We are 49 days away from football being back! With that being said, you should probably know which games to tune in for. There are some intriguing games in store for us football fans this season, from rematches to division rivalries to young teams trying to prove themselves, the 2017 NFL season has it all! And I’m here to break down the best 13 games of the season.
13. Week 1: New Orleans Saints vs Minnesota Vikings. Adrian Peterson gets to return to the city he called home for nine seasons to kick off the year. In Peterson’s first game as a New Orleans Saint, he will travel up to Minnesota to take on his former team. Another exciting matchup from this game is future Hall of Famer, Drew Brees, playing against Minnesota’s stout defense.
12. Week 2: Arizona Cardinals vs Indianapolis Colts. Both teams were considered elite and at the top of their respective conferences just a few short seasons ago, this could be a game for both to prove themselves. Will Andrew Luck be healthy? Will Arizona’s defense be able to stop TY Hilton? Will Indianapolis’ defense be able to slow down David Johnson? Many questions surround this matchup of Bruce Arians’ former team and his current team.
11. Week 4: New York Giants vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The two teams that faced off for an NFC Wild Card spot last year will meet early this season. Although the Giants earned the playoff spot last year, the Buccaneers have something to prove. With Eli Manning and Co. coming to Tampa, this is a good chance for the young team to show what they can do.
10. Week 13: Cincinnati Bengals vs Pittsburgh Steelers. I think we can all agree that Pittsburgh is the better team in this matchup, but when these two teams get together, it is a bloodbath. Hate is not a strong enough word to describe these team’s rivalry. They both play their best and lay it all on the line (looking at you here Vontaze Burfict). We are fortunate enough to get to see this matchup twice a year, but I’m looking most forward to the one in Cincinnati. At this point in the season, both teams should be fighting for a playoff spot and with the game being in Cincinnati, the game has a better chance of being close with the Bengals claiming home field advantage.
9. Week 6: Pittsburgh Steelers vs Kansas City Chiefs. I wanted to put the Steelers playing the Patriots on this list, but the last three matches between the AFC Championship teams have been flat. The AFC Divisional Round matchup between the Chiefs and Steelers was much more entertaining and close of a game. I personally loved watching Big Ben, Brown, and Bell take on Eric Berry, Marcus Peters, and Justin Houston. It is likely we will get to see this matchup twice this year.
8. Week 15: Oakland Raiders vs Dallas Cowboys. This will be a fun one to watch. With both teams being playoff caliber teams last season and fairly young, it will be exciting to see which team claims victory in Dallas. Both will likely have claimed spots in the playoffs already, but this could be a gut-check for both teams to see how they fare playing a team just as talented as they are. And with the playoffs just around the corner, Derek Carr, Khalil Mack, Dak Prescott, and Ezekiel Elliott will need to be at their best.
7. Week 7: Oakland Raiders vs Kansas City Chiefs. Divisional rivalries can get kind of boring when the same team is always the winner. But with the Chiefs and Raiders, this will be a showdown of two of the AFC’s best teams, and on a Thursday night. Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill will take on Reggie Nelson and Khalil Mack. Derek Carr and Amari Cooper will face off against Eric Berry and Marcus Peters.
6. Week 1: Seattle Seahawks vs Green Bay Packers. Although their last meeting was boring (thanks to Russell Wilson throwing five interceptions) this game should meet our expectations. When the Seahawks and the Packers face off, drama always follows. The fail Mary. Brandon Bostick and the failed on side kick. Who knows what will happen this year when the two teams kick off the regular season against each other?
5. Week 10: Dallas Cowboys vs Atlanta Falcons. Last year we missed out on this matchup because of the leg power on Mason Crosby. But this year we will finally be able to see the top two seeded NFC teams from last season face off. By this point in the season we should have a good idea of what each team is capable of. But still, picking a winner in this one will be difficult!
4. Week 11: New England Patriots vs Oakland Raiders. The Raiders are playing another game down in Mexico, but this time they are bringing the defending Super Bowl champs with them. We could be getting a sneak peak at the AFC Championship game. This could be the Raiders chance to take control of the AFC. But with Brady and Belichick on the other sideline, that could be easier said than done.
3. Week 13: Dallas Cowboys vs New York Giants. The Giants handed the Cowboys two of their three regular season losses last season (the other coming from the Philadelphia Eagles). These two teams always play each other competitively and the game often comes down to the last drive. They play each other week 1, but the matchup I am looking forward to is in week 13 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The NFC East will be on the line, and the winner of this game likely has a chance of winning the title. All will be revealed on December 10th.
2. Week 2: Green Bay Packers vs Atlanta Falcons. Roger Goodell didn’t wait long to provide a key matchup in the season. The two teams that faced off in the NFC Championship last year will meet again in week 2. Aaron Rodgers vs reigning league MVP Matt Ryan. Who will perform better? Get your popcorn ready everyone, we are in store for a quarterback duel. Plus, this will be Atlanta’s first game in their new stadium, giving them even more motivation to start the season 2-0.
1. Atlanta Falcons vs New England Patriots. Super Bowl LI rematch. Who wouldn’t want to watch the Super Bowl again? Okay, so maybe Atlanta Falcons fans won’t want to watch that game again. But with their team out for revenge against the Patriots, this game is worth all of the money in the world. Will Tom Brady continue defying father time? Will the Falcons blow a lead again? Will they ever have a lead when they come to Foxboro? Who will have a more unbelievable catch: Julian Edelman or Julio Jones? This game is can’t miss television, as both teams set out to prove why THEY deserved to win the Super Bowl.
What game are you most looking forward to watching?