The time has finally come – the new NFL season is really starting. In week 1, the main focus is on revenge and reunion. The Chargers seek revenge for their 2021 season-ending defeat, while Baker Mayfield looks to get back at his former team.
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NFL: Previews Week 1
The game of the week
Los Angeles Chargers (0-0) – Las Vegas Raiders (0-0) (Sun. 10:25 p.m.)
- “Personally, I’ve thought about that over and over again for the last six to seven months, and I know that it was no different with the others,” Chargers QB Justin Herbert said of the bankruptcy in the last game of the preseason that gave his team the playoff Move denied and allowed the Raiders.
- A lot has happened since then. The Chargers have upgraded a lot. The defense in particular received some upgrades, but not all of them will play on Sunday. Cornerback JC Jackson may not play until Week 2, but edge rusher Khalil Mack will be there. A fact that could become a problem for Vegas, since the offensive line in particular is a big question mark.
- In addition to Mack, Joey Bosa in particular should be looking forward to the upcoming game. Mack and Bosa combined have already collected 115 1/2 sacks separately since 2016. Now they attack from both sides of the defensive line. And: Bosa already has 8 sacks against Derek Carr – more than against any other QB in the NFL.
- The Raiders, meanwhile, will field their new offense for the first time, led by All-Pro receiver Davante Adams. We’ll see a first taste of exactly how Josh McDaniels envisions the offense on his new team.
Atlanta Falcons (0-0) – New Orleans Saints (0-0) (Sun., 7 p.m.)
- The two division rivals are historically quite even, with the Falcons leading 53-52 overall against the Saints. However, since 2006, since the arrival of Sean Payton, things have been very different. Since then, the Saints have led 22-10. Is the tide turning now that Payton is gone?
- Rookie receiver Drake London’s debut with the Falcons is on the brink. He is struggling with a knee injury and has only trained to a limited extent recently. Quarterback Jameis Winston is returning for the Saints after tearing his cruciate ligament last season. With Michael Thomas, Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry he now has a considerable arsenal of weapons at his disposal.
Cincinnati Bengals (0-0) v Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0) (Sun., 7 p.m.)
- The Bengals almost completely redesigned their offensive line despite reaching the Super Bowl. Only left tackle Jonah Williams returns as a starter. Defensive Player of the Year Edge rusher TJ Watt, who equaled Michael Strahan’s sack record (22.5) last year, is headed straight for a baptism of fire against the Steelers.
- The Steelers, in turn, begin a new era without Ben Roethlisberger under center. Mitch Trubisky is the new starter and will certainly be under pressure as there will be local hero and rookie Kenny Pickett preferred by many in Pittsburgh. A good performance against the reigning AFC champion could silence these voices for the time being.
Miami Dolphins (0-0) v New England Patriots (0-0) (Sun., 7 p.m.)
- How good is Tua Tagovailoa’s arm really? And can the young QB be more than just a quick pass QB? He will now gradually have to answer these questions, which have dragged on throughout the offseason. Also eagerly awaits the debut of wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who should help open Tua’s game.
- On the other hand, we see the new Patriots offense in action for the first time. What looked poor in the camp should now be better. But what exactly will it look like? More run game than before, more passing and more freedom for Mac Jones? Nobody knows for sure yet.
New York Jets (0-0) – Baltimore Ravens (0-0) (Sun., 7 p.m.)
- The absence of QB Zach Wilson leads to an interesting side story – Joe Flacco meets his old team for the start of the season. Flacco is known for his routine and his still excellent deep ball. However, he will probably have to play without left tackle Duane Brown (shoulder), which makes the task even more difficult. Defensively, on the other hand, it depends on whether Robert Saleh has already managed to integrate the many young new players.
- Baltimore will likely increase their run game now that both Lamar Jackson is back and their running back quota has been refreshed. The big question will be whether New York will be able to do something about it. Because if not, Baltimore won’t even get into the situation of examining the receiving corps.
Chicago Bears (0-0) vs. San Francisco 49ers (0-0) (Sun., 7 p.m. live on DAZN)
- The offseason was primarily used to rebuild the Bears’ defense. On the other hand, the offense was somewhat neglected. Here, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy should ensure that Justin Fields’ special skills are used profitably. It is questionable whether the staff is sufficient for this.
- The Niners finally let go of Trey Lance and show us exactly what Shanahan’s 2.0 offense looks like. This puts the Bears’ defense directly to a difficult test. On the other hand, the same applies to the Niners, where the focus is just as much on the secondary as on the offensive line, which has been heavily rebuilt in each case.