SportsPulse: The NFL calendar is out of the game and we could not be more enthusiastic about the ridiculousness of all this. Trysta Krick from USA TODAY breaks down the most important stories of the calendar.
After analyzing tens of thousands of options, which were compiled by supercomputers of what could be almost endless combinations, the NFL unveiled the highly anticipated calendar for its 100th season on Wednesday night.
Who has reason to rejoice and who would wish that the league would have allowed those servers and the programming hooks more time to find an ideal 256-game itinerary? Keep reading
Tradition: The NFL made the right decision, kicking off its celebration of a century of football by presenting its longest-running rivalry, Packers-Bears, for the 199th time in the first game of the regular season. Letting Chicago, the former home of George "Papa Bear" Halas, host was also a nice touch. (Now if we could only see the iconic columns of Soldier Field from the field level …)
Jason Garrett: It feels like a kind of hot seat for the Dallas coach, who has never guided the Cowboys to the postseason in successive years. But the first three games for the United States Team (and five of the first six) are against opponents who do not participate in the playoffs, a good opportunity to generate an initial boost for potential Garrett.
Lamar Jackson:The Baltimore second-year quarterback will open a season as a starter for the first time … and will face the four worst defenses (Miami, Cleveland, Kansas City, Cincinnati) since 2018 during the first six weeks.
Bills Christmas shopping: Buffalo players will not leave New York in September, opening with two games outside of New York City (stock up for kids now, friends) against the Jets and the Giants before receiving the Bengals and Patriots .
Weekend purchases of browns:Four prime time games! What will Cleveland players and fans do with all this free time just released on Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m.?
Shared Spotlight: It's good to see that almost every team (sorry, Bills) gets at least one primetime appointment. I even want to see the Dolphins … once.
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Mexico A shattered field at the Estadio Azteca forced our southern neighbors to surrender the Chiefs-Rams last season, a game that turned out to be one of the most memorable shootings of the regular season. But the NFL will export to the Chiefs-Chargers, who also provided a dramatic contest late last season, on November 18 in a showdown of clubs that shared the best AFC record (12-4) in 2018.
History: To continue promoting the centennial season, the league has designated a "Game of the Week NFL100" throughout the season to provide, according to its press release, "a nod to a transcendental game played, a fierce rivalry spanning decades , a clash of original teams and / or a game in which history was made ".
Patriots:This worked quite well. The champions open with eight consecutive laps against teams that did not reach the playoffs last season. They may also limit travel expenses, leaving the Eastern time zone only once, a trip from Week 13 to Houston.
Fans of the Patriots: Yes, it's good to get Pack-Monsters out of the top in the name of the entire season's birthday party for the rest of us, but a little blows for the New England faithful. That first game on Thursday night, usually reserved as a home game for the current Super Bowl champions, is a good way for locals to enjoy their weekend before watching their fantasy teams debut from the comfort of the sofa (or the preferred watering). hole).
Fans of the Patriots … again: Oh yeah, the NFL is chasing you with an "NFL100" game … in Foxborough … against Eli Manning and the Giants on October 10th.
History lessons: Some pretty strange options for the designated NFL100. Would not it have been better to open season number 50 of "Monday Night Football" with the Jets-Browns, the inaugural showdown of "MNF" in 1970, instead of delaying it until Week 2? In Week 3, we have a Super Bowl VI celebration between Dallas and Miami, easily one of the worst Super Bowls in history, instead of the Broncos-Packers showdown 26 years later or the return of the Rams to Cleveland. your original home? And the NFL100 tag of week 5 does not go to the Packers-Cowboys, remember that Ice Bowl thing? – instead of placing it in Bills-Titans, although we're still not really sure that Music City Miracle was legitimate. I could go on …
Saints They get a Super Bowl-caliber calendar without the advantage of having actually played in the Super Bowl … that the story will always remind them they should have had. Two home games in September against the Texas playoff teams limit trips to the West Coast to visit the Rams and the Seahawks. (And the controversial NFC Championship Game rematch in Week 2 does not feel so soon?
Brian Flores: Welcome to the great headset. The rookie Miami head coach comes off the ramp against the Ravens, Patriots, Cowboys and Chargers, all the playoff teams of 2018.
Jimmy Garoppolo: I hope the surgically repaired knee feels 100%, friend, because the NFL will put you on two long plane trips (Tampa and Cincinnati) to start your comeback.
Iggles: Philly is the only team that has to play three straight games on the road (weeks 6-8), part of a stretch that includes a game at Lincoln Financial Field for a period of six weeks.
Aaron Rodgers and Matt LaFleur: The mental fusion between the new confidence of the brain of Green Bay will be tested immediately by the line of defenses of a murderer: Chicago, Minnesota, Denver, Philadelphia and Dallas. And do not think Mike McCarthy will not be watching.
Network of the NFL: The shop owned by the league again gets the remains of the table, forced to promote some of those mandatory appearances in primetime. Titans-Jags, Texans-Jags and two assistants from Bucs-Panthers will be shown exclusively at NFLN. Appointment watching … in the sun belt anyway.
Thanksgiving scraps? Uh, we also had Bears-Lions and Falcons-Saints last year, although the scenario of this last game has changed from New Orleans to Atlanta. And Bills-Cowboys for the main course? Really? Could not you have flexed a fresh turkey, NFL? I'm not sure these buffalo wings are going to hit the place.
Oakland: So let's recap: a city that loses its beloved franchise in Las Vegas after the season also has to deliver a start date to London, and that is simply a confrontation with the Bears that will prevent the Black Hole faithful from paying their respects to the dead people. his friend Khalil Mack, whom they could never fire properly in 2018. Oh, that London game on October 6 also means that the Raiders will play once in Oakland for a period of 42 days that covers the entire month of October. And instead of letting Silver and Black reduce their local record against one of their AFC West foes that lasted for decades, the Raiders are scheduled to bid farewell to the city with my clashes against Tennessee and Jacksonville in weeks 14 and 15, respectively. . This is just wrong. We expect Jon Gruden to head a surprise charge to an AFC West crown, leading the Raiders with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in the playoffs.
Follow Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.
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