It’s finally that glorious time of the year again. Football is back, and come September 7th, we can start enjoying regular season football for the first time since last January. The Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots will kick off the season at home against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday Night Football. Here are five other games to look forward to in Week 1 of the 2017 NFL season.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns (9/10 @ 1:00, CBS)
Okay so any game involving the Browns doesn’t sound that appealing, but there are a few storylines that draw the eye. First, will this be Ben Roethlisberger’s last season in the NFL. He’s hinted at retirement multiple times, and many of us have been lucky enough to not remember the NFL without the crafty and entertaining Steelers QB, who is entering his 14th season in the league. Secondly, can the Browns possibly be as bad as they were last year (1-15)? Their performance in Week 1 could be a sign of things to come.
2. Oakland Raiders @ Tennessee Titans (9/10 @ 1:00, CBS)
Two teams that were so bad for so long are finally looking up. The soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders are actually the favorites to win the AFC West over Denver and Kansas City, and Marshawn Lynch’s return paired with the growing legend of Derek Carr should make for an exciting combination. The Titans, behind up-and-coming QB Marcus Mariota and 3-time Pro-Bowler DeMarco Murray, could have a chance to win the weak AFC South this season. With both teams having playoff aspirations, they will be looking to start out strong in their first game of the year.
3. Seattle Seahawks @ Green Bay Packers (9/10 @ 4:25, FOX)
What more is there to say besides “it’s the Packers and the Seahawks!” Seemingly all of their recent games have ended in dramatic fashion, and these two kings of the NFC are poised to leave their mark on yet another NFL season. The Packers’ lack of a run game, or a running back for that matter, could hurt them, but with future Hall-of-Fame gunslinger Aaron Rodgers in the pocket, the Lambeau Leapers are in good hands.
4. New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys (9/10 @ 8:30, NBC)
Many people have already written off the NFC East has a two horse race between the surprising Cowboys and the reloaded Giants. After adding veteran receiver Brandon Marshall and having a strong draft, Big Blue is ready to show the football world that they own the NFC East once again. The young guns who lead the Cowboys into battle, Ezekiel Elliot and Dak Prescott, are poised for another great season. Last year’s Week 1 matchup ended with a Giants defensive stand and a 20-19 win in Arlington. Both teams are hoping this year’s rematch isn’t as competitive.
5. New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings (9/11 @ 7:10, ESPN)
Drew Brees finally has an above average running back! Adrian Peterson joins Canton-bound Brees in the Saints’ backfield, and NFL defenses should be terrified. The Vikings boasted a top 10 defense last season led by Anthony Barr and Everson Griffen, but a subpar offense held them back. With Teddy Bridgewater still nursing a knee injury from last season, Sam Bradford will join rookie Dalvin Cook in the backfield at QB. If the Saints can use their newly acquired defensive draft picks (CB, Safety, Linebacker, and two Defensive Ends) correctly, look out NFL.
What game are you looking forward to most? Let us know in the comments below!