The NFL matchups don’t feature many games in primetime that will spark the interest of a national audience. Pittsburgh-Miami, New England-Chicago, and Arizona-New Orleans all have the potential to be major duds. But when you parse through the NFL schedule, there is plenty on the Sunday slate to like.
The first week of the NFL season gives teams an opportunity to show what they have learned after an offseason of reflection.
While a good or bad result in the season opener doesn’t make or break the season, this is a good chance for players and teams to build goodwill with the fanbase and the league at large.
NFL Expert Picks and Predictions
NFL Games of the Week
Thursday, Oct. 20
Sunday, Oct. 23
Latest NFL Week 7 Picks and Predictions
Monday, Oct. 24
Here’s a look at some interesting facts about NFL Week 7 matchups.
Trying to Smooth Over Old Wounds
The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco have split the 14 all-time meetings between Joe Montana’s old franchises. However, it is the most recent meeting that has the 49ers eager for another shot at Kansas City and quarterback Patrick Mahomes. During Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2, 2020, the Chiefs rallied with 21 points in the fourth quarter to steal a 31-20 victory.
Damien Williams scored two touchdowns, and Travis Kelce scored another to spur the rally. Both teams still have the same starting quarterbacks. Mahomes led Kansas City to the AFC championship, while Jimmy Garoppalo helped the 49ers to the NFC title game last season. Garoppalo’s future is uncertain, however, and there is a high possibility second-year quarterback Trey Lance can take over his job. San Francisco would like a marquee win to stay in what should be a tight NFC West race.
Other Important Matchups
- The AFC North will be ready for another black-and-blue matchup when the Cleveland Browns travel to take on the Baltimore Ravens. Both teams missed out on the playoffs last season, but both should have star power at the quarterback position. It is impossible to say what will happen with Deshaun Watson and Baker Mayfield, but Lamar Jackson will likely be ready for Baltimore.
- Indianapolis will travel to Nashville and look to take a bite out of defending AFC South champion Tennessee Titans. The Colts are excited to have Matt Ryan under center and will try to keep Derrick Henry under wraps.
- Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady could see Carolina with a new quarterback under center when they travel to Carolina. The Panthers will have a quarterback battle between rookie Matt Corral and veteran Sam Darnold. The Buccaneers have won six of their past seven games.