5. New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys. Week 2.
I rank this game as number five because it has a few very intriguing qualities. First, the Giants Cowboys rivalry has been the best one in the NFC East over the last few years (that says alot coming from that division). These two teams absolutely hate each other, so anytime they play it's always a physical bruiser. Second, it's the opening of the Cowboys new billion dollar stadium. Don't lie, your a little curious about it. It cost a billion dollars!! Third, it's on Sunday Night Football. Prime Time! The Cowboys have somehow slipped under the radar, so this could be a key game for them to remind people that they are still good. The Giants were the cream of the NFC crop during the regular season and they are even under the radar a bit. So both teams will be looking for a little early season respect. (By the way, how has no one made the connection that the 2008 Giants had nearly the same exact season as the 2007 Cowboys? They ran through the competition in the regular season, were touted as the NFC Champions then eventually the Super Bowl Champions, they had a primadonna Wide Receiver who caused enough distraction to blow the season for his team, they had the number 1 seed and home-field advantage for the playoffs, and they lost their first playoff game...to a division rival! This is absolutley the same thing that happened to the 2007 Cowboys. Stunning.)
4. Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots. Week 1.
Like the Giants vs. Cowboys game this is another "looking for respect" game. The Bills added talented and troubled Wide Receiver Terrell Owens in the offseason as well as high expectations. They get their first test during the first game. If they want to hang with the big boys they better be able to beat the biggest boy of all. Division rival New England will also be out to prove a thing or two. One, it's All-World QB Tom Brady's first regular season game since Week 1 of last year when he took Bernard Pollards helmet to the knee and missed all of the 2008 season. All eyes will be on Brady's knee. The Bills want all eyes on them. This game will show alot about what to expect from both teams for the upcoming season.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers @ Baltimore Ravens. Week 12.
This Sunday Night game will be a feast. The rematch of the AFC Championship game will feature the Defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers going to heated rival Baltimore Ravens stadium, and the Ravens will be out for blood. Second year QB Joe Flacco should have a better grip on how to play against the NFL's best defense so he will be looking to perform better then he did last year. This game has the potential to be a crucial game in the middle of the playoff hunt for both teams and could have a drastic effect on who wins the division. For an added bonus, anytime you get to watch Baltimore wear their all black uniforms with a rabid Ray Lewis roaming the field you have to think your watching real professional football.
And now the real reason I wanted to make this list. Seriously, I could of just written about the top two games of the season...it doesn't get any better then this...
2. Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers. Week 8.
Brett Favre is officially a member of the Vikings. I saw it myself when he trotted out of the locker room wearing a Vikings helmet and a number 4 jersey. He has said publicly he paid attention to what the Packers were doing in comparison to his New York Jets last season. He wanted to play for Minnesota all along for the simple fact he wanted to beat Green Bay after he felt he was ran out of town (whether you believe that or not is up to you, I'm just saying what he said). This is the game everyone will be pointing towards and talking about. Brett Favre is coming back to Lambeau Field to face his former Green Bay Packers. The crowd will be insane. The players will feel the importance of the game. Brett will want to play his best. Packer QB Aaron Rodgers will have a secret mission (he won't talk about it out loud) to out perform Brett. This could be the official passing of the torch game. If Rodgers plays well and beats Favre's Vikings he will buy himself two years of Packer fan's love. If not, it could ugly...quick. Find a way to watch this game, it's going to be a good one. I'm hoping Favre gets to Lambeau and realizes what he has done and breaks down and cries like a little girl.
1. Philadelphia Eagles @ Atlanta Falcons. Week 13.
This is THE GAME. You can't beat this game. There may be games that are better played but no game will have so much focus as this one. Everyone knows the story of Michael Vick. He signed with the Eagles last week. Everyone knows the story of why the Falcons selected Matt Ryan with their first pick in last years draft. You may even know how Ryan went on to win the Roookie of the Year Award and led the Falcons into the playoffs. Well, in this game, the number one game of the season, Michael Vick returns to Atlanta. He returns to the city and stadium that adored him for so long. He had the city by the you know what. He could do wrong. Owner Arthur Blank gave Vick a record contract to lead his team for his entire career. Vick was to Atlanta what Rocky is to Philadelphia, what Joe Montana is to San Fransisco, what Brett Favre is to Green Bay (haha, just kidding). You can bet when Vick takes the field there will be a very loud noise from the fans. I say noise, because I'm not sure if it will be boo's or cheers. There is still a portion of the fan base that loves Vick. They trusted him with every ounce of their hearts and even though he broke their trust, they will still give him another chance. But, there is also that group like the most of us who think that what Vick did was horrendous. They will be the ones booing him. They will be hoping Vick doesn't step foot on the field and they will be looking for the Falcons to stomp the Eagles. This will be a very emotional game. One of those games you will be able to feel the emotion from your television. I can't wait.