The Best Matchups in the Upcoming NFL Season


Football is the most popular sport in America for a reason. What that reason is I don’t know. All I know is that it’s entertaining as all get out to watch. Whether you watch it for the big hits, the big names, the personalities, the strategy and play-calling dynamics, the effect on your fantasy league, or just because it’s Sunday and watching two bitter rivals square off over who’s the worse team in the division is better than mowing the lawn or shoveling snow.

There’s even a certain amount of satisfaction in watching a blowout because if you’re my type of fan, seeing someone else lose worse than my team is comforting. Here’s a list of the top games I’m looking forward to spilling a beer while watching this season with an explanation as to why and I leave the picks to you.

1. Week 1: Steelers at Patriots

The opening game of the season is going to be even more interesting than NFL bettors believed when the schedule was announced way back in April. At the time of writing, Tom Brady is in court with the NFL over his lack of cooperation with phone records, which they have no right to get a subpoena for and have to have the physical phone that was destroyed. Unless some form of significant settlement comes out of that, both teams will be missing significant players.

The Steelers will be missing arguably the best RB in the NFL right now in Le’Veon Bell to a two-game suspension while New England misses Brady for up to four. It will be a unique view into how crucial these two players are to each team as well as how and how well the staff will compensate for these losses.

2. Week 9: Bills at Jets

Rex Ryan in a Bills sweater vest will inspire longing in many a Jets fan. Also, it’ll be a defensive battle. Being the fan of the shutdown game that I am, I’m excited to see the new coaches slug it out on the field. The Bills have doubled down on their defense in the offseason and the Jets spent a lot of assets to acquire the same from across the league and within the division. The Jets may have had the most dynamic changes in it’s offseason of any team in the NFL and will be as close to a completely new team as any in the game. How this plays out for the AFC North will largely be determined in this game, provided either team is even competitive at this point with neither team having anyone worthwhile at QB.

3. Week 16: Rams at Seahawks

Perhaps most the defensively weighted division in football the NFC West is going to put a defense-centric team in the playoffs, regardless of who it is. The Cardinals and the 49ers are going to be competing with these two teams for the division title as well and are likely going to be watching anxiously as this game might be determinate who, from the division, gets into the playoffs.

4. Week 2: Seahawks at Packers

In a game that promises to offer a bit of cool determination to both teams, so recently having played each other for the NFC title, there is sure to be some explosive action. Fans of either team will watch in droves as what was an entertaining game in the playoffs replays in new and different ways. Like your favorite sitcom with all the same characters getting into slightly different hijinks, the game should be good television whether you care about either team in the least.

5. Week 3: Chiefs at Packers

Whether or not the game goes the same way as the first Super Bowl it’s a nod specifically to that game as a celebration of everything that the game has been between then and Super Bowl L. The game itself might be great or it might be an over-hyped let down. That’s the thing about football, regardless of predictions the game still has to be played. And, regardless of the final score this game should be a spectacle worth watching at least a part of.

Regardless of what team you’re a fan of, these five games alone should give you something to do that beats dinner with the in-laws. Another thing, if you know anyone who’s a fan of any of the above teams make sure to build up some of their anxiety about these games on the schedule and then watch it unfold with them. It should be at least as entertaining as the matchup itself.

Ben Roethlisberger image by Jeffrey Beall from

Russell Wilson image by Keith Allison from

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