Week 1 of the 2017 NFL regular season is finally here, and you might be entering the weekend with your own preferences regarding which games to focus on, and which to place on the backburner. Most of you have your favorites and fantasy players to track.
But in case you’re completely neutral or need help breaking ties with regard to what to watch, we’ve ranked all 15 games from most appealing to least enticing.
1. Chiefs at Patriots (Thursday night, NBC): The kickoff game is always appointment viewing, even if it’s rarely entertaining. And the good news is that the Chiefs gave the Pats trouble in each of New England’s recent Super Bowl seasons. Andy Reid’s team hammered the Patriots in 2014 and put up a hell of a fight in Foxboro in last year’s playoffs. Think this’ll be close.
2. Giants at Cowboys (Sunday night, NBC): You can almost never go wrong with this one. Nine of their last 10 meetings have been decided by one score. Throw in drama with Odell Beckham Jr. and Zeke Elliott and we’re set.
3. Raiders at Titans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS): Derek Carr vs. Marcus Mariota. Chic young quarterbacks leading chic young teams, both of whom are expected to contend in the AFC. Almost wish the NFL had saved this one for later in the year.
4. Seahawks at Packers (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, FOX): Speaking of matchups we’d probably rather see in December, this is a potential NFC title game preview between two of the sexiest teams in football. It should be your focus in the late time slot.
5. Panthers at 49ers (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, FOX): This might not have playoff implications, but it’s got some huge perks. Christian McCaffrey? Kyle Shanahan’s offense in San Francisco? That talented young 49ers defense? Without even considering 2015 MVP Cam Newton, this is worth your time.
6. Cardinals at Lions (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX): I get the feeling this’ll be a shootout and a thriller. That’s the way both teams like it, and there’s no clear favorite. RedZone will spend a lot of time in Detroit between 3 and 4 p.m. ET.
7. Eagles at Redskins (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX): Rival organizations looking to support young franchise quarterbacks with new-look receiving corps. Expect a lot of fireworks at FedEx.
8. Chargers at Broncos (Monday, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN): Two talented division rivals that have endured rocky preseasons. If Los Angeles keeps it close — and it often does when facing Denver — this’ll be worth staying up for.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 2, 2017
9. Saints at Vikings (Monday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN): I guess this has got that whole “unstoppable force vs. immovable object” thing going on, and there’s no reason to believe it won’t be a close game.
10. Ravens at Bengals (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS): You can rarely go wrong here. Neither team is a primo Super Bowl contender, but five of their last six meetings have been decided by one score and the ultimate series is tied 21 apiece. Certainly plenty of early-season fantasy implications, too.
11. Steelers at Browns (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS): We’ll have to wait for the premiere of the Myles Garrett Show, but the revamped Browns are still worthy of your attention before this becomes a blowout. I believe DeShone Kizer is Cleveland’s 324th starting quarterback since the turn of the century. Plus, the Steelers offense is football porn.
— All Sport News (@All_SportNews) February 6, 2017
12. Falcons at Bears (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, FOX): This won’t be worth your three hours, but it still should be interesting to see how the traumatized Falcons rebound from their legendary Super Bowl collapse. They keep telling us they’re over it, but that might be an example of the white bear problem.
13. Jaguars at Texans (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS): Blake Bortles and Tom Savage don’t do a lot for anybody. The return of J.J. Watt isn’t enough to save this one, but I’d keep tabs in case the talented Jags suddenly start living up to the hype.
14. Colts at Rams (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, CBS): The worst part about the Rams being out west again is having to deal with them in the more exclusive 4 p.m. ET time slot. This is a junk game with few implications, and it should be ignored by all non-Colts and non-Rams fans.
15. Jets at Bills (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS): In a matchup between two tanking teams, the real winner is the loser. Don’t waste your time watching this sham. Don’t be a rubbernecker.