With the 2021 NFL regular season just two weeks away and the pre-season all wrapped up, the hype for the season is at its peak. So now it’s the perfect time to look at the week one games and the main headlines this year.
The first game on Thursday primetime is the Dallas Cowboys vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers come into this year with the same roster as last year and plenty of momentum being the Super Bowl champions. Tom Brady is looking to continue his ever-lasting legacy in search of an elusive eighth super bowl. On the other hand, the Cowboys get Dak Prescott back after his horrific ankle injury last year in hopes he can fire back on all cylinders and lead the offense to the start he did last year. The main problem they will have to face is their defense, but with the new addition of rookie Micah Parsons, they hope their defense will take a step up from the record lows of last year.
Other big games in week one start with the Jacksonville Jaguars vs. the Houston Texans. In recent memory, Jacksonville comes into the year with one of the most exciting rookie prospects with Trevor Lawrence. The Texans will also be looked at as it seems Deshaun Watson won’t change his mind, and he won’t play for the Texans this upcoming season, which is a massive blow for that team who loses their star QB (Quarterback). The New York Jets vs. the Carolina Panthers will include two new QBs for both squads, with Zach Wilson out of BYU taking the helm of the Jets team. Then Carolina got former 3rd overall pick Sam Darnold who was the last Jets QB in a revenge game. Then the Arizona Cardinals vs. the Tennessee Titans face off for what is sure to be an offensive shootout. The Cardinals added J.J. Watt, A.J. Green, James Conner, and more in a solid team. The Titans also made a massive move in acquiring one of the best receivers the NFL has ever witnessed in Julio Jones.
Possibly the most anticipated matchup in week one is the Kansas City Chiefs vs. the Cleveland Browns in a rematch from last year’s nail-biting AFC divisional round playoff game. The Chiefs return with an enhanced offensive line and the electric Patrick Mahomes for this season, the Browns return with Baker Mayfield and have Odell Beckham Jr. back after his ACL injury last season. In the first game, the Green Bay Packers vs. the New Orleans Saints without Drew Brees as a Saint since 2006. The man who takes over at that spot is Jameis Winston, who again starts as a QB. After an offseason of controversy and uncertainty, the Packers also feared losing their future hall of fame quarterback in Aaron Rodgers. But Rodgers will return for the team and try to make the Super Bowl for his team, which came one game short two years in a row. Then the final game of week one is a primetime matchup, including the Baltimore Ravens vs. the Las Vegas Raiders. The Ravens return with the dangerous Lamar Jackson and multiple new weapons on offense. They look to prove themselves as valid options for a team that has struggled to find a consistent number one receiver for a few years. The Raiders come back with Derek Carr for another year who needs to perform if he doesn’t want to be on the hot seat at his spot by the end of the year.
Another year of NFL football is upon us, and with so many exciting headlines and games, fans are already on the edge of their seats before the ball has even kicked off. But with the season now just mere days away, all those questions brought up in the offseason will be answered right away.