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NFL Week 1 games and Sunday Night Football open thread

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Here are the games to follow this week.

New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

We’re on to the first Sunday of the NFL season, after a Thursday that didn’t happen and I have no idea what you’re talking about.

There are some matchups here that are critical for the Falcons, even in the early going, because upsets over tough NFC opponents will put them on even footing with Atlanta. Let’s run those down quickly by highlighting them in bold, and then let’s get to the business of watching football and commenting upon it right here.

Bengals @ Colts

Bills @ Ravens

Buccaneers @ Saints

Texans @ Patriots

49ers @ Vikings

Titans @ Dolphins

Jaguars @ Giants

Steelers @ Browns

Chiefs @ Chargers

Cowboys @ Panthers

Redskins @ Cardinals

Seahawks @ Broncos

Bears @ Packers


So why those games? The divisional lead is at stake in Panthers-Cowboys and Buccaneers-Saints, however early it may be. 49ers-Vikings pits two good NFC teams, one of which is expected to be a Super Bowl contender, against one another. And ditto with Bears-Packers, to a lesser extent. There’s plenty of bad football today, too, if you’d prefer to watch that.