Will Patrick Mahomes beat Lamar Jackson again? Should the two-time defending AFC Champion Kansas City Chiefs be on guard when they host Josh Allen and the blossoming Buffalo Bills in a matchup that looks like a shootout just waiting to happen?
Is Carson Wentz coming to play in his first season with the Indianapolis Colts? Last but not least, who’s coming out on top when the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns in their AFC North division showdown in Week 18?
The 2021 NFL regular season may still be a few months off, but it’s never too soon to start surveying the landscape of any brand new season. With that said, I’ve identified five huge AFC clashes on the 2021 docket that all fit the bill of must-bet, must-see TV matchups. Let’s get started so you can plan your bets against their NFL odds.
AFC Rivalry Games to Keep An Eye On for the 2021-22 NFL Season
Week 1 – Miami at New England
- When: Sunday, September 12 at 1:00 p.m. ET
- Where: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
- TV: CBS
Miami went an impressive 10-6 to finish second to Buffalo in the AFC East, New England went an uninspiring 7-9 in their first year without Tom Brady under center in two decades. The Patriots beat the Dolphins 21-11 in September, but the Fins got some revenge by downing the Pats 22-12 in late December. This season-opening division showdown by be a real eye-opener for both playoff hopefuls.
Week 2 – Chiefs at Ravens
- When: Sunday, September 12 at 8:20 p.m. ET
- Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD
- TV: NBC
It’s Patrick Mahomes Vs Lamar Jackson. Travis Kelce opposite Mark Andrews and Tyreek Hill going up against Marcus Peters. There’s Chris Jones and Calais Campbell and Andy Reid versus John Harbaugh. Mahomes is 3-0 against Jackson with a win in each of the last three seasons. Can Baltimore extract some payback for last year’s 34-20 home loss? The Chiefs came up just short in the Super Bowl against Tampa Bay. Jackson won his first playoff game before bowing out. This looks like a memorable matchup just waiting to happen.
Week 5 – Bills at Chiefs
- When: Sunday, October 10 at 8:20 p.m. ET
- Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO
- TV: NBC
Buffalo went 13-3 last season to win the AFC East title while Kansas City went 14-2 to win the AFC West. Two of the most explosive offenses will be in action with Buffalo led by blossoming signal-caller Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes at the helm in Kansas City. The Chiefs cruised to an emphatic 38-24 win over Buffalo in last season’s AFC Championship game.
Week 11 – Colts at Bills
- When: Sunday, November 21 at 1:00 p.m. ET
- Where: Highmark Stadium, Orchard Park, NY
The Colts went 11-5 under now retired signal-caller Phillip Rivers to finish tied with Tennessee in the AFC South, though the Titans claimed the division crown. Indianapolis was on the wrong end of a crushing 27-24 road loss against Buffalo in the wild card round last year that I swear the Colts should have won, if not for some mismanagement on the part of Indy coach Frank Reich. Revenge will be the name of this game.
Week 17 – Browns at Steelers
- When: Monday, January 3 at 8:15 p.m. ET
- Where: Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh went 12-4 last year to win the AFC North by one game over Baltimore, but completely collapsed after getting off to a stunning 10-0 start. Cleveland beat Pittsburgh in Week 17 to clinch a playoff berth, then beat the Steelers again in the wild card round – after Steelers wide receiver foolishly said, “I think they’re still the same Browns teams I play every year.” This regular season finale could have playoff implications.
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