NFL teams have been more inclined to make big trades and other moves in recent years. Analytics have led to a new way of thinking, which has impacted the personnel turnover rate. Teams are more willing to move on from prominent players ... and that has led to some intriguing matchups.
Below, you'll find the 10 best revenge games of the 2020 NFL regular season.
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10. Chargers, Justin Herbert at Dolphins
Miami was sitting there at No. 5 overall with a choice between Tua Tagovailoa and Herbert. They chose Tagovailoa, after there had been reports that the team was seriously considering the Oregon product. Herbert will have a chip on his shoulder going against the team that bypassed him, though we'll have to see if he'll take the starters role ahead of Tyrod Taylor by the time they face off in Week 7 in Miami. Los Angeles is one of the most improved teams in the league this offseason and it is unclear how long it will take for Tagovailoa to take the field.
9. Saints, Jameis Winston vs. Buccaneers
Realistically speaking, Winston will probably not play this season as long as Drew Brees stays healthy. New Orleans has Brees in what will likely be his final season. However, the sheer possibility of Winston playing against a team that gave up on him in favor of Tom Brady, who will be 43-years-old at the start of the 2020 regular season, is too spicy to ignore. Tampa Bay let go of the former No. 1 overall selection this offseason. Winston could have left the division to play elsewhere, but it hardly seems like a coincidence that he stayed in the NFC South. They'll face off in Week 1 in New Orleans, and again Week 9 in Tampa.
8. Frank Gore revenge tour vs. all his ex-teams
Gore is entering his 16th season playing in the NFL. He has played for the Dolphins, Bills, Colts, 49ers and now the Jets. Every NFL team for whom he has played is on New York's schedule this season. He will have the opportunity to continue compiling longevity and rushing records against teams that said he was no longer worth having around. Gore's role will likely be small, but do not think that he will overlook those games.
7. 49ers, Jimmy Garoppolo at Patriots
Garoppolo does not seem like he is easily bothered, but quarterbacks are the ultimate competitors. They look for any reason to be slighted and use it for motivation. The fact that New England traded him because they were amidst the greatest quarterback career of all-time is not justification for the move, at least to Garoppolo. Combine that with the fact that many were speculating San Francisco would part with him to sign Tom Brady. Jimmy G will be motivated when they battle in New England in Week 7.
6. Melvin Gordon, Broncos vs. Chargers
Gordon and his agent were essentially on an island during their negotiations with the Chargers. There were reports that he had received an offer averaging around $10 million per year, which seems like a more than reasonable pitch. Gordon's representation wanted more and it led to a holdout. His absence cost him a lot of money and the rise of Austin Ekeler rendered him expendable. When he returned, he struggled to find a rhythm and he averaged less than four yards per carry for the fourth time in his five NFL seasons. It was difficult for Gordon to find a landing spot in free agency, but he ultimately landed on the Broncos, who are paying him $8 million per year. Gordon did not receive what he felt he deserved, so revenge will be on his mind when he plays his former team in Week 11 and again in Week 16.
Rivera was with the Panthers for nearly a decade and led them to a Super Bowl. To fire him in the middle of the season was disrespectful and not what he deserved. Rivera will shrug off any idea of slight, but his game against Carolina will be circled. Washington is a rebuilding team, so it is difficult to expect much from the Redskins, but Rivera will be looking to knock off his former employer when they play Week 16 in Washington.
4. Teddy Bridgewater, Panthers vs. Saints and Vikings
Similar to Garoppolo, Bridgewater does not seem like the type of player who will outwardly taunt or trash his former teams. However, he is a supreme competitor who will want to show Minnesota that they gave up on him too early. Despite moonlighting as a starting quarterback last season when Brees was injured, Bridgewater has not been given the keys to a team's offense since his rookie season with the Vikings. He will relish this opportunity to secure a starting role long-term and beat his former teams while doing it.
The union of Dallas and Garrett came to a weird, drawn-out end, but it sounds like the bloomed friendship of Garrett and Jerry Jones will not be impacted despite the owner's slumber party with new head coach Mike McCarthy. After nine seasons of pouring his time and energy into a franchise, Garrett will undoubtedly be looking to prove his former employer wrong twice a year. The Giants' new offensive coordinator will try to kill Dallas by paper cuts in a low-scoring affair.
2. Redskins at 49ers, Trent Williams
Williams' beef has more to do with ownership, the medical staff and the front office than Redskins players. He may not be upset towards the players, but he will take it out on them. The veteran publicly voiced his displeasure of the way that the team handled his medical condition. The two teams were able to reach a trade agreement during the 2020 NFL Draft. Williams replaces Joe Staley, who abruptly retired after an impressive career. The Skins and Niners play Week 14 in San Francisco.
1. Odell Beckham Jr., Browns at Giants, Freddie Kitchens
Our No. 1 revenge game is littered with ties. A year ago, the teams pulled off a trade that sent Jabrill Peppers and Kevin Zeitler to the Giants in exchange for Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon. The connections do not end there, however. When Cleveland fired head coach Freddie Kitchens, he quickly joined Joe Judge's staff in New York. There is some bad blood between some members of the former coaching staff and players -- maybe not quite to the level of Damarious Randall handing an interception to his former coach Hue Jackson, but present nonetheless. The Giants will host the Browns in Week 15.