The full 2023 NFL schedule is out, so naturally this week’s Top Ten Tuesday looks ahead to the best primetime games this season. The league is extremely deep, and ten more games easily could have made the cut, but I tried to narrow it down to the most compelling matchups.
10. Week 7: Dolphins @ Eagles (SNF)
Not only is there plenty of talent on both sides of the ball—including arguably the two best receiver duos in football in A.J. Brown-DeVonta Smith and Tyreek Hill-Jaylen Waddle—but the Dolphins-Eagles matchup in Philadelphia features the first game between old Alabama teammates Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts, who of course was benched for Tua in the national title game with the Crimson Tide but showed great perseverance while becoming one of the NFL’s top players. Also, there was recently a debate on which team was the fastest between Miami and Philly, so in some ways that’ll be settled on the field.
Slay sit this one out bro I’m not gone say much cause eagle fans already delusional 🤤 https://t.co/mqQP9bmWFD
— Ty Hill (@cheetah) April 6, 2023
9. Week 15: Chiefs @ Patriots (MNF)
Bill Belichick and Patrick Mahomes have each taken two games in their four matchups, but it’s played out in intriguing fashion each time. In the first two, Tom Brady-led offenses helped win shootouts; but in the next two showdowns (including one in 2020 without Brady), Belichick’s defenses stepped up and did a relatively nice job on Kansas City’s offense despite losing both games. Now for the first time in a few years, the Patriots and Chiefs will face off again. It was always fun to see how Belichick would attempt to contain Andy Reid’s offense with Tyreek Hill (who was basically shut down), and this will be the first time the New England defense goes at Mahomes in a more balanced attack.
8. Week 11: Bengals @ Ravens (TNF)
On the Thursday Night Football schedule, Bengals-Ravens in Week 11 is a definite standout as an excellent playoff rematch. Remember, Baltimore was without Lamar Jackson at the end of last season, including the postseason loss, and this happened:
Sam Hubbard takes the fumble 98 yards for the TD ‼️
📺: #BALvsCIN on NBC
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/hNJJJGqxGF pic.twitter.com/PoVImXrfpz
— NFL (@NFL) January 16, 2023
The NFC North should be incredibly tight in 2023, and a TNF battle the week before Thanksgiving feels like it could be a potential tone-setter heading into the final stretch.
7. Week 12: 49ers @ Seahawks (Thanksgiving)
We’ve seen plenty of classics between the 49ers and the Seahawks over the years, and it was a superb choice for the Thanksgiving nightcap on NBC this year. The NFC West foes both have talented rosters and are looking to contend for a Super Bowl, and Seattle might be in better position to compete with San Francisco after losing somewhat handily last postseason—the Seahawks draft class led by first-rounders Devon Witherspoon and Jaxon Smith-Njigba could be another home run for a team that found instant impacts from rookies in 2022.
6. Week 1: Bills @ Jets (MNF)
Aaron Rodgers’ first game with the Jets after 18 seasons with the Packers comes at home hosting Josh Allen and the Bills on Monday Night Football. Expectations are sky high for both sides, but obviously there’s some uncertainty with Rodgers joining a new team—and the Jets face a menacing early-season schedule and will be looking to avoid falling in a hole. Additionally, Allen and Rodgers have become friendly the past two years with a couple of golf outings including The Match. The two Bills-Jets games should be fun.
A-Rod for the WIN! 🎯 #CapitalOnesTheMatch pic.twitter.com/et3paek5DB
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 2, 2022
5. Week 14: Eagles @ Cowboys (SNF)
It’s difficult to beat Eagles-Cowboys as a rivalry, especially with both teams possessing stacked rosters with championship aspirations. Of course, the series was split 1-1 last season including the tight Thanksgiving Day loss when the Eagles were without Jalen Hurts. But Dallas won a couple of blowouts the season before and has the mindset that they are the superior team. This December Week 14 matchup will be the second between Philly and Dallas, and the implications could be massive for both the division and playoff seeding. Remember, there has not been a repeat division winner in the NFC East since 2004!
4. Week 16: Ravens @ 49ers (Christmas)
Fans will be treated to the NFL on Christmas Day for the second consecutive season, with Ravens-49ers closing things out after Raiders-Chiefs and Giants-Eagles earlier on December 25. The Christmas Eve schedule is also packed, with Patriots-Broncos that night being a primetime game that could turn out to be awesome. For Baltimore against San Francisco, there’s star power all over the field including former NFL MVP Lamar Jackson leading what should be a more wide-open offense under new coordinator Todd Monken. And at this stage we’ll see (presumably, if healthy) Brock Purdy deep into a full season as the starting quarterback.
3. Week 9: Bills @ Bengals (SNF)
Yet another playoff rematch, Bills-Bengals on Sunday Night Football at around the halfway point in the regular season boasts what should again be two of the elite teams in the league. I’m anxious to see how the Bills defense looks with Sean McDermott taking more control, and whether the Buffalo offense’s additions will help versus a stingy Cincy squad. And most of all it will certainly be a very emotional night, with Bills safety Damar Hamlin returning to the site where he nearly lost his life.
2. Week 1: Lions @ Chiefs
After months of waiting and anticipating, it’s tough to top the season opener. The Chiefs will be raising their second banner in four seasons, while the Lions are the upstart looking to become legitimate championship contenders. Though they’ll be without second-year receiver Jameson Williams due to his sports betting suspension, I like the NFL’s somewhat risky move to put the Lions in the opener. While things are much different now—Jared Goff plays for an entirely different team—Goff and Patrick Mahomes played in the highest scoring game in NFL history, an unforgettable Monday-nighter won late by the Rams on a clutch touchdown toss from Goff to Gerald Everett.
The last time @JaredGoff16 and @PatrickMahomes faced off? We got one of the highest-scoring games IN NFL HISTORY.
More fireworks for #Kickoff2023? pic.twitter.com/EdT3q1Whly
— NFL (@NFL) May 15, 2023
1. Week 11: Eagles @ Chiefs (MNF)
It’s the middle of May and the NFL is already putting out a hype video for the Super Bowl LVII rematch.
Super Bowl rematch. Monday Night Week 11.
Can't wait 🍿 @Eagles @Chiefs pic.twitter.com/43o36mw7l9
— NFL (@NFL) May 15, 2023
The Big Game was an instant classic, with Jalen Hurts borderline heroic in the losing effort. Hopefully the Week 11 Monday Night Football matchup is another epic 60 minutes (or more). It’s the top two finishers in the MVP from last season. Andy Reid again taking on his former team. Two of the league’s most talented rosters. Eagles-Chiefs should deliver massive ratings and entertainment just a few days before Thanksgiving.