Published On: Fri, Apr 20th, 2018

5 juicy matchups on the 2018 NFL schedule

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It’s been over two months since a National Football League game last appeared on our screens, so let’s talk about the 2018 season.

The league unveiled regular-season schedules for all 32 teams Thursday evening, and there are plenty of juicy matchups awaiting us. Here are five you should be absolutely fired up for:

49ers at Vikings
Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 9

Jimmy Garoppolo led the San Francisco 49ers to five straight victories to finish the 2017 season, but gets a major test to start the 2018 docket in the Minnesota Vikings. Minny had the No. 1 defense in the NFL last season, and made it even more daunting with the free-agent signing of Sheldon Richardson. Of course, the Vikes also upgraded at quarterback, going from Case Keenum to Kirk Cousins, who’ll debut against the up-and-coming Niners.

Saints at Vikings
Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 28

The New Orleans Saints return to the scene of the crime – or as folks in Minnesota call it, the Minneapolis Miracle – for a rematch with the Vikings in Week 8. It’ll be the ultimate revenge game for the Saints, and especially for safety Marcus Williams, whose unforgettable error in the final seconds of last season’s NFC Divisional Round allowed Stefon Diggs to score an improbable walk-off touchdown for the home side.

Packers at Patriots
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 4

This could very well mark the final encounter between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, as the former will probably be retired by 2022 – we think. Brady and Rodgers – both contenders in the GOAT conversation – have only met once before, with each throwing two touchdowns at Lambeau Field four years ago in a 26-21 Green Bay Packers win. The only way they meet for Round 3 is likely at a Super Bowl.

Chiefs at Rams
Week 11: Monday, Nov. 19

He know how to give me the ball.”

That’s what cornerback Marcus Peters said about Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes after Kansas City traded him to the Los Angeles Rams in February. We’ll see if Peters was right when the reigning NFC West champs take on the Chiefs under the bright lights of Monday Night Football. Both teams are expected to be Super Bowl contenders, so this midseason battle promises to be a big one.

Patriots at Steelers
Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 16

The PatriotsSteelers rivalry has turned into an annual grudge match, with Pittsburgh being the team that holds the grudge every time. Last year’s contest was a thriller, capped by Ben Roethlisberger‘s inexplicable end-zone interception in the dying seconds to seal the win for New England. This game could be a preview of the AFC Championship, though we said that last year and we know how that panned out.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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