Today's Paper Latest Elections Coronavirus 🔵 Covid Classroom Cooking Families Core values Story ideas iPad Weather Newsletters Obits Puzzles Archive
ADVERTISEMENT
story.lead_photo.caption Quarterback Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the season opener today. Coverage begins at at 3:25 p.m. on Fox. (AP/The Advocate/David Grunfeld)

Jets at Bills

Noon

LINE -- Bills by 61/2

SERIES -- Bills lead 63-56; Jets beat Bills 13-6, Dec. 29, 2019

ON OFFENSE

(RK) JETSVS.BILLS (RK)

(31) 78.6RUSH128.4 (8)

(29) 194.4PASS201.8 (26)

(32) 273.0YARDS330.2 (24)

(31) 17.2POINTS19.6 (23)

ON DEFENSE

(RK) JETSVS.BILLS (RK)

(2) 86.9RUSH103.1 (10)

(17) 236.2PASS195.2 (4)

(7) 323.1YARDS298.3 (3)

(16) 22.4POINTS16.2 (2)

WHAT TO WATCH Led by first-round rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton, the Jets are set to become just the fourth NFL team since 2010 to have five different offensive line players start in Week 1 from the previous season opener. The Bills' defense, which ranked in the top 5 in the league in multiple categories last season, is not an easy first draw.

Raiders at Panthers

Noon

LINE -- Raiders by 101/2

SERIES -- Series tied 3-3; Raiders beat Panthers 35-32, Nov. 27, 2016

ON OFFENSE

(RK) RAIDERS VS PANTHERS (RK)

(13) 118.3RUSH113.7 (14)

(9) 245.4PASS228.1 (20)

(11) 363.7YARDS341.8 (19)

(24) 19.6POINTS21.2 (20)

ON DEFENSE

(RK) RAIDERS VS PANTHERS (RK)

(8) 98.1RUSH143.5 (29)

(25) 256.7PASS231.0 (13)

(19) 354.8YARDS374.5 (23)

(24) 26.2POINTS29.4 (31)

WHAT TO WATCH QB Derek Carr returns as the starter for Las Vegas after throwing for 21 TDs and 8 INTs last season. Vegas added Marcus Mariota as the backup QB, and Coach Jon Gruden's relationship with Carr never has been characterized as rosy. The pressure is on Carr.

Chargers at Bengals

3:05 p.m.

LINE -- Chargers by 3

SERIES -- Chargers lead 21-15; Chargers beat Bengals 26-21, Dec. 9, 2018

ON OFFENSE

(RK) CHARGERSVS.BENGALS (RK)

(28) 90.8RUSH94.8 (25)

(6) 276.6PASS228.2 (19)

(10) 367.4YARDS323.0 (26)

(21) 21.1POINTS17.4 (30)

ON DEFENSE

(RK) CHARGERSVS.BENGALS (RK)

(18) 112.8RUSH148.9 (32)

(5) 200.2PASS244.8 (21)

(6) 313.0YARDS393.7 (29)

(14) 21.6POINTS26.2 (25)

WHAT TO WATCH Heisman Trophy winner and LSU deity Joe Burrow makes his NFL debut as QB for a Bengals franchise trending toward moribund after a nice run of success under Marvin Lewis. How will he handle the hype and everything that comes with being the No. 1 overall pick?

Bears at Lions

Noon

LINE -- Lions by 21/2

SERIES -- Bears lead 101-74-5; Bears beat Lions 24-20, Nov. 28, 2019

ON OFFENSE

(RK) BEARSVS.LIONS (RK)

(27) 91.1RUSH103.1 (21)

(25) 205.7PASS243.8 (10)

(29) 296.8YARDS346.9 (17)

(29) 17.5POINTS21.3 (18)

ON DEFENSE

(RK) BEARSVS.LIONS (RK)

(9) 102.0RUSH115.9 (21)

(9) 222.1PASS284.4 (32)

(8) 324.1YARDS400.3 (31)

(4) 18.6POINTS26.4 (26)

WHAT TO WATCH Lions Coach Matt Patricia is a Bill Belichick disciple on the defensive side of the ball, but he's on the hot seat entering his third year in part because the Detroit defense ranked 31st in yards allowed last season. Former Patriots DT Danny Shelton, LB Jamie Collins and S Duron Harmon were added as reinforcements.

Seahawks at Falcons

Noon (Fox)

LINE -- Seahawks by 11/2

SERIES -- Seahawks lead 11-8; Seahawks beat Falcons 27-20, Oct. 27, 2019

ON OFFENSE

(RK) SEAHAWKSVS.FALCONS (RK)

(4) 137.5RUSH85.1 (30)

(14) 236.9PASS294.6 (3)

(8) 374.4YARDS379.7 (5)

(9) 25.3POINTS23.8 (13)

ON DEFENSE

(RK) SEAHAWKSVS.FALCONS (RK)

(22) 117.7RUSH110.9 (15)

(27) 263.9PASS244.9 (22)

(26) 381.6YARDS355.8 (20)

(22) 24.9POINTS24.9 (23)

WHAT TO WATCH The most underrated defensive player in the NFL might reside in Seattle. LB Bobby Wagner earned first-team All-Pro honors for a fourth consecutive season, and he is one of just two players with at least 1,000 tackles since 2012.

Packers at Vikings

Noon

LINE -- Vikings by 21/2

SERIES -- Packers lead 62-54-3; Packers beat Vikings 23-10, Dec. 23, 2019

ON OFFENSE

(RK) PACKERSVS.VIKINGS (RK)

(15) 112.2RUSH133.3 (6)

(17) 233.3PASS220.2 (23)

(18) 345.5YARDS353.5 (16)

(15) 23.5POINTS25.4 (8)

ON DEFENSE

(RK) PACKERSVS.VIKINGS (RK)

(23) 120.1RUSH108.0 (13)

(14) 232.6PASS233.6 (15)

(18) 352.7YARDS341.6 (14)

(9) 19.6POINTS18.9 (5)

WHAT TO WATCH The Packers are 47-18-1 in games QB Aaron Rodgers has played against NFC North teams, including 6-0 last year. Rodgers is 14-8-1 as the starter against the Vikings, including the playoffs, with 44 TDs, 7 INTs and a 67.7 completion percentage.

Dolphins at Patriots

Noon (CBS)

LINE -- Patriots by 7

SERIES -- Dolphins lead 56-53; Dolphins beat Patriots 27-24, Dec. 29, 2019

ON OFFENSE

(RK) DOLPHINSVS.PATRIOTS (RK)

(32) 72.2RUSH106.4 (18)

(12) 237.8PASS247.6 (8)

(27) 310.0YARDS354.0 (15)

(25) 19.1POINTS26.2 (7)

ON DEFENSE

(RK) DOLPHINSVS.PATRIOTS (RK)

(27) 135.4RUSH95.5 (6)

(26) 262.4PASS180.4 (2)

(30) 397.8YARDS275.9 (1)

(32) 30.9POINTS14.1 (1)

WHAT TO WATCH It's time to put Bill Belichick's genius to the test. With Tom Brady gone and a slew of players opting out because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Patriots' run of AFC East dominance is in trouble. How will they look with QB Cam Newton against the upstart Dolphins?

Browns at Ravens

Noon

LINE -- Ravens by 71/2

SERIES -- Ravens lead 31-11; Ravens beat Browns 31-15, Dec. 22, 2019

ON OFFENSE

(RK) BROWNSVS.RAVENS (RK)

(12) 118.8RUSH206.0 (1)

(22) 222.1PASS201.6 (27)

(22) 340.9YARDS407.6 (2)

(22) 20.9POINTS33.2 (1)

ON DEFENSE

(RK) BROWNSVS.RAVENS (RK)

(30) 144.7RUSH93.4 (5)

(7) 216.9PASS207.2 (6)

(22) 361.6YARDS300.6 (4)

(20) 24.6POINTS17.6 (3)

WHAT TO WATCH The Ravens set an NFL record last year with 3,296 yards rushing, and they added Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins in the draft to pair with veteran Mark Ingram. The Browns ranked 31st against the run last year, but were one of two teams to beat the Ravens in the regular season.

Colts at Jaguars

Noon

LINE -- Colts by 6

SERIES -- Colts lead 24-14; Jaguars beat Colts 38-20, Dec. 29, 2019

ON OFFENSE

(RK) COLTSVS.JAGUARS (RK)

(7) 133.1RUSH106.8 (17)

(30) 194.2PASS235.0 (16)

(25) 327.4YARDS341.8 (20)

(16) 22.6POINTS18.8 (26)

ON DEFENSE

(RK) COLTSVS.JAGUARS (RK)

(7) 97.9RUSH139.3 (28)

(23) 248.9PASS236.1 (16)

(16) 346.8YARDS375.4 (24)

(18) 23.3POINTS24.8 (21)

WHAT TO WATCH Gardner Minshew had more wins and the best QB rating (91.2) of all NFL rookies last season for Jacksonville. He threw for 295 yards and three touchdowns in last year's finale -- a 38-20 victory -- against the Colts, who have added Philip Rivers at QB.

Eagles at Washington

Noon

LINE -- Eagles by 51/2

SERIES -- Washington leads 86-79-5; Eagles beat Washington 37-27, Dec. 15, 2019

ON OFFENSE

(RK) EAGLES VS. WASHINGTON (RK)

(11) 121.2RUSH98.9 (22)

(11) 239.6PASS175.8 (32)

(14) 360.8YARDS274.7 (31)

(12) 24.1POINTS16.6 (32)

ON DEFENSE

(RK) EAGLES VS. WASHINGTON (RK)

(3) 90.1RUSH146.2 (31)

(19) 241.6PASS238.9 (18)

(10) 331.7YARDS385.1 (27)

(15) 22.1POINTS27.2 (27)

WHAT TO WATCH CB Darius Slay will make his Eagles' debut after an offseason trade from the Lions. He leads the NFL with 104 passes defended since 2013. The Eagles were occasionally soft in the secondary last year, ranking 19th against the pass, so this is a big addition.

Buccaneers at Saints

3:25 p.m. (Fox)

LINE -- XXXXX by 101/2

SERIES -- Saints lead 35-21; Saints beat Buccaneers 34-17, Nov. 17, 2019

ON OFFENSE

(RK) BUCSVS.SAINTS (RK)

(24) 95.1RUSH108.6 (16)

(1) 302.8PASS265.2 (7)

(3) 397.9YARDS373.8 (9)

(3) 28.6POINTS28.6 (3)

ON DEFENSE

(RK) BUCSVS.SAINTS (RK)

(1) 73.8RUSH91.3 (4)

(30) 270.1PASS241.8 (20)

(15) 343.9YARDS333.1 (11)

(29) 28.1POINTS21.3 (13)

WHAT TO WATCH Getting two matchups (at least) in one season between Tom Brady and Drew Brees was a pipe dream. Then a few days after the coronavirus pandemic truly hit the U.S., Brady signed on with the Bucs. Enjoy these duels in 2020, in case it's a one season deal.

Cardinals at 49ers

3:25 p.m.

LINE -- 49ers by 7

SERIES -- 49ers lead 31-26; 49ers beat Cardinals 36-26, Nov. 17, 2019

ON OFFENSE

(RK) CARDINALSVS.49ERS (RK)

(10) 124.4RUSH144.1 (2)

(24) 217.3PASS237.0 (13)

(21) 341.7YARDS381.1 (4)

(16) 22.6POINTS29.9 (2)

ON DEFENSE

(RK) CARDINALSVS.49ERS (RK)

(24) 120.1RUSH112.6 (17)

(31) 281.9PASS169.2 (1)

(32) 402.0YARDS281.8 (2)

(28) 27.6POINTS19.4 (8)

WHAT TO WATCH Arizona's Chandler Jones leads the NFL with 96 sacks since he made his debut in 2012. If the Cardinals want to threaten the defending NFC champions, he will have to make QB Jimmy Garoppolo's day uncomfortable.

Cowboys at Rams

7:20 p.m. (NBC)

LINE -- Cowboys by 2

SERIES -- Cowboys lead 18-17; Cowboys beat Rams 44-21, Dec. 15, 2019

ON OFFENSE

(RK) COWBOYSVS.RAMS (RK)

(5) 134.6RUSH93.7 (26)

(2) 296.9PASS281.2 (4)

(1) 431.5YARDS374.9 (7)

(6) 27.1POINTS24.6 (11)

ON DEFENSE

(RK) COWBOYSVS.RAMS (RK)

(11) 103.5RUSH113.1 (19)

(10) 223.5PASS226.6 (12)

(9) 327.0YARDS339.7 (13)

(11) 20.1POINTS22.8 (17)

WHAT TO WATCH This is a huge year for the Cowboys, and Dak Prescott in particular. There are Super Bowl aspirations with new Coach Mike McCarthy, despite an 8-8 finish last season. They are favored on the road against the Rams, who are flying under the radar 19 months removed from playing in the Super Bowl. Can the Cowboys prove they're a serious contender?

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsor Content

COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with the Democrat-Gazette commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. The Democrat-Gazette commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT