NFL Schedule Week 1: Couch Potato Guide to the 10 Best Games to Watch
NFL football starts tonight, and this promises to be an action-packed season. The only problem is choosing which games to watch.
Sure, we'll all be watching the Vikings take on the Saints tonight, but with 13 games to choose from on Sunday (most of them at one o'clock), we want to know which games are worth watching.
Have no fear! We've compiled a ranking of the 10 Best Games to Watch during Week One, so you'll be sure to see plenty of action and drama during the first NFL weekend.
10. San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs
You'll have to stay up late for this one (it starts at 10:15 PM ET), but it might be worth it.
Star Power: Phillip Rivers is a top-tier quarterback, and he's always fun to watch. It will be interesting to see what he does without L.T. and if Matt Cassel can step it up this season.
Potential Drama: Many (Colin Cowherd included) think that this could be the upset of the first week as an improved Chiefs squad takes on the division leaders.
Playoff Impact: If the Chiefs can show up against the Chargers, it will really mix up the AFC West. With the Chargers weakened, the division could be up for grabs this season.
Predicted Final Score: Chargers 45, Chiefs 17
9. Detroit Lions At the Chicago Bears
If you like shootouts, this game is for you!
Star Power: Has Matthew Stafford worked out his rookie kinks? Last season, he had trouble with accuracy (20 interceptions), but his preseason games have demonstrated that he has greatly improved. And after the Lions' game against the Browns, Ndamukong Suh is on everyone's radar.
Potential Drama: The Bears are favored in this game, but a Lions upset is a definite possibility. Both quarterbacks will need to step up for this game because neither teams' defense will get the job done.
Playoff Impact: These are the lesser teams in the NFC North (with Green Bay and Minnesota at the top), so we really can't expect either team to make much of a playoff run.
Projected Final Score: Lions 31, Bears 24
8. Dallas Cowboys at the Redskins
This will be the only game on Sunday night, and it will be a good one!
Star Power: Tony Romo is a household name, but I'm most interested in seeing who will be his favorite target in this game. Newcomer, Dez Bryant, will battle with other targets (Jason Witten) for yardage, and his cocky attitude set the bar pretty high for this rookie wide receiver.
Potential Drama: Donovan McNabb will start his first regular season game with the Redskins, and his ankle injury could be a problem. McNabb missed some preseason games, and he might not have found his rhythm with a new offense.
Playoff Impact: Dallas is favored at the top of the NFC East, but the Redskins could get in the way of their dream of a hometown Super Bowl.
Predicted Score: Final Score: Cowboys 24, Redskins 17
7. Oakland Raiders at the Tennessee Titans
Raider Nation thinks this is their year, and we'll find out at one o'clock on Sunday.
Star Power: Chris Johnson. Enough said.
Potential Drama: With a new quarterback and the rest of the team seemingly much improved from last season, the Raiders could pull off an upset over the Titans.
Playoff Impact: Even with Chris Johnson, both Tennessee and Oakland have their work cut out for them in their divisions. A win for either team will give a great boost toward the top of the AFC.
Predicted Final Score: Final Score: Raiders 35, Titans 31
6. Atlanta Falcons at the Pittsburgh Steelers
This will be the game I will be watching at one o'clock on Sunday.
Star Power: People like Matt Ryan, but I want to see how he will perform against a strong Steelers defense. Troy Polamalu is healthy, and he is the most exciting player to watch on the Pittsburgh defense.
Potential Drama: All eyes are on Dennis Dixon for the first four games of the season as he fills in for Ben Roethlisberger as the Steelers' starting quarterback. This could be very good or very bad for Pittsburgh, but Dixon has enough options and some tricky footwork that will help him out during this game.
Playoff Impact: Many think that the Falcons will make it into the playoffs as a wild card, and the AFC North is looking more competitive by the second. Pittsburgh needs a win here.
Predicted Final Score: Falcons 10, Steelers 20
5. Green Bay Packers at the Philadelphia Eagles
This is the only 4:15 PM game worth watching on Sunday.
Star Power: Aaron Rodgers is an excellent quarterback, and it will be interesting to see if he can keep the Packers at the top of the offenses in the NFL.
Potential Drama: With the departure of Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb is the new leader of the Eagles. He will need to find his rhythm with this squad.
Playoff Impact: Philly will compete with Dallas, Washington, and a pretty good-looking New York Giants to top the NFC East, so this is a big game for them. Green Bay is looking pretty comfortable with their only real competition in the NFC North being the Vikings.
Predicted Final Score: Packers 41, Eagles 35
4. Cincinnati Bengals at the New England Patriots
Tom Brady walked away from his car accident, and he's ready to play for the Pats.
Star Power: Tom Brady has publicly defended Randy Moss off the field, and these two have some serious chemistry on the field. Look for Moss to prove to the Patriots that he wants to stick around past this season.
Potential Drama: Drama is just about guaranteed when you're talking about the Bengals, and Chad Ochocinco an T.O. will be able to demonstrate their creativity with some interesting celebrations.
Playoff Impact: This game is huge for both teams, and the Bengals will be looking to top the AFC North again this season. New England is probably tired of hearing about the Jets, and a win here will put the Pats back into playoff discussion.
Predicted Final Score: Bengals 21, Patriots 31
3. Minnesota Vikings at the New Orleans Saints
This game is huge. And they play tonight!
Star Power: This game is a battle between two star quarterbacks in Brett Favre and Drew Brees, and Favre will be looking to settle the score with the Saints.
Potential Drama: The Vikings are hurting on offense with the absence of Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin's migraines. And Brett Favre's ankle could also be an issue.
Playoff Impact: The Saints won't have much trouble staying at the top of their division, but a win here will boost the Vikings enough to compete with Green Bay.
Predicted Final Score: Vikings 10, Saints 24
2. Indianapolis Colts at the Houston Texans
This will be a definite offensive battle.
Star Power: Two words: Peyton Manning. He is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL, and Manning is always exciting to watch.
Potential Drama: The Texans are coming off a winning season, and they will need to start this one off right with a win at home. I'm predicting an upset here.
Playoff Impact: These two teams are the top contenders for the AFC South, so a win for either team will up their chances for the playoffs. The Colts are annual favorites, but keep your eye on those Houston Texans.
Predicted Final Score: Colts 31, Texans 38
1. The Baltimore Ravens at the New York Jets
Everyone is getting a little sick of hearing about the Jets.
Star Power: The nation got to see the Jets' training camp play out on HBO, and now we'll get to see these TV stars actually play some football. Joe Flacco is making a name for himself with the Ravens, and this will be the season where he reaches the next level.
Potential Drama: With everyone talking about the Jets, it's hard not to think they're a bit overrated. Both teams are killer on defense, so it will be up to their quarterbacks to put up some points. Flacco versus Sanchez? I'll take Flacco.
Playoff Impact: Both teams will be at the top of their divisions, but this is a tough start to the season. A win for either team will send the message (to the Bengals and Patriots) that these teams mean business.
Predicted Final Score: Ravens 10, Jets 6