By Rockin’ Reese
Let’s start marking our calendars for Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays, and (for specific fan bases) Black Friday & the last 2 Saturdays of 2023. The 2023-24 NFL schedule has been released. While the status of some of these games might change (depending on records & injuries), I’m sure there are some games that have some mouth-watering intrigue for football fans all across America.
Let’s take a look at some of the more note-worthy games on the NFL Schedule.
Lions @ Chiefs (Sep. 7th): Opening night. The first official game of a new NFL season. The Kansas City Chiefs will enter Arrowhead Stadium, raise their Super Bowl 57 Champions banner, receive their rings, & begin defending their title. The Detroit Lions (who won 8 of their last 10 games, but missed last season’s playoffs) will be looking to make a big statement by starting their season with a victory over the champions. The Chiefs will look to make a statement of their own…we want to hold another Lombardi at the end of Super Bowl 58.
Eagles @ Patriots (Sep. 10th): The NFC Champions will start their season on the road, as the Philadephia Eagles visit Foxborough to play the New England Patriots. While there is no Nick Foles & Tom Brady, there is Jalen Hurts & Mac Jones. Let’s see which former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback will roll to victory.
Cowboys @ Giants (Sep. 10th): The first Sunday Night Football of the new season finds the NFC East locking horns. Both teams made the playoffs, as wild card teams. Both teams made it to the NFC divisional round. When the Dallas Cowboys visit the New York Giants, one team will send a strong message to the rest of the division by defeating a rival.
Bills @ Jets (Sep. 11th): The first Monday night game will feature a new beginning. For the first time in his 19-year career, Aaron Rodgers will compete in the AFC. His uniform will have green, but it will be the green of the New York Jets, not the Green Bay Packers. While Rodgers is used to being a media presence, he might find the New York media a lot more intense than it was, when he was a visiting Packer. His first test…try to outperform Josh Allen. With AFC East supremacy on the line, we know the Buffalo Bills would love nothing more than to come to the Met & spoil Aaron’s debut as a Jet.
Falcons @ Jaguars (Oct. 1st), Jaguars @ Bills (Oct. 8th), & Ravens @ Titans (Oct. 15th): For the 15th time in 16 years, the NFL is heading over to London. Since 2007, teams have gone across the pond to compete in front of audiences in the United Kingdom’s capital. For the first time, the Jacksonville Jaguars (who have competed in London, a record 9 times) will be playing in consecutive weeks…as a home team, then a road team.
Bills @ Bengals (Nov. 5th): We all remembered what happened when the Bills visited the Cincinnati Bengals on January 2nd. I’m sure this will be one of the most emotional games of the season, especially for the Bills. I know this will be extra emotional, if Damar Hamlin is in this game…not just for both teams, but also for the fans.
Dolphins @ Chiefs (Nov. 5th) & Colts @ Patriots (Nov. 12th): For the 2nd year in a row, the NFL will keep the international action going in Germany. After a successful debut in Munich, the league will go to Frankfurt. The game on Nov. 5th will be the 3rd international game featuring a reigning Super Bowl Champion. (The other games that featured a reigning champion were Nov. 2017, when the Patriots defeated the then Oakland Raiders and Oct. 2018, when the Eagles defeated the Jaguars.)
Panthers @ Bears (Nov. 9th): Before the NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears had the #1 pick. Thanks to a trade that sent DJ Moore & a few future picks to the Windy City, the Carolina Panthers ended up with the #1 pick (which they used to select Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young). Personally, I felt it was a bad decision by the Bears, because they needed to set the tone for their draft. This game may be one of many examples of why the Bears might miss the playoffs, again.
Eagles @ Chiefs (Nov. 20th): The rematch from Super Bowl 57. By the time this game comes around, will either of these teams look like a contender for Super Bowl 58?
Packers @ Lions, Commanders @ Cowboys, & 49ers @ Seahawks (Nov. 23rd): Thanksgiving is usually a time when you’re around family & loved ones. In the NFL, this year, there will be anything except love on the field. There will be a day of division rivalries. In the end, 3 teams will be thankful for victory & 3 teams will feel like turkeys.
Dolphins @ Jets (Nov. 24th): For the first time in NFL history, a game will be played on Black Friday. After the overnight/early morning shopping is done, people in East Rutherford can go to MetLife & be a part of history.
49ers @ Eagles (Dec. 3rd): The rematch from the NFC Championship game. The San Francisco 49ers will be looking for revenge, as the Eagles kept taking out their quarterbacks. However, the Eagles will want to make history repeat itself & give another defeat to the Niners.
Bills @ Chiefs (Dec. 10th): Last season, the Bills finally defeated the Chiefs in the Red Kingdom. Since Allen & Mahomes have been the starting quarterbacks for their respective teams, Bills vs. Chiefs games have been ultra-competitive. Expect this one to be no different, especially if both teams are contending for home field in the AFC playoffs.
Raiders @ Chiefs, Giants @ Eagles, & Ravens @ 49ers (Dec. 25th): Normally, people don’t like getting up early on a Monday. However, this will be one exception. Why? It’s Christmas. The day will start some season’s greetings, but it will end with season’s beatings. With a weekend full of action, this is the perfect way to end a Christmas week of football.
Lions @ Cowboys (Dec. 30th): Normally, week 17 would mark the last Monday night game of the season. However, with New Year’s Day falling on a Monday & the semi-finals of the college football playoffs usually being on New Year’s, the NFL had to move the game between the Lions & the Cowboys game to Saturday.
Bengals @ Chiefs (Dec. 31st): These teams have competed against each other in the last 2 AFC Championship games. To say there is bad blood between them is an understatement. With the hits in this game, champagne bottles may not be the only thing popping before 2023 turns into 2024.