The Sunday Night Football schedule has been released and there are some great games waiting to happen. The two Super Bowl participants, Kansas City and San Francisco each get three while Tompa Bay will have two. Jarrett Stidham and the Patriots get two SNF games, while the Packers, who don’t seem to want Aaron Rodgers to have anyone to throw to, got three, but both teams were in the playoffs last season and have big fan bases. There are some quality matchups on Sunday nights and even the ones I single out as being poor, are still games you’d tune into even if you aren’t a fan of the teams.
This one is cheating. It is officially a Sunday Night Football joint, but will be the kickoff game on September 10th, a Thursday night. The Texans will look for a little revenge after getting a 24-0 lead going into the second quarter and ultimately losing 51-31 to the Chiefs in AFC Divisional Round. Plus, we get to see Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes go toe-to-toe once again.
Yes, this is Tom Brady versus Drew Brees, but it also brings two teams together that have nearly identical odds to win the NFC South this year. This will be the second game where they face off, as Week 1 has the Buccaneers traveling to the Big Easy. We’ll have a better idea of how much the Buccaneers have improved when this game comes around in Week 9, but Brady and Brees are two of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, making this game special no matter their records before kickoff.
This rivalry isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s no doubt these teams go all out and make for close games. The Steelers took the Ravens to overtime without Ben Roethlisberger last season and their defense gave Lamar Jackson one of his worst performances of his amazing MVP season. Pittsburgh will get their quarterback back and try to dethrone the Ravens and Jackson after they ran roughshod over the AFC last year. Plus, if the game isn’t great, you’ve got Thanksgiving leftovers to shovel into your mouth hole.
Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots
You can never count out Bill Belichick, but the Patriots starting quarterback looks to be Jarrett Stidham this year and their skill position players on offense helped Tom Brady to one of his worst seasons last year. The Ravens will bring in a team to New England that has gotten better this offseason to take on a Patriots team that has gotten much worse. The Ravens handled the Patriots last season in Baltimore and now the divide looks even wider.
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers
I’m not going to pile on the Packers here, but they deserve it for their awful offseason. Instead, it’s time to pile on the Bears. The Packers may have made some odd moves, but the Bears made moves this offseason that have a great chance of blowing up in their faces. In an attempt to “win now” with their top defense, they went out and grabbed the quarterback who Gardner Minshew was able to replace in Jacksonville even after he got healthy and a tight end from their rival Packers, who they saw on the field twice, running as if he just had a knee replacement. Nick Foles and Jimmy Graham almost make the Bears worse, but, unfortunately Mitchell Trubisky — who could somehow start his game — is plain awful. Yeah, we want to see Aaron Rodgers, but that’s the only draw in this matchup.
Sneaky good matchups
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
The Broncos have lost nine games in a row to the Chiefs and this one could easily go that same route, but there’s no doubt the Broncos offense has the horses to turn things around. We already know we will get some electric offense out of Patrick Mahomes, but what could we get out of Drew Lock, Melvin Gordon, Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Noah Fant, and KJ Hamler? By Week 11 we should know if Lock has stepped up into the starting role and helped what should be a good offense, reach its potential.
Will the Cowboys be able to live up to their extremely high potential this season? They have a new head coach in Mike McCarthy and an offense that put up the most yards per game last season. Oh, and they just drafted a playmaker in CeeDee Lamb to add to Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup. There are plenty of questions after going 8-8 and missing the playoffs last season, but this team is built to score and by Week 15, when they take on the 49ers in Dallas, this game could be extremely meaningful. It could also be a big test Dallas needs to pass to show they can hang with the best in the league.