Ok, it’s time. The cuts have been made and the teams are now down to their 53-man rosters. No more benching the starters after one or two series, no more boring offenses and defenses for fear of giving something away. IT’S THE REAL DEAL STARTING TONIGHT!!!!!
Today, we will take a look into five match ups that are sure to garner the most interest this weekend.
1. New Orleans Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings – Who Dat Nation, are y’all ready? The Saints are back to defend their Super Bowl title, and who is their first matchup? None other than Father Time himself and the Minnesota Vikings! When first announced, this game looked to be a sure continuation of last year’s NFC championship game, but with Sidney Rice of the Vikings out with an injury and Brett Favre hobbling around on one ankle, the Saints seem to hold the advantage. With Drew Brees leading the Superdome in a pre-game Who Dat chant and driving the fans into even more of a frenzy, how can you pick against the Saints?
2. Oakland Raiders at Tennessee Titans – The Oakland Raiders are back with a new quarterback in Jason Campbell (along with his moustache) and they are ready to bring back the terror that was the “Black Hole.” Chris Johnson’s quest for back to back 2ooo yard rushing seasons begins in earnest against the Oakland Raiders. A very motivated and hungry Chris Johnson, a steady Vince Young, and a strong defense should be enough to get the Titans over the Raiders.
3. Baltimore vs. New York Jets – Here comes Joe Flacco to New York with perhaps the strongest wide receiving corp that the Ravens have ever had with Anquan Boldin and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Championship!!) and the always hard hitting defense. The Jets, fresh off their “Hard Knocks” on HBO mini-series and newly re-signed Darrelle Revis, look to begin a run back to the AFC championship game and perhaps the Super Bowl. Can Rex Ryan and the Jets send the Ravens back to Baltimore with a loss and tell them to go get some SNACKS!
4. Cincinnati vs. New England – The T.Ocho show takes it’s show on the road against the New England Patriots. Carson Palmer has the weapons around him with T.O., OchoCinco, and rookies Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham. Can the Bengals repeat as AFC North champions? The Patriots are back with a lot of questions. Will Tom Brady get his contract extension before Sunday or will it be a season long distraction? Is Randy Moss mentally checking out because there hasn’t been talk about any contract extension? This game is a tough game to call, but it should be an enjoyable game.
5. Indianapolis vs. Houston – Peyton Manning and his offense come to Houston for the yearly “is this the year that the Texans get over the Colts?” talk. The Colts offense should be fresh as they barely played any of the preseason. Last season’s NFL passing and receiving yards leaders, Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson are back and are looking to get to the playoffs and perhaps save Gary Kubiak’s head coaching job. It’s tough to over look the Colts as they have won 12+ games the last seven seasons.
We have waited seven LONG months for the NFL to come back. It’s here, let’s ENJOY IT!!! Don’t forget, if you are in the Baltimore, Maryland area, head out to Pigskinlovinglady.com and NFLchick.com’s NFL launch party!!!!