After months of waiting, baseball-watching, and boundless expectation, the 2013 NFL season is here and it will begin in mere days. Being a $9Billion+ entity, the NFL understands that its fans are loyal and usually, the league tries to kick off the season with captivating, clever matchups filled with subtext, deep back stories, or complementary styles that will make for great games. Still, they can’t get everything right, but they produce some gems. Here is the list of NFL matchups, and on first sight, we can see that they managed to put together some games that should make these Week 1 matchups memorable.
Baltimore at Denver, Sept. 5th 8:30pm- There are a lot of undertones and overtones in this game that will make it an absorbing one. It’s the first game of the season, and you can be sure that the NFL will do all that it can to ensure that the first game is a great one. Then, there’s the historical factor in light of the AFC divisional game last year where Baltimore eliminated Denver. Also, there’s the quarterback factor that juxtaposes the performance of the sure-fire Hall of Famer Peyton Manning vs man-of-the-moment Joe “Joe Cool” Flacco. If that’s not enough, there’s the ex-player factor, as Elvis Dumervil will play the Broncos for the first time since signing with another team. Yeah, this game is full of intriguing plot lines to follow through the course of the night.
Atlanta at New Orleans, Sept 8th 1:00pm- The Saints are in line for a great rebound year after the doldrums of last year, and what better way to kick off that rebound season than by toppling the division winner from the previous year. Atlanta won the division by a landslide, but things will surely be tighter this season. New Orleans could use this game to make a statement to the division and the NFL that with Sean Payton back at the helm, the Saints are once again a premiere team in the NFL.
Arizona at St. Louis, Sept 8th 4:25pm- This is a divisional game that has some fascinating factors at play. While Arizona upgraded (mightily) their quarterback situation, the Rams improved their wideout predicament by drafting a player who many say will make an immediate impact. It should be interesting to see which addition to which team has a better game, relatively speaking . What new QB/WR tandem will be more decisive in leading their team to victory? Also, it should be fun to decipher how well these new pieces are fitting in with the rest of their teams in this first game.
Seattle at Carolina, Sept 8th 1:00pm- Last year’s great young team versus the team that needs to make the strides this season that it has missed for the last two years. The Panthers want to be what the Seahawks were—a confident, highly-discusses, hot topic in the NFL. With Cam Newton in his third season, he and the Panthers are desperately looking to make that next step and who better to do it against than the team that, ideally, they’d want to emulate—that is a team from a small market that burst into the national scene and generated a buzz. The matchup between Cam Newton/Steve Smith and the Legion of Boom (Seattle Secondary) should be one to watch all game long. Don’t forget that DeAngelo Williams is a capable runningback and can carve up yards if let loose.
Green Bay at San Francisco, Sept 8th 4:25pm- This may be the game of the week, stealing thunder from the Thursday game and pitting two elite teams in a game that will be sure to be competitive, entertaining and highly publicized. The intrigue here lies not only in the fact that the game will feature two mobile, accurate quarterbacks who could run for a 40yd TD just as quickly as they could throw a 55yd TD. The revenge factor will surely be present after the double-digit loss that Green Bay suffered in the playoffs earlier this year, and you can be sure that both teams are looking to make a resounding statement that will echo through the tunnels of every team in the NFC. After a few years of getting bounced from the playoffs, Green Bay is ready to reclaim their title as a legitimate contender and get back to the NFC Championship game. San Francisco on the other hand, has been to two consecutive NFC Championship games and looks to extend that streak of good play. This could be a precursor to the NFC Championship game.