Whether you are a die hard NFL fan or just a casual onlooker who enjoys the highlights, you will undoubtedly be happy to see the National Football League back on sports channels this coming weekend.
Although the American game can be hit and miss when appealing to an Irish audience, if you so happen to turn on a game this coming Thursday, Sunday or Monday night you might just get hooked.
There is a lot to be excited about over the next 18 weeks, and if you want to see what all the fuss is about without having to break down all the jargon then you’re in the right place.
Here are three games to look out for in Week 1 of the 2021/22 NFL season!
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs The Dallas Cowboys, Friday September 10th @ 1:20am on Sky Sports NFL
The overall odds: Dallas 10/3 | Bucs 2/9
Although the game is on during the night here in Ireland, this fixture will without a doubt produce some incredible highlights for you to sink your teeth into Friday morning.
Any opportunity to Watch Tom Brady play football is a privilege, and his Super Bowl winning Bucs have every intention of winning it again this year. Last year the Bucs suffered a slow start to their season, but that is unlikely to happen again. With their wealth of talented players all returning again this year, the Bucs have the same winning formula this year as they did last.
The Dallas Cowboys are fully fit for the first time since 2016, although the Bucs are by far the better team on paper, the Cowboys now find themselves with a talented and healthy team for the first time in years. With the return of quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott alongside the blossoming careers of Dallas’ wide receivers, the Dallas Cowboys are out to put the disappointment of past seasons behind them.
Take a look at one of the best QB/RB combinations in the game below:
Arizona Cardinals vs. Tennessee Titans, Sunday September 12th @ 6:00pm on Sky Sports NFL
The overall odds: Cardinals 5/4 | Titans 8/13
Both of these teams have been on the up over the past number of years, now both teams have the offensive line ups to go all the way this year. What better way to set the tone for the season than to throw them at each other straight away.
The Titans were a fan favourite in last years season with a phenomenal athlete like AJ Brown lining out in the wide receiver position as well as the bulldozer that is running-back Derrick Henry, the Titans were perhaps one of the most exciting teams to watch in the NFL last year.
This year they add one of the most dominant receivers of the modern era to their line up, with the new signing of Julio Jones. The solid leadership of quarterback Ryan Tannehill will keep this team on the straight and narrow, and this year it could all pay off.
The Titans have a whole host of highlights on offer, but if I had to pick my favourite aspect of their game it would be the unstoppable running back Derrick Henry.
The Cardinals also have a dangerous looking offence, not only is their young quarterback Kyler Murray a threat in himself but if he decides to primarily throw the ball this season, there’s a few talented players in line to catch it.
Murray’s number one target is DeAndre Hopkins who has one of the best set of hands in the NFL. Joining him is veteran receiver AJ Green, who signed for the Cardinals over the summer.
Despite the injuries of a few defensive players, the Cardinals are unlikely to succumb to the mighty Titans entirely. With the new signing of JJ Watt, the already decent Cardinals defence will get a big boost. Just to clarify, JJ Watts sole job on the field is to flatten the opposition quarterback, and he is very good at it.
DeAndre Hopkins was the heart and should of the Cardinals last year and he is likely to be again. However, I would recommend putting JJ Watt’s name into YouTube if you are unfamiliar with his work.
Cleveland Browns vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday September 12th @ 9:25pm on Sky Sports NFL
The overall odds: Browns 21/10 | Chiefs 4/11
Kansas City have been in the last two Super Bowls, winning in 2019 and losing to Tom Brady and the Bucs in 2020. However, win or lose, the Chiefs are widely considered to be the best team in football. No team in the NFL are ‘unbeatable’ but the Chiefs are likely to be the hardest team to beat for the foreseeable.
It all starts with their quarterback, Patrick Mahomes to some has a divine ability to throw footballs and they could be right about that one. Since becoming a starter in 2018 Mahomes has broke almost every relevant record and many believe by the time he retires, his career will outshine many of the greats.
Mahomes has a very talented team overall, but a select few stand out. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill can out-perform any defence in a given week, while tight end Travis Kelce is on rote to become the most productive player ever in his position, already claiming the title for second most touchdowns (9), receiving yards (859) and receptions (73) in NFL history.
Take a look at just some examples of how dominant this team was last year:
Over the past few seasons, the Cleveland Browns have obsessed over changing their losing culture within the franchise. Throughout those losing years, the Browns have done their best to buy and draft their way into a Super Bowl with 10-first round draft picks on the roster currently.
Number one overall draft picks like quarterback Baker Mayfield and defensive end Myles Garrett, swore an oath like agreement to turn the Browns into a winning team. Since the addition of both Garrett and Mayfield, The Browns have gone on to sell the dream to some of the leagues best players. New York Giant receiver Odell Beckham Jr was given the opportunity to reunite with his former college teammate and fellow receiver Jarvis Landry of the Miami Dolphins.
However since the new star-studded Browns team was assembled, their vision of league dominators has been slow to obtain. With several injuries and waves in form, the Browns have all the pieces but are unsure of what puzzle they’re attempting.
Nevertheless the Browns and quarterback Baker Mayfield are an exciting team to watch and they could put all the pieces together this season. Take a look at their 2020 highlights below: