The NFL, America’s favorite sport, roars back into action this week! The next five months will boast an action-packed ride of competitive rivalries and what better way to start the games than with a Super Bowl rematch on Thursday night, September 8th (NBC / Entravision Radio, 8:30 PM EST), the first game of NFL Kickoff 2016 Weekend.
The opener features the reigning Super Bowl 50 Champion DENVER BRONCOS hosting the CAROLINA PANTHERS. This season is sure to be as unpredictable as ever as all teams compete to make it to Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas on February 5, 2017.
Here are some highlights and storylines to look out for during Kickoff weekend:
SUPER BOWL 50 CHAMPION BRONCOS TAKE ON THE REINVIGORATED PANTHERS:
The 2016 NFL season starts in Denver with a Thursday night rematch of Super Bowl 50. With TREVOR SIEMIAN leading the Broncos, the defending Super Bowl champions will face a fierce Carolina Panthers defense led by Pro Bowl linebacker LUKE KEUCHLY.
On offense for the Panthers, CAM NEWTON looks to shake off his Super Bowl performance with a rematch against the stellar Broncos defense which is anchored by last year’s Super Bowl MVP, VON MILLER. The Panthers’ offense will get a boost with receiver KELVIN BENJAMIN returning to the field for the first time in over a year after missing last season.
Can the Super Bowl Champion Broncos repeat? It’s tough. It’s happened only eight times since the first Super Bowl in 1967.
OPENING MATCHUPS YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS:
BROCK OSWEILER and the HOUSTON TEXANS host JAY CUTLER and the CHICAGO BEARS in an AFC-NFC cross conference showdown (FOX, Sunday, 9/11 1:00 PM EST).
Latin superstar wide receiver, VICTOR CRUZ, and the NEW YORK GIANTS look to put last season behind them quickly as they face off against the NFC East rival DALLAS COWBOYS to kick off the season (FOX, Sunday, 9/11, 4:25 PM EST).
The ARIZONA CARDINALS host the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS in a battle of Super Bowl contenders on Sunday Night Football (NBC / Entravision Radio, Sunday, 9/11, 8:30 PM EST).
A new “California rivalry” begins when Los Angeles returns to the gridiron for the first time in more than two decades as the LOS ANGELES RAMS visit the SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (ESPN / ESPN Deportes, Monday, 9/12, 10:20 PM EST).
NEW COACHES / PLAYERS IN NEW PLACES:
There are seven new head coaches hired to lead their teams in 2016 – ADAM GASE in Miami, HUE JACKSON in Cleveland, CHIP KELLY in San Francisco, DIRK KOETTER in Tampa Bay, BEN MC ADOO with the New York Giants, MIKE MULARKEY in Tennessee and DOUG PEDERSON in Philadelphia.
And there are a lot of well-known players with new teams, including quarterbacks ROBERT GRIFFIN III (Cleveland) and BROCK OSWEILER (Houston), running backs MATT FORTÉ (New York Jets), ARIAN FOSTER (Miami), CHRIS IVORY (Jacksonville) and DE MARCO MURRAY (Tennessee), wide receivers ANQUAN BOLDIN (Detroit), ANDRE JOHNSON (Tennessee) and MOHAMED SANU (Atlanta), tight end COBY FLEENER (New Orleans), defensive backs JOSH NORMAN (Washington) and ERIC WEDDLE (Baltimore), pass rushers DWIGHT FREENEY (Atlanta), CHANDLER JONES (Arizona), OLIVIER VERNON (New York Giants) and MARIO WILLIAMS (Miami) and offensive linemen ALEX BOONE (Minnesota), RYAN CLADY (New York Jets), ALEX MACK (Atlanta) and RUSSELL OKUNG (Denver).
The 2016 NFL season will be more unpredictable than ever and it all begins with an action-packed Kickoff weekend!
Courtesy of NFL/Pinta