NFL Football is back! Check out our week 1 podcast and fun facts related to week 1 below.
Bears vs Packers
To kick off the 2019 NFL season will be a rivalry that began in 1921 and has consisted of 198 games. The Packers barely lead the series 97-95-6.
These teams faced each other to open the 2018 season too, and the Packers won a dramatic classic. After trailing 20-3 in the 4th quarter, Aaron Rodgers transformed into Aaron Rodgers and threw three touchdown passes, leading the Packers to a crazy 24-23 win.
Adrian Amos was a 5th round pick by the Bears in 2015 and got a career high 2 interceptions in 2018 on the Bears’ dominant defense. Now he is a key part of the Packers defense in 2019.
Panthers vs Rams
The last two times the Panthers lost to the Rams was 2001 and 2010 – each time, they finished 1-15. That ultimately led to them getting Julius Peppers (#2 pick 2002 Draft) and Cam Newton (#1 pick 2011 Draft).
Cam Newton is 2-0 vs Rams, and will face fellow #1 pick, Jared Goff. Goff played his college ball at Cal, where Panthers coach Ron Rivera is a graduate from.
Both teams are seeking their first Super Bowl victories, after losing ones in the last four years
Jaguars vs Chiefs
New Jaguars QB Nick Foles was drafted in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft by than-Eagles, now Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. Foles started 6 games, going 1-5 as a rookie that year. He briefly reunited with Reid in Kansas City in 2016. Foles played three games, starting one. Ironically that one start was a victory against the Jaguars.
Chiefs have won the last 3 meetings. Jaguars last win vs Chiefs came in 2009, led by David Garrard.
49ers vs Bucs
These two teams are among the longest playoff droughts in the NFL. Bucs haven’t made the playoffs in 11 years (2007), the second longest in the NFL, and the 49ers haven”t since 2013 (5 years), the fourth longest.
As part of 49ers spending spree this off-season, they signed LB Kwon Alexander, who spent his first four seasons with the Bucs. Alexander was a 4th round pick out of LSU by the Bucs in 2015. He started every game he played (46 total). For his career, he has 7 sacks, 6 interceptions, 6 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 380 tackles, 31 tackles for a loss.
New Bucs head coach Bruce Arians went 58-33-1 in 6 seasons in Arizona and had one losing record (7-8-1).
Ravens vs Dolphins
In the last two meetings, Ravens have won by a combined score of 78-6 (38-6 in 2016, 40-0 in 2017).
Ravens have three Heisman Tropy winners on their roster – QBs Lamar Jackson and Robert Griffin III and RB Mark Ingram
Titans vs Browns
2018 #1 pick Baker Mayfield and 2015 #2 pick Marcus Mariota both won the Heisman Trophy in college and both have experience playing in the Rose Bowl.
In the SEC, it just matters more. This game features Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens (Alabama alum), Browns RB Nick Chubb (Georgia), Titans RB Derrick Henry (Alabama), Browns WRs Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry (LSU), Browns DE Myles Garrett (Texas A&M).
Vikings vs Falcons
Vikings have won 3 straight vs Falcons, with their last win coming in 2011.
Falcons WR Julio Jones and Adam Thielen both finished tied for 4th in the NFL in receptions in 2018 (113 catches) . Thielen had 9 TDs, 8 for Jones, and Thielen finished with the 9th most yards, 300 yards before Julio Jones’ league leading 1,677 yards.
Falcons RB Devonta Freeman led Florida State’s backfield from 2011-2013, before being replaced by Vikings RB Dalvin Cook from 2014-2016.
Bengals vs Seahawks
These teams only meet once every four years, due to their conference affiliations. Bengals have surprisingly won 3 of the last 4, with the Seahawks one win coming at home in 2007.
Russell Wilson lost the Rose Bowl in 2010, as QB of Wisconsin. One year later, Andy Dalton led TCU to a Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin (without Wilson).
Bengals recently added RB Semaje Perine off waivers. Perine was teammates at Oklahoma with Joe Mixon. In 2016, Oklahoma defeated Oklahoma State, led by these two RBs. Perine ran for 236 yards and Mixon ran for 99 yards. Why is this relevant? Because on Oklahoma State, current Seahawks RB Chris Carson ran for 91 yards and a TD.
Colts vs Chargers
With Andrew Luck retired, Jacoby Brissett steps in as the Colts new starting QB. Brissett and Chargers QB Philip Rivers both graduated from NC State, which should now be known as QB U.
Last meeting was in 2016 – Colts won 26-22. Prior to that, Chargers had won 3 straight, including a 2009 playoff game.
Cowboys vs Giants
Egg Bowl battle of QBs with Dak Prescott (Mississippi State) against Eli Manning (Ole Miss).
Ezekiel Elliot (1,434 yards) and Saquon Barkley (1,307) finished 1 and 2 in the NFL in rushing in 2018.
This is the 6th time since 2012, that these two teams meet during week 1.
Cowboys only lost 3 games in 2016 (both to the Giants). Since, they have swept them in 2017 and 2018.
Jets vs Bills
In 2018, both teams drafted quarterbacks in the top 10 (Sam Darnold and Josh Allen) and in 2019, both teams drafted defensive tackles in the top 10 (Quinnen Williams and Ed Oliver).
They have alternated wins and losses the last two years. In 2017 the home team won both matchups and last season, the road team won each game.
Eagles vs Redskins
Eagles have won 4 in a row against the Redskins, sweeping them each of the last two years.
WR Desean Jackson returns to the Eagles, where he spent the first six years of his career. After leaving Philly, he spent 3 years in Washington and the last 2 in Tampa Bay. This will be his second time facing Washington. Jackson caught 5 passes for 67 yards last year in a week 10 Bucs loss.
Patriots vs Steelers
Steelers won last year’s game, snapping a 5 game Patriots win streak. Patriots are 3-0 vs Steelers in playoff games since 2002.
Patriots are 9-4 vs Steelers since 2004, in the Tom Brady/Ben Roethlisberger era.
Texans vs Saints
Texans WR Will Fuller was one of four WRs drafted in the first round of 2016 Draft, and one of five overall drafted ahead of Saints WR Michael Thomas. The other 4 include Corey Coleman, Josh Doctson, Laquon Treadwell, and Sterling Shepard.
This is only the 5th all-time meeting, with both teams winning twice each, holding serve on home field each time. Texans won the last meeting 24-6 in 2015, in a game where Texans QB Brian Hoyer outplayed Drew Brees. Saints last won in the Superdome in 2011.
Raiders vs Broncos
Raiders used three first round picks on DE Clelin Ferrell, Jonathan Abram, and Joshua Jacobs. All three are expected to have a big impact. Two of the Broncos top three picks (TE Noah Fant and QB Drew Lock) are out with injuries.
Joe Flacco is the new Broncos QB. He is the only non-Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger QB to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl since 2004.
New Raiders WR Antonio Brown has six straight seasons with 80+ catches, 1200+ yards, and 8 TDs. No other WR in NFL history has done that.