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Top 5 Games for NFL's Week 1 Schedule

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The NFL returns to action after more than 200 days off, and Week 1 brings a packed slate from Thursday to Monday. Schedule-makers were kind enough to pair several playoff contenders against each other and schedule multiple Pro Bowlers debuting against their former teams.

Related: 15 Things to Watch During the 2022 NFL Season

Whether it's early-season uncertainty or competitive matchups, seven games have lines of a field goal or less. Some could get ugly — even a masochist wouldn't put Commanders-Jaguars on this list — but there are plenty of intriguing contests to choose from.

While no games from the early Sunday slate ultimately made the cut, divisional games between the Patriots and Dolphins as well as the Steelers and Bengals will have big playoff implications. Plus, don't sleep on Raiders-Chargers during a loaded late-afternoon slate.

(Note: All games listed in ET)

Top 5 Games of Week 1

5. Broncos vs. Seahawks, Monday at 8:15 p.m.

Baker Mayfield may be saltier about playing his former team, but Russell Wilson's homecoming against the only team he's ever played for until 2022 should be a better game. Seattle's defense knows him well, and, at almost 34, he's been in decline the last few seasons. But Russ won't really lose in his first game back in Seattle, will he?

4. Packers vs. Vikings, Sunday at 4:25 p.m.

Aaron Rodgers will have to figure out how to live without Davante Adams, and this new era will begin against the one team that can prevent him from winning a fourth straight NFC North title. Green Bay may be leaning more on the run this season, while Minnesota, under new head coach Kevin O'Connell, is primed to pass more than ever. The Black and Blue Division has great potential to start this season with a bang.

3. Chiefs vs. Cardinals, Sunday at 4:25 p.m.

Two of the league's best young quarterbacks — and their combined $680.5 million contracts — are going head-to-head, and their teams have high hopes after losing to the eventual conference champions in last season's playoffs. And both quarterbacks will be without their top receivers from last year, as Tyreek Hill is in Miami and DeAndre Hopkins is suspended for PEDs.

2. Buccaneers vs. Cowboys, Sunday at 8:20 p.m.

Tom Brady was away from the Bucs for 11 days during training camp, and now he has to face the reigning NFC East champions. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy is on the hot seat, and an opening-season win against Tampa Bay could do a lot to give him some job security. If nothing else, this should be a high-scoring affair.

1. Bills vs. Rams, Thursday at 8:20 p.m.

It doesn't get any better than the first game of the season. The Super Bowl champions are going up against the Super Bowl favorites. Josh Allen vs. Matthew Stafford. Cooper Kupp vs. Stefon Diggs. We'll even get two of the greatest defensive players of this generation in Aaron Donald and Von Miller, who is going up against his former team. Unimpeachable choice to open the season.