The 2020 NFL schedule has been released, and we can already announce some tremendous matchups. Things have changed a lot in the offseason including Tom Brady’s arrival in Tampa, so the NFC South will see a great battle between the Buccaneers and Saints.
These two division rivals and Super Bowl contenders will meet in Week 1, as well as the NFC North foes Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers. Therefore, we bring you five matchups with the most bad blood in the 2020 NFL season.
1. New Orleans Saints vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Week 1, Week 9
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers missed the postseason for 12 straight years. They had only one winning season in the previous decade, while the Bucs have been waiting for a playoff victory since they lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy in 2002.
The Bucs have acquired Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski while keeping almost all their best players from the previous season. That’s why the bookies consider Tampa as one of the strongest title contenders with the odds at +1100. Interestingly, the Saints are set at +1100, too.
On the other side, the New Orleans Saints have clinched the playoff spot seven times over the previous 11 years. They’ve won seven playoff games in that span including the Super Bowl XLIV. The Saints will look for their fourth straight NFC South title in 2020, but this time, they will have to beat a much stronger Buccaneers team.
Week 1 brings the first clash of the season between these two foes. The Saints welcomes the Buccaneers in the opener, while they travel to Tampa in Week 9. New Orleans will play some tough road games this season including the clash with the Chicago Bears in Week 8.
I’m not underestimating the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers, but these two teams won’t jeopardize the Saints and Bucs. Hereof, I expect to see a couple of spectacles when New Orleans plays Tampa Bay in 2020.
The Saints beat the Bucs twice last season and have won 13 of their previous 17 head-to-head duels.
2. Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers: Week 1, Week 8
Another marquee Week 1 matchup will see the Minnesota Vikings hosting the Green Bay Packers. These two teams should battle for the NFC North title, although the Chicago Bears could make some noise here.
The Packers lead this series 62-54-3 including a couple of postseason games. Last year, the Packers beat the Vikings twice and won the NFC North title three games ahead of Minnesota. Howsoever, the Vikings have been victorious in five of their last nine encounters with Green Bay along with a tie.
It will be interesting to see what will happen with the Packers’ chemistry after they drafted the quarterback in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. While the Packers refused to get some help to Aaron Rodgers, the Vikings used their first-round pick to select WR Justin Jefferson from LSU.
After the Week 1 clash in Minneapolis, the Packers will host the Vikings in Week 8. There would be a lot of football to be played following their ultimate clash of the regular season, but we still should see a couple of great battles between the Vikings and Packers.
3. Baltimore Ravens vs. Cleveland Browns: Week 1, Week 14
Can the Browns upset the Ravens in Week 1 and make a statement? From this point of view, it looks like the Baltimore Ravens will cruise through the AFC North, but I won’t write the Browns off.
Cleveland failed to meet the expectations in 2019. Baker Mayfield had a terrible season and couldn’t find any connection with Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. However, Nick Chubb has been dominating all season long and will be a massive force in the upcoming season.
Also, the Browns can count on Kareem Hunt, so their ground game should be lethal. If their defense steps up and Mayfield finds a way to get along with Beckham and Landry, the Browns will challenge the Ravens for the AFC North title.
On the other side, the Ravens are coming off a 14-2 regular season, but they suffered an upsetting loss to the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round. Now, they want to retain the AFC North crown and get one step further in the playoffs, at least.
With the reigning MVP under center, the Ravens are a legit Super Bowl contender. Still, I can’t wait for Week 1 to see them hosting the Browns, while these two foes will meet again in Week 14 when Baltimore heads to Cleveland.
4. New England Patriots vs. AFC East
Everybody in the AFC East had just enough of the New England Patriots. Over the last 17 years, the Pats have won 16 division titles which is completely ridiculous. Since the 2008 Miami Dolphins, nobody else could prevent the Patriots from winning the AFC East.
Now, with Tom Brady far away in the NFC South, the Patriots will have a tall task to retain the crown. The Dolphins and New York Jets don’t look like teams capable of overthrowing the Patriots, but the Buffalo Bills do.
Howsoever, all these three teams will be fired up in 2020 to finally beat New England. We can say that Miami already started this process with the huge upset and a road victory over the Patriots in the ultimate week of the previous season.
The Patriots open the 2020 NFL season with a home clash against the Dolphins. Until Week 8 and the road game against the Bills, they won’t play divisional rivals. But their ultimate three contests will see the Pats taking on Miami, Buffalo, and New York Jets, so the Pats will have a tough finish.
5. Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Week 8, Week 16
There’s a rich history of the rivalry between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles, and after the thrilling finish of the 2019 season, these two foes hate each other even more. The Eagles beat the Cowboys 17-9 in Week 16 to surpass them at the table and win the NFC East title.
Therefore, the Cowboys will give their best to defeat the Eagles twice this term and bring the division title back home. The first clash is set for Week 8 when the Eagles host the Cowboys, while Dallas will welcome Philadelphia in Week 16 which should be a tremendous game.
The Cowboys enter this season with the new head coach, hoping Mike McCarthy will change things and bring some new energy to Dallas. The Eagles have been far more successful than the Cowboys in this century, including their victory in the Super Bowl LII.
Dallas leads this series 69-53 and has won four of its previous five contests against Philadelphia. Considering the strength of the remaining two teams in the NFC East (Redskins and Giants), Dallas and Philadelphia should fight to the bitter end, and I’m pretty sure this rivalry will bring some wild games in 2020.