By Rodney Stokes for TonySoftli.com
The NFL released the league’s regular season schedule last week and there were a few notable games to touch on.
Broncos vs Panthers
The Super Bowl rematch will draw the most attention in week one as it’s the first game played of the regular season. The Broncos will be hosting the Panthers after experiencing an exodus of talent in free agency. The draft will be here next week but at the moment it seems like the Broncos will be in a rebuilding mode for the 2016 season. The Panthers however, will look to continue building off a strong season that should see the return of Kelvin Benjamin and an improved receiving corps. Expect the Panthers to get their revenge in this game.
Texans vs Patriots
Houston made some serious changes in the off-season by adding Brock Osweiler and Lamar Miller to an offense that solely featured DeAndre Hopkins last year. Bill O’Brien has never beat his former coach since joining the Texans, and will look to put on a show this year in hopes of achieving that feat. While the team is much improved and may be in store for a deep playoff run, expect Belichick to crack the whip on his former student.
Texans vs Broncos
Brock Osweiler was the main story of the off season as he essentially turned his back on the organization that drafted him. Osweiler returns with a loaded offense and a defense that may prove to be better than Denver’s this year. While the Broncos are the reigning champs of the NFL, their off season was less than impressive and they have multiple questions to address. Osweiler and company should enjoy a victory over the orange and blue.
Panthers vs Seahawks
The Panthers return to Seattle in primetime to prove their worth again. Last year, the Panthers stunned the Seahawks in a last second victory involving Greg Olsen and Cam Newton. Later in the season, the Seahawks saw themselves outmatched in the first half of the divisional round against the Panthers and were caught scrambling in the second half. The Seahawks didn’t exactly take the year off but they never quite made it back to form. They’ll be ready for the Panthers in week 13.
Steelers at Bengals
This game will be more important than the week two matchup simply because Vontaze Burfict will be back. With all of the controversy surrounding last year’s playoff game, the Bengals and Steelers will again be in the spotlight ready for battle. Barring any injuries before this game, there should be full effort from both teams’ star players in one of the best rematches of the year.
Follow Rodney Stokes on Twitter: @RSDraft