The NFL 2017 schedule has been released, so we now know when and where our favorite teams will play and what primetime games are on tap.
Like last year, the guys from Tailgate Talk Show will each provide one game they feel you should definitely tune into each week and why this season.
Here we go!
(Photo Credit: seattletimes.com)
Jimmy: Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers — Week one has some good games on hand, but I have to go with the Seahawks and Packers as the one to watch. These two teams produced two classics in the early stages of this rivalry with the Fail Mary game in 2012 and that wild NFC Championship game in 2014. The Packers won the last two contests by a combined score of 65-27, evening this rivalry up at 2-2 since it started gaining steam in 2012. Who gets the upper hand to go 3-2?
Arthur: Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots — The NFL has done a great job of getting the defending champions to kick things off against good teams. This year is no different. These two teams were the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the AFC a season ago. We never got the matchup many were hoping to see in the AFC Championship with the Patriots explosive offense going against the Chiefs suffocating defense.
Danny: New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys— Listen, I don’t want to be the homer here bringing up the Giants every week, though with their schedule it would be understandable, especially when you’re a legit Super Bowl contender. However, there is a reason the NFL feels like this should be an opening week game every year, its usually the best game of week one. Last year the Giants beat the ‘Boys twice, including a one point game on the road in week one. I anticipate a similar outcome in 2017.
Jimmy: New England Patriots at New Orleans Saints — Two Hall-of Fame quarterbacks will be going at it for perhaps the last time as Tom Brady and the defending Super Bowl 51 champs head down to the bayou. Drew Brees and the Saints haven’t sniffed the playoffs since 2013 while the Pats have won two Super Bowls since then. Despite a good Pats defense and a terrible Saints defense, I predict both QBs will find the necessary holes in the secondary to put up one last shootout. The scoreboard operator better be ready, because I think both teams will score a lot and often. Also, fun fact, Drew Brees is 3-0 against Tom Brady.
(Photo Credit: nflfullhd.com)
Arthur: Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons — For the second straight year, the Packers will be the visiting team when a stadium hosts its first football game. This time, a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship where the Falcons found a way to put a whooping on the Packer’s injured defense. This could be a big deciding factor at the end of the year with playoff seeding.
Danny: Dallas Cowboys at Denver Broncos — Coming off the inevitable week one loss to the Giants, the defending NFC East champs’ schedule does not get any easier in week two. The Denver defense is still one of the best in the NFL, and traveling to Mile High Stadium is no easy task even in the early months of the season. This is going to be a good second week test for the now second year tandom of Prescott and Elliott and will be a good barometer game to see if they will be hitting the wall known as the sophomore slump. I look for a now “experienced” Trevor Simeon to make some big plays against a questionable Dallas D.
(Photo Credit: fansided.com)
Jimmy: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles — Not a lot of sexy games in week three, so when in doubt, pick an NFC East game as a must-watch. The Eagles are home for the first time this season in week three, and I feel they’ll be entering this contest 0-2, while the Giants could be 2-0. Expect the Eagles, in desperate need of their first win, to want it to come at the expense of their biggest division rival, while the Giants would love nothing more than to stick it to the birds and drop them to 0-3 and get a win at Lincoln Financial Field for the first time since 2013.
Arthur: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals — The Cardinals were arguably the biggest disappointment in 2016 with the Cowboys being the most surprising team in that span. Both teams bring back many pieces that should have them both in playoff discussion. Both teams also play in competitive divisions, and surely can’t look past how important this game will be.
Danny: Atlanta Falcons at Detroit Lions — If you’re looking for an early season game to see if either of these two 2016 playoff teams are going to be repeat visitors to the postseason, look no further than this game. Going on the road to Detroit is harder now than in past years, and with two once young stars in Matt Ryan and Matt Stafford now getting older, this game is going to be a big non-divisonal game for both teams. I look for this one to be high scoring and very exciting to watch. I won’t be surprised if this one is decided on the last possession.
Jimmy: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens — Christmas Day, 2016, 13 seconds left to play, Ben Roethlisberger throws a touchdown to Antonio Brown to win the game and eliminate the Ravens from playoff contention. As if this rivalry didn’t need anymore gasoline added to the fire, expect the Ravens to come out seeking revenge on their rivals and produce a slugfest that will make everyone’s bones rattle, even those watching from home.
(Photo Credit: fansided.com)
Arthur: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens — Tried taking a different route than Fisher, but the above statement and the fact this has been one of the best rivalries in the entire game for better part of a decade makes this matchup intriguing. Look for Baltimore to have a little vengeance on the Steelers in the home game.
Danny: Washington R-Words at Kansas City Chiefs — As always in past years, I expect the Chiefs to be a formidable regular season team who disappoints in the playoffs and this Monday Night matchup should be a good one. Look, I never believe in the Skins, but if they want to hang with the best in the NFC East, they are going to have to win some tough games on the road, something they’ve struggled doing in the past. Kirk Cousins looking for that big contract needs to prove his worth and no better opportunity to do so than on national tv against one of the best defenses the NFL has to offer.
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Jimmy: Los Angeles Chargers at New York Giants — A lot of good games being played this week, but the two quarterbacks involved in the blockbuster trade of the 2004 NFL Draft will square off for perhaps the last time. Manning is 0-3 against the Chargers, and I’m sure he’d love to get one win over them before he calls it a career. Otherwise, the Chargers can always say that although he never wanted to play for them, he could also never beat them.
Arthur: Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins — Marcus Mariota and the Titans were oh so close to sniffing the playoffs a season ago with the Dolphins sliding in as the No. 6 seed. There are a lot of upsides to both clubs, and the Titans have the luxury of playing in the weak AFC South. There are a lot of good games being played on the same day, but this should be a good one for two teams on the lower half of coverage.
Danny: New York Jets at Cleveland Browns — Right about now I believe the words you’re looking for are “what the f***” and with a bunch of good matchups this week, you aren’t wrong in thinking that. However, I view this game as one of those: it’s so bad, it has to be good, ones. Both teams are going to stink, no question, but they are so equally bad that this might actually be a tight game. I look for some newly drafted studs to start coming into their own by week five and I think this game has the potential to make or break the early careers of some top-10 draft picks.
Jimmy: Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans — The AFC South may suck as a whole, but they can sure produce some fun games. The Titans took a huge step forward last season to finish 9-7 and nearly make playoffs, while the Colts have remained stagnant at 8-8 the last two years. The Colts have won 11 straight against their division rival, but with a Titans team on the rise, and still a lot of uncertainty surrounding Indy, look for that streak to be broken.
Arthur: Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs — The Steelers have had some of the most success in football as of late, and it’s something the Chiefs want. This year, nobody will surely overlook the Chiefs and their defense, but because of that, it will bring the best out of both teams — especially playoff caliber ones. I can’t imagine this game being a shootout, but it should be a doozy.
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Danny: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Arizona Cardinals — It’s only a matter of time before the Bucs will be a force in the NFC south again, and to win that division they are going to have to win some tough games outside of their rivals. Going to Arizona is a tough test, and the talents of Jameis Winston and Mike Evans will be on full display. I look forward to watching this shootout and wouldn’t be surprised if this wound up being a 49-47 game.
Jimmy: Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots — There is no doubt that everyone has this game circled on their calendars. The biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, the Patriots earned their fifth Lombardi Trophy in without a doubt the greatest Super Bowl ever played. The Falcons are returning a lot of players from that 2016 squad, but the coaching staff will be different with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan taking the head coaching gig in San Francisco, along with the departure of some other coaches. Look for this to be a fun one anyways.
(Photo Credit: miamiherald.com)
Arthur: Atlanta Falcons at New England Patriots — In a week that looks boring on paper, the Falcons and Patriots easily come to the forefront. No need to remind you of what happened the last time these two teams met. The biggest question is who will get the upside of the Sunday night feature?
Danny: New Orleans Saints at Green Bay Packers — The Saints have proven they can win on the road, and the Green bay Packers have proven they are not a strong defensive team, which means this game should be fun to watch. If the Saints close on a deal with Adrian Peterson, which is looking good, this gives that high-flying offense of New Orleans another weapon to attack a vulnerable secondary with, match that with the star power the Pack feature on their offensive roster, this will be must see tv.
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Jimmy: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs — The AFC West is perhaps the toughest division, and while the Broncos have lost more than they’ve gained these last two years in the offseason, they still have enough talent to hang around with some of the best. These two produced some classics last season, and while the Chiefs and Oakland Raiders seem to be the top two teams everyone is talking about in the West, the Broncos will look to prove that they should be talked about as well.
Arthur: Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers — The NFC South could easily be in the discussion for toughest division in the conference. Unlike the AFC West, this one is prided off offense. The Panthers began the two year streak of NFC South team’s representing the conference in the Super Bowl, and they were a major disappointment last year. Tampa Bay is on the rise with talent in place for Jameis Winston. If you’re a fan of offensive fireworks, this game should live up to that hype.
Danny: Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals — The Colts just cannot seem to figure it out on the road, but maybe this year will be different. They added Jonathan Hankins, a strong DT from the New York Giants to sure up their run defense and they will need it against the Bengals. If Andrew Luck can stay healthy and their offense can produce like everyone expects them to, I imagine this can cause matchup problems for the up and down Cincy defense. I look forward to this matchup of extremely doofy quarterbacks.
Jimmy: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints — If there’s one thing these two teams like to do when they play, it’s keep the score close. Both teams are 2-2 against one another these last two seasons, with only one possession deciding the outcome. A young, up-and-coming quarterback in Jameis Winston against a veteran in Drew Brees, the real question is the defenses as they tend to be each team’s downfall. With both teams possibly looking to address those needs come draft time, this could either be a shootout, or a slugfest.
Arthur: Kansas City Chiefs at Dallas Cowboys — Both teams got the bye week in the playoffs a season ago playing two different styles of football. I want to see what Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have up their sleeves for an encore, and going against a balanced Chiefs team should be fun. When these two teams last met, the Chiefs won 17-16 in 2013. Could we see a similar score?
(Photo Credit: rantsports.com)
Danny: Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans— On paper this is not a sexy matchup, but a battle between the upstart Titan offense against an always stingy Raven defense make this a really intriguing game. The Ravens are looking to get back to the postseason and the Titans will be right in the heart of a tough but winnable division race, this game is a really important November matchup for both teams.
Jimmy: Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers — Believe it or not, I’m picking this game because I believe it could very well steal the show this week. The Dolphins look to be up-and-coming under second-year head coach Adam Gase, with an offense that has a good running back in Jay Ajayi, a decent quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, a good receiving corp and a hard hitting defense. The Panthers should bounce back after a down 2016, and on paper these two teams could be evenly matched come game time. I feel whoever wins this game could start gaining momentum towards a playoff push.
Arthur: Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals — A Thursday night game that will take all of my attention. The NFC West for one reason or another always seem to play close, exciting games. Last season, these two teams tied in the first meeting, and in the second meeting, the Cardinals got the better of the Seahawks, 34-31.
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Danny: Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears — Absolutely nothing appealing about this game except for the historical value it brings to the NFL. By this time I expect the Bears to be all but eliminated from the playoffs and the Pack still fighting for the NFC North divisional crown, which means the Bears playing spoiler and I love it. After dealing with their Cutler problem, the Bears sign the most Bears QB available and maybe he’ll bring them some success. I look for this one to be much closer of a game than it should be.
Jimmy: New England Patriots at Oakland Raiders — For the second year in a row, the Raiders will be playing in Mexico City, and the lights couldn’t be brighter on a young squad that many believe are the sole challengers to the Patriots for AFC supremacy. Had Derek Carr not gotten injured at the end of 2016, who knows how deep the Raiders would have gone in the playoffs? Marshawn Lynch could be in the silver and black this season, and many believe he’s the missing piece for the Raiders to get to the Super Bowl. But the Patriots aren’t ready to give up their crown just yet.
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Arthur: New England Patriots at Oakland Raiders — The Raiders will attempt to get used to desert conditions for the second straight year in Mexico City. This is a game of a young quarterback against the most successful quarterback. Points won’t be hard to find.
Danny: Kansas City Chiefs at New York Giants — Talk about a defensive chess match. If you like hard hitting and low scoring, this is the game for you. Both teams will have top defenses and they will be trading field position all game long, but I imagine this matchup coming down to the final possession and who doesn’t love an early afternoon heart attack?
Jimmy: Green Bay Packers at Pittsburgh Steelers — Another matchup of two Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks, and this should be a good one. Both teams have offenses that can score often and quick, but the real question will be the run game as the Packers will be relying on potential receiver turned runner Tye Montgomery and if teams have game planned on how to stop him. Look for this one to come down to the last possession of the game.
(Photo Credit: redskins.com)
Arthur: New York Giants at Washington Redskins — Three of the four NFC East teams will be in action on Thanksgiving. There really isn’t anything like spending the holiday, eating a ton of great food with great people in your life, and treating yourself to some football. This matchup is the most exciting of the three, with each of them splitting the two games last year.
Danny: Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders — For the first time in as long as I can remember, I have the Oakland Raiders being the favorite to win the AFC West. However, it won’t be a cake walk and late November divisional games are never an easy win. If the Raiders want to win this division they will need to take every home game on their schedule, which means this is a game to watch. These two defenses going head to head should make for a fun game to watch.
(Photo Credit: raisingzona.com)
Jimmy: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals — I have no idea how either team will be at this point of the season. The Rams will probably only have a few wins, while the Cardinals could bounce back to playoff contention in what could be the last season for Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer. This smells like a trap game as the Rams play their division rivals like their lives depend on it. Lesser quarterbacks on the Rams team than Jared Goff have played good games against the Cardinals, so look for the second-year guy to have a good game in what could be a high scoring thriller as they look to potentially play spoiler.
Arthur: Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans — These two teams figure to be in the playoff picture having both playing in the weak AFC South. They split the series last year by a touchdown each. By the time they play this game, it should help the playoff picture.
Danny: Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks — If Philly wants to be a serious threat to the NFC East, they are going to have to get some surprising wins, and this would be one of them. I think the Seahawks are a beatable team, but with the 12th man behind them in a pivotal late season game, it is going to be hard for Carson Wentz to lead the birds to a W.
Jimmy: Philadelphia Eagles at Los Angeles Rams — I doubt either team will be in playoff contention at this point, but it’ll be fun to watch the number one and number two overall picks from the 2016 draft go at it. The Rams will probably still be riding high off an upset win over the Cardinals from the week before, so I expect the Eagles to come in and do their job as Carson Wentz shows the Rams that they made the wrong choice in going with his counterpart.
(Photo Credit: giants.com)
Arthur: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants — The Cowboys took the division last year, and the Giants have responded by giving Eli Manning another top notch receiver in Brandon Marshall. The defense in New York is already one of the best in the league. This game will go a long way in deciding who will be crowned division champions.
Danny: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers — Nothing sexy about this game other than its going to be your cookie cutter AFC North brawl. Whenever these two teams get together in December, sparks fly and I expect nothing different this week. Honestly, whichever team has the most bodies standing by the end of this game is probably going be the winner and if you like old-school football, this is the matchup for you.
Jimmy: Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders — Two teams with sky high potential and a lot riding on their shoulders going into this season, this will be a tough test for the Cowboys as the Black Hole will be rocking for this one. The Raiders defense will make things hard for Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot, but the Cowboys have a tendency to surprise everyone in big situations, sometimes. Everyone may say shootout, but I’m going to go opposite and say low scoring slugfest.
(Photo Credit: fullofficialhdtv.com
Arthur: Cincinnati Bengals at Minnesota Vikings — Both teams had playoff aspirations last year, and look to rebound. Many think the two teams will be better this year, and this though this is an out of conference game, it could help us see what kind of teams they’ll be late in the season with more weight on their shoulders to perform well.
Danny: Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants — Philly traveling to New York in December with a chance to break the Giants season, sound familiar? It should, it happens almost every season. Despite the consistency with which this game happens, it never disappoints and this year shouldn’t be any different. The Eagles have had the Giants number the last few years, but with the division title on the line, expect the G-Men to put up a fight.
Jimmy: Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers — Sam Bradford debuted with the Vikings in an upset against the Packers last season, but the Pack were laughing last as they finished the season 10-6 and went to the NFC Championship game while the Vikes stumbled to an 8-8 record after a 5-0 start. The achilles heel for the Vikings last season was the injuries on the offensive line, but with those players returning to go with a stellar defense and Bradford in a full offseason wearing purple and white, this one could potentially decide the NFC North division winner.
Arthur: Seattle Seahawks at Dallas Cowboys — A lot of good games to tune into Christmas week, but this one jumps out to me. Both teams have great running games, and could make matters go by quicker than most games. Seattle has been known for the defense, but can they step up on the road against a young, explosive offense? Stay tuned.
(Photo Credit: chatsports.com)
Danny: Los Angeles Rams at Tennessee Titans — Who doesn’t love a little Christmas Eve football? Two young QB’s looking to make their mark on the league going head to head should be fun to watch. Throw in a terrible defense and an underperforming defense and those two young quarterbacks should take centerstage. I look for this to be nothing short of a fun game to watch.
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Jimmy: Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks — Like last year, week 17 was hard to pick because of the uncertainty surrounding the playoff picture. But, the Cardinals and Seahawks have proven that the records can go out the window when they play, and I feel this game will play a major role in deciding the playoff bracket. This could be for the division title, but I think the Seahawks will have that wrapped up prior to this game. However, that won’t stop the Cardinals from trying to knock them out of potentially clinching home-field advantage.
Arthur: Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos — The thing with football is there are always some teams awaiting their seeding or news of elimination. This game could very well be a case of both. The Chiefs after all, won the division and locked the No. 2 seed in week 17. The Broncos should rebound this year, and make the division competitive. Even if this game doesn’t have the weight I think it will, there will be games carrying a lot, and I can’t wait to see how week 17 shapes up overall.
Danny: Oakland Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers — A little NYE pigskin to take you into the College Football Playoff? Sure! A chance for the Chargers to break the hearts of their cross-state rivals on a holiday weekend? Even better. Look, the Chargers won’t sniff the playoffs this year, but what’s to stop them from keeping the Raiders out of the postseason. Oakland will need to win this game to get in, the big question is, can they? Should be a fun game.