214 days after Super Bowl LV, the new season finally arrives. The market for the new season is unsurprisingly led by the two teams who featured in the showpiece event back in February.
NFLGirlUK previews the opening fixtures for both the defending champs Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
7️⃣ – Tom Brady
6️⃣ – New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers
5️⃣ – Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers
🤯 Tom Brady has now won more Championships than any #NFL team!
— BetVictor (@BetVictor) February 8, 2021
Dallas Cowboys @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The lights are going to be shining on the first official regular season game of the 2021 NFL regular season. The Dallas Cowboys are taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers which should be an eventful offensive showcase.
We’re all intrigued to see how Dak Prescott will be upon return since his ankle injury at the start of last season. He has a number of weapons so his transition back onto the field should be smooth. Their defense however leaves much to be desired, they just didn’t improve enough to completely flip the script on their woes from last season and could get ripped up by Tampa Bay.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers offense has the seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady leading the charge. Their offense is arguably the best in the entire league and their defense are leaps and bounds ahead of the Dallas defense.
I definitely like my chances by rolling with Brady and the Buccaneers here. Prescott is a great quarterback but his return from injury makes me question how efficient this offense is really going to be in his first game back.
Predictions for Cowboys @ Bucs
Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be leading at half-time – 2/5
Tom Brady to throw for over 302 passing yards – 17/20
Tom Brady to have over two passing touchdowns – 3/4
Ezekiel Elliott to have over 53.5 rushing yards – 5/6
— NFL (@NFL) September 7, 2021
Cleveland Browns @ Kansas City Chiefs
On our first Sunday of the season we get to watch a divisional round playoff rematch on opening day between the Cleveland Browns and the Kansas City Chiefs.
After losing Odell Beckham Jr to injury for the majority of last season, the Browns should have him back for this matchup. Baker Mayfield once again sets up at quarterback and has a great running back duo of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to ease some pressure. And we can’t forget about Austin Hooper and Jarvis Landry in the passing game.
This Cleveland team is far different from the one that we have grown accustomed to seeing. Their defense is also completely different. They’ve added Jadeveon Clowney, Malik Jackson, John Johnson III and drafted Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah. Combine this talented group with a fantastic offense and this team can compete with the best of them. However, they’ll have to do just that here in week 1.
In the past three seasons the Kansas City Chiefs have made it to the AFC Championship game each time, been to the Super Bowl twice and lifted the Lombardi once. Led by the generational talent, Patrick Mahomes, this group is completely stacked. They have Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Clyde Edwards-Helaire to make them near unstoppable to defend against. That said, their defense has some holes that they need to fix, but they’ve got enough big-name talent including Tyrann Mathieu and Chris Jones to get them through.
The Chiefs are rightfully the early favourites in this matchup, but I feel like the Browns could really surprise some people and keep this game close from the start, maybe even pull away for a surprise victory. After all, anything can happen on the season opener. It is of course ‘Any Given Sunday’