The Super Bowl rematch kicked off week 1 and the 2016 NFL Season, but the main course is the first Sunday of the new season, featuring a Sunday Night Football game between the Arizona Cardinals and a shorthanded New England Patriots team. The Seattle Seahawks open up at home against the Miami Dolphins, and the Dallas Cowboys open their season at home, with a rookie quarterback, in a divisional matchup against the New York Giants.
The Jacksonville Jaguars open the season at home against the Green Bay Packers, with Blake Bortles expected to deliver, and to start winning big games, including against the likes of Aaron Rodgers. Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bills start their year on the road against the Baltimore Ravens. The Ryan brothers are together again, hoping to build on the 8-8 debut season for Rex in Northern New York, against a Ravens team that’s not used to come off a losing season.
The Chicago Bears start John Fox’s second year on the road, playing a Houston Texas team feeling that they have a great shot of doing more than just making the playoffs, as Brock Osweiler opens a season for the first time as a starting quarterback. Meanwhile, an interesting matchup between the Cleveland Browns and the Philadelphia Eagles takes place in Philly, with Robert Griffin III facing Carson Wentz, as two coaches making their HC debuts on each sideline.
The NFC South will have its first division game, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hope that Jameis Winston has a better start this year compared to his NFL debut in 2015, facing the Atlanta Falcons. Meanwhile, Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans will face the Minnesota Vikings, who chose to start Shaun Hill in week 1, while Sam Bradford tries to catch up. The Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets face off in MetLife at the same time.
The two final 1PM games involve AFC West teams: The Oakland Raiders, with plenty of expectations heading into the season, face off against the New Orleans Saints on the road. Meanwhile the San Diego Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs have themselves a divisional game.
The first of the late-afternoon kickoffs will be in Seattle, hosting the Miami Dolphins, hoping their cheap offensive line and new running back approach stays the course of their last four years of success. Just a bit later, the Dallas Cowboys open their season at home against the New York Giants, with Dak Prescott at quarterback and Ezekiel Elliott at running back, but facing a new refurbished defense, as a team favored by many to win the division.
The third of the late afternoon kickoffs will be in Indianapolis, as the Colts, hopefully with a healthy Andrew Luck, try to put last season behind them while hosting the Detroit Lions, who won’t have Calvin Johnson on the team for the first time since 2006. It’s followed by Sunday Night Football, as the New England Patriots, without both Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, will try to get through the difficulties presented to them by Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals.
Monday Night football? The Pittsburgh Steelers opening the year against the Washington Redskins, and the San Francisco 49ers host the Los Angeles Rams.