With the start of the 2020 NFL regular season just over two weeks away, now is a perfect time to take a look at the top must watch Week 1 NFL games and which teams are offering the best value in their respective regular season openers. Whether you like one of the top Super Bowl favorites or a longshot playoff hopeful, there’s value everywhere on the Week 1 docket. Now, let’s find out where that value lies.
NFL Week 1 Must Watch Games
Thursday, September 10
Houston at Kansas City at 8:20 PM ET
Houston went 10-6 to win the AFC South by one game over Tennessee, but then head coach Bill O’Brien pulled an absolutely bone-headed move by trading perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver Deandre Hopkins to Arizona for aging running back David Johnson. Houston was already too reliant on Deshaun Watson to make plays and now the Texans are facing an uphill battle to get past the same Chiefs team that bounced them out of last season’s playoffs 51-31.
Sunday, September 13
Seattle at Atlanta at 1:00 PM ET
Seattle went 11-5 a year ago to finish second in the NFC West while Atlanta went 7-9 to finish six games behind NFC South winning New Orleans. While the Falcons finished strong a year ago and are playing at home, I have no doubt that superstar signal-caller Russell Wilson will be the best player on the field in this affair.
NY Jets at Buffalo at 1:00 PM ET
The Jets and Bills split their to regular season meetings a year ago with each winning on the road, but the Bills are playing at home and have a good shot to claim the AFC east title with Tom Brady down in Tampa Bay. Buffalo’s stout defense and what should be an improved passing attack in 2020 will be the reasons Buffalo gets off to a winning start.
Chicago at Detroit at 1:00 PM ET
The Lions have starting quarterback Matthew Stafford back after he missed almost the entire 2019 campaign, but Detroit still has problems all over the place, starting with overmatched head coach Matt Patricia. Chicago has an elite defense and the Bears signed Super Bowl-winning quarterback Nick Foles to replace mediocre starter Mitchell Trubisky, so they’ll almost certainly be better on offense than they’ve been the last few seasons.
Green Bay at Minnesota at 1:00 PM ET
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers won a stunning 13 games last season to claim the NC North title, but Green Bay failed to get their future Hall of Fame signal-caller the help he so desperately needs at the skill positions and particularly at wide receiver. Minnesota has an outstanding defense and they made a series of smart offseason additions via free agency and the draft. The Pack got the regular season sweep in 2019, but that’s not happening again.
Miami at New England at 1:00 PM ET
The Dolphins stunned the Patriots late last season to deny them the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs and Miami is clearly a team on the rise after making a ton of upgrades on both sides of the ball. Still, New England has an elite defense and they wisely signed 2015 league MVP Cam Newton to be their starter under center moving forward. Even without Brady under center, I like the Patriots to stay in every game because of their elite defense. Still, seven pints looks like a number a bit too big for the remade Pats to cover.
Philadelphia at Washington at 1:00 PM ET
The Eagles swept Washington last season, but there’s a new sheriff in charge in the nation’s capitol as Rom Rivera replaces the overmatched Jay Gruden. Still, the NFC East-winning Birds are much further along in terms of being a legitimate playoff participant while Washington is definitely in a bit of a rebuild in Year 1 of the Rivera era.
Las Vegas at Carolina at 1:00 PM ET
Vegas went 7-9 last season to tie Denver for second place in the AFC West, but the jury is still out on quarterback Derek Carr and backup Marcus Mariota. Carolina went 5-11 in their final year under Ron Rivera, but the Panthers made a great hire by naming former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule as the guy to lead them into a new era. I’m expecting no-nonsense veteran Teddy Bridgewater to outplay whomever Vegas starts at quarterback while Christian McCaffrey outdoes counterpart Josh Jacobs in what looks like a Week 1 upset just waiting to happen.