Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season is finally upon us. This year sees a break from tradition as the opening game of the season will not be hosted by last season’s Super Bowl champions. Instead, we will have the meeting of two of the oldest franchises in the league as the Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers to celebrate the start of the 100th season of the NFL.
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears - Friday 1:20AM - Sky Sports
These teams met in last season’s Week 1 opener. On that occasion, the Packers recovered from an early 20-point deficit to win 24-23. Even with that victory, Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers struggled in both regular season games against the Bears defense last year, throwing one pick and zero touchdowns.
Bears linebacker Khalil Mack led a defence that conceded the fewest points and the fewest rushing yards per game in the league last year and Green Bay running back Aaron Jones could be in for a long evening. On the opposite side of the field, Bears QB Mitch Trubisky made great strides under Coach of the Year Matt Nagy last year and he will be hoping to continue his form into this season. Chicago’s rookie running back David Montgomery is expected to have a big impact this year too.
For this week’s match-up, it’s hard to look past the Bears' defence against LaFleur’s new look offense.
Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns - Sunday 6PM - Sky Sports
The Cleveland Browns picked up a number of weapons in the off season, most notably Pro Bowl wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. Couple his talents with second-year QB Baker Mayfield and new Head Coach Freddie Kitchens, the Browns look to have one of the most exciting offenses in the league this season.
The Titans will bring a tough, physical defence to this game, but it’s unlikely that they will be able to match up to the Browns’ arsenal of attacking talents. However, Head Coach Mike Vrabel can call upon two of the most exciting young talents in the game on the offensive side of the ball. QB Marcus Mariota and RB Derrick Henry have proven their abilities at the highest level and the success of the Titans will depend on the health of those two players. Henry finished last season very strongly and he is tipped in some quarters to lead the league in rushing this season.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys - Sunday 9:15PM - Sky Sports
The Dallas Cowboys are 7-point favourites for this season opener. This is a game between two franchises at different stages of their life-cycle. The Cowboys have newly minted RB Zeke Elliot and the impressive Dak Prescott running their offense.
For the Giants, young running back Saquon Barkley will have the shoulder most of the load as 38-year-old Eli Manning is put under pressure for his starting place by rookie QB Daniel Jones. Golden Tate has been signed to replace Odell Beckham, but he is suspended for four games so he won't see any action until Week 5 against the Vikings.
Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots - Monday 1:10AM - Sky Sports
Reigning Super Bowl champions New England Patriots face the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gilette Stadium for their season opener. The last time these two franchises faced each other was in Week 15 last season. On that occasion, Mike Tomlin’s Steelers beat the Pats 17-10. Since then, the Steelers have strengthened their defense while Tom Brady lost a key part of his offense with the retirement of Rob Gronkowski.
Still, it’s no easy task to face Belichick & Co. in Foxborough and this weekend will be no different. The Patriots look primed for another Super Bowl tilt and they will start their season with a win.News Now - Sport News