It’s almost here! The NFL will kick off their 100th season next Thursday, Sept. 5th, when the Packers travel to face the Bears. There are a lot of stars in new places and teams on the rise. Week one features a lot of good games that you wouldn’t want to miss. It’s hard to pick the top five NFL week one match-ups but here they are.
Top Five NFL Week One Match-Ups
Texans at Saints
The New Orleans Saints will host the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football. This is a very interesting week one match-up. With Andrew Luck retiring from football, the Texans are the big pick to win the AFC South.
The Saints are coming off of a 13-3 season and were just one game away from the super bowl. Drew Brees was in contention for the MVP until about the last few weeks, but this offense was unstoppable. Throwing to Michael Thomas helps a lot and having Alvin Kamara run is a great option as well. This offense should be good again but the Texans defense will look to make a stand.
The Texans’ defense has been one of the best overall in the past few seasons. They might take a hit with Jadeveon Clowney sitting out but they still have J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus on the defensive line. That defense will still give the Saints a challenge.
As for the offense, it isn’t that bad either. Deshaun Watson will look to grow his name and lead this team. He has arguably the best receiver in the league in DeAndre Hopkins and he is getting back Will Fuller which is huge. They lost their number one running back Lamar Miller to a torn ACL but the trade for Duke Johnson seems more like a smart move now. They have a hole in the offensive line but with Watson’s mobility, he can escape the rush a few times.
This game will be a good one.
Falcons at Vikings
The Falcons have all the pieces on offense to win. Matt Ryan has some great players to throw to like wide receivers Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, Mohamed Sanu, and tight end Austin Hooper. Not to mention they have a great running back in Devonta Freeman who is a powerhouse. If that defense can stay healthy then they will be a sneaky good team. It will be a huge test to the Vikings defense who once was the best a couple of years ago. Everyone is wondering if that defense can get back to what it was. If it does, many have them as a dangerous team.
One question though is the Vikings offense. But it’s not the receivers or running backs, it’s the quarterback. They paid Kirk Cousins big money to perform and take this team over the top and he hasn’t. He is very inconsistent and can’t perform in the spotlight. If he can get it together then this team will be dangerous. The Falcons defense will try to contain receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. It will also be interesting to see how what Dalvin Cook can do against that defensive line.
Rams at Panthers
It will be the Los Angeles Rams traveling to face the Carolina Panthers. We might already know what the Rams will be but we can’t say the same for the Panthers. Cam Newton is dealing with some injuries right now and if he can’t play his type of game or is limited then that’s a problem. Can they get by without Newton? Well, they have the pieces both on offense and defense. They have running back Christian McCaffrey, who is one of the most explosive running backs in the league. They have a great tight end in Greg Olsen and have a young talented receiver in D.J. Moore and they picked up former Patriots receiver Chris Hogan who has the experience. They have a good defense led by Luke Kuechly and they recently picked up defensive tackle Gerold McCoy.
Will it be enough to stop this Rams offense? The Rams offense was great last season and some of that was without Cooper Kupp, who is now going to return from an injury. The defense has a lot of good players, and throw in defensive coordinator Wade Phillips as a weapon also. It will be tough for the Panthers to stop them but this match-up will teach us a lot about both teams.
Steelers vs Patriots
This has always been a great match-up and we get to see it week one on Sunday Night Football for NFL week one. This match-up will be a little different in years past. The New England Patriots Patriots will be without Rob Gronkowski due to retirement and the Pittsburgh Steelers will be without Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell as they both have moved on. This will still be a great match-up with Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady under center for each of their teams. The Steelers’ new leader of the wide receiver group is JuJu Smith-Schuster and in the running back group, it’s James Connor. Both young talented guys ready to lead the new-look Steelers and be the future of this team.
The NFL reinstated Josh Gordon so Brady will have another weapon. The Patriots added tight ends Ben Watson and Lance Kendricks to replace Gronk. The defenses for both will look almost similar. We will see if the Steelers are the same after the loss of Brown and Bell.
Packers vs Bears
The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears will face off in Chicago to start the 100th season in NFL week one. The Packers had a bad season last year and look to rebound. The Bears look to duplicate their season from a year ago. Aaron Rodgers has had career success going to Chicago but the Bears say it’s different. The Bears defense was one of the best if not the best a year ago led by Khalil Mack. They lost defensive coordinator Vic Fangio but bring in Chuck Pagano as his replacement. The offense looked different with now second-year head coach Matt Nagy. One question people have is if Mitchell Trubisky can evolve to the offense. The biggest question though is not the offense or defense—it’s the kicking position. After releasing Cody Parkey last year after missing the game-winning field goal against the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Wild Card game, they have a huge hole. They need a reliable kicker to make kicks when it matters.
The Packers on the other hand are very interesting. They hired new head coach Matt Lafleur who was a former offensive coordinator so he knows how to run an offense. Rodgers has a huge chip on his shoulder after reporters and fans doubt him coming into the season. They have Davante Adams and then after that, it’s a lot of young guys. They are talented and Rodgers is very fond of them. The Packers are very hopeful of a breakout year from Aaron Jones. The defense got some more pieces after drafting Darnell Savage Jr and signing free agents, Za’Darius Smith, Preston Smith, and Adrian Amos. Many think the defense will improve a lot and maybe even be the top ten. This is a very great match up to start the 2019 season.
Other Notable Games
- New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
- Indianapolis Colts at Los Angeles Chargers
- Kansas City Chiefs at Jacksonville Jaguars
- Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles
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