There are a lot of questions for football fans as teams prepare for the 2020 season.
What will training camps look like? Will the season start on time? Will fans even be allowed in the stadiums? Can Tom Brady or Bill Belichick still win when they’re apart?
Nobody knows right now. But with the NFL 2020 Season Schedule out, these are the top six games our Sports with Balls experts picked you’ll want to look forward to!
WEEK 1: NEW ORLEANS SAINTS vs. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
If you’re looking to see if Bill Belichick can win without Tom Brady, Week One against Miami may be a telling game. If he wins, it’s against Miami and that tells us nothing. If he loses, well, it could be a long season for Patriots fans.
Instead, the real matchup to watch is in N’awlins – with Brady’s Buccaneers going head-to-head against their division rival, the New Orleans Saints. This will be the first NFL game played with quadrenarian starting quarterbacks as Brees (40) and Brady (41) battle it out in the Superdome.
In the last two seasons, the Saints have won three out of the last four matchups, only losing to the Buccaneers in a 48-40 shootout in 2018 – the highest scoring game of the rivalry. Look to see if Brady and Gronk still have it after all these years.
WEEK 3: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS vs. BALTIMORE RAVENS
The reigning Super Bowl Champs will face what is quite possibly their toughest test of the season in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens.
Lamar Jackson may not have a Super Bowl ring like Patrick Mahomes, but both young quarterbacks are guaranteed to put on an offensive show. This game is guaranteed to have a playoff feel to it, even so early in the season.
Look for this showdown to break Monday Night Football records – especially if fans are forced to watch from home!
WEEK 5: PHILADELPHIA EAGLES vs. PITTSBURGH STEELERS
Pennsylvanians’ dream of an all Pennsylvania Super Bowl may never happen – and let’s face it, it’s probably for the better to avoid an all-out war between both teams’ fans
But that’s part of what makes this early season matchup such an exciting game. Currently scheduled for a 1pm kick-off, the battle between these two teams is guaranteed to draw plenty of attention from NFL fans – more-so than the primetime Sunday Night Football matchup of the Vikings Seahawks.
With the Eagles adding some speed at wide receiver during the offseason, this game will provide both quarterbacks time to shine. Look for the Steelers defense (that’s been a longtime work-in-progress) to prove they can still bring the Steel Curtain down.
WEEK 8: NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS vs. BUFFALO BILLS
Alright, alright. We definitely gave Belichick are a hard time about Week 1 starting off against the Miami Dolphins. So the Bills? Really? Here us out.
While the Patriots remain the favorite in the AFC East, the Buffalo Bills think they’ve built a winning team. Their mid-season matchup against the Patriots at New Era Field will be time for the Bills to put up or shut up.
Look to see if either the Bills have any hopes of a double-digit win season or if Belichick can coach a winning team without Brady. Either way, this is a game to watch.
WEEK 9: PITTSBURGH STEELERS vs. DALLAS COWBOYS
“America’s Team” against “Steeler Nation.” Does it get any better than that? These are the only two teams who’ve faced one another three times in the Super Bowl (1976, 1979, and 1996). Anytime two storied franchises like these go head-to-head, it’s worth tuning in.
Both of these teams hope to go deep in their respective playoffs in 2020, after falling short in 2019. But regardless of their records by this point in the season this matchup is sure to be a showdown as two high-powered offenses collide.
Coming off a bye week, analysts are betting against Pittsburgh at this point. Once again, look to see if the Steelers defense can step up when it counts and shut down the Cowboys’ wide receivers.
WEEK 16: MINNESOTA VIKINGS vs. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
What a gift from the NFL – Saints fans get a chance for their team to seek some sweet revenge on the Minnesota Vikings for handing them defeats in two out of the last three postseasons on Christmas Day.
Sports Illustrated’s Conor Orr says, “Regardless of what kind of position both of these teams are in (are you ready for Sean Mannion vs. Jameis Winston!?!?!) this will be worth emerging from an eggnog hangover for.” We’d have to agree. Pour yourself a glass of whiskey and hang on.
Despite the myriad of predictions from your favorite sports sites, one thing analysts across the board agree on – this matchup will be one of the “most intriguing” games to watch this season. Look for Sean Payton to fire his team up as they look for revenge in hopes of securing himself and Brees one more Super Bowl win.
What NFL games are you most looking forward to in 2020?
Leave a comment below to let our Sports with Balls experts know!