After kicking off the season with a classic grudge match this Thursday, the NFL drops a Monday night double header. Herewith are the details for all your viewing pleasure:
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears
Thursday, September 5, at 8:20pm ET on NBC
The Matt LaFleur Era begins in Green Bay. LeFleur, the Pack’s newly minted head coach, was the offensive coordinator of the 2017 Los Angeles Rams team that went 11-5 and led the league in points scored and the Tennessee Titans OC in 2018. He’s now been tasked with helping Aaron Rogers in his ongoing quest to convince people that he’s better than Tom Brady. This year’s campaign gets off to a tough start as they travel to Chicago to face last year’s stingiest defense, which led the league in interceptions with 27.
Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints
Monday, September 9, at 7:10pm ET on ESPN
DeShaun Watson, one of the game’s most electric performers on offense, and J.J. Watt, one of the game’s most destructive defenders, team up to improve on last year’s 11-5 record. The Saints, meanwhile, will be trying to shake off the stink of the one of the most egregious no-calls in NFL playoff history. Does Drew Brees have enough left in the tank to make another run deep into the playoffs? Yeah, probably.
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders
Monday, September 9, at 10:20pm ET on ESPN
The defense remains the Broncos’ strength as new head coach Vic Fangio brings his expertise after serving as the defensive coordinator for the Bears who had the best defense in the league in 2018. The Broncos’ QB carousel takes another spin though, with Joe Flacco getting a chance to lead the offense — good luck with that, John Elway. But, hey, they get to face one of just two AFC teams with a worse record in 2018 in the Oakland Raiders, who bring back QB Derek Carr, along with a rebuilt defense featuring the fourth overall pick in the draft, Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell.
This is the Raiders last season in the East Bay before they find a new home in Las Vegas for the 2020 season. The Raiders will certainly be better than last year due to the sheer dominance of new addition, wideout Antonio Brown. But trading Khalil Mack walk is looking more and more like one of the worst mistakes in franchise history and this team has a long way to go to make this farewell tour one that Oakland deserves. This team has bid adieu to a mountain of talent over the last couple of seasons, Raiders fan continue to pray that Gruden knows what he’s doing.