2016 NFL Schedule: Biggest Games for Each Week

The NFL released the 2016 regular season schedule this past week, so now everyone knows when they’re favorite teams will play whom, and at what time.

The TailGate Talk Show bloggers will be going through each week and explaining what games they think will be the one you can’t miss.

Week One

Jimmy: Patriots at CardinalsThe runner-ups from the conference title games last year will give us a small taste of the Super Bowl that could have been. It also gives us a head-to-head matchup of two of the best coaches in the NFL in Bill Belichick and Bruce Arians.

Arthur: Patriots at Cardinals — Cardinals are continuing to get better. If they win the week one matchup against the greatest QB-coach duo the game has ever seen, it would certainly be an early statement.

Danny: Giants at Cowboys — Everyone knows when these two teams get together, especially on week one, it makes for one of the best games of the weekend. In an effort to avoid the same ending as last year, the Giants spent a ton of money on their defense which should make this another tight matchup.

Week Two

Jimmy: Seahawks at Rams — After more than 20 years, the NFL will officially return to Los Angeles when the Rams host the Seahawks at the L.A. Coliseum, where head coaches Jeff Fisher and Pete Carroll both played and coached, respectively, in the stadium while at USC. We may also get a glimpse of the Rams rookie QB, if they draft and start one.

Arthur: Seahawks at Rams — Football returns to L.A. and the team now has the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Oh, and they seemingly always give Seattle a rough time. Expect some fun.

Image result for seattle seahawks vs st. louis rams

Danny: Bengals at Steelers — There is absolutely nothing sexy about this game, in fact I think its one of the more boring matchups all year, but as much as I hate it, there is always excitement. Coming off the first matchup since last years playoff game, this is going to be a bruising, hard fought 60 minutes of football.

Week Three

Jimmy: Steelers at Eagles — They don’t play often, but when they do, the battle lines are drawn in the Keystone state. The Steelers’ high powered offense, led by QB Ben Roethlisberger, RB Le’Veon Bell, and perhaps the NFL’s best WR Antonio Brown, will be a huge test for that Jim Schwartz led defense for the Eagles.

Arthur: Vikings at Panthers — Two playoff teams from a year ago, and neither are going away anytime soon. Seeing two dual threat quarterbacks that could certainly get better should be a good time.

Danny: Falcons at Saints —  Atlanta has started off seasons smoking hot the past few years only to cool off later in the season which makes their trip to the Superdome much more exciting in week three. This is going to be a high scoring affair that could come down to the last possession.

Week Four

Jimmy: Bills at Patriots — It’s always a treat when Rex Ryan goes up against Bill Belichick, and this time should be no different. The Bills lost twice to the Patriots last season, 40-32 and then 20-13. Can they get over that hump?

Arthur: Saints at Chargers — This is Drew Brees’s first trip back to San Diego since leaving at the end of the 2005 season. With the idea the Chargers could be joining the Rams in L.A. it should be a nice homecoming of sorts for Brees.

Danny: Browns at Redskins — The return of RGIII to Washington makes this game a headliner. It’ll be his chance to show the organization, and the fans, that they made a mistake going with Kirk Cousins over him. There’s more than just pride and bragging rights on the line here, as I think this game defines the remainder of Griffin’s career.

Week Five

Jimmy: Chargers at Raiders — Philip Rivers is still producing at a high level, despite the talent around him slowly deteriorating. Derek Carr showed last year that the best is yet to come with him, and Amari Cooper is one of the most exciting young players to watch. I’m thinking this will be a high scoring affair, with the two-minute drill determining the game

Arthur: Giants at Packers — Giants were struck with some bad luck in the fourth quarter all of last year. The Packers on the other hand have had some great luck in the fourth quarter. Both clubs are looking for success as the clock runs out on having two franchise quarterbacks.

Danny: Giants at Packers — A showdown of talent will happen at Lambeau with two teams that had drastically different endings to some games last season.  These two organizations with rich history and tradition will square off with two future Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks and some even more exciting skill players.  Oh, and lets not forget about that ’07 NFC Championship game.

Week Six

Jimmy: Cowboys at Packers — History speaks for itself with these two teams, but the Cowboys will be returning to the place where the catch that was not meant to be determined an exciting 2014 Divisional Round, when Cowboys WR Dez Bryant dropped the game saving pass. Or did he?

Arthur: Colts at Texans — Despite a non-divisional rivalry between the Cowboys and Packers, I’m taking a rivalry that is played twice every year. The Colts and Texans are two teams with a lot of questions, but have a ton of talent. Both are capable of making the playoffs, and the midseason matchup on Sunday night will show that.

Danny: Bengals at Patriots — If Cincinnati wants to start proving themselves as an organization, this game is going to be extremely important. If they can go on the road to one of the toughest places to play against arguably the best team in the NFL and win, they will be proving a lot of doubters wrong.

Week Seven

Jimmy: Texans at Broncos — Brock Osweiler returns to face the team that drafted him, whom he led for seven weeks and went 5-2 in place of an injured and poorly playing Peyton Manning. Who knows, if not for Osweiler, the Broncos may not have made the playoffs last year let alone win the Super Bowl.

Arthur: Patriots at Steelers — Certainly could be a playoff preview. Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady are in discussions as top five QBs in all of the league. Both franchises have seen their share of recent success, and there aren’t signs of it stopping this year. 70 combined points and nearly 900 yards of combined offense isn’t out of the question.

Danny: Seahawks at Cardinals — Two division rivals and the two teams who are most likely to make the playoffs from this division, squaring off in primetime is an exciting matchup. The high powered Cardinals offense is going to have a tough task against that Seattle D, but playing at home should help them put points up. This is going to be a fun game to watch.

Week Eight

Jimmy: Chiefs at Colts — Remember that wild 2013 AFC Wild Card game where the Chiefs built a 31-10 halftime lead only to watch the Colts comeback and win 45-44? Yeah, I don’t think Andy Reid forgot either. Let’s see if Big Red can exorcise those demons that haunt him in Lucas Oil Stadium.

Arthur: Cardinals at Panthers — A rematch of the 2015 NFC Championship. The Cardinals were embarrassed by Cam Newton and company, and don’t think they’ll forget that. They each have this game circled on their schedule.

Danny: Raiders at Buccaneers — Yeah I’m surprised I’m saying this too, but a matchup with two of the better young QBs in the game, plus two of the best young WRs in the game makes me think this is going to be a high flying, fun game to watch.  I think this comes down to which QB/WR makes the great play with the game on the line.

Week Nine

Jimmy: Eagles at Giants — These two division rivals always play their best games at the Meadowlands. With three of their last four games at MetLife Stadium being regular season finales, and both teams eliminated from the playoffs, this should be a meaningful game. Hopefully.

Arthur: Bills at Seahawks — Yes, there’s a rematch of Colts and Packers from the “Chuck Strong game” and features two of the games best quarterbacks in Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers. However, Rex Ryan has the loudest mouth in the league. He talks big, and sometimes has big results. The only thing louder than Ryan’s mouth is Seattle’s 12th man, and they’ll look to shut him and the up-and-coming Bills’s up.

Danny: Eagles at Giants — As a Giants fan, I am terrified of this game, especially coming out of a bye week with no momentum, but as a football fan I love this game every year.  Even though the Meadowlands is one of the harder places to play in the NFL in the winter, the Eagles always bring their A-game and it’ll be a tough test for first time HCs on both sidelines.

Week 10

Jimmy: Seahawks at Patriots — Super Bowl 49 was one of, if not the greatest, Super Bowls of all time as both teams put on a classic that came down to the last play of the game. Pete Carroll returns to the place where he once coached in hopes of getting revenge on the team that fired him back in 2000, and also cost him his second straight Super Bowl win.

Arthur: Seahawks at Patriots — A rematch of arguably the greatest Super Bowl game of all-time. Both teams are still elite and play a factor in their conferences. Seattle won’t have the home crowd there to support them, but they will have the motivation of losing the biggest game on the final play.

Danny: Texans at Jaguars — Not the most appealing pick in the world, I know, but for some reason when these two teams get together, fun things happen.  I personally think its because both teams kind of suck and its a fight to see which sucks less.  But, Blake Bortles is on the verge of being a great QB and this year I think he is going to shine.

Week 11

Jimmy: Texans at Raiders — Despite it saying Texans AT Raiders, it’s really being played in Mexico, the first time the NFL has played there in over a decade. The game itself might be good, but it’s really about the international impact of the NFL expanding to other countries.

Arthur: Texans at Raiders — With NFL playing games in England every year, football is looking to expand globally. This matchup being played in Mexico brings the game to people who aren’t overseas and expands football’s popularity.

Danny: Cardinals at Vikings — If the Cardinals want to prove they are the best team in the NFC West, they are going to have to start by winning tough, non-division road games and Minnesota is one of them. The Vikings are much better at home than on the road, and that’s a cold, hard place to travel if you are coming from the desert.

Week 12

Jimmy: Steelers at Colts — The game to round out your Thanksgiving holiday should be a good one as the Steelers and Colts could be going at it in a preview to the playoffs. Luck should bounce back this season, and will hopefully be putting up MVP numbers by this point in the season to make it a wild shoot out.

Arhur: Chiefs at Broncos — The Chiefs will be looking to dethrone the Broncos. The Chiefs sport a great defense, but so too do the Broncos. Should the Chiefs win, that would be a staple win for the underrated team.

Danny: 49ers at Dolphins — I don’t know about you, but I think the slate of Thanksgiving games sucks. Until the Lions get better, they need to give up this game. It’s a waste! Anyway, the 49ers with Chip are going to South Beach where Tannehill has something to prove and if the Dolphins can’t beat the 9ers at home, they are just a doomed franchise. Should be a fun game.

Week 13

Jimmy: Panthers at Seahawks — Cam Newton vs. Russell Wilson is quickly becoming the next great rivalry in the NFL. Both teams are well rounded on both sides of the ball, it will just be a matter of who makes that first mistake; whether it’s the very first or very last play of the game.

Arthur: Panthers at Seahawks — With the Brady vs. Peyton rivalry taking a backseat to Peyton’s retirement, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson are up to the challenge to give football a new, and great rivalry. They meet for the seventh time since 2012, and the average margin of victory is six points. Both teams are great, both dual threat quarterbacks are the new wave of the NFL, and this rivalry will continue for many years.

Danny: Panthers at Seahawks — As much as I hate agreeing with my constituents, this is the best game of the weekend. This season as a whole is important to the Panthers and Cam if they want to be considered the real deal instead of a lucky season team, and no better place to prove it than in Seattle.

Week 14

Jimmy: Ravens at Patriots — A somewhat underrated rivalry, but one that always produces great games, and this season should be no different. Since 2008, if there has ever been one team that was guaranteed to either beat the Patriots, or fight them tooth and nail, it’s the Ravens.

Arthur: Seahawks at Packers — The Seahawks and Packers have played in some amazing games in the last five years, but always seemingly works in favor for the Hawks. From the “Fail Mary” to the the unbelievable comeback in the fourth quarter of the playoffs a couple years ago, it wouldn’t be surprising if they put on another entertaining hour of football fans will talk about in the upcoming years.

Danny: Texans at Colts — I was half tempted to pick Dallas and NYG again because you can’t go wrong there, but I think this game is important for both teams. Why? Because I believe the AFC South comes down to this game right here, in Week 14.  By this time we will have separated the men from the boys, and if Houston can go on the road and win in Indy, it sends a big message.

Week 15

Jimmy: Saints at CardinalsTwo veteran QBs and two offensive minded head coaches. These two teams met in week one last season, in which the Cardinals won 31-19. Look for the Saints to be rejuvenated this season now that Sean Payton knows he’s sticking around, and hopefully put up a better fight.

Arthur: Steelers at Bengals — The AFC North has shown off great rivalry games between the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals (sorry Browns) in the last decade. Both teams could be in playoff contention and both teams have strong dislike for one another. No bark, all bite in this game.

Danny: Dolphins at Jets — The random Saturday night game the Jets play in every season is always strange to me, but I think this is a good matchup for them.  Most likely fighting for a wild card spot, this game will be very important to both teams, and with the weather in NJ in December, it certainly won’t be a walk in the park either.

Week 16

Jimmy: Ravens at Steelers — Merry Christmas football fans, as the current best rivalry in the NFL takes place on Christmas Day. The division title could very well be on the line, and these two teams always save their best games for last, especially when at Heinz Field.

Arthur: Cardinals at Seahawks — Both teams will be looking for a spot in the playoffs, and should be in contention for a division title. Arizona will look to defend its title, while Seattle will look to take its third in four years.

Danny: Broncos at Chiefs — Merry Christmas to these two teams who will unfortunately spend their holiday on a very cold field in Kansas City.  The Broncos in the post-Manning era will be needing solid road victories if they plan on making another Super Bowl run. This game is going to be won on the ground and in the trenches with both of these squads having stout defenses.

Week 17

Jimmy: Giants at Redskins — Division titles and conference seedings will be on the line, so this was a tough one to predict. The Giants were the best team in the NFC East last season, despite finishing 6-10 due to poor clock management and last minute loses. I’m predicting them to win the division this year, but to do so they have to take down last year’s division champs.

Arthur: Texans at Titans — The Texans went out and signed Brock Osweiler in hopes he’d be a franchise quarterback. The Titans went and drafted Marcus Mariota with the same hopes. Both teams are looking for the gamble to payoff. It’ll be fun to see how far each franchise comes along in the season’s final game.

Danny: Giants at Redskins — I agree with Jimmy on this game, I think this is going to be the matchup that decides the division, assuming the Cowboys have another tough season. It is a bit shocking to see the Giants not playing the Eagles as has been tradition over the last few years in week 17, but nevertheless, the G-Men will look to overtake last year’s division champ on their own home turf.


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