With just a week left until the 2017 NFL Draft there isn't much to keep fans occupied other than Mock Drafts. Luckily, the 2017 Regular Season Schedule was released tonight and fans can finally start planning which games they want to go to see and how to plan their weekends in the fall and winter months.
Immediately, plenty of games stand out as the ones to watch, but which game should from each week of the schedule should you circle as the one to watch?
Week 1 – New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
This matchup is a lock to be an opening weekend primetime game every season but I don’t think that effects the magnitude of these contests.
The Giants will be looking to get an immediate head start on the Cowboys once again by knocking them off in Jerry World. The offense will be looking to get more explosive with the addition of Brandon Marshall against a Cowboys defense that has a lot of holes to fill.
The Cowboys on the other hand will be looking to defend their NFC East crown with Dak, Zeke and Dez coming off a full offseason of preparation as the starters. Can they get their own back on the Giants having lost to them twice last year? Can they be as good as they were last year or will Dak and Zeke start their sophomore slumps?
This game has many great storylines to watch and is a great way to kick off Sunday Night Football.
Week 2 – Green Bay Packers @ Atlanta Falcons
In a week that doesn’t have many stand out games this matchup really does stand out.
The Falcons are looking to defend their NFC Championship and they’ll have a big test early in hosting the Packers. Last year the two times these teams played the Falcons came out on top, both times in Atlanta. They once again have home field advantage, this time in a shiny new stadium, can they repeat their offensive production?
The Packers finished last year as one of the hottest teams in the NFL. They are likely going to be healthier for this game than they were in the NFC Championship Game and they have reloaded on offense. Will they keep up with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman?
Week 3 – Dallas Cowboys @ Arizona Cardinals
In yet another Cowboys Primetime game they are looking to go to Arizona and beat a team looking to prove that last year was a fluke down year.
The Cowboys have a pretty tough start to the season and this game will likely be no different. The Cowboys have so many holes on defense and the Cardinals offense should be closer to its 2015 version than its 2016 version. Can the Cowboys offense overcome their 3rd elite defense in as many weeks?
As I just alluded to, the Cardinals are looking to bounce back in what is possible Carson Palmer’s, Larry Fitzgerald’s and Bruce Arians’ final season. If they can beat this stellar Cowboys offense then they could be set up pretty well to make a run for the Super Bowl.
Week 4 – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens
This matchup is a lock to be one of the games of the year almost every single year, and this year should be no different.
The Steelers have to defend their AFC North crown against a bitter Ravens team that has been far more aggressive in the offseason than they usually are. Ben Roethlisberger flirted with retirement this offseason, could this be his last chance to beat the Ravens in Baltimore?
The Ravens defense has been the focus of their attention this offseason, will they finally cope with the Steelers plethora of weapons and fly back to the top of the division? And will they be able to overcome their offensive shortcomings after two years of offensive struggles?
This game promises to be fiery, physical and will inevitably have significant playoff implications.
Week 5 – Green Bay Packers @ Dallas Cowboys
A rematch of a great NFC Divisional Round game, what’s not to love?
The Packers marched into Dallas as the underdogs and knocked off the #1 seed Cowboys with a spectacular final sequence. Can they repeat the upset to throw a spanner in the Cowboys playoff plans? Or will the Cowboys get their own back as they strengthen their claim to being the best team in the NFC? What’s more, it’s another chance to see if Dak Prescott can continue to keep up with the best of the best when it comes to QB’s?
This could be a preview of the NFC Championship game and it isn’t one you’re going to want to miss.
Week 6 – Pittsburgh Steelers @ Kansas City Chiefs
This is a rematch of two games last year, both of which resulted in Pittsburgh Steelers wins.
The Steelers first blew out the Chiefs during the regular season and then they went to Arrowhead stadium in the playoffs and beat the Chiefs despite not scoring a single touchdown.
The Chiefs will inevitably still be raw from that loss, especially considering they had a late touchdown taken away for a holding penalty. Once again in Arrowhead the crowd will be deafening as the Chiefs will look to get their payback and continue to push towards being the best team in the AFC.
Week 7 – Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders
Every year this is one of my favourite matchups, and this season I think it’ll be even better.
The Raiders team, provided they do get Marshawn Lynch and solidify their defense in the draft, is possibly the best in AFC. The Chiefs roster isn’t far behind. Not only is this a big rivalry, this matchup is going to be the decider of the AFC West if you ask me.
This all added to the fact that it will be fascinating to see any Raiders home game and the fact that this uniform matchup is possibly the best in the NFL and this game is a must-watch.
Week 8 – Indianapolis Colts @ Cincinnati Bengals
This may not be the most obvious pick but it has several storylines that I think will make it a very interesting game to watch.
First of all, both of these teams have a head coach that is possibly in the midst of their final chance with their respective teams. They both missed on the playoffs last year and the head coaches’ ropes have to be very short.
It also has the chance to be an offensive duel. A hopefully fully healthy Andrew Luck against a hopefully fully healthy Andy Dalton could be a huge game considering the weapons these teams have.
Finally this could also be a pivotal game in the AFC wildcard race. I don’t think either of these teams will win their respective divisions but they both have a good chance of creeping into the playoffs. The winner of this game will be giving themselves a big boost.
Week 9 – Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers
Anytime there is a divisional rivalry on it is worth a watch, and this one will once again be big.
If Matt Stafford was healthy at the end of last year I think the Lions could definitely have won against the Packers to win the division and consequently make the playoffs. He has a good chance of being healthy this season thanks to a revamped offensive line and the rest of the team will surely get a big boost from the draft. The Packers could also get a boost but I think the Lions are closer to being a better team.
I’m also very excited for another Aaron Rodgers vs. Matt Stafford duel.
Week 10 – Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons
The Cowboys have appeared on this list plenty already but this matchup is just too good to not include.
This is the game that everyone wanted to see last year but none of us got to. I think both offenses will be pretty similar in terms of production when compared to last year and these two teams will once again be locked into the battle for better playoff spot.
The Falcons seem to have the edge right now as they have a better defesne, but by Week 10, who knows? This will be another great chance for the Cowboys and the Falcons to prove that last year was not a fluke.
Week 11 – New England Patriots @ Oakland Raiders
The two best teams in the NFL is what is possibly one of the best environments in the NFL.
The Patriots are seemingly stronger than they were last year, which is pretty extraordinary. Whilst the Raiders seem to be stronger too. This is very possibly a warm up game for the AFC Championship game but it will be played in the raucous environment of Mexico City and the Azteca Stadium.
Tom Brady vs. Derek Carr, Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree vs. Stephon Gilmore and Malcolm Butler, heavyweight vs. heavyweight. Sign me up for this one.
Week 12 – Green Bay Packers @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The most successful team ever in terms of championships against the most successful team in terms of Super Bowl wins in a rematch of Super Bowl XLV.
Could this be a preview of Super Bowl LII? Very possibly. Both of these teams are coming off ugly losses in their respective Championship games last year and they’ll inevitably be looking to get over the hump for the first time since they met in the Super Bowl 7 years ago.
Plus, a QB duel of Aaron Rodgers vs. Ben Roethlisberger is pretty enticing.
Week 13 – Philadelphia Eagles @ Seattle Seahawks
Like a few of the other games on this list this may not be the most obvious matchup of the week but hear me out.
The Eagles defense was very good last year and they have gotten stronger up front with the draft still ahead of them. The offense has also seriously retooled. They have given sophomore passer Carson Wentz a true deep threat and a true number one receiver to combine with slot receiver Jordan Matthews.
The Seahawks on the other hand will be looking to get past the dramas of 2016 and return to the form of 2013, 2014 and 2015. Wilson will surely be as motivated as ever, the Legion of Boom, if it is still together, will definitely be motivated along with the rest of the Seahawks team.
I think this could be a clash of a returning championship contender and an up-and-coming championship contender. That is a pretty good recipe.
Week 14 – Tennessee Titans @ Arizona Cardinals
Last year the Titans were one of my favourite teams and the Cardinals were that two years ago. If these two teams nail the NFL Draft I think this could be one of the more exciting games of the season.
The Titans offense is great to watch. If they can get Derrick Henry more involved with the rushing attack I think this will be the best rushing offense to watch. Murray and Henry bringing the thunder and Marcus Mariota giving the Titans their lightning this will be fun.
Meanwhile the Cardinals offense is very fun to watch too with David Johnson and their vertical offense. Unlike the Titans though, the Cardinals defense is one of the most fun units to watch with Tyrann Mathieu, Patrick Peterson and Deone Bucannon flying around and making plays.
If nothing else, this will be one of the most fun games to watch with a ton of splash plays.
Week 15 – Dallas Cowboys @ Oakland Raiders
These two teams were two of the best newcomers to the playoff race and I think they’ll both pick up where they left off.
What’s more, though they are not in the same division I think the playoff implications in this game will be huge. Both of these teams will be poised to claim the number one seed in their respective divisions and both of these teams will have to win every game possible to claim that spot.
As a result these two teams will both be playing hard to ensure they aren’t the team to slip up. This could also be a preview of Super Bowl LII and the young talent involved makes this an irresistible matchup.
Week 16 – Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys
Like the Cowboys @ Falcons game, this is a matchup everyone wanted to see last year yet never got the chance.
The timing of this game also adds a huge element to this matchup. Both teams will be well in the mix for home-field advantage at this point in the season and the winner in this game may well go on to claim that advantage.
A Dak Prescott and Russell Wilson duel, Dez Bryant going up against Richard Sherman, Ezekiel Elliot taking on Kam Chancellor and Bobby Wagner. It is also very possibly a preview of the NFC Championship game and promises to be explosive.
Week 17 – Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans
In years past this matchup has been one of the worst and seems to be each team’s token Thursday Night Football game. This year though, I think this will be the game that decides the division.
The Jaguars are average QB play away from having a very intimidating young roster. The offense has shown its ability in years past and the defense is seriously reloaded and refuelled after free agency. It is very good at every level.
The Titans were an injury or two and a few players away from being division champions last year. If Mariota stays healthy and they can add the few pieces they need and they’ll be able to make even more noise in the AFC.
This game has the potential to be very important.
So there you have it, the best game from each week of the NFL Season.
Which games are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!