NFL: 5 Regular Season Games That Are Playoff Previews

Aidan MackieSenior Analyst IAugust 18, 2011

NFL: 5 Regular Season Games That Are Playoff Previews

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    The 2011 NFL season is just weeks away, and fans are gearing up for one of the most exciting seasons ever. Teams have begun to separate themselves from the rest of the competition, whether it is from a talented and young roster to a successful free agency. Many teams that meet in the regular season will meet again when the playoffs roll around, and these games are some of the most exciting of the year.

    Here are the five regular season games that will surely be repeated in the playoffs. 

Week 1: New Orleans Saints vs. Green Bay Packers

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    The last two Super Bowl champions will kick off the 2011 regular season with a bang, as they meet in Lambeau for a classic battle.

    Led by two of the elite quarterbacks in football and the last two Super Bowl MVPs—Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers—the franchises possess two of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. The two NFC powerhouses are the class of their division, and they should play one of the greatest regular season games in recent memory. The two organizations will likely each have fantastic seasons, and they could easily meet again in the NFC Championship Game. 

Week 2: San Diego Chargers vs. New England Patriots

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    Two of the NFL's perennial powerhouses will meet in Week 2 at Gillette Stadium. The Chargers and the Patriots are two of the most potent offenses in all of football, led by their All-Pro quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Philip Rivers.

    This game will feature offensive talents such as Antonio Gates, Vincent Jackson, Ryan Mathews, Wes Welker and Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis. A rematch of the 2008 AFC Championship Game, the battle between San Diego and New England is sure to be a high-scoring and highly entertaining one. These two teams will likely finish at the top of their respective divisions and will meet again in the first or second round of the AFC playoffs. 

Week 2: Atlanta Falcons vs. Philadelphia Eagles

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    The Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles will meet in a likely playoff preview in Week 2 of the NFL season. The two franchises are fresh off terrific free agency periods, as the Falcons addressed their biggest issue—pass rush—by acquiring star defensive end Ray Edwards. The Eagles built a "Dream Team," as they signed stars Nnamdi Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins, Jason Babin and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie—among others—to long-term contracts. Both organizations possess elite quarterbacks, a tough-nosed ground game and fantastic receiving corps. This highly-anticipated battle will likely be a nail biter, and will probably be one of the best games of the 2011 NFL season. The two could meet again in the postseason, giving NFL fans another spectacular game. 

Week 4: Baltimore Ravens vs. New York Jets

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    Two of the game's most feared defenses will meet in an epic battle in Week 4.

    The Ravens and Jets have emerged onto the scene as the NFL's newest powerhouses, as the two franchises have built two of the most talented rosters in all of football. Both teams are led by young and developing quarterbacks, a dominating running game and stingy defenses.

    Baltimore spoilt the Jets New Meadowlands opener last season, and ex-Ravens defensive coordinator Rex Ryan and Gang Green will be looking for revenge. Ex-Ravens great Derrick Mason will face his former team for the first time, and the game will be one of the most entertaining of the NFL season.

    This hard-hitting battle will likely be a preview of the 2011 NFL postseason, as these two great teams will likely meet again, in a game that have more than just revenge on the line. 

Week 1,9: Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    The Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers have formed one of the NFL's greatest rivalries in the last decade. Both franchises are known for their feared and hard-hitting defensive units, and the games played between the two AFC North rivals are some of the most entertaining of the NFL season year-in and year-out.

    The battles between the two powerhouses are always low-scoring affairs, and injuries are the norm. The franchises have met twice in the last three years in the AFC playoffs, and they are likely to see each other again in the playoffs this season as well. One of them will likely secure the division and the other the wild card, and they could meet in the first round and give NFL fans one of the most intense postseason games in recent years.