2011 NFL Season: 5 Matchups That Will Entice Viewers
Now that the NFL has returned to normalcy, our collective sights are now set on the actual game of football.
Fantasy drafts are buzzing with activity, training camps are filled with fans with high expectations.
What's missing in all of this is a look ahead to the NFL schedule to see what games are the marquee matchups of the week.
Here are the key matchups of the 2011 NFL season, starting with week one.
Week One: Steelers at Ravens
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Games between these two AFC North rivals always guarantee to provide entertaining, good old-fashioned, smash-mouth football.
Week Two: Eagles at Falcons
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Vick has played in Atlanta before as a member of the Philadelphia Eagles, but this will be the first time as the starting quarterback.
In 2009, his return was met with warm applause from his former home crowd.
However, now that Vick is the starter and not the novelty act he was in the Wildcat in 2009, will the crowd react differently?
Week Four: Jets at Ravens
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In this Sunday Night matchup, two young quarterbacks with a lot to prove face off in Baltimore.
There is no finer way to work towards that level than to execute against the vaunted Baltimore Ravens' defense.
Ravens' quarterback Joe Flacco, who is entering his fourth year, needs to prove that he is not just an above-average quarterback.
Flacco has taken the Ravens to the playoffs each of the three seasons he has been in the league, including the AFC championship in his rookie season.
Both young quarterbacks could go a long way towards cementing their identities in this week four matchup.
Week Eight: Cowboys at Eagles
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Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator recently laid down the gauntlet in response to the attention the Philadelphia Eagles have received.
In week eight, Ryan's defense will have its first chance to back up his talk against the Eagles in Philadelphia.
However, can the Cowboys rise to the occasion and stop the high-flying Philadelphia offense?
Will quarterback Tony Romo be able to be successful against Philly's secondary?
Week Sixteen: Falcons at Saints
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In week 16, with the NFC South division crown possibly on the line, the Falcons travel to New Orleans to take on the Saints.
Expect an aerial attack at the SuperDome with the winner likely taking the division and possibly a first-round bye in the playoffs.