Chiefs-Ravens showdown among 5 biggest Monday Night Football matchups
The 2020 NFL schedule is out, and we’ve had time to analyze it in detail, looking for the biggest matchups of the year.
There are five Monday Night Football games that should garner more attention among NFL fans and sports bettors, beginning with what should be a huge Week 3 matchup between two teams expected to be titans of the AFC next season.
Week 3: Chiefs @ Ravens
This could be an early preview of the AFC Champion game.
To provide a sense of how intriguing this Week 3 Monday Night Football matchup is, the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs are the current favorites to win Super Bowl LV with odds of +650 at BetAmerica, followed closely by the Baltimore Ravens at +700.
At the core of this matchup is a showdown between two ultra-dynamic quarterbacks who have taken over the league over the last two years. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the favorite to win Offensive Player of the Year with odds of +600. Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has the second-best odds for this award at +1000.
The Ravens finished the 2019 season with a 14-2 record, but they have unfinished business after a disappointing loss in the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs, while the Chiefs won the Super Bowl in Mahomes’ second year as a starter.
This is, without question, the first must-see MNF matchup of the season.
Week 11: Rams @ Buccaneers
Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be back in primetime, as they host the Los Angeles Rams for Monday Night Football to close out Week 11.
The Rams had all the makings of one of the new ascending teams in the league only two years ago, with a thrilling offense backed by running back Todd Gurley and quarterback Jared Goff. They made it to the Super Bowl against Brady and his former team, the New England Patriots, but ultimately fell short.
Two years later, it appears the Rams are in for a struggle this season. Meanwhile, there is significant hype around the Buccaneers – understandable given their two biggest offseason acquisitions: Brady at quarterback and Rob Gronkowski at tight end.
The Buccaneers offense is loaded with talent at every skill position. There is no shortage of options for Brady in the pass game, and their run game could further compliment this offense, as Tampa Bay looks to make the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
By Week 11, we should have a better idea if the Buccaneers are on their way to ending their drought.
Week 12: Seahawks @ Eagles
An NFC Wild Card rematch between the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles caps off Week 12.
It’s likely these teams will be in a playoff fight once again when this primetime matchup rolls around.
The Seahawks took both games on the road versus the Eagles last season, overmatching a Philadelphia team that was decimated by injuries, particularly at wide receiver.
The Eagles have taken steps to address that in the offseason, and there could be added pressure on Carson Wentz to lead this offense after the selection of quarterback Jalen Hurts in last month’s NFL Draft.
The Seahawks put together another solid regular season in 2019, but they didn’t advance beyond the second round of the playoffs. Russell Wilson, among the favorites for Offensive Player of the Year, is now 31 years old and the Seahawks should have added urgency to get back to the Super Bowl knowing their franchise QB isn’t getting any younger.
Week 14: Ravens @ Browns
This has the potential to be a very intriguing matchup in Week 14. Of course, that mostly depends on the Cleveland Browns, so we could be setting ourselves up for disappointment.
We’ll work under the premise that Lamar Jackson and the Ravens will likely be on their way to another playoff appearance. The Cleveland Browns, on the other hand, could be in a playoff fight in the AFC North. Or they could be terrible once again.
That all depends on if Cleveland can take the talent it has on its roster and turn it in the right direction. Which is, given the Browns' sad history, one massive ‘If.’ Can quarterback Baker Mayfield change the narrative after a disappointing sophomore season?
Can Cleveland’s defense tighten things up?
Perhaps this is the year the Browns can turn things around. If they can, this AFC North showdown could be a critical game on the schedule.
Week 16: Bills @ Patriots
After years of watching the Patriots dominate the AFC East, the Buffalo Bills could be on the verge of overtaking their nemesis from New England for the division crown.
It could be that this Week 16 matchup is indeed the coronation of the Bills atop the throne of the AFC East.
The Patriots – at least right now – have serious questions at quarterback. Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer are their two quarterbacks right now, and that should be a major concern if New England has playoff or championship aspirations in the wake of Tom Brady’s departure.
Even with Brady last season, the Patriots were carried largely by their defense, which did everything it could before it became evident New England’s inability to score points on offense was going to be their downfall.
Bills quarterback Josh Allen took considerable steps forward in his development last season, his second year in the NFL, and he’ll have Stefon Diggs, one of the most dangerous receivers in the league over the past few years, in his offense this year.