It’s official, I’m losing my mind. No Game of Thrones. No Walking Dead. NBA Free Agency is done with and Olympic Basketball has yet to start. 4th of July has passed with the next major holiday in no plain sight. Not even Hollywood can save us yet (Star Trek July 22nd Release). There’s nothing to do, well unless you’re into catching Pokemon.
But hey, it’s never too early to start talking football. Between the rivalries, spectacular catches, Hail Marys (Rodgers!!!!), and everything else that makes football great, it can’t come soon enough. Anyway, let’s start the football talk by breaking down the best of the schedule.
NFL’s Most Interesting 2016 Games
15) Week 6: Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders (Sunday, October 16th at 4:05pm ET on CBS)
This year’s wide-open division race title goes to the AFC West. Do you really feel good taking Andy Reid and the Chiefs for the crown? Let’s walk through this:
Fact: The Broncos aren’t much better (or any) with Mark Sanchez as their starting quarterback.
Fact: It isn’t likely the Broncos defense will be historic again especially after losing some of their key starters – making them a likely regression team.
Fact: San Diego’s Over/Under win total starts at 5.
Fact: The Raiders have 9 honest winnable games on their schedule: Titans, Saints, Falcons, Titans, Chargers, Jaguars, Bucs, Bills, Chargers.
Which makes this early match-up so interesting. For the upstart Raiders to win the division they’ll have to overcome the Chiefs (face them twice during the season). So basically the Raiders have to beat a so-so Chiefs team that plays good defense and runs the ball well, but can’t pass… W I D E – O P E N D I V I S I O N.
14) Week 16: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers (Sunday, December 25th at 4:30pm ET on NFL Network)
Nothing oozes pure football more than Ravens/Steelers bad blood, cold weather, and a possible last playoff spot on the line (which is highly likely with Cincinnati securing the division title). Let’s go ahead and toss in Christmas Day to spice up this simmering rivalry.
One last thing before moving on, can someone explain to me why this game isn’t on national television?
13) Week 1: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday, September 11th at 4:25pm ET on FOX)
Their last three meetings have been decided by no more than a touchdown, and countless game swinging plays. You have Dwayne Harris‘s touchdown punt return, Romo’s game winning fumble-scoop touchdown pass with seven seconds left, and Romo’s game winning touchdown pass after the famous Odell Beckham Jr. catch. Anything can happen with these two, that’s why the NFL scheduled them again as their season openers.
12) Week 3: Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers (Sunday, September 5th at 1pm ET on FOX)
Defensive battle. The Panthers first real NFC test. Can Cam go back to back for the MVP? Are the Vikings legitimate contenders? Can Teddy Bridgewater throw past twenty yards? Will the Panthers defense be great without Josh Norman? How much does Peterson have left in the tank? Is this a complete offensive stay away for DraftKings users?
11) Week 14: Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers (Sunday, December 11th at 4:25pm ET on FOX)
A re-run of last year’s Packers shocker where Green Bay’s offense struggled mightily, but Rodgers kept capitalizing on every Seahawks mistake. Offsides, free play chuck the ball downfield see what the receiver will get. Last minute defensive substitution not able to get off the field in time, hike the ball chuck the ball down the field.
At some point during this game, my appreciation for Rodgers peaked. Great quarterbacks come and go, but rarely do they reach that mental apex where they’re in complete control of the game. Tom Brady got there. So did Peyton Manning. Rodgers is there now. Andrew Luck most likely will. Maybe even Russell Wilson. Just know that this re-run will be absolutely fun to watch, and will be set to record on my DVR.