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The must-watch video games on the NFL schedule? We decide one for all 32 groups

The NFL schedules are out and predictions are being made about how each crew will end the 2023 season. We requested The Athletic’s NFL beat writers for his or her must-watch recreation on the schedule for the groups they cowl. As you may think, the Super Bowl-champion Kansas City Chiefs confirmed up usually, as did the final season’s NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles

By this level, we’ll know so much about Jonathan Gannon’s first season. How lengthy it took for Kyler Murray to return from ACL surgical procedure. If Budda Baker, who lately requested for a commerce, is pleased. Maybe even the place Arizona, which has Houston’s 2024 first-round decide in addition to its personal, would possibly stand within the upcoming draft. But this recreation nonetheless shall be large merely due to Gannon’s return to Philly. Eagles followers weren’t thrilled along with his efficiency as defensive coordinator in final season’s Super Bowl loss to Kansas City. And they’re not precisely a forgiving bunch. — Doug Haller

Coach Arthur Smith reduce his tooth underneath Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel and thinks a lot of the Vrabel household that one in every of Mike’s sons, offensive lineman Tyler Vrabel, is on Atlanta’s 90-man roster. Don’t anticipate this recreation to be flexed into any of the weekend’s premium time slots, however individuals who like bodily soccer will need to tune in, if for no different motive than it’d set the season document for essentially the most mixed speeding makes an attempt in a recreation. — Josh Kendall


Ranking the NFL schedule release videos from 1 to 32: Broadway hit for Nashville

Rather a lot can occur between now and late December, however the 49ers are seen as one of many high groups within the NFL. It would shock nobody if they’re competing for the highest seed within the NFC. These two groups satisfaction themselves on enjoying with physicality on each side of the ball. They prefer to run it and get after the quarterback. It ought to make for an intriguing and hard-hitting recreation. That it is going to be performed on Christmas evening looks like a present for old-school soccer followers. — Jeff Zrebiec

The Bills have achieved an excellent job the final two years within the common season of enjoying the Chiefs effectively sufficient to win. But there are two causes that is the perpetual and supreme barometer for the Bills. First, the Chiefs are the defending champions, and second, the Bills have but to get farther than the Chiefs in a single postseason since coach Sean McDermott arrived in 2017. And in two of these postseasons, the Chiefs eradicated the Bills. With extra offensive firepower in 2023, the Bills hope to make it three straight regular-season wins in Kansas City. — Joe Buscaglia

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Josh Allen threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns in opposition to within the Bills’ win over the Chiefs final season in Kansas City. (Jay Biggerstaff / USA Today)

Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud have been the very best quarterbacks of their age group for the reason that two California children began attending the identical elite camps in center college. Their pleasant rivalry continued via the primary evening of the draft in Kansas City, the place they shared an extended embrace after going 1 and a couple of. They’ll be related all through their NFL careers. But they received’t play one another a lot in several conferences, one more reason making this a can’t-miss recreation. — Joe Person

The Bears shall be large underdogs on this recreation in opposition to the defending Super Bowl champs, nevertheless it’s a unbelievable take a look at to see how far they should go. There shall be storylines aplenty within the crew’s first journey to Okay.C. since 2015 — Patrick Mahomes in opposition to one of many groups that handed on him in 2017, Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy in opposition to the crew that fired him and Bears GM Ryan Poles returns to the place he known as residence for over a decade. — Kevin Fishbain



Bears 2023 schedule watchability rankings: Rating the games 1-17 for intrigue, storylines

Can this be something aside from Bengals-Chiefs on New Year’s Eve? Look, promote the significance of each recreation on the schedule all you need and there are a selection of prime-time, A-list opponents on the slate. But this can be a rematch of the final two AFC Championship video games, the fifth assembly between Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow, the primary 4 every determined by three factors, coming in Week 17 with playoff stakes virtually definitely hanging within the stability as an appetizer earlier than everybody eats a pleasant meal and drinks till midnight. Yeah, 10 of 10, highest score conceivable. — Paul Dehner Jr.

Cleveland Browns: Week 4 vs. Ravens; Week 10 at Ravens

In the rugged AFC North, measuring-stick video games are everywhere in the schedule. All 4 groups have rosters ok to assume they’ll win the division if issues go their approach, and all 4 view themselves as playoff contenders. The Ravens are distinctive offensively due to Lamar Jackson, and the addition of Odell Beckham Jr. provides sizzle to their cross recreation and to their early October journey to Cleveland. Winning one division highway recreation would mark progress; incomes a season sweep of anybody, however particularly the Ravens, would in all probability mark the Browns as a real playoff contender. — Zac Jackson

Dallas Cowboys: Week 9 at Eagles; Week 14 vs. Eagles

These two matchups might be what decides the NFC East champion. The Eagles at the moment have the crown, however no crew has received it consecutive years since 2005. These have been two of the highest three groups within the NFC final yr. When the Cowboys misplaced at Philadelphia, Dak Prescott didn’t play. When the Eagles misplaced at Dallas, Jalen Hurts didn’t play. As lengthy as each groups keep comparatively wholesome, these video games ought to be heavyweight matchups. And nobody ought to be shocked if a 3rd recreation occurs in January. — Jon Machota



The NFL’s big first impression, and 11 more media thoughts on the 2023 schedule

Sean Payton has inherited a Broncos crew that hasn’t crushed the Chiefs since 2015, a string of 13 straight losses. Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes has by no means misplaced to the Broncos since getting into the league in 2017, and the two-time MVP who now owns two Super Bowl rings has by no means misplaced an AFC West highway recreation in his profession. But the torturous streak has to finish sooner or later, proper? A protracted-awaited victory in opposition to the Chiefs, significantly at Arrowhead, would go a good distance towards snapping Denver’s different ignominious streak: six consecutive seasons with a dropping document. — Nick Kosmider

Lions-Chiefs will open the 2023 NFL season on “Thursday Night Football.” That alone is certain to draw loads of eyes. The Chiefs will increase one other Super Bowl banner because the Lions look to boost expectations for what this franchise is able to. Winning, nonetheless, shall be no small activity for Detroit. The Chiefs are an ideal 8-0 of their final eight season openers, profitable by a mean margin of 12.4 factors. To get it achieved, QB Jared Goff and the offense will doubtless need to go toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes. — Colton Pouncy

It’s “Monday Night Football” in Las Vegas — that’s must-watch materials already. Add within the ingredient of Davante Adams going through his longtime former crew for the primary time and this recreation turns into much more engaging. Adams performed eight seasons for the Packers, rising from beleaguered teen scuffling with drops to the NFL’s finest extensive receiver earlier than they traded him to the Raiders in March 2022. Packers All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander had many a coaching camp battle with Adams, and we must always get the deal with of some extra in prime time in Sin City. — Matt Schneidman

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In his first season with the Raiders, Davante Adams caught 100 passes for 1,516 yards and 14 TDs. (Kirby Lee / USA Today)

Houston Texans: vs. Colts, Week 2

The 2023 marketing campaign will doubtless function numerous rising pains on many fronts for the Texans as they begin anew underneath DeMeco Ryans, and wins might show few and much between. But the Week 2 matchup in opposition to the divisional rival Colts is an early contest to circle. It very effectively might function a showdown between high rookie quarterbacks C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson, who have been taken second and fourth total and hope to steer their respective franchises for years to return. — Mike Jones

Indianapolis Colts: at Panthers, Week 9

There shall be two overarching storylines heading into this contest: No. 1 decide Bryce Young versus No. 4 decide Anthony Richardson; and the Colts going through their former head coach Frank Reich, who’s now the Panthers’ head coach. Indianapolis might’ve traded as much as draft Young however opted to remain put, and Carolina made the move for Young instead. If the previous Alabama QB leads the Panthers to a victory alongside Reich, the Colts may have a variety of egg on their face. On the opposite hand, if Richardson — assuming he begins over Gardner Minshew — guides Indianapolis to a win, then Jim Irsay and firm will seem like geniuses. Expect a variety of trash discuss between these fan bases earlier than and after the sport. — James Boyd

Jacksonville Jaguars: vs. Chiefs, Week 2

The Jaguars are on their approach up with Trevor Lawrence enjoying extremely effectively underneath head coach Doug Pederson, they usually had their crack at eliminating the Chiefs within the playoffs earlier than their cross rush stalled at Arrowhead. Similar to their Week 2 recreation in opposition to the Patriots in 2018, this shall be seen as a big-time measuring stick recreation domestically for the Jaguars. — Jeff Howe

Kansas City Chiefs: at Jets, Week 4

This one is a straightforward alternative. The New York Jets are actually led by celebrity quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who joined them in a blockbuster commerce simply earlier than the NFL Draft. The NFL has but to have a recreation by which Rodgers and Chiefs celebrity quarterback Patrick Mahomes compete on the identical discipline. In 2019, Mahomes missed the much-anticipated matchup after sustaining a dislocated proper kneecap. Then, the dynamic of the 2021 recreation between the Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers was altered when Rodgers examined constructive for COVID-19. Mahomes is the league’s reigning MVP. Rodgers was the league’s MVP in 2020 and 2021. The assembly between the Chiefs and Jets ought to be one of many league’s most-watched video games. — Nate Taylor



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Las Vegas Raiders: at Chiefs, Week 16

Football on Christmas is all the time a pleasant reward. And whereas this doesn’t seem to be it’ll be a aggressive contest on the floor, divisional video games get bizarre. For occasion, the 6-11 Raiders of 2022 went on the highway in Arrowhead and jumped out to a 17-0 lead earlier than narrowly dropping a 30-29 thriller. So, why not tune in and see if the Raiders can doubtlessly swing an upset over the defending champs? And, if it will get ugly, change the channel and go hug your loved ones. — Tashan Reed

Kellen Moore Revenge Game? Sign me up. The new Chargers offensive coordinator was let go by the Cowboys this offseason regardless of main top-of-the-line offenses in soccer over the previous 4 seasons. Moore has one thing to show with the Chargers. And he’ll get an opportunity to take action in opposition to his former crew in prime time — with Justin Herbert as his quarterback. — Daniel Popper

In a yr with out many expectations, I’m selfishly selecting this recreation as a result of I consider it’ll be the largest showcase of what a really rookie-heavy Rams protection has (or has not) discovered and absorbed to that time. It’s going to be a litmus take a look at for progress, in opposition to a searing-hot and really a number of Eagles offense. — Jourdan Rodrigue

The Dolphins haven’t received the AFC East since 2008. But with some good luck on the well being entrance, that would very effectively change this yr. One method to show they’re able to seize the throne is to do one thing they haven’t achieved fairly often these days: Beat the Bills. Miami is simply 1-9 in opposition to Buffalo in its previous 10 matchups, and the Dolphins haven’t conquered Buffalo in Orchard Park, N.Y., since 2016. So the mission is easy: Go to Buffalo. Beat the Bills. Take again the East. — Jim Ayello

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Tyreek Hill caught 11 passes mixed with a TD within the Dolphins’ two video games in opposition to the Bills final season (they cut up). (Mark Konezny / USA Today)

One of the Vikings’ worst losses of 2022 got here in Week 2 in opposition to the Eagles in Philadelphia. And similar to final season, this matchup shall be a measuring stick. Of the strides the Vikings’ offense has made. Of the curveballs new defensive coordinator Brian Flores can throw. Of the Vikings’ final potential.

As if the Eagles weren’t powerful sufficient, the Vikings will face them on a brief week and in prime time on Thursday evening. Want to evaluate how formidable this Vikings crew could be? Well, right here you go. — Alec Lewis

New England Patriots: at Jets, Week 3

The Patriots have received 14 straight video games over the Jets, a crew Bill Belichick likes to one-up at any time when attainable (together with by way of draft day trades that destroy the Jets’ plans). But it’s about to get much more troublesome to proceed their run of dominance.

Aaron Rodgers enters this divisional feud for the primary time on Sept. 24. The Hall of Fame quarterback will add a brand new dimension to a rivalry that’s been awfully one-sided of late. The Patriots’ first highway recreation of the season shall be one you don’t need to miss. — Chad Graff

This appears slightly early for a “must-watch game.” But on condition that the NFC South is in such flux, I’m simply curious to observe how every of those groups stack up. This shall be Derek Carr’s first highway take a look at. This ought to be Bryce Young’s first residence recreation, and but his second divisional matchup given Carolina performs at Atlanta in Week 1. The Saints are the favourite to win the division, by way of oddsmakers. And but there’s no query they’ve lots to show after two seasons of lacking the postseason and their first dropping document final season since 2016. For New Orleans, this one looks like a litmus take a look at. — Larry Holder

We New York-centric people hoped we’d be getting a Week 1 All-Big Apple showdown with Giants vs. the Jets in what would have been Aaron Rodgers’ Gang Green debut. Instead, the NFL determined to construct the anticipation and provides viewers Rodgers vs. Josh Allen to kick off the “Monday Night Football” slate. No matter, New York followers shall be counting down the times to the rivals’ first assembly since 2019. It’s value noting, Daniel Jones defeated Rodgers in London final season, although he was nonetheless enjoying for the Packers. Rodgers ought to have an upgraded supporting solid in New York, so he might get his revenge this time. — Charlotte Carroll

New York Jets: vs. Bills, Week 1

The Jets are enjoying within the first “Monday Night Football” game of the season, so the world shall be watching to see if they’re legit contenders already or if there’s nonetheless work to be achieved. This matchup with the Bills ought to be thrilling anyway, however Aaron Rodgers versus Josh Allen provides much more intrigue. Plus, the AFC East might be one of many league’s hardest divisions this yr. Whoever wins this recreation shall be beginning issues off on the proper foot — and serving to themselves when issues get tight on the finish of the yr. — Zack Rosenblatt



Finding NFL games on TV in 2023 could be confusing. Here’s what you need to know

Philadelphia Eagles: at Chiefs, Week 11

This is the marquee recreation on the NFL schedule: the Super Bowl rematch and top-two finishers from the MVP voting in prime time. The Eagles are coming off a bye, in order that they’ll be well-rested, however there’s no good time to face the Chiefs. Will this be a Super Bowl LVIII preview? Nick Sirianni is 3-1 after bye weeks in his teaching profession (together with the playoffs) — 5-1 when you embody season openers. His lone loss? Against the Chiefs within the Super Bowl. — Zach Berman

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Jalen Hurts accounted for 4 TDs — three speeding, one passing — within the Eagles’ loss within the Super Bowl final season in opposition to the Chiefs. (Kirby Lee / USA Today)

To put it succinctly, it’s the Steelers and Ravens within the season finale. If you don’t assume this recreation goes to imply one thing to the Steelers, the Ravens or each, you then haven’t adopted the rivalry that intently over the previous quarter century. This would be the third time in 5 years that the Steelers and Ravens performed in opposition to one another within the season finale. It shouldn’t be out of the realm of risk that whoever wins this recreation makes the playoffs and whoever loses is out. — Mark Kaboly

San Francisco 49ers: at Eagles, Week 13

This one, a rematch of the NFC Championship Game, is apparent. The 49ers have lamented the truth that quarterback Brock Purdy suffered his elbow harm so early throughout their final journey to Philadelphia. They really feel it robbed them of a good shot at victory.

“I am glad we’re not playing Philly Week 1,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan stated at a fundraiser occasion Wednesday night. “I want to play them at a better time. I want to make sure our whole team is right there. … We feel like we didn’t get to do it last time, and I’m ready to go back again.” — David Lombardi

This shall be Seattle’s first time enjoying on Thanksgiving since beating the Niners 19-3 in 2014 and first-ever residence recreation on the vacation. It ought to be enjoyable if the Seahawks can maintain it aggressive. In Week 2 final season, San Francisco held Seattle scoreless on offense, because the Seahawks misplaced 27-7. In Week 15, Seattle was held to 6 factors till rubbish time in a 21-13 loss. The Seahawks have been outscored 25-6 within the second half of their wild-card loss, these six factors coming in opposition to San Francisco’s backups. Assuming Seattle is far improved, Week 12 might be just like the 2 late-game thrillers these rivals performed in 2019. — Michael-Shawn Dugar



Super Bowl odds and projections: Every team’s 2023 NFL season evaluated by The Athletic’s model

A skeptic would possibly say there are not any must-watch video games for the Bucs of their first yr after Tom Brady. The NFL schedule-makers acknowledged Brady’s absence by scheduling the Bucs in solely two prime-time video games. In every season of Brady’s three-year reign, the Bucs had prime-time slots the utmost variety of 5 occasions. The Bucs’ first prime-time recreation in 2023 will inform us all the pieces we have to know. After opening up at Minnesota and internet hosting Chicago, they play the defending NFC champions on a Monday evening. If the Bucs may give the Eagles a recreation, it is going to be a sign that the obituaries have been untimely. — Dan Pompei

Tennessee Titans: vs. Ravens (in London), Week 6

Rather than resume what stays a bitter rivalry at residence, the Titans will attempt to beat the Ravens for the primary time since November 2020 throughout the pond. Mike Vrabel’s defensive plans in opposition to Lamar Jackson are normally efficient, however the quarterback has a greater receiving corps. — Joe Rexrode

There’s the nationwide highlight in opposition to a bitter division rival. Sold. Though Dallas is normally a home of horrors on Turkey Day, Washington rolled within the final assembly, 41-16 in 2020. This would be the first of two conferences in opposition to the Cowboys, with the rematch occurring at FedExField in Week 18 for the second consecutive yr. The Commanders may have already accomplished the season collection with the Eagles and Giants, placing additional emphasis on this conflict if they continue to be within the division chase. — Ben Standig

(Illustration: John Bradford / The Athletic)

(Photos: Mike Carlson, Elsa, Michael Owens / Getty Images)

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