Football

NFL Week 1: Expectations for the 2020 opening games

One down, 255 games to go. NFL Week 1 is upon us.

The NFL regular season finally got here on Thursday night. The Kansas City Chiefs layed out the Houston Texans in a 34-20 decision which wasn’t nearly as close as the score indicated.

On Sunday, we’ll get 13 more games on the slate before a Monday doubleheader closes things out.

So what should we expect, and look for, over the next few days? Here’s a few things to chew on:

 

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There are some very important games in the NFC. The New Orleans Saints are hosting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while in the early window on Sunday, it’s the Green Bay Packers on the road against the Minnesota Vikings. In both cases, the two best teams in their respective divisions are squaring off, and the winner will already have a critical win for tiebreakers down the line.

Look for the Saints to have an advantage over the Bucs. Why? They’ve been together for years, and in this COVID environment, that’s going to really matter, especially early on.

The Los Angeles Chargers will get the first shot at Joe Burrow and the new-look Cincinnati Bengals. Los Angeles is already dealing with injuries, as center Mike Pouncey and safety Derwin James won’t play on Sunday (James is out for the year with a torn meniscus). However, the Chargers still have talent all over the defense, one which will contend with Burrow in his debut and the youngster’s weapons in Tyler Boyd, A.J. Green,  John Ross, Tee Higgins and Joe Mixon. Should be fun.

 

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What to make of the Denver Broncos We’re going to get our first look at this much-hyped team on Monday night when they host the nightcap against the Tennessee Titans. Drew Lock is entering his first season as the unquestioned starter, after going 4-1 to begin his young career in December of last year. He’s been surrounded by weapons on the outside including rookies KJ Hamler and Jerry Jeudy, alongside veteran Courtland Sutton.

However, Lock is now without a key part of his team’s defense in Von Miller, who was lost for the season earlier this week due to ankle surgery. With Miller out fo the lineup, how will Denver’s defense respond, especially with fellow edge rusher Bradley Chubb coming off a torn ACL sustained last September?

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