Best NFL Games to Watch in 2021
By the Football Garbage Time Staff
The 2021 NFL Schedule is here and boy are we at Football Garbage Time excited! So excited that we wanted to share with you which games we were most looking forward to in Week 1 and for the rest of the season! Agree? Disagree? Feel free to sound off!
Ha Kung Wong
The Week 1 game I’m looking forward to the most is the Kansas City Chiefs @ the Cleveland Browns. The Chiefs were derailed in their attempt to repeat as Super Bowl champs, but Patrick Mahomes wasn’t 100% and spent much of the game running for his life. So the Chiefs went out and signed Joe Thuney, traded for Orlando Brown Jr., and drafted Creed Humphry in the 2nd round of the NFL Draft. And they also get back Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Lucas Niang, who opted out of last season. Done and done, instant upgrade. Plus, Mahomes should be 100%. But the Browns are also ready, and have been ready for quite some time but for injuries holding them back.
Baker Mayfield has the chance to show he’s taken the next step with a healthy team where there are no glaring gaps, that is, so long as OBJ stays healthy. And even without any specific needs, the Browns did a terrific job building on an underrated defense by drafting Greg Newsome II and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, one of my favorite values of the draft. As I mentioned on the podcast, I always feel like the Browns are going to dominate at the beginning of the season and they always seem to fall short. I currently have the Browns ranked 5th in my Power Rankings and I’m looking forward to being right one of these seasons, so why not put it to task in Week 1 against the top ranked team in the NFL?
For the remainder of the season, I’m looking forward to Week 16‘s matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars @ the New York Jets. It’s fairly certain that both teams won’t be competing for anything but draft picks by the end of the season, but I think it’ll be fascinating to see how the number 1 pick in the NFL Draft, Trevor Lawrence, does against the number 2 pick in the NFL Draft, Zach Wilson, particularly after having almost a full NFL season under their belts.
Wilson and BYU were looking for any takers in 2020 to prove their worth and although he doesn’t get to play Clemson, he does get to play Lawrence and Travis Etienne. Lawrence has gotten all the hype over the last year, but remember that in 2020 Wilson had the most passing touchdowns (33), the 2nd highest pass completion percentage (73.5%) and the 3rd most passing yards (3692) in the NCAA. That’s not too shabby. Perhaps it doesn’t impact the 2021 season, but from what we’ve seen in college, it could be the matchup we look forward to for years to come.
In Week 1 we’ll see a rematch of 2020 Week 14 as the Pittsburgh Steelers face off against the Buffalo Bills. In 2020, the Bills won 26-15. Will history repeat itself? The Bills did little to add skill players on the offensive side (a big mistake in my opinion), leaving Josh Allen to play with the same deck, including a weak ground game. On the other hand, the Steelers selected Alabama running back Najee Harris in the first round and tight end Pat Freiermuth from Penn State in the second round. A dynamic running back like Najee Harris will add depth to the Steelers offense, particularly with James Connor gone, while helping 39-year-old quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as he duels it out with 24-year-old Allen and the Buffalo Bills.
With the Bills drafting Greg Rousseau (Edge) and Boogie Basham (defensive end) to their defensive line, the Bills have boosted their defensive line. But, will that be enough?
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) May 12, 2021
It will be interesting to see what adjustments the Bills have made to the offense, or whether it will be the same song and dance that got to them to the post season, but not to the big dance.
For the remainder of the season, I’m most looking forward to Week 4‘s tilt with the Jacksonville Jaguars @ the Cincinnati Bengals. Here’s why I’m looking forward to this game:
- Trevor Lawrence vs. Joe Burrow
- 2021 1st Overall Draft Pick vs. 2020 1st Overall Draft Pick
- Rematch of the College Football Playoffs National Championship (Joe Burrow and LSU won 42-25 against Trevor Lawrence and the Clemson Tigers)
Two mortal enemies face off on the gridiron in week 4. One will be the victor, leaving the battle with prestige, while the other will face humiliation. Two men. Two teams. One night. A battle like no other (except in the 2020 National Championship Game).
Need I say anything more?
Battle of the No. 1 picks in Week 4 😱
Rematch of the 2020 CFP.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 13, 2021
Actually, I will say more…
Adding to the intrigue is that the Bengals drafted Ja’Marr Chase, who played with Burrow at LSU and in the 2020 CFP National Championship game, in the first round of the 2021 draft.
And in addition, the Jaguars drafted Travis Etienne, who played with Lawrence at Clemson and in that same 2020 CFP National Championship game, in the first round of the 2021 draft.
The schedule release means we’re one step closer to seeing football played on the field. It’s always fun to talk about the games, but there’s so much we really don’t know. For Week 1 I’m going with a homer pick, the San Francisco 49ers @ the Detroit Lions, but it does have some interesting story lines. The Lions have a new coaching staff and a new quarterback at the helm. What will the team look like going forward? The 49ers come in with a quarterback as their top draft pick and a coach that needs to start winning. I can’t wait to see how this goes.
The Week 4 matchup, the New England Patriots @ the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with Brady hosting the Pats is must-see TV. Brady has clearly won the divorce so far and it doesn’t look like he’ll give that up anytime soon. I hope Brady hangs 50 on them.
Adam Aniba of The Burgundy and Gold Report
Week 1 – Los Angeles Chargers @ Washington Football Team
When the Chargers play the Washington Football Team in Week 1, reigning AP Offensive Rookie of the Year Justin Herbert could face reigning AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Chase Young.
It would be just the 4th time ever that has happened in Week 1. pic.twitter.com/r764S5gtKu
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 12, 2021
Week 10 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Washington Football Team – Playoff rematch!
— Tedy Bruschi (@TedyBruschi) May 13, 2021