We y’all, finally something to talk about for sports fans. The NFL released their 2020 schedule. No talk of what those games will look like for fans, but, at least a glimmer of hope. A conversation starter for those of us craving the opportunity to dust off the ol’ armchair.
So, in case you missed it, here is a look at some of what we know about the upcoming season. And, our humble look at key games and the schedule strengths for teams we cover here in the South.
Here is what we know:
- ICYMI- Gronk came out of retirement to be traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers so he could play with Buccaneer Brady.
- The Raiders are now in Vegas
- Rivers is in Indy.
- Texans are still in Houston, but, Hopkins isn’t.
- Inexplicably, there will be 4 Pre-season games starting August 6th.
- There is as much we don’t know as we do know.
- International games have been cancelled, so no 9:30 a.m. setting your fantasy lineup this year.
- The regular season starts Thursday night September 10 in KC.
Ok y’all, let’s get to the meat and potatoes. The schedule breakdown and team notes:
Week 1 statement games: These are the games that will give us a feel for what to expect from new faces, places, and teams going into the season:
- Vegas at Carolina- New location, but, is it the same old team? Teddy ball begins in the post-Cam era.
- Miami at New England – Dolphins are on their way up. The Pats? hmmmm.
- Green Bay at Minnesota – The fight for NFC Central dominance begins Week 1
- Jets at Bills- Are the Bills that good?
- Browns at Ravens – Is it bounce back or bounce out for Baker in key division matchup
- Chargers at Bengals – The Joe Burrows era begins
- Tampa at Saints- Brady v Brees and a chance to make a crowded NFC South statement
- Titans at Broncos- Playoff matchup from last year on a Monday night.
Let’s break down the Southern teams key matchups Week 1-4:
Atlanta Falcons-NFC South- See what Gurley brings to a potent offense early on Seahawks at home open the season. Followed by 2 road trips to the Cowboys and Packers and a home game with the Bears sandwiched in between. Brutal start.
Tampa Bay Bucs- NFC South – Not gonna beat a dead horse here with the lineup potential (unless Brady gets hurt and Blaine Gabbert has to come in). Brady opens up against Brees and then Bridgewater in key division matchups. Of later interest is Rogers-Brady and Mahomes-Brady later in the schedule.
Carolina Panthers – NFC South- Bridgewater takes over at QB with a talented offense. That Brady matchup in Week 2 is the only real question mark in a light early schedule.
New Orleans Saints – NFC South- Open up with Brady and the Bucs, and then 2 weeks later welcome Aaron Rodgers. 49ers and Chiefs loom later in the year.
Baltimore Ravens– AFC North- First 3 games welcome Baker, Watson and Mahomes against that tough Ravens D. Then the schedule eases up a bit until around Thanksgiving when the Titans, Cowboys and Steelers are on the agenda for 3 straight weeks.
Tennessee Titans – AFC South- After an opening Monday night road trip in Denver, a weak division plays into the Titans hands for another playoff run. Welcome the Steelers in October and go to Lambeau in December.
Houston Texans – AFC South- After a series of questionable moves including shipping Hopkins off to Arizona for next to nothing, the schedule did even less favors. Opening the season against Chiefs, Ravens, Steelers, and Vikings could spell early doom for a team with question marks.
Jacksonville Jaguars- AFC South- Open with Colts and Titans. An 0-2 division start would make Minshew’s mustache curl.
Indianapolis Colts– AFC South- Rivers at QB. Added some key pieces, but, is it enough to overcome the Titans in the Division? Tougher matchups at home help.
Dallas Cowboys – NFC East – Open on the road against the Rams and a trip to Seattle two weeks later. December matchups against the Ravens and 49ers make for some interest.
KC Chiefs– AFC West- The defending champs have tons to build on. First test comes Week 3 in Baltimore. 10/15 in Buffalo. 2 matchups against the Broncos and a trip to New Orleans and Tampa. This is a tough schedule, but, when you are on top it is always tough.