The heat has just kicked in, but already, it is allowed to dream a bit in the fall. Not for the grayness and the return of cold days, but because the NFL, which yesterday unveiled the schedule for the next regular season, is already making oval ball fans salivate. It's already time for Quebec fans to put a few dates on the agenda and think about their next destinations. There would be so many satisfying choices, but here are 10 duels to watch for different reasons.
What a great way to start a Thursday night! The detour to Los Angeles is long, but the Bills will be in town to rub shoulders with the defending Super Bowl champions. In addition to the two explosive attacks, star outside linebacker Von Miller, new to the Bills, will quickly reconnect with his former Rams teammates. Both teams will be among the favorites for top honors.
The NFL definitely doesn't waste a second in throwing epic 'revenge' games! In the Monday night spotlight, quarterback Russell Wilson, who played the first 10 seasons of his career with the Seahawks, returns to Seattle as the enemy. Wilson wanted to leave the Seahawks and the Broncos granted his wish. It promises!
Yes, we know, quarterbacks are not theoretically in confrontation since they are not on the field at the same time. But the league will know how to stuff us with its publicity train surrounding the sixth duel between Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady, in Tampa. It will be their first matchup since the Super Bowl two years ago, when the Bucs roughed up the Chiefs. Brady leads the series 3-2 so far.
The Bills again? The Chiefs again? Oh yes! You will still not sulk your pleasure to see these two explosive machines collide for another memorable face-to-face. These two teams offer classics and it is impossible to forget the ridiculously thrilling clash of the last series. We want more! The Bills have five prime-time games on four major networks.
Not only are the clashes between these two teams with a rich history often captivating, but a particular spice will season this one. After leading 13 seasons in Green Bay, where he won the Super Bowl in 2010, Mike McCarthy will reconnect with his old flame. At the head of the Cowboys, his style is still disputed and it is this kind of critical game that he must win.
The Seahawks are clearly no longer the contenders they once were, but this game remains important for the NFL as it is their first foray into Germany. Presented in Munich, this duel promises to captivate the Germans, given the reputation of Tom Brady on an international scale. Difficult to ask for better as a baptism of fire, in addition to the opponent who does not look very competitive.
Before spitting out your coffee, make room in the calendar for a little chauvinist side of us. On one side with the Commanders, Montreal cornerback Benjamin St-Juste. On the other side with the Texans, Beauceron tight end Antony Auclair. Well, for the rest, not sure... But it's hard not to be proud of these two players from here.
In the last American Conference final, the Chiefs had to put an end to the Bengals' fairy tale. They were to establish their potential dynasty with a third straight appearance at the Super Bowl. Joe Burrow and the Bengals, however, played spoilsports and spun to the big game in their place. The atmosphere promises to be electric in Cincinnati, where a match has rarely gripped the city so much.
Again, nothing so exciting at first sight. Except that this duel will cause a lot of ink to flow with the return of quarterback Deshaun Watson to Houston. The athletic pivot won the hearts of Texans fans before alienating them by getting bogged down in a dispute with the organization. After a season on the sidelines, he is back in the Browns uniform. A game like any other? Don't believe it...
Well, it would have been too easy to look at all the critical games involving Bills, Chiefs, Bengals, Buccaneers, Rams or Packers. This duel between the Raiders and the Patriots has an interesting cachet since the new head coach of the Raiders, Josh McDaniels, spent 18 seasons under the orders of Bill Belichick, Emperor of the Patriots. This is reminiscent of when Belichick himself stepped out of the shadow of Bill Parcells long ago.