It’s the first Sunday of the NFL’s regular season and, before you get carried away speculating about its implications, note that two of the four teams that played in the conference championship games in January dropped their openers last season.
Kansas City and Philadelphia won their openers, Cincinnati and San Francisco lost, and the four teams were 8-5 in September games.
Here are some interesting facts about each matchup:
All times Alaska
Panthers at Falcons, 9 a.m. (Fox): Bryce Young, the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, will be the third Carolina rookie quarterback to start in Week 1, joining Cam Newton (2011) and Chris Weinke (2001).
Texans at Ravens, 9 a.m. (CBS): Lamar Jackson has gone 3-1 in Week 1 starts, winning by margins of 49, 32 and 15 points. With him starting last season, the team was 8-4 overall; without him, 2-3 (with a meek exit from the playoffs).
Bengals at Browns, 9 a.m. (CBS): If Joe Burrow passes for 400 or more yards, he would pass Patrick Mahomes and Matthew Stafford (five games each) for the second-most such performances in a player’s first four seasons. Only Dan Marino, with seven, had more.
Jaguars at Colts, 9 a.m. (Fox): Anthony Richardson, the fourth overall pick in the NFL draft, will be the fourth Indianapolis rookie QB to start in Week 1 since 1990. Andrew Luck (2012), Peyton Manning (1998) and Jeff George (1990) are the others, with Luck and Manning being two of six rookie quarterbacks with 300 or more passing yards in Week 1.
Buccaneers at Vikings, 9 a.m. (CBS): Minnesota allowed the second-most passing yards (265.8) per game last season, a big reason 11 of its 13 victories last season came by only one possession.
Titans at Saints, 9 a.m.(CBS): Tennessee’s defense was vulnerable on passing attempts last season, giving up 17 touchdowns on 73 attempts in the red zone with only three interceptions.
49ers at Steelers, 9 a.m. (Fox): Just in time, Nick Bosa, the NFL’s 2022 Defensive Player of the Year, has signed a new contract that makes him the highest-paid defensive player in history and is likely to play in the opener despite a training camp holdout - unless he has “a beer belly and [is] out of shape or something,” according to Kyle Shanahan.
Cardinals at Commanders, 9 a.m. (Fox): Washington’s defense has gone an NFL record 509 regular season games without a shutout. The last was Sept. 30, 1991, when it recorded the third of three shutouts in a month, and Pro Football Reference notes there have been 226 regular season shutouts since then.
Packers at Bears, 12:25 p.m. (Fox): Green Bay Coach Matt LaFleur is 8-0 against Chicago, helped mightily in compiling that record by Aaron Rodgers, who loved to taunt Bears fans by claiming ownership of the team.
Raiders at Broncos, 12:25 p.m. (CBS): The Sean Payton-Russell Wilson dynamic will be on full display, days after ESPN reported that the former Saints coach told the former Seahawks quarterback to “stop kissing all the babies [because] you’re not running for public office” during the offseason.
Dolphins at Chargers, 12:25 p.m. (CBS): With 14,089 passing yards in his first 49 games, Justin Herbert needs 243 yards to move past Matthew Stafford into second place for a quarterback’s first 50 games. Patrick Mahomes is first with 15,370.
Eagles at Patriots, 12:25 p.m. (CBS): Matt Patricia returns to Gillette Stadium. Long an assistant on New England’s staff, he brings an insider’s knowledge of how Bill Belichick thinks to his job as a senior defensive assistant for Philly.
Rams at Seahawks, 12:25 p.m. (Fox): Seattle swept the Rams last season for only the second time under Pete Carroll, rallying both times to win. The latter win came in overtime of the Week 18 game and, with help from the Lions, clinched a playoff berth for the Seahawks.
Cowboys at Giants, 12:15 p.m. (NBC): Trey Lance may or may not be waiting in the wings, but Dak Prescott has 10 consecutive victories over the Giants since losing to them twice as a rookie in 2016.
Bills at Jets, 4:15 p.m. (ESPN): Aaron Rodgers, whose Jets are making their first “Monday Night Football” appearance since 2020, won nine straight “MNF” starts with the Packers, throwing for 23 touchdowns and three interceptions. Josh Allen is 3-2 in “MNF” games.