The NFL has grown in popularity at an exponential rate the last several years, so much so that even announcing the season schedule has turned into a primetime event! The NFL is king when it comes to TV ratings as they annihilate all the other sports in droves. Since the NFL released its full schedule of games on Wednesday, let’s take a look at the four marquee matchups of Week 1 for when September rolls around (Fox News).
Thursday Night Kickoff: Bucs take on Cowboys
Tom Brady and the defending champion Tampa Bay Bucs will face the Dallas Cowboys in the opening night kickoff on Thursday September 9th. Will the Cowboys new additions on defense be able to slow down Brady and the Bucs juggernaut offense? The Bucs are currently listed as a six point favorite playing at home.
Fox National Game of the Week: Packers visit Saints
The main question all football fans are wondering is: Who will be at QB for Green Bay? Multiple reports have said that Aaron Rodgers wants to be traded, but the Packers front office have adamantly denied that a trade is in the works. It will be intriguing to see how all that drama in cheese land shakes out over the next few months.
On the Saints side, how will they move on with life after the retirement of the legendary Drew Brees? How will former Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston lead this offense and what role will the swiss army knife Taysom Hill play? Even with all these questions, the Saints are listed as a two and a half point favorite at home.
Sunday Night NBC Primetime: Bears vs. Rams
Both of these teams will feature brand new quarterbacks in the Sunday Night finale on NBC. Will rookie Justin Fields be named the Bears starter before Week 1 begins, or will it be veteran Andy Dalton at the helm? The Bears desperately need to play better offensively in 2021.
As for the Rams, how will Matt Stafford start out his new beginning in Los Angeles? Head coach Sean McVay is pleased to have a veteran signal caller at QB with a big time arm! The Rams are at home and oddsmakers make them a full touchdown favorite over Chicago.
Monday Night Football: Ravens @ Raiders
The NFL announced that there would be no Monday Night Football doubleheader this season, so this is the stand alone game. Ravens electric QB Lamar Jackson will be eager to get last season’s early playoff exit out of his mind. Baltimore added some much needed offensive line help in the offseason by bringing in Kevin Zeitler and Alejandro Villaneuva.
The Raiders signed former Ravens wideout Willie Snead IV to help QB Derek Carr and the offense. The silver and black also lured former Ravens defensive end Yannick Ngakoue to Vegas and he should help the defensive line pressure the quarterback. The Raiders are at home and are listed as a four point underdog against the Ravens.