The complete 2015 National Football League schedule was released just a few days ago, giving every fan of the 32 teams a clear outline of the gauntlet they will face on their way to a potential postseason bid. There are only 16 chances for each squad to prove their worth, and many big-time matchups have emerged as ones that will likely be the most important or entertaining, if not both. Here are the highlights of the 2015 NFL schedule.
The Green Bay Packers will get a chance to avenge their historically painful NFC Championship loss to the Seattle Seahawks when the NFC West powerhouse visits Lambeau field for a Week 2 matchup. In a league where nothing is guaranteed and teams fall from grace quicker than H2O plummets down Niagara Falls, the Packers or Seahawks could end up being huge disappointments this year. But every indication points toward both squads being incredibly solid and this matchup being one of the best of the season.
Also scheduled for Week 2 is a showdown between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles. These take place twice per season and have so since division realignment, but this matchup will be especially intriguing given the fact that running back DeMarco Murray jumped ship from Dallas to Philadelphia via free agency. Both teams will have a collection of offensive weapons that they hope to showcase in what is expected to be a high-scoring and fast-paced game. Monday Night Football has taken a nosedive in popularity and prestige since the days of Al Michaels, Frank Gifford and Dan Deardorff, but ESPN has clearly made some noble steps to revive the historic franchise this year by actually scheduling a handful of matchups that should be very competitive.
A Week 5 battle that has the Pittsburgh Steelers traveling to San Diego to play the Chargers on prime time in front of the nation is an unusual and intriguing matchup, and one that will likely produce one of the most entertaining games of the MNF 2015 slate. The Denver Broncos will visit the Indianapolis Colts in Week 9, and the game will be important for a couple reasons. First of all, it is likely to have a significant impact on the postseason picture. Secondly, it is very likely that the game will represent Peyton Manning’s final trip back to Indianapolis after he brought the franchise to prominence and success during a tenure that spanned well over a decade.
Week 10 will feature a matchup between the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. While it is possible that neither team will be significant players in the playoff picture, this is a game that many fans have already circled on their calendars. It will represent the return of former Jets head coach Rex Ryan, who left New York feeling jilted and disrespected after he spun straw into gold during a few runs deep into the playoffs.
There are a handful of intriguing games between Week 11 and Week 15 that feature powerhouse squads, but the single most anticipated has to be the Philadelphia Eagles vs the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts in Week 13. Eagles head coach Chip Kelly appears to be determined to supplant and usurp Patriots head coach Bill Belichick as the NFL coaching version of Scarface, and a victory in hostile territory will go a long way toward initiating the changing of the guard. Expect upwards of 70 points to be scored in this one.