While other sports have plenty of excellent games over the course of their respective seasons, few leagues can match the intensity of the NFL. With just 17 regular season games, 17 chances to go all out in pursuit of a playoff berth and a chance at a Super Bowl championship, every game in the NFL matters, the stakes raised in a way that the MLB can’t hope to have in April, not the NHL and NBA in October.
With the start of the 2023 regular season a little over a month away, it’s time to look at what the marquee matchups will be this year. There will always be some teams that disappoint after a run as preseason darlings, just as there will be other teams that surprise, coming out of nowhere as a dark horse contender, but here are our best guesses at the games you’ll want to circle on the calendar before the season begins.
Super Bowl rematches are always a treat, and that’s exactly what we’ll get this season when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night Football during Week 11. Each team features one of the best young quarterbacks in the league, with Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes well on his way to earning a place in the GOAT conversation, and Philly’s Jalen Hurts establishing himself as an MVP candidate before a late-season injury in 2022.
Both teams will have their BYE weeks during Week 10, so we’ll get treated to a clash of the well-rested titans as Philadelphia looks to get revenge for their loss in Super Bowl LVII and the Chiefs look to double down on their dominance.
While some teams suffer through an ugly Super Bowl hangover in the season following their run to the championship game, both teams are the favorites in their respective conferences to run it back this season, with the Chiefs (+600) and the Eagles (+700) possessing the best odds of winning it all at BetMGM Sportsbook. Be sure to use the BetMGM Bonus Code if you want to wager on this or any other game this upcoming NFL season so that you know you’re locking in the best odds of winning big.
The only thing that could make this game better is if the Chiefs were heading to Philadelphia to play in front of the Eagles’ rabid fans.
Here’s a two-for-one, although it’s something of a wild card.
The New York Jets went out and acquired one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history this season, picking up four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers from the Packers in an April trade. As such, they are expected to have an excellent chance as contenders in the AFC this season after decades of futility.
The Buffalo Bills, their intra-division rivals, have established themselves as one of the top teams in the conference over the past few years, and while a Super Bowl appearance has eluded Josh Allen and company to date, one can’t help but feel they’re knocking on the door.
The Jets could fall flat on their faces this season. They could also win it all. They’ll tee off against the Bills at home on Monday Night Football in Week 1, later heading on the road to Buffalo in Week 11, a late November matchup that could feature snow… and playoff implications aplenty.
With a pair of gunslingers in Rodgers and Allen (as well as a healthy dose of intrigue), you won’t want to miss these division rivals going to war in 2023.
It feels like a cheap shot to put another game with Mahomes on the list, but Bengals/Chiefs has turned into must-see TV over the past two years. For a while, Cincinnati seemed to have Mahomes’ number, with Bengals’ signal caller Joe Burrow reeling off three straight wins against the Chiefs to open his career. That changed in last year’s AFC Championship game, though, with Mahomes sneaking away with a 23-20 victory on the way to his second Super Bowl title. The Bengals have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL, while Mahomes seems to be able to get it done with just about anyone… but it hasn’t been the offensive fireworks that define these matchups to date.
Kansas City and Cincinnati are built in a similar fashion, with opportunistic defenses that bend but don’t break. Whichever team is able to stand tall in the red zone, whichever quarterback ends the game with the ball in his hands, is almost certain to be victorious.