10 2020 NFL games to circle on your calendars
Kirk Cousins' Vikings and Drew Brees' Saints face off in a Week 16 matchup in New Orleans. Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

10 2020 NFL games to circle on your calendars

At 7:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, the NFL allowed its clubs to release tentative schedules for the 2020 season that seems guaranteed to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic. For now, however, the 17-week campaign remains scheduled to begin on Thursday, September 10, with the Super Bowl champions raising a banner.

Week 1: Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs 

The 2019-20 AFC divisional-round game will have a rematch Week 1. Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

A tradition continues, as Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, winners of Super Bowl LIV, will face Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans on September 10; that is, assuming Houston head coach Bill O'Brien hasn't shipped Watson out of town by then.

Week 1: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints

See Tom Brady in a new uniform is going to be weird. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Not only do Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski make their Tampa Bay Buccaneers debuts versus a divisional opponent. They'll face fellow future Hall of Famer Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in a hostile road environment.

Week 1: Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots 

How will the Stidham-led Pats do against their AFC East foes? Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Perhaps you've heard or read that Brady is no longer with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Recently, former college head coach Urban Meyer praised QB Jarrett Stidham. Will he be atop New England's depth chart for his team's opening game in September

Week 2: New Orleans Saints at Las Vegas Raiders

Derek Carr and the Raiders will play their first game in Vegas. Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

What's an additional week to wait for a special home debut, Las Vegas fans? The plus is you get prime time and "Monday Night Football" for the game. The minus is you'll be seeing Drew Brees and the Saints.

Week 3: Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens

Reigning MVP Lamar Jackson takes on the 2018 MVP. Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

In a matchup of young guard versus younger guard, 2018 NFL Most Valuable Player Patrick Mahomes will take on 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens on the road. The sports gods gave us this gift on Monday Night Football, so there's no excuse to miss this one.

Week 12: Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 

Reigning Super Bowl winner Patrick Mahomes will hope to beat a six-time Super Bowl winner. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While we don't personally know Brady, we suspect he's not keen on passing-of-the-torch moments. Maybe Mahomes could convince him such milestones have their merit in late November.

Week 13: Cincinnati Bengals at Miami Dolphins

Two rookie QBs face off in this intriguing matchup. Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Two big questions hover over this late-season game. Will Cincinnati QB Joe Burrow be a Rookie of the Year favorite by this time of the year? Will Tua Tagovailoa be under center for the Dolphins?

Week 15: Cleveland Browns at New York Giants 

OBJ travels back to his old stomping grounds. Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

An old saying teaches that you can't go home again. Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will test that theory when he faces his former employer at MetLife Stadium on December 20. That postgame encounter between quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Daniel Jones could be interesting.

Week 16: Minnesota Viking at New Orleans Saints

Will the latest Vikings-Saints matchup feature another controversial ending? Chuck Cook -USA TODAY Sports

Christmas Day isn't just for the NBA this year, as Drew Brees will welcome Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings to Mercedes-Benz Superdome to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

Week 17: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

Whenever these two teams face off, it's guaranteed to be a good game. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A lot can and will happen before Week 17, but this is an early favorite to be flexed to the final "Sunday Night Football" game of the season. Give us Russell Wilson versus Jimmy Garoppolo under the bright lights to get us to the playoffs.

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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