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Rematches, rivalries and a mouth-watering Wembley clash – The pick of the 2018 NFL schedule

20 April 2018 15:47

The 2018 NFL schedule has been confirmed and there is plenty to whet the appetite even over four months out from the big kick-off on September 6.

For the first time in the Super Bowl era, the Philadelphia Eagles have a title to defend and will face enticing rematches of some of the memorable matchups from their run to a maiden Lombardi Trophy.

Bragging rights will be up for grabs in a couple of local rivalry games, while the Eagles will contest arguably the best London game in the history of the International Series.

Here we run you through some of the key games on the 2018 schedule.


Rematches  - Patriots @ Jaguars (Week 2), Vikings @ Eagles (Week 5), Saints @ Vikings (Week 8), Rams @ Saints (Week 9) Steelers @ Jaguars (Week 11), Patriots @ Steelers, Eagles @ Rams (both Week 15)

Both of last season's Conference Championship games will be contested again in regular season rematches. The Minnesota Vikings will hope to fare better with marquee free agent signing Kirk Cousins at quarterback than they did in January's 38-7 humbling at the hands of the Eagles.

The Jacksonville Jaguars will try to avenge the comeback defeat to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game, while revenge will also be on the mind of the New Orleans Saints when they face the Vikings after being undone by the 'Minneapolis Miracle' in the playoffs.

Memories of their dramatic and controversial defeat to the Patriots and a shootout loss to the Jaguars in the playoffs will be fresh in the memory of the Pittsburgh Steelers when they face each of those teams in 2018.

Speaking of shootouts, the Los Angeles Rams featured in two memorable ones last year and will renew acquaintances with the Eagles and Saints in contests again likely to be high-powered offensive duels.

Local Rivalries - Chargers @ Rams (Week 3), Raiders @ 49ers (Week 9)

The fight for LA will take place on the football field, and not in PR land, for the first time when the Rams and Chargers do battle, while local bragging rights will be up for grabs for the last time as San Francisco 49ers host the Oakland Raiders in the final 'Battle of the Bay' before the Raiders move to Las Vegas.

Jimmy Garoppolo has already been anointed as the 49ers' saviour, but his burgeoning reputation will grow even further if he can delight the San Francisco fanbase and send the Raiders packing with a defeat.


A Wembley Super Bowl preview? - Eagles @ Jaguars (Week 8)

London has seen plenty of disappointing International Series games, but Wembley could be treated to the best one yet in November. 

The defending champion Eagles will make their International Series debut and do so against a Jaguars team that has turned Wembley into a fortress and shook off their perennial also-ran status.

If the Eagles and Jaguars maintain their form from last season, this could be a potential Super Bowl preview.

Rodgers v Brady - Packers @ Patriots (Week 9)

You didn't think we were going to leave out this one, did you?

It's Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, arguably the two best quarterbacks in history, for the first time since 2014 and, if you believe the growing rumblings surrounding the latter, probably the last time.

It's one not to be missed, and it should be spectacular.

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