It’s that time again, like every May. The NFL schedule for next season is upon us, and here are three special moments.
First, Marshall native Trey Lance and the 49ers travel to US Bank Stadium for the Vikings’ second preseason game.
Second, I’m going to my first Minnesota Vikings regular season game since I moved here.
Last but not least, the predictions of the winners and where the party will take place on Sunday can now begin.
As you go through the league schedule, you’ll notice a few matchups. First off, the Minnesota Vikings host the Green Bay Packers in Week 1. These two teams shared the two encounters last season, each winning at home.
Also, with Davante Adams now leaving the Packers with Las Vegas and Za’Darius Smith to play for the Vikings, Minnesota has an excellent shot at winning the division title this season. It should be a good game and I’m happy to say I’ll be there.
Then there’s the rematch in Week 4 of the 2021 Super Bowl, with the Kansas City Chiefs traveling to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers in primetime. Since both teams lost in the playoffs last year, both teams will want to make a statement in this game.
Week 6 sees a repeat of the AFC Divisional Playoffs with the Buffalo Bills traveling to Kansas City to play the Chiefs. This is the third time in two years that Buffalo has faced the Chiefs in Kansas City, fresh from the painful memory of the overtime loss.
Week 9 brings another playoff team rematch with the defending champion Los Angeles Rams traveling to Tampa to face the Bucs. Apparently everyone thought this was Tom Brady’s last game – he did for about 40 days. Once again, Brady faces a Rams team who have beaten the Bucs in their last three games.
Week 13 is the start of a new rivalry in my opinion. It’s a battle between the last two AFC conference champions and an AFC championship rematch, with the Kansas City Chiefs traveling to Cincinnati to face the Bengals. The Bengals are aiming to win the Super Bowl this year after narrowly missing that feat last year. The last two times these two teams have faced each other, the Bengals have emerged victorious.
The last two matchups that I consider celebratory to watch are both Monday Night Football games. In week 15, Christmas week, the Rams visit Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. These teams met in the playoffs two years ago and also last season. Both contests were played in Green Bay and the Packers won both. The Monday Night Football Final also takes place the day after the New Year, as reigning AFC champions Bengals travel to Buffalo to face the Bills. Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen is attempting 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 putting together great games for fans every season. There are many games that will be great that I left out, or that could be instant classics that we never considered. However, these playoff rematch games are something to watch because of the history between the opponents.
Let’s welcome another wonderful season of NFL football.
— Chris Drummond is a sport
Reporter for the Marshall Independent.
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