2019 NFL schedule: When Le'Veon Bell faces Steelers and 14 other revenge games on tap
Bell and the Jets welcome his former teammates to Northern Jersey in Week 16
Thehas been released! Of course, we already knew which teams were playing against each other, and where, prior to Wednesday night. But now we know exactly when each of the 256 games that will be played this season will go down.
We know who is playing Week 1. We know who is playing on Sunday and Monday nights. We know. And we know exactly when every single revenge game of the 2019 season will take place.
Below, we're walking through some of the highlights.
You might remember the season-opening game last season, when Khalil Mack was absolutely dominating for about a half ... and then Aaron Rodgers came back from the locker room after his mysterious injury and tore the Bears' defense apart. Chicago ended up having the NFL's best defense, while that night was likely the high point of 2018 for Green Bay. In the Thursday night game that will open the season, the Bears have a chance to avenge the loss from last year, Rodgers has a chance to avenge his injury, and safeties Adrian Amos and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix have a chance for revenge against their former teams.
Cardinals at Ravens seems like a pretty random game to highlight here, right up until you remember that game features Terrell Suggs' return to Baltimore for his first game as a member of another team. Suggs played 16 seasons with the Ravens, racking up 132.5 sacks during that time, but is now with Arizona.
The defending champions travel to Miami in Week 2. Things always get interested when Bill Belichick's boys head down to South Florida. Remember last year?
Oh, and speaking of last year ...
The Saints will travel to Los Angeles in Week 2, and they'll get their chance to exact revenge for the no-call on Nickell Robey-Coleman at the tail end of the NFC title game. Something tells me we'll be seeing some version of that replay a whole bunch of times in mid-September.
Prior to the NFC title game, the Saints' worst loss of the season came at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys. Demarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, Jaylon Smith and the Dallas secondary dominated the game, shutting down Drew Brees, Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara almost all night. The Saints welcome Dallas back to the SuperDome this year, and they can not only avenge that game, but also all the rumors about Sean Payton potentially leaving to coach the 'Boys at some point.
That same week, $86 million man Landon Collins makes his first trip back to East Rutherford, N.J. and gets to show Dave Gettleman and the Giants that he isn't just a box safety who wasn't worth the money.
It's just a shame that the Bears-Raiders game is in London, because wooo boy, would it have been fun to see Khalil Mack go back into the Black Hole and play against the man that wouldn't pay him and then traded him last offseason. As it is, Mack getting to go up against Raiders tackle Kolton Miller for much of the afternoon should be pretty wild.
Meanwhile, the Colts pay another visit to Arrowhead Stadium, the site of their playoff loss a year ago. When they travel to Kansas City for that game, they'll be bringing longtime Chiefs star Justin Houston, who was cut by KC earlier this offseason before landing with Indy. Perhaps he can help the Colts do a better job of slowing down Patrick Mahomes this time around.
Ravens at Seahawks
The last time we saw Earl Thomas in a Seahawks uniform, he was flipping off the sideline while getting carted off the field after suffering a broken leg. The Seahawks wouldn't pay Thomas what he felt he was worth, so finally this offseason, he left for greener pastures. He now leads one of the NFL's best secondaries, and he'll bring his flock across the country with him and try to do to Russell Wilson what he did to so many opposing quarterbacks that visited Seattle over the years.
Washington at Vikings
It's the You Wouldn't Pay Me Bowl! Kirk Cousins welcomes his former team into U.S. Bank Stadium and tries to show Daniel Snyder and company that they made a mistake opting to franchise tag him twice and then move on from him. Washington's decision to do so took a disastrous turn last season when Alex Smith suffered a devastating leg injury, and now the team is looking at starting Case Keenum this year. Yikes.
Bears at Eagles
There was a time not so long ago where Jordan Howard looked like he was clearly the running back of the future for the Bears. Not so much anymore. He was unceremoniously dumped on Philly for a late-round draft pick, and now he'll play in a rotation with several other guys for Doug Pederson's offense. He doesn't get to go to Soldier Field for his revenge game, but he does have a chance to rack up some yards against his old team.
Patriots at Eagles
Chiefs at Patriots
The second conference title game rematch of the season, only this time the Chiefs have to travel to Foxborough to play the Patriots. Maybe this time Patrick Mahomes will get to touch the ball if the game goes to overtime.
Jets at Ravens
The first of back-to-back revenge game opportunities for newly-rich Jets players sees C.J. Mosley travel back to Baltimore. The Ravens clearly did not prioritize bringing Mosley back into the fold for this season. (Not that he's complaining. The man got p-a-i-d.) But still, any opportunity a highly-paid star gets to play against his former team is notable.
Steelers at Jets
Speaking of highly-paid stars playing against their former team. Le'Veon Bell against the Steelers, folks! This game is unfortunately not happening in Pittsburgh, but the drama of seeing Bell take on the Steelers a year after he sat out the entire season rather than play for them on the franchise tag again will absolutely make this one a can't-miss.
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