobbins to the backfield. Baltimore’s entire offense is meant to cater to Jackson’s dual-threat abilities, but will it be enough to keep up with the best passing attack in the league?
Week 6: Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys
The Cardinals weren’t close to being a contender last season, but Kyler Murray has DeAndre Hopkins as his top target now and will get a change to take on America’s team with a new and improved offense. How will the Cowboys defend Hopkins without Byron Jones in the secondary? That remains to be seen. Murray is one of the most dangerous dual-threat quarterbacks in the league with a top-notch receiver and a versatile running back in Kenyan Drake ready to replace David Johnson.
Getting CeeDee Lamb in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft has helped Dallas build one of the best receiving corps in the league. Dak Prescott has Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup to work with out wide, as well as Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield. Can Prescott take another step forward after a career year in 2019?
Week 8: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Giants
Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin will get a chance to put on a show against the up-and-coming Giants. By this point in the season, we’ll have a good idea about whether the Buccaneers can meet the lofty expectations set for them. Brady is on the way out and will be pitted up against a young team with tons of upside.
Daniel Jones will be a Week 1 starter and should have an improved offensive line now that Andrew Thomas is a part of it. His weapons include Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, Darius Slayton, and Golden Tate. Barkley might be the Giants’ only star at this point, but New York has a ton of potential.
Week 14: Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns
Cleveland surprisingly blew Baltimore out at the beginning of last year’s underwhelming season and has added more offensive firepower since then. Austin Hooper has joined the Browns at tight end and the offensive line should improve with the addition of Jedrick Wills and Jack Conklin. Then there’s Kareem Hunt, who will contribute to Cleveland’s success from the start of 2020. We know how dangerous Baltimore can be, but this will help us see if the Browns can reach their ceiling.
Week 16: Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots
Buffalo and New England are the top dogs in the AFC East and weren’t far apart at the conclusion of the 2019 season. The Bills have a chance to dethrone the Patriots in the division in 2020 following Tom Brady’s departure. Depending on how the standings look, a Bills win could end the Patriots’ 11-year streak of playoff appearances. It would signify the end of an era.
Week 1: Tennessee Titans at Denver Broncos
The NFL could’ve kicked off the 2020 season with at least a heavy hitter on Sunday night, but neglected to do so. Don’t get me wrong, the Titans finished out 2019 on a high note and were within one game of the Super Bowl. However, their run-powered offense might not be very fun to watch if Derrick Henry doesn’t get going. The Broncos got more help for Drew Lock on offense, but will a rookie receiver like Jerry Jeudy suddenly make Denver exciting? These teams could put on a show, but it might’ve been better to move a less desirable matchup like this back on the league calendar. Opening weekend could have a little more flair to generate more interest from the public.
Week 9: New England Patriots vs. New York Jets
There aren’t any stars to look forward to watching in this game. While the Patriots and Jets have somewhat of a rivalry, the narrative isn’t as appealing without Tom Brady. Both teams have underwhelming receiving corps, and Le’Veon Bell is looking bounce back from a disappointing year. It’s safe to say that most people won’t be waiting for a battle between Jarrett Stidham and Sam Darnold duke it out — especially since the Jets no longer have Robby Anderson.