It’s about that time again, as it happens every May. The NFL schedule for the next season is upon us and here are three special moments.
One, Marshall native Trey Lance and the 49ers will be traveling to US Bank Stadium for the Vikings’ second preseason game.
Two, I’ll be going to my first regular season Minnesota Vikings game since the move here.
Lastly, the predictions of winners and where the party is going to be at on Sundays can start now.
Going through the league schedule there are a few matchups that jump out. For starters, the Minnesota Vikings host the Green Bay Packers on Week 1. These two teams split the two meetings last season, each winning at home.
Also, with Davante Adams now with Las Vegas and Za’Darius Smith also leaving the Packers to play for the Vikings, Minnesota has an outstanding chance to grab the division title this season. This should be a good game and I’m excited to say I’ll be in attendance.
Then there is the Week 4 rematch of the 2021 Super Bowl with the Kansas City Chiefs heading to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers in primetime. With both teams losing in the playoffs last year, both teams are going to want to make a statement that game.
Week 6 has a rematch of the AFC divisional playoffs, with the Buffalo Bills traveling to Kansas City to face the Chiefs. This will be the third time in two years that Buffalo will face the Chiefs in Kansas City, fresh off the painful memory of losing in overtime.
Week 9 brings another rematch of playoff teams with the defending champion Los Angeles Rams heading to Tampa to face the Bucs. Clearly everyone thought this was Tom Brady’s last game — he did too for about 40 days. Once again, Brady faces a Rams team that has defeated the Bucs in the last three games.
Week 13 is, in my opinion, the start of a new rivalry. It is a battle between the last two AFC conference champions and a rematch of the AFC championship, with the Kansas City Chiefs heading to Cincinnati to face the Bengals. The Bengals are looking to win the Super Bowl this year after just falling short of that feat last year. The last two times these two teams faced each other, the Bengals came out victorious.
The last two matchups that I deem marquee and must watch are both Monday Night Football games. In Week 15, Christmas week, it will be the Rams visiting Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. These teams met two years ago in the playoffs and last season as well. Both contests were played in Green Bay and the Packers won both. The day after New Year’s will be also the Monday Night Football final, as the reigning AFC champion Bengals will travel to Buffalo to face the Bills. Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen is trying to break through to be the next AFC team to represent the conference in the Super Bowl.
These are must see TV games.
As always, the NFL does an incredible job of putting together great games for fans each season. There are many games that will be terrific that I left out or could be instant classics that we never even considered. However, these playoff rematch games are something to behold because of the history between the opponents.
Let’s embrace another wonderful season of NFL football.
— Chris Drummond is a sports
reporter for the Marshall Independent.
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