What NFL fans have been waiting for since last February is finally upon the horizon.
The smell of burgers and franks hitting the grill and the taste of a Sunday afternoon rocky mountain cold brew is quickly becoming reality as the 2011 NFL Football season is less then a month away.
It's time to rank the top five prime time match ups of the 2011 seasons that you don't wanna miss. From games featuring last years champions the Green Bay Packers, to bitter rivalry matchups, to games that simply have too many story lines to miss, these five showdowns are sure to be must watch TV.
Pittsburgh Steers vs. Baltimore Ravens. Enough said.
Actually I'm going to say more, but even if you don't like either team there's no way football fans won't be excited for this one.
It wasn't long ago that the Steelers got the best of the Ravens off of a 58 yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to rookie Antonio Brown to advance the Steelers' to the AFC Title game and send Baltimore packing.
If there will be any game that will even come close to—or be even more hard-hitting than the New York Jets vs. the Baltimore Ravens—this is it.
Oh yeah, these two divisional rivals aren't too fond of one another either.
What's not to like about this one?
Last time these teams played was all the way back in 2008, where the Saint's dismantled the Packers 61-29. This matchup will undoubtedly be closer and should also be a high-scoring affair. I wouldn't be surprised if both teams scored 35 points or more, even with both teams' solid defenses.
Drew Brees vs. Aaron Rodgers? Bring it on.
Not only will Michael Vick be facing his old team in Atlanta, but both of these teams both have Superbowl potential.
Just look at their talent on the offensive side of the ball:
Atlanta Falcons—Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White and Julio Jones.
Philadelphia Eagles—Mike Vick, Desaun Jackson, LeShaun McCoy and Jeremy Maclin.
The Eagles won last seasons' meeting 31-17 and with the additions of corner back Nnamdi Asomugha and defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins the Eagles will be even tougher this year.
This is an early game (week two), but it will be a good barometer to see how both teams stack up in the NFC.
If you're a fan of hard hitters then this one is for you.
The Ravens bested the Jets last season 10-9, holding the Jets' offense to just six first downs.
This year's matchup should be more of the same, a low scoring game where the first down chain gang won't be running up and down the field too much.
Regardless of the new NFL rules aimed at minimizing games that focus on hard-hitting, this one will be a good old school Sunday night brawl that will satisfy the real NFL fans.
Rex Ryan vs. Bill Bellichek.
Doesn't get much better than that as far as NFL coaching battles go. As for the teams, well they don't really like one another either.
Last season the Patriots embarrassed the Jets on both sides of the ball in their first meeting—scoring 45 points and holding the Jets to a measly three points on offense. The second meeting proved to be a tale of two tapes, as the Jets' prevailed 28-21 in the AFC divisional playoffs.
This year both teams have added a past pro-bowl receiver through free agency, with the Jets' acquiring Plaxico Burress and the Patriots grabbing Chad Ocho-Cinco.
This Sunday night matchup is sure to be one of the more hyped games of the year, likely giving the winner a key lead in what should be a two-headed race for the AFC East.