2017 NFL Storylines

The world of football is buzzing right now. The draft is a week from today and we’ll see some young men turn their dreams into reality and continue their playing days at the next level. Today, the schedules for the 2017 NFL season are released and we find out who is playing who, where and most importantly, when! Here are some things that caught my eye on the schedule. Enjoy.

Patriots and Chiefs kick off the ’17 season: They met in the playoffs almost two years ago, they were the top two seeds in the AFC playoffs this past season and they will face each other to open up the 2017 season. The Patriots will play in the Thursday opening game for the second time in three seasons and they will celebrate their fifth Super Bowl victory in 16 seasons. New England will also debut their new team they assembled in the offseason. Brandin Cooks will make his Patriots debut along with Dwayne Allen, Kony Ealy and Stephon Gilmore. The Chiefs are looking to get a big win on the road to start the season on a positive note. This game will feature the top two tight ends in the game in Rob Gronkowski and Travis Kelce.

Giants and Cowboys open up Sunday Night Football: For the third straight season, the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys will face each other in week one again in JerryWorld. The Giants handed Dak Prescott their first loss of the season when they faced off in week one and then snapped their 11 game winning streak in December in East Rutherford. This game will feature three-star wide receivers: Dez Bryant, Odell Beckham, and Brandon Marshall who signed with the Giants as a free agent this off-season. The Cowboys will look to get back to winning again under year two with Prescott and Zeke.

Seahawks and Packers battle: For the second time in four seasons, the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers will face one another to open up the season. When they kicked off against each other the last time, Seattle was coming off its first Super Bowl in franchise history. This time, they will meet at Lambeau. This is almost becoming a normal match up to expect each year and they’re always penciled in as the top two seeds in the NFC. Both are looking to begin their runs as they were both eliminated by the eventual conference champion Atlanta Falcons. This will be the sixth meeting between Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson.

NFC Championship Game Rematch: The Atlanta Falcons closed out the Georgia Dome in dominating fashion in January when they defeated Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to advance to the Super Bowl. Now, they make their regular season debut in their new stadium with the Packers coming back to town for the first time since that conference title game in January. We could see a lot of offense featured in this one. Two of the best quarterbacks in the business will be on display in this one.

Brady and Brees Battle: We have to really appreciate these legendary quarterback battles and we have a nice one here with Tom Brady and Drew Brees who both will be headed to Canton when it’s all said and done. Though the Saints have struggled to get to the playoffs the past couple of years, they have one of the best offenses in the league still and the Patriots, well, they are still the New England Patriots. This could be one of the last times we see two legends face off against each other.

Rodgers/Prescott III: The Packers and Cowboys should be on the schedule each year and if I could align them to face off in the postseason each year, I would, especially after the classic we saw in January. That was as heartbreaking of a loss as you can imagine because you work so hard and to lose in that fashion can stick with a player for a long time. Dak Prescott even said he would never get over this. Revenge will be on the mind for Dallas when the Packers come to town for a showdown at JerryWorld. I’ll have this one circled on the calendar for certain.

Brandon Marshall returns to Denver: There’s nothing like a homecoming and that goes for any sport. Brandon Marshall was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2006 in the fourth round and was traded in 2010. He’s played for two other teams since then and now, he’s on his third. He comes back to where it all started in Denver. The Broncos are looking to get back to the playoffs after missing it from being removed from a Super Bowl victory.

A Super Rematch: Okay, let’s go back to February 5th. The Atlanta Falcons were sitting comfortably with a 25 point lead and it looked as if they were going to win their first Super Bowl, does that ring a bell? Then, we all know what happens next. The Patriots come back and Tom Brady cements his legacy as the greatest ever to play the position of quarterback. If you are the Falcons and you saw the schedules, this is the game that stood out to you from the get go. There’s nothing more they want than to get back at the team that defeated them in the Super Bowl.

AFC West Rivals battle: A late season tilt in Kansas City could determine a lot of things not only in the division but possibly in the AFC playoff picture. The Oakland Raiders dropped both games to the eventual division champion in 16 and in order to win your division, you need to win in your division. The running game could be a deciding factor in this battle.

Brady, Ben, Once again: What if Le’Veon Bell were 100 percent healthy last year in January? What if Martavis Bryant were on the field? Would those two have made a difference? A rivalry game is the talk of this one with the Steelers hosting the Patriots in a huge AFC tilt that could determine a lot within the conference as far as seeding and home-field advantage. Let’s be realistic here: Tom Brady simply owns the Pittsburgh Steelers and that was very visible in the two matchups last season but let’s not forget that Ben Roethlisberger was out in the first meeting. Having Martavis Bryant back will be huge for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season. Two top five coaches, two champion quarterbacks, it calls for good football.

Panthers host Packers: The last three MVP’s have been quarterbacks and when Carolina and Green Bay get set to battle, two of the last guys to win the award will be featured here in Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton who will square off for just the fourth time. Their 2015 battle was one to remember with the Panthers just sliding by the Packers to keep the zero in the loss column. These are the games you love to watch. A high-flying offense against a hard-hitting defense. It calls for good football.