New York Giants at Dallas (Monday 0130BST, Sky Sports Action)
A marquee fixture to finish off the action on Sunday night and a chance for one of the two to get an early leg-up in the NFC East.
Controversy has swirled around last season’s leading rusher Ezekiel Elliott and a six-game ban he has to serve but he does get to suit up for the Cowboys this weekend.
He and quarterback Dak Prescott were both sensational last year in their first season in the NFL as they guided Dallas to the play-offs – they may well find it tougher without that element of surprise while the Giants managed to get the better of them in both divisional encounters.
We shall have to see whether that turns into a trend but the visiting defense has the opportunity to be extremely good and did limit Prescott and Dallas to just seven points last December.
Veteran quarterback Eli Manning begins a journey that will hopefully lead to a third Super Bowl ring although needs to take a few less silly risks but star receiver Odell Beckham Jr is a doubt for the opener as he battles an ankle sprain.
The Giants need to get a running game going too and that rests currently with Paul Perkins – this one could go either way and should be pretty close if you have the stamina to stick it out through the night.
Best of the rest:
There is not a huge amount of optimism from the outside looking in when it comes to San Francisco but I believe they will make a competitive start when they host Carolina.
Kyle Shanahan, the man who masterminded Atlanta’s march to the Super Bowl as their offensive co-ordinator, is the new head coach in the Bay Area and signs over the summer have been extremely positive.
Vastly experienced quarterback Brian Hoyer admitted in a recent interview that his job with the 49ers was “the most fun I have had playing football” and the fact he has worked with Shanahan previously in Cleveland has allowed the pair to hit the ground running.
Former track star Marquise Goodwin is part of a receiving corps that can stretch the field while an aggressive defense could turn out to be very good as they develop over the season.
The Panthers still have enough talent on the roster to bounce back from a surprising dip in form in 2016 with rookie Christian McCaffrey very much a player to keep a close eye on but quarterback Cam Newton is still on the road to recovery after shoulder surgery and may not be razor sharp quite yet.
The other wager well worth a look is a touchdown anytime for Jacksonville rookie wide receiver Dede Westbrook.
He has been a rare bright spot in a clunky Jaguars offense during pre-season and the jury very much remains out whether incumbent Blake Bortles will hang on to his job at quarterback.
Jax are very well stocked at wide receiver with proven talent in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns but Westbrook gives them an additional string to their bow and should be backed to find the end zone.
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Posted at 1640 BST on 08/09/17
Article source: https://www.sportinglife.com/nfl/news/sunday-nfl-tips/104435