The NFL Schedule was released on Tuesday to much fanfare, but the week one prime time match ups are a lot of bark with very little bite. Sure, there are big names highlighting the four games, but these teams have as many questions as they do answers. This includes the NFL Kickoff game between Pittsburgh and last year’s Super Bowl Champs, New England.
The Patriots are looking to defend the title in what the fans deemed the “Greatest Game Ever Played.” Unfortunately, their opponents, the Steelers, have enough questions on defense that fans could see the game get lopsided early. Longtime Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau is gone. Future Hall-of-Famer and team inspiration Troy Polamalu is gone. Those two guys can’t be replaced. Add in the departure of Jason Worilds, Ike Taylor, and Brice McCain, and the Steelers are facing one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game with a defense that has had little to no playing time together.
The other NFL schedule prime time games include the New York Giants at the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and two Monday Night games: the Philadelphia Eagles at the Atlanta Falcons and the Minnesota Vikings at the San Francisco 49ers. All six teams have issues that could derail their seasons. There is a possibility that over half of these teams will not even be in the playoffs at the end of the year.
The New York Giants are coming off of a very disappointing season. The Dallas Cowboys have lost their top offensive producer, DeMarco Murray. His replacement is Darren McFadden, whose star has fallen if it ever really shined. Dez Bryant hasn’t got the long-term deal he was wanting. That guy’s a headcase when under normal circumstances. He could be a regular powder keg if something is not taken care of soon. The only reason the NFL put this game here is for the rivalry.
The Philadelphia Eagles did manage to pick up Murray, which was a coup, but to say they are undecided at quarterback is an understatement. They currently have five – that’s right, five – quaterbacks in camp. They picked up Sam Bradford, which is so far away from fitting into a Chip Kelly offense it isn’t even funny. You have to be able to actually move to run his offense. Tim Tebow and the circus he brings have just about every one scratching there heads. The saving grace in Week One for them is they are playing a Falcon team that has been just down right awful for the last two years.
The final game on the NFL Schedule in Week One is the Minnesota Vikings and the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are looking no better than the third best team in their division, and Minnesota is Minnesota. The offense without Peterson will have a tough time thriving, even with the addition of Mike Wallace. It is a safe bet the Vikings are holding their breath hoping the NFL will reinstate their franchise running back.
One would be remiss not to mention one of the most interesting games on the NFL schedule to some in week one. The Tennessee Titans are at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The teams with the number one and number two picks in the draft will face off the first game of the year. Could we see a Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota rematch? Do we really even care? Remember, to get the first and second pick, you have to be the two worst teams in the NFL.
What do you think? Are these observations of the NFL schedule for week one completely off base, or do you think the NFL may have missed the mark on these games as well? Let us know below.
[Photo by David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports]