Week 1: Falcons @ Eagles: Philly beat Atlanta 15-10 in playoffs LY, went on to win their first Super Bowl title, with their backup QB playing- now Carson Wentz is back under center. Falcons lost Super Bowl two years ago. Matt Ryan is from Philly.
Week 2: Dolphins @ Jets: If I owned the Dolphins, would damn sure want to know how the hell we’re 1-6 in our last seven games against the Jets? Miami lost last three visits to the Swamp, by 38-20/34-13/20-6 scores. Will Sam Darnold be the Jets’ QB by then?
Giants @ Cowboys: Big Blue visited Dallas in Week 1 four of the last five years; they have to wait until Week 2 this year. This matchup must get consistently high TV ratings, but an NFC East squad won the Super Bowl last year, and it wasn’t either one of these teams.
Week 3: Titans @ Jaguars: Jacksonville made playoffs LY for first time in 10 years, but they got swept by the Titans, 37-16/15-10. Jaguars were +10 in turnovers last year, but were -5 vs Tennessee- they scored only two offensive TD’s in 26 drives against the Titans.
Patriots @ Lions: Matt Patricia is the Lions’ new coach; he’s come a long way from his days as a college student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), located in Troy, NY, just over the river from Armadillo World HQ. This matchup vs Brady/Belichick is the NBC Sunday night game.
Week 4: Chiefs @ Broncos: Kansas City is starting Patrick Mahomes at QB; he is basically a rookie- his only start was a 27-24 win here LY. Four of the Chiefs’ first six games this year are on road, at Chargers, Steelers, Broncos, Patriots. Tough start for a young QB.
Week 6: 49ers @ Packers: Same thing for the 49ers; four of their first six games are on the road, at Vikings, Chiefs, Chargers, Packers. Was 49ers’ strong finish LY a sign of future promise, or were they merely passing tired horses? By time this game is over, we may know.
Week 7: Chargers @ Browns: Cleveland is 1-31 the last two years; they beat Chargers 20-17 here in Week 16 of 2016 for the only win, then lost to them 19-10 (+14) in Carson LY. Chargers are on their way to London after this game, for a 6:30am PST game with the Titans in Week 8.
Week 8: Saints @ Vikings: I’m guessing New Orleans has this game circled on their calendar, after their defensive meltdown at the end of last year’s 29-24 playoff loss on this field.
Week 9: Raiders @ 49ers: “I could fly to LA for a haircut faster than I could drive to Santa Clara” Mark Davis is moving his team to Las Vegas because he didn’t want to share this stadium with the 49ers. Well, he has to drive to Santa Clara for this Thursday night game.
Week 12: Six NFC teams are playing on Thanksgiving: Bears-Lions, Redskins-Cowboys and Falcons-Saints. Smart to have divisional games on Thursdays, with less prep time.
Jaguars @ Bills: Last year’s unlikely playoff game: Jaguars 10, Bills 3. Buffalo made playoffs for first time in 19 years, then sent their QB packing. Interesting decision; was it smart? Visiting Buffalo on Thanksgiving weekend means cold weather will probably be a factor.
Week 13: 49ers @ Seahawks: Richard Sherman’s return to Seattle is a Sunday night game.