SUPER BOWL REMATCHES
49ers vs Bengals
Super Bowl XXIII (1989) rematch – 49ers won 20-16.
Joe Montana threw 2 touchdown passes, including one to Jerry Rice who caught 11 passes for 215 yards. Bengals QB Boomer Esiason completed just 11-25 passes, no TDs, and 1 INT.
49ers own an 11-4 all-time edge over the Bengals and are 6-3 since 1989 (including the Super Bowl).
Seahawks vs Steelers
Super Bowl XL (2006) rematch – Steelers won 21-10
Ben Roethlisberger was actually quite terrible in this game. He completed just 9 passes, on 21 attempts, did not throw a TD and threw 2 interceptions. Steelers’ scores came from a Ben rushing TD, Willie Parker rush TD and a Hines Ward receiving TD, courtesy of a trick play pass from Antwan Randle-El.
Seahawks WRs were led by Joe Jurevicius and Bobby Engram and RB Shaun Alexander ran for 95 yards.
Steelers won 21-0 in 2007 and 24-0 in 2011. Seahawks won the most recent meeting in 2015, 39-30. The all-time series between these teams is tied at 9-9.
Bills vs Giants
Super XXV (1991) rematch – Giants won 20-19
This was the Giants’ second Super Bowl win under legendary coach Bill Parcells. This was the first of what would be four consecutive Super Bowl losses for the Bills (all to active NFC East teams).
Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly started for the Bills and RB Thurman Thomas ran for 135 yards and a touchdown.
PLAYER REVENGE GAMES
Panthers vs Bucs
This is the first of two “revenge games” for new Panthers DT Gerald McCoy. Tampa Bay drafted McCoy third overall in 2010. He went on to play in 6 Pro Bowls and 3x All-Pro. He has 53.5 sacks in his career and many TB franchise records.
Bucs released McCoy this past off-season, after signing the player picked right above him in the 2010 Draft, Ndamukong Suh (#2 pick to Lions).
Saints vs Rams
The obvious story here is a rematch of the 2019 NFC Championship team where the Saints….well, you know the story…
But let’s talk about Rams WR Brandin Cooks, who spent the first three years of his career in New Orleans after being the 20th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. In three seasons, Cooks caught 20 touchdowns, including 8 and 9, respectively in his second and third years. He only had 5 in his one season with the Rams, so far, but did compile a career high 1,204 yards last season. He also caught 80 balls for just the second time in his career, and the first since 2015.
Ravens vs Cardinals
WR Michael Crabtree is expected to make his debut for Arizona, after being inactive week 1. Crabtree spent the 2018 season in Baltimore, catching 54 passes for 607 yards, and 3 TDs.
COACHING REUNION GAMES
Bears vs Broncos
Needing a new head coach after the 2018 season, Broncos hired Vic Fangio, who was the Bears Defensive Coordinator from 2015-2018. Bears defense was the best in the NFL in 2018
Patriots vs Dolphins
New Dolphins head coach Brian Flores had previously spent his entire coaching career on Bill Belichick’s Patriots staff. Flores was first hired in 2004 and was Linebackers coach the last three years, while mainly calling defensive plays in 2018 for the Super Bowl champs. He has been part of 7 Super Bowl teams and 4 Championships.
Jets vs Browns
Before the Browns promoted Freddie Kitchens to head coach for the 2019 season, Cleveland finished 2018 on a 5-3 run, led by interim coach/Defense Coordinator Gregg Williams. Williams was reportedly never seriously considered for the full-time gig and left Cleveland to take the same DC role with the Jets, under new coach Adam Gase.
No doubt the man famous for “bounty gate” will be extra motivated on Sunday to go after his former players.
Heisman vs Heisman
Cardinals vs Ravens – 2018 Heisman Kyler Murray vs 2016 Heisman Lamar Jackson
Panthers vs Bucs – 2014 Heisman Jameis Winston vs 2010 Heisman Cam Newton
Chargers vs Lions – After winning the first three games vs Chargers in the ’70s, the Lions have lost 7 of 8 games, dating back to 1981. Chargers won 33-28 in their most recent meeting in 2015.
Bills vs Giants – Giants have won 4 of the last 5 meetings, including the last 3. The last time Buffalo beat the Giants was 2003. Drew Bledsoe started that game, against Kerry Collins.
Cowboys vs Redskins – Dallas has won 5 of the last 6 against Washington. Cowboys had won 4 in a row, before a week 3 loss last year on the road.
Colts vs Titans – Between 2008-2016, Colts won 16 of 18 games. Titans swept the Colts in 2017, before Indy returned the favor sweeping them in 2018, which including a week 17 play-in game to determine the final Wild Card team in the AFC.
Packers vs Vikings – Between 2010-2016, Vikings won just twice. Packers are 0-3-1 vs Vikes since start of the 2017 season.
Chiefs vs Raiders – KC has won 8 of the last 9 games against the Raiders
Browns vs Jets – In the 2018 NFL Draft, Cleveland took Baker Mayfield #1. Some people felt that Sam Darnold should have been the first pick, and he went two spots later to the Jets at #3. This is the first official starting battle between the top two QBs from last year’s draft. Technically, Baker won last year’s week 3 game for the Browns against the Jets, but came in for relief of an injured Tyrod Taylor.