The NFL marks its centennial birthday this Thursday, September 17. There’s no better place to mark the occasion than Northeast Ohio, where the league took its first breaths on September 17, 1920, at an organizational meeting held at the Jordan and Hupmobile auto showroom in Canton, Ohio. Approximately 60 miles north of that location on Thursday, the 15,771st game in league history will feature the CINCINNATI BENGALS and CLEVELAND BROWNS (8:20 PM ET, NFL Network), the NFL’s two current Ohio franchises.
Pro Football Hall of Famer PAUL BROWN, one of 467 individuals to have served as an NFL head coach, was instrumental in the formation of the two proud franchises meeting Thursday. Brown literally left his name on his first NFL team, the Cleveland Browns. Then after shaping the Browns into a perennial contender, he started another Ohio franchise, the Bengals, who’ve made two Super Bowl appearances and now play at Paul Brown Stadium.
That Cincinnati venue and Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium, host of Thursday’s matchup, are two of 187 stadiums to host an NFL game. Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium, which will bookend Week 2 action by hosting its first game Monday, will become No. 188.
Additionally, Week 2 will feature four games between franchises with some of the richest histories in all of sports. Each game – the NEW YORK GIANTS at the CHICAGO BEARS (1:00 PM ET, CBS), the DETROIT LIONS at the GREEN BAY PACKERS (1:00 PM ET, FOX), the LOS ANGELES RAMS at the PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (1:00 PM ET, FOX) and the WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM at the ARIZONA CARDINALS (4:05 PM ET, FOX) – includes two franchises each with NFL roots dating back 83 years or longer. Those eight teams have accounted for 48 of the NFL’s 100 world championships and 159 combined Pro Football Hall of Famers.
|MATCHUP||FIRST NFL SEASON||WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS||PRIMARY PRO FOOTBALL
HALL OF FAMERS
|New York Giants||1925||8||21|
|at Green Bay||1921||13||26|
|Los Angeles Rams||1937||3||19|
MOST OFFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS IN KICKOFF-WEEKEND HISTORY: NFL teams combined to score 87 offensive touchdowns (passing and rushing combined) on Kickoff Weekend, the most Week 1 offensive touchdowns in NFL history.
- Seven teams came back to win after trailing in the fourth quarter on Kickoff Weekend – Arizona, Chicago, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, the Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee and Washington – the most fourth-quarter comeback victories on Kickoff Weekend since 2016 (nine teams) and tied for the third-most in Week 1 in NFL history. Five of those teams this past weekend came back to win on the road.
- Eleven of the 16 season-opening games were within one score in the fourth quarter.
RAIDERS, CHARGERS PLAY FIRST HOME GAMES IN NEW DIGS: A quartet of 1-0 teams will showcase the NFL’s newest venues in Week 2. First, the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS play their first game in SoFi Stadium, hosting the defending Super Bowl champion KANSAS CITY CHIEFS on Sunday (4:25 PM ET, CBS). Then, the LAS VEGAS RAIDERS close the week by hosting the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS in the inaugural game at Allegiant Stadium, on Monday Night Football (8:15 PM ET, ESPN). Including the Rams’ victory over the Cowboys at SoFi Stadium in Week 1, teams hosting their first regular-season games in newly constructed stadiums have won three in a row.
The last five NFL games featuring a team hosting its first regular-season contest in a newly constructed stadium:
|Las Vegas Raiders||Allegiant Stadium||New Orleans Saints||9/21/2020||???|
|Los Angeles Chargers||SoFi Stadium||Kansas City Chiefs||9/20/2020||???|
|Los Angeles Rams||SoFi Stadium||Dallas Cowboys||9/13/2020||W, 20-17|
|Atlanta Falcons||Mercedes-Benz Stadium||Green Bay Packers||9/17/2017||W, 34-23|
|Minnesota Vikings||U.S. Bank Stadium||Green Bay Packers||9/18/2016||W, 17-14|
SCHEDULE PARITY: Every team that traveled to open the season in Week 1 is home for Week 2. Every team that hosted its season-opener in Week 1 is traveling for Week 2. Since the NFL merged with the American Football League in 1970, this is the first league schedule in which no team will have played two home games or two road games through Week 2 of the season.
SUNDAY MATINEE MARQUIS: Two quarterbacks age 25 or younger, LAMAR JACKSON and DESHAUN WATSON, square off Sunday when the BALTIMORE RAVENS travel to play to the HOUSTON TEXANS(4:25 PM ET, CBS). In the Ravens’ Week 1 victory over Cleveland last week, Jackson completed 20 of 25 passes (80 percent) for 275 yards and three TDs, with no interceptions, for a 152.1 rating. He also rushed for 45 yards against the Browns, his third-career game with at least three touchdown passes and a passer rating of 150-or-higher (minimum 10 attempts), the most such games by a quarterback in his first three seasons in NFL history. Watson last week against Super Bowl LIV champion Kansas City completed 20 of 32 passes (62.5 percent) for 253 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for his 15th career touchdown last week, and is one of three quarterbacks (JOSH ALLEN, DAK PRESCOTT) with at least 15 rushing touchdowns since the beginning of the 2017 campaign.
SUPER BOWL REMATCH: Sunday Night Football features a rematch of one the most exciting Super Bowls in NFL history as the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS host the NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (8:20 PM ET, NBC). New England edged Seattle, 28-24, in Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1, 2015, on a last-second interception by MALCOLM BUTLER at the goal line. Since that game (2015-2020), Seattle quarterback RUSSELL WILSON leads the NFL with 159 touchdown passes, including four last week in a season-opening win at Atlanta. Patriots wide receiver JULIAN EDELMAN helped New England capture that Super Bowl with nine receptions for 109 yards and one touchdown. In NFL postseason history, only Pro Football Hall of Famer JERRY RICE (159 receptions) has more career postseason catches than Edelman (109). Edelman also had five catches for 57 yards in his first game with new quarterback CAM NEWTON, a Week 1 victory over Miami.
WEEK 2 NFL SCHEDULE
THURSDAY, SUNDAY & MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 20-21
(All times Eastern)
|Thursday, September 17||Sunday, September 13 (cont’d)|
|Cincinnati at Cleveland, 8:20 PM (NFLN)||Los Angeles Rams at Philadelphia, 1:00 PM (FOX)|
|Denver at Pittsburgh, 1:00 PM (CBS)|
|Sunday, September 20||Carolina at Tampa Bay, 1:00 PM (FOX)|
|New York Giants at Chicago, 1:00 PM (CBS)||Washington at Arizona, 4:05 PM (FOX)|
|Atlanta at Dallas, 1:00 PM (FOX)||Kansas City at Los Angeles Chargers, 4:25 PM (CBS)|
|Detroit at Green Bay, 1:00 PM (FOX)||Baltimore at Houston, 4:25 PM (CBS)|
|Jacksonville at Tennessee, 1:00 PM (CBS)||New England at Seattle, 8:20 PM (NBC)|
|Minnesota at Indianapolis, 1:00 PM (FOX)|
|Buffalo at Miami, 1:00 PM (CBS)||Monday, September 21|
|San Francisco at New York Jets, 1:00 PM (FOX)||New Orleans at Las Vegas, 8:15 PM (ESPN)|