With preseason and roster cuts completed, the NFL returns this weekend with impressive matchups for NFL fans to enjoy. Headlining fixtures include an NFC matchup worthy of the postseason, a battle between the AFC’s most exciting offenses, and the homecoming of the SuperBowl champions in Tampa.
The reigning Super Bowl champions begin their defense in the inaugural game of the 2021 season. Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers play host to the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night at Raymond James Stadium.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will look to continue their form which led them to a Lombardi trophy. Their roster is mostly the same as the previous season, and they’ll be looking to impress in their homecoming game. Brady and company will be looking to exploit a weakened Cowboys secondary and start their season with an emphatic victory.
However, the Dallas Cowboys have been handed a confidence boost of their own. Star quarterback, Dak Prescott, is healthy and ready to return for ‘America’s Team’. Prescott threw for over 1800 yards in five games last season, but a compound right ankle fracture and dislocation sidelined him for an entire year.
The Dallas Cowboys can go toe-to-toe with the Buccaneers offensively but this game will be won by the better defense.
Another offensive showcase for NFL fans to enjoy is the Cleveland Browns at the Kansas City Chiefs. A rematch from last season’s AFC divisional round game, where the Chiefs won 22-17, the Browns will be out for revenge on this trip to Arrowhead.
The Kansas City Chiefs are looking to bounce back after their Super Bowl defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Chiefs rebuilt their offensive line in the summer, adding Orlando Brown Jr and Joe Thuney, so Patrick Mahomes can expect to have time to throw and dissect the Browns’ defense.
As for Cleveland, they are rebounding from their first playoff appearance since 2002. Kevin Stefanski, with Baker Mayfield under center, created one of the more dynamic offenses in the NFL last season and will look to continue in that vein this year.
The Browns will find it difficult to beat the Chiefs at Arrowhead, but this is a good test for both teams to begin the season
From two AFC contenders to two NFC contenders - the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints. Both of these teams are favored for a playoff push in 2021, but only one can pick up the victory on the opening weekend.
For the first time in fifteen years, the New Orleans Saints won’t have Drew Brees under center. The former Buccaneers starter, Jameis Winston, won the starting job during the preseason and is hoping to get off to a victorious start in the 2021 season. However, they lost some pieces on defense during the offseason. Janoris Jenkins, Sheldon Rankins, and Trey Hendrickson moved on to pastures new, so the Saints will look different in 2021.
The Green Bay Packers resolved their major issues just before preseason. Aaron Rodgers restructured his contract and is back for the reigning NFC North winners. Their other offensive star Davante Adams will play, despite his contract disputes, and they still have Aaron Jones in the backfield.
This game is destined to be close. The Green Bay Packers were victorious in 2020, defeating the Saints 37-30. Without any home-field advantage, this game could be the hardest to call on week one of the NFL.
Seattle Seahawks at Indianapolis ColtsJacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta FalconsLos Angeles Chargers at Washington Football TeamPittsburgh Steelers at Buffalo BillsSan Francisco 49ers at Detroit LionsMinnesota Vikings at Cincinnati BengalsNew York Jets at Carolina PanthersArizona Cardinals at Tennessee TitansMiami Dolphins at New England PatriotsDenver Broncos at New York GiantsChicago Bears at Los Angeles RamsBaltimore Ravens at Las Vegas Raiders
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