The NFL season is finally upon us, and while things officially got going Thursday with the Broncos' 21-20 win over the Panthers, the real action begins with Sunday's full slate -- which includes what could be a tough matchup in Jacksonville for Aaron Rodgers (12) and the Packers. Here are the 10 best things to look for when Week 1 continues with 13 Sunday games.
Getty ImagesRob Carr
Best chance for an upset
The Cardinals are six-point favorites over the Patriots because they're projected to be one of the NFC's top teams, they're playing at home, and Jimmy Garoppolo is starting at quarterback for New England. But Bill Belichick remains one of the best coaches in the game, and with plenty of time to prepare for a Week 1 matchup without Tom Brady, a Patriots victory wouldn't come as too much of a surprise.
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Best survivor pool pick
Taking the Chiefs at home against the Chargers seems almost too good to pass up. San Diego scored just three points in each of its matchups against Kansas City last season, and we're not expecting things to be any different in their Week 1 matchup.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY SportsKevin Jairaj
Best individual matchup
The craziest catch of Odell Beckham's career came against Brandon Carr of the Cowboys, but Dallas did remarkably well slowing him last season. Beckham totaled just nine catches for 79 yards in the two meetings between the teams in 2015, and whether or not he can get loose against Carr on Sunday could be one of the game's deciding factors.
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY SportsAdam Hunger
Best chance for a QB change
The Vikings have yet to name a starting quarterback for Sunday's Week 1 matchup with the Titans, but they didn't trade for Sam Bradford (8) to keep him sidelined for long. If Shaun Hill gets the nod and he starts to struggle, Bradford could quickly get the call.
Best fantasy option
Ezekiel Elliott is going to get a ton of touches against the Giants in Dak Prescott's first game as a starting QB, and the Cowboys have one of the league's best offensive lines. Elliott should have a breakout debut, even against what's supposed to be an improved New York defense.
Getty ImagesRonald Martinez
Best chance for fourth-quarter leg cramps
Jordy Nelson will see his first game action in more than a year on Sunday, after missing all of last season with a torn ACL injury he suffered in a preseason game. The Packers face the Jaguars in Jacksonville, where the forecast calls for a high of 93 degrees — with humidity at 61 percent. The weather could help make this one more challenging for the Packers than most people expect.
Best bet against the spread
The Colts are 3.5-point favorites at home against the Lions, and Andrew Luck has something to prove after a season in which he played poorly (15 TDs, 12 INTs, a 2-5 record) even before he was lost to injury.
Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY SportsThomas J. Russo
Best season-opening concession stand choice
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have something called a Cuban Fry Stak, and it looks fantastic. It features smoked ham, roasted pork, salami and fried pickles, smothered with a mustard cheese sauce on top of a nice helping of french fries.
Best 1 p.m. ET game
The Saints face a Raiders team that many expect to be much improved, but Drew Brees led the league in passing yards last season, while Oakland's defense ranked just 26th in passing yards allowed per game. Oddsmakers have the over/under set at 51 for a reason; this one could be a shootout.
Matt Bush-USA TODAY SportsMatt Bush
The Giants and the Cowboys open the season with a divisional matchup in Dallas that has all the makings of a close game. Oddsmakers have New York as a one-point favorite on the road, which means your guess is as good as any in terms of which way this one will shake out.