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Best Game Each Week For The 2018 NFL Schedule

The 2018 NFL schedule is officially here. While it’s stupid to predict team records and outlooks months before the season, we’ll look ahead to the potential best games for each of the 17 weeks.


Week 1: Falcons vs. Eagles (Kickoff Game)

There are some exciting games Week 1—including Texans vs. Patriots and Rams vs. Raiders—but there really isn’t any option besides the opening game between the Falcons and the Eagles. By the time September 6 rolls around, fans will be in a frenzy for opening kickoff, and this one features the last two NFC Champions in a rematch of the thrilling Wild Card Round matchup last season.


Week 2: Patriots vs. Jaguars

Vikings vs. Packers is also an option considering Aaron Rodgers will hopefully be back on the field against the team that derailed his season last year. But it’s difficult to top a rematch of the AFC Championship Game—this time, in Jacksonville instead of in Foxoboro. Maybe the Jaguars won’t be as good in 2018, but this game comes in Week 2 and will have a lot of hype leading up to it.


Week 3: Chargers vs. Rams

Matt Patricia and the Lions hosting the Patriots on Sunday Night Football will be interesting, but the battle for Los Angeles gets the nod for the best game of Week 3. You can bet there will be some trash talk between the two teams. The Rams will probably say they were in LA first and are the city’s real team, but the Chargers have a ton of swagger on their roster and will have no issue giving the talk right back.


Week 4: Vikings vs. Rams (Thursday)

If someone is going to knock off the Eagles in the NFC this season, most people expect it to be either the Vikings or the Rams. Last season, the Vikings pretty much dominated the game in Minnesota, but it’ll be in Los Angeles this season. Also, this will be the first Thursday Night Football game on FOX. The network could not have done much better with their first draw.


Week 5: Vikings vs. Eagles

Minnesota will have a mini bye week heading into this one, and they’ll use all the extra time they can get after the Eagles destroyed them in the NFC Championship last season. Of course, it’s a whole new season with changed rosters—including Kirk Cousins at quarterback for the Vikings—and things could go a lot different than January’s game at Lincoln Financial Field.


Week 6: 49ers vs. Packers (Monday)

The Monday Night Football schedule appears to be at least slightly better than years past, and Niners-Packers is among the best of the schedule. Aaron Rodgers has been one of the best quarterbacks in the league since he took over as Green Bay’s starter in 2008, and Jimmy Garoppolo looks like he’s on a similar path for San Francisco. Those two commanding their offenses alone makes this an exciting Monday night matchup.


Week 7: Broncos vs. Cardinals (Thursday)

Despite Thursday games sometimes being sloppy and unpredictable, this game being in primetime gives it a boost. Just a few years ago, both the Broncos and Cardinals were among the NFL’s elite, and they both have potential to get back there in 2018. The two quarterbacks of the Vikings last season (Case Keenum and Sam Bradford) is a storyline, and it’ll be interesting to see how they’re playing heading into Week 7.


Week 8: Saints vs. Vikings (Sunday night)

The “Minnesota Miracle” was an amazing play that might still be on a lot of player’s minds heading into the regular season matchup this year. New Orleans and Minnesota are expected to be NFC contenders, so this should be a huge mid-season game. The only downside to this game is that NBC might replay and talk about the “Minnesota Miracle” so much that it gets annoying. The NBC crew is very skilled at saturating big moments like that.


Week 9: Packers vs. Patriots (Sunday night)

Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers on the same field? Packers versus Patriots should be a classic. In the only other matchup between Brady and Rodgers, the Packers won 26-21. Brady has a winning record against the greats including Peyton Manning and Ben Roethilsberger, and knowing his competitiveness, he will not want to fall to 0-2 against Rodgers in what could be their final matchup.


Week 10: Panthers vs. Steelers (Thursday)

We’ve had a few Thursday-nighters on here, so hopefully the games deliver in 2018. There will be a ton of star-power on the field for Panthers vs. Steelers, including Cam Newton, Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Luke Kuechly. And the Steelers have already said they are wearing their Color Rush uniforms, so they are apparently looking forward to the matchup.


Week 11: Eagles vs. Saints

If not for the Minnesota Miracle, this would have been the NFC Championship Game last season. With the weapons all over the field for both sides, it could turn into a potential shootout between Carson Wentz and Drew Brees. But at the very least, it should be a close game between two talented rosters.


Week 12: Falcons vs. Saints (Thanksgiving Night)

It’s always exciting to see the Thanksgiving Night matchup revealed, as no teams are locked in unlike the games hosted by the Lions and Cowboys earlier in the day. The NFL could not have done much better than this NFC South contest between two teams that clearly do not like each other. Hopefully Sean Payton can keep the choke signs to a minimum on Thanksgiving.


Week 13: Vikings vs. Patriots

Relatively, Mike Zimmer’s defenses have had some success limiting Tom Brady. And this year’s Vikings defense is almost certainly going to be a top-five unit, if not the best in the NFL, so this could be New England’s toughest offensive task this season. The Patriots and Vikings might be the two favorites to meet in the Super Bowl.


Week 14: Falcons vs. Packers

The Falcons have owned the Packers lately, winning each meeting since 2016, but all three games were in Atlanta. This time, it’ll be in Lambeau Field in December. On almost the exact date in 2014, Julio jones exploded for 259 yards in a 43-37 shootout loss. We could see some similar fireworks in 2018.


Week 15: Patriots vs. Steelers

It’s so tough to decide the best game of Week 15, as the Eagles and Rams also face off in what should be a big-time NFC matchup. But after the Steelers feel like they were robbed of a win last year in what was probably the regular season game of the year, it has to be New England-Pittsburgh. The Patriots basically own the Steelers, but this will hopefully be a good one.


Week 16: Broncos vs. Raiders (Monday, Christmas Eve)

There might be some better games like Texans-Eagles and Steelers-Saints, but it’s hard to top the only game on Christmas Eve. Hopefully, both the Broncos and Raiders will be in it this late in the season in what could be a huge game in the AFC West.


Week 17: Eagles vs. Redskins

As usual (except for last season), a game for a division title or playoff spot will end the season on Sunday Night Football. Whatever game (or games) that is will be the game of the week, and it could be Eagles versus Redskins. Philadelphia should be up against an improved division this season, and Washington added a quarterback in Alex Smith that’s won a ton of games over the last several years.


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