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    The 5 Best Games NFL Games In Week 1

    NFL football is back! After getting just a taste of game action on Thursday night with the Detroit Lions’ 21-20 win over the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, the league returns in full this Sunday with a full slate of NFL Week 1 games.

    For many, this means the return of NFL Red Zone, whipping around from game to game. But for those who like the full-game experience and want to tune in from start to finish, or just want to know which games to focus on more than others, here’s a look at the five must-watch games on this year’s Week 1 Sunday slate. Keep in mind Monday night’s Buffalo Bills-New York Jets game is also a big one.

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    5. Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

    (1:00 p.m. ET on CBS)

    We’ll start off with a divisional matchup in the AFC North. The Bengals are the consensus favorite to win the division, especially now that Joe Burrow is healthy and ready to start the season after suffering a calf injury during training camp.

    The Bengals, who are looking to get back to the AFC Championship Game for the third consecutive year, will have a chance to prove themselves right away against a Browns team that can be viewed as a sleeper in the AFC playoff picture. After being suspended for most of last year, quarterback Deshaun Watson begins his first full season in Cleveland. Will he shake off the rust and get back to being the Pro Bowl-level QB he was during his time with the Houston Texans? If so, this could turn into an electric quarterback duel in a game with divisional implications.

    4. Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

    (4:25 p.m. ET on FOX)

    In yet another Week 1 divisional matchup, the quarterbacks are once again in the spotlight. For the Packers, this game marks the beginning of the Jordan Love era, as he takes over for Aaron Rogers. Love will be asked to do a lot in this game, especially with starting wide receiver Christian Watson already ruled out.

    On the other side is 2021 first-round pick Justin Fields, who is entering that crucial third year for first-round quarterbacks with his fifth-year option decision looming this offseason. The Bears did a lot to help Fields by building around him this offseason. That included trading the first overall pick in the draft for a package from the Carolina Panthers that included wide receiver D.J. Moore, and then using the 10th overall pick to select tackle Darnell Wright from Tennessee. Which quarterback will start off their year with a win?

    3. Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

    (8:20 p.m. ET on NBC)

    Keeping it going with the divisional games, we turn to Sunday night and the Cowboys and Giants at MetLife Stadium. The Giants spent the offseason betting on the progress they made in 2022, when they went 9-7, signing quarterback Daniel Jones to a contract extension and then bringing back running back Saquon Barkley.

    Right away, they’ll have an idea if last year was a fluke or if this core is for real. Last year, the Cowboys beat the Giants twice in a pair of one-score games (23-16 in New York in Week 3, and then 28-20 in Dallas on Thanksgiving). Can the Giants take advantage of a Cowboys team that is in flux and start the season on the right foot? Or will Dak Prescott, who faced mounting questions this offseason especially after the team traded for Trey Lance, pick up a Week 1 win?

    2. Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts

    (1:00 p.m. ET on FOX)

    Yup, another divisional game. Coming off of one of the best seasons in franchise history, the Jaguars and 2021 first-overall pick Trevor Lawrence look to reestablish their AFC South dominance when they visit the Colts on Sunday.

    For the Colts, this game marks the NFL debut of 2023 fourth-overall pick Anthony Richardson. The former Florida Gator comes into the league highly-regarded for his arm talent and athletic ability, but also very raw playing in structure. It’ll be fascinating to see how his development plays out this season as the NFL trends more toward toolsy, high-risk, high-reward quarterbacks. Right away he gets a tough test with this Jaguars defense.

    1. Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers

    (4:25 p.m. ET on CBS)

    Our game of the week – and only non-divisional matchup on this list – pits two teams against each other who enter the 2023 season in similar spots. These are among the two most talented rosters in the league, yet both have questions when it comes to the coaches.

    Brandon Staley is entering his third year as Chargers head coach. With an extremely talented roster led by 2020 sixth-overall pick Justin Herbert and with household names, Pro Bowlers, and All-Pros all over the defensive depth chart, Staley missed the playoffs in the last week of the season in 2021 then saw his team blow a 27-0 lead to the Jaguars in the Wild Card round last year.

    As for the Dolphins, Mike McDaniel drew plenty of headlines in his first season as head coach in 2022. Things started well for McDaniel, who was viewed as one of the top coaching hires of his cycle, but his team then lost five of their last six games of the regular season, barely sneaking into the playoffs. In the Wild Card round against the Buffalo Bills the Dolphins hung close but were done in by penalties and miscommunications, including multiple instances where McDaniel appeared to struggle to get the play call into the huddle.

    Which coach, and which team, will bounce back from a tough playoff loss and year with a win? We’ll find out on Sunday.

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