Baltimore Ravens vs Denver Broncos – I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of Thursday Night Football. I think it’s an obvious marketing ploy. But it’s hard to deny the star power of watching the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos go at it in the season opener. With visions of the blown coverage that probably cost Peyton Manning another shot at a Super Bowl weighing heavily in the room this matchup is going to be packed full of the kind of venom that makes NFL football really popular.
New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons – One of the better rivalries in the NFL kicks off the season for two teams with plenty to prove. The Saints are hell bent on turning things around after a disappointing 2012 that saw virtually no defense and the absence of Sean Payton. For the Falcons, who have now gotten the playoff bug off of their shoulders, the march to validation begins in New Orleans against a team that has had their number in the past.
Green Bay Packers vs San Francisco 49ers – The Niners are Super Bowl favorites and they get a tough game to start their schedule. Avoiding the Super Bowl slump and keeping pace with the Seattle Seahawks are the key goals for San Francisco. The Packers meanwhile, are in the throes of change and relying ever more heavily on Aaron Rodgers and a potent offense. Some say that Green Bay is going to struggle in 2013. We’ll see what happens as they go up against one of the best teams in the NFL.
Philadelphia Eagles vs Washington Redskins – (Monday Night) – The big question of course is whether the Redskins will put RG3 on the field. If they do then the odds tilt in their favor. The Eagles, for all the hoopla surrounding the new regime, are completely untested in running the Chip Kelly offense against anything but a vanilla NFL defense. Now it gets real.