#sports activities NFL Games of the Week – Week 1: Quarterbacks seek revenge, a potential Super Bowl matchup, and more
The NFL season is lastly upon us after an offseason full of hypothesis, a lot of extensive receiver motion, and retirements (in addition to un-retirements).
Now that a preseason of combating, improvement, and cuts is at an finish, we are able to now flip our consideration to the common season and the race for the Lombardi Trophy.
Welcome to Sportsmail’s Games of the Week – the collection getting ready you for the largest matchups in the NFL this 12 months.
It will solely be barely completely different to the school soccer video games of the week piece.
There are at most 16 video games in an NFL week, whereas there are a lot of dozens of matchups in school soccer. Therefore, we can’t have an honorable mentions part.
This means, Sportsmail can lower proper to the motion and begin wanting ahead to the video games.
New Broncos QB Russell Wilson (L) will face his previous backup Geno Smith, now beginning in Seattle
Game 1: Denver Broncos @ Seattle Seahawks
- Monday @ 8:15 ET (ESPN/ABC) / Lumen Field, Seattle
The first of two matchups that includes a former quarterback returning to his previous house is one with out malice and a vital improve for a Super Bowl successful passer.
Russell Wilson was dealt away from his longtime dwelling in Seattle, the place he was a face of the franchise, to Denver – the place he’s nonetheless that franchise caliber participant.
The transfer instantly made the Broncos a potential Super Bowl contender – even when they’re in the hardest division in the NFL. Surrounded by weapons like Cortland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, and helped by a sturdy protection, Wilson may convey the Broncos again to glory.
Meanwhile, Seattle is in the midst of a full-blown re-construct. The Seahawks appear to be going with Geno Smith as their starter behind a crumbling offensive line.
Wilson’s issues the previous couple of seasons appeared to revolve much less round the quantity of weapons he had, however more on how a lot time he had again in the pocket to make performs.
Now, Russ will get Broncos Country able to experience into Washington state and put collectively their first win of the season.
Former Browns QB Baker Mayfield (R) seeks revenge in opposition to his former group for the first time
Game 2: Cleveland Browns @ Carolina Panthers
- Sunday at 1:00 ET (CBS) / Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
The second matchup of quarterbacks going through their previous group will not be practically as amicable as the first one.
Cleveland was supplied a uncommon alternative this offseason: the likelihood to get a franchise quarterback that might take them to the promised land – one that might make them a group to be feared in the future.
However, that quarterback has been suspended for the first 11 video games of 2022 and fined $5million over allegations of sexual misconduct made by dozens of girls.
With Deshaun Watson banned for over half the season, beginning duties will fall on the shoulders of former Colts starter Jacoby Brissett.
This may have, and perhaps even ought to have, been Baker Mayfield’s job. However, the group appeared to throw him below the bus for the previous season’s failings. Mayfield was moved to Carolina in the offseason.
With an harm to final 12 months’s starter Sam Darnold, Mayfield now has the likelihood to really show himself with a group that’s all his personal and is not as cursed as Cleveland is.
Mayfield took this offseason’s occasions personally. He was placed on a pedestal in Cleveland when he led the group to the postseason in 2020, their first journey to the playoffs in 18 seasons. During his time in the 216, he by no means appeared to have stable footing after working with 4 head coaches in 4 seasons.
While he denied studies saying he needed to ‘f*** [Cleveland] up’, it is clear that he feels the group let him down. He has the likelihood to vindicate himself at his new dwelling for the first time on Sunday.
A enjoyable QB battle is on the playing cards between KC’s Patrick Mahomes (L) & Arizona’s Kyler Murray
Game 3: Kansas City Chiefs @ Arizona Cardinals
- Sunday at 4:25 ET (CBS) / State Farm Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Patrick Mahomes will likely be with out his high goal from final season. Kyler Murray will likely be with out his high goal too. Both are for various causes.
Former Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill was moved to the Dolphins this offseason forward of what could have been a extended contract negotiation. Without Hill, Mahomes may have JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Mecole Hardman as high targets at receiver. On high of that, dependable TE Travis Kelce remains to be an possibility.
Kansas City has lofty expectations this season in a division that is gotten a lot more durable. No one expects them to overlook the playoffs in the event that they keep wholesome, nevertheless it will not be as a lot of a runaway season as it might have been a 12 months in the past.
As for the Cardinals, DeAndre Hopkins has been suspended for six video games attributable to the use of efficiency enhancing medicine.
Trading for Marquise ‘Hollywood’ Brown was good, however issues could look a lot more comfy on paper if he was taking part in second fiddle to Hopkins.
Instead, 34-12 months previous veteran A.J. Green and second-12 months go catcher Rondell Moore will likely be choices 2 & 3, with tight finish Zach Ertz questionable to begin week 1.
With each groups taking part in in robust divisions, any win may show essential come playoff time. But a morale boosting victory similar to this one would possibly imply more than simply one other win in your file.
Bucs QB Tom Brady (L) and Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (R) face off in Week 1 in Dallas
Game 4: Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Dallas Cowboys
- Sunday @ 8:20 (NBC) / AT&T Stadium, Arlington, TX
Buccaneers followers have gone via a rollercoaster of feelings this offseason.
First, they thought they’d be with out a franchise QB when Tom Brady retired. Then, he unretired. Then, head coach Bruce Arians retired, adopted by tight finish Rob Gronkowski.
At the finish of all of it, Brady is again in the saddle below head coach Todd Bowles – Brady’s offensive coordinator final season. He’s with out good buddy and dependable goal Gronkowski, however the Bucs have a adequate receiving corps to win the NFC South.
Meanwhile, Dallas has had a comparatively quiet offseason – with sufficient time to consider the place all of it went mistaken final 12 months.
The season ended because of poor clock administration and a slide from QB Dak Prescott giving the Cowboys lower than sufficient time to snap the ball.
Dallas did not make any large title free company signings, however misplaced Amari Cooper in a commerce to the Browns. Prescott will nonetheless have high targets like Ceedee Lamb and Dalton Schultz to throw to, however shedding Cooper will likely be a blow.
While the Cowboys are anticipated to win the NFC East, they’re going to face a robust problem from Philadelphia and want all the momentum they’ll get. A win over Brady may be a nice begin for that.
Last 12 months’s champs Matt Stafford (L) & the Rams tackle this 12 months’s favorites – Josh Allen’s Bills
Game of the Week: Buffalo Bills @ Los Angeles Rams
- Thursday @ 8:20 (NBC) / SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles
This may very well be the first time – however not the final – we see these two groups take the area in opposition to one another.
Los Angeles noticed its first Super Bowl title since 1983 – when the Raiders performed in LA – as the Rams gained the Big Game at dwelling in opposition to the Bengals.
Even as some items depart (Von Miller, Darious Williams) and some keep in limbo (Odell Beckham Jr.), the Rams are nonetheless the second favorites to elevate the Lombardi Trophy at the finish of the season.
They ought to have a comparatively simpler path to get there as nicely, particularly as the AFC West has made issues more unpredictable and robust in the playoff image.
Despite that, the Bills are nonetheless the betting favourite to win the Super Bowl this 12 months because of a reinvigorated protection that includes gamers like Micah Hyde, Ed Oliver, and the aforementioned Miller.
Offensively, the hopes and desires of Western New York lie on the shoulders of Josh Allen. He has a selection of dependable weapons – and Beckham may be part of them, every time he chooses to type out his future.
Buffalo thinks that is the finest shot they’ve at successful a championship for the first time in its Big 4 professional sports activities historical past. They’ll must show to themselves that they’ll by beginning the season off with a win.