By Cameron Buford, whatsgoodinsports.com
As the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Hockey League (NHL) are all having discussions on when and how to resume play or begin play of their 2020 seasons, the National Football League (NFL) continues to capture the minds of sports fans during their offseason. Having played roughly 75% of their season before shutting their season down due to Coronavirus pandemic, the NBA is trying to devise a safe return to complete the remainder of their season. The NHL has also suspended their season and the MLB has yet to even started their season as a result of this current pandemic.
As the other professional sports leagues try to find a way to keep their fans’ attention, the NFL’s off-season rolls on. Whether it’s NFL Free Agency, the NFL Draft, or now the NFL’s schedule release, they continue to dominate the conversation and discussion around the proverbial water cooler. Upon review of the 2020 NFL schedule, many fans can predict how their teams may finish in the upcoming season, all the while planning trips around their favorite team’s schedule.
In this article, I want to highlight many of the top games of this upcoming season, providing the NFL starts as scheduled, with or without fans in attendance;
– In the initial week of the season, we get to see a couple of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks and new divisional rivals compete for command of the NFC South when the Tom Brady leads the Buccaneers to New Orleans to take on the Saints
– In Week 2, we get to see the most recent #1 Draft pick. Joe Burrow. go up against a former #1 pick in Baker Mayfield. In this game, I’ll be looking to see, how comfortable Joe Burrow is in his new role and if Mayfield can rebound from a subpar sophomore season last year
– In Week 3, NFL fans get to see the last season’s Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes compete against the regular-season MVP in Lamar Jackson. This game should give us a gauge on the progression of the Lamar Jackson vs the leagues Most Valuable Player from a season ago.
– Coming up in Week 4, We get to the originator of the current winning model in the Seattle Seahawks travel to play against the newest team to adopt their model in the Miami Dolphins. Though this should be an easy win for the Seahawks, it would be interesting to see how the Dolphins compete against the team.
– 2 relatively new playoff teams from a season ago will compete in Week 5. This is an intriguing matchup as it would be a matchup of the two hardnose defenses. Though this would likely be a low scoring contest, the defensive strategies inside the game make this an intriguing matchup.
– A key matchup for Week 6 will see the Los Angeles Rams travel north to take on the San Francisco 49ers. This game we will see the two most recent NFC Super Bowl representatives compete with each other, which should make for another great matchup between the Rams and the 49ers.
– Dating back to the early years of the decade, the Pittsburg Steelers vs Baltimore Ravens has been the most competitive, hard-hitting rivalry NFL fans have seen. This will likely be another defensive struggle, though true NFL fans will enjoy this game just as they do some high scoring games.
– Another division rival match-up will highlight Dallas Cowboys vs Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8. Whether it’s Dak or Andy behind center for the Cowboys against Carson Wentz or Jalen Hurts under center for the Eagles… both teams drafted stud receivers and it will be nice to see how these guys have developed nearing the midpoint of the season.
– The Week 9 matchup will see a rematch of the 2020 NFC Championship between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers. It will be intriguing to see the changes the Packers offense has made and if they can overcome the stifling 49ers defense which all but shut them out in their final game of the season.
– In Week 10, the Indianapolis Colts travel to take on the Tennessee Titans in yet another division rivalry. In the offseason, the Colts signed veteran Philip Rivers to be their QB while the Titans bought back their playoffs QB from last season.
This list of NFL games to look forward to is based on the team’s production from last season and a combination of the players the teams signed in free agency along with which players the teams drafted in the most recent draft. Though the NFL had to alter their draft process and mini-camps would typically be about to commence, not much else has been impacted by the NFL offseason. By all accounts NFL games will go on as scheduled; the worst-case scenario is that games would be played with no fans in the stands.
Kindly share your thoughts on which NFL games you would be looking forward to seeing most in this upcoming season, by reaching out to me on Twitter @whatsgoodnsport or forward your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, be sure to subscribe to our weekly “Voice of the Fans Podcast” which is available for you on most podcasting platforms, Apple and Google Podcasts including Spotify, TuneIn, and iHeart Radio. As always, Thank You for making our voice, your choice!