Western Courier

The seven most intriguing 2019 NFL matchups

Michael Harms, Courier Staff

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The biggest NFL games have been announced. All 32 NFL teams now have their schedules and are preparing for their 16 different opponents. But no one has the time to watch every NFL game in the season, so here is a small guideline of what to watch.

The first notable matchup is a rematch of the NFC championship game, when the Los Angeles Rams go up against the New Orleans Saints in week two. If you don’t remember this game, it was mostly known for a blown pass interference call that could have altered the course of the game. New Orleans will look to seek revenge while the Rams will try to solidify their appearance as a team capable of winning the Super Bowl.

Second matchup will be during week four with the Chicago Bears versus the Oakland Raiders in London. This matchup will be about the future. Both teams over the past two years have made dramatic moves to transform their team. Chicago has relied on a star studded defense with a young up and coming quarterback, and Oakland will be relying on the coaching staff to take their roster and turn it into a playoff caliber team. This matchup will not only challenge Oakland’s Derek Carr and Antonio Brown against one of the NFL’s premier defenses, but it will show the world who’s rebuild blueprint might be better.

Number three is the New England Patriots versus the Cleveland Browns in week eight. What used to be an automatic win for the Patriots might hold some doubt as to who will win this game. The Browns finally, after years of rebuilding, may just have a roster worthy of competing at the top level of the NFL. With sophomore quarter back Baker Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry and Myles Garrett, this team could upset the defending Super Bowl champions. So, let’s watch and find out.

Another week eight matchup that I’m looking forward to and is also my fourth pick is the Kansas City Chiefs against the Green Bay Packers. Week eight might be busy trying to watch two games in one week, but it’s worth it. This matchup is all about the quarterback. The third year quarterback is trying to take over the league with sidearm throws, and MVP Patrick Mahomes is taking the league by storm. But Aaron Rodgers is not done. He is eager to get back to the Super Bowl and now with a new coach, the Packers might have a chance. This week will determine how strong these quarterbacks are in a showdown that hopes to marvel.

My fifth pick is happening in week 10 when the San Francisco 49ers take on the Seattle Seahawks. San Francisco is eager to compete at the top level. Last year with the hiring of Kyle Shanahan, the acquisition of Jimmy Garoppolo and the other free agency signees, the 49ers had a lot of hype. But injuries stopped the progress. This year will be their first test at their rebuilding project. To make sure they made all the right moves. Not to mention Russell Wilson going up against former teammate Richard Sherman will bring some fun to the game.

My sixth favorite matchup will be the Los Angeles Rams versus the Bears in week 11. Simply put, this game should be two juggernauts battling it out on the gridiron for the top playoff position. This game will hopefully hold a lot on the line and every player will put their best foot forward to secure the win, and give the fans a game worthy of all of their attention.

My final pick is the New York Jets against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 16. This week and this game will show the world a completion of two stories. One of personal sacrifice and success as Le’Veon Bell goes up against his former team after sitting out an entire year on the Steelers. He will perform better than ever proving the guaranteed money was worth the sacrifice he made to sit out a year. The Steelers will have a better idea on how their story ends. The story could either go good, with happiness and success of making it the playoffs or despair knowing they lost all of their star power with nothing to show for it. All eyes will be on this game to see how the completion of the Steelers’ season goes.

There are a ton of more matchups to watch. These games highlight my interest in the game of football, but every week there are two or three matchups worth taking a look at. So whether you love football or only watch because your significant other makes you, take a look at these games. They may just surprise you.

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The seven most intriguing 2019 NFL matchups