LOS ANGELES, April 21, 2015 — The 2015 NFL Schedule is now a reality. Enough of the fun and games because, for leatherheads, football is serious business and 256 regular season games await.
Here are the top 20 games of 2015, in chronological order.
20.) The remaining 237 games that did not make the top 19. Again, this is the National Football League. Every game is better than anything in any other sport.
19.) Monday, Sept. 14 — New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys, Week 1, Monday Night Football.
Big Blue gets its offensive stars back from injury, while the silver and blue try to play smash mouth without their bruiser. Eli Manning and Tony Romo make for a shootout.
18.) Sunday, Sept. 20 — New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills, Week 2.
Bill Bellichick and Tom Brady loathe Rex Ryan, who desperately wants to show there are more victories behind the bluster.
17.) Sunday, Sept. 20 — Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers, Week 2, Sunday Night Football.
From the “Fail Mary” to the fumbled onside kick, the Seahawks have stolen miracle wins from the Cheeseheads. This time they rumble in Lambeau Field.
16.) Sunday, Oct. 18 — New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts, Week 6, Sunday Night Football.
Forget Deflategate. The Patriots won by 38. The Colts have loaded up for a Super Bowl run and have no excuses at home if they want to be taken seriously.
15.) Sunday, November 8 — Denver Broncos at Indianapolis Colts, Week 9.
Was the home playoff loss in Denver a fluke? Peyton Manning wants his revenge.
14.) Sunday, Nov. 8 — Eagles at Cowboys, Week 9, Sunday Night Football.
DeMarco Murray returns to Dallas. Chip Kelly will pull out all the stops on offense.
13.) Thursday, November 12 — Buffalo Bills at New York Jets, Week 10, Thursday Night Football.
The circus returns. Expect Rex Ryan to declare Buffalo the only New York team playing against a team from New Jersey.
12.) Thursday, Nov. 26 — Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions, Week 12, Thanksgiving Morning Football.
The Eagles offense is unpredictable, while the Lions defense could suffer without Ndamokung Suh.
11.) Sunday, Nov. 29 — New England Patriots at Denver Broncos, Week 12, Sunday Night Football.
Peyton Manning duels against Tom Brady for the 17th and perhaps final time. Savor this one.
10.) Thursday, Dec. 3 — Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions, Week 13, Thursday Night Football.
If the Lions want to overtake the Packers, they must win this game. It all comes down to their defense against Aaron Rodgers.
9.) Sunday, Dec. 6 — Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders, Week 13.
After 13 years, the Raiders finally have a realistic shot at returning to the playoffs. Quarterback Derek Carr is for real. Walrus Lite Andy Reid always has the Chiefs in the hunt.
8.) Sunday, Dec. 6 — Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 13, Sunday Night Football.
Andrew Luck runs a pinball machine, while Mike Tomlin can see if his defense can still play hard-nosed football without Troy Palomalu and Ike Taylor.
7.) Monday, Dec. 21 — Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints, Week 15, Monday Night Football.
Matthew Stafford and Drew Brees can both sling the rock. This game could be such an exciting pinball shootout that Jim Caldwell might make a facial expression.
6.) Thursday, Dec. 24 — San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders, Week 16, Thursday Night Football.
Are these teams really going to share a stadium in Los Angeles? Let’s hope not. A good AFC West brawl in the Black Hole could keep them in San Diego and Oakland where they belong.
5.) Sunday, Dec. 27 — Green Bay Packers at Arizona Cardinals, Week 16.
The Desert is not the frozen tundra, but the Green Bay offense against the Arizona defense is a solid matchup in any weather.
4.) Sunday, Dec. 27 — Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens, Week 16, Sunday Night Football.
This is the head-knocker that frequently decides the AFC North. Get your smelling salts.
3.) Sunday, Jan. 3 — Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants, Week 17.
By this point, Chip Kelly will either be a genius or a false prophet. Captain Grumpy Tom Coughlin will either be revitalized or ready for retirement.
2.) Sunday, Jan. 3 — Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals, Week 17.
Last year Arizona lost home field throughout the playoffs and their division when injuries had them playing a fourth-string quarterback. Now they get a shot at revenge at full strength.
1.) Sunday, Jan. 3 — St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers, Week 17. Will the Rams move to Los Angeles? Do the 49ers have a coach? Either way, these defenses beat each other up.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are now on the clock. The 2015 NFL Draft is a couple of weeks away. Four months after that, the 2015 regular season kicks off.
And just for fun, our friends at Bad Lip Reading presents NFL 2015 – Because football is serious, but we don’t need to be.