The 2017 NFL season has concluded and we have a new Super Bowl champion. Not just new for the season, but actually new, thanks to the Philadelphia Eagles.
But less than 24 hours after Tom Brady’s long heave was batted away and the Eagles were winners, we’re already thinking about next year. And although we’re still seven months away from the start of the 2018 campaign, we at least know the season will begin in Philadelphia, where the Super Bowl champion Eagles (still looks, sounds and smells weird) will host one of eight potential opponents on NBC on Thursday, Sept. 6.
Let’s rank the eight potential prime-time openers from best to worst.
1. Vikings at Eagles: A rematch of the 2017 NFC championship game, and there’s a chance Nick Foles will still be the starter for Philly at this point. Plus, it’ll be interesting to see who the Vikings line up under center.
2. Redskins at Eagles: Alex Smith making his debut for the Redskins against Philly in prime time makes a lot of sense.
3. Cowboys at Eagles: You can almost never go wrong with Dallas-Philly, which would get killer ratings and would be a matchup between two teams expected to be in the playoffs.
4. Giants at Eagles: Can’t go wrong here either, ratings-wise, but who knows what kind of shape the Giants will be in.
5. Falcons at Eagles: The last two NFC champions would give us plenty of storylines. But the NFL might want to wait to play this one when there’s a better chance the Eagles will have Carson Wentz, whose knee injury was worse than originally thought and might not be ready to play by training camp.
6. Panthers at Eagles: Two of the last three NFC champions, but they might want to wait on this one for the same reason.
7. Texans at Eagles: Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt could make this awesome, but the NFL rarely puts cross-conference games in this spot. Plus, we don’t know for sure that Watson will be ready to go for Houston.
8. Colts at Eagles: We also don’t know for sure whether Andrew Luck will be ready to go for Indianapolis.