Appointment TV: The 10 Most Anticipated NFL Games Of 2015
The NFL schedule is here! It’s an exciting time, the first look to see who your favorite team is playing. You’ll go over match-ups, likely victories, defeats, you’ll guess your team’s record, and you’ll spend the next 5 months gearing up for opening night on September 10th. The regular season opener will feature Pittsburgh at New England, and the majority of the league playing on September 13th. Then on Monday night, the opening double kicks-off with Philadelphia at Atlanta and then Minnesota at San Francisco.
But what are the must-see games of this season? Which games are we skipping church for? Which Monday night are we watching at Buffalo Wild Wings, causing us to call in sick Tuesday morning? Let’s break down the 10 must-see games of the upcoming 2015 season.
1. The New York Giants vs. the Dallas Cowboys. This is going to be the most watched game of week 1. Questions will be asked: How’s Dallas going to look without Murray at the running back position? How worried should Eli Manning be in the final year of his contract? Is Dez Bryant going to live up to his new contract? This game takes place on September 13th at 8pm.
2. The Seattle Seahawks vs. the Green Bay Packers. Remember the NFC Championship last season? You would think that the Packers are still feeling the sting of that loss, hoping to exact a little revenge for their devastating playoff defeat. As a refresher, they led 19–7 with less than three minutes to play, only to watch Seattle score two TDs (and recover an onside kick) in a span of 40 seconds. Green Bay forced overtime, but a Russell Wilson-to-Jermaine Kearse scoring strike sent the raucous crowd in Seattle home happy. This game takes place on September 20th at 8:30pm.
3. The Jacksonville Jaguars vs. the New England Patriots. I know, its Jacksonville, hear me out. Jacksonville has made some serious improvements on the defensive end. Shad Khan has injected life into this dying franchise. Jacksonville is constructed with winning in mind. They’ve brought in Julius Thomas from Denver and they signed center Stefen Wisniewski from Oakland. It’s apparent that Jacksonville is trying to build around Blake Bortles. Bortles is coming into his second season with the Jaguars’. He will get his first big test against the Patriots. This game takes place on September 27th at 1pm.
4. The Baltimore Ravens vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers. These game are always fun, football is better when you know that the two teams playing hate each other. This has always been clear with the Ravens and Steelers. The AFC North’s two best teams faced off in a classic wild-card battle last year. The Pittsburgh Steelers dominated time of possession in the first two quarters. Yet they trailed 10-9 at halftime, ultimately losing to the Ravens 30-17. The Steelers are going to be looking for payback and this season will be the perfect time to strike. This game takes place on October 1st at 8:25pm.
5. The New York Giants vs. the Philadelphia Eagles. Will Tim Tebow be the starting quarterback by then? Say what you will, I am rooting for this guy. He’s like the Rudy of the NFL. For me, it’s not about his religious beliefs, or the act of Tebowing, or even the media frenzy he causes on a daily basis. Tebow has won a playoff game. The game wasn’t pretty, and his teammates bailed him out. But, he won a playoff game. Honestly, America wants to see Tebow on the field as the starting quarterback. Some people want to him fail and some people want to see him win, as ugly as he may win. If Tebow is the starting quarterback of this team, I’ll be watching every game. This game takes place on October 19th at 8:30pm
6. The Green Bay Packers vs. the Denver Broncos. You would expect this game to be an old fashioned shootout. Aaron Rogers and Peyton Manning, what’s not to love? It’s a night game, so watching this one at a bar or pub is ideal. This is a party game, where you’re out drinking, eating awesome grub, and enjoying the game. This is one of those games where you just expect it to be a fun matchup. I could see both quarterbacks putting up monster numbers. I have this game highlighted on my iPhone calendar. This game takes place on November 1st at 8:30pm.
7. The Denver Broncos vs. the Chicago Bears. John Fox spent four seasons as head coach in Denver. Now, he has his work cut out for him in Chicago. The Bears fans have yet to get over Jay Culter’s embarrassing play last season. Hopefully, Jay Culter will be playing lights-out like he is capable of playing. I should know, I drafted him twice in fantasy football. I expect this to be a decent game, the Bears defense will harass Manning and keep him throwing in 200 yard range. This game takes place on November 22nd at 1pm.
8. The Philadelphia Eagles vs. the Detroit Lions. This will be the best Thanksgiving Day game. The other Thanksgiving games include: Carolina at Dallas and Chicago at Green Bay. The NFL is going back to the well with another all-NFC lineup this season anyway. On paper, though, the holiday schedule offered in 2015 could make up for 2014's disappointing snoozers. All three home teams plus Carolina qualified for the postseason last year, while Philadelphia reached the 10-win plateau. And while expectations surrounding the Bears aren’t high, it's tough to beat a Chicago-Green Bay matchup under the lights.
9. The New England Patriots vs. the Denver Broncos. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning meet for the 17th time. Will this be the final meeting between these two elite quarterbacks? Manning just turned 39 in March, so the general consensus is that this season could mark his last. He currently trails Brady in head-to-head matchups, 11–5. He’ll want to win this one which will be a confidence builder heading into the post season. This game takes place on November 29th at 8:30pm.
10. The Jacksonville Jaguars vs the Houston Texas. The two teams have met each other 26 times, with the Jacksonville Jaguars winning 11 games and the Houston Texans winning 15 games. The AFC South is almost completely wide open this season. Since its inception in 2002, The Indianapolis Colts have won the division title all but 3 years; two of those years were claimed by the Houston Texans. The Jacksonville Jaguars have never won the AFC South Division Championship. Could this be the year? This game takes place on January 3rd at 1pm.