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NFL Regular Season: Ranking the Top 10 Games After Schedule Release

The NFL regular season schedule announcement creates plenty of buzz around the league each year and allows fans to gauge their favorite team's chances to make a playoff run - or land the No. 1 draft pick.

Here, we'll take a look at the 10 games we're most excited for in the 2024 NFL regular season.

10. Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia Eagles (Week 2)

We kick off our list with an early-season matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and their new quarterback Kirk Cousins against the Philadelphia Eagles, who have two new coordinators and a new-look defense.

This will also be Atlanta's second game under new head coach Raheem Morris. With Cousins under center, they will be looking to make the playoffs while Philly will want to make a statement after last year's late-season collapse.

This matchup will give fans and experts and early indication of where each team can expect to end up by the end of the year.

9. Philadelphia Eagles @ Cincinnati Bengals (Week 8)

The second and final time the Eagles appear on the list is for this Week 8 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals. The teams are pretty similar: they each have relatively young quarterbacks with plenty to prove, two star wide receivers, and defenses that will integrate new faces in key positions.

This game comes almost halfway through the season, so we will already know what the teams look like. But both teams have enough talent to make any game entertaining and close.

Philly is two years off of an NFL Championship appearance while the Bengals are three years beyond their most recent title game berth, and both teams want to get back to that level this season.

The Eagles enter 2024 at +1600 to win it all while the Bengals have the joint-fourth-shortest odds at +1200.

8. San Francisco 49ers @ Miami Dolphins (Week 16)

The Miami Dolphins notoriously struggled against good teams in the 2023 regular season. This late-season matchup against the San Francisco 49ers will tell us how they can expect to fare in the playoffs.

The 49ers are +550 NFL Championship co-favorites while the Dolphins are +2200 to win it all.

Of course, these teams need to have records good enough to make the playoffs by Week 16, but that shouldn't be an issue considering the talent on both rosters. San Francisco will have an easier time as they play in a weaker division, so this could be a must-win for the Dolphins.

If that's the scenario heading into this game, it will be one of the biggest of Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa's professional career. Will he be able to deliver against a stacked 49ers team with Fred Warner and Nick Bosa leading their defense?

7. Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins (Week 2)

This AFC East matchup will test the Dolphins' defense under new defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver against the Buffalo Bills offense without former star receiver Stefon Diggs. The Bills beat Miami 48-20 in the teams' early-season matchup in Week 4 last year.

The Dolphins lost defensive tackle Christian Wilkins in free agency and released safety Xavien Howard, but they signed safety Jordan Poyer, cornerback Kendall Fuller and linebacker Shaquil Barrett.

Without Diggs, Buffalo's star QB Josh Allen will be throwing to recievers Curtis Samuel, Khalil Shakir, rookie Keon Coleman, and tight end Dalton Kinkaid.

This divisional matchup will have an impact on the postseason tiebreaker, and both teams will want to make an early-season statement here. Entering the season, Buffalo is the +160 favorite to win the AFC East while Miami follows close behind at +180.

6. New York Jets @ San Francisco 49ers (Week 1)

Playing on Monday Night Football in Week 1 might haunt some New York Jets fans after what happened in 2023, but Aaron Rodgers and his teammates have a chance to exorcize those demons to start the 2024 campaign.

The fact the Jets face the San Francisco 49ers - last year's NFL Championship runners up - would make a win even sweeter. The Jets managed to beat the Buffalo Bills by a 22-16 score in last season's MNF opener despite Rodgers suffering his Achilles injury on the first drive.

The Niners return their offensive core from last season, led by quarterback Brock Purdy, running back Christian McCaffrey, tight end George Kittle and wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk.

They'll want to prove to New York that the key to victory is more complicated than simply plugging in a multi-time MVP at QB.

5. Chicago Bears @ Green Bay Packers (Week 18)

Division rivals led by young potential franchise quarterbacks meeting in a late-season game with potential playoff implications? Sign me up.

Caleb Williams and the Chicago Bears will take on Jordan Love and the Green Bay Packers in an NFC North showdown to end the regular season. The Packers are +200 to win the division with Chicago +300, trailing the favored Detroit Lions at +145.

Both teams have plenty of offensive talent surrounding their young QBs. Williams will throw to Keenan Allen, DJ Moore and rookie Rome Odunze. Love gets to run it back with Jayden Reed, Romeo Doubs, Dontayvion Wicks and Christian Watson.

4. Baltimore Ravens @ Kansas City Chiefs (Week 1)

Beginning the season with a 2023 AFC Championship rematch - and a potential 2024 AFC Championship preview - between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens is a smart move from the NFL.

The first competitive professional football we'll see in the 2024 season features reigning NFL Championship MVP Patrick Mahomes and reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson leading their teams. The Chiefs are +550 co-favorites for the championship while Baltimore has the third-shortest odds at +900.

Mahomes has a new target in NFL Combine 40-yard dash record-holder Xavier Worthy, while Jackson now has Derrick Henry in the backfield. Both teams have lost big names on defense, and this game will show how quickly each side adjusts.

3. Detroit Lions @ Dallas Cowboys (Week 6)

The Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions were the NFL's highest and fifth-highest scoring offenses in the 2023 regular season, and they meet in Detroit in Week 6.

Dallas lost Tyron Smith and Tyler Biadasz on their offensive line, so the inexperienced group will be tested by Detroit's Aidan Hutchinson. Cowboys QB Dak Prescott and WR CeeDee Lamb will look to get the best of Lions defensive backs Brian Branch, Kerby Joseph, and rookies Ennis Rakestraw and Terrion Arnold.

Detroit has one of the best core groups of offensive players, and they signed QB Jared Goff, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, and OL Penei Sewell to contract extensions this offseason.

With the Lions at +1200 to win the NFL Championship and Dallas at +1600, whoever wins this game will be making a statement.

2. Chicago Bears @ Houston Texans (Week 2)

Week 2 pits Houston Texans and reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year QB CJ Stroud against the Chicago Bears and QB Caleb Williams, the +225 favorite to win OROY in 2024.

For Houston, this game will be their second look at how the offense looks with the additions of WR Stefon Diggs and RB Joe Mixon to go with TE Dalton Schultz and WRs Tank Dell and Nico Collins.

This game will be a huge test for Chicago's defense, but fans will tune in to see how Williams and his new WR group of DJ Moore, Keenan Allen and rookie Rome Odunze fares compared to one of the league's most dynamic offenses.

1. Kansas City Chiefs @ San Francisco 49ers (Week 7)

Football fans will be treated to an NFL Championship rematch in Week 7. The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers enter the 2024 campaign at joint-favorites to win the NFL Championship at +550.

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes gains Xavier Worthy at wide receiver, but the team's defense lost CB L'Jairus Sneed in a trade this offseason. San Francisco returns most of its core group expect for defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who was replaced by Leonard Floyd.

Brock Purdy, the 49ers QB, proved in 2023 that his rise from Mr. Irrelevant to franchise quarterback was not a fluke. In 2023, he finished ahead of Mahomes in regular season passing yards, passing touchdowns and passer rating.

In Week 7, the question will be whether he and his superstar teammates can overcome Mahomes Magic and prove themselves as ready to win it all.

Odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.

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